Gun Control is a Health Care Issue

Or maybe not, if you’re a federal legislator hell-bent on protecting gun-ownership because you and/or your constituents believe that the right to bear arms and shoot critters and revenuers and whatnot is God-given under the Second. . .

Oh hell, that’s another country. Sorry.

An MP who apparently has never seen a gunshot wound to the face

Meanwhile, in Canada, Bill C- 391, a private member’s bill introduced by Candice Hoeppner MP, proposing the elimination of the long gun registry, is wending its tortured way through Parliament.

I’ve been sitting on this post for a week, trying to figure out a way top say this without sounding like a nattering scold: gun control is a health care issue.

Actually I can’t say it enough: gun control is a health care issue. If you have children in your house, and especially young adolescent males, get rid of your rifles, because your sons have a significantly higher risk of death from suicide or accident. If your spouse is abusive and owns a rifle, get out as fast as you can, because there is a far higher chance you will end up dead.

The fact is, the gun registry saves lives. Consider this, for example*:

Homicide of Women by Type

Bill C-17 proposes
some controls on rifle
and shotgun owners
Bill C-68
controls on rifles
and shotguns
Latest year
with available
Murder of women with firearms 85 43 32
Rate per 100,000 of women murdered with
0.3 0.1 0.09
Murder of women without firearms 185 152 115
Rate per 100,000 of women murdered without
0.6 0.5 0.35

In other words, the rate of death by firearm for women declined faster under more stringent control regulations. In 2005, the latest date information is available, there were 818 gun-related deaths, a 43% decline since 1991. Suicides among those 15-35 years-old declined 64% from 1995 to 2005 — without substitution by other means.

Gun control is a health care issue.

The politics of around the passage of this bill seem to me especially obtuse, and as any being person moral agency would think, the ethics of Members of Parliament playing with lives for political gain is odious. Personally, and as a nurse, I think MPs advocating passage of this bill are dinks, but then, they don’t have to live with the consequences of ruined lives, or psychological or physical trauma.

From the Statement from Canadian Health Organizations on the Long Gun Registry:

As health professionals, we know  the  importance of  investing  in prevention, whether  in  road safety or prevention  of  infectious  diseases.  It  is  true  that  one  cannot  easily measure  prevention,  but  we  can certainly measure the effects of  ignoring  it. Six different coroner’s  inquests recommended the  licensing of gun owners and registration of all firearms. Indeed, our daily practice informs us of the very real risks associated with firearms and of the value of a strong gun control law.

Gun control is a health care issue.

Got it?


* Kwing Hung, “Firearms Statistics Updated Tables,” January 2006; Statistics Canada, “Mortality, Summary List of
Causes”, 2005.


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  1. #1 by fuzzy on Thursday 20 May 2010 - 1626

    Ah yes…gun control as a health care issue…that would be my murder it prevented, when I had a gun to deter my then abusive husband from breaking down my parent’s door, where I had gone for refuge with my baby…..

    that would be me as an actively suicidal teen, who never thought to use a gun to do so, since somewhere along the line, respect for weapons had been trained into me…..

  2. #2 by torontoemerg on Friday 21 May 2010 - 0011

    I don’t quite believe this… doesn’t meet the verisimilitude test IMHO. Sorry.

  3. #3 by fuzzy on Friday 21 May 2010 - 1021

    Don’t care if you believe me. It happened.

  4. #4 by Leigh on Wednesday 02 June 2010 - 2117

    I come from a country where gun ownership is rare. In 35 years as an x-ray tech I’ve seen one gun injury, a suicide. I just don’t understand why this bill is considered a good thing.

  5. #5 by emergencyem on Wednesday 23 June 2010 - 1054

    I come from England and although guns are ‘illegal’ we see many gunshot wounds, and have even had a gang shooting in our emergency department.
    It might not be something that is thought of often for people who live in a country where fire arms can be readily obtained, but Manchester (fondly renamed gunchester) has one of the worst gun related crime statistics in the country, admittedly not comparable to the statistics of other countries.

    The most terrifying bit? Our criminals are now more armed than our police.

    My solution? Im not sure I have one….Guns to tackle Guns….? Seems disastrous!

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