View Full Version : SECU meeting 116

06-07-2018, 12:52 AM
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
audio: http://www.ourcommons.ca/webcast/42-1/SECU/116

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
• Mario Harel, President, Director, Gatineau Police Service
• Gordon Sneddon, Organized Crime Enforcement, Toronto Police Service

Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
• Dr. Alan Drummond (by videoconference: Calgary, Alberta)
• Dr. Atul Kapur

Criminal Lawyers' Association
• Solomon Friedman, Criminal Defence Counsel
• Fady Mansour, Criminal Defence Counsel

As an individual
• Gary Mauser, Professor Emeritus

06-07-2018, 12:58 AM
Dr. Alan Drummond gave the usual 2018 talking points. Several weak studies.

He wants physicians to be able to report on issues of PALers, which given the way he phrased it would require that they be given access to the CFRO (Canadian firearms registry online). These medial records would be given to your insurance company (full disclosure is part of the conditions of every insurance policy in Canada), and they in turn would share those records with every other insurance company. The records would also appear in eHealth Ontario, the centralized record system for Ontario. Famously the terminals are left logged on in Emergency Rooms because nurses and doctors don't want to waste time logging on. So anyone who wanders in can query by a number of topics.

A few days later, June 4 2018, this Bill C-71 SECU Brief by Barbara J. Kane, MD, FRCP [I assume FRCP is Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.]
appeared with virtually all the same points.
I knew the strengths and mostly weaknesses of just about everything she's arguing, and where she's stretched the truth beyond limits, but there's no way on earth that MPs would.
So, the MPs read it, read that she's an MD, and assume everything she writes is true, particularly when it's supported by the medical witnesses from the previous day (May 29, 2018) like Dr. Drummond and Dr. Atul Kapur of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians.

He kept calling it a public health issue, because physicians have to treat gunshot wounds.

At the beginning he said "the science is sound", and then at the end he said research is desperately needed.

from years ago

I am an ER doc. I deal with gunshot wounds (GSW) regularly since I work in one of those rare areas in Canada associated with criminality. I agree, most doctors have never dealt with a gunshot wound or will ever see them - because most of Canada isn't drug crime ridden.
Most GSW are caused by either the police, suicide, or criminals. Rarely do we see accidents with firearms. It is extremely rare for GSW to not be associated with criminal behaviour such as drugs. I have seen occasions of self defence use. Injuries caused by GSW would have been caused by alternative methods if a gun wasn't available. This especially goes with spousal homicide, which is exceedingly rare in North America. In fact it hardly ever occurs.
I do not support the CAEP statement since it is based on no science whatsoever. Domestic abuse involves firearms less than 0.02% of the time, and spousal homicide is extremely rare. The registry has little benefit to suicide prevention that I have found. While I don't doubt that removing a gun helps prevent gun suicide, people who are serious about suicide will then find a substitute method such as hanging which is just as effective as a gun at killing, I have had one of those cases. I usually ask the police if they have checked the home for guns, and speak to the person's spouse who usually has a better idea about firearms in the home. But you have to do a whole heck of a lot more than just get the guns out to stop suicide. I have written articles in National Post etc. Many of my colleagues either do not support the statement, or don't care. There is a select group of people in CAEP who drive this stuff.
-- langmann re
“As emergency physicians, we confirm the registry’s benefit in saving lives. We treat patients on a regular basis who are suicidal and who are victims of domestic assault. We know that a long gun in the home puts both types of patients at a significantly higher risk of being killed. Since many of these patients come to the hospital accompanied by police, we work with the police, who use the registry regularly to determine if the patient has a gun registered in the home. This knowledge, together with information as to whether the police then removed the firearm, helps us to assess the patient’s safety plan and to ensure that these impulsive potential methods of injury or death are removed.”
-– Canadian Assoc. of Emergency Physicians

I am an ER physician. I oppose the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Position Statement on Gun Control, for both scientific, economic, and medical reasons. As do many of my colleagues.

I have had patients who have attempted suicide with unregistered firearms, and had a patient who had his firearms confiscated commit suicide by hanging.

The Gun Registry has hurt and killed people, here is one example of how: When I try and refer a suicidal patient to a psychiatrist I am faced with a waiting list of 6 months. If we wanted to lower suicide rates we should spend the money on psychiatry. When I refer women to a shelter I am often told it is filled. There is only so much money to go around, therefore it should be invested based on effective programs and therapy not pie in the sky.

-- langmann

06-07-2018, 01:06 AM
We keep reading about front line police officers who support far less than the Firearms Act, and oppose large chunks of the Firearms Act.
Many of whom are scared to give their names because it will affect their promotions.

Mario Harel, President, Director, Gatineau Police Service, representing Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
echoed all of Goodale's statistics.
It's hard to know the motivations behind that.
Since Gatineau is in Quebec, and he's quoting percentages that match the Ontario reports, I have to wonder if the CACP gave him his facts or if Goodale gave him what points to say, or if the CACP gave the same list to both him and Goodale months ago. That the same source is used is identified by that their using the same buzzwords, and the same stats from random provinces. Indeed the same talking points goodale used, are used by the CACP, regardless of their being Canadian or another country; whereas one would think the CACP would have its own talking points, it's own anecdotes, it's own concerns -- fresh new stuff.

For the most part he supports the status quo, rather than the extremes. [Which I find is a popular police officer view -- they believe whatever they're paid to enforce]

Privileges relative to the broader rights of society.
Between 2013 and 2016, there has been a 30% increase in criminal incidents involving firearms.
Gun homicides are up by greater than 60%.
Intimate partner and gender based violence involving the use of a firearm is up by 1/3.
Gang related homicides, a majority of which involve guns, are up by 2/3.
Break in's for the purpose of stealing guns are up by 56%.
In 2016, 31% of all gun related homicides involved the use of non-restricted firearms.
50% of all handguns used in crime, that we've been able to trace, have been diverted from legal Canadian firearm owners [This was the NWEST study of some guns out of BC for one year that Dennis Young lambasted, out of over a thousand handguns they traced over 200 and of those 49% were traced to Canadian sources, which is 10% with 80% unknown. This doesn't include the rest of Canada's crime guns. Can you spell 'reasonable doubt']
(paraphrased) we need more, even if those place more restrictions on law-abiding firearms owners.
We support this legislation not because it is a silver bullet to stop gun violence, but because it is a part of an overall strategy to help prevent victimization by way of a firearm.
We need to minimize the opportunities for criminals to reek havoc on our streets, throughout Canada.
There is no doubt whatsoever that further action is required, and we police leaders will be developing a broader position in the future.

[supports measures]
Non-restricted firearms are being sold or given without appropriate verification taking place. Far too often we witness firearms getting into the hands of those with prohibition orders or bound by recognizance. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to domestic violence cases.
We've seen cases where a fake licence was used in on-line sales to purchase firearms. As domestic homicide cases increase, this will allow police to identify mass purchases of firearms, and purchase patterns that suggest illegal resale of firearms.
The ability to trace non-restricted firearms that have been used in a crime will therefore be improved substantially.
Record keeping by vendors, most reputable businesses are already doing this. Since the end of the LGR police have been effectively blind to the transactions by any licenced individual. The absence of such records effectively stymies the ability to trace a non-restricted firearm that has been used in crime. The tracing of a crime gun can assist in identifying the suspect in the crime, and criminal sourcing. When the serial number is known, the Canadian national firearms tracing center can provide the information about the vendor where the original sale took place, and a production order must still be used to obtain information about the buyer from the vendor. The CACP recommends that the standard to order a production order be amended from 'reasonable grounds' to 'reasons to suspect'.
In the united states, they federally mandate each store to track and keep records of sales. US sources also state that their biggest concern is the sale of firearms through the secondary market, that is gun sales that are not recorded.
Transportation of restricted and prohibited firearms. The CACP appreciate and support this change as a positive step. This change will afford discretion to the CFO in determining limitations in the transporting of firearms. It was our opinion that the prior change was too broad and allowed too much latitude for abuse. In practical terms it allowed the licence holder to carry the firearm at all times if they were not forthcoming about their purpose and intent. The standard allowed for a false defense to be articulated at trial, suggesting that the firearm was being transported to a border crossing, gun show, or a gun smith. In short it provided an escape route to a person who was willing to break the law.
Restoring a system in which Parliament defines the classes but entrusts experts in the royal Canadian mounted police. We support elected officials defining classes. However we must rely on the professional expertise provided by the RCMP to classify firearms without political influence. Their priority lies in public safety which must be given priority over individual privileges. We respect the debate, and differing opinions, especially those who enjoy hunting for example. We don't want to punish law abiding citizens for the actions of criminals, however, we want law abiding citizens to accept Laws for the safety of Canadians.

06-07-2018, 01:45 AM
Solomon Friedman (12:05 -> 12:11)
representing 1000 lawyers, mostly in Ontario, but across Canada.
Our association supports criminal law reform that is modest, fundamentally rational, and supported by objective evidence. In each of these measures Bill C-71 fails to meet that mark.

First, the proposed reforms in Bill C-71 are unsupported by the evidence. In fact, in its presentation for this bill, the government has misrepresented the objective statistical data to create the appearance of a problem that simply does not exist. As a society we are the poorer for it when government promotes criminal legislation on a misunderstanding or worse yet a willful manipulation of what it claims is empirical evidence. On May 8 2018, the honourable minister of public safety Ralph Goodale told this committee that between 2013 and 2016 the number of criminal incidents involving firearms rose by 30%, and gun homicides in that period went up by 2/3. Those numbers are alarming, they give the clear impression that gun crime, and homicide by firearm specifically, are a rampant and increasing problem in our society. With the greatest respect to the minister, that is simply not the case. The year 2013, the starting point for the purported trend was not chosen at random. As we now know, 2013 was a statistical aberration in terms of violent crime and homicide in Canada. 2013 saw the lowest rate of criminal homicide in Canada in 50 years. To put that in perspective, every single year since 1966 has been worse than 2013. And it's not surprising that the 3 years following 2013 would be worse as well. The truth of the matter is that homicide by firearm has in fact been steadily declining in Canada since the mid 1970s. And when an appropriate sample size is taken, the alarming trend that the minister purported to identify is seen for what it is. A selective manipulation of statistical data. The rate of homicide by firearm when viewed over a 10 year period -- a reasonable sample size -- has remained relatively stable. In fact it was slightly lower in 2016 than it was 10 years earlier in 2006.
The same lack of empirical evidence extends to minister Goodale's contention, echoed by others who have testified before this committee, that there has been some dramatic change in the sources of firearms used in crimes. They claim that they are increasingly been traced to domestic sources, such as break and enters, or straw purchasers. These claims are anecdotal and wholly unsupported by Statistics Canada research on this topic. I cite no greater authority than Lynn Barr-Telford, director general, health justice and special surveys, Statistics Canada who stated as follows at the recent guns and gangs summit "we don't know the origin of firearms involved in gun crime in Canada." Surely, if the numbers cited by certain police representatives were based on hard evidence, word of this would have reached Statistics Canada. That however is not the case.

Second, this committee should bear in mind that there is no stand alone scheme for regulating firearms in Canada outside of the criminal law. Accordingly, any violation, no matter how minor or technical, engages the criminal law process. As all justice system participants know well, the criminal law is a blunt tool. It is more akin to a sledge hammer than a scalpel. And more importantly it is an ill suited implement of public policy. Indeed this legislation creates new criminal offences where none were needed. For example, Bill c71 will make it an offence for a firearm owner to transfer a firearm, meaning to give, sell or barter, to another person without first obtaining a reference number from the registrar of firearms. Let me be clear: It is already a criminal offence to transfer a firearm to an individual who is not authorized to possess it. Section 101 of the criminal code prohibits this precise conduct. It is punishable by a maximum of 5 years imprisonment. I have personally represented retailers who have been charged under the existing scheme for failing to check licence validity. The government says that the new provisions under bill c-71, are required to ensure that firearms are not transferred without lawful authority. Not surprisingly the existing offence under section 101 is entitled transfer without authority. However, under Bill C-71, one law abiding licenced firearm owner can transfer a firearm to another law abiding licenced firearm owner, and still commit a criminal offence if the government is not duly notified. This does nothing more than create another trap for the unwary, a trap that carries with it criminal consequences. And for what? Not for actual public safety, but for the appearance of public safety.

With respect to one final area of Bill C-71 that is particularly worrisome, I give the balance of my time to Mr. Mansour.

06-07-2018, 06:49 AM
Mr Fady Mansour [12:11 > 12:13]
Bill C-71 effectively removes parliamentary oversight over firearms classification decisions that can now be unilaterally made by the RCMP. This is both bad criminal law policy, and bad precedent. First it is particularly troubling in light of the RCMP history of questionable and sometimes incorrect technical classifications decisions. Notwithstanding that history however, this deference is inherently undemocratic. Bill C-71 will stand alone in our criminal law, in giving a policy agency power to determine what is legal and what is illegal when it comes to firearms and related classification, and to punish such an infraction with criminal sanction. Like many issues in public policy reasonable people can disagree about the appropriate ways to classify and regulate firearms. But Bill C-71 takes that debate away from law makers, who are traditionally entrusted with wrestling with these complex and weighty policy matters. In fact it's a complete reversal of our democratic process. In our system of responsible government, elected legislature make laws and the police enforce them. Bill C-71 would turn that on its head. And once again, recall that these classification decisions made by the RCMP are more than just opinions about the legal status of firearms. They can in an instant transform what is otherwise a law abiding citizen, a licenced firearm owner, into a criminal, subject to criminal sanction. I'll conclude by saying this, you have an offence that is in pith and substance regulatory in nature being punished with a criminal offence with a justice system that is currently plagued with extreme delays, that currently can not handle and is overburdened by the number of cases before it, and this would only make that problem worse.

06-07-2018, 07:39 AM
Professor Gary Mauser [12:13 > 12:23]
My powerpoint isn't displaying.
As part of my academic duties, I have published in criminology and political science journals, for more than 20 years. My presentation is based upon statistics Canada data, and not heart rending anecdotes. Bill C-71 ignores violent crime completely. It merely harasses law abiding people. It is a distraction from the real problems. Canada has a gang problem, not a gun problem. 2/3 of gun murders in 2016 were gang related. Most of these were in our bigger cities. As you can tell, gang crime, and gang related homicides, have been increasing for over a decade. It declined a while, but since Mr. Goodale's magic date, it has increased again. Increases in gang related homicide is what accounts for the recent increase.
Bill C-71 also ignores the suffering of aboriginal Canadians. These aboriginal against aboriginal crimes are what account for most of the violent crime in rural Canada.
Public gun ownership does not threaten public safety. Professor Gary Kleck, one of the most distinguished and well respected criminology professors in the united states, recently reviewed a host of academic articles looking at the link between gun ownership and higher violent crimes. He found a very strong relationship between the technical quality of the research. High quality, well done studies, did not find a link. Weak, poorly conducted, manipulated possibly, did find such a link. This suggests tat public gun ownership is not linked to public safety. Licenced gun owners are less dangerous, have a lower homicide rate, than the rest of Canada. The national homicide rate is 1.85 over the time period I compared, and the licenced gun owners were 1/3 of that. This is not a dangerous group.
Rural Canada, where there are more guns than urban Canada, has a lower percentage misuse of firearms homicide than does urban Canada.
The research is clear that general gun ownership is not the source of violent crime. So it is no surprise that general gun controls do not limit violent crime. Here's an example from the Republic of Ireland where they've virtually banned all firearms, a few .22 target rifles were excluded, in an effort to stem the increase in murders. It did not work. Similar problem in Jamaica. These are island nations, you'd think you could control this easily. Total ban on firearms. A bullet would get you ten years in jail. A gun, life in prison. No defence, you find it, the police charge you, you're in jail that's it. Did not work. Homicide rate continued, and still continues, to increase.
The fundamental flaw in Bill C-71 is the assumption that gangs somehow get their guns from law abiding gun owners. This is predicated upon two false assumptions. First of all the police secretly changed the definition of crime guns. They have now a bigger pool, so now it increases. By this definition they increase the number of domestic sources. Second, domestic sources falsely implies law abiding firearms owners. Gang members can not, statistically, get their guns from legal sources. At the height of the long gun registry, stats Canada documented that 9% of the firearms involved in homicide were registered. This is the height of the long gun registry. Why does Bill C-71 ignore more than 90% of guns used in homicide?
Where do gang members get their guns? Sometimes the police are straightforward, 70% Toronto police chief, 99% Vancouver police chief, 2% to 16 % stolen from Canadian owners.
Let's look at the change in definition. I claimed there was a change so let's look at this so we can see in detail what's going on. The traditional definition of crime gun is: any firearm that has been used, or is suspected of being used in a violent criminal offence. This is still the definition used by the FBI in the United States, and by the Home Office in the UK. No longer in Canada. The new RCMP decision which was hidden from the public, hidden from parliament, except MP Bob Zimmer finally got a copy, we see that now a crime gun is: any firearm that is illegally acquired. This means that found guns are included as crime guns. Somebody commits suicide by hanging themselves, and the police arrive at the scene and find a long gun in a closet, it's a crime gun. So an old duffer like me forgets to renew his PAL, his guns are confiscated, these are crime guns. Well it's a crime to own a gun without a permit, so these are crimes. But this is not what is traditionally meant by a crime gun. It was not used in crime, it was merely an administrative problem.
In fact, most firearms crime is administrative. Roughly 1,300 victims are injured each year by an aggressor using a firearm. Ten times as many charges are laid for administrative firearms violations, roughly 15,000. And 2000 of this 15,000 are for things like unsafe storage, or paper permit difficulties. You realize that any error for any reason submitted for your PAL is your fault and is a criminal charge? Any error. Any error. 90% of these charges do not involve any additional violent crimes. This is just some quiet non violent person being charged, with a paperwork violation.
My final technical point on definition is domestic sources. This is not synonymous with PAL holders as the minister would have us believe. There is a large pool of firearms in Canada of questionable legality. In 2001 when licencing was introduced about 1/3 to 1/2 of then law abiding Canadians declined to apply for a permit. The official estimates, this is not stats can this is government of Canada data, for Canadian gun owners ranged from 3 to 4 million gun owners. Fewer than 2 million licences were issued.
To sum up, government has not provided solid justification for why more regulations would improve public safety. Indeed the government has never provided a public report of an evaluation of the present system. Has it improved public safety? We don't know. Other than police claims based on a secret bloated definition there is no support for the change in the source of crime guns. According to stats can, lawful owners can not be a source of crime guns. According to statscan PAL holders are much less apt to commit murder than other Canadians. Increased regulatory complexity does not mean greater public safety.
Why is the government scapegoating PAL holders?

06-07-2018, 08:50 AM
That's a serious beating given to firearms rights advocates.

06-07-2018, 09:03 AM
That's a serious beating given to firearms rights advocates.

Yes but like all other evidence, it will be ignored, facts are irrelevant to Liberals, they demand you follow without questioning!

06-07-2018, 07:44 PM
Mr. Richard Hébert (Lac-Saint-Jean, Lib.):
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I thank the witnesses for their comments, which are mostly interesting, but occasionally very surprising. I am really surprised by what I have heard from a number of people. I won't say more about that.
My questions are for the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. Last week, the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights brought up a study by Caillin Langmann, a McMaster University researcher who identifies with the NRA. The gun lobby likes to use that study because it does not mention suicides by firearm.
On the other hand, a study by the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice indicates a reduction of 5% to 10% in firearm homicides following the implementation of statutes such as Bill C-71.
Mr. Drummond, can you talk about the science and research in this area?

Dr. Alan Drummond:
This has been a very depressing conversation for me to listen to for the last half hour, as we've lost focus entirely on why we're here, which is public health and suicide prevention. We've gotten lost in the smaller percentage of criminality, guns and gangs. We may have failed in our opening statement to make it quite clear that the focus of your committee and of this legislation should be primarily on reducing the tragic suicide rate in Canada, which is one of the highest in the western world.
I'm grateful that you comment on Dr. Langmann, because a lot of people like to drag him out in support of their particular views or bias with respect to the relationships between guns and homicide. We're not going to talk about homicide, but I will mention that Dr. Langmann's article was published in a very obscure journal in 2012, when he was a resident. I believe clinically he's an outlier. Some of the evidence that he brought was subsequently addressed by the University of Montreal and found to be incorrect.
By contrast, there is a fabulous amount of direct, incontrovertible science in both The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association that talks about the association between guns and intimate partner violence, homicide, and suicide. There is no reconciliation; the science is very strong.

Dr. Atul Kapur:
Thank you for your question.
One of the points that we need to emphasize in our recommendations is that there needs to be more opportunity for research, more data gathering, and more information made available. That was a fundamental part of our recommendation, and it's been consistent that we need more of that.
I looked at Dr. Langmann's brief. It is diametrically opposed to the large consensus of literature on the effects of gun control, and on suicide specifically. While we're talking about red herrings, remember that three-quarters of firearm deaths in Canada are suicide. I want to emphasize that that is a much bigger provision. Our recommendations here address mostly that provision of preventing suicide deaths.

Mr. Richard Hébert:
In the brief he sent to the members of the committee, Mr. Langmann maintains that firearm classification provides no benefit for public safety and should be scrapped. He also maintains that questions on previous suicide attempts, depression, psychological problems, divorce, separation, job loss and bankruptcy should be removed from the bill.
Does the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians share that position?

Dr. Alan Drummond:
Clearly not.


06-07-2018, 07:52 PM
Supt Gordon Sneddon:
To search, yes, absolutely you would need a warrant.

Mr. Blaine Calkins:
Thank you. I just want to be clear, because your testimony led me to believe that it wasn't the case.

Supt Gordon Sneddon:
No, but there could be some information that could be shared between the different agencies.


06-07-2018, 07:58 PM
Solomon Friedman points out that the minister retains the ability to do amnesty's, and they override RCMP classification non-restricted decisions.

06-07-2018, 10:40 PM
Mr. Peter Fragiskatos (London North Centre, Lib.):
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the witnesses for being here today.
Mr. Calkins is not here, Mr. Chair, but he did note a few moments ago that he has a desire to hear from gun vendors, which I think is important, but I can put them on the record right now. There is at least one gun vendor, and I have spoken to others who have not spoken publicly, but who are in favour of Bill C-71, who see no problem with it, who do not believe that it's a gun registry. In fact, I would like to read into the record the thoughts on Bill C-71 that one Ontario gun vendor has. His view on the bill is:

[T]here's not been a real big change on the actual aspect of logging the customer's information and keeping on record what they've purchased. We already do it with ammunition, now they're just asking us to do it with guns. By doing it with guns we're going to give the police and the community the tool to begin to track where guns are purchased, how they're being trafficked and how they're being used, so that's not a bad thing.
He continues by saying, Mr. Chair, that Bill C-71 “just gives the police a starting point when they have to investigate a crime”.



This is that Bellview gun store owner Ben Harvey who ended up with this article

and Ben Harvey retracted what was said a few days later

CGN Thread
which includes a mention in the House Of Commons.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
Would any personal identifying information be kept by the firearms business, yes or no?

Supt Gordon Sneddon:
I would hope so. From a policing perspective, I would hope so.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
I'm talking about personal identifying information.

Supt Gordon Sneddon:
I don't know the answer to that.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
The answer is no.


Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
Mr. Mauser, I want to ask you a question about some of your research. You have published on these issues. One of your articles is widely cited by the NRA in the United States and by the gun lobby in the United States. This article is called “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” and was published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. You co-authored it with Don Kates.
Is that a peer-reviewed journal?

Dr. Gary Mauser:
Peer review is very important, but it depends on your peers. Many of the medical journals have peers who are ignorant of statistics and ignorant of criminology. They are peers, and they review, so it depends completely on your peers. Law students, particularly at Harvard, are somewhat qualified in the law.

Dr. Gary Mauser:
It is an academic journal that is reviewed by law students, as are all legal journals.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
The journal describes itself, or at least the editors, as a student-edited law review that provides a forum for “conservative and libertarian legal scholarship”.
The journal's past contents include an entirely repudiated article called “What is Marriage?” which argued that gay marriage is morally wrong. There are other articles in this vein of thinking.

Dr. Gary Mauser:
It is a very respected article. It was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Heller decision.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
Well, it's not a peer-reviewed journal. That's important, because, as you know—and we both taught in a university setting—peer review is important as far as research goes because peer review passes a very rigorous process, much more rigorous than simple submissions. Would you agree?

Dr. Gary Mauser:
The Supreme Court—

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
I'm asking, would you agree? I'm not sure about what the Supreme Court—

Dr. Gary Mauser:
All law reviews are student reviews.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
Okay. Would you agree that peer review is important and the findings that are cited in a peer-reviewed journal are much more credible and reliable than articles that are submitted—

Dr. Gary Mauser:
Peer review is very important, but it depends on your peers. Many of the medical journals have peers who are ignorant of statistics and ignorant of criminology. They are peers, and they review, so it depends completely on your peers. Law students, particularly at Harvard, are somewhat qualified in the law.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
It's not peer-reviewed. That's the point.

The Chair:
It's interesting to know that.
Are you prepared to identify the person who you were quoting, just for the purposes of the record?

Mr. Glen Motz:
Dr. Drummond, thank you for being here. My first question is for you.
Throughout my career I have had the misfortune, if you will, of attending far too many suicides, many of which I cannot erase from my memory.
A study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy found that while there is an obvious connection between firearm ownership rates and firearm suicide rates, there is no direct connection between firearm ownership rates and overall suicide rates. While it is logical to assume that the presence of a firearm can lead an individual who was contemplating suicide in the first place to act in a quicker fashion, so to speak, it seems that the facts don't always bear that out.
Would you not agree there are many more complex issues—the societal factors, sir, more than just the presence of a firearm—that have an influence on the suicide rate?

Dr. Alan Drummond:
I would say that, certainly, there is clear and firm scientific evidence, and not from journals reviewed by law students but from real peer-reviewed journals which suggest that the presence of a gun in a home is associated with an increased risk of both suicide and intimate partner violence.

Ms. Pam Damoff:
Dr. Drummond, I want to thank you very much for bringing us back to what's important here, and that is saving lives. Do you think Bill C-71 will save lives?

Dr. Alan Drummond:
Yes. I would point out, however, that I think we need to take this one step further. It's good to do background checks, but it's more important to allow physicians to identify those at risk and, temporarily at least, remove something that would change the lethality of any potential suicide attempt. That is not in this legislation. I don't understand the politics of legislation, but if we were going to call for an amendment, we would strongly suggest that a component would be mandatory reporting.

Mr. Peter Fragiskatos:
This is just a point of clarification, Mr. Chair.
In case there was confusion on my question about the retention of personal information, my point was that nothing in Bill C-71 creates a centralized database of personal information that would be held by government.
In case there was a question about that, that's what I meant to say. I'm sorry if there was confusion.