Moms Demand Action is celebrating the overturning of the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, also known as “Docs vs. Glocks.”
The New York Times calls the decision “A Win for Free Speech and Gun Safety.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t think the law, as written, was going to survive a court challenge. That said, I still believe there needs to be some protection for gun owners from doctors.
The media that has covered this has failed to address the real fear of gun owners.
According to Slate, the issue is gun owners feeling bad:
Stop for a moment and consider that the Second Amendment injury here lies not in the possibility that a physician can do anything to take away anyone’s gun, but in the outside chance that she will use her knowledge of actual medical evidence to suggest that guns can kill people and her patient might listen to her. This is literally an argument for a constitutional right not to learn stuff from people who know stuff because you might then feel bad about the stuff you own.
First of all, with all do respect to the MD’s out there. Is there anything a doctor who might now own a gun (considering that pediatricians are overwhelmingly liberal) can teach a law abiding gun owner about guns? This is nothing more than the logical fallacy of appeal to authority.
However, if you read the articles in The Atlantic and The Trace, you get a better idea of why gun owners might actually fear being talked to about gun by their doctors.
From the Atlantic:
“Conversations about gun safety between providers and patients should be nonjudgmental, educational, and focused on improving the health and safety of the patient and those around him or her,” the lead study author, Marian Betz of the University of Colorado in Aurora, told Reuters. “Unfortunately, the larger political debate over gun control laws can spill over into health-care settings.”
Great idea! Lets take today’s hyper polarized political climate, and encourage doctors to discuss an issue that is every bit a political as a matter of safety, and tempt fate that the doctor’s politics “spill over” into providing medical advice.
“At times, clinicians may feel uncomfortable or uninformed when discussing certain subjects, and may disagree with a patient’s choices or beliefs,” they write. “However, this discomfort or disagreement cannot justify either offensive condescension or silent inaction.”
Even better, let’s acknowledge that doctors might not be informed on the subject of guns, but lecture their patients anyway because they disagree with their patients political choices. That haughty air of smug condescension really worked in Progressive’s favor in 2016 didn’t it.
From the The Trace (in a blinding act of unbiased truth telling):
Until recently, the research on doctors’ gun counseling had long shown that gun-owning parents were OK with this approach: A 1999 survey of physicians and parents found that “All parents who owned guns indicated they would acknowledge owning a gun if asked by their pediatricians,” and 98 percent of pediatricians “believed that [they] should discuss gun safety with all gun-owning families” — a discussion that did not simply label guns in the home as an inherent danger, but offered that unloaded or locked guns are safer. (It should be noted that pro-gun parents aren’t the only group whose feelings have hardened during the gun-rights renaissance of the past decade; the American Academy of Pediatrics has since called for parents to remove guns from their homes altogether.)
That part in bold (emphasis added) is the key.
This is straight from the Healthy Kids website of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Big bold letters advocating not to own a gun.
But these points alone are not really the deep seeded fear of gun owners. So what that your pediatrician decides to lecture you on how you are a bad person because you own guns?
It made national news when a couple in Las Vegas couple was denied the right to become foster parents because they had concealed carry permits.
There is a terrible shortage of foster homes, but the State of Nevada decided that the risk to a foster child being placed in a home where there might be a loaded gun was too high and the application was denied. Too bad they weren’t gun free child molesters, Nevada would have given them all the foster kids they want.
But this is foster care, you have to jump through a lot of hoops to become a foster or adoptive parent.
In the State of Florida (as well as everywhere else) doctors are mandatory reporters. There are guidelines to reporting, but if the reporter feels that the child is in an unsafe circumstance, they are to report it to the state.
Florida’s Department of Child and Family services is terrible. A grand jury said so. It is so bad there is a Facebook page chronicling their failures.
The horror that concerns gun owning parents is when some hyper political, anti gun, nanny of a doctor decides that when mom or dad says “yes” to the question “do you own any guns,” mom and dad are getting a visit from DCF. If the American Academy of Pediatrics says owning a gun is bad and dangerous, than a home with a gun in it is worthy of government intervention.
In 2017 America where wearing a MAGA hat means that you are a neo-Nazi deserving of being punched or bashed, do we trust progressive doctors not to torment gun owners with unnecessary investigations from state agencies over the political disagreements of gun ownership?
Maybe a few years ago this was paranoid fantasy. Today I’m not so sure.
The First Amendment should be respected. Let the doctors talk to patients about guns. Let the doctor talk to me about how often I change my break pads too, I’ll add it to the list of things I know more about than my pediatrician.
What gun owners need is protection for doctors that think their politics mean that they can do more than talk.