Mr. Kuntz--and again, I respect your concrete experience with this--a report was released today called Not to be Forgotten: Care of Vulnerable Canadians. I was part of the all-party committee that produced this report. It mentions that when you restrict the means of suicide, you restrict suicide. It gives the example of China and India, where “death by pesticide intake is a common way of committing suicide”. It states, “The development of stringent controls on access to and storage of pesticides and industrial poisons has resulted in a reduction in suicide rates...”.
Then it mentions an RCMP document and states:
Case studies have shown that firearms used in suicides tended to be readily available--the victim either owned the firearm or borrowed it. Firearms are rarely obtained specifically....Case-control studies have found that firearms were more likely to have been present in the homes of suicide victims than in the homes of suicide attempters, psychiatric inpatients, or other control subjects.
I think storage and access is very important, because—and I'm sure you can testify to this—many of the crimes committed with firearms in a conjugal violent situation involve alcohol as well. So the harder it is to get your hands on that weapon when you've had a few drinks and are mad, the more I would think it would help save lives. I appreciate your first-hand experience and what you've gone through, but I don't think this is perfect science. It's social science, and we have to give the benefit of the doubt to precaution and to saving lives.
Do you believe, Mr. Weltz, that we should get rid of the handgun registry as well? As Madam Larente said before, criminals don't register their handguns, and registration makes lawful owners feel like criminals. So if you got rid of the handgun registry, you wouldn't be missing much, because criminals would not have been in that registry anyway. What about those lawful owners of handguns? They would feel much less criminalized.
I find that there's a contradiction. Can you explain that?