October 24, 1995 For Immediate Release


"Firearms used in self-defence save more lives than are lost through firearms misuse."

Ottawa - Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, is working on a Victims' Bill of Rights. "One of the most important fundamental rights any potential victim has is their right to defend themselves, their family, their home and their property. The Criminal Code of Canada, Sections 34 to 41, gives all citizens the right to self-defence as long as they do not use more force than is necessary," commented Breitkreuz.

In June 1995, the Medical Association of Georgia published an article entitled, "Violence in America: Effective Solutions" (Journal Volume 84) by Dr. Edgar Suter, National Chairman of the Doctors for Integrity in Research and a team of thirty-seven MDs. Dr. Suter's team writes that the weight of scientific evidence indicates that gun bans and draconian restrictions will not reduce criminals' access to guns but will instead disproportionately disarm good citizens who cannot be effectively protected by the police; in so doing, gun control will do more harm than good. A conservative estimate from the largest-scale, methodologically sound study by Kleck and Gertz, augmented with 10 other scientific studies suggest, "As many as 65 lives are protected by guns for every life lost to a gun. For every gun tragedy sensationalized, dozens are averted by guns but go unreported."

A 1992 self-defence survey conducted by Dr. Gary Mauser of Simon Fraser University found: "Canadians use firearms to defend themselves against human threats about 32,000 times annually and against animal threats about 36,000 times annually. Firearms are used about twice as often in self defence as they are in criminal activity. Dr. Mauser says, "If firearms actually saved lives in only 5 percent of these situations, then the use of firearms in self defence would save more lives each year than are lost through firearms misuse in Canada." (Fraser Forum Critical Issues Bulletin -1995, Gun Control is not Crime Control)

In those progressive states where every citizen's right to self-defence is protected and encouraged, by politicians and police, crime rates are lower for every category of crime. Homicide, assault and overall violent crime are each 40% lower, armed robbery is 50% lower, rape is 30% lower and property crimes are 10% lower. The opposite is happening in Great Britain. Extremely restrictive firearm controls introduced in Great Britain in 1988 decreased the rate of legal gun ownership by 22% between 1988 and 1992. Despite this dramatic decline in legal firearm ownership, the violent crime rates in Great Britain increased by 109%, during the same period. "Unfortunately, Canada is following Britian's lead - a path which has proven to lead to more violent crime, more victims and more deaths," concluded Breitkreuz.


If you would like more information please call:

Yorkton: (306) 782-3309

Ottawa: (613) 992-4394


In a synthesis of the research Dr. Suter indicates: "One-third of Americans live in the 22 progressive states that have reformed laws to allow good citizens to readily protect themselves outside their homes, openly or concealed. The reasonable reform of concealed firearms laws resulted in none of the mayhem prophesied by the anti-self-defence lobby. In fact, the data suggest that, providing they are in the hands of good citizens, more guns "on the street" offer a considerable net benefit to society - saving lives, a deterrent to crime, and an adjunct to the concept of community policing."

Dr. Suter and his team of doctors support their findings with solid evidence: "As of December 31, 1993, Florida had issued 188,106 licences and not one innocent person had been killed or injured by a concealed weapon licensee in the 6 years post-reform. Most states have licensed fewer than 2% (and in no state more than 4%) of qualified citizens. It is no mystery why Florida's tourists are targeted by predators - predators are guaranteed that, unlike Florida's citizens, tourists are unarmed. Guns are the safest and most effective means of self-defence. This is particularly important to women, the elderly, the physically challenged, those who are most vulnerable to vicious and bigger male predators."

If the government wants safer streets, these two surveys demonstrate how law-abiding, responsible firearm owners can help the police achieve this goal. Maybe the government should consider funding an experiment which was successful at fighting violent crime in Orlando, Florida. Following an increase in reported rapes, the police department in Orlando, Florida, sponsored a program to train women in firearm use. The program, which involved 2,500 participants, was conducted between October 1966 and March 1967. In a 1983 study, Kleck and Bordua noted that the program was given a great deal of publicity in the local newspaper and that reported rapes decreased from 34 in 1966 to only 4 in 1967, a drop of over 88%. They argued that the news stories heightened consciousness of female gun ownership and that this was responsible for the reduction in rapes. It is our understanding that this was accomplished without one woman having to use her firearm to ward off an attack (Gary Kleck and David J. Bordua - The factual foundation for certain key assumptions of gun control - Law and Policy Quarterly 3:271-298 (1983).

And while scientific research conclusively proves that responsible firearms ownership is a major deterrent to crime and violence and saves more lives, Allan Rock has been unable to produce a shred of scientific evidence to support his claims that a national firearm registry will reduce violent crime, improve public safety or save lives. If he could provide this proof between 5 and 8 million gun owners would support Bill C-68. He can't and they don't.

If you would like copies of the research papers referred to please call my office.