Do You Feel Lucky?

Basic math under stress

Well Do You? 

In essence this bill will make it illegal for any physician to enquire about the presence of firearms in a home. 

But why would a doctor wish to know about guns in a house? Well it all started when a doctor refused to provide coverage (a legal right and a necessary one) for a family who refused to answer a question and asked that they find a new paediatrician because they are unwilling to answer questions and indeed let him do his job. No doctor should work around incalcitrant patients, its demeaning and it’s a hassle. Doctors exist to help people and it’s hard to help when people refuse to give you information that you need.

The APA (American Paediatrics Association) states that parents who have guns are advised to get rid of them rather than keep them around children. The doctor in this case merely used to advise parents to keep their guns secure. Most americans with guns do not keep them safe and it tells. According to this complaint about the gag rule, 65 children and teenagers are shot every day in America, and eight of them die; one-third of American homes with children under 18 have a firearms in them; and more than 40 percent of those households store their guns unlocked and a quarter of those homes store them loaded.

You are expected as a medic to question a patient about potential dangers. Parents tend to not realise how dangerous some things are, what is little more than an annoyance to an adult is often lethal to a child. Open containers of bleach, radiator fluid, pools, sunken bathtubs, balloons unlocked bathrooms and cupboards (I myself as a medical student have seen a case where a missing child actually tried to hide inside a trunk when the latch fell and the child suffocated and died only being discovered 3 days later.) 

You ask patients about menstrual history, sexual history and quality of sex, birth pains, behaviour of the child and about child’s genital history and excretion all in the interest of the well being of the child. Yet we suddenly draw a line in the sand at guns? 

The law is sponsored by the National Rifle Association and initially attempted to punish doctors with prison times and/or fines up to $5 million for merely daring to enquire about a child potentially accessing lethal weaponry. The information cannot be given  to insurance companies nor can it be used to take them away on the basis of “Americans would rather shoot their own leg off than give up their guns”. There is no national firearms registry and so there is no way to even check up on the guns bar local registries (and Florida in their plan to be like an episode of Miami Vice do not require registry of firearms) 

The defence of the NRA is that the physicians are harassing patients under political pressure of the Gun Control Lobby and that doctors should not be forced to treat patients differently based on politics. 

Deadlier than a Gun

Which is a laughable statement. In Florida many physicians are forced to show pregnant women unnecessary ultrasounds, give out inaccurate information and unnecessary counselling before providing an abortion. Florida passed 5 bills that actually do insert the state into the constitutionally protected relationship between a woman and her doctor. These bills include forcing a woman to pay for an unnecessary ultrasound pre-abortion even if her doctor decides it is unnecessary. Yet no one of the Florida State Legislature bothered about doctors being forced to dance to a pro-life political tune or that the patient doctor confidentiality is voided there solely because of a political belief rather than the scientific one. Or worse that intimate patient decisions are now state priority. 

If a doctor may not interfere with the idea that an American man’s homestead is his Large European Feudal Defensive Fortification, then surely State Legislators shouldn’t have the ability to determine what a woman does with her own uterus? 

My Doom Fortress
Keep Off The Grass

This piece of legislation is not designed to increase patient’s rights. But to hamstring medical practitioners because people with guns do not like hearing the truth. That guns kill people. That people are capable of mistakes and that children are stupid and when this combination applies to firearms then people learn an important lesson and children stop learning forever. Doctors ask this question and advise against leaving guns open and unprotected to stop kids from dying. Not so they can take your guns away. 

It boggles my mind as an European (where an Englishman’s home is quite often a castle…) that the USA would have a driving license for a car but not one for a gun. That any person who may be paint eating stupid may be packing a lethal weapon and endanger all of us by their inherent stupidity. It’s bad enough with cars but cars are dangerous when used outside their purpose while the sole role of a hand gun is to be deadly to humans. 

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