Recently doctors, particularly in family practice, have been receiving AMA
sponsored literature urging them to ask their patients a lot of detailed
questions having absolutely nothing to do with either individual or public
health. What are these questions about? Firearms ownership.
During physical examinations, as part of obtaining a "medical
history," many doctors are now asking: Do you have any guns? If so, how
many guns do you have? Where are they located? Where do you store the guns? How
much ammunition do you keep?
It looks like the totally fallacious "public health" argument about
gun ownership has now made its way from the victim disarmament Nazis down to
I guess becoming an MD isnít as mentally challenging as many of us have
been led to believe. This must be the case, since there seem to be a lot of
doctors who are actually stupid enough to believe that firearms are dangerous to
the public, like an open jar of anthrax germs or possibly a homosexual
practicing anal sex.
Whatís really dangerous to the public isnít guns, itís this line of
questioning. Itís dangerous because patients generally trust their doctors and
many will submit to such intrusive questions without giving it much thought.
Worse yet, many patients will think these completely inappropriate questions
are actually proper and justified, simply because their "doctor" asked
These questions are dangerous because, while medical records are supposed to
be confidential, that can all change at any time. There have been repeated
attempts in Congress to mandate a universal medical health system, or at least a
universal medical identification chip. The chip would contain all of a personís
medical records. In both plans the patientís medical data becomes part of a
national data base. When doctors collect firearms ownership data, theyíre
helping build a national gun owner identification system.
The idea that there is any relationship between gun ownership and
individual or public health is the grossest form of medical quackery. Doctors
who buy into it are practicing quackery just as surely as were the 19th century
"snake oil" salesmen. The AMA sticking its nose into gun ownership
makes about as much sense as the NRA practicing brain surgery.
Next time Iím sick I may consider going to my barber to be
"bled." At least my barber generally minds his own business.
Tell everyone you know to REFUSE to answer doctorsí questions about
personal firearms ownership ó even if they donít own a firearm. Whether or
not your own a gun is NOBODY'S BUSINESS BUT YOURS! Doctors and health care
professionals have no business asking such questions, period.
If your doctor asks questions about your firearms ownership, the very least
you should do is ask why the doctor is asking, and then report the matter as an
invasion of privacy to the hospital or your state medical board. Tell the doctor
youíre doing it.
If MY doctor were to ask such questions I would call him a "quack"
to his face and tell him to go to hell... but that's just me.
Gary Clark is a writer, small business owner and staunch defender of the
right of every individual to own, bear and use ANY type of weapon that can be
carried on the person. He lives in Las Vegas