Gays Against Guns: Time For A Toronto Chapter? - MyGayToronto - Ray's Anatomy
Gays Against Guns: Time For A Toronto Chapter? 7 November 2017.
Gays Against Guns (GAG) started in the wake of the Pulse Orlando nightclub massacre on June 12, 2016. This was an attack targeting the LGBTQ community and in particular LGBTQ people of colour. GAG's main goal is to provide a space for LGBTQ people, other vulnerable groups, and their allies who are committed to ending gun violence in this country, to work together toward that goal through direct action and activism.
Terry Roethlein is the communications manager for the volunteer-driven GAG who currently operate chapters in New York, Washington, Orlando, New Jersey and Provincetown. But the gun problem isn't unique to the United States. Like many volunteer organizations GAG's biggest issue is finding enough volunteers who are willing to stick with it over the long-term. But that hasn't stopped GAG from making a huge impact in terms of visability, as Terry explains, "Today's die-in (November 6, 2017) at the Hart Senate Office Building (Washington) is the first time we brought the issue straight to national lawmakers' doorstep. I am very pleased that we are elevating to the national level our demands for the Background Check Expansion Act, the Assault Weapons Ban and reinstatement of funding for CDC gun violence research."
Today's protest resulted in the arrests of six people and while this news is disheartening, it's also a reflection of US law-makers priorities. But are things any better up here in Canada?
According to a recent article in Maclean's Magazine, "Despite the persistently high rate of gun violence in many Canadian cities, gun violence still isn't treated as a serious problem here . . . as of October 2, Toronto has endured 297 shootings—an average of one shooting every day—which left 434 victims with varying degrees of injury in their wake. In terms of absolute numbers, no other Canadian city comes close to the number of shootings and shooting victims, and shootings in Toronto increased 41 per cent between 2015 and 2016."