Gun control groups excel at lying and deceit. Thanks to their collusion with the media, they’re also successful at spreading their lies far and wide. That’s how they manage to keep support for gun control alive in the public.
One of the biggest lies spread by gun control groups is about “gun violence” statistics. We have covered it many times here already, but it’s worth repeating that gun control groups intentionally include suicides, which constitute between half to two-thirds of gun-related deaths depending on year, to inflate the headline number for “gun violence” and gin up fear.
It’s also worth repeating that suicides are not driven by the possession of a firearm. There are a lot of methods available, and the decision to commit suicide is independent of the method used. South Korea and Japan severely restrict access to guns and their suicide rates are still far higher than the American suicide rate.
It is fundamentally deceptive to use the phrase “gun violence” while talking about suicide. How would phrases like “gravity violence” sound if someone jumped to their death off a tall structure? Or “rope violence” if someone hangs themselves? Or “water violence” if they drown themselves in a lake?
Turnabout is fair play, so taking a page from gun control activists’ linguistic games, let’s talk about Canada’s “assisted violence” rates.
In 2016, Canada legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide – which I will call assisted violence – under the legal name of “medical assistance in dying (MAiD).” It allows terminally ill adults to control their deaths; physicians can administer a cocktail of drugs similar to what’s used in the death penalty to end a person’s life. A couple of years ago, Canada expanded its assisted violence program to cover persons with disabilities and chronic diseases.
The Assisted Suicide Rate in Canada is 4.45 times the Firearms Suicide Rate in the United States
While there were about 3,839 suicides per year in Canada in 2020, there were 13,500 assisted suicides in Canada in 2022. With a population of about 38.25 million people, that implies an assisted suicide rate of 35.294 per 100,000 people. The total suicide rate is about 45.
The assisted suicide rate in Canada in 2022 is about 4.45 times the firearms suicide rate in the US in 2021 (the latest year for both numbers). Even if you take Canada’s assisted suicide rate in 2021, when the program was ramping up, there were 10,500 assisted suicides, for a rate of 27.5 per 100,000 people. That is 3.46 times the US firearm suicide rate.
I was able to independently verify the numbers using the provided sources (the CDC and Statistics Canada websites).
Out of curiosity, I looked at the total firearms mortality rate for 2021, including homicides and suicides but excluding justifiable homicides, and found that it was 14.13 per 100,000 people. Using that as the denominator instead of just the suicide rate, we get 27.5/14.13 = 1.95. What that means is that the Canadian assisted violence rate is almost double that of the total American firearms mortality rate.
As the CPRC article notes, the numbers have been ramping up; the number of Canadian assisted violence deaths jumped up from 10,500 to 13,500 from 2021 to 2022. Canada’s relaxation of who qualifies for their assisted violence program will only drive the multiplier up in the future, especially as the American homicide rates are coming down even as gun sales are through the roof.
Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making light of suicide. I have lost family members to suicide, and I really wish I had been able to intervene before they took their lives. It just angers me that gun control activists exploit suicides to push their agenda. The suicides in my family were done using rope. Those deaths were every bit as tragic as suicide committed by firearm, but for gun controllers, they’re not disarmament fuel and can’t be exploited. It’s the same thing with Canada’s medically assisted suicides; they’re somehow cleaner and nicer because they involve syringes instead of a gun.
— Newtown Action Alliance (@NewtownAction) February 28, 2021
Gun controllers will not change their ways. They will keep praising Canada. They will keep lying and inflating the numbers. But this is a broader picture that every Second Amendment supporter should be aware of.