Dawson against Bill C-391

Long gun registry is important to the faculty and students of Dawson

By: Maya Malkin

A press conference was held in Oliver’s (2C.17) on Sept. 16 in support of long gun registry, with hopes to help take down the federal Bill C-391, abolishing the law.

The Dawson representatives present were Gabriel Tordjman, vice president of the Dawson Teachers Union (DTU), Fred Jones, president of the DTU, Mary Hlywa, chairperson for Social Services, Ariel Charney, member of the Dawson Student Union (DSU), and Michael Lessard, member of the DSU.

Dawson College has witnessed the outcome of gun violence, as has Ecole Polytechnique who experienced the effect of long gun brutality. Bill C-391 will terminate the law which states that a person must register their long gun.

Gabriel Tordjman spoke first on the issue,“We want Canadians to vote down Bill C-391, and show support for long gun registry.” He wants to support effective gun control in our community, “As targets of gun violence in the past, it pains us greatly that an occasion for uniting and healing can be used for making division in our country.”

In Canada, to help keep people safe, the police use the registry records over 10,000 times a day. “All guns are capable of committing a crime,” Hlywa said. “The licensing of gun owners and the registration of fire arms are effective in protecting public safety.”

Charney, voiced the opinion of Dawson students, “Our members believe that bill C-391, the cancellation of it is an extremely regressive move towards gun control.”

There were very few Dawson students present at the conference. Valery Mattias, a third semester International Business student, was one of the only Dawson students there solely out of interest.

“We talked a lot about it in my English class. It could have happened anywhere. If we can overthrow the gun law we can advance to a more peaceful community,” Mattias said.

“We have licenses for cars, that doesn’t stop accidents from happening. We’re not going to take away all the licenses. You don’t get rid of something that is working overall just because there are faults. It [the law] wasn’t perfect, it didn’t stop what happened at Dawson but it stopped other events from happening that didn’t take place,” Jones explained.

Tordjman said that if we accept registrations for cars, we should accept them for guns. The DSU has organized a bus to leave from Dawson, on Sept. 22 at 9:00 a.m., that will take all students interested in opposing Bill C-391 to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, ON, on the day of the vote.

“We think it’s very important that students show their public support for the gun registry,” Charney said.

Teachers have been asked to be lenient with the students who choose to participate because they are trying to take an important position in democracy.

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