Friday, January 21, 2011

NRA vs. Florida Medical Association

Florida must be jealous of all the attention Arizona is getting. I honestly find it hard to decide which one wins.

The story is that a bill has been proposed that would make it illegal, in fact extremely illegal, like "$5 million or face up to five years in jail" illegal, for a doctor to ask his patient about guns in the home.

Sponsored by Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, the bill would make it a felony for a physician or staff member to ask patients or family members of patients if they own guns or store guns at home.

If found guilty, the medical provider could be fined up to $5 million or face up to five years in jail. 

Marion Hammer, executive director of United Sportsmen of Florida and a former national NRA president, said the gun rights groups have no opposition to a physician's office handing out brochures on gun safety, but the direct questioning on whether there are guns in the home of a patient and how they store them goes too far.

"Simply, it's none of their business," Hammer said.
Now I ask you, is that about the craziest thing you've ever heard, or what?

Please leave a comment.


  1. "Now I ask you, is that about the craziest thing you've ever heard, or what?"

    Yes it is. Why would doctors need to ask such questions?

    Actually, from what little I have heard about this legislation, I doubt I could support it. Felony for asking questions?

    On the other hand though, why was this legislation even thought up? Are doctors in Florida that invasive about political issues?

    I'll ask my doctor what he thinks when I go next month. He has asked about the guns I own but then he has copies of NRA American Guardian and Guns&Ammo in his waiting rooms so his questions were of a different nature.

  2. This is absolutely silly.

    A doctor should not be prohibited by law from asking their patients about guns any more than they should be required by law to ask about guns..

    Crap like this from the "right" is why I'm a Constitutional Libertarian.


  3. I don’t like this bill at all. I hope it and McCarthy’s bill meet the same fate.

  4. IOW, the gunloons are saying that MDs--who currently have very strict confidentiality laws--aren't allowed to ask their patients--who may have suicidal tendencies, delusions, or some mental illness--about guns?

  5. It is a perfectly appropriate question for a doctor to ask about guns in the home, including their storage. I can think of several reasons.

    1. A resident of the home who is being treated by the physician has a medical condition such as dementia. Given the problems in Florida with the elderly, and the incidence of health problems such as Alzheimer's, they might ask more than most.

    2. Certain medications can increase the risk of suicide, or even cause hallucinations, or paranoia.

    3. Certain health conditions could in some situations lead spouse or other caretaker to euthanasia - or assisted death, see above.

    4. Health problems of seniors could make it a concern that they no longer had the physical capacity to handle a fire arm, much like they might ask about whether or not a patien was driving a car who could no longer do so safely. Diminishing eye sight, motor coordination, joint deterioration from arthritis, osteoporosis where firing a firearm might lead to bone fractures, the list of illnesses, especially geriatric illnesses, where a firearm that had previously been safely owned might now be a danger........yeah, I can see this as a legitimate question in some circumstances.

    What I cannot understand is debarring a physician from using his or her judgement in asking a question about guns, if they see fit. That is flipping INSANE. Asking a question like that is not a violation of anyone's 2nd Amendment rights for God's sake.

    We need to keep government OUT of HOW doctors practice medicine, not have government reduce WHO gets medical care by resricting health care coverage.

  6. Of course it's a legitimate question for a doctor to ask. That's because it's not just a political issue like FWM pretends, it's also a health and safety issue.

    If the choice were just between right wing nuttiness like this and Libertarianism, I'd be right there with Orygunner. But as we all know there are other better choices.