Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of an interview with Former NRA Prez, current NRA Board Member and longtime cat fancier Marion Hammer [via sun-sentinel.com]. Ms. Hammer’s defending legislation in Florida that would prohibit doctors from discussing firearms—outside of a safety context—with their patients.
The NRA is not going after anybody. The NRA is trying to protect the privacy rights of gun owners. It’s a known fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics supports banning guns. They also encourage pediatricians to tell families who own guns to get rid of them and to tell families that don’t own guns not to buy them. So, it’s a political agenda that has invaded medical examination rooms . . .
Parents take their children to see pediatricians and doctors for medical care, not to be lectured on safety, not to be lectured by a physician on firearm safety and how to store firearms. They’re simply not qualified to do it.
The political agenda needs to stop. They are entering that information into medical records on laptop computers, which greatly concerns parents because anything you put in a medical record they fear can be accessed by insurance companies, or the government, and used against them.
Doctors should not ask you how much money you have in your checking account, whether or not you own diamond cuff links or your wife owns a diamond necklace. They shouldn’t be asking you if you own guns.
In terms of safety information, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association are perfectly capable of printing up safety brocheures and distributing them to doctors to give their patients, so that all patients can get this safety information, if that’s really what it’s about. And then the patient can decide whether or not to read it or discard it at a later time.
But we pay for the time that we’re in a doctor’s office. We want medical information. We don’t want doctors to arbitrarily start talking to us and making us pay for stuff that we have no interest in hearing from them.
On the other hand, again, no one should tell doctors what they can and can not discuss with their patients. Just as the Second Amendment comes with undesirable consequences (e.g., firearms accidents), the First Amendment is not without its less than wonderful side-effects. Note to NRA: deal with it. But not like this.