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By Patriotic HIT Pharmacist

We dodged the bullet. It is now 2018 and we have seen a year of Second Amendment support from the President that would not have been the case if his opponent had won the election.

Still, eternal vigilance is required to safeguard our rights. So, I would like to alert the reader to a sinister threat in the realm of health data that will be with us regardless of who is in charge in politics.

What is this danger?

It is the misuse of health services and health data to infringe on our Second Amendment rights. Below are some examples that serve as a warning. Regrettably, I can offer only a few ideas on how to minimize the risks of information falling into the wrong hands.

Since so much of our lives is governed by electronic data and we have seen security beaches, it is obvious that electronic health data can also be vulnerable. Whether such data is misused inadvertently or maliciously, it does not matter if you are the victim of it. And there are a number of risks inherent in such electronic data collection and access.

Mistaken Identity

Originally, to make Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) work to share patient information across regions and health care systems, there was a proposal for a unique patient identifier. This met with resistance by patient advocacy and privacy proponents and was abandoned due to political pressure. So, positive patient identification is not close to perfect and mistakes will happen.

For instance, in our current National Instant Check System, we see thousands of initial denials via the required Form 4473 because the algorithm used includes name variants. The vast majority of these initial denials are converted to approvals upon more review.

Data Security Breaches

It is not hyperbole to say that probably every adult American has had their financial data or personal identity and information impacted by a security breach.

The lesson here is that anything that you reveal that is recorded can be compromised. If you do not want someone else to know about your personal firearms, then you have to be extremely sneaky. Some states require registration, and many non-compliant citizens have boldly refused. Electronic records that can compromise your firearms ownership privacy range from concealed carry licensure (obviously), credit card records, vehicle and smart phone GPS, apps, electronic banking, websites visited, magazine memberships, and gun advocacy group affiliations, to name a few. Of course, a suggestive internet moniker or pictures of you with your favorite hunting rifle on the web are dead giveaways. We certainly do like to share every little intimate thing on the social media sites and the National Security Administration is listening.

State-Sponsored Surveillance

We now live in a world where George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 with its almost omniscient Big Brother surveillance is pathetic compared to the capabilities of the NSA. Some of the catch phrases out there in health information technology include quality measure reporting (if you want to have any hope for government reimbursement) and Natural Language Processing for finding stuff in ugly unstructured data and now Big Data analysis for predictive modeling. The point is that sifting through mountains of data is now becoming possible and if you become a target of interest, you can be found.

Willful misuse of data

The real danger is not if your neighbor knows you own guns . . it’s if a malicious government knows about them. So you know, all of my firearms were lost in a tragic boating accident.

Now here is a lesson from history. Just before World War 2, the failing German government required registration of firearms to deter subversive elements. It back-fired and when Adolf Hitler rose to power shortly thereafter, the registration lists proved useful in disarming Germans.

That could never happen here in the United States, though, could it? Well, our government and the Supreme Court had no problem with locking up United States citizens in internment camps simply because of their ancestry. We can thank the US Census Bureau for that travesty. If WW2 had gone badly for the Allies, it is not a stretch to see our internment camps becoming more like concentration camps.

We have just experienced a weaponized Internal Revenue Service punishing those whose political views do not comport with a prior administration and the abuse of the simple assignment of fiduciary responsibility used as a means to deny them the right to keep and bear arms. Veterans seeking psychological support have been harassed. Our Founding Fathers would have been shooting at this point.

So, when a health professional asks about your firearms ownership, it might be best to lie. Simply refusing to answer the questions, often supported by hoplophobic liberal health professional groups, may still be a red flag. Anything about you in the Electronic Health Record could be used against you despite the Health Insurance Patient Protection Act safeguards.


This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.

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  1. If you Voted for Trump your Liberal Doctor already believes you are insane and do not need to have access to weapons or have them left within your possession.

    • “Your Liberal Doctor already believes you do not need to have access to weapons”

  2. None of our data is secure unless you’ve secured it yourself and you know what you are doing. Even then it’s not secure because so many institutions are holding your data in their bullshit cyber sieve and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

    Given the halfassery I’ve seen among data and security professionals in the public and private sectors, in corporations and government assume all data is leaking everywhere AND none of it is necessarily accurate.

    For a few years now we’ve been sitting at a crossroads. Either we admit the importance of an inter-connected world driven by data and take REAL and MEANINGFUL measures to secure it or we accept that none of it means shit to anybody. Not us as individuals. Not to our doctors. Not to our banks. Not to our government. Because without it truly being locked down it doesn’t mean shit and nobody seems willing to lock it down because “it’s too hard.”

    • Shire-Man…….Numerous times I have had peoples lab results and other private health information faxed to my home office by mistake. Doctors offices and hospitals have done this. I ran it all thru the shredder.

  3. Maybe people’s identities need to have a special tag for “Unarmed American”… it’s important to know who lacks the ability or is too irresponsible to defend themselves.

  4. I know that I, as a physician (internist), don’t have the time to do all the extra bullshit quality measures that they want us to do, and properly take care of patients. I never, ever ask about anything not directly health related (unless we are chit-chatting) and never record anything I think could be used against someone (guns, marijuana usage, etc). No data is ever secure. Ever. I laugh at the limited knowledge of security out IT and corporate security specialists have. Anybody come drop a rubber ducky in any of our computers, that are in each of our rooms, and the game would be over.

  5. “It is not hyperbole to say that probably every adult American has had their financial data or personal identity and information impacted by a security breach.”

    If it’s digital, consider it leaked or stolen.

    Worse, imagine a ‘gun safety’ law being passed by a Leftist that makes being prescribed an anti-depressant or other mood-altering drug having your name on the NICS prohibited list.

    Ritalin? Sorry, can’t chance it. No guns for you.

    And thanks to ‘gun safety’ laws like ‘mandatory universal background checks’, they know the serial number of the gun you must surrender immediately. Lost it in a tragic boating accident? You’re in violation of not reporting them lost or stolen, and the penalty for not reporting it is a mandatory 5 years in prison…

    • They would prosecute that, but not a career criminal trying to buy guns or a straw sale. The government knows it’s enemies.

  6. This is perhaps one of the most important fronts in fighting totalitarianism, and why gun ownership is more important than ever. The government databasing people is likely one of the biggest dangers our republic has ever really faced.

  7. You lost me at “support from Trump” doc. Where is any real support? I’m waiting…

    • I have to agree with lack of real support from Trump and the Republicans. So far, we hear words with no action on 2A. Where is reciprocity?

  8. My doctor already knows about my carry gun and I really could care less. I keep it, and two spare magazines ready at all times. The NSA, and possibly even a low grade detective could easily determine me to be a gun owner. It’s a non issue, really. Now, could they try and confiscate my guns, sure. But that’s why I have other guns, simple ones that can be hidden and used discreetly. It also helps that nobody knows I have them. Besides, when I visit the doctor, I have more pressing problems than worrying about who knows what guns I own. I’m more concerned about the reason I’m at the doctor’s office in the first place.

  9. Once healthcare becomes a “right” (a basic premise of socialized medicine) the government has authority to protect that “right”. Doing so requires that individual behavior be monitored so as to not permit abuse of the healthcare system (the less risky behavior engaged by individuals, the less risk that healthcare will be abused or misused. In the name of protecting your “right” to healthcare, the monitoring the government does in protection of your “right” can be used to regulate your behavior. Once healthcare becomes a “right”, and government becomes the only provider, every facet of life becomes a health issue.

  10. The only positive is there really are so many guns in private hands they can’t even begin to collect all of them or even a small percentage.
    Only if we bring them to the curb and I don’t see that happening.

    • Guns can be regulated into uselessness without confiscation. Use your imagination: you get to keep your guns, but regulations make it impossible to use them outside your home (unless the militia is called up by the state, or central committee)

    • I disagree with the regulation out of existence. If the feds and state cannot see a way to manage between 20-30 million illegals they’ll be overwhelmed at the prospect of 100 million gun owners. And our population is so mobile today it’d be impossible for the fed’s woefully ancient and inadequate computer system to keep up with people moving even if they only moved across town.

      To the original posting- I’d just never answer any medical person as to whether or not I owned firearms- it’s as simple as that. Sure, some of you can make a big deal and have a fit like a little 5 year old girl but what are they going to do if you say “I decline to answer that question”? Withhold medical care? I doubt it. Decline and move on, don’t try to lecture doctors and medicos on some dumb survey they’ve probably been forced to administer, it’s like trying to teach a pig to sing, and we’ve got a LOT of those “voice teachers” on TTAG. Again, wrong is wrong, I get it, but is this the battle you choose to die in if all you have to do is decline to answer???

      Off topic but still on electronic data- I have to believe that any firearms purchased in most states since 1993 are still recorded on someone’s computer due to the initial NICS check. Who’s dumping the data when storage is cheap? This is yet another reason all states should adopt what Iowa has: Present a permit to acquire (WP4) or a concealed carry permit (WP2) and there is no NICS check upon purchasing a new firearm. It is redundant and a waste of government time/money when one can prove he/she/it has already been vetted by the local gendarmes. Again, I KNOW it’s a permit and that’s not in the Constitution, I get it. The question is: which is easier at this time? We’ll (well, some of us) always work for better and relaxed laws and make the gov’t agencies prove our guilt (we shouldn’t be qualified to own) rather than the other way around. (Any of you name that Amendment?) But for now, line of least resistance (boy-there’s a loaded word around here…) is pretty simple while regrouping.

  11. Hillosh_t pushed for a national medical records database to do global communism and fall in line with the UN’s “Sustainability Agenda[s]” that demand it.

    General Electric won the gov’t contract AND BUILT AND RUNS THE MF.

    You can make it pay in lots of little negative ways, but Hillary, and Obama are going to get indicted. Push your reps to break up GE. F with their boards snd shareholders at will.

  12. I am a health care professional and have treated numerous trauma cases (injuries involving a bullet, knife, blunt object, automobile, construction, sports and yes, even a toilet seat) over 3 decades. Yet, I have never found a legitimate medical reason to inquire about gun ownership. Yes, I have prohibited some one from carrying into an operating room before they are to have general or intravenous anesthesia.

  13. I for one have had enough of these Security Beaches. The stringent allotments of sun tan lotion are ridiculous.

    Seriously though, I have been concerned about this issue for some time now. My family doctor is well aware of my firearm interests. Hell, he asked me for suggestions on CCW classes. Just because I’ve been his patient since 1996 or so doesn’t make me feel easier after reading this article. The anti gun mentality is never ceasing in ways to subvert our rights it seems. No other medical professional I’ve ever talked with has even mentioned firearms with me…Except the one who took the .357 mag shrapnel out of my arm. (smile)

  14. Last year my doctor asked if I have a smoke detector in my home. He has yet to ask about guns. But if he ever does I’ll remind him that the question is irrelevant to my physical condition. Be a physician not a nanny, just treat my ailments.

    • “Last year my doctor asked if I have a smoke detector in my home. He has yet to ask about guns. But if he ever does I’ll remind him that the question is irrelevant to my physical condition.”

      Everything in your life, every activity can affect your health. A doctor is bound by ethics to monitor you for any behavior that might require medical attention, or stress “the system”.

      “First, make sure your patient cannot do harm to themselves or anyone else.” Says so, right there in the Hippopotamus oath.

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