Anti-gun doctors sue in Florida

Doctors in Florida who are more concerned with pushing a radical anti-gun agenda than they are with practicing pediatric medicine, have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn that state’s recently-passed law prohibiting them from probing into a patient’s personal ownership of firearms. The legal action is – of course – being coordinated by the country’s most notorious anti-firearm organization, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Florida legislature passed the law this past April, after repeated stories surfaced of doctors dropping patients simply because they refused to be interrogated about whether they owned any firearms in their homes.

The law protects firearms owners in other ways. For example, it also prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage for or dropping policies on policy holders who own firearms.

If a doctor violates the law, they would be subject to discipline by the Florida Board of Medicine, including possible loss of their medical license. However, lawmakers did carve out exemptions to protect doctors and paramedics in the event that inquiries about firearms would be “relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.”

The true agenda of those bringing this lawsuit is revealed in statements by the liberal American Academy of Pediatrics, which had suggested the legislative solution as a way to prevent children from being harmed by guns was to “get guns out of their homes, their neighborhoods and where they play.”

During a recent hearing on the lawsuit, the Associated Press noted that Judge Marcia Cooke expressed some degree of skepticism at the doctors’ claims that the law reached too far. Cooke asked, “What’s relevant about asking about my gun when I came in with a cold?” She also wondered if the “questionnaire [that doctors give to patients] is overbroad and not the statute.”

Hopefully, Judge Cooke’s initial skepticism will result in a decision striking down this lawsuit which clearly is rooted in a political, anti-firearm agenda. The Brady Center, of course, will continue its battle against the freedom embodied in the Second Amendment, and would certainly appeal such a decision. Hopefully, however, a decision throwing out the lawsuit will remind the vast majority of pediatricians in Florida that the Hippocratic Oath they each took when they were first licensed as physicians, committed them to heal patients, not force a political agenda down their throats.

By Bob Barr – The Barr Code

101 comments Add your comment

DC

July 22nd, 2011
9:32 am

I am not a gun owner — I do not want a gun in the house. I also think far too many people are murdered every year in the US — just look at the murder rate / population stats compared to other countries — and the weapon of choice is usually a hand gun.

That said….

My understanding is the gun ownership rate in Canada is about the same there as here, and yet their murder rate is much lower. That speaks volumes about the real problem, which in my opinion is people’s attitudes towards each other.

Questioning patients about gun ownership has no place in the examination room. That sounds too much like a slippery slope. What’s next? Refusing to take on patients who exhibit risky behavior, like not wearing seat-belts, smoking, sky-diving or bungee jumping? Just treat the patient, please, without being judgmental.

Hillbilly D

July 22nd, 2011
9:45 am

That speaks volumes about the real problem, which in my opinion is people’s attitudes towards each other.

Well said.

NRA

July 22nd, 2011
10:10 am

The right to bear arms!

Patient: ” Doctor it hurts when I do this, (patient quick draws and then twirls his gun around spectacularly and then flips it back into his holster).

Doctor: “Then quit doing that”.

Patient: “Liberal nanny state jerk! I have the right to bear arms!”

Doctor: “Then bare your arm, I have to give you this shot.”

Patient, (crying like a little conservative girlie-man): “Will it hurt? waah.”

Doctor: “Here’s a nice little lollipop to make you feel betters.”

saywhat?

July 22nd, 2011
10:29 am

Trample on the free speech rights of doctors. Great plan. Truly American. Who is going to be next to lose the freedom and right to say what they want?

Invoking the Hippocratic Oath – short version-”First, do no harm”- as an argument against this lawsuit makes no sense at all. In no way does asking a child if he has access to guns harm the child, nor the child’s parents. It also in no way infringes on anybody’s second amendment rights.Whether the child’s parents get their panties all in a twist over the question is a problem with the parents, not the doctor.

Why are some gun owners such frickin’ pansies?

Pablo

July 22nd, 2011
10:35 am

The immense majority of gun owners are responsible people who give their weapons the respect they deserve, and use them only for sport and personal protection. It is the very few idiots (and the criminals) who put gun ownership in a bad light. If a doctor of mine starts asking questions about my gun ownership, I’ll invite him to the range!

Tychus Findlay

July 22nd, 2011
10:39 am

Guns are an inevitable part of our culture. Legislation that restricts/limits ownership will only impact individuals that obtain firearms legally, criminals will always find ways to obtain weapons. Disarming the law-abiding demographic only aids the criminal element.

wampum

July 22nd, 2011
10:40 am

The “shoving down the throat” is courtesy of the NRA which has bullied legeslators across this country into allowing the carrying of guns just about anywhere. It ain’t about the 2nd amendment. It’s about money. What would Jesus pack?

Jesus is defnitely a .357 sig guy

July 22nd, 2011
10:50 am

to answer your question, wampum

Jesus is definitely* a .357 sig guy

July 22nd, 2011
10:50 am

Atlanta Native

July 22nd, 2011
10:52 am

I really have no dog in this hunt…no children and no guns. Having said that, I impart all relevant information and potential risks to my doctor. I wouldn’t mind if he asked if I had a gun in the house — I see nothing wrong with that. Is there evidence that doctors contact social services or law enforcement IF a child indicates a gun is present? THAT is a problem but a simple answer to a simple question is basically no-harm, no-foul IMHO. And, I have no issues with rights to gun ownership…I just choose NOT to have one.

Atlanta Native

July 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

BTW…I’m a flaming liberal…

Emerson bigguns

July 22nd, 2011
10:54 am

How many are injured in auto accidents every day? What’s next? What kind of car do you drive? I won’t treat you because you don’t eat the foods I tell you to eat? This is doctors pushing a political agenda and has nothing to do with child safety. As the saying goes, guns do not kill people, people kill people.

seabeau

July 22nd, 2011
10:59 am

DC Hate to burst your liberal bubble but per the FBI firearms are not the Weapon Of Choice. Its generely a knife or being beatened to death. For the last few years a record number of handguns have been sold and this year has the lowest number of deaths related to firearms in 44 years.

Ezra

July 22nd, 2011
11:03 am

Atlanta Native

July 22nd, 2011
10:52 am
Why would the doctor want to know if you have a gun if not to report it to some punishing government agency?

wampum

July 22nd, 2011
10:40 am
When Jesus returns you better have more than a handgun. He will not be that pacifist He was in the past. Just warning you….

seabeau

July 22nd, 2011
11:11 am

First, More children are killed by far in auto accidents and backyard pool drowning that by gunfire. Second the AMA’s stats on childhood deaths by firearms include all those up to 18 years old.

David B.

July 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

Also an Atlanta native, war vet, and flaming liberal, I don’t support the NRA, but I also don’t think all guns should be banned, just semi and fully automatic weapons, which have no business being available to the general public.

David

July 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

Why doesn’t the doctor simply flaunt the fact he hates guns. I suspect most legal gun owners would be glad they know their doctor is anti gun, so they can find a new doctor.

Dr. Pangloss

July 22nd, 2011
11:30 am

Doctors in Florida who are more concerned with pushing a radical anti-gun agenda than they are with practicing pediatric medicine, have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn that state’s recently-passed law prohibiting them from probing into a patient’s personal ownership of firearms.

Bob, could we have a smidgeon of journalistic integrity? The doctors are suing because the Florida legislature passed a blatantly unconstitutional law abridging the doctor’s right to discuss household hazards with his/her patients.

Sebeau, everything you’ve said to DC is false. The FBI says that 67.1% of all homicides are committed with a firearm. Overwhelmingly, the firearm is a handgun. See the tables at http://goo.gl/HxFnr

Emerson Bigguns: the Florida doctors aren’t refusing to treat anybody. They’re counseling people to keep guns secured so that children don’t get hold of them and kill themselves. And automobile deaths have no relevance whatever to gun violence.

DC: The Canadian Firearms Centre says:

There are an estimated 7.4 million firearms in Canada, about 1.2 million of which are restricted firearms (mostly handguns). In the U.S., there are approximately 222 million firearms; 76 million of the firearms in circulation are handguns.

They don’t have nearly as many guns as we do. Their population is 34,278,400; ours is 311,820,723 . So their guns per capita figure is 0.000000000000027. Ours would be 0.711947550708488. Isn’t it cool the things you can do with a computer?

Carry Permit Holder

July 22nd, 2011
11:30 am

Fully automatic weapons are already illegal to own. Why should a semi-automatic weapon be illegal? What about a pump action gun? I’ll stick with the 2nd amendment as the final say-so. Also, do you know law enforcement has no obligation to protect you or your property? Sometimes they do protect individuals and property, but they have no obligation. If you pass the background check you can get the carry permit. Lawful gun owners alsmost never commit crimes with guns. When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns (see, they don’t care about laws, get it?)

Scott

July 22nd, 2011
11:33 am

David B.

July 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

For what it’s worth,I’m also a war vet and I don’t agree with you.What’s wrong with me owning a semi-auto shot gun for duck hunting?

Carry Permit Holder

July 22nd, 2011
11:34 am

Mr. Barr, glad to have you on board at the AJC. Physical newpapers are almost dead, and online is all I read now. These discussion boards are great (love the sports discussion boards, also) and I am sure the AJC knows these discussion boards bring people to the site. I vote Republican, but my ideals are Libertarian. Lets hear more Libertarian thoughts from Mr. Barr!

Dr. Pangloss

July 22nd, 2011
11:34 am

Oops, the Canadian guns per head figure should be 0.215879387602689. Still a lot lower than ours.

Jackson5

July 22nd, 2011
11:38 am

@wampum 10:40
What would Jesus pack? A sword…see Luke 22:36
“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

Karen

July 22nd, 2011
11:42 am

Have any of us ever been asked by our Dr. if we have a gun in the house. If a Dr. asks that question, my guess is that they are concerned about the patients well being or possible harm to someone else. And just because they ask the question doesnt mean they are anti gun, which is a dumb conclusion to jump to Barr. But I have come to expect no more or less of you.

Baby Boomer Aunt

July 22nd, 2011
11:44 am

Thank you Dr. Pangloss for a note of sanity. I happen to agree with Mr. Barr occasionally, but his language was all hyperbole. Pediatricians routinely ask about smoking in the home, seatbelt use, access to healthy food, exercise options – all in accessing the risk to a growing child. Please don’t get paranoid when the docs include questions about guns in the house and whether said guns are in a locked safe. Lots of trama docs and pediatricians have seen the consequences of unsecured guns in a home. We all fill out assessments when we visit doctors for physicals – pediatricians get very detailed in an effort to counsel parents and their children. REPEAT, no one is after your guns and wants to abridge your right to bare arms.

Alabama Communist

July 22nd, 2011
11:47 am

First they came for the fingers, than they came for the hands and than they came for the legs and after that they came for the Heart and Liver and now they want the Guns that is hidden up where the Sun does not Shine anymore! * Doctor Suss

NRA

July 22nd, 2011
11:53 am

Doctor’s nurse to Patient: “Is that a gun in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”

Patient: “Both”.

Nurse: “My trigger finger’s getting awfully itchy.”

Patient: “That’s what I want to see the doctor about. This prickly heat is killing me.”

Nurse: “You cowboys and your jock itch….”

Patient: “Hey, aren’t you supposed to say ‘turn your head and cough’.

Nurse: “Great. Take the romance out of it.”

Truth

July 22nd, 2011
11:58 am

Unbelievable. A conservative Republican state government does exactly the thing they loudly and falsely accused Democrats of about on Health Care – injecting Gov’t into the doctor & patient relationship. I guess next they will outlaw doctors from asking if you skydive or ride motorcycles. Oh wait, those activities don’t have large corporately funded strong arm lobbyists to buy or intimidate legislators.

commoncents

July 22nd, 2011
12:05 pm

Mold in house – relevant concern for a doctor
Allergens – relevant
Toxic substances/drugs – relevant

gun ownership? – irrelevant

Christine

July 22nd, 2011
12:07 pm

No one is going to steal your precious guns. Calm down.

Pediatricians are not trying to take your guns. They are trying to inform gun-owning parents of safety, the same way they would inform a bike-riding child to wear a helmet.

What is more important to you, your child’s safety, or your secretive guns?

The Goods

July 22nd, 2011
12:08 pm

An awful lot of the disparity might have something to do with the demographics of Canada vs. the US.

commoncents

July 22nd, 2011
12:11 pm

patient- “Doc, I just smoked a carton if cigs and ate at the varsity for every meal this week and now my chest hurts.”

Doc- “Hmm… I believe the prob is your firearm”

Carry Permit Holder

July 22nd, 2011
12:13 pm

Did some of you miss the part about Dr’s dropping patients who refuse to answer the questionaire? They can ask, but an answer should not be required to be a patient! That situation is what the law addressed!

The Real NRA

July 22nd, 2011
12:14 pm

My God I cant believe 1/2 the people on this blog are really trying to justify this mess. This is nothing but an anti-gun rant put on and back up by the Brady Center. This cant even be questioned. In regards to childrens safety really? And no, I have never had my childs dr ask me if I had a gun in my house, he might as well ask do you have a bed your child can jump from and hit his head, do you have steps he can fall down, do you have knives in the kitchen, do you have a stone fire place they can hit their heads on, do you have a step ladder, do you have sharp tools in the garage and on and on. Its a silly ploy to try and scare the general public.

Time after time the Brady group has had their facts brought out and proven false over and over again. They are a money making venture like no one else much like the rainbow group. Yell fire where there is none, but keep sending those checks in.

Carry Permit Holder

July 22nd, 2011
12:15 pm

The Goods is right on with his comment. Must read between the politically correct language (demographics) and then you will understand what The Goods meant.

Jerr

July 22nd, 2011
12:16 pm

Wow Bob, I didn’t not expect this from you. I was expecting the stance from the other side: Government should not be interfering with doctor-patient relationship. If the Doctor is anti-gun and wants to know that, GO TO ANOTHER DOCTOR! It’s the free market, right? I am really disappointed to see this kind of attitude, which I find very hypocritical.

Dr.

July 22nd, 2011
12:21 pm

What kind of locks do you have on your doors?
Do you have an alarm system?
Do you have a dog?
Do you have nosy neighbors?
Do you have a lot of jewelry?
What are your typical working hours?

And any other non-health related question they can think of.

mark

July 22nd, 2011
12:23 pm

Atl Native….It is none of my Dr. F’n business what I have in my house.

Dr.

July 22nd, 2011
12:24 pm

And fully automatic weapons are NOT illegal to own.

Tom B

July 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Dr. Pangloss “The doctors are suing because the Florida legislature passed a blatantly unconstitutional law abridging the doctor’s right to discuss household hazards with his/her patients.”

That’s quite a stretch, Pangloss. My children, my wife, nor my self have never been asked about stairs, drain cleaner, pools, dogs, matches, etc. Any number of things that can kill a child.

It’s an agenda, straight up, and nothing less. Go push your wares elsewhere, we’re not buying it here.

tipster

July 22nd, 2011
12:28 pm

Soooo, a doctor can’t decide who he will or won’t keep as a patient? Wow, Bob and the NRA have turned into communists/socialists/nanny staters/what ever other terms they like to use for government interference in the free market place.

mark

July 22nd, 2011
12:29 pm

Christine

I did not see my Dr. to get his imput on gun safety. If I want his opinion I will ask. You must be kidding. My guns are not secretive. I use caution, safety, and common sense. Same as when my kids were in my car. You are clueless what this is really about.

bill

July 22nd, 2011
12:29 pm

I think a doctor ought to treat me or my children for the ailment/disease. I did not come in for a third degree or a lecture. If folks would tend to their business only, we would all be better for it!

Pool guy

July 22nd, 2011
12:31 pm

Don’t more children die from drowning (mainly in neighborhood pools) or maybe car accidents than from guns?

Bishop Eddie Longs Red Panties

July 22nd, 2011
12:37 pm

NRA was then NRA is now and NRA forever

dave

July 22nd, 2011
12:46 pm

Have been in law enforcement for 32 yrs. Been there, done that, got a t-shirt. Anyone who doesnt keep a firearm in their in home is a moron. Equally so, anyone who does not train, secure, and use gun locks in the home is even more dangerous. Metro Atlanta has some of the most brazen crimiinals in America.

NRA

July 22nd, 2011
12:50 pm

Wait a minute, Dave. More dangerous than a moron?

I dont think so.

MrLiberty

July 22nd, 2011
12:51 pm

Just imagine if we actually had medical freedom in this country. We would have FAR more doctors, far more options, and we could all tell these clowns to go F themselves. But unfortunately we have let the AMA, the state medical licensing boards, the FDA, and the government in general create a protected monopoly in medicine that has made the 3rd party insurance companies the REAL customers of these jerks and the patient simply the vehicle for getting the money from them.

The only doctor in the presidential contest – Ron Paul – has been calling for medical freedom since he began in congress in the 70’s, but has certainly raised the issue during the Hillary-care and Obama-care fiascos.

NRA

July 22nd, 2011
12:53 pm

I’ve been NRA since I was 10 years old. On my first live firing at a target with my sister, her gun had jammed, and she was playing with the breach to unjam it when the rifle went off, and it was pointed at my head. It missed me by a hair. The instructor had his backed turned, so I didn’t say anything, but it was the greatest lesson I could have learned.

Safety. Safety. Safety.

dave

July 22nd, 2011
12:59 pm

NRA…..Let me clarify. Having a weapon anywhere carries a huge responsibility. MOST people realize that. Some, put weapons in their home without a clue of how it operates. Just as dangerous as not having one at all. My decisions within my home lie with me. Not with the King, the gov’t, or my Dr.