Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Social Work

By Marvin Ross

Social workers can and do play a significant role in helping the mentally ill to recover when they work with psychiatrists, nurses and occupational therapists. In my personal life, I’ve just witnessed how a knowledgeable and caring social worker can impact recovery from psychosis in an inpatient setting.

Sadly, the training that many social work students (and others like psychologists and counsellors) receive from some institutions does not aid in that role. Susan Inman, the author of After Her Brain Broke, Helping My Daughter Recover Her Sanity, has long complained about the lack of science and medical training for many of these professionals. She said:

Many credentialed mental health clinicians have never received science-based curriculum on severe mental illnesses. Too many are still being trained in the parent blaming theories which contemporary psychiatric approaches to schizophrenia have long since left behind.”

For a number of reasons, I had occasion to look at the mental illness course being taught at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario and it confirms all that Susan had to say. The course is called “Critical Issues in Mental Health & Addiction: Mad & Critical Disability Studies Perspectives for SW”. Part of the course objective is to:

“explore contributions from critical disability studies, mad studies and the historical influences of sanism and eugenics on contemporary mental health practice. Addiction will also be briefly explored within these contexts.”

Then, this is added

“Throughout the course guest speakers may be invited to share experiences and analyses on course themes from ex-patient, survivor, consumer, service-user, and mad perspectives.”

Nowhere do I see anyone coming who can provide the medical perspective which would include the physiology and treatment of mental illness. Given that McMaster has a world-class medical school and one if its teaching hospitals is a psychiatric facility, this is very troubling. It would be so easy to find a psychiatrist to talk to the class or to take a field trip to the local psychiatric hospital.

One of the readings in the first week is Geppert, C. (2004). The Anti-Psychiatry Movement Is Alive and Well. Psychiatric Times 21(3), 21. Retrieved December 4, 2009”. This article is no longer on the Psychiatric Times website that I could find and the professor referenced it in 2009. It would be nice if the professor asked his students to read something like Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry by Dr Allen Frances. There are many comparisons of these two approaches in that article and students should have an opportunity to see both sides.

Another set of readings for this course is by Geoffrey Reaume who is a professor of disability studies at York University in Toronto. His view of Mad Studies can be summed up by a quote he gave to an article on Mad Studies in University Affairs in 2015. He stated that “People with PhDs had oppressed mad people throughout history. I wanted to help liberate this history from the shackles of the medical model.”

Dr Frances had this to say in the article I cited above (for psychologist also read social worker):

Psychiatry is far from perfect, but it remains the most patient-centered and humanistic of all medical specialties and has the lowest rate of malpractice among all specialties.

Psychologists criticize psychiatry for its reliance on a medical model, its terminology, its bio-reductionism, and its excessive use of medication. All of these are legitimate concerns, but psychologists often go equally overboard in the exact opposite direction—espousing an extreme psychosocial reductionism that denies any biological causation or any role for medication, even in the treatment of people with severe mental illness. Psychologists tend to treat milder problems, for which a narrow psychosocial approach makes perfect sense and meds are unnecessary. Their error is to generalize from their experience with the almost well to the needs of the really sick.”

And he added:

For people with severe mental illness (eg, chronic schizophrenia or bipolar disorder), a broad biopsychosocial model is necessary to understand etiology—and medication is usually necessary as part of treatment. Biological reductionism and psychosocial reductionism are at perpetual war with one another and also with simple common sense.”

Another author used quite a bit in this course is Bonnie Burstow of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Dr Burstow is the creator of a scholarship in Anti-Psychiatry Studies. I’ve done two Huffington Post blogs about Dr Burstow. The first was entitled The Truth Behind U Of T’s Anti-Psychiatry Scholarship and the second was Time For U Of T To Rein In Its Anti-Psychiatry Activist It is worth noting that OISE is a post graduate school on teaching, learning and research. Nothing to do with science or medicine.

In my second Huffington Post blog, I had this to say about Dr Burstow:

Burstow does not believe that the brain is capable of becoming ill, and that therefore mental illness cannot exist. Her doctoral thesis, according to the media spokesperson at her institution, was entitled “Authentic Human Existence: Its Nature, Its Opposite, Its Meaning for Therapy: A Rendering of and a Response to the Position of Jean-Paul Sartre” in 1982 at the University of Toronto.

Dr Burstow is the author of a book called Psychiatry and the Business of Madness which is not one of the readings for this course but exemplifies her position. Blogger, Mark Roseman wrote a very lengthy and detailed critique of this book which is well worth reading.

Roseman defines anti-psychiatry as:

a position that psychiatry is 100% flawed, has no redeeming features, is built on a stack of lies, necessarily does harm to all who encounter it, and must be abolished in its entirety. Moreover, the real proponents of antipsychiatry do not want to seriously engage in discussion with the broader community. They are not interested in critique, or divergent opinions, but only discouraging those seeking treatment, and attracting new followers to their movement.

The course does discuss medication but this is the description of that:

The Biological Mind: What are some of the critiques of the role of medication and the psychopharmaceutical industrial complex? How does neoliberalism matter in mental health? How do we think critically about suicide and self-harm?”

Here is the recommended reading:

Cohen, D. (2009). Needed: Critical thinking about psychiatric medications. Social Work in Mental Health, 7(1-3), 42-61.

Medawar, C. & Hardon, A. (2004). Sedative hell. In Medicines Out of Control? Antidepressants and the Conspiracy of Goodwill (pp. 11-27). N.P., Netherlands: Aksant.

Whitaker, R. (2001). Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus-p.3-19.

White, J., Marsh, I., Kral, M. J., & Morris, J. (Eds.). (2015). Critical Suicidology: Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century. UBC Press. – Introduction

The titles give it all away. Whitaker, of course is an infamous anti-medication proponent and I have critiqued his views a number of times as have others more qualified that I am as in the debate between Whitaker and Dr Allen. The teaching of anti-psychiatry did not include anything pro-psychiatry and the discussion of medication contained no information on the benefits of medication. Should students not be given an opportunity to see the other side? McMaster and its teaching hospital has many first rate psychiatrists well versed in their specialties. I’ve observed the near miraculous results that properly prescribed medications can have on severe psychosis. Neoliberalism did not come up once.

The bottom line is that no one who graduates from this course will be capable of working in a psychiatric setting with patients. Hopefully, none of them will. The effective social worker I cited at the outset is a graduate of another university.

 

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Reflections from Vienna Monuments to Statues to Sir John A and Residential Schools

By Dr David Laing Dawson

I have just visited memorials commemorating the successful defense of Vienna in 1638. The Turks were at the city gate and undermining the wall. They were just a few days away from plundering the city when the cavalry arrived, contingents from Poland, Cossacks from the Ukraine among many others, warriors from the Christian nations assembled by the emperor of Poland.

And it reminded me that all the tribes of humans have been conquering, pillaging and plundering each other for thousands of years. And that includes the tribes of the First Nations, the Ojibway, the Mohawk, the Sioux and all the others. And conquering meant, beside pillaging and plundering, killing or enslaving the men and boys and raping and/or assuming ownership of the girls and women.

It had been the way of mankind for centuries, and, here and there it seems, it still is.

During John A. McDonald’s lifetime the Americans to the south were still sending out the cavalry to kill as many Indians as they could. (the official policy was “removal” but that usually meant massacre)

In Canada the conquering had taken place by the British and French, with some killing and plundering but also with a number of treaties. Now what to do with the conquered, the many scattered tribes, the people we now refer to as First Nations?

If history were to guide it would tell us the conquering should continue, killing and enslavement of the males, the rape and enslavement of the females.

But John A. and others in the newly formed Canada decided on a different plan. They would round up all the Indian children and send them to boarding schools while leaving the adults to hunt and gather, fish and farm, on land set aside for them. The plan may have been to “take the Indian out of the child” along with learning English or French and a bit of arithmetic, and it proved to be not so great an idea, especially letting the church run the program, but all in all, considering historic precedent, including the way a conquering aboriginal tribe treated a conquered aboriginal tribe, was not this idea really a quantum leap forward? I mean compared to all we know of the ways of human tribes throughout history?

I am not suggesting we raise new statues of John A. McDonald, but those we have deserve to remain. We now view residential schools as a destructive force, destructive to family and culture, but for John McDonald, it was not just a reasonable decision for the time, but a big step forward.

Some Reflections on US Healthcare From the Great White North

By Marvin Ross

Like many outside the US, I am perplexed by their health care system, the amount that is spent, and the poor results for citizens that it creates. Last year, I wrote in the Huffington Post about what I call my near death experience and contrasted by care and costs to that of the US. My key comment was that there should be no profit motive in health care.

I’ve just finished reading a book called Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall – and Those Fighting to Reverse It by Steven Bell. This is a fascinating and well documented read on the state of American politics, the economy and the law. I am just going to focus on his revelations about health care and the pharmaceutical industry.

To begin with, a 2003 law which is still in effect forbids Medicare from negotiating drug prices with big pharma in order to get a volume discount. Everyone must pay the inflated prices set by the companies and the industry has managed to fight off all attempts at price control that are common everywhere else in the world.

Between 1970 and 2010, per capita spending on health care increased in inflation adjusted 2013 dollars by nearly 420%. Costs went from $1742 to $8400. Company profits and executive salaries showed similar growths. Between 1980 and 2016, personal out of pocket spending on health care grew by 460%.

I have always been confused about how Obamacare actually works given the complexity of the US system of multiple insurance companies all making profits compared to the single payer system we have in Canada. According to Brill, all Obamacare did was to subsidize people who did not have health insurance through an employer and who could not afford it to be able to buy insurance. More people were able to sign up with insurance companies so the insurance companies were able to enjoy even larger profits. A pretty pathetic system in my opinion and still the Republicans want to end that.

One tactic that big pharma uses to increase profits is to promote their drugs off label. Drugs are approved by the FDA for certain conditions and companies cannot market them for uses that they have not been approved for. However, in 2016 8 of 9 big pharma companies paid billions in fines for violating the criminal statute against that marketing. However, they still made money.

Risperdal, an anti-psychotic manufactured by Johnson and Johnson (J & J), was promoted for use in children and the elderly. In children, it caused young boys to grow large breasts and in the elderly it caused stroke, diabetes and other negative effects. J & J earned $18 billion on Risperdal sales with an estimated $9 Billion of that coming from off label sales. They paid out $6 Billion in settlements so netted $3 Billion for their illegal activity.

The day before a $2.2 Billion settlement, their stock traded at $93.37 a share. A year later, the stock traded at $108.62 a share. Alex Gorsky who was the sales manager for Risperdal and then the head of that division, was given a 48% raise in salary and bonus to $25 million. Who says crime doesn’t pay.

J & J’s tactic was one recommended by a consultant called Michael Pearson – a Canadian educated at Duke working at a consulting company in New Jersey. His advice was to raise prices aggressively when they still had patent protection and boost sales by targetting off label use. He also told them to cut back on research and development and, instead, buy up small companies developing new agents that did not have the funds to get FDA approval.

In 2008, Pearson struck out on his own and bought a small California drug maker. He borrowed enough by 2010 to merge with a larger Canadian company and move his headquarters to Montreal. The company became Valeant. He began borrowing more money, issuing new stock, buy a company, raise prices, expand markets, and cut back on R and D. At one point, he tried to take over Allergan and the plan was to strip 90% of its R & D budget. His takeover failed but he went on to doing more than a hundred deals. None of them had anything to do with producing new medicines but rather to increase stock prices and that went up over 4000%. Fortunately, his house of cards collapsed by 2016 but they had raised prices on crucial drugs by a good 200 to 300%.

Given the emphasis on profit, is it any wonder that the US ranks 29th out of 35 on infant mortality; 26th on life expectancy. In terms of health care performance, the US ranked worst of 11 other developed countries

Trump and the Y2 backlash

By Dr David Laing Dawson

As the year 2000 approached I wondered about backlash. There was, as you will recall, that unfounded fear of computer disruption, but I thought this magic number might be seen as symbolic of our new realities. And might not the people of this world who live within a pre-science, pre-knowledge bubble need to rebel against the onslaught of scientific information and truth? Won’t they need to recoil from this new millennium?

At the time I was thinking about those who hold medieval religious beliefs, of whatever flavour. How will they cope? How will they cope with the unavoidable (thanks to the internet) knowledge of our world from subatomic particle to an expanding universe, from the origins of life on earth to evolution and the human brain?

We got a taste of this, I think, with the rise of Islamic Extremists and their propagation of a way of life (and level of knowledge) my ancestors left behind shortly after the year 1000, or at least by 1700.

The Christian fundamentalists took a more nuanced approach concocting alternatives to evolution, modern medicine and quantum mechanics. (I just read a very bizarre conflation of biblical symbolism and the function of the human brain, most notably the pineal and pituitary gland, which, I did not know, are referenced in the bible as Joseph and Mary and who send some kind of oil down the spinal cord to the manger….but you get the drift).

Some Asian and Indigenous belief systems have been more easily adapted to this new age and the possibility there just might be some unseen forces we have not yet been able to detect and measure, and the fact there really is an almost magical ecological inter-connectedness between all living things. Even some trees “communicate” one to another when under threat of pestilence.

Though it is a surprise to see “alternative” medicine flourish, and people believing in unseen energy pathways running through the body from the big toe to the frontal lobe and which can be disrupted by a needle inserted according to a chart drawn up before we even knew about nerves and blood vessels, hormones and bacteria.

But a bigger surprise are the large numbers of people who are responding to Donald Trump and the other populist leaders. But then, of course, that is the real backlash, the recoil.

It is not just the religious fundamentalists our world is leaving behind, it is great masses of people who pine for 1950 (perhaps an imagined 1950) and a world of known order and expectation, a world of homogeneity, a world in which we feel we have some control and a bright future, a world without the daily intrusion of others, a world in fact where we don’t have to spend much time thinking about others, a world in which we don’t have to be frightened every day by dying tropical reefs, rising oceans, and Ebola outbreaks in Africa. A world in which most of us have at least a basic understanding of the tools we use. A world where we don’t ever have to think hard about our history, our heroes, our place in the universe.

That is the world Donald Trump is promising Americans. And wouldn’t it be nice: Pre-internet, pre-satellite, relatively clean oceans, large tracts of forest, just a touch of global warming, no mass migrations, no intrusions by the other, and a world population of two and a half billion.

But that is not reality. Our oceans are filthy; information of all kinds, the scientific truth and the most ridiculous lies, are being disseminated at the speed of light; our forests are being decimated by man, by disease and by fire; the population of the world is a coal burning seven billion, a decreasing percentage actually understand how our tools work, and more and more mass migrations will occur as each piece of unfortunate land becomes uninhabitable. A wall on the southern border won’t change this. Nor will a “Space Force”.

Just when we need our leaders to look reality in the face, to acknowledge the world as it really is, and to get together to formulate a plan to control the population, to feed everybody, to spread the wealth a little more evenly, to decrease carbon emissions, save the oceans and forests, to use our scientific knowledge for good, to learn to live as a global community, we get Trump.

God (if you will pardon my use of an anachronistic idiom) help us all.

Doug Ford, Donald Trump

By Dr David Laing Dawson and an addendum by Marvin Ross

I just heard Doug Ford proclaim that he was elected by 2.3 million people whereas the judge was appointed by one person.

This is perilously close to a Trumpism.

Our systems of governance are complicated and cumbersome. Our judiciary is independent and equally complicated and layered. They have evolved this way not so that one man or woman can easily get things done but to prevent one man or woman or a group of men and women from doing stupid harmful things. From the moment I became aware of governance and politics, as far as I can remember, Canadian and American politicians, presidents, premiers, prime ministers understood this – up until the last 2 years.

Donald J. Trump demonstrates every day that he does not understand this. He has had 72 plus two hundred years to learn. He didn’t. And it seems a portion of the American population have forgotten as well. And another portion of the American population has become inured.

And now this is creeping into Ontario. We seem to have a Premier with Donald Trump instincts, the instincts of a bully, of an anti-democratic strongman. And like Donald Trump, he is willing to trample on democratic principles to push through his own agenda, both, tellingly, the small, personal and petty as well as serious policy.

The number of Councilors representing parts of the biggest city in Canada is not an important issue. It can be adjusted with discussion, consultation, voting, over time as demographics and population densities change.

It is an historical pet grievance of one Doug Ford. To use the “not withstanding clause” of the charter to override a judicial decision about such an arbitrary unimportant issue is stupid, reckless, thoughtless. And this is not about good governance of Toronto or Ontario. It is about the fragile ego of one Douglas Ford.

Please let us not follow the Americans down that regressive path.

Addendum

David is of course quite correct in his comparison but there is one fundamental difference that I’ve been meaning to write about. That is the difference between the US Federal system where the president is an entity pretty much unto his own and the British Parliamentary system that we enjoy. In the parliamentary system, the prime minister or premier of a province is one of many elected to the legislature and then elected by his peers as the leader of the party.

The prime minister sits in the legislature and is subjected to a regular question period where any member can and does ask some very difficult questions. If Trump was compelled to sit in congress, take questions and answer them, things might be somewhat more transparent (or not).

In attempting to pass his unpopular legislation slashing Toronto City Council mid-election on Wednesday, Doug Ford was subjected to a barrage of questions from the opposition and a public gallery that became unruly. Security had to clear the gallery and some were removed in handcuffs including a 77 year old grandmother. Then, when the legislature resumed, the opposition loudly opposed and were removed by the Sgt at Arms.

OK, it looked like a kindergarten gone mad but the points were made. The sensible members on the government side must be giving their support for their leader Doug and his ideas a good second thought with visions of the next election outcome.  Doug must be wondering how he is going to get through his mandate if he continues to introduce stupid bills. Senior and respected members of his party oppose his actions like Bill Davis the former premier who was involved in negotiating the Charter and  Brian Mulroney the former prime minister (whose daughter is the current Ontario attorney general). His governing will be even more of a mockery if he keeps this up. At least I hope.

South of the border, Trump is isolated from direct confrontation surrounded by his yes people while denouncing the media opposition as fake while Doug must take the full brunt of an angry legislature.

Article 25 of the US Constitution

By Dr David Laing Dawson

Many pundits have referred to Trump as a Reality TV President, partly referring to the origins of his infamy, and partly to the way he operates as a politician and leader. But the description is increasingly apt. The whole scene – the White House, daily tweets, the books, the anonymous op ed, the daily coverage and panel discussions, the leaks – it has all taken on the tone of Reality TV. And as it takes on this tone – the vying for limelight, the petty competitions, grievances aired, boasting, lying, the focus entirely subjective, the absence of actual reality, the absence of awareness of a world beyond the bubble – we fall into watching it the same way. Each day we tune in to watch these conflicts unfold, and just as in Reality TV, we are far more concerned with the relationships of all involved than with the prize (in Realty TV) and the enacted policies (in governance). Our hunger for prurient detail, for the personality machinations, conflicts, buffoonery, stupidity and chicanery in and surrounding Trump overwhelm our concern for health care, international relations, and global conflict.

In Reality TV the conceits of drama are imposed in the editing room. Here they are imposed by the Media, the watchers, the Late Night Hosts, and Trump himself.

I am thinking of this as I wonder how the Trump presidency will end. Last night he told his supporters that if he is impeached he will hold them responsible for not voting in the midterms.

If the Democrats do regain control of Senate and Congress and start impeachment proceedings, what will happen? How will Trump behave?

We know he will not go quiet (or gentle) into that good night. We know, at least as far as I can see, that his profound narcissism never ever permits a breach in his defenses, an admission of failure or of being bested in some way. We know this is extreme. We know that he will take praise and support from anyone, including Kim Jong Un. We know he is capable of seeing what he wants to see, to a delusional degree. And we know, unfortunately, that he is not constrained by a conscience, by empathy for others. And we know that people who lie to others as easily as he does, also lie to themselves.

We also know he will rage and blame others and that he is capable of outrageous lies to support his position.

If this were Shakespeare we could leave him in the turret of his castle railing at the moon.

But will he sabotage the castle when he is cornered? Will he burn Paris as he retreats?

Unfortunately I think the answer to that question is YES.

So if the Democrats gain power and start impeachment proceedings I think they need to be prepared to invoke Article (Amendment) 25 before Donald J. Trump lights the match.

Trying to Explain QAnon

By Dr David Laing Dawson

I fell down the internet rabbit hole today, after reading about QANON followers, supporters, supplicants at the Trump rally in Florida. Apparently this is pronounced Cue Anon and it refers to a source, a guru, a (supposed) government leaker, a group espousing a number of deep state conspiracy theories.

And following this path into the corners of the internet I came across word salads of meaningless connections the likes of which I have only seen before with psychosis, specifically schizophrenia.

As if global warming and the rise of right wing populists were not enough to worry about we now have a rising tide of people espousing and broadcasting delusions.

I have written before that delusions are never about trivial matters, but always about the central vectors of existence in our social world: Power, Sex, Control, Worth. And, curiously,  QANON manages to conflate all of these. (Deep state control of our lives along with sex trafficking and pedophilia)

And what does this mean?

The brain is an organizing machine. It seeks cause and effect, linkages, symbols, connections. The sane mind in a relatively well organized society will find mostly the same linkages as everyone else and these linkages will be both plausible and possible; they will connect within the same physical and temporal spheres, and will support safety and success. They allow us to predict what will happen next.

When the brain is impaired, when it’s perceptual, filtering, and organizational apparatus are impaired, it will continue to make linkages and some of these may be crazy. That is, they may jump from one physical or temporal sphere to another. (e.g. an earthquake in Peru was caused by the bad thoughts I had yesterday, or 4 blue cars drove by and Donald Trump used the word “four” and there are four somethings in the bible, therefore…) Similarly when we cut off all input (sensory deprivation experiments and solitary confinement) the brain continues to form linkages, find cause and effect paradigms, and these may then (unhindered by solid external data) become fantastical.

The QANON people can’t all suffer from impaired brains, nor are they sensory deprived. That leaves the possibility that the same effect that illness (like schizophrenia) and/or sensory deprivation can have on the brain can also be caused by extreme internet information overload and social persuasion. Though I would have to assume that this overwhelming information load only disrupts the cognitive patterns of those that lack a solid foundation of meaning and understanding, that is, a way of organizing information within the same temporal and physical spheres of reality and plausibility. For just as with delusional schizophrenia, a single visual mark, a symbol, or a nonspecific sound, can, in Qanon minds, leap categories and time constraints and become a theory of everything. They write, podcast, and talk as if a hundred miniature Dan Browns resided in their frontal lobes leaving Illuminati parchment clues to pizza parlor Clinton sex trafficking, illegal immigrants, Jews, Muslims, Hollywood pedophiles, and the apocalypse. Not to forget the Elite and the Deep State.  This is not conspiracy theory. This is delusional.

There is another slightly more benign explanation, and that is that our entertainment world, including reality TV, has grown so pervasive and persuasive that more and more people  can no longer tell the difference, and/or find fiction just more interesting and fun than reality.

In the long run solid public education is probably the answer, and we need to teach our kids and teens how to organize, to learn, to categorize, to think scientifically and logically.

In the short run, unfortunately, I can see groups like Qanon becoming Donald Trump’s Brown Shirt enforcers.

An Appeal for a Handgun Ban in Canada.

By Dr David Laing Dawson

Surprisingly it might be possible for Canada to outlaw handguns. Not restrict them but outlaw them totally. Apparently one poll suggests 67 percent of Canadians would be in favour of this. So if this is now politically possible, let’s do it. Let’s do it before the gun manufacturers catch on and send in trolls and talking heads spouting the kind of nonsense I hear on American television.

I understand that many of the guns used in crime, and in the current spate of homicides in Toronto, are illegal, stolen, and/or smuggled in from the United States. And so I understand that a total ban on handguns will not eliminate the problem overnight. We will still have some gang and drug related firearm deaths.

But there are two pieces of evidence that underscore the rationale for banning handguns. The first is simply factual reality, statistics and science. The more guns there are the more shooting deaths there will be. As a means of suicide a gun allows no second thoughts, whereas all other means of suicide require some activity and time beyond pulling a trigger. Guns bought for personal protection are used, if actually used, ninety-six percent of the time, for purposes other than self protection. This includes suicides, homicides, and accidental shootings. Ninety-six percent of the time. 96 out of 100 times such a gun is used it will be used for suicide, homicide, and accidental shootings.

And, from the perspective of individual behaviour in a group or community, we know that social sanctions, disapproval, and actual laws do effect the ways we all “act out”. This means that if we ban handguns, if we develop a community disapproval of having handguns, if having a handgun becomes socially unacceptable as well as legally unacceptable, fewer young men will feel comfortable carrying a handgun around. That means that even if most guns used in crime have been illegal in the first place, the comfort level of carrying one of these around will diminish. There will then be no legal guns on the street and fewer illegal ones.

Opportunity appears to have opened a door. If we keep this issue alive we just might be able to ban handguns entirely and greatly reduce gun crime in Canada.

That 67% approval rating might be a reaction to the gun crazy attitudes south of our border. So be it. At least one thing good (in Canada) may come out of the Trump presidency.