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

  • Trump orders Republican organizations to stop using his name for fundraising

    World News CTV News
    Lawyers for former U.S. President Donald Trump sent out cease-and-desist letters Friday to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee for using his name and likeness on fundraising emails and merchandise, a Trump adviser tells CNN. Source
  • Trump says he'll campaign against Murkowski in Alaska next year

    World News CTV News
    Former President Donald Trump said Saturday he plans to campaign against GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska next year when she's up for reelection, intensifying his pledges to oppose GOP lawmakers who have bucked him. Source
  • Dozens rally before ex-officer put on trial in Floyd's death

    World News CTV News
    ST. PAUL, MINN. -- Dozens of people gathered in front of the Minnesota governor's mansion on Saturday to demand accountability for police officers, days before a former Minneapolis officer is scheduled to go on trial in the death of George Floyd. Source
  • Italian prosecutor seeks life for U.S. men charged with murder

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- An Italian prosecutor on Saturday requested life in prison for two young American men charged with slaying an Italian police officer in central Rome. Prosecutor Maria Sabina Calabretta asked the court to find the two defendants -- Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 20 -- guilty and to impose Italy's maximum sentence for the death of Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega. Source
  • Disneyland gets green light to reopen as California eases COVID-19 restrictions

    World News CBC News
    California health officials set new rules on Friday that would allow Disneyland and other theme parks, stadiums and outdoor entertainment venues to reopen as early as April 1, after a closure of nearly a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Source
  • NHL star's mom donates kidney to arena manager who let her boys skate extra hours

    Canada News CBC News
    They're grown men playing professional hockey now, but when Bonnie O'Reilly's boys were growing up in Seaforth, Ont., Graham Nesbitt was a local legend. As manager of the local arena in the community of about 3,000 people, located an hour north of London, Nesbitt would open the doors on snow days or after regular hours so scores of local kids could skate. Source
  • Dolce&Gabbana seeks over $600M damages from 2 U.S. bloggers

    World News CTV News
    MILAN -- The Milan fashion house Dolce&Gabbana has filed a multimillion-dollar defamation suit in an Italian court against U.S. fashion bloggers who reposted anti-Asian comments attributed to one of the designers that led to a boycott by Asian consumers. Source
  • An 18-year-old wins $25,000 on her very first lottery ticket in the U.S.

    World News CTV News
    Now that she had turned 18, Sloan Stanley decided she'd do some grown-up things. One item on her to-do list: Buy her very first lottery ticket. Imagine her surprise when a scratch-off she paid US$5 for ended up netting her a sweet $25,000. Source
  • Hundreds gather in illegal COVID-19 protest in Stockholm

    World News CTV News
    STOCKHOLM -- Swedish police dispersed hundreds of people who had gathered in central Stockholm to protest coronavirus restrictions set by the Swedish government. Swedish authorities said Saturday's demonstration was illegal as it was held without permission. Source
  • How this 17-year-old boy is using 'CovART' to help children in Kenya

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A 17-year-old boy from Kingston, Ont. was inspired to give back this summer when he saw how the pandemic was impacting African youths’ access to education. Evan Sharma, the founder of CovART Challenge, decided he wanted to do something to help people in need this summer, and after speaking to friends and watching the news, he decided to put his art to good use in an effort to provide meals to students in Kenya. Source