OTTAWA, Nov. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) is greatly concerned about the recent endorsement by the House of Commons of Bill C-391, which, if passed, would repeal the Long Gun Registry. As emergency physicians, we see the true horror of firearm injury and death and can attest to the fact that the long gun registry saves lives.
According to Statistics Canada, there were 818 firearm deaths in Canada in 2005. (1) 72.5% (593) of these firearm deaths were suicides. This amounts to one person every 15 hours. Over 80% of these suicide deaths were due to long guns.(2) Gun control saves lives. Since the gun control registry was introduced in 1995, firearm suicides have decreased by 35%.(2,3)
Those opposed to long gun registration claim that there is a lack of criminal activity involving long guns. This is not true. Of firearm-related homicides in 2008 in Canada, 34% were by rifles or shotguns, 61% by handguns and 17% by prohibited firearms.(4) Long guns were used in 72% of firearm-related spousal homicides. Between 1995 and 2004, there was a 36% decrease in the use of firearms in spousal homicides.(5)
For many these may just be statistics. For emergency physicians these are real people whose demise by long gun bring tragedy to our emergency departments as we frantically try to save their lives. Families' lives are shattered in a moment, and despite doing this regularly, we can never get used to witnessing their anguish. Dr. Carolyn Snider, a CAEP member and lead author of the peer reviewed and published "CAEP Position Statement on Gun Control" says "We recognize that the great majority of gun owners in Canada are responsible citizens. The long gun registry is not about treating them as criminals; it is about protecting the vulnerable among us. The recent vote is appalling. We will witness the tragic consequences of this bill."
The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) is a national advocacy and professional development organization representing more than 1,800 of Canada's emergency physicians. CAEP's mission is to provide leadership in emergency health care with a goal to enhance the health and safety of all Canadians.
The full Position Statement can be found at: www.caep.ca
1. Statistics Canada. Mortality, summary list of causes 2005. Available
2. Department of Justice. Firearm Statistics, Updated Tables 2006.
3. Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 1020540. Deaths, by cause, Chapter XX:
External causes of morbidity and mortality (V01 to Y89), age group and
sex, Canada, annually (Number). Available at:
4. Statistics Canada. Homicide in Canada, 2008. Available at:
5. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Family Violence in Canada: A
Statistical Profile 2006. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/familyviolence/pdfs/fv-85-224-XIE2006000_e.pdf.
SOURCE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS
For further information: For further information: Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, (613) 523-3343 x14