This Isn't Just about Our Son. It Is about the 2000 Killed by Arms Every Day; Tragic Dad's Rallying Call in Fight against Firearms

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), July 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

This Isn't Just about Our Son. It Is about the 2000 Killed by Arms Every Day; Tragic Dad's Rallying Call in Fight against Firearms


Byline: Craig McDonald

A FATHER whose toddler son was shot dead in a cafe has marked the anniversary of his death by campaigning for global action against firearms.

David Grimason has been calling for tighter controls since two-year-old Alistair was killed during a gunfight in Turkey in 2003.

But he fears that a new global treaty will be watered down - allowing the small arms and bullets that were used in his on's killing to be freely traded.

David, 40, from Edinburgh, has been at the UN in New York for the final negotiations for an international arms trade treaty.

He said a strong treaty was the biggest tribute he could give to Alistair and has been lobbying the UK and foreign governments to back the new global agreement.

Alistair was asleep in his pram in the seaside village of Foca on July 7, 2003, when he was killed. An argument broke out at a nearby table and a man opened fire.

Writing exclusively for the Record today, David calls on the UK Government to keep the pressure up for the treaty to become law.

He said: "I have been trying to speak out for the victims, like Alistair, who no longer can."

David added: "This isn't just about Alistair.

"Every day throughout the world around 2000 people die from armed violence - the majority of these deaths are in countries not at war. These figures are disgusting and unacceptable."

David has been involved with the Control Arms campaign, run by Amnesty International, IANSA and Oxfam, since 2004.

He wants to make sure that the treaty covers all handguns and ammunition, while some countries are arguing that small arms and bullets should not be included.

First Minister Alex Salmond has also pledged to throw his weight behind David's campaign.

Here is what David told the Record.

' FOR two years I was a dad. Then a man pulled out an illegal gun and started firing.

'My son Alistair was asleep in his pram inside the cafe in Turkey.

He wasn't the gunman's target, but a bullet pierced his lung and Alistair died soon after.

That single moment nine years ago changed my life forever.

I wonder every day what Alistair would be like, what he would be doing, who his friends would be.

Like me, Alistair was robbed of so much that day.

Four weeks ago, I arrived at the United Nations in New York. I have been here as the world tries to regulate the flow in conventional arms for the very first time.

It has not been an easy process - bringing about lasting change never is. But I believe there is no stronger argument for a strong treaty than the human cost of the arms trade.

Over the last month, I have been trying to speak out for the victims, like Alistair, who no longer can.

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