Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Eaton Centre Shooting Underlines Need for Handgun Ban

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Eaton Centre Shooting Underlines Need for Handgun Ban

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Eaton Centre shooting underlines need for handgun ban

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published June 12:

Pain has barely begun for the family of a 22-year-old Eaton Centre shooting victim who died of his injuries earlier this week. But it's been four years of suffering for those who loved Oliver Martin and Dylan Ellis, still waiting for their unknown killer to be brought to justice. And that's just a fraction of the anguish wrought by guns in Canada each year.

Martin, 25, and Ellis, 26, were inexplicably shot to death in 2008 while sitting in a Range Rover in downtown Toronto and June 13th marks the anniversary of their loss. And those who remember these men, along with others seeking a crackdown on firearms, are gathering at Queen's Park to demand action.

Martin's stepfather, Alan Dudeck, specifically wants a ban on the private ownership of handguns. He's absolutely right. A nationwide policy to that effect has been widely advocated over the years and it deserves fresh attention now.

Easy-to-conceal pistols are the weapon of choice for gangsters, drug dealers and other thugs. And history shows they don't shy away from recklessly spraying bullets, even in the presence of bystanders.

The Eaton Centre shooting killed two men but also left six people injured who were not the gunman's target, including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head. And it was far from the first such outrage in Toronto's recent past.

Pistol rampages are all the more tragic because society allows handgun ownership, providing criminals with a ready source for their preferred weapon. Indeed, there are almost 700,000 legally registered handguns in Canada -- quite a potential arsenal for those willing to steal them.

"There is no valid reason to have a handgun," Dudeck told the Star's Curtis Rush. Unlike a hunting rifle or shotgun, a pistol has no practical use except to kill a human being. …

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