Letters to the Editor
On May 17, 2005, Leeds-Greenville MP Gord Brown introduced "Bill C-393," an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.
There are no words to express our gratitude to Mr. Brown for going out of his way and making this bill one of his top priorities when he won the election in our riding. He spent long tedious hours preparing the bill since June 2004 when we sent out over 400 letters to politicians, police departments, mayors, Crown attorneys, etc., asking for their support. The response was overwhelming. Mr. Brown was there for us when we needed him. He immediately sought to help us.
There is a minimum sentence given to those who kill with a gun and there should be the same minimum sentence given to those offenders who kill with a knife in manslaughter cases. Both are tools of death. "Between 1999 and 2003, 787 people were killed in knife attacks in Canada, compared to 823 killed by firearm assaults." These figures prove that knife killings have been on the rise. They are not random killings anymore. Knives are becoming the weapon of choice - guns are too hard to get hold of today.
It was devastating to us when Andy's killer was sentenced to a mere five years and today we are preparing ourselves to face this killer at a parole hearing on July 26. That means if this killer is released on parole, he will have spent two years in jail for stabbing an innocent victim to death - for no reason at all. In this day and age, many people are carrying knives in their back pockets. They have no reason to fear using these weapons as they know they will only get a light sentence. What happened to Andy only proves this more.
Even though "Bill C-393" will not help Andy, this bill if passed will be something good, something positive that will come out of something terrible. We cannot and never will be able to accept the tragic way Andy lost his life, but we had to go forward and do something positive in Andy's memory. Andy did NOT die in vain. This bill will deter people from carrying knives. They will know that the punishment will be severe.
Andy lost his life when he got up to help break up a fight. He died doing the right thing. If a knife was never pulled out that night, Andy would be here today.
Paulette, Rod, Rod Jr./Karen and Mike Moffitt (Andy's family)
Published in Section A, page 6 in the Thursday, July 21, 2005 edition of the Brockville Recorder & Times.