A short while back a Florida law was passed that barred doctors from asking patients whether or not they owned firearms. I posted about disagreement with this law on the grounds that it prohibits free speech. It appears as through some Florida doctors agree with me and are now suing on grounds that the law violates their right to free speech:
Physicians and the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics sued Florida Gov. Rick Scott, claiming the “Physician Gag Law” he signed last week unconstitutionally bars doctors from asking patients simple questions about guns and gun safety, and threatens them with loss of their medical licenses if they do so. More than 170 Florida children die each year from gunshots.
Three Florida doctors sued the governor and four other top Florida officials in Miami Federal Court. The plaintiff doctors are joined by the Florida Chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians.
Unfortunately I find myself in agreement with these doctors. Prohibiting somebody from asking another questions is a form of censorship. If a doctor wishes to ask me if I own firearms that’s their right and it’s my right to tell them where to stick their question. Should the doctor continue with his inquiry I can find another doctor to provide my medical needs. What I don’t agree with are some of the claims being made by the doctors:
The physicians say the dangers are elevated in Florida, which has a higher level of gun ownership than the national average: “Firearms pose particular risks in households with children. Every day in America 65 children and teens are shot with firearms, and eight of them die. One third of U.S. homes with children younger than eighteen have a firearm. More than 40 percent of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked and one quarter of those homes store them loaded.
Anti-gunners spout statistics like this often and then you find out that their definition of a child is a person between 0 and 25 years of age or some other absurd stretch. There is no justifiable reason why a physician needs to know whether or not I own firearms and they shouldn’t be making claims that such information is important to them. I will agree that they have the freedom to ask whether or not I own firearms but they certainly have no reason to know such information.