I don’t “get” gun-free zones. Not to go all triple negative, but forcible disarmament of a given population is no guarantee that someone who doesn’t adhere to the law/security procedures won’t slip through the net. But it IS a guarantee that those who abide by the law/security procedures will be unarmed in the face of a deadly assault. Hospital doctors are reasonably intelligent people whose livelihoods depend on risk analysis. They can figure that out all on their own. Meanwhile, they encounter the dregs of society on a daily basis (including wounded gang-bangers with pissed-off enemies). So they’re forgiven (by me anyway) for feeling particularly motivated to carry a concealed weapon at their place of work. Which of course they can’t, as Roger Williams Hospital’s spokesman was quick to point out . . .

“While the physician had a permit to carry the firearm, the police were notified as is consistent with the hospital’s zero tolerance policy for firearms. The physician was escorted from the premises and placed on administrative leave. The safety of patients, visitors and staff is our top priority and we take any incidents of this type very seriously.”

Providence police say they did respond to the incident, but at this point there’s no criminal charges.

Funny how that works. Methinks I would not get the same consideration from The Renaissance City’s men in blue under the same circumstances.

More to the point, if the safety of the hospital’s patients, visitors and staff were the medical center’s top priority, they’d allow gun owners with concealed carry permits to defend their lives by exercising their constitutional rights.

BTW: some brainy docs examined the issues of guns in hospitals after a spate of shootings in 2010. sciencedaily.com summarized the findings on the New England Journal of Medicine article Violence in the Health Care Setting:

The rate of assault in all private-sector industries in the United States is two per 10,000, compared to eight per 10,000 at health care workplaces, note Gabor D. Kelen, M.D., and Christina L. Catlett, M.D., in a commentary to be published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

As a result, while hospital shootings get widespread media and other attention, security experts instead should focus their efforts on preventing common everyday assaults in hospitals and other health care facilities, says Kelen, professor and chair of the Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine.

By that logic, doctors should focus their attention on everyday illness rather than rare diseases or statistically irrelevant accidental injury. Just sayin’ . . .

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44 Responses to OMG! A Doctor! With a Gun! In a Hospital! OMG!

  1. I think I’ve had just about enough of being told that someone “cares about my safety” while at the same time that same someone removes my ability to defend myself with idiotic “gun-free” policies.

    • +1000

      “Providence police say they did respond to the incident, but at this point there’s no criminal charges”

      The Doc did not break law, he broke the hospital’s “policy”, hence, no criminal charges.

      As pointed out, there is no such thing as a “gun-free” zone, the criminal have them.

      • If you think that the Providence Police wouldn’t have given a “regular” concealed carry permit holder a very hard time, up to and including some seemingly unrelated charge (e.g., disturbing the peace), then you don’t know the Providence Police.

        • RF, I’m not sure about RI, but posted “no guns” signs on private property in Massachusetts have the weight of law. How’s that for a kick in the nuts.

      • “Providence police say they did respond to the incident, but at this point there’s no criminal charges.”

        [grammar police]

        …. at this point there ARE no criminal charges.

        [/grammar police]

        The spokesman needs to go back to school.
        🙂

  2. Are you saying that doctors don’t carry guns because they often work in gun-free zones? I don’t think that’s the reason. The reason is what you, yourself said. “Hospital doctors are reasonably intelligent people whose livelihoods depend on risk analysis.” They know better.

    • I know many Doctors who are gun enthusiasts and carry firearms. I don’t see them so much since I moved, but fortunately do bump into them at gun shows now and then.

      “reasonably intelligent”….You should try another tact. You are wrong FLAME DELETED

      • His elitist attitude shows through on this one. Those who don’t carry at work are “reasonably intelligent.”

    • Tell that to MY doctor, idiot. Not only does he carry, he KNOWS I CARRY, and absolutely supports my being “pro choice”, as well as well-informed, quite intelligent, and for damned sure prepared for the unexpected. As his staff consists mostly of attractive young women, he thanks me for being ready to defend the innocent, should any of YOUR fans (i.e., the criminal element) decide to attempt their nefarious doings.

      Having been involved in armed conflict(s) in the past, I DON’T SHOOT TO KILL; I SHOOT TO LIVE.

    • Awww isn’t that cute. It hates innocent people and can’t understand why they would want to defend themselves from poor misunderstood psychopaths who commit heinous acts of violence. Awww man, now it wet the carpet! Dangit! Honey, can we get rid of this thing? It’s killing my floors.

    • Mikeb, you are way off base, among healthcare workers the rate of carry is much higher. I know many more physicians and nurses, and Paramedics/EMT’s that carry when and wear legal then any other “Field” of employment. These are people who take responsibility for their own safety and don’t believe a bunch of unarmed “security guards” and police at minimum are several minuets away are what will keep them safe when a distraught person, or someone with evil in their heart disregard the “rules” prohibiting weapons in the building.

    • I know a LOT of doctors who carry. And, “I is one.” 😛 I dare say I’m “reasonably intelligent.”

  3. I guess they are trying to follow in the footsteps of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. There have been various docs and what not killed in their parking garage over the years. Can we get a hoorah for “gun-free” zones?

  4. The intellectual elite labor under the belief that because they haven’t been targeted for assault, anyone who carries a gun must be some Neanderthal stuck in a bubble where violence is commonplace.To such people being armed equates to vice at face value.What the hospital management must understand is that it is they who live in a bubble,not this physician.

  5. “The safety of patients, visitors and staff is our top priority…”
    —–
    And that, friends, is what is known as being STUNNINGLY full of sh!t. Here’s what he really meant:

    “The ability of our hospital to escape any liability for any incident which may occur on these premises is our top priority.”

    • +1
      It’s all about the liability where any business is concerned. Gun-free school zones are just wishful thinking by those unable to accept reality.

  6. When I’ve debated anti-gun people, after I’ve destroyed thier so called logic, they’ve always finally admitted that the reason they are scared of guns is they are afraid of they would do if they had gun in thier hand, it’s called transference. If they can’t trust themselves, obviously, no else can be trusted.

    So any time an anti-gun person looks at one of us, they look into the mirror of thier own homicidal rage at thier self imposed helplessness, fear of themselves and ultimately, thier own self- hatred.

  7. If safety of patients and employees was their primary concern, they’d encourage people to lawfully carry guns. At least the employees.

  8. What I truly don’t understand is why this is an issue at all. A few years ago when I switched PC doctors, the new one saw my G17. She asked, “Is that a 17 or a 22 or what?”

    After a moment of stunned silence (a friendly, inexpensive doctor that can ID guns from a glance?!) I told her it’s a G17. She said how that was okay, but she personally prefers the G19 since it fits her hand better.

    Now I always look forward to the yearly physical.

  9. That reminds me of a Rachel Maddow interview. Just after Dr. George Tiller’s murder, she went to various women’s health doctors in the area to interview them. One doctor open carries in her clinic, and encourages her staff to do the same. She told Maddow, “I support the second amendment and I will defend myself and my patients.” The look Maddow’s face was priceless.

    • And Tiller was killed in a church, thereby providing yet another data point for church carry. Or not going to church. Either one.

  10. Pistolero practitioners would put my mind at ease. I’ll trust a surgeon with my life when the scalpel cuts my flesh. Why shouldn’t I trust him with a Glock?

  11. My how times have changed. My father was a surgeon who did his internship and residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago–whic, for those who don’t know, is right next door to Cabrini Green, the most infamous and violent housing project in the city. He never carried, nor felt any reason to so so. As an ER surgeon, he and his compatriots were protected by the gang culture inside and outside the hospital–doctors, who would be patching up the victims of an altercation, were off limits to all the gangs. In his entire carreer, starting in the 60s, did he ever report an incident where a fellow surgeon was attacked for the drugs in the trunk of his car.

    • Here’s a fun fact . . .

      Lillian Potter founded Handgun Alert, later to become The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She did so after a thug shot and killed her husband outside Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI. He was a Doctor.

      Click here for an earlier reference on TTAG.

    • You’re wrong, so your whole story is suspect. Cook County Hospital is NOT next to Cabrini Green, the Green was on the north side. It was bounded by Division St to the north, Chicago Ave to the south, Larrabee St to the west and Orleans St to the east. It is NOWHERE NEAR Cook County Hospital which is south of I290 (the Eisenhower). Cook County Hospital, now the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, is 3 miles south west of Cabrini Green and next door to Rush Presbyterian St Lukes hospital (Now The Rush University Medical Center). If you are going to try and put one past us, I would suggest being more clever. You should know some of us have the misfortune to live here.

      • Well then, tell me what the project is that is due west of Cook County. There’re high rise projects just two blocks away, or at least there used to be; they might have knocked those down too. Passed them many times in my youth, on Sudays when we went to eat i the doctor’s cafeteria. And I was told that it was Cabrini Green. Maybe I was told wrong. But you can’t walk into Cook County without passing lines of gangbangers, then or now. I guess I’m lucky–I left Illinois almost 30 years ago.

  12. I don’t know if any of you guys read “Field & Stream” magazine oh say 25 years ago. One of the writers was from my neck of the woods (north NJ) and wrote often of he and his buddy’s hunting and fishing trips, including a Dr. Pierce. Now Doc Pierce had patched me up a couple of times and I liked sitting in his waiting room. There were original oil paintings on the walls of hunting scenes, occassionally there would be a couple of long gun cases in the corner of his office, and usually there was a tired old bird dog of some kind (usually a setter, but sometimes a black lab)sleeping in the corner of the waiting room. I never saw the Doc with a handgun, but did ask and receive an education on over and under 12 ga. shotguns. Hunting and shooting were his passion. I guess he was able to enjoy his passion more because he was in private practice, so it was his rules, not some faceless entity from up on high.

  13. I’ve been to this hospital several times and it’s about as close to being in a slum as you can get. The local punks would love to rob any of these doctors, but most of them have security escort them to their cars or they’d become patients in their own hospital.

    • When Joe? It used to be a nasty area but is has been cleaned up over the last few years. Daley the minor wanted his legacy to be getting rid of the slums, so he moved the poor folk to the suburbs and re-developed most of the city. There are still some bad areas, but the area around the medical centers is much better than it used to be.

  14. If the safety of the hospital’s patients, visitors and staff were the medical center’s top priority, they’d clean that f^cking dump.

    • The problem lies more so with the government “assisted” housing usually surrounding most hospitals. Call it a coincidence, but those are typically the highest crime areas in the entire municipality. It’s damned near impossible to clean these places up unfortunately. If you thought the Zimmerman thing is a race riot waiting to happen; just try and “clean up the hood.”

  15. I am an orthopedic surgeon. My hospitals are in “ok” parts of town. Not slums, not beverly hills. Although the OFFICIAL hospital policy is no concealed weapons, in the state I live in carrying in somewhere posted “no weapons” doesnt carry the weight of the law. If you are “made” and asked to leave and dont, you are tresspassing. i have had security at both places tell me they dont care if the docs carry but I can also tell you it would be a big PR fiasco should a doc ever have to use a firearm on someone in the hospital.

    • Not looking to out you, but the law you describe sounds remarkably similar to the law in my state vis a vis the bit about signs not carrying the weight of law. Trying to remember some hospitals near the big cities, but the only one that comes to mind is too high-profile to mention.

  16. I am an ER doc at a large “semi” urban ER. I would carry (concealed) if it were allowed. Gun stays locked in my car when i go in and back on my hip when i leave. I wonder if even that would cost me my job if it was known. I’m very discrete and consider my car my ” castle ” and therefore my own business. We have armed policemen 24/7 in the department and I would still carry if given the option.

    • I’m a 2nd yr student who wants to do EM, but very much worried about jeopardizing every fragile future relationship with hospitals and rotation preceptors. Concealed means concealed, but getting busted could mean the end of a career that hasn’t even started yet. So much risk.

      What about vests? Kevlar might’ve helped the spine surgeon @ Johns Hopkins, but they don’t stop knife attacks either. Having radio security guards and armed police 24/7 is helpful, and you seem to trust them. How quickly can they honestly respond?

  17. Yes indeed Bonedoc….it would give a whole new meaning to “You need a shot.” But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Survival trumps all other instincts.

  18. My clinic has a small sign at the front door with a handgun and the red circle/slash symbol. Under that it says no guns or weapons.

    So, when I visit the doctor, I have a belt holster, double magazine pouch, tac flashlight in a belt holder with everything in place except for the gun.

    Every time, the doctor stares at me like I’m some kind of nutcase (since I have to remove my concealment garment to get examined) but doesn’t say a word.
    Every time, I say “better pray you don’t get attacked by armed thugs looking for narcotics, eh?”

    Nobody cares.

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