Doctors Should Tell The Truth About Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

The latest silliness from Mike Weisser comes to us from Huffington Post:

Last week I attended a conference on medicine and gun violence in which a cross-section of researchers and clinicians focused on how to figure out if patients are at risk for gun violence and how to intervene appropriately when such a clinical situation appears to exist. The problem raises medical, legal and ethical issues involving proper patient care, privacy, liability and other questions that the medical profession has been wrestling with for a long time but have really come home to roost this year.

Three states have now passed laws limiting the degree to which physicians can ask patients about guns and only a last-minute surge of votes from Democratic senators who will shortly be replaced by Republicans allowed a Surgeon General to be confirmed whose views are decidedly anti-gun.

Throughout the conference I kept listening to presentations which were based on an assumption about medicine and guns which I’m not sure is really true. And it goes like this: in order to effectively raise the issue of gun risk, the physician must first determine whether a patient is, indeed, a risk to himself or others if he has access to a gun. And if the physician determines that the patient is, in fact, a health risk if there’s a gun around, how do you determine the degree of gun access without infringing on his right to own a gun whether he’s a risk for gun violence or not?

The reason I’m not comfortable with this assumption is because I happen to believe one simple thing about guns, namely, that if there is a gun lying around, locked or unlocked, the risk of gun injury is simply much greater than if the gun doesn’t exist. To borrow a phrase from the late Elmore Leonard, “Don’t fool with guns in here, okay? The goddamn piece’s liable to go off.” Now researchers can parse all the data with a fine-tooth comb from today until next year, but the bottom line is exactly what Leonard says: if it’s around, sooner or later it’s going to go off.

We’ve covered this in detail before.  Guns don’t “go off.”  Someone puts their finger on the trigger and pulls it.  If it is pointed in an unsafe direction, someone may get harmed or killed.  It’s the same with automobiles or trucks.  I drove beside a truck the other day that was swerving to the point I thought the driver may be drunk.  Likely he was sleepy, which is as bad or worse than being drunk.  Or, we may substitute chemicals in the home, or cold temperatures, or overheating for the elderly if they lose or cannot afford air conditioning.

Guns are no different.  The problem is that the author sees the role of doctors the same as the role of any other profession – as agents of the state.  He sees life this way because he is a collectivist.  And he likely knows that guns don’t just “go off.”  He is using that phrase in order to evoke emotion and approbation for doctors who won’t behave as agents of the state.

You recall another society where doctors were agents of the state, don’t you?


Comments

  1. On December 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm, Billy Mullins said:

    I read that nitwit’s screed over at HuffPo including the author’s comments in reply to some REAL common sense. Here’s what I posted:

    Ah, excuse me. Noted novelist, Leonard, not withstanding, I have had firearms in my home for over 10 years now and not once has any of them “gone off” EVER! Oh I have fired each of them many times but in every instance in which a round discharged, it was only due to the direct, willful, intentional action of myself or my wife. And all of the firearms in my home, including my wife’s sweet little Sig .380 auto, are kept loaded and a round in the chamber at all times. Yup. from the wife’s Sig, to my two .40 cal semi-auto pistols (a Glock and an Uzi Eagle) to my 12 gau. pump shotgun, to my semi-auto .22 rifle and my main rifle, an FNAR semi-auto .308 Win/7.62X51 NATO, all are locked and loaded. If I need one of them (I keep either the Glock or the Uzi Eagle at my side at all times) they aren’t going to be much use to me if they aren’t loaded.

    Of course I learned proper respect for firearms from a Nam Vet Marine D.I. plus I am smart enough to naturally treat a tool that can kill me or mine with a great deal of respect.

    Words can harm or even kill. Don’t believe me? Ask the families of those poor sod NYPD cops if words can kill. “What do we want? DEAD COPS! When do we want it? NOW!!!” Would you support similar alleged “common sense” abridgments of free speech?

    While all Muslims are not terrorists, of late (last 20 odd years or so) it certainly seems like all terrorists have been professing Muslims. Given that salient fact, it would seem only prudent to apply some “common sense” to the problem of potential Muslim terrorists. Shouldn’t all Muslims have to register with the local and national governments?

  2. On December 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm, Flight Er Doc said:

    Most of us do tell the truth, and don’t BS about firearms.

  3. On December 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm, Anonymous said:

    Speaking of “agents of the state,” when a nation has socialized medicine, all physicians, all nurses, all medical professionals, become state employees–agents of the state. What happens to quaint Nineteenth-century ideas like “doctor-patient privilege?”

    You now know exactly why the Kenyan and his party want socialized medicine so badly. They want it like Sauron wanted the One Ring. As noted Marxist ideologue Noam Chomsky has said, “intent can be inferred from predictable outcome.”

  4. On December 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm, FiftycalTX said:

    The obamacare administrators put out a press release the other day that ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCYS would have “access” to YOUR medical records. You know, the electronic ones that are mandated by ocare. So, anything and I mean ANYTHING you tell a doctor can go straight to DOJ, FBI, IRS or any other agency with no notice to you. So, NO, you have no “privacy” left.

  5. On December 24, 2014 at 10:08 pm, ramrodd said:

    Mental health is the avenue to gun confiscation..
    politicians push gun control in a dishonest manner

    http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/who-is-mentally-ill/

    American Psychiatric Asso: Half of Americans are mentally ill..
    This is dangerous – Pre-WWII Eastern European style confiscation..

  6. On December 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm, pjb1 said:

    Any time a doctor asks you about guns, your next response should be, “You are no longer my doctor.”

  7. On December 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    Some would ask if you know where they can get ammo, and ask for suggestions on what to look for.

  8. On December 30, 2014 at 8:27 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    “Last week I attended a conference on medicine and gun violence in which a
    cross-section of researchers and clinicians focused on how to figure
    out if patients are at risk for gun violence and how to intervene
    appropriately when such a clinical situation appears to exist.” That sentence indicates that these people don’t know WTF they’re talking about. It presupposes “facts” regarding a subject and method they know little, or nothing, about.

    If the gun is violent, put it in jail.

    Should I tell people I lost a brother to car violence? I’d be laughed out of the room.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Guns and was published December 23rd, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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