Defending Physicians as Gun Safety Counselors = FAIL

Your family doctor shouldn’t be forced to pick and choose which dangers he or she is legally allowed to be concerned about. Safe gun storage saves lives. Forbidding doctors from talking about guns and gun safety with their patients is short-sighted and dangerous.

via Physicians, the First Amendment, and the NRA – Philly.com .

It does not help your cause for suggesting that physicians should be allowed to offer a professional opinion on something that they are not trained for, but if the graphic also shows a “doctor” violating one of the Rules of Gun Safety….. just pack it up and go home.

 philly physicians

10 Replies to “Defending Physicians as Gun Safety Counselors = FAIL”

  1. Once again, until they can explain how a physician is able to treat a mugging, home invasion, or sexual assault, I’m not listening.

    Do they have an IV that can give you back your wallet? Is there a pill that can make you feel safe in your own home again? What do you prescribe to treat shame?

  2. I do not ask my plumber for medical advice. I do not listen to my lawyer’s health care tips (Crystals, really?).

    Why should I trust my doctor on anything about plumbing (or guns)? I do not unconditionally trust him on medical advice without a second opinion or doing my own research.

  3. They would probably be aghast to learn of the substantial number of physicians who carry firearms and believe in the Second Amendment.

    Still, the truth is they are not practicing in their area of expertise if they are advising me on gun handling. I’ll listen to suggestions and jettison the trash, but don’t think for an instant that I will submit to having to tell them of my firearms status to get medical care. Watch out, that’s where the administration would like to take their socialized medicine debacle.

  4. In general, if firearms come up between a patient and I, it’s a discussion of what they shot on their last range trip, or how their last hunt went. If they ask, I let them know what I like to shoot or carry, and if they want to know, I tell them I am an NRA life member. That pretty much ensures the tension in the room is eased, and we can focus on the point of the visit, like preventing strokes or treating seizures.

    If I do ask about gun safety, it’s because the patient is becoming cognitively impaired. At that point it’s getting unsafe to drive, use heavy machinery, or other activities where lapses in thought or memory can be deadly for the patient and anyone around them. It isn’t about guns, it’s about facing a the reality of disability, and that is most certainly within the scope of my practice. But by that point, most of my patients and their families know I’m not some politicized gun grabber, I’m a man who cares, respects and enjoys the same hobbies, and is being honest about a real problem.

    The medical community needs to learn that being dogmatic, political, and dismissive about the firearm lifestyle is bad medicine. There are conditions where guns are a huge risk: major depression with suicidal ideation, dementia, psychosis, or treatment with significantly intoxicating drugs. But if your patients think you’re a p***k and a gun grabber when they’re healthy, they will never trust you when they’re sick and it really matters.

    1. Thank you. Of course you should be advising patients of safety issues in relation to their diagnosis. I was ranting about those unprofessional physicians who try to weigh in on firearms when they are ignorant and how the use of physicians as informants for the state is troubling. We need to remain watchful that medicine is not politicized at the expense of patient care and patient rights.

      You carefully indicated when it was appropriate for physician advice on the subject. Again, I am concerned about blanket approaches that may be used on firearms owners with future reporting rules and changes in mental health disqualifiers. The most egregious example of declaring gun violence as a public health epidemic is insulting. Firearms are not vectors for violence infection…they are the antibiotic cure for criminals.

  5. In Illinois, to own a gun you have to have a permit called a FOID (Firearm Owner ID). To get one, you have to go through a background check by the state police. It is word for word, a form 4473.

    Here is the kicker. Any medical professional can call into the state police though a reporting hotline and claim that you are psychologically unfit to own a firearm, and the state will revoke your FOID. You then INSTANTLY become a felon. If it is revoked, there are ways to get it back, but they are difficult and expensive to say the least.

    Yeah, there are rules and guidelines as to what circumstances a medical professional can call in. But… call me paranoid. I just don’t trust some people. I, like many IL gun owners are seriously afraid of some left wing, anti gun, family doc getting our FOIDs revoked over some BS disagreement.

  6. I’ve already been asked if I have any guns in the house by both the nurse and doctor.
    “That question has nothing to do with my medical well being”
    ‘Why don’t you want to answer?’
    “That question has nothing to do with my medical well being”

    After the appointment I made it clear I was done with their practice and would be seeking another along with notifying everyone I meet to avoid them.

  7. My father was an Opthalmologist, He taught me how to handle firearms. Most of his friends were doctors of some sort,and I went hunting for the first time, and remember many pleasant afternoons spent plinking on the porch with these folks. Of course, it was many years ago, seemingly in another age.

  8. A boundary issue, plain and simple. Show me your NRA safety certification and maybe I’ll talk gun safety with you. Otherwise, treat me for what I’m seeking treatment for, nothing more.

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