By Anthony Savonarota
After The Canadian Medical Association published the findings through the newest edition of their Canadian medical research aggregator journal of the same name, the new quantitative analysis study conducted by The Canadian Pediatric Society, titled “Risk Of Firearm Injuries Among Children And Youth Of Immigrant Families”, has received a mixed reaction amongst readers, namely concerning the ramifications suggested by the researchers for what to do about gun control laws within Canada.
While our legislation regarding gun ownership, and regulations of a similar nature such as with ammunition possession for citizens, are not akin with those of our US counterparts south of the border, gun control has proven to still be polarizing issue regardless of the country. As such, it really should come as no surprise that a large portion of readers were either questioning the study’s interpretation of the research findings, or, conversely, not only defending, but praising the article for bringing a fairly recent social justice issue to light, and even in a way that is informative for Canadians to learn the severity of firearm risk amongst our nation’s youth.
The study was conducted by a veteran of the medical science field, Dr. Guttmann, and in collaboration by a colleague Natasha Saunders, a pediatrician at SickKids. Both methodized their research as a population-based cohort study, and utilized health and other administrative databases available at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
The focus group of the quantitative analysis was people age 24 and younger, from 2008 to 2012. For the sake of clarification, the researchers specifically constituted ‘immigrants’ as those with permanent residency or those born to a mother with permanent residency status.
They found the rate of unintentional firearm injuries was 12.4 per 100,000 among non-immigrant male youth, compared to 7.2 per 100,000 among their male immigrant peers. The rate of assault-related firearm injuries was 3.5 per 100,000 among male non-immigrant youth, compared to 5.5 per 100,000 in the immigrant group. Among certain immigrants, the risk of being injured by a firearm was higher.
Specifically, a 43% increased risk was detected for children who entered Canada as refugees, and the average firearm risk increased by a whooping 68 percent for immigrants descending from from Central America.
Non-immigrant youth had the highest rates of unintentional firearm injury. Immigrant children and youth were at lower risk of unintentional firearm injury overall, but the risk of assault-related firearm injury was higher among refugees and among immigrants from Africa and Central America compared with nonimmigrants.
In the immediate subsequent of the study being released to the public, the Canadian Paediatric Society also issued a new statement urging doctors to warn families against keeping firearms in homes where children live as a way of preventing injury and death. The researchers echoed similar suggestions to Canada’s current govermental caucus. In addition, Dr. Guttman and Saunders wrote in the article an open suggestion to the The Trudeau party to especially consider their corroborative findings, since as Canada embraces more immigrants, and in particular from areas with civil unrest and economic hardships,the problem may statically surge if left unaddressed and therefore to foster. For those interested in reading the research article in its entirety, please be sure to check out the full report here.