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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Passing this along from our wonderful compatriots at WAGC (Women Against Gun Control).

As anybody with any scientific exposure can tell you, this is NOT science; it's propoganda. Doctors have no business whatsoever to question you about your guns. This is called a "boundary violation," and is a serious matter... a ethical and (potentially) legal one. But, why let ethics get in the way of a "good cause." Seriously, these doctors believe that they can pass off political activism by calling guns a "medical issue."

Personally, I think it'd be appropriate to write a polite but firm letter to Willow Creek Pediatrics in Draper and Utah Valley Pediatrics in American
Fork to chastise them for participating in such crap. Bad doc! No Beamer!

If any doctor ever has the gall to question us about guns, they'll be told right then and there that they're committing a boundary violation, and that guns are a political issue, not a medical issue. If they push further, we walk out the door for good, and find an actual doctor, not an anti-gun activist.

Note the arrogance:
"If guns will not be removed from homes where children live and
play, then the safe storage of those guns becomes a health priority,"
This socialist b******d is saying that if we're so stupid to not get rid of our guns, it's a medical issue to lock up your guns where they're useless for self-defense. Because it's a medical issue, it's the doctor's business.
They also found that those not raised with a weapon at home were more likely to store guns safely
You people who were raised around guns are dangerous! You don't live up to the socialist ideal!

Lastly, kudos to Mr. Aposhian... again.

From today's DesNews. Of course, guns kept locked up are worthless
for self-defense. I also notice that gun accidents--rare as they
are--are far more likely in urban areas where gun ownership is lower.
I also note that the VAST majority of deaths reported were
self-inflicted. As Japan shows, the tools used for suicide may
change, but out-lawing guns does NOT reduce suicide. And never mind
the intrusiveness of having your pediatrician ask you about AND REPORT
on your gun ownership, storage habits for those guns, etc.

I will believe that these kinds of "studies" have ANYTHING to do with
safety--rather than attacking guns and the right to an effective
self-defense--when they start asking about household chemicals,
swimming pools, and other common articles that pose MUCH greater
dangers to children than do firearms. If one believes recent reports,
the hand-sanitizer I have sitting on my sink or the fluoridated
toothpaste my children use are both fatal if ingested in the wrong

So do the pediatricians ask about good brushing habits or remind us to
be careful with household cleaners? Nope. They just nit pick about guns.



Families lax on gun storage?

Study on safety risks includes 2 Utah clinics
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
and Demian McLean
Bloomberg News
Two-thirds of gun-owning families fail to store their firearms
safely, posing a potential risk to children at home, according to a
pediatric study that questioned parents on the topic when they brought
children in for well-child doctor visits.
Locking up all guns lessens the odds of firearm accidents or
suicides among children, according to a team led by pediatric
researcher Robert DuRant of the Wake Forest University School of
Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. The findings appear in the June issue
of the journal Pediatrics.
"If guns will not be removed from homes where children live and
play, then the safe storage of those guns becomes a health priority,"
the study said.
The Utah Shooting Sports Council's Clark Aposhian said he was
skeptical of such a study, believing it artificially inflates the
number of actual accidental shootings involving children and unsecured
"The whole idea of this study is, in my opinion, meant to elicit
a knee-jerk response that is generally defamatory towards firearms,"
he said.
Aposhian said that does not mean he is against the secure
storage of firearms. In fact, he said depending upon the household,
gun locks and gun vaults are appropriate.
"We're more realist as well in that we'd rather educate," he said.
About a third of those responding said they have at least one
gun, with rural households likelier than urban homes to own two or
more firearms and store them unlocked, the report found.
Still, serious gun injuries to children are 10 times more common
in urban environments than rural ones, the study said. Researchers
attribute the difference to "long-established cultural differences,"
including rural residents' greater familiarity with the weapons,
commonly used for recreation.
Urban residents tend to keep guns for protection, a purpose that
may provide fewer opportunities for practice, the study said.
Researchers found that the gun type was associated with storage
habits. Long-gun owners store their guns in places other than a locked
cabinet, but with the ammunition in a separate location. Handgun users
were more apt to store the guns loaded and to use gun locks. They also
found that those not raised with a weapon at home were more likely to
store guns safely, as were long-gun owners with children 2 to 5 years
old, compared to families with older children.
Gun ownership in the United States ranges from 5.2 percent of
homes in Washington to 63 percent in Wyoming, the study said.
The study sample came from 96 pediatric practices in 45 states,
Canada and Puerto Rico. During routine well-child visits to the
pediatrician, the parents of 3,745 children ages 2 to 11 were
questioned. Most of the study respondents were female.
In Utah, two pediatric clinics participated in the study: Willow
Creek Pediatrics in Draper and Utah Valley Pediatrics in American
Fork. Although no Utah-specific data was included in the study, about
one-fourth of the parents overall said they keep at least one gun at home.
The Utah Department of Health's Violence and Injury Prevention
Program says that on average, 220 Utahns die, 100 are hospitalized and
180 are treated in emergency departments for firearm injuries each
year. The numbers were based on VIPP statistics from 2001 to 2005.
However, the health department said 82 percent of those deaths
were suicides, 15 percent were homicides, 2 percent were undetermined
and 1 percent declared "unintentional."
Aposhian told the Deseret Morning News that education is vital
to firearms safety.
"Educate your child," Aposhian said. "My child goes to another
house, they stand a much better chance of surviving if a gun is left
out because they have been educated. 'Stop. Don't touch that thing.
Leave the area and go tell an adult.'"

Contributing: Lois M. Collins, Deseret Morning News

E-mail: [email protected]

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Black Puma,

Please don't lash out at physicians. I am a medical student and we are constantly taught that guns cause X amounts of damage every year. Now, my friend and I who are gun nuts and sit in the back row always go raise our hands in lecture and state the true statistics (where guns are actually #10 on the list, not number #2), but I think it is just that our professors are not gun savvy and fear what they do not understand.

Another point, while we were working on a physical diagnosis course we were tested on how we interviewed patients and elicited relevant information. Now while you might not believe that guns are relevant in the medical interview, you are mistaken. There are many gun related issues that affect one's health and the safety of the family members. We ask about household chemicals (if your physician didn't, he should) and whether you wear your seatbelt (another safety issue). If we don't ask, we get marked down. Please don't take offense at what I say, I agree that your gun ownership is your business, but please realize that physicians have faced law suits for not inquiring. Just because an issue is 'political', does not mean that cannot fall into more than just that category, it can be a health issue and political, i.e. abortion.

When your physician asks about your gun, just say, "That's not a safety issue in my home." That doesn't tell them jack, and then they are exempt because they asked.

I hope you find a physician that you can trust. Hopefully I can become such a physician in the future.

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I have never been in a situation where my doc/my kids doc asked about guns. I think Genetics Dave is right and they are just working thru a checklist. I'd probably look at it as an opportunity to educate, not a litmus test of their medical accumen.

Genetics Dave-

Please do not lump the medical school faculty together as a bunch of gun fearing ignoramuses. Some of us are more enlightened!

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201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
iampacking said:
...they are just working thru a checklist. ...
So this is a magic pill that gives them some moral or ethical authority?

If "just working through a checklist" grants immunity and/or authority, do you then agree that government school teachers are doing right when working through a checklist of questions for students inquring about firearms in the home? What kinds? Where they are kept? Or the political beliefs of their parents? Or whether their parents have criticized figures of authority?

Sorry, "I was just doing what I was told" is never an excuse to engage in furthering political ideologies approved by one's superiors. People "just going along to get along" have been justly convicted of gross criminal actions.

Guys, I'm not trying to beat up on our overworked practitioners. I'm reaching for the higher philosophical issues that transcend any particular profession.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GeneticsDave said:
Please don't lash out at physicians.
I'm not. Please don't get defensive. I work in biomedical research next to MD PhDs daily. I have family that are practitioners. I'm talking about the bigger issue.

You never directly addressed the ethicals issues of boundary violations, but you imply that the concept of ethical boundaries no longer exist because of fear of lawyers and/or socialist philosophy that because somebody might be injured by something, doctors magically obtain a moral authority over people with regard to that something.

This is what I'm interested in, especially when these types of "studies" are used by the anti-gunners for propoganda. Using doctors for further a political agenda doesn't register in my mind as "moral or ethical" either.

Some of the worst anti-gun junk science and flat-out fabrication comes from big-name medical schools, JAMA, NEJM, etc.

There are many gun related issues that affect one's health and the safety of the family members.
But how does this give a doctor any moral authority to question and/or lecture me on this? Where does this authority come from? Note that this is the focus of my ire, not doctors.

physicians have faced law suits for not inquiring
So I must roll over and play possum because a doctor's fear of a lawyer? By what authority?

If doctors have a fear of lawyers, it's their responsibility to pursue a solution, not pass the buck onto their patients.

The same invasion of lawyers is happening many other fields. Don't think that doctors are a special case. In my field of specialization (computer science) there are a good many people organized and fighting back successfully against the well-funded, high-powered lawyers. It's a constant fight and sometimes I don't know if we're winning or losing.

can be a health issue and political, i.e. abortion.

The problem is medicine is being used as a tool for advancing political ideology. This is nothing new. It's been around for a good, long time.

One technique is to claim is that anything they can label a "health" issue gives them a moral authority.

Again, I'm not trying to aim a flamethrower at the medical profession, only those that use it for political purposes. That hurts practitioners, clients, and society.

That piece in the Deseret News was another piece of propoganda. The "study" was not science.

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My son's pediatrician is on the board up at the U. He's never asked me about guns in my home. If he did, I'd politiely tell him that it's none of his business and move on to the next subject. I like the guy. He may be a little left wing, but that doesn't mean I won't keep him as our family pediatrician.

I do think that it's a political issue, and not a safety issue. We all know that medical malpractice kills more folks in this country than firearms. How do doctors respond to probing questions about their practices? Probably about as well as we respond to questions about our firearms.

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Interesting thread. I guess I've never met a doctor that was actually "lecturing" patients on the issue so it seems hypothetical to me. I'm more comfortable with my doctor being able to ask and talk to me about whatever they want and not having rules constraining what he can or cannot say. Political, religious, best fishing hole, whatever. I, then, am free to change doctors if I don't like the discussion. If the worst I can say about my doc is that he is a hoplophobe, he may be just the guy I want when my ticker stops ticking.

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This thread's a little old now, but I joined just recently, and am just now reading some of these threads.

Even though the last response was a few months ago, this topic is still current, and likely isn't going to go away for a long, long time.

Genetics Dave: You're going to have to educate me (and it appears the other responders) a little on the specific need as to why any doctor would have to probe into any patient's firearm ownership. Just to satisfy a square on a checklist isn't going to cut it.

If the doctor is implying that gun owners are less stable, or homes with guns in them are less safe, then perhaps it's time to find a new doctor.

I agree with an earlier poster, that if I were ever asked those questions in an interview with a doctor, I would respectfully decline to answer, and if pressed, the interview and my relationship with that doctor would be over. Doctors need patients just as badly as we need doctors - don't fool yourselves. (Beemers ain't free.)

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3,079 Posts
reerc said:
If the doctor is implying that gun owners are less stable, or homes with guns in them are less safe, then perhaps it's time to find a new doctor.
I agree that if the doctor is implying the aforementioned, it would be time to find a new doctor. I can't say that there aren't ignorant/uneducated/liberal doctors out there who would have you get all of your guns out of the house, but that is not the reasoning I use behind the question.

First of all, let me state that a doctor should take all aspects of your health into consideration. This includes not just asking about your health history or family history, but also about your daily practices; be it your occupation (hazards), seatbelt usage, smoke detectors, radon levels/testing and of course firearms.

While most of you who have been through firearms safety courses and are very familiar/comfortable with your firearms (as I am), such questioning may be viewed as offensive. Please do not take it this way (unless the Doctor is ignorant). As a physician, I want to know that my patients are doing as much as they possibly can to remain healthy, hopefully allowing them to remain out of the hospital.

I know many people who have got an idea in their head that they need a firearm for protection. They then go to the local gun/sporting goods store and buy whatever is on sale or what the gun clerk recommends. More often than we would like, people arm themselves without taking the proper time to familiarize themselves with the firearm or how to properly use and secure it. This is what the question is meant to address.

If a doctor asks you about your firearms, just tell him/her that you are well versed in firearms use and safety and that it shouldn't be a health risk factor for you or your family.

Physicians are typically well meaning and are just looking out for your safety and the safety of your family/friends. It would be petty to take offense at such a question when asked with sincere intent.

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I agree with your sentiments exactly! Considering doctors regularly guess at what a problem is, to the tune of about 80% wrong on diagnosis (from a recent study-at work and can't remember where that was , but I did read it--It may have been from the Dr. Mercola website), I wouldn't trust doctors too much on anything but the common cold, or a flu or broken bone. As for gun knowledge and information, I will take that here, from Mitch Vilos and a few other very knowledgeable individuals - John Lott is great too. :lol:

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3,725 Posts
Ishpeck said:
I would no more seek firearm advice from my doctor than I would seek medical advice from my gunsmith.
Best advice I've heard all day!!!


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5,591 Posts
My back doctor in Orem didn't ask intrusive questions about guns.

Whenever I would go in for an appointment, we would chat about guns and he'd ask me for my opinion or advice. He wound up buying a S&W model 625 (.45ACP in a revolver). He took my advice to get it fine-tuned as well and was very happy with the result.

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This article caught my eye from Fox News - it is related to the doctors and guns. I would be outraged too if some nosy, pompous doctor filed a police report on me!

The good news is that the author cites who some of the idiotic laws don't help reduce gun crimes & death and can make the situation worse.
Should your doctor ask your child if you own a gun?

Guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatric say "yes."

They warn that "Children are curious even if they’ve had some sort of firearm training. That’s why parents taking responsibility for safe gun storage is so essential.”

Doctors across the United States are being advised to interrogate children about mom and dad’s "bad" behavior.

It sounds simple enough, but the problem is that the advice ignores the benefits and exaggerates the costs of gun ownership.

Take a recent example from Massachusetts that was discussed in the Boston Herald:

"Debbie is a mom from Uxbridge who was in the examination room when the pediatrician asked her 5-year-old, 'Does Daddy own a gun?'

"When the little girl said yes, the doctor began grilling her and her mom about the number and type of guns, how they are stored, etc.

"If the incident had ended there, it would have merely been annoying.

"But when a friend in law enforcement let Debbie know that her doctor had filed a report with the police about her family’s (entirely legal) gun ownership, she got mad."

Perhaps it was only a matter of time. Accidental gun deaths involving children get national coverage. News programs stage experiments with 5 and 6-year-olds in a room filled with toys and a gun. Shocking pictures show the children picking up the gun and playing with it like a toy. For years, the Clinton administration would show public service ads with the voices or pictures of young children between the ages of 3 and 7 implying an epidemic of accidental gun deaths involving children.

With all this attention, the fear is understandable, but it is still irresponsible. Convincing patients not to own guns or to at least lock them up will cost more lives than it will save. It also gives a misleading impression of what poses the greatest dangers to children.

Accidental gun deaths among children are fortunately much rarer than most people believe. Consider the following numbers.

In 2003, for the United States, the Centers for Disease Control reports that 28 children under age 10 died from accidental shots. With some 90 million gun owners and about 40 million children under 10, it is hard to find any item as commonly owned in American homes, as potentially as lethal, that has as low of an accidental death rate.

These deaths also have little to do with "naturally curious" children shooting other children. From 1995 to 2001 only about nine of these accidental gun deaths each year involve a child under 10 shooting another child or themselves. Overwhelmingly, the shooters are adult males with long histories of alcoholism, arrests for violent crimes, automobile crashes, and suspended or revoked driver's licenses.

Even if gun locks can stop the few children who abuse a gun from doing so, gun locks cannot stop adults from firing their own gun. It makes a lot more sense for doctors to ask if "daddy" has a violent criminal record or a history of substance abuse, rather than ask if they own a gun.

Fear about guns also seems greatest among those who know the least about them.

For example, those unfamiliar with guns don’t realize that most young children simply couldn’t fire your typical semi-automatic pistol. Even the few who posses the strength to pull back the slide on the gun are unlikely to know that they must do that to put the bullet in the chamber or that they need to switch off the safety.

With so many greater dangers facing children everyday from common household items, it is not obvious why guns have been singled out. Here are some of the other ways that children under 10 died in 2004.

Over 1,400 children were killed by cars, almost 260 of those deaths were young pedestrians. Bicycle and space heater accidents take many times more children’s lives than guns. Over 90 drowned in bathtubs. The most recent yearly data available indicates that over 30 children under age 5 drowned in five-gallon plastic water buckets.

Yet, the real problem with this gun phobia is that without guns, victims are much more vulnerable to criminal attack. Guns are used defensively some 2 million times each year. Even though the police are extremely important in reducing crime, they simply can't be there all the time and virtually always arrive after the crime has been committed. Having a gun is by far the safest course of action when one is confronted by a criminal.

The cases where young children use guns to save their family’s lives rarely makes the news. Recent examples where children’s lives were clearly lost because guns were locked and inaccessible are ignored.

Recent research that I did examining juvenile accidental gun deaths for all U.S. states from 1977 to 1998, found that sixteen states mandating that guns be locked up had no impact. What did happen, however, was that criminals were emboldened to attack people in their homes and crimes were more successful; 300 more murders and 4,000 more rapes occurred each year in these states. Burglaries also rose dramatically. The evidence also indicates that states with the biggest increases in gun ownership have had the biggest drops in violent crime.

Asking patients about guns not only strains doctor patient relationships, it exaggerates the dangers and risks lives. Yet, in the end, possibly some good can come out of all this gun phobia. If your doctors ask you whether you own a gun, rather than sarcastically asking them if they own a space heater, why not offer to go out to a shooting range together and teach them about guns?

John Lott, Jr., is the author of Freedomnomics and a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland.

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heavykevy said:
That's good info - you can't argue with the statistics!
Sure you can! What year are the "statistics" from and what, exactly, are the sources. Without specific attribution, they're worthless. If you're going to bandy statistics, it helps to know that you are on firm ground - anything else is apt to lead to embarrassment.

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To chime in on the personal experience bit... 6 years in the military, meeting with "federal" doctors who are taught (not always, but often) to make mountains out of molehills... I was never once asked about guns in my home or recall ever hearing specific "safe gun" info during any of the required training sessions we had with them.

And, generally, federal sources are some of the strictest in these types of areas such as gun control.

Which leads me to believe that if a doctor asks you can brush it off but if they push the issue they are most likely anti-gun idiots whom you should promptly "fire".
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