Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the day: Scrap long-gun registry

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Clinical psychiatrist and letter writer Barbara Kane suggests we should keep the long-gun registry because, since it was implemented, suicide by firearm deaths have decreased. As a former Prince George resident, I'm not sure how anyone can consider Prince George, B.C., with a population of more than 70,000. a rural area. I can, however, tell you it's obvious that Kane seems to be less interested in suicides than in firearms. The suicide rate in Canada is unchanged in the last two decades. While suicide by firearm is down significantly, suicide by hanging has doubled. Does it really matter how one chooses to end their life? Dead is still dead.

Perhaps if we spent more money on actually helping people, instead of focusing on confiscating their firearms, we could make some positive changes. Perhaps if we hadn't wasted $2 billion on a feel-good solution (a.k.a. firearms registry) we would actually be in a position where we could afford to help Canadians. Let's end this waste, and put the money where it'll actually do some good.

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JORDAN RIVEST

Whitehorse

 

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In regards to the letter by Barbara J. Kane, psychiatrist.

I am an ER physician. I oppose the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians' Position Statement on Gun Control, for both scientific, economic and medical reasons, as do many of my colleagues.

I have had patients who have attempted suicide with unregistered firearms, and had a patient who had his firearms confiscated commit suicide by hanging.

The gun registry has hurt and killed people. Here is one example of how: When I try to refer a suicidal patient to a psychiatrist, I am faced with a waiting list of six months. If we wanted to lower suicide rates, we should spend the money on psychiatry. When I refer women to a shelter, I am often told it is filled. There is only so much money to go around. Therefore, it should be invested based on effective programs and therapy, not pie in the sky.

There is no evidence the gun registry has reduced gun suicide or overall suicide. The CAEP statement contains a significant error where a paper is held as evidence for the gun registry, which in fact doesn't examine the gun registry at all. This is scientific dishonesty.

 

DR. CAILLIN LANGMANN

Hamilton

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 5, 2010 A13

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