Jan 282015

[This is re-published, with permission, from Stephen Wenger’s DUF Digest newsletter.]

Stephen P. Wenger at IALEFI, 2005

Stephen P. Wenger (spw-duf.info)

Health care workers told North Dakota lawmakers Thursday that a broad gun rights bill that would prohibit them from asking patients about gun ownership would hinder their work and restrict their right to free speech.

North Dakota lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow concealed carry permit holders to pack guns at more public places. The proposal also takes aim at several other gun-related issues, including the prohibition on medical workers.

Several medical workers told the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee that section of the bill interferes with the patient-doctor relationship and is contrary to accepted medical practice [sic].

“Not asking about firearms sets up a physician for malpractice while violating their First Amendment right to free speech,” said Courtney Koebele, executive director of the North Dakota Medical Association. “Simply stated, imposing this provision puts physicians in a perilous position and patients at risk.”

Dr. Gabriela Balf, a Bismarck psychiatrist and former family doctor, told the committee that [she] would continue to ask patients about firearms even if state law forbids it. “I will be an infractor,” she said.

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 272015

Timothy Wheeler, MD

Rep. Robin Kelley (h/t: ammoland.com)

Rep. Robin Kelley (h/t: ammoland.com)

We pretty much knew it would happen, but we didn’t think it would be so soon. Barely two weeks into the 114th Congress, Chicago congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) has introduced H.R. 224, which would require newly-confirmed surgeon general and gun control zealot Vivek Murthy “to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health.” The bill is taken almost word for word from The Kelly Report, a multi-authored, gun control perpetual wish list released last year from Kelly’s office. The bill comes not even a year after Murthy swore to a U.S. Senate committee that he would not use his position to push for gun control. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 232015

By Robert Young, MD

gfzThere have been several widely reported shootings of staff at health care facilities during the past 2 years. These include a physician shot in his exam room in California in January 2013, a case worker killed in Philadelphia in July 2014, a psychologist killed at a VA clinic in January of this year by a former staffer who had previously threatened him, and a surgeon killed at Boston Brigham & Women’s Hospital just this week.

Each of these shootings occurred in euphemistically termed “gun-free zones”, where no one is expected to be armed. But in one of these incidents, a doctor who was targeted saved himself and other staff by fighting back, thanks to his unorthodox decision and courageous action. That was in the Philadelphia attack. He carried a gun where they were not allowed, against the rules, knowing he was at risk–not just of his job, but of his life.

Remember what stops a bad guy with a gun?

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 222015

By Timothy Wheeler, MD

It is one of the great ironies of contemporary American politics that our nation’s capital is ground zero in the civil rights struggle of our time—the fight to exercise our right to keep and bear arms. At a meeting in the District of Columbia’s St. Augustine’s Catholic Church a couple of weeks ago, newly elected D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser assured her audience:


Muriel Bowser. (Photo: Cliff Owen, AP)

“You have a mayor who hates guns. If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have any handguns in the District of Columbia. I swear to protect the Constitution and what the courts say, but I will do it in the most restrictive way as possible.” Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 212015

[Editor’s note: This article by Jane Orient, M.D., the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, summarizes the problems inherent in the public health community’s longstanding politically motivated attempt to reframe firearm injuries and deaths as a public health problem. We present it here as a resource for our members and the public: “Gun Violence” as a Public Health Issue: a Physician’s Response, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 18 Number 3 Fall 2013 (reprinted with permission of the editor-in-chief; available at www.jpands.org).]

Jane Orient, MD

Jane Orient, MD

Organized medicine is joining with the Obama Administration to demand restoration of funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for research on “gun violence” and to work for legislation that includes universal background checks, on the rationale of improving public safety.

Firearm-related fatalities, which combine gun suicides and gun homicides, are shown to correlate with the “legislative strength score,” defined by gun control advocates. This association holds only for gun suicide, not for homicide, and depends on selection of jurisdictions. Reliance on flawed public opinion surveys, misstatements about the current background check system, and use of emotional, inflammatory rhetoric belie the claim that the case for gun control is supported by “evidence-based medicine.” Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:00 am