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Doctors Against Guns Are Really Doctors Against Solutions

Focused on solving the underlying causes, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Violence is a group we could support wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, that group does not exist.
Instead, we have Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns, an organization created to advance the personal agenda of its founder.
Dr. Najma Ahmed, an emergency room doctor who treated the victims of the July 22, 2018 Danforth shooting, says that experience is why she wants all handguns and semi-automatic rifles banned in Canada.
By focusing her group’s wrath on the means used to commit these crimes – guns – she ignores the real problem – violence.
“I think that @Docs4GunControl are well intentioned but the data does not support ‘ban all guns’ or ‘guns for all by 2020.’ There are complex social determinants that lead to crime and/or suicide,” [i]said Ontario Psychiatrist Rida K. Mirza.
Canadian firearm legislation follows a predictable pattern.
“Gun control” legislation does not target the people committing the violence. It focuses on those who already obey the law and ignores those who don’t.
This is why each successive round of ever-more-restrictive gun laws fails.
Doctors can’t heal a patient by focusing on the symptoms of the disease while ignoring the disease. Likewise, we must examine the root causes of violence and deal with that if we ever hope to solve the issue of violence in our society.
Attacking people who don’t cause a problem is bad public policy, no matter which side of the gun debate you’re on.
The Danforth Killer did not legally acquire or possess the guns he used to kill two beautiful young people and injure more than a dozen others.
This is a critical distinction. As is the fact Canada’s 2.2 million federally-licensed gun owners had nothing to do with the Danforth Killer.
But death and injury by firearms are preventable tragedies, [ii] the group says.
So are death and injury by knives, cars and rope, all of which kill and injure far more people every year than bullets.
Unfortunately, they aren’t interested in preventing any of those terrible tragedies. Nor are they interested in ending tens of thousands of deaths caused by medical malpractice.
Research shows medical doctors are 135 times more likely to kill a Canadian than a bullet, but deaths by “medical misadventure” don’t make front-page news. Drug dealers, gang members and terrorists shooting up Toronto streets make it every single time.
But finger-pointing is not the answer.
The solution to the very real problem of violence cannot be solved in sound bites, slick marketing slogans, or even within election cycles.
Politicians, regrettably, are far more interested in “being seen to be doing something” than actually solving the social issues at the root of violence, gang-related or otherwise.
Which is why we’re so disappointed in Dr. Najma Ahmed and Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns.
The root causes of violence in our society cannot be solved in 4-year election cycles. It will likely take a generation or more, with buy-in from all sectors of society, including gun owners and doctors.
We need concrete solutions to these difficult societal issues, and her lobby group isn’t going to get us there. By focusing on the wrong target, they can’t.
They’ll only make the divide between pablum gun laws and real, honest solutions to social issues wider, and that hurts us all.

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