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Big Gov’t Pressures Doctors To Ask: ‘Do You Own A Gun?’

Gov’t Pressures Doctors To Ask: ‘Do You Own A Gun?’

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BOSTON — Your doctor might ask if you own a gun and lecture you on firearm safety if the state attorney general and the Massachusetts Medical Society get their way.

“Gun violence is a major public health threat and physicians can play a key role in curbing the violence by educating patients about the risks of gun ownership and encouraging our colleagues to talk to their patients,” James Gessner, the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, told reporters Monday. “We are honored to work with the Attorney General and law enforcement officials in efforts to make gun ownership safer and reduce deaths and injuries attributable to guns.”

Gessner and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, unveiled an initiative designed to have doctors ask patients about gun ownership. It is part of a partnership between Healey’s office and the Massachusetts Medical Society.

“While the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and deeply committed to gun safety, this remains a public health issue, and conversations between patients and health care providers are critically important to preventing gun-related injury and death,” Healey said.

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Gov’t Pressures Doctors To Ask: ‘Do You Own A Gun?’

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The program has the support of two groups representing the states’ police chiefs.

“Many households in our country have guns, but they can cause harm if not handled properly,” said Chief James DiGianvittorio, president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. “We require the bearer of a license to carry a permit to take required safety course, however, many times other family members have no formal training. This program will at the very least open the door to conversations between physicians and patients on the risk factors associated with firearms-related injuries.”

Under the proposed policy, doctors would not report gun owners to cops. Instead, they would simply talk to them about gun safety.

“That’s why Boston Medical Center is so pleased to participate in the development of this training to help physicians talk to their patients about the safe handling and storage of guns. As a health care community, we are fully committed to ending gun violence in Massachusetts, starting in every home, and in every doctor’s visit,” said Kate Walsh, the president and CEO of Boston Medical Center.

The first step in the program will be to distribute pamphlets telling doctors about gun safety, a press release from Healey’s office stated.

“Most medical professionals believe that they can have an important role in preventing gun-related injury and death, and yet screening and counseling about guns remain uncommon,” Healey said.

The goal, she said, is to prevent gun-related accidents, self-harm and violence.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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7 comments

  1. Our dr has asked this question. Started a year ago.

  2. Part of gun safety, is not letting anyone know you have one.

  3. Our pediatrician has asked about guns for at least a year already. They ask some other ‘not-your-business’ questions, too. I was surprised when they started doing that.

  4. Why don’t they just have doctors provide gun safety information to everybody? If you say no, do they not give the safety talk? What if you don’t have one, but your neighbor does? Shouldn’t the doctor be worried about safety from any gun the child may have access to?

  5. If I am ever asked this question, I will reply “What, are you writing a book?’ That should take care of the issue.

  6. Want to shake up the doc?

    Tell them yes and thank them for reminding you to check to see when it’s trailer license plate is due for renewal.

  7. Neither my husband, my son nor I have been asked by our family doc if we have guns, but my daughter’s psychiatrist and I got into an argument about my guns. She wanted me to get rid of them, but I told her they were safely put away, and there was no way I was getting rid of them. This went on and on, but I got in the last word. I told her she should be worried about all these drugs the doctors (including her) give adults and children and other easier ways to commit suicide than looking for my guns and finding the ammo

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