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By Tom Vaughan, MD: It was winter, and our two-year-old had an earache. Even though both my wife and I are doctors, she’s always insisted that our children see the pediatrician when they’re sick.  I was working the swing shift, so daytime sick call fell to me.

Fortunately, the pediatrician was able to see him right away, and neither of us were surprised when her exam revealed an ear infection.  I thanked her for her time, and after a brief chat, headed over to the pharmacy with my son in tow to pick up the antibiotic she had prescribed.  

The pediatrician’s office had called in the prescription, so I knew it would probably be ready by the time we got to the drugstore.  All in all, not too bad—we were walking up to the prescription counter just under an hour after we’d left the house.

“Name?” asked the young woman behind the counter, followed by “Date of birth? Any allergies?”  All questions I expected, having done this a countless times before.  But I was more than a little taken aback when she said ‘Okay; can you lift him up here for the fingerprints?”

“Fingerprints?” I asked.


“What are you talking about?” I demanded, more than a little taken aback.

“Oh – perhaps you haven’t been in since the new law went into effect?  The one requiring universal background checks for all drug transfers?”

“Universal background checks? For medication?  What new law?”

“Well, I guess technically it’s not a new ‘law’, but the President signed a new directive.  He basically reinterpreted the DEA and FDA mandates, and now they’re requiring these background checks, including fingerprints, for every ‘transfer’ of drugs, including medications.”

“That’s crazy – my son is 2 years old! And the prescription is for Amoxicillin – this stuff has been in common usage for 40 years!”  I belatedly realized I was starting to raise my voice. 

“I know it’s an inconvenience, but it’s the law now.  Without the fingerprints, I can’t run the background check, and without that, I can’t legally dispense any medication.  Of any kind. To anyone.”

I apologized for shouting.  “I’m sorry—you caught me by surprise.  But you have to admit it’s ridiculous; heck, we’ve been coming here for nearly 10 years—you’ve probably filled a dozen prescriptions for us yourself” I said, getting exasperated.

“It’s no problem”, she replied.  “You should have heard my mother when she came in the first time to refill her blood pressure medication—she put on quite a show!” she chuckled.

“I’ll bet she did.”

“She’s gotten used to it now, but that first time – whew!”

“All right, I’ve settled down a bit—let me lift him up there for you.”

She completed the fingerprinting fairly quickly—no small feat with a sick, tired 2 year old, but I have to give her credit.  I filled out a couple of additional forms, and then she told me to wait, reassuring me that the system usually only took 2-3 minutes, especially in the morning—afternoons, she said, go a good bit slower.

After less than 5 minutes, she came back to the counter, and called me back up with a smile.  “Just plop him up here on the counter, and I’ll get this dose in him in no time flat!” she said cheerily.

“Excuse me? The dose?  It’s only an ear infection, I’m sure the first dose can wait until we get home” I said in my friendliest tone, trying to cover my bemusement.

She looked puzzled for a moment, and then seemed to come to a realization.  “Sir, I guess I didn’t explain the process completely.  I can’t send you home with a whole bottle full of individual doses; every medication ‘transfer’ requires a background check; that’s what ‘universal’ means.  Every transfer, even between family members.  Even if you were licensed to make transfers, you’d still have to run a check on your son before every dose.  You’d need to have access to the system, and you’d need to be able to do fingerprints.”

At that moment, I suddenly understood the true meaning of the word “nonplussed”—according to Webster’s, “surprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react”.

As I hoisted my son onto the counter top, she smiled and said “I told you my mom got used to it.  You will, too.  Imagine how she feels—she’s in three times a day, for three or four medications each time!”

As I walked out of the pharmacy with my son in my arms, I quickly began thinking up ways we could get some Amoxicillin to keep at home, at least to make it through this ear infection—how on earth were we going to get him to the pharmacy two times a day for the next two weeks?  And just so the pharmacist, 10 years my junior, could dispense a medication to my son, when both my wife and I perform much more serious procedures at work every day!

For the first time, my next door neighbor’s words made perfect sense to me.  He’s a gun owner, a real Second Amendment absolutist.  Frankly, I’d always thought he was a little bit crazy.  All that “shall not be infringed” business.  “What are a few extra hoops to jump through compared with the lives of innocent children?” I’d thought, when universal background checks for gun sales became the law of the land.

But now I understood.  No doubt this was someone’s idea of a “reasonable restriction”, a “common sense” way to make some headway in the War on Drugs.  It was obvious to me that the only reasonable response to this ridiculous law was to become an outlaw, to find a way to work around it.  Just like my “crazy” gun owning neighbor, I suddenly comprehended the tyranny of a government denying citizens’ rights “for their own good”.

And I realized something else, too.  As soon as my son fell asleep, I would be heading straight over to my “crazy” neighbor’s house.  To apologize, and for some education—if I was going to be illegally dispensing drugs to my family, I was going to need a way to defend us from other people who didn’t want to wait in those pharmacy lines either, and didn’t have another way to get their hands on black market medication.

This foolish Universal Background Check system wasn’t going to prevent anyone from getting their hands on medications or other drugs illegally, but it was going to make it a lot more difficult to get them legally.  I’m no economist, but it was obviously going to drive up black market demand, and therefore do the same for black market prices and profits.  As Milton Friedman said, “See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.”

But I realized that, in another way, this could work in my favor.  If for some reason I couldn’t pass my Universal Background Check after I got my neighbor’s advice on home defense weapons, the truth of Mr. Friedman’s observation would guarantee that plenty of firearms will be available by other means.

Tom Vaughan, MD, is a neuroradiologist in private practice in Louisville, KY.  He is a shooting enthusiast who believes in individual liberty and personal responsibility.

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

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    • And at that point, I will become a wealthy man, selling quality ammunition at a reasonable price, to any person I please.

      • What if it’s a felony to do that?
        You might get away with it for awhile, but eventually big brother will catch on and you will be the target of a fast, furious sting operation to catch you red-handed!

        In Illinois, before I privately transfer a firearm to another Illinois resident, I need to get on the State Police web site, plug in their FOID card number, and get official approval. This little gem of a law was attached to our Concealed Carry statute a few years ago.

        • Oh, sure. You bet.
          Quit my job
          Sell my house
          Abandon my family
          Say goodbye to all my friends.
          Maybe after I retire, but not today.

          This Saturday, we’re getting ready for deer season, throwing some shotgun slugs downrange, and having a bit of fun with AR-15s, pumpkins and tannerite. Illinois is a mess, but it’s miles ahead of several states on the right and left coasts when it comes to gun rights.

        • lineman, at least Illinois is not a bad as Colorado, Oregon, and, Washington State. Your only free until the state passes a law.

          Curtis in IL, read the law very carefully…..

        • OK, You can dive deeper in, but to quote ammo-land
          “This law makes a provision for private individuals, who are selling or transferring a firearm, to verify the buyer’s FOID card is valid. There is no requirement to provide make, mode, serial number, or quantity. The law offers civil immunity for the seller if they use the verification process – but there are no criminal or petty offense charges if you do not do the check.”

          Read more:
          Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
          Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook

        • This is the law:
          430 ILCS 65/3(a-10)
          (a-10) Notwithstanding item (2) of subsection (a) of this Section, any person who is not a federally licensed firearm dealer and who desires to transfer or sell a firearm or firearms to any person who is not a federally licensed firearm dealer shall, before selling or transferring the firearms, contact the Department of State Police with the transferee’s or purchaser’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card number to determine the validity of the transferee’s or purchaser’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

          The word “shall,” not “may,” is important. This is not an option. It is a requirement.

        • And at that point, I will become a wealthy man, selling quality ammunition at a reasonable price, to any person I please.

          What if it’s a felony to do that?

          Well, then the price won’t be that “reasonable”.

        • The difference with Colorado is that no one here gives a fuck about the laws and the LEO’s don’t even try to enforce them. In effect those gun laws don’t exist unless you’re buying a gun from a store…

          Oh wait, for a buck or two over regular cost you can buy a “repair kit” that’s a mag you just put together at home.

          Yeah, those laws basically don’t exist.

    • There should be a background check AND psychological evaluation yearly for people running for office and in political office, imagine how much trouble it would have saved us if Bill and Hillary had been screened out by such a simple common sense precaution. Of speaking of Bill that reminds me, there should also be a sexual assault screening test also, that would have gotten Biden out of politics also.

  1. Is this for real? I have not picked up a prescription in the last few weeks. Am I going to have to give fingerprints at Wal-Mart? Has any one experienced this?

      • Maw-ha-ha-ha-ha! But seriously, I have to have my driver’s license scanned now to get over-the-f*cking-counter allergy medicine. Not every single dose, but certainly for every single bottle bought, it’s recorded in a state database. It ain’t too far fetched.

        • That’s to “prevent” meth manufacture. (How’s that working out?)

          Wait til you get Rx’d something that’s a “controlled substance”. It’s retarded. Paperwork, license and then you have to wait like 20 minutes because all those drugs have to be kept in a time release safe. So the pharmacist enters his/her code and the safe waits 15-30 minutes to open. Your name and dosage information all go into a state database.

          Other states are even more retarded. The last year I was in Ohio I bought a tube of superglue at a Wal-Mart. Had to show ID and be over 18 to buy. I was a bit incredulous but the lady at the checkout said something akin to “You think this is bad? We have to check ID for products that contain ginseng now”. When I asked what she meant she said she couldn’t sell certain kinds of Arizona Iced Tea to anyone under 18 or anyone without an ID.

          This country is slowly sliding towards “full retard” on a lot of different issues.

  2. My fundamental distaste for “background checks” is the fundamental precept that We’re registering “people” instead of anything else (guns, aspirin, sharp, pointy LEGO™ bricks).

    Hoovering up the population and putting them on A List. Any list.

    We’re so used to being on bountiful lists (DMV, SSN, login for TTAG) that we just accept it. There are Lists, and there are Lists. I struggle with the dichotomy of it and dual use technology of State lists.

      • Dox all the people who support it, as well as every family member they have regardless of age and that whole “no anonymity on the net” concept will die a very, very quick death.

  3. Honest, decent, law abiding people are treated like criminals, and dishonest, indecent, thieving criminals (like the KKKlintons) are treated like royalty.

    What a country!

  4. “if I was going to be illegally dispensing drugs to my family, I was going to need a way to defend us from other people who didn’t want to wait in those pharmacy lines either, and didn’t have another way to get their hands on black market medication.”

    I’m sorry, neighbor, but all of my illegal-by-fiat guns are turned in and gone. And as you know, I can’t simply loan or give you a gun or ammo anymore, thanks to the law you helped vote in. I also won’t sell you one of the few guns I have left, as you haven’t completed the 3-week licensing course. I suggest you go to the state gun store, sign up for the next available class, and then apply for your firearm and ammo permit. So in a couple of years, maybe we can head to the range.

  5. No cold medicine for you. UBC tells me you have a suspended driver’s license, could have been for drunk or drugged driving far as I know………sorry sir I cannot risk my Federal Drug license.

    WTF? Can’t happen, because this is the land of the free?………

  6. Nicely done, but the emerging pattern we are seeing is forced medication/medical
    Procedures. If these trends are not stopped and reversed, we will see people losing jobs, benefits( both already happening) health insurance, being denied access to public and private grounds, ect., for refusing what the government/pharmaceutical sponsored MD says you NEED.

    • That is a grave danger, and in many cases is already happening. Far too many people still trust the doctor completely, and most patients don’t know what they “need” in any case – even if the doctor does.

      LEARN as much as you can about your body and what it really needs. DEMAND that any doctor tell you in clear English exactly what the benefits and risks are of anything they prescribe. Then look it up for yourself.

      If you doubt… consider the “statin” drugs now being pushed on everyone, and the “flu” vaccine. If you don’t understand how dangerous they are, look it up. The information is still available on line. Who knows for how much longer?

      • Exactly, the public is in the process of losing the right to make informed consent, and when we fully lose that, you can use the 2nd Amendment for toilet paper.

  7. Bravo! What most people fail to realize about George Orwell is that at heart he was an optimist.

    After all, how can you argue with “If it saves just one life…”? That’s just common sense. And double-good. ?

    • This is another reason why the Supreme Court has to be changed. Progressives are going full 1984 and half the country is too ignorant to realize it.

    • The declaration that voter ID requirement is unconstitutional will only last until such time that voter fraud is no longer advantageous to the Democrat Party. For example, when the Democrat Party enacts Presidential Orders dictating that their political opponents cannot vote, I guarantee they will require ID at the ballot box.

  8. I’m going to print this article out and hand it to everyone I meet who thinks any kind of “background check” is a good idea. Excellent analogy that most people should be able to relate to.

  9. Look, it’s common sense.

    We don’t want people on the no fly list getting multiple hits of anti-bacterial medication.

    BTW, the same analogy goes for rounds for your firearm.

    You NOW GET ONLY ONE ROUND. It would be fun just hanging at the and sitting on the counter with the other gun owners as we wait for our one round to be loaded into our firearm by the clerk and then us to be escorted off the premise and after the clerk takes a picture of the firearm now in its locked case, in our locked trunk, and also signing off on the tweet to the local police that we are now in transport, we are on our way.

  10. The problem is that there are far too many people who buy in to the idea that we can, with enough effort and oversight, completely stop bad things from happening. The sad truth is that so long as there are evil people in the world who have evil desires, they will find ways to do evil things. You cannot restrict their freedoms enough to stop them, so all you’re ultimately doing is stripping freedom from everyone else while still allowing the evildoers to run rampant.

    • Exactly why chemo doesn’t work. You cant kill both good cells and bad cells hoping you kill more cells before the patient dies.

      • …what? Chemo does work, so maybe that’s not an analogy you wanna use. It works at grevious cost to healthy cells, but it does work.

        • Depends what you mean by “work”. Yes, it does kill cells, No, it doesn’t extend the life of a cancer patient.

  11. Isn’t it funny that the same people who chant “If it saves one child!!!” are the same ones who demand the right to execute unborn children by the thousands every day.

  12. Almost every species of bacteria capable of causing an ear infection is resistant to Amoxicillin (and every other thing with “cillin” in its name). Were this an actual incident I would insist on Keflex or Azithromycin. Hey, if you’re going to drag the kid to the drug store four times a day you may as well get something that’s effective to start with! 😀


    • Amoxicillin is the first line drug of choice according to both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice. That’s the current standard of practice.

  13. Just some common sense restrictions on free speech, religion, due process. Nothing major just common sense. Before you know it you get locked up for almost anything.


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