when doctors claim firearms are bad - have them read this

it is a counter point to the Doctor’s claim and a Northern point of view.

Public Health

These are the Public Health success stories:

  • Immunizations
  • Motor vehicle safety
  • Workplace safety
  • Control of infectious diseases (which includes immunizations)
  • Declines in deaths from heart disease and stroke
  • Safer and healthier foods
  • Healthier mothers and babies
  • Family planning
  • Fluoridation of drinking water to prevent dental caries (cavities)
  • Reduction of tobacco use

I would add to that things like Building Code. When’s the last time you walked into an office building and were terrified that your weight was going to make the floor collapse?

But, what all of these things have in common, is everyone involved wants them to be a success. Even the silly people who want to skip immunizations have the same goal, the safety of their children.

Licenced gun ownership is the same. We are a culture of safety.

But it’s not licenced gun ownership that the physicians are seeing in hospitals. We know how many accidents we have at shooting ranges, because they make threads here on CGN every time they happen. Lately, half of them have been police shooting themselves. It wasn’t doctors that lowered our accident rates. It wasn’t the law. It was gun owners in the 1950s exchanging stories of what went wrong, and the hunter safety courses we developed to prevent the problems. The four rules of firearms safety, and its variants were taught for years, and ended up being stuffed into the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and continued to be taught during the Hunter Safety Courses.

Public Health only works when everyone involved has the same goals.

But the people shooting each other don’t have the same goals. They’re protecting their illegal product from robbery. Their taking marketing turf from rival gangs. They’re avenging the tiniest of slights with drive by shootings. Sometimes they’re killing because they want a pair of used socks, or a cigarette. They’re killing with clubs, knives, and guns. They’re getting them from stores, theft, manufacturing, and smuggling them from other countries using similar techniques to when they’re smuggling drugs or anything else.

If Volkswagen stopped selling cars in Canada, how long do you think it would you to consider buying Ford, Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet, Nissan, Hyundai, Ram, Jeep, GMC, Mazda, or Kia?
When Airtransit and Wardair went bankrupt, how long did it take the other airlines to take up the slack? Was it a whole two weeks?

Governments change the tax system, and people exploit loopholes. Trains have passenger ticket systems, and riders find workarounds. Human beings are fantastic at finding ways around the rules, when their goals are contrary to them.

That’s why guns are not a Public Health concern. Public health is great against stupid viruses, but not against smart people who oppose them. Public Health works great when the personal reward comes from following the rules, and the rules come from proven science. Criminals, by definition, ignore the rules and seek to find ways to do things that are illegal, because they perceive the personal reward is greater than the personal risk.

Canada Border Guards report 20,000 guns are smuggled into the country every year. That dwarfs the stolen, diverted, and straw purchased guns. The ratio is even wider if you restrict that to handguns.

The moment one supply dries up, it wont take more than 2 weeks for criminals to find another way.

When the NRA said “Get out of our lane”, it was the NRA that was right, and the Doctors who were wrong.

This is not to say that Laws are useless because criminal’s goals are different. Good laws are good things.
2.2 million PALers, 6 million canadians, shoot half a billion rounds of ammunition a year safely. The doctor may assert that there’s no point, but with this billions of GDP being spent every year clearly millions of us do.
What the doctors are talking about is not making something that’s bad illegal, but rather making something that is good illegal. Malum prohibitum – the banning of something by law, not because it is bad in itself.
The bad is the shooting of other people, the murders, the attempted murders. These things are malum in se, banned because they are evil itself. These things the doctors are concerned about are things that concern us all. But they’re already illegal, and criminals are doing them anyway.

Banning a tiny fraction of one source of their weaponry, is not going to make any difference in their goals, or their needs, or their demand vs supply. If Prohibition is any warning, it will change the violence in the suppliers.

Laws make terrible memorials
– FirearmsLaw.ca Solomon Friedman, LL.B. Criminal Defence Lawyer

hard cases make bad law
– Oliver Wendell Holmes (1904)


Dr. Callin Langmann
Feb 10 2019

Children and Firearms. This is a complicated issue and not easily addressed by simple talking points.

  1. Children are at extremely low risk of injury from actual high velocity firearms. Those injuries are very infrequent in Canada. Multi victim homicide in Canada is extremely rare and is covered in my brief to Parliament, however about 2 children a year are purposely killed by gunshot from a parent. There are some years where no child is killed. Children are at much higher risk of injury and harm from riding bikes, sports etc.

For those activities we recommend safety protection. There are of course benefits from riding a bike such as physical health. I cannot think of another physical activity and sport which we as physicians counsel a complete ban for children. Children of various ages are involved in climbing, diving and other sports.

Firearms activities in Canada such as hunting, involves a large number of participants, including Native American populations. There are health and cultural benefits from this as well.

Children should not have immediate access to firearms. Children in a home with firearms should be educated regarding safety that involves graduated education as age progresses. Use of firearms should be supervised and of course locked away safely to prevent injuries. If these steps are taken the risk of harm is insignificant.

  1. Commonly numbers of children homicide victims are inflated by researchers by aggregating young adults into children cohorts. Homicide in young adults ages 16+ is a completely different issue with cofactors that do not relate to young children. These are often young adults involved in gang or criminal behaviour, and are youth at risk. Preventing homicide in this category requires addressing the demand for firearms.

There are several programs that have been designed, the most famous progenitor program was called Operation Ceasefire. Operation Ceasefire involved several strategies to reduce demand for firearms. These involved cautioning and working with gangs to solve issues and prevent violence as well as youth diversion programs to identify youth at risk and divert them way from gangs and criminal behaviour before violence occurred. This strategy was successful but required constant diligence, effort, training, and resources.

Operation Ceasefire also involved a strategy to reduce weapons trafficking but these were all unsuccessful according to the research.

  1. Suicide is a contentious issue. The most common methods of suicide involve hanging and firearms. Both methods are similarly successful in the high 80 to low 90% ranges according to research. Obviously reducing availability of firearms will reduce suicide by firearm. However overall suicide rates remain the same in research I have done on this in Canada and research others have done. This is due to the substitute method of hanging being easily accessible. If one owns firearms in a home that has an individual in it who is at risk of suicide one should obviously ensure the firearms are not accessible.

  2. Mass Homicide. Mass homicides are not performed by children. Young adults have caused mass homicide. Mass homicide in Canada is very rare and for that reason not easily prevented as the perpetrators generally remain undetected. My work in this area on Canadian data demonstrate no difference before and after the introduction of legislation in the 1990s. Being aware of young adults who are isolated and facing abuse in their social life from bullying, and attempting to socialize them and change their thought processes to develop self confidence and self assurance will help any youth with those issues and likely as a side benefit prevent a mass homicide event.

  3. Native Americans. Natives account for a higher proportion of perpetrators of homicide as well as victims of homicide and suicide in Canada than the average population. Specific steps to address poverty and drug abuse in this population should be implemented. Dr. Gary Mauser has some statistics in this area.

  4. In my opinion, as a physician, Doctors have a special position in society to present an accurate review of research publications as well as respect the cultural and philosophical composition of their patient population. We will not get anywhere with patients if we are not understanding, offend their way of life, and appear to be judgemental. Like it or not, firearms activities in Canada are a significant way of life of many Canadians and their children, including Native Americans. While physicians should offer education regarding child safety, such as car seat use etc., we should also seek to do so in a way that is not judgemental or to be perceived as patronizing. In my experience I have found firearms owners to significantly understand the risks of firearms and the benefits of safe storage around children and to be respectful of this. I approach these discussions in a non-condescending manner and a cautious manner as I would parents with children involved in any sport as they often have a good understanding of the issues involved. I adapt my conversations based on their understanding in order not to be patronizing.

There is good reason for this approach. Just as a physician would not blame a patient with addiction and condemn them, causing that patient to withdraw their trust and even worse leave the physician patient encounter with remaining medical issues unaddressed, one should also appear open minded regarding the sports activities patients are involved in.

Here is my brief to the Parliament of Canada in which references are contained.


srdiver, well thought out. You made me think.
Thank you for posting.


I am just copying and paste - but if you notice Change Canada to USofA and multiply the numbers by 10 and there is suddenly a commonality.

if you use this context in countries that have banned firearms - the weapon has changed for the one’s that can not afford guns - knives, blunt instruments and motor vehicles are suddenly the choice. And for ones with money - well Firearms haven’t gone anywhere.


You, sir, Have identified the contention of firearms and the Establishment with these learned professionals and scientists, and use their skills and talents to help point out why Doctors should be Doctors and remain out of the “lane” as shown… They clearly articulate the gross misunderstanding with firearms and the great populations in ignorance over public safety versus public health.
We should also recall the example of Great Britain and the near abolishment of firearms. The criminal element can easily work around the “rules”, and as in London, they will use knives, bats, or anything handy to victimize the people.
Thank you for the examples, I do not wish to rattle on in a difficult area of Common Sense.