I’ve written a couple of times on the proposed abolition of the long gun registry, now before Parliament. I have argued gun control is very much a health care issue, and that real lives are at stake. From my perspective as a Registered Nurse, working in an urban Emergency Department, the issue is not about rights or rural culture, but about protecting the vulnerable from harm.
You’ll have to forgive me, Jack, if I am a little emotional on this issue. You see, unlike you and probably all anti-gun-registry MPs — Conservatives and New Democrats alike — I have actually seen gunshot wounds, up close and personal. I have the seen the devastating trauma they have on individuals, families and communities, the lasting scars they leave which never can be repaired. For you, I think, it’s an issue you can debate with Olympian remoteness. It’s all an abstraction, a game of politics played with the lives of your constituents, not a reality of death and mutilation. “Ah,” you say, “It’s a matter of conscience, MPs should vote as they like: who knows the rights and the wrongs.” You know better than this, Jack. You know there is a direct correlation between the gun registry and deaths from firearms. You know the death rate from shotguns and rifles declined an astonishing 44% from 1995 when the Firearms Act was proclaimed to 2008.
From down here in the trenches, your “freedom of conscience” looks a lot like cant and hypocrisy.
Expert opinion, ranging from nurses to police chiefs to Emergency Department physicians have all spoken in favour of retaining the gun registry. They — and I — don’t have any dogs in this fight. I doubt at this point any appeals to reason or even common sense will change your mind, Jack, or get you or your caucus to do the right thing. But when I’m busy getting the trauma room ready for the next gunshot victim — and I know the numbers will increase, as sure as stupidity reigns in Ottawa — I’ll be thinking of you, Jack, and shaking my head. You guys just don’t get it.