As Joni Mitchell sang “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Canadians are about to lose their paradise with the potential loss of the gun registry. Doctors, the police, women’s groups, psychiatrists, public health and victims groups have all urged the government not to abandon the gun registry, but the Conservatives aren’t listening and Jack Layton of the NDP seems prepared to let the registry die.
While to these politicians this seems to be all about votes in rural communities, ironically, these are the areas with the highest rates of gun deaths by suicide and domestic violence. As a rural psychiatrist I can tell you, without question, that in rural Canada, the registry saves lives. While vocal opponents may dominate the discussion, there are plenty of us in rural Canada who believe in the critical importance of this tool to prevent suicide and domestic violence.
With the vote on the fate of the gun registry less than a month away, it is time for ordinary Canadians to exercise their democratic rights by letting their Members of Parliament know that they support gun control, of which the registry is an integral part. The silent majority isn’t saying enough right now, particularly in the 12 NDP ridings where the votes are going to be critical. If you like the relatively safe, peaceful country that is Canada, please help me, the police and others uphold gun control by letting your federal MP know you support it. Otherwise, Canadians are going to lose something that will be very hard to get back.
Barbara J. Kane