Our Issues: Gun Laws
My son was only two years old when he was killed. Alistair was shot while he slept in his pram on a family holiday in Turkey. He was a happy, much-loved child but he had his life taken away from him.
Alistair was in a cafe with his mum Ozlem when an argument broke out between four men. One of them opened fire and Alistair was shot dead.
Ozlem and I launched a campaign to tighten gun laws in Turkey where, at that time in 2003, there were around five million illegal weapons, including the one that killed Alistair.
We also went to Kenya with Oxfam and met people whose lives had been devastated, just like ours. People like Ewoton Amagandi whose village had been raided at night.
Everyone – including her baby – was shot and killed. She was the only survivor. Around the world 1,500 people die every day from armed violence.
Most are not soldiers but civilians, many of them women and children. Incredibly, the trade of arms is less controlled than iPods or bananas.
This summer we have the chance to change that when world leaders meet at the United Nations. We desperately need a strong Arms Trade Treaty. Missing this opportunity would be deadly.
I think about Alistair every day – what age he would be, what school he’d be going to. July marks the ninth anniversary of his death. I hope it also marks the start of a safer future.