On Monday I asked Canada's foreign affairs minister about the Arms Trade Treaty. Shamefully, the Conservative government acted as a spoiler during the treaty negotiations. The only civil society representative on Canada's delegation was from the gun lobby -- a man who was hailed by the NRA as one of its "beacons of hope." Hundreds of thousands of people die every year as a result of armed conflict. This treaty will help them. Dozens of countries have realized this, and have joined together to pursue a safer and more prosperous future. Canada should join the world in ending the illegal flow of weapons to the world's worst conflicts.
While I had long believed in gun control, its importance hit home for me after losing my mother at the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. Like many Canadians, I took some comfort in the strong Canadian laws and the seeming lack of comparable influence of the Canadian gun lobby compared to their NRA cousins in the US. However, the changes to Canadian gun laws over the past year show that this sense of comfort was naive.