FL Gov. Scott to Sign Bill Muzzling Doctors on Gun Safety
Florida governor Rick Scott has a full plate of far right legislation to sign; the Tea Party is taking Florida as far back as they can, while they’ve got a dedicated loon in office.
In addition to drug testing welfare recipients, Scott is also expected to sign a bill that will prohibit doctors from asking patients if they own guns.
Not just any patients. Children. The law is aimed specifically at pediatricians, to prevent them from asking kids about their parents’ guns and how they’re stored.
The right wing says pediatricians have “a political agenda.”
For decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics has encouraged its members to ask questions about guns and how they’re stored, as part of well-child visits.
But Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association’s lobbyist in Tallahassee, says that’s not a pediatrician’s job.
“We take our children to pediatricians for medical care — not moral judgment, not privacy intrusions,” she says.
NRA lobbyists helped write a bill that largely bans health professionals from asking about guns. Hammer says she and other NRA members consider the questions an intrusion on their Second Amendment rights.
“This bill is about helping families who are complaining about being questioned about gun ownership, and the growing anti-gun political agenda being carried out in examination rooms by doctors and staffs,” Hammer says.
To equate a doctor’s concern for a patient’s health with a “political agenda” is the height of dishonest bad craziness.
As parents know, pediatricians ask a lot of questions. Dr. Louis St. Petery says it’s all part of what doctors call “anticipatory guidance” — teaching parents how to safeguard against accidental injuries. Pediatricians ask about bike helmets, seat belts and other concerns.
“If you have a pool, let’s talk about pool safety so we don’t have accidental drownings,” he says. “And if you have firearms, let’s talk about gun safety so that they’re stored properly — you know, the gun needs to be locked up, the ammunition stored separate from the gun, etc., so that children don’t have access to them.” …
“Many pediatricians will think twice about asking about firearms and discussing firearms safety,” he says. “What I think is going to happen is there’ll be more children injured and killed from firearms in the home that are not properly stored.”
Although Florida’s Legislature is the first to approve the measure, it’s also being considered in other states, including North Carolina and Alabama.