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Doctors Who Hate Guns and the Politics of Fear

In their latest social media barrage, Doctors Who Hate Guns[i] are all fired up about an American study about “links between guns and suicide” and warn Canadians to “reverse the dangerous march to less regulation” and “pass stronger gun laws now.”

Let’s ignore the false claims and fear-filled rhetoric and examine their implied goal – to stop people from killing themselves.

When someone is so lost and without hope that taking their own life is a rational option, it is tragic regardless of the method used. On this we can all agree.

From the years 200o to 2016, suicides in Canada rose by almost 700 per year.

This is tragedy on an epic scale.

As the graph below shows, by 2016, 570 people ended their own lives with a bullet, while a terrifying 1,933 people took their own lives by hanging. This gap continues to widen, year after year, to the point that almost four times as many people will hang themselves this year, compared to those who will use a bullet.

Suicides by Hanging vs Firearm 1991 - 2016

But Doctors Who Hate Guns don’t seem too concerned about Canada’s suicide overall rate – only those who end their lives with a bullet.

If their true motive is to prevent people from killing themselves, not ban guns, where is the outrage over the almost 2,000 hanging suicides each year? Where is their demand for the government to confiscate rope?

This is why licensed gun owners from across the political spectrum view Doctors Who Hate Guns as disingenuous, to be polite, and believe their real goal is firearm confiscation.

We continue to push for and engage in a constructive debate over real solutions. Sadly, Doctors Who Hate Guns are not interested in that necessary conversation.

The day these doctors are willing to address the very real and pressing issue of mental health is the day we will take their concerns seriously.

Until then, Doctors Who Hate Guns are cherry-picking statistics and studies to support a misguided agenda that cannot resolve their public safety concerns.

That’s not the foundation for good public policy.



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