In recent years, a number of people have encountered their doctors or other healthcare care providers (such as Physician’s Assistants) asking about guns in the house and/or concealed carry. Granted, some might wonder why a doctor might ask such a thing, unless of course you’re seeing a dermatologist and they wonder what kind of gun oil you use.
Some people have found gun oils and cleaners to be detrimental to sensitive skin. Hey, some are even eco-friendly and non-toxic, like Frog Lube. Even the gun industry cares about the environment. Anyway, why would a physician ask about these things?
There are some people within the healthcare community that see firearms or more specifically firearm injuries and deaths as an epidemiological problem. They aren’t entirely off their rocker; just like a disease, violent crime and gun deaths have risk factors and there are things that can be done to prevent them.
For instance, keeping a gun in the home or carrying a sidearm in a concealed carry holster can be a very effective treatment for an outbreak of certain parasites – such as the kind that like to rob people or worse. So in that sense, guns are actually a treatment of sorts for a disease common to civilized societies.
In short, many physicians see firearms as a risk factor concerning the health of their patients. They may wish to ask you about your guns and/or whether you concealed carry (and according to an appellate court decision in Florida, they can) as a person that has a professional (and possibly personal) stake in your continued existence.
They certainly want more of your money.
The motivation of individual practitioners may vary. Some may be anti-gun, some may genuinely want to know what steps you are taking to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. The attitude and beliefs of every doctor, just as with every person, varies by individual.
Also, it is undeniable that most deaths by gunshot wound are suicide attempts. A health care provider would not only be right to be concerned, but would in fact be remiss if they didn’t ask someone about guns in the home if they showed signs of depression or other neurological illness.
Then again, what you do at home isn’t really anyone else’s business unless they have a reason for it to be, including your guns.
So, if your doctor asks…should you tell him or her?
I believe the best course is to ask why they want to know. Genuine concern and interest from a physician is part of their job but encouraging patients to disarm themselves totally because of a lack of respect for Second Amendment rights is not. Therefore, find out why they want to know before going any further.
And if they’re a gun control advocate, tell them it’s none of their business. What’s your take?