Monday, March 31, 2008

Gun Deaths in Canada and the Gun Registry

Listening to some conservatives you would think the case against Gun Registry was open and shut: it does no good at all full stop.

However is the evidence consistent with such a stance? Hardly. Judge for yourself.

The suicide rate in Canada peaked at 15.2 in 1978, dipped below 12 for the first time in 32 years in 2000 and reached a post 1970 low of 11.3 in 2004.

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/mh-sm/pdf/suicid_e.pdf

http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/rs/rep/2006/rr06-2/rr06-2.pdf

http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/perhlth66a.htm?sdi=suicide

The average suicide rate per year between 1970 and 1976 was 13.35, between 1977 and 1983 it was 14.5, between 1984 and 1990 it was 13.1, between 1991 and 1997 it was 13 and between 1998 to 2004 it was 12.

The number of suicides by firearm in Canada dropped from a high of 1287 in 1978 to a low of 568 in 2004. http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/84F0209XIE/2004000/t001_en.htm There was an average of 1033 fire arm suicides per year between 1970 and 1976, 1197 between 1977 and 1983, 1084 between 1984 and 1990, 970 between 1991 and 1997 and 682 between 1998 and 2004.

The number of accidental shooting deaths in Canada stood at 143 in 1971 and has generally declined since then; a low of 20 was reached in 2000. There was an average of 117 accidental shooting deaths per year between 1970 and 1976, 70 between 1977 and 1983, 62.3 between 1984 and 1990, 50.1 between 1991 and 1997 and 28.1 between 1998 and 2004. http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/rs/rep/2006/rr06-2/rr06-2.pdf

The rate of homicide in Canada peaked in 1975 at 3.03 per 100,000 and has dropped since then, reaching lower peaks in 1985 (2.72 per 100,000) and 1991 (2.69 per 100,000) while declining to 1.73 per 100,000 in 2003. The average murder rate between 1970 and 1976 was 2.52, between 1977 and 1983 it was 2.67, between 1984 and 1990 it was 2.41, between 1991 and 1997 it was 2.23 and between 1998 and 2004 it was 1.82. http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85-002-XIE/85-002-XIE2006006.pdf The number of homicides as a percentage of the number attempted homicides has increased. http://www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca/NR/rdonlyres/4B12A796-B0C9-436C-9F64-840D3EBEE09F/0/CrimeStatisticsinCanada2004.pdf In other words, the attempted homicide rate has fallen even further than the homicide rate.

7 comments:

Luke said...

Some people don’t know that most of funding for the gun registry is used for screening people who apply for firearms licences.

www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca
“Quick Facts about the Canadian Firearms Program as of January 2008
Individual Licence Refusal and Revocation
21,676 firearms licences have been refused or revoked by Chief Firearms Officers for public safety reasons.
• 7,414 applications have been refused
• 14,262 firearms licences have been revoked.
Note : Reasons why firearms licence applications have been refused or licences revoked include: a history of violence, mental illness, potential risk to himself/herself or others, unsafe firearm use and storage, drug offences, and providing false information.”

Its difficult to predict how many deaths have been prevented through the screening process, but if its just one, I believe its worth it.

Jim said...

If you are trying to forward the theory that suicides are down BECAUSE of the firearms registry, I fail to see where you have made the connection.

I am all for a licencing system and believe that it helps screen out some of those that should not have firearms.

Licencing=yes, registration=no.

Luke said...

Perhaps a connection could be made with the screening process which is part of the firearms registry. Much more difficult for mentally unstable people to acquire firearms.


It makes no sense to just have Licencing and no registration, both or nothing.
If people get their licences revoked how would the authorities know how many firearms these people owned if the firearms aren’t registered? I don’t know what the authorities do with people’s firearms when their licences are revoked. I would imagine the person would have to give them up.
What would stop someone from selling their firearms to someone who doesn’t have a firearms licence, if that firearm was not registered? There would be no record of the firearm.
Why are people against registering firearms? I believe the cost to the firearm owner is minimal or no cost at all.

If a person purchases a new firearm from a firearms dealer now, would the information of that firearm and new owner be kept on file?

Jim said...

Licencing and registration are two completely different things. I would agree that the screening process that goes along with licencing has the abilty to curtail firearms falling into the hands of someone unstable. Remember though, that this would only be effective against those who attempted to obtain firearms through the government regulated LEGAL method. Criminals could care less about licences and registration. They will continue to smuggle guns and carry guns and perpetrate gun crime...all the laws and registration schemes in the world are not going to change the fact that criminals DO NOT obey the law. This is where gun control of any kind is a failure at its root. Concentrate the efforts on the criminal, not the tool.

As to your example of what would stop someone selling a gun to an unlicenced person, well, that would put them into the catagory of person I mentioned above...criminal.

And yes, firearms retailer do keep a record of what was sold to whom.

Why are poeple against registering firearms? A list is the first step towards confiscation...review the history and you will see this to be true.

Luke said...

Jim
I know Licensing and registration are not the same but they both fall under the Firearm Act.
I have heard the statement that only law abiding people register their firearms.
Well, with 14,262 firearm licenses revoked there is likelihood, a majority of the licences were revoked because the person broke the law. These people at one time passed the screening to obtain a firearms permit but certain events happened and now they can’t legally own firearms. There is a fully integrated database which ensures when an incident occurs involving a licensed gun owner, authorities are alerted and may take action to remove the firearms and or revoke the licence.

“And yes, firearms retailer do keep a record of what was sold to whom.”
Would these records not be a type of registry or a list?

“Why are people against registering firearms? A list is the first step towards confiscation...review the history and you will see this to be true.” You believe a government will not pass a law forcing people to turn in their firearms if there is no list? As you know, the authorities already have a list of people who have firearm permits and I would bet that a majority of these people own firearms. Again, I ask why are some people against registering their firearms? If a law is passed forcing people to turn in their firearms, will they keep them?

Another benefit for strict gun laws is that it discourages the average Joe who can’t on an impulse purchase a firearm. I purchased many things I thought I would use, but I just wasted my money. (Exercise bike, canoe, tools etc) Less firearms in homes mean fewer gun related deaths, (accidentally, domestic violence, suicides) and less firearm stolen.

Koby said...

>>>>> If you are trying to forward the theory that suicides are down BECAUSE of the firearms registry, I fail to see where you have made the connection.

I did not advance any theory. I merely pointed out that the fact that suicide rate going down was consistent with Bill 68 working. That said, there is a substantive body literature out there that suggests gun control helps reduce the suicide rate.

>>>> Remember though, that this would only be effective against those who attempted to obtain firearms through the government regulated LEGAL method. Criminals could care less about licences and registration. They will continue to smuggle guns and carry guns and perpetrate gun crime...all the laws and registration schemes in the world are not going to change the fact that criminals DO NOT obey the law. This is where gun control of any kind is a failure at its root. Concentrate the efforts on the criminal, not the tool.

It is misnomer to think that because gun control fails to keep guns out of the hands of organized crime that it therefore ineffective. Indeed, the primary target of gun control legislation is not the criminal underground but the legal gun owning public. Consider the type of questions asked of someone applying for a gun license. They ask about spousal abuse and mental health. Reducing the number of suicides and spousal murders was one of the primary aims of bill 68. I have already mentioned suicide, but I should also note that a reduction in the number of spousal murders is also consistent with Bill 68 working. In 1974 1.65 out of every 100,000 female spouses were murdered. In 2004 that figure had dropped to .71 out of every 100,000. For men the rate dropped from .44 in 1974 to .14 in 2004. http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85-224-XIE/85-224-XIE2006000.pdf In the first part of the 1990s the rate of spousal homicides was .99. From 1996 to 2000. It was .74. The drop in spousal homicide rate is entirely attributable to the drop in spousal homicides involving the use of a firearm. No other category has shown a statistically significant decrease. "Between 1974 and 2000, the [firearm] rate declined by 77% for women (from 7.7 wives per million in 1974 to 1.8 in 2000) and by 80% for men (from 2.0 husbands per million in 1974 to 0.4 in 2000)."

Jake said...

between 1979 and 1998 approximately 26% of attempted suicides involved firearms, during that period gun control was in effect in Canada. I will agree that attempts by males involving firearms dropped from 41% to 26% therefore firearms control is working? Unfortunately we don't hear much about the increase in attempts by suffocation/hanging which rose from 24% to 40%. The pattern among women was similar with a rise in suffocation/hanging from 19% to 34%.
anyone ever thought that suicides might be down due to a different socio-economic swing or better facilities and help available? most suicides/attempted suicides occur during periods of intoxication

Spousal murder rates have fallen significantly as well. For females in a relationship the rate of homicide fell from 1.65 per 100,000 in 1974 to 0.71 per 100,000 in 2004 while for males in a relationship the rate dropped from 0.44 per 100,000 in 1974 to 0.14 per 100,000 in 2004.
Spousal homicides committed with firearms dropped by 77% for women between 1974 and 2000 and by 80% for men during the same time period. Increased awareness, reporting and publication of domestic violence incidents, as well as police campaigns to crack down on domestic violence, have been the primary factors on the reduction of domestic violence homicides.

Gun Control is not Crime Control yet it has created a situation where it has become more lucrative to the criminal who brings black market firearms into Canada and sells them. Psychologically we have given the upper hand to the criminals who sell them and worse the criminal who buys them and feels “I have the power” you'll do what I say.

We do not have the resources available to us to prevent the smuggling of firearms into Canada whether it be across the US border our oceans and air drops by low flying aircraft over our northern areas.

it is also fair to note that the crime rate and suicide rate pre 1964 were extreamely low compared to todays standards