KNIVES are no different than guns -- they both are "tools of death," says the mother of stabbing murder victim Andrew Moffitt.
Paulette Moffitt has not failed to notice that knives have been used in
two major crimes making headlines this week -- the brutal attempted
murder of Karen Parker who was found in Britannia Park and the slaying
of Sami El-Ghazal in a parking lot.
"A knife and a gun, the only difference is
that the gun makes noise. They both take lives," she said, yesterday
during a dedication ceremony of a plaque to honour her son.
The Moffitt family has long advocated on
behalf of tougher penalties for knife crimes. They want a 10-year
minimum sentence for anyone wielding a knife while committing a violent
crime and a 25-year minimum sentence for anyone convicted of murder
involving a knife.
"If a gun would have been used, Andy's killer would still be in jail,"
she said. "He is out after serving three years of his light five-year
Andrew Moffitt, 23, was killed on Dec. 23,
1998, while at an Ottawa bar. His killer, Henry Danninger, had gone to
the bar with a knife to confront a friend whom he believed had taken
his drug stash.
Leeds-Grenville Tory MP Gord Brown will
put forward his private member's bill this fall seeking to have
mandatory minimum sentences handed down to killers who use knives.
Moffitt said politicians have to start listening to the victims and families of victims.
"We want to be treated the same as victims of guns," she said.
"Our sons deserve the same justice and the penalties should be the same."
The Moffitt family was present at the plaque unveiling held in front of
the University of Ottawa's School of Information, Technology and
Engineering at 800 King Edward Ave.
The plaque recounted the tragic death, but
also the heroics of Moffitt whose death was brought about by his
efforts to intervene in a brawl. He was posthumously honoured with the
Governor General's Medal of Bravery.
END OF EXAMS
Moffitt was an engineering student at the university. On the night of his death, he was celebrating the end of exams.
"I am just touched so much by it. Every person and student who walks by here will see Andy."