This article is from the can.talk.guns FAQ, by Skeeter Abell-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Bare hands and feet are most often used to murder Canadian women.
More women (44.0%) are strangled or beaten to death than are murdered by
any other single method. Knives and other sharp instruments are the
next favourite weapon as stabbings accounted for 27.7% of female
homicides. Firearms are third: 25.6% of Canadian women were murdered by
someone using a gun. [StatCan, 1984 to 1993] In 1994, 45.7% of female
homicide victims were strangled or beaten to death, 22.6% were stabbed,
and 19.6% were shot. [StatCan]
We also have to do something about violence against people. Men are
more than twice as likely to be murdered (with or without a firearm),
nearly 10 times more likely to complete suicide with a firearm and over
15 times more likely to die in an accident involving a firearm. (But I
"Crimes of passion" are almost always preceded by a long history of
domestic turmoil (in 1991, 44% of all domestic murders in Canada had a
previous record of violent conflict), committed between the hours of
10:00pm and 2:00 a.m. with any object close at hand and by persons under
the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 1991, 60% of all domestic
homicides in Canada involved weapons other than firearms, with alcohol
and drug abuse a relevant factor in 64%. Between 1974 and 1987, the
use of firearms in domestic homicide fluctuated with Bill C-51 having
had no apparent effect. Studies on firearms acquisition 'waiting
periods' have found them to be totally useless in curbing either violent
crime or domestic violence.
What follows is an excerpt from a speech made by Senator Anne Cools on
29 Nov 1995. (The complete version of the following can be found from
the Canadian Firearms Home Page and from:
During the Senate committee hearings on Bill C-68, the Manitoba
Attorney General, the Honourable Rosemary Vodrey, testified. I asked
I should just like to know how many wives were killed by husbands in
your province last year by firearms, and how many children in your
I can just tell you women on homicides by firearms. I gather the
figure is zero.
Ms Vodrey gave more detail. She said:
The statistics I have are for 1994, and they relate to deaths due to
domestic violence: Three by stabbing; three by strangulation; two by
beating; one by asphyxiation; none by firearms.
Honourable senators, it is no simple task to identify the actual and
precise number of women killed by spouses using firearms. I have
studied this question using Statistics Canada's published data on
homicides. In 1994, the actual number of women killed with firearms
by conjugal intimates was 23. I repeat: The precise number of women
killed by spouses using firearms was 23.
Statistics Canada defines "conjugal intimates" as including spouses
- legal, common-law, separated, divorced - boyfriends, extramarital
lovers or estranged lovers. Neither feminist groups nor the Minister
of Justice have placed the number of 23 on the table in this debate.
I am unsympathetic to the act of toying with or exaggerating the
Please be clear that Minister Vodrey's answer that no woman in her
province had been killed by the use of a firearm in a
conjugal-intimate relationship in 1994 surprised the committee.
In 1994, the actual number of children under the age of 12 years
killed with firearms by a parent was two. The favoured weapon of
murder in Canada is bare hands and feet - the human body. For
example, in 1994, 27 babies under 12 months of age were killed, most
with bare hands. In 1994, the total number of homicides was 596, of
which 196 were by the use of firearms. Of these 196 with firearms,
157 of the victims were men and 39 were women. Consistently, more
men are killed with firearms than women; in fact, four times as
many. The tragedy of domestic homicide is too horrific to be
trivialized by numerical manipulation.
Here's a breakdown of causes of death for men and women :
14757287 14494078 29251285 Population women men total Cause of Death 38688 39885 78573 Circulatory system diseases 26815 31496 58311 All Cancer 8255 10087 18342 Respiratory system diseases 3767 3912 7679 Digestive system diseases 4995 Breast Cancer 2710 1963 4673 Mental disorders 780 2969 3749 Suicide, all methods 985 2478 3463 Drug/Alcohol Abuse [note 1] 949 2238 3188 Motor vehicle collisions 721 2053 2774 Suicide, non-firearm 1292 1055 2347 Falls 139 1489 1628 HIV 59 916 975 Suicide, with firearm 235 629 868 Accidental poisoning 222 507 729 Drowning/suffocation/choking 199 396 596 Homicide, all methods 160 239 400 Homicide, non-firearm 115 130 246 Homicide, no gun; no knife 102 110 212 Surgical/medical misadventures 39 157 196 Homicide, with firearm 45 109 154 Homicide, with cutting/piercing instrument 3 35 38 Fatal Gun Accidents 101 1108 1209 Total deaths involving firearms