Doctors call for handgun ban cross Canada
Some Winnipeg doctors are joining a growing movement to call for a ban on handguns across Canada, citing it as a public health crisis.
Winnipeg emergency room physician Dr. Alecs Chochinov is among them. He told CTV News gun-related deaths are happening more frequently, not just related to gangs, but also in domestic violence situations, suicides, and incidents involving children.
"This is something we see in emergency departments all the time. It is a risk to our patients in a variety of contexts that are quite separate from what most people perceive to be the main risk,” Chochinov said. “It’s horrible.”
Tighter gun ownership regulations might happen in Canada if Bill C-71 passes, but the grassroots group Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns said it doesn’t go far enough.
The group is calling for a ban on handguns and assault weapons. They are holding a national day of action Wednesday.
Winnipeg Revolver and Pistol Association President Brenden Roemich said a ban would miss the point.
“A ban on handguns would be like if you're trying to fix drunk driving by banning all cars and the ability for people to drive,” he said.
Roemich said he believes current gun laws are fair, and responsible gun owners, like women and sportspeople, aren’t the problem.
He said their rights should be protected.
"We want to be just as safe as everyone else does. We want safe streets, we want safe homes. We want all those things. We want the same things everyone else does and we want to work towards making that happen,” Roemich said.
Chochinov said he thinks gun-related injuries and death are similar to other health issues like smoking or reckless driving.
He supports a ban on handgun and assault rifles.
"They have no constructive place in our society and they hurt and maim and kill our patients and we want to protect our patients from them,” Chochinov said.
- With files from CTV's Michelle Gerwing