doctor gun Massachusetts gun doctor billpolicies that don't work control
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Massachusetts state Representative Jon Santiago has filed a bill to require doctors to screen all patients for firearms in their homes and to counsel them on safety. It’s Bill H.2005: An Act to prevent gun violence:

Section 237. The director shall establish a program for firearm screening and counseling. Such program shall systematically screen all patients for the presence of firearms in the home. The director shall, after consultation with recognized professional medical groups and such other sources as the director deems appropriate, promulgate regulations establishing (1) the means by which and the intervals at which patients shall be screened for the presence of firearms in the home and (2) guidelines for safety counseling for individuals that screen positive for the presence of firearms in the home.

I can’t imagine that is going to pass constitutional muster. Florida attempted the opposite a few years ago, forbidding doctors to ask their patients about firearms. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck that law down as infringing on the doctors’ First Amendment free speech rights.

I see compelling doctors (or anyone else) to engage in a particular kind of speech to be even more of a violation. In Florida, doctors were just barred, until the law was overturned, from supporting a personal view in their professional dealings. Massachusetts would force doctors to support gun control regardless of their opinions.

It’s true that the Supreme Court has allowed “compelled speech” in some cases. An excellent example would be Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association, a dispute over forcing a beef company to financially support an advertising campaign for the beef industry. Stripped to its basics, the Court ruled that Johanns had to support speech promoting its own industry.

On the other hand, in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, the Court overturned part of a California law that was intended to force pro-life “pregnancy centers” to provide pro-abortion information to all their clients. The Court found that compelled speech was unconstitutional.

So we have assorted precedents that:

  1. You can’t restrict doctors from promoting their own views.
  2. You can require businesses to support their own industry.
  3. You can’t require businesses to promote a viewing decidedly not their own.

I don’t think Massachusetts can compel doctors to support gun control no matter their personal views, and likely on a subject far outside of their area of expertise. I think that should left to individual doctors to decide.

And then it should be left to their individual patients to decide if their doctor has committed a major boundary violation and they need to file a complaint with the Board of Registration in Medicine.

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      • If this should some how pass then I believe the doctor should have to under penalty of imprisonment be required to disclose to their patient each time they visit the number of times they have been sued for malpractice, the reason and the outcome. Also the number of people under their care that die , what the cause was. Give ratios compared to number of patients.

        That would likely save more people than some question about guns.

        • This…. You are right. A doctors past issues, lawsuits, patient deaths, etc. are far more relevant. Do not stop with doctors, include hospitals too.

        • That would certainly make more sense than asking patients about their guns. Millions of gun owners without a single death. How many doctors can say that? How many nurses have “covered” for the doctors? I’ve heard of a few. How many cops have “covered” for fellow cops. How many social workers have “covered” for fellow workers, when a kid dies?

        • Countering one bullshit argument with another one is just wasting more time.

          Serious malpractice occurs but it’s pretty rare. What should be happening is that docs guilty of actual, serious negligence should simply lose their license to practice medicine and be publicly blacklisted.

          Our medical system is fucked up enough from government intrusion. We don’t need more tomfuckery.

    • When asked questions like this is ask “how many people under your care have died from medical errors and mistakes made here”. The number of gun deaths, non suicide, are about 11,000 per year and a large percent are gang related (illegal gun owners). The number of deaths per year due to medical errors and mistakes run at about 440,000 per year. Similar numbers have been generated from multiple sources. One study put this number at 17% of all deaths every year and with 2,600,000 deaths/year in America that number is 442,000. See what these people have to say at that point. Most people don’t realize that over 7,000 people die in America everyday especially when our news medias only use the death of 100-200 individuals per day as news worthy.

      • Yet more people die from fucking themselves up with bad diet and poor exercise resulting in obesity that leads to heart problems, cancer, diabetes, stroke, organ failure, pulmonary issues and a shitload of other preventable ailments. They flatly refuse to listen to anyone about it and then cry like little girls when the bill for their idiocy comes due.

        I might feel sympathy over this if I didn’t see this shit literally every time I see my endocrinologist. Some gargantuan fat fuck crying, literally fucking crying, about how they’re about to lose their extremity due to the gaping infection in their body that’s taped of and got a drainage tube in it. Yeah, well that’s what happens when you’re fucking stupid.

        And of course they blame the doctors. Cause you know, running a double digit A1C for a decade is something the doc told them was “A-OK”.

  1. I’m pretty sure I’d be compelled to file a complain using the red flag laws and inform local law enforcement that the doctor seems obsessed with guns. I’m extremely worried about his state of mind, he might be thinking of hurting himself or others.

    • That would depend on whether MA.’s law gives strangers standing to seek such an order. Most laws are limited to close family relatives. And all that the doctor would have to do is show up with a copy of or citation to the law that compelled him to ask those questions in order to defeat the application. I don’t think the judges would be too pleased with your shenanigans.

      • But it will only take 1 doctor in Ma (no matter how rare it is there will be 1) who objects and files suit and that will be the end of this nonsense.

    • “None of your business. Can we please invest our limited time in the medical conditions I have, and the new questions and issues I have brought with me.”

    • “Well, since you’re spending our time deaing with the state govmt’s agenda, I assume they’re paying you for this. BTW, where should I send the bill for my time?”

    • I think it easier to just say “No.” That should take care of the problem, even if you’ve been bragging about the eight-point buck you tagged the prior week. The former will end up in the record, the latter, not so much.

      • Correct. That’s what I did. No need to say anymore. If you do, you’ll just get them mad, then it’s in your chart….you know, that “permanent record” you heard about in grade school. It’s real.

      • We can deny firearms ownership, but that only makes gun grabbers happier. Now they will have solid poll numbers showing that, save for some .0001% of population, no one owns any guns anymore. Therefore it is not a big deal to infringe on the 2A rights of those few old white kooks, or even get rid of that pesky 2A altogether.

        That’s not a way to make gun ownership viewed as normal and mainstream.

      • And, be careful if you use the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. During an intake prior to an appointment the question is often asked if there are any firearms in your home. THIS from a Federal agency. Keep in mind that the VA’s computers talk to the IRS’s and the SSA’s computers. Lord only knows what other government agency computers are being “talked” to. Really. Be careful.

    • They are Leftists, they are obsessed with shoving their shit down your throat “For your own good”…

      • Wow, there are some smart people on here, caught me. However the point is moot because I really do go hunting with both my doctors and taught on of his children firearm safety and marksmanship. It has to do where I live, real people. so if my doctor asked me about firearms, it’s usually which one I am taking on the next hunt. Life’s great here!

  2. So glad I don’t live in Mass. It’s none of their business and has nothing to do with the office visit. It violates my right to privacy. I can see a lot of people living in Mass going across state lines to find another doctor and put doctors in Mass out of business.

  3. Many years ago my son’s pediatrician asked me if I owned firearms. Not thinking I answered in the affirmative. After all, firearms are a frequent topic of coversation where I live. Even among strangers. He then began to lecture me on what I should and should not do. I stopped him right there. I told him that I was paid to carry a firearm and that I had been a LE firearms instructor for years. Then I turned the tables on him. I asked him about his firearms experience. He admitted he had none. Then I asked, “What do you think you could possibly tell me?” The subject never came up again.

    • I know my doctor pretty well and I don’t think we’d ever have an issue vis-à-vis firearms ownership but, if a doctor did ask me about it I would take a similar approach. Before I answered yes or no I’d ask him/her to list their qualifications as a firearms safety expert. If said doctor had none, I’d recommend some resources for them to study before discussing the subject again.

    • I’m not a firearms instructor, but I’m pretty confident that I have far more training and experience with firearms than my own doc (I live in quite a lefty area of the country). If she ever asks about guns, my response will be to ask right back: “do YOU own any?” After all, if she thinks my guns are her business, then I guess hers ought to be my business too. If the answer is yes, maybe we can have a meaningful chat. Otherwise, she has nothing of use to tell me on about particular topic, and I’ll be happy to inform her so.

      I might also try to cough on her.

    • My PCP is a middle aged Indian lady who would probably prefer to give me a bonus prostate exam than talk to me about my guns.

    • My wife still reminds me of the time where my sleep deprived self snap answered our at the time newborn’s pediatrician, “That’s none of your f*cking business” to the gun question. Never had to hear them ask again.

    • So much this! Tell her/him about the antiaircraft guns and missiles and machine guns you bought at the gun show “because there’s no background checks!!! HaHaHaHaHa!!” and if they seem alarmed tell him/her they’re fired because they’re an idiot.

  4. Doctors ask the mandated questions. 100% of people who don’t own guns answer. 99% of gun owners decline to answer. Medical records give no accurate indication of gun ownership. Doctors are forever stuck asking pointless questions with no valid purpose served. Seems like the doctors suffer the most.

  5. There are some doctors that support the 2A, own and shoot firearms in all possible disciplines of firearms use. The other much larger percentage of doctors only know what’s provided by the anti gun media giants and the non vetted junk science “studies” that flow uncontested by medical peers from the multiple JAMA Network of publications. Futhermore, these doctors lack all hands on knowledge of firearms, their operation and safe handling for all the various designs and operating systems: how can they “counsel” on issues hey know nothing about? Are they going to address the use of eye and hearing protection, washing hands and face after shooting and lead exposure, NO: you won’t fing “REAL”health concers in the Bill/Law. This only leaves a “firearms are dangerous, firearms can injure or kill you or family members, you must eliminate this “Health Risk”.

    Gun owners do not need counseling from those doctors that know liss than the gun owner and only want to push an anti gun agenda.

    Will doctors data entry of “gun owner” find its way into a National medical or Insurance data base and allow gun owner identification or insurance rate increases?

    Having gone through the Florida “Doc vs Glocks” B.S. and its been several years since the final decision: I have never been asked about gun ownership. If a State or Feds make the issue a mandatory doctor inquiry, the ANSWER IS: NO, I DON’T OWN FIREARMS. Its none of their busines! Fourth Ammendment protections apply to your personal information/property and are there to prevent meddling inquiries from Feds, State or doctors.

    • From what I’ve read, it isn’t a larger percentage of lefty doctors versus gun friendly doctors, it’s just that the conservative doctors got fed up with the leftist bent of these medial associations and quit. Same thing with the ABA. These organizations are not reflective of the community of doctors out there. And JAMA has gotten so rotten at the core that not one of its articles on guns is statistically trustworthy, and its editors do not tolerate any contrary opinions. So much for educating the professional class for whom it allegedly writes.

  6. “Screen positive”? Really? They make it sound like a disease. “Means and interval”? The hell’s that supposed to mean? Monthly inspection?

    Okay, I’ll play along. Since refusing to answer will go down as an implied “yes”, I’d simply lie and say no.

  7. If the doctor asks me if I have guns, I’ll ask him if he’s ever had sexual thoughts about a minor under the age of twelve. End of conversation.

  8. They’d love my cardiologist, about as pro-A2 as one can be. Who the blankety-blank says doctors are qualified to conduct such counseling? Who will teach THEM the ins and outs, the legal ramifications or practical considerations regarding safe usage and storage?

  9. What an incredible waste of tax dollars, this is just more work that politicians do to look busy. It’s not illegal to lie to a doctor. It is illegal to lie during the course of a criminal investigation, but that’s why we have the fifth amendment and the demand for a lawyer prior to questioning. So, you’re perfectly within your rights to just say no.

  10. “Okay, Doc, I’m happy to talk about firearms. But first, let me tell you how to practice medicine, since they way you’re doing it now kills 250,000 Americans each year.”

    • My Rheumatologist here in Wesley Chapel is such a great guy. He not only treats me but he seems bound and determined to cure me. Best Dr ever!. I have no idea if he is a gun guy but I know there’s no way he’d ever ask me something like this.

  11. Both the Left and the Right violate the rights of the people. The Tyrannical and Manacle Supreme Court recently refused to hear the case of the totally unconstitutional law that now requires a doctor to force a woman to watch a video of her early pregnancy. This of course is right out of Nazi Germany. So now the Far Right are going to scream about this proposed new Massachusetts law. How are they different? There is no difference both laws are a blatant violation of the right to privacy but can you depend on the Criminal Judges to rule according to Constitutional rights. Of course not the Constitution is a damn joke and always has been.

    • “…but can you depend on the Criminal Judges to rule according to Constitutional rights….”

      I wouldn’t normally answer someone like you but out of curiosity how would you prefer judges rule if not by one’s constitutional rights? Seriously.

      • Wake up the corrupt courts have always voted either according to public opinion or according to party lines. There corrupt history is there if you would bother to read it.

        Ever hear of Dred Scott born in the U.S. who had no rights according to the corrupt Court who voted with the public opinion of the time.

        Ever hear of all the laws that prevented interracial marriage. Again according to public opinion and blessed by the corrupt courts.

        Ever hear of laws that put Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII again for public opinion and blessed by the corrupt courts.

        Every hear of the latest Supreme Court ruling that lets the Republicans shut down poling places in poor districts that forces them to drive for miles to vote. That’s called voter suppression and the current corrupt Supreme Court voted along party lines trashing the peoples constitutional rights.

        And since this is a gun forum remember the corrupt court power mad bastards have shit on the Second Amendment and have blessed every gun ban and magazine confiscation in the last 2 years. Surely you are aware of this or are you?????

        I could go on and on but I am sure any sane person can see the courts are no good low down liars, charlatans, frauds and they shit on the Constitution whenever it suits there corrupt political agenda.

        • You are 1000% correct on this, whether by accident or intentionally. And don’t forget, law was not intended to be written by the courts, as it is today.

  12. My wife’s physician’s assistant asked her during an exam “Do you feel safe in your hone?” She told the leftist busybody well yes, when I go to sleep at night there are five Rhodesian ridgebacks at the foot of my bed. Her mouth opened up and that was the end of it.

    • Last year (nearly exactly one year, actually) as I was flat on my back in the local hospital’s ER with a crushed ankle, a woman approached me with a clipboard and started asking me all kinds of odd questions, like “Do you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself?”

      So I ask her who she was and why are you asking me this stuff, and she replied she’s s social worker. WTF?

      • Did she ask you about your immunization status? Up to date on your shots? Because as irrelevant to your history as that might be, if you were A minor they would have asked you that. And they will begin doing so with adults as they push the mandatory vaccine to the next level. Hope you you have as much fun rolling up your sleeve for untested pharmaceuticals as you do crying like a baby on this forum when you don’t get your way.

      • Turn it around on them.

        “Umm, I’m sorry I don’t know how to address you… Is it miss? I’m so sorry if it’s not. These questions are making me feel very uncomfortable. Are you hitting on me? If I refuse to answer will there be consequences to my health care? What’s your supervisor’s name please?”

        • Every time I get it, I circle all the zeros and hand back the paper. Last time they handed it to me, the nurse realized what I was going to do and she took it from me, saying that she’ll save that bunch of papers for the next person, she said that she heard about me.

  13. This makes perfect sense in a world where medical malpractice kills more people every year than automobile accidents.

    Do you own any firearms Mr. Case?
    Not one.

    • Excellent comment. You wouldn’t be lying (unless you really only owned one). This is the comeback that all gun owners should use.

  14. This is 100% just another virtue signalling exercise . . . .

    Such a law is extremely unlikely to pass constitutional muster (especially in the First Circuit), and indeed I doubt it will even be passed by the legislature. (The medical community usually has good lobbiests, and gets real testy when the politicians try and tell them what they should be doing with their patients. I suspect that even the hardcore antigun MD’s may be a bit uneasy about setting such a precedent.)

    But even if it does pass, there’s a real simple practical answer — either refuse to answer or just tell the Doc “no, I don’t have any guns right now.” It’s not like there is any legal sanction for not telling the truth here.

  15. Quote: “The Tyrannical and Manacle Supreme Court recently refused to hear the case of the totally unconstitutional law that now requires a doctor to force a woman to watch a video of her early pregnancy. This of course is right out of Nazi Germany. ”

    …..forcing someone to watch a video…..right out of Nazi Germany….

    I must have missed that day in history class. I didn’t know the Nazis were that vicious, forcing someone to watch a video.

    Another “progressive” conflating something conservatives do with Nazis.

    Since my relatives fought against the Nazis I am triggered by this accusation. I guess I must go find a safe place.

    • Nazis forcing someone to watch a video? They must have been more technically advanced than V2 rockets and jet planes would indicate.

  16. Since doctors kill more people than firearms can we require that doctors must disclose to their patients or potential patients the numbers of people that die while under their care and the number of times they have been sued for malpractice? maybe even give ratios to the number of patients they have.

  17. If my doctor wants to counsel me on gun ownership, she’d better be prepared to come with me to the range and prove she’s knows what she is talking about.

  18. As MA is also considering 2 Bills that would eliminate the remaining vaccine exemptions for school kids. …leftist gun grabbers and mandatory vaccine policies….communist wedding bills are playing.

      • Oh, that? Dude! It’s far better to have kids die horribly in droves from completely preventable childhood diseases than to take the virtually non-existent, and completely non-proven, wild-ass infinitesimal chance of one of them being able to memorize the Manhattan phone directory and win at Blackjack.

        Of course, there are those unfortunate few that, after vaccination, are afflicted with a very specific form of Autism, one that compels them to insert gratuitous, non-sequitur, and completely off-topic comments about vaccination into any conceivable conversation on any conceivable subject.


      • Samoa is a combination of Medical mistreatment and nutritional negligence. Measles killing 1 in 60 exists nowhere else ever I the history of measles infections. Until now. Suddenly. Hmmm…….

  19. The AMA gonna adopt the “our members shouldn’t be asked to perform extra duties” argument the teachers unions always do? Or because this time it works toward pushing the right agenda it’s okay.

  20. I.E. , previous comment. People close to border states might to think about traveling a little. Whole deal sounds fairly illegal to me, but that was back when the bill of rights was pertinent.

  21. I HAVE been asked. At the time I had none. Now I might. I get Medicare and I’m sure I’ll get 20 questions…will I lie? Not today .gov!😄

  22. I note, in the opening text, reference to” the director”. Director of what, I wonder, and also how is it that whomever it is that occupies this exulted position obtained it.

  23. What you should do when asked questions like this is ask “how many people under your care have died from medical errors and mistakes made here”. The number of gun deaths, non suicide, are about 11,000 per year and a large percent are gang related (illegal gun owners). The number of deaths per year due to medical errors and mistakes run at about 440,000 per year. Similar numbers have been generated from multiple sources. One study put this number at 17% of all deaths every year and with 2,600,000 deaths/year in America that number is 442,000. See what these people have to say at that point. Most people don’t realize that over 7,000 people die in America everyday especially when our news medias only use the death of 100-200 individuals per day as news worthy.

    • abortions eliminate even more…600 – 800,000 per year…in SLOW years, no less…
      although they change the definition of life for that particular procedure
      don’t get me wrong, I am for population control
      just putting the number out there for perspective and comparison

    • We know medical care is the 3rd leading cause of death in the USA, and that’s using the reported numbers. If all medical deaths were reported they would very likely be the primary cause of death in this country. Yet this same profession helps the largest lobby in the country push to eliminate your your rights to refuse their products, products that have never been safety tested and products that you cannot sue the manufacturer when the product causes injury or death.

  24. And gun owners should say…that’s none of your business…
    or maybe ask how the doctor voted…or if they believe there are more than 2 genders…

  25. As noted above, Drs already ask in a form you fill out when you first see a Dr. about any firearms.
    Also note that for a number of reasons you have to be careful about a lot of what you tell Drs. these days. They are now adjunct Federal Agents. (or they could be soon considered such) as they are under the regulation of the Gov’t and paid by the Gov’t and told what they can and cannot do or say to patients. The next step is utilizing them for a number of data gathering schemes the Gov’t would like to put into effect. For the citizens safety of course.

    So we’re all going to have to learn to lie to our Drs. It’s surprisingly hard for some of us maybe others not so much. And you have to be careful you don’t tell them something as a lie that can get you in trouble or affect your treatment.

    Once again folks; anytime you let the government in on your life, NO ONE gains by their entry. NO ONE. Not even them.

  26. Doc, Do you have any guns in your house?
    Me, what the hell do you need a gun for? Do I need to call the authorities and tell them I’m worried about you?

  27. I’d just tell any medical professional who asked me about anything outside of what I consider medical to mind their own damn business. Period.

  28. It’s as simple and as casual as “no I don’t own any firearms”.
    There Is nothing compelling you to give accurate Information….so don’t.
    Or simply tell you’re doctor that you choose to exercise you’re 5th Amendment right regarding those questions.

    • Oh wait! Here I’ll add a line for the Statist FUDDs who pretend to be GOP constitutionalists….”Oh, but the 5th Amendment is only directed at the federal government…Private corporate interests, companies, organizations, and other person’s who claim some sort of mystical ” Sovereign Immunity” can a infringe upon anyone THEY so please! Kidnapping, check! Forced searches and seizures, check ✔! Ah, RIGHT! Bite me!

  29. Ah, It hurts when I cough or when I get YOUR bill that ISN’T some how covered by my useless healthcare insurance…Lime how the he’ll did I accumulate a $3000.00 bill…Hopefully it isn’t because of Anti- 2nd Amendment questioning!?

  30. What if my doctor is a diehard vile “Anti-TRUMP/Pro-impeachment” D-bag?! And demands to know who I voted for, or what my political inclination is…! And Notice that the Liberal Doctor is suffering from extreme “Post Trump Derangement Syndrome” and keeps crying 😢 about how Hillary lost the election!? What do I do?! Can he send me to a Gulag or a forced labor camp for suspected Republicans?! if I identify as a jar of Skippy peanut butter or as a Lesbian, male feminist…Will that be better or ok!?? Should I start self medicating like all burned out DemoCRAP constients?! Should I ask for a bag of weed to help cloud my mind?! LOL!

  31. Ever since Obamacare most EMRs require that field filled out. I’ve always put no as an automatic answer. I think the new part is forcing doctors to counsel, wasting both our time and our patients.

    Utah just passed a law requiring us to do it if we prescribe an opioid. Now your Tylenol + Codeine comes with five minutes wasted that neither of us are getting back. So much fun!

    Less government should always be our goal.


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