Former Military Officer Urges Stronger Canadian Stance at the 2102 Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference
Dear Mr Prime Minister;
In reading the opening “STATEMENT BY CANADA AT THE OPENING OF THE ARMS TRADE TREATY DIPLOMATIC CONFERENCE. JULY 2012”. I noted the Canadian delegation made the following statements:
Quote: it is also important that the All recognize the legitimacy of the legal and responsible international trade in conventional weapons and that it respects the lawful ownership of firearms by responsible private citizens for personal and recreational uses, such as sport shooting, hunting and collecting.
Quote: Canada stresses the importance of the principle of national discretion and that the ATT should recognize the legitimacy of lawful ownership of firearms by responsible citizens for their personal and recreational use, including sport shooting, hunting and collecting. We stress that this should in no way result in any new burdens being placed on lawful firearms owners.
As a former military professional with 33 years service, and the former Director of DND Ethics, I am extremely discouraged and disheartened that we are attempting to water down this treaty, to the point that we will be directly complicit in the deaths of many people. The people of Canada expect our government to exercise world leadership on conflict reduction and that such leadership be guided by an uncompromising stance on humanitarian values. We should be at this treaty negotiation with a view to making it as strong as possible.
Surely, the legitimate arms manufacturers, gun owners and the NRA would be willing to put up with some inconvenience when people, human beings, are suffering and dying every minute somewhere in the world from small arms. To imply that gunshot victims have less priority than “no new burdens on lawful firearm owners” is absolutely unbelievable. I am truly ashamed of what Canada has become as a global citizen, when we attempt to put the arms trade in any form before human lives.
As a military professional, I can tell you that the most lethal weapons in use today, which causes the most killing every day, are small arms. There should be no measures we should not be prepared take to reduce the human carnage every day caused by small arms.
I am sure you know that almost every weapons seizure from criminal, terrorist, insurgent, or drug trafficking elements contain non-military pattern weapons. They use whatever they can get, no exceptions. In the photo below, you can see that the entire back row of weapons of non-military pattern weapons would be exempt from this treaty. This is beyond irresponsible. I can assure you that criminals and terrorists simply want weapons, any weapons, that kill, and especially those that can be obtained legally or are unregulated to any extent. The Canadian proposal creates a huge loophole to do this. This is beyond belief. This will spawn a surge and unregulated traffic in non-military pattern weapons that we will not be able to control.
Mr Prime Minister, this is an issue of human lives and human values. I implore you to issue direction to your delegation to withdraw and strongly oppose any but the strongest restrictions on the global arms trade. This is for the sake of we are as Canadians and as responsible human beings in a global community.
In the cause of peace
Tel: 613.841.9216 Cell: 613.866.2503
on January 11, 2012