Monthly Archives: January 2014

Drawing a Medical Line in the Sand

Recently, I found this pamphlet posted on a bulletin board:


It was behind a glass cover, so I couldn’t covertly remove it to read it.  So, when back at a computer, I fired up search engine to see if I could find out at least where it came from and, if I got lucky, the full contents of the pamphlet.

Well, I stopped my search early after finding this article from about a year ago on Parents magazine website with the presumptuous title of A Pediatrician’s Role in the Gun Debate as if any pediatrician has any legitimate role in the gun debate beyond that of any other citizen.  (I’ll go further with a Rand quote: “A gun is not an argument.”  In other words, there is no debate to have at all.  The answer is quite simply, “No.”)

David Codrea has publicized how one enterprising former sheriff addressed the problem of doctors, any doctors, claiming to have training above and beyond the medical and into the “safety” and particularly “gun safety” realm with this Firearms Malpractice Form.  It is something which I would recommend every gun owner carry with him to appointments with doctors they haven’t seen before or, in this day in age with the new, horrid requirements of health control, to appointments with any and all doctors.

It’s clear from the comments on the aforementioned Parents article, as well as the article itself, that many so-called safety advocates don’t quite get the objection to having a doctor ask a patient about guns.  One went as far as saying, “A doctor’s job is to help keep your child alive by keeping them healthy and safe.”

Let me be clear: The doctor’s job is what I hire him to do.  And that is to advise me on strictly medical issues.  Notwithstanding wannabee pseudo-scientific, tyrant enablers and modern day Typhoid Marys of today like Dr. Garen Wintemute , guns are not a public health issue.  Nor are guns a private health issue.  I don’t go to my auto mechanic for advice on gardening.  What the vile citizen disarmament advocates have done for a few decades, now, is try reframe the debate over and and over again by changing names of their organizations, and how they try to sell their tyrannical collectivism.  This is exactly what Wintemute acknowledges in a paper he co-authored in the Annals of Internal Medicine just last year by referencing former editor of Annals, Dr. Frank Davidoff who called on readers to ‘reframe gun violence as a medical issue.’  One is inclined to ask, why do you need to reframe anything at all, if you’re not trying to manipulate the conversation?  Why is reframing necessary, unless you are trying to pedal something that is simply not true.

It all comes down to where the training, skills, and experience of those in medical profession are bounded.  Professionally speaking, of course.  I’m perfectly willing to listen to a doctor explain to me the details of the damage to flesh and bone I could expect to see from a small, rounded metal object a bit short of one half inch in diameter, propelled at 800ft/s and entering and remaining inside me or exiting out another hole it makes in my body.  I am not, however, willing to grant him any deference in discussing what guns I might own, that I keep in my house, or in what state I keep them in nor the ammunition that goes with them.  That is something I will only discuss with a true firearms safety instructor, such as the many produced, through training, by the NRA.  Or maybe I’ll discuss it with other trusted individuals whom I deem knowledgeable in the area of self defense, safe carriage, safe handling, child education issues (including child curiosity, and ways to mitigate it).  If, that is, I discuss it with anyone at all.

I know several individuals who grew up in homes where guns were not only kept in the house, but kept either loaded or with the ammunition very close at hand.  They were also not locked in a safe.  A recommended approach is twofold.  First, start education young.  If at all possible, do not ever refuse to engage in a little education and training regarding firearms any time the child asks.  One of the key goals here is to kill the mystery and curiosity of guns.  You want to make guns literally boring to the child.  For more excellent information on kids and guns, Kathy Jackson of The Cornered Cat has written some excellent pieces and it’s worth your time to peruse her site and read her book.

Second, or really just a subset of the first, is to ensure there is seriousness embedded in training the child.  If necessary, embed a literal fear of punishment for even touching the firearms without permission.  (I’m not even touching the issue of what that punishment should be.  But whatever severity you decide as a parent is necessary for any infractions, the severity of this should be at or near the highest on your list.)  Be sure to include the rare, but possible necessary exception of using the gun for what it is intended: defense, when age appropriate (as you determine, not any kind of doctor).  Take this case of Kendra St. Clair:

Now, Ms. St. Clair, by her own admission, had never fired a gun before.  That is something I hope her mom will remedy, now, and take her to the range and teach her all she needs to know about safe firearm handling and self defense.  It is fortunate that the correct individual wound up with a hole through his body.  Proper training will increase the odds of a similar result if, God forbid, anything like that happens to her again.  It’s also not clear whether or not the gun was locked up, as neither Kendra nor her mom say.  She did call her mom first and it was then that her mom actually told her to get the gun.  But that may not always be possible.

I do my best to stay out of doctors’ offices.  And with the current regime in the District of Criminals (who bring absolute truth to that slur), I’m going to make every effort to continue along those lines.  But should I ever set foot in a doctor’s office again, I will  be armed with the Firearms Malpractice Form stuffed in my pocket and prepared to politely ignore any inquiry regarding firearms and simply say, “So.  Are we going to talk about my health?  Or was I mistaken in thinking I would find a doctor here?”

In other words, to any doctor who would attempt to venture outside the boundaries I dictate while I request his professional advice, whether for myself or any dependents I may have, I have drawn my line in the sand.  And you can go pound same.

To answer the title of article titled A Pediatrician’s Role in the Gun Debate is easy: None.

Stay Dangerous, My Friends.