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News & Editorials

Is Your Doctor A Quack?
by Gary Clark

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 actual practitioners.

I guess becoming an MD isn’t 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.

What’s really dangerous to the public isn’t guns, it’s this line of questioning. It’s 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 them.

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 person’s medical records. In both plans the patient’s medical data becomes part of a national data base. When doctors collect firearms ownership data, they’re 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 I’m 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 doctors’ questions about personal firearms ownership — even if they don’t 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 you’re 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 and can be reached by e-mail at

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