Florida Judge Stays Doc Gun Gag Bill

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled today that a Florida law prohibiting doctors from discussing firearms with four out of five of their patients who chew gum (kidding about that bit) violates the First Amendment. Well of course it does. As we said when the bill first appeared, the Florida Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act is an assine piece of legislation that smacks of Big Brother. Never mind whether or not doctors should be asking patients about firearms safety. It’s none of the government’s damn business what doctors discuss with their patients. The NRA and Florida Republicans’ support for this lame-brained scheme shames us all. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

comments

  1. avatar NR says:

    I’m missing something. Why on earth would it ever occur to someone to draft that bit of legislation?

    1. avatar William says:

      I think that they felt the questions were intrusive. But then you always have the option of how you respond to doctor’s questions. You also have the option of finding another physician who sees more like you do concerning firearms.

      I must admit that my first thought when hearing about the bill was agreement. It took me a few moments to realize that legislating the first amendment to death is not the way to express my second amendment rights.

    2. avatar TL671 says:

      There are a couple of reasons this legislation was enacted.

      A) People were being denied care dependent upon there answer to the question.
      2) If obamacare is enacted, and your records are centralized it makes a rather easy list for the storm troopers to find your guns.

      Nothing in this law restrains the doctor from discussing firearms safety(even though few if any are actually qualified), it only stops them from asking directly about it, recording the answer, and predicate treatment on the answer.

  2. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    My doctor asks me every year if I own any guns, and I always tell him that I have several safes full of guns. I’ll be seeing him again in Dec. and unless his memory has improved, he’ll be asking if I own any guns and I’m going to give him the same answer I’ve been using for the last 15+ years.

  3. avatar NR says:

    So the idea is that the Doctor asks you if you own guns, suggesting that they may be a health risk? That’s hilarious.

    What if the patient is recovering from a gunshot wound? How does the doc get around that one? “Well, I’m not really supposed to talk about this, but suffice to say you’re going to need some physical therapy . . .”

  4. avatar Magoo says:

    I’ve never had a doctor ask me if I own firearms. I presume there may be factors that prompt the question — depression, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, etc.

    1. avatar Patrick B. says:

      I just gotta ask… why would hypertension make your list of factors?

      1. avatar IndyEric says:

        Racism? Trying to keep the black man down?

      2. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

        That is the point…something totally missed when one attempts to pick apart anything this guy says.

    2. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      I’d say firearms are a treatment for HTN, actually.

      I should do a study on that…

      1. avatar Patrick B. says:

        Nick – I have a BP cuff and can take it to the range with me, I’d like to know what the soothing affects of plinking are. Give me some testing scenarios! (I go to an indoor range with my handguns). Thanks!

    3. avatar Nemesis says:

      My blood pressure is 200/180, I MUST be a gun owner…

      1. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

        Seek medical help ASAP. Your pressure is too high and too close in number between your Systolic (top number) and your Diastolic (bottom number). Long term high blood pressure can result in several medical problems.

  5. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    You’d make a great doctor magoo because now I know that I’m depressed and this is causing my anxiety which keeps me awake all night and is giving me high blood pressure. Now I don’t need to go to a real doctor. Thank you Dr. magoo

  6. avatar Silver says:

    Another day, another head-scratching waste of government time.

  7. avatar dlw says:

    In my experience, it has been mainly pediatricians here in Florida that have asked whether or not I own guns. Both my wife and I answer with a, “none of your business.”

  8. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

    It’s sad that so few people truly understand the first amendment (hint: its about a lot more than just talking). But that’s the only excuse that I can see for not understanding the need for this law.

    Well, other than being anti-gun, that is…

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      The English have a term for this: using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. If Doctors are discriminating against gun owners, there are plenty of ways to counter the trend without inviting the government into the consulting room. Patients could lie. They could refuse to answer. They could seek another physician. They could sue. They could “out” the gun grabbing doctors. IF a legislative solution were required—and I believe in erring on the side of keeping the gov out of our lives—it could have been restricted to firearms data collection by physicians. But I believe HIPPA already has that covered.

      1. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

        For the record, this female afro-american judge issued a temporary injunction; the law has not been overturned or found unconstitutional.

        “If Doctors are discriminating against gun owners, there are plenty of ways to counter the trend without inviting the government into the consulting room. Patients could lie. They could refuse to answer. “

        Do you think a doctor should be allowed to refuse service if someone lies in response to this question, or refuses to answer?

        What happens when it becomes a mandatory home inspection, instead of just a question?

        And, should a medical association or medical licensing board be allowed to require physicians to ask these questions and to keep records? What would prevent them from doing so?

        “They could seek another physician.”

        Remove “physician” and insert “emergency room”, and think of the ramifications. Still gung-ho about giving doctors veto powers over the second amendment?

        And if all doctors follow these guidelines, how exactly does seeking another doctor solve the problem?

        “They could “out” the gun grabbing doctors.”

        You mean, they could “out” themselves as problematic patients, and be refused service everywhere? Or be added to a list of “risky” patients?

        “I believe in erring on the side of keeping the gov out of our lives—it could have been restricted to firearms data collection by physicians. But I believe HIPPA already has that covered.”

        I deal with HIPAA-compliance issues on a regular basis. There is nothing in HIPAA that could even begin to prevent the migration of patient gun ownership data to government entities.

        Remember, insurance companies have access to the medical data of their patients. And who is in charge of Medicare and Medicaid? (hint: rhymes with “bovernment”)

        RF, here is the text of the first amendment:

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        We must recognize that the right to do something goes hand in hand with the right to NOT do something. And the right to choose who we associate with is part of the first amendment’s protections (which should surprise no once, since it is also deemed to be broad enough to provide the “right” to abortion).

        A conversation is supposed to go both ways, but Florida doctors want to make it a one-way conversation that they control. And some people are willing to help them trample the second amendment to posture over a misinterpretation of the first amendment.

        Why should a citizen be forced to participate in a partisan, anti-rights activity in order to obtain medical care?

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Headline amended.

          Why should a citizen be forced to participate in a partisan, anti-rights activity in order to obtain medical care?

          Why should a doctor be muzzled by the government? And as far as I know, you can still choose your doctor in the U.S. More or less.

        2. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

          If a doctor was dispensing unsound medical advice, the government would involve itself. They do license doctors, after all.

          As to the issue of choosing a doctor: if every doctor adopts these nosy anti-gun tactics, there won’t be any choice.

          Since you are a member of the tribe, here is an analogy, from a statement that I once heard: “if Jewish people didn’t like the way Germany treated them, they should have just left.” The first time I heard that, I had to restrain myself from punching the Holocaust-denying inbred jerk who said it (and I am a lapsed Catholic). Sure, on the surface it sounds logical and reasonable. But under close scrutiny, the inherent bigotry of that statement becomes overpowering. It’s like saying “well that mugger is only stabbing that woman from down the street, so it’s not my problem”.

          Opposing the Florida law is an anti-gun position, RF. Switching doctors instead of stamping out this encroachment on our rights is Fudd behavior.

          Just say no to nosy doctors.

  9. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

    Well, well.

    http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=30782

    “In a proposed rule from Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal government is demanding insurance companies submit detailed health care information about their patients.[…]

    The HHS has proposed the federal government pursue one of three paths to obtain this sensitive information: a “centralized approach” in which insurers’ data go directly to Washington; an “intermediate state-level approach” in which insurers give the information to the 50 states; or a “distributed approach” in which health insurance companies crunch the numbers according to federal bureaucrat edict.In a proposed rule from Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal government is demanding insurance companies submit detailed health care information about their patients.[…]”

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