I'm a psychiatrist working out of Prince George, B.C., which is an area with a high rate of firearm suicides. I've been there for 22 years, so that's before and after the registry. The rates of suicide and domestic violence are higher than they are in urban centres. Most of those are with non-restricted firearms.... I wouldn't want to minimize the impact of any type of suicide on a family, but suicide attempts with firearms seldom fail. Families are often left traumatized forever after finding someone with their head blown off or a part of their face shot off. These are some of the reasons that health care professionals are so vocal about the need to maintain gun control and the registry.
I regularly get calls from people asking me if I can comment on the level of risk a person poses given their behaviour. Usually, one of the things I want to know about is if they have a gun, because obviously an unstable person with a gun is a far higher risk than one without. Prior to the Firearms Act, without a direct threat, there would be little that could be done to determine someone's risk. Similarly, when I called the police to see about getting guns taken away from someone who was suicidal, they were very hesitant, as no crime had been committed and they weren't sure whether someone had a gun or how many they had.