N.B. father whose daughter was murdered wants new gun control debate

RIVERVIEW, N.B. -- A New Brunswick man whose young daughter was gunned down in a robbery is calling for a renewed debate on firearm control and the federal long-gun registry.

See Full Article

Ron Davis said Tuesday he's concerned that military-style guns sold legally in Canada will end up in the hands of the wrong people.

"I have nothing against hunting rifles, that's fine," the 74-year-old Riverview man said in an interview. "It's the weapons that are available and legal that have nothing to do with hunting that concerns me most. We're just asking for another disaster to happen."

Davis's 16-year-old daughter, Laura, was shot and killed with a handgun in a convenience store holdup in Moncton in 1987. Since then, he's been an advocate for victims of gun violence.

Government response to gun violence is too often "lip-service," he said.

Davis questions the need for the types of powerful firearms seen in mass shootings in the United States and Canada, including the June 2014 murders of three Mounties in neighbouring Moncton by Justin Bourque. In that case, a semi-automatic rifle was used to kill the three officers and wound two others.

Bourque's lawyer, David Lutz, said the debate over gun control in Canada should be reopened after his client was sentenced to 75 years in prison in October 2014.

The RCMP officers were armed with guns that had a range of 50 metres, while Bourque's gun -- a Poly Technologies M305, 308-calibre semi-automatic rifle -- had a range of 250 metres.

In an interview Tuesday, Lutz said there was simply no need for powerful weapons that are meant for the battlefield.

"The only people who need them are soldiers and police officers and the police officers have not the greatest need for these kinds of guns," said Lutz. "The gun that Mr. Bourque used was a rendition of a sniper's rifle."

Lutz said Ottawa could simply deal with the weapons without opening a wider debate about gun control.

"You can zero in on these types of weapons in particular. It's very simple, you put them in the classification under the Criminal Code of prohibited weapons."

Antoine Bastarache, president of the Kent County Gun Club in nearby Bouctouche, N.B., agrees that there is no place for weapons that could possibly be converted to fully automatic, but he's also quick to point out that hunting rifles and shotguns are also semi-automatic.

"Some people don't distinguish between those and that causes a problem," he said. "But fully automatic guns like that, they shouldn't even exist in this country."

Bastarache said there is no need for the federal government to reopen a debate on the long-gun registry, which he described as a "lost cause and a loss of money."

The former Conservative government abolished the federal database for long guns in 2011 as part of a long-standing campaign promise.

Davis said he decided to speak out now after a two-page ad from a gun shop featuring mostly military-style firearms appeared in a local newspaper in December.

"I thought, boy, if there are people out there that possibly have mental deficiencies or problems, we're just planting a seed in their mind that these guns could do it the same as they see on TV," he said.

Meanwhile, Davis said he and his family are preparing to attend a parole hearing in Quebec in April for the man convicted in his daughter's shooting. They have never missed a hearing, he said.

"That's the least we can do for my daughter, is be there."

Patrice Mailloux was convicted in the spring of 1988 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 20 years. Davis said he is seeking unescorted day passes and full parole.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Netanyahu makes history as Israel's longest-serving leader

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- As Benjamin Netanyahu becomes Israel's longest-serving prime minister, he is solidifying his place as the country's greatest political survivor and the most dominant force in Israeli politics in his generation. He has persevered through scandals, crises and conflicts, winning election after election even as the country grows more bitterly polarized. Source
  • Judge restricts social media use of Trump friend Roger Stone

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- No more Instagram for Roger Stone. Facebook and Twitter are out, too. A federal judge barred Stone from posting on social media Tuesday after concluding that the longtime confidant of U.S. President Donald Trump, who is charged with lying in the Russia investigation, repeatedly flouted her gag order. Source
  • Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' faces sentencing in U.S. case

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Will the notorious Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo" go quietly? For Joaquin Guzman, that's the biggest question at his sentencing in New York City on Wednesday. The highly-anticipated hearing could be his last chance to speak publicly before spending the rest of his life behind bars at a maximum security U.S. Source
  • Man arrested in slaying of 75-year-old African American museum founder

    World News CTV News
    The suspect in the slaying of a community leader who founded Baton Rouge's African American history museum was a tenant who owed her back rent, authorities said Tuesday. Ronn Jermaine Bell, 38, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder, city Police Chief Murphy J. Source
  • Von der Leyen confirmed as new European Commission president

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS - Ursula von der Leyen was confirmed as the European Commission president Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold one of the most prestigious positions in the European Union and who will be one of the most prominent faces from the bloc on the world stage. Source
  • Nomination process for federal election candidates 'uncompetitive' and 'biased': report

    Canada News CBC News
    Just a small portion of federal candidates go through competitive nomination contests, according to a new report from the Samara Centre for Democracy which describes the nomination process as "a weak point in our democratic infrastructure." Wednesday's report — entitled 'Party Favours: How federal election candidates are chosen' — looked at the more than 6,600 candidates who ran to represent one of Canada's five major political parties during the last five federal elections. Source
  • Rescuers look for survivors after building collapse in India

    World News CTV News
    MUMBAI, India -- Rescuers cleared debris and used sniffer dogs Wednesday to find possible survivors under the rubble of a dilapidated building that collapsed in India's financial capital of Mumbai. At least 12 people were killed, and several are still feared trapped. Source
  • Northern Ontario First Nation declares state of emergency over water quality

    Canada News CTV News
    An escalation of long-standing issues with its water supply pushed a First Nation in northern Ontario to declare a state of emergency, its chief said Tuesday as he called for help dealing with the problem. Source
  • Two women allege inappropriate messages from Manitoba grand chief

    Canada News CTV News
    Two women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate text messages involving the province’s grand chief, while the First Nations leader denies any wrongdoing. Bethany Maytwayashing said she first met Manitoba Grand Chief Arlen Dumas while working at a Winnipeg restaurant in 2018 and saw him again in May 2019. Source
  • Hong Kong protests expand to oppose China, with no end near

    World News CTV News
    HONG KONG -- Colin Wong has come to know the sting of pepper spray well. After more than a month of demonstrations in Hong Kong's sweltering heat, memories of the burning sensation are a constant reminder of what protesters call an excessive use of force by police. Source