Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Scoring time for the NRA

Well, it’s that time of year again when state legislatures are winding up their important business. And, of course, the NRA is right there holding their hands to make sure they do the right thing by them. Legislators all over the country are being told that they dare not vote against extreme gun bills because they will be “scored” by the organization. So, they run scared instead of standing up for what is right. I wonder how many more dangerous bills legislators will be convinced to vote on before they say “No.”? In Florida, the NRA has run up against Physicians who don’t take kindly to being told how they can practice medicine by an extremist lobbying group. 

Talk about big government interfering in people’s lives. The NRA wants to stifle free speech and tell doctors that they can’t talk to patients about the risks of guns in the home. Why? Because they are lying about the reasons doctors warn parents of young children and other patients about risks in the home. " From 2003 to 2007, 33 Americans per day were murdered with guns. This includes almost 1 child (aged 0-14 years), 5 teenagers (aged 15-19 years), and more than 7 young adults (aged 20-24 years) per day. More than two thirds of all homicides in the United States during this period were firearm homicides." And doctors shouldn't talk about this major health issue? How about this, then, if you don't believe me: " The US rate of firearm homicide for children aged 5 to 14 years is 13 times higher than the firearms homicide rate of other developed nations (Table 1), and our firearms homicide rate for 15- to 24-year-olds is 43 times higher. The overall homicide rate of our youth aged 15 to 24 years is 14 times higher than the overall homicide rate for youth in other countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom.4 In US states with more guns, many more children, adolescents, young adults, older adults, and women are murdered per capita than in states with fewer guns.54,55"

The NRA is claiming that it is an attempt by doctors to remove guns from people. Really folks. If those Florida legislators believe that, they have been taken for a ride by the NRA. And they should be ashamed of themselves for hopping on board. From the article about the Florida law, above:" Pippa Abston, a Huntsville, Ala., pediatrician , blogged a few weeks ago, "Dear NRA, You are not the Boss of me!""We're not talking to parents about gun control," Abston said in an interview. "We're talking about safety." She says she worries lawmakers will try to restrict doctors' freedom to talk to patients about other "hot button" issues, such as vaccines." Hmm. I thought the Republicans were against big government interference. I guess I was wrong. When they have an ideological agenda, their hypocrisy shows.

And what about the 21 Republicans in Congress who just voted to allow terrorists to buy guns? Really? Yes, indeed. In a House Judiciary Committee meeting, a vote was taken and because the NRA is threatening members with scoring their votes, they got fooled into thinking this vote was a good idea. I am betting that in their heart of hearts, they know that their vote was wrong. But they don’t have the courage to buck the NRA. These timid leaders are making dangerous decisions for our country. Check out the video from last year's NRA annual convention, in the link above, and see how the rank and file NRA members think that it's a bad idea to allow terrorists to buy guns. Oh, except the last man who is a gun dealer and says that terrorists are checked and stopped. He didn't believe the interviewer and called the Washington Post a Communist newspaper. It is fascinating that when you disagree with certain people, they have to call names and espouse motives. So the Washington Post lied about how easy it is for terrorists to get guns and this gun dealer believes what he believes. He is wrong, of course. Here is what the article in the Washington Post really says: " Under federal law, licensed firearms dealers must request an FBI background check for each buyer but cannot legally stop a purchase solely because someone is on the watch list. The study found that people on the list purchased firearms 865 times in 963 attempts over a five-year period ending in February." It must be very satisfying to think you are so right about something and then go on ignoring the facts to keep yourself in your own world where facts don't matter. Here is the  straw man "logic" used by the NRA to continue deceiving the public and Congress about this important issue: " "Law-abiding Americans should not be treated like terrorists," Cox said in a written statement. "To deny law-abiding people due process and their Second Amendment rights based on a secret list is not how we do things in America."" That is not what this is about and the NRA knows it. They are all about connecting everything to the 2nd amendment and law abiding citizens even if a bill is attempting to keep guns away from those who will likely not be law abiding. Some people shouldn't have guns.

I find it very interesting that Representative Peter King (Republican, N.Y.) was once in favor of this bill but didn't vote at all yesterday in committee. What's that all about? Suddenly it's a bad idea or did the NRA get to him? 

I have written about some of the other proposals in state legislatures on this blog recently. From Wisconsin (" No training would be required for the person to obtain the license.") to Texas ("The senators even voted themselves the legal right to carry guns in places that would get regular people arrested — churches, restaurants and sporting events. Why? Perhaps it is because they are afraid people might be coming after them for some of the incomprehensible actions they have taken this legislative session.) to Tennessee to Minnesota to Iowa to Illinois, ( ""This is not in any way a public safety measure this bill, this is the opposite of public safety. Loaded concealed handguns in the possession of private citizens will lead to more danger and more bad things happening," the Democratic governor said.") Florida and Montana (""This allows the individual to make his or her own eligibility determination and deprives law enforcement of the opportunity to consider whether the person is a threat to the community," Schweitzer said. "Obviously, this bill would greatly imperil the work and safety of Montana's lawmen, including sheriffs and highway patrolmen. Under current law, Montana's sheriffs are responsible for issuing concealed weapon permits. This is as it should be.")", the NRA has introduced it's extreme bills.

There is clearly a slippery slope going on here. Where is it leading? Who knows? As the true agenda of the NRA is introduced to the public in these states, many have been activated and spoken out against these bills. Law enforcement, University Presidents, Physicians, victims, and other professionals have taken on the NRA and with some success. Those elected leaders who were once comfortable in their position of not questioning the NRA's lack of logic and extremist agenda are placed in uncomfortable positions that defy their own views of gun policy. But the NRA trucks on with it's national agenda to make sure gun manufacturers stay in business and to preserve their 2nd Amendment rights. Never mind that their rights are more than safe with the latest Supreme Court rulings in the Heller and McDonald cases. But in order to keep their base activated and paranoid, their extremist agenda has the whole country tied in knots about guns. Guns can't be and won't be banned by gun control activists. But that doesn't matter to the extremist NRA's leadership. The interesting thing is that guns are rarely mentioned during elections. So voters have no idea that these bills are on anyone's agenda. That is how the NRA wants it. Most candidates don't want to talk about guns during elections because then they may have to defy the all powerful NRA and that would make things more than uncomfortable for them.

How must it feel to vote against a bill to stop terrorists from getting guns when you know it's a good idea? How must it feel to vote in favor of allowing people to carry their guns in bars when you know it's the wrong thing to do? How must it feel to vote in favor of a bill that will allow for an expanded "Castle Doctrine" that will let people shoot someone in a public place with just a presumption that the person means to do them harm? How must it feel to vote in favor of guns on college campuses when students, parents, college presidents and faculty come before you and explain how dangerous it would be? How must it feel to vote in favor of a bill that is opposed by all law enforcement agencies, including prosecutors? Please note the title of this video placed on You Tube by a pro gun person. He accuses Senator Harrington of leading a parade of gun banners. Senator Harrington is the retired St. Paul, Minnesota police chief. But the gun guys don't care about any of this. Anything that opposes the views of the NRA turns into gun banning. You will also notice that not once was anything like gun banning mentioned. Again, hyperbole and paranoia. We are also scoring elected leaders. We know how they voted and we are keeping track. Elections are coming soon. Tough questions will be asked. The public deserves to know about the votes taken by their elected representative or senator. They need to know that common sense has stepped off the bus and left us all less safe.

38 comments:

  1. The NRA is coming to Maine next week, pushing for guns in the State House and in cars in the parking lots of private businesses. They have been invited into both the Republican and Democratic caucuses (Not many other special interest groups can say that. Pitiful.) They too will be scoring these dangerous bills. Unfortunately, that will be enough to scare too many legislators and they will vote however the NRA tells them. It's disgusting.

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  2. Where to start?

    "How must it feel to vote against a bill to stop terrorists from getting guns "

    Being on a watch list is NOT the same as being a terrorist and everyone, even those that the government is suspicious of is entitled to DUE PROCESS before their rights are denied.

    Pull out the second amendment and make that the 1st or 5th. Should someone on a watch list be denied the protection from self incrimination? from free speech? To turn around what you said. EVERY Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voted to deny citizens due process. That is a bad thing.

    "How must it feel to vote in favor of a bill that will allow for an expanded "Castle Doctrine" that will let people shoot someone in a public place with just a presumption that the person means to do them harm?"

    This is simply a misstatement of fact.

    The "presumption" you speak of affects law enforcement, not the citizen. THEY must approach a shooting with the "presumption" that the person used lethal force because they felt their life was in imminent danger. To imply that it gives someone a right to use lethal force if they merely "PRESUME" that someone means to do them harm is totally a misstatement of the law.

    Using lethal force

    609.065 Justifiable taking of life.

    The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.

    That is a LONG way from "a presumption"

    How must it feel to vote in favor of guns on college campuses when students, parents, college presidents and faculty come before you and explain how dangerous it would be? "


    We know how well having NO guns on camps has worked out. As in not very. We have examples where students and teachers have had guns on campus for years, with no problems. (and no attacks either) Anyone with intent is not going to be swayed by a sign that says "no guns on campus" they are criminals or insane. They don't care about signs.

    I really wish it was different but it always comes down to the Hobson's choice of "do you want to be in a shootout or a massacre"? No LEGAL guns on campus ensures that the choice is always "massacre" Sure, the Campus police will come as soon as humanly possible. They are good men that would die trying to save your loved ones, but they cannot be everywhere at once and, as you have pointed out yourself, a firearm can be emptied pretty quickly (in reference to extended capacity magazines) so anything short of "instant" is going to leave many dead.

    As for Doctor's asking about firearms in the home, let me ask this. Why firearms?


    Ages 5-9 Firearms are .46% of the problem.

    http://www.statisticstop10.com/Causes_of_Death_Kids.html

    Motor Vehicle Traffic 20.58%
    Drowning 5.27%
    Fire/burn 5.07%

    If you actually want doctors to ask questions that will make a difference. Have them ask about

    1) Seat Belt usage.
    2) Red Cross "Drown Proof" training and swimming.
    3) Smoke Detectors in the home

    It's hard to believe that a .46% death rate justifies it's own special question unless there is some other agenda afoot.

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  3. Since I have 2 close family members in the medical profession, I know that they do ask about most of the other things you mention. You can't even take a baby home from the hospital without proof that you know how to use a baby car seat. Since guns account for a good number of accidents and deaths of children, why not ask? What is the problem with that exactly? Don't you want your doctor to do the best he/she can to keep you healthy and prevent accidents? Explain to me whether you trust your doctor or not. Who do you trust? I know you don't agree with what I wrote but I wrote what I wrote because it is what I believe and I have provided facts to back it up. You may not like my facts but they are what they are.

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  4. "Since I have 2 close family members in the medical profession ..."

    Would they be willing to sign this release form?


    www.seizeliberty.com/Documents/Firearms%20Malpractice%20Form.pdf

    "___ I am knowingly engaging in Home/Firearms Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in Risk Management, and; I have not reviewed applicable scientific literature pertaining to defensive gun use and beneficial results of private firearms ownership."

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  5. Sometimes, jdege, I have to publish your comments for their ludicrous nature.

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  6. The Florida Doctors bill is kind of silly and I don't fully understand why the NRA is wasting so much time on it.

    As for the so-called terror gap, that is just bad news. Not only is supporting it a vote against the 2nd amendment, it is also an outright attack on the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th as well. Any legislator that swore an oath to defend the Constitution and is in favor of that nonsense is almost criminal.

    On the state roundup, I think you missed where Ohio voted to close the restaurant loophole. When it becomes law, common sense will prevail and allow you to carry in any restaurant. Just like you can in 43 other states, including all of those that border Ohio.

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  7. How ludicrous is it to expect medical professionals to actually have some training in firearms safety before they begin to provide "professional" advice concerning it?

    How many doctors have been trained and certified as Home Firearm Safety Instructors?

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  8. That is total nonsense jdege. Doctors don't have to have firearms training to know how dangerous guns are in the home. Everyone knows that.This is like saying that police officers have to have law degrees to make decisions in their profession or like teachers need to have degrees also in social work to know that a child is having problems at home. That is what experts are for. Some people are trained firearms instructors which has nothing to do with medicine. Some people are doctors whose life work is to prevent illness and accidents and keep their patients healthy which has nothing to do with learning how to shoot a gun. You are making a nonsensical argument here. Please do not submit any more comments about this one. It's a non starter and not worth any more time.

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  9. "The NRA wants to stifle free speech and tell doctors that they can’t talk to patients about the risks of guns in the home. "

    Incorrect.

    The law simply states they can't inquire about personal gun ownership. Nothing in the law prohibits talking about gun safety issues.

    If you had bothered to read the law, you would know that.

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  10. Why would you talk about gun safety if you don't whether someone in the home has a gun?

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  11. One of the best games in town is litigation, and litigating against physicians is even more popular than suing gun manufacturers. Physicians and their malpractice insurance carriers are well aware that litigators are constantly looking for new opportunities to sue. Let's talk about one of those new areas of liability exposure.

    Nowadays, many physicians and other health care providers are engaging in the very risky, well intentioned, albeit naive and politically inspired business of asking their patients about ownership, maintenance and storage of firearms in the home, and even removal of those firearms from the home. Some could argue that this is a "boundary violation," and it probably is, but there is another very valid reason why these professionals should NOT engage in this practice -- MASSIVE LIABILITY.

    Physicians are licensed and certified in the practice of medicine, the treatment of illnesses and injuries, and in preventative activities. They may advise or answer questions about those issues. However, when physicians give advice about firearms safety in the home, without certification in that field, and without physically INSPECTING that particular home and those particular firearms, they are functioning outside the practice of medicine.

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  12. I don't believe that is true. The NRA is functioning outside of the practice of a lobby organization.

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  13. "The NRA is functioning outside of the practice of a lobby organization."

    The NRA is, first and foremost, an educational organization.

    http://www.nrahq.org/education/index.asp

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  14. That, of course, is a lie. The NRA is the largest and most powerful lobby in D.C. If they are all about education what are they doing flying all over the country to testify in favor of gun bills? If they are all about education, what are they doing telling doctors how to practice medicine.

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  15. "The NRA is the largest and most powerful lobby in D.C."

    They aren't the largest, by a long shot. That'd be the AARP. They are among the most powerful. But the lobbying is only a small part of what they do.

    There are tens of thousands of NRA instructors and trainers. There are only a couple of dozen lobbyists.

    Yes, the NRA is a lobbying organization. But the bulk of their effort and the bulk of their expenditures is in training and education.

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  16. Furthermore, if they fail to review the gamut of safety issues in the home, such as those relating to electricity, drains, disposals, compactors, garage doors, driveway safety, pool safety, pool fence codes and special locks for pool gates, auto safety, gas, broken glass, stored cleaning chemicals, buckets, toilets, sharp objects, garden tools, home tools, power tools, lawnmowers, lawn chemicals, scissors, needles, forks, knives, and on and on, well, you get the drift. A litigator could easily accuse that physician of being NEGLIGENT for not covering whichever one of those things that ultimately led to the death or injury of a child or any one in the family or even a visitor to the patient's home.

    To engage in Home Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in home safety and Risk Management and to concentrate on one small politically correct area, i.e., firearms to the neglect of ALL of the other safety issues in the modern home, is to invite a lawsuit because the safety counselor, (Physician) Knew, Could have known or Should have known that there were other dangers to the occupants of that house more immediate than firearms. Things like swimming pools, buckets of water, and chemicals in homes are involved in the death or injury of many more children than accidental firearms discharge [ Source: CDC.] Firearms are a statistically small, nearly negligible fraction of the items involved in home injuries. Physicians SHOULD know that. So, why all of a sudden do some physicians consider themselves to be firearms and home safety experts? Where is their concern for all the other home safety issues that they DON'T cover with their patients?

    Once physicians start down this path of home safety counseling, they are completely on their own. A review of their medical malpractice insurance will reveal that if they engage in an activity for which they are not certified, the carrier will not cover them if (or when) they are sued.

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  17. Are you a Pediatrician or a Family Practice Doctor? Have you attended Medical School? Perhaps you should do so before saying what the training should be for Physicians. Don't you think they talk about all sorts of safety in the home? But the fact remains that guns kill more children than most of those other accidents. They are more than "certified" to talk about safety in the home and prevention methods. If they don't who will? You? What is your training? The only people who will sue them will be you gun guys who don't trust anyone and think there are gun grabbers lurking around every corner.

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  18. And the MN bill that you testified against passed the Senate 79-50.

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  19. Consider a physician asking the following questions of his or her malpractice insurance carrier:

    • One of my patients is suing me for NOT warning them that furniture polish was poisonous and their child drank it and died. I only warned them about firearms, drugs and alcohol. Am I covered for counseling patients about firearms safety while not mentioning and giving preventative advice about ll the other dangers in the home, and doing so without formal training or certification in any aspect of home safety risk management? You know their answer.
    • How much training and certification do I need to become a Home Safety Expert Doctor? They will tell you that you are either a pediatrician or you are the National Safety Council. But, you don't have certification to do the National Safety Council's job for them.

    Homeowners and parents are civilly or criminally responsible for the safety or lack thereof in their homes. My advice to physicians is to not borrow trouble by presuming to be able to dispense safety advice outside your area of expertise: the practice of medicine. Your insurance carrier will love you if you simply treat injuries and illnesses, dispense advice on how to care for sick or injured persons, manage sanitation problems and try to prevent disease, but stay out of the Risk Management business unless you are trained and certified to do it. For example, E.R. doctors do not tell accident victims how to drive safely

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  20. Thanks for the update. I wouldn't have known otherwise.

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  21. Clever name by the way, Joe Horn.Perhaps you need to apply for a job teaching in a medical school. It sounds like you have the scoop on what doctors should and should not be saying.

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  22. Now, let's discuss the very serious issues involving the lawful possession and use of firearms for self and home defense, and the danger and liabilities associated with advising patients to severely encumber the firearm(s) with locked storage, or advising the patient to remove them entirely. Patient X is told by Doctor Y to remove or lock up a firearm so it is not accessible. Patient X, does as counseled and has no firearm available at close at hand. Subsequently, patient is then the victim of a home invasion and calls 911, but the police are buried in calls and don't arrive for 20 minutes during which time Patient X is raped, robbed and murdered. Anyone can see the liability issue here, particularly Risk Management specialists and liability insurance carriers.

    It's just a matter of *when* and not *if* this will happen. Sooner or later, it will - if a home invasion takes place and Patient X takes Doctor Y's advice.

    Now, imagine what follows this horrendous event. Who is to blame? The perpetrator is long gone, and even so, the Plaintiff's litigator will state that the perpetrator could have been neutralized by the appropriate lawful defensive use of a firearm, which *had* been in the home, but was no longer available to the deceased/injured because he/she followed a Physician's *expert* advice to render him/herself and his/her home defenseless against violent crime.

    The Litigator will further argue that the Physician Knew, Could have known, Should have known that removing a firearm from use for home defense would result in harm to the patient if and when a crime was committed against the patient in the home, as any reasonable person would have surmised.

    If one acknowledges the already dangerous general liability of home safety counseling and then adds the very risky practice of advising patients to disarm themselves in the face of the reality of violent crime daily perpetrated against home owners, condo and apartment tenants, it is apparent that the Physician is placing him/herself in a very risky position for suit.

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  23. Dear Joe Horn,

    We simply we not agree on this one so you can stop sending comments on this topic. Your comments reflect a point of view of a few people with extreme positions.

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  24. It is my strong recommendation to Malpractice Carriers and those Physicians they insure to strictly avoid this high risk practice and reserve counseling for the area of expertise in which they are certified: Medicine. In my professional opinion, this is an emotionally charged political issue that Physicians and their Carriers should not be manipulated for whatever well-intentioned reason into taking the risk, which is considerable......

    Physicians in doubt of the veracity of what I've said are encouraged to call their carriers and ask them what they currently cover, and to ask if this new counseling policy is covered under the existing policy. We already know what they will say: Don't borrow trouble.

    Since retiring from the LA County Sheriff's Department, Mr. Horn has provided Risk Management and related issue Human Resource consulting. Among other firms, he has consulted to IBM, Gates Learjet, National Semiconductor, and Pinkerton International Protection Services

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  25. Oddly enough, here in MN, my children's pediatrician belongs to my Gun Club. Based on her training and knowledge of firearms safety, I believe she is qualified to ask questions related to the safe storage of firearms in my house.

    Now, the previous one was told to mind his own business when he began to lecture about the dangers of firearms - which led to the switching to the new one by us!

    Why is it so hard to understand - if they (the Doc's) want to ask questions and lecture on the safety of firearms, they should be trained and understand their safe usage/storage rather than simply repeating rhetoric.

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  26. "Since I have 2 close family members in the medical profession, I know that they do ask about most of the other things you mention. You can't even take a baby home from the hospital without proof that you know how to use a baby car seat. Since guns account for a good number of accidents and deaths of children, why not ask? What is the problem with that exactly? Don't you want your doctor to do the best he/she can to keep you healthy and prevent accidents?"

    I don't mind so much that Doctors ask - but I do mind if they dispense advice about home firearms safety without having been adequately trained to do so.

    The same way I wouldn't want to dispense medical advice myself since I am not a medical professional, I don't believe any individual, including doctors, should be giving out advice on home firearms safety without appropriate training and/or certification to do so.

    An individual that is a NRA Instructor with the instructor certification for the Home Firearms Safety discipline is far more qualified to give out this sort of advice than the typical physician.

    Bryan

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  27. "Doctors don't have to have firearms training to know how dangerous guns are in the home. Everyone knows that.This is like saying that police officers have to have law degrees to make decisions in their profession or like teachers need to have degrees also in social work to know that a child is having problems at home. That is what experts are for."

    Firearms in the home, properly stored in a safe manner - and handled safely, are entirely safe.

    I would choose not to see a physician that was trying to convince me that any firearms in the home were dangerous. Proper storage and handling negates this concern.

    Police Officers do not need a law degree to perform their duties, but they should receive extensive training in statutory law and case law as applicable to their state or jurisdiction.

    Bryan

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  28. "That, of course, is a lie. The NRA is the largest and most powerful lobby in D.C. If they are all about education what are they doing flying all over the country to testify in favor of gun bills? If they are all about education, what are they doing telling doctors how to practice medicine. "

    This is untrue. The NRA has a huge education and training component at headquarters - its trainers conduct hundreds of thousands of NRA courses each year across multiple disciplines, including Home Firearms Safety, for example.

    You can read more about NRA Education & Training at http://www.nrahq.org/education/index.asp - there are more than 65,000 NRA Certified Trainers.

    The NRA also happens to be a lobbying organization - different divisions / different purposes.

    As far as why the NRA is concerned about Doctors questioning about guns in the home - that's pretty simple. They do not want unqualified individuals giving advice for which they lack subject matter expertise. Again, if Doctors were properly educated on this subject - I think we'd feel differently.

    Disclosure: I am a NRA Certified Trainer.

    Bryan

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  29. "Are you a Pediatrician or a Family Practice Doctor? Have you attended Medical School? Perhaps you should do so before saying what the training should be for Physicians. Don't you think they talk about all sorts of safety in the home? But the fact remains that guns kill more children than most of those other accidents. They are more than "certified" to talk about safety in the home and prevention methods. If they don't who will? You? What is your training? "

    I'm not a doctor and the only medical training I've had was when I took EMT training almost 20 years ago. I'm current for CPR but all of my other certifications are expired.

    Now, put me in a room with a doctor who is a pediatrician yet has no specific training in firearms safety.

    I'm a NRA Instructor, certified in several disciplines, including Home Firearms Safety.

    Who is the better individual to provide advice on Home Firearms Safety?

    It's not the Doctor.

    Bryan

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  30. Bryan,

    Medical professionals do get some training about risk factors and advise about all kinds of ways to keep patients safe, including wearing seat belts, bike helmets, etc. They ask about smoking and alcohol consumption as well. When I get my yearly physical, I am asked about all of these things. Though not specifically asked about guns, I am asked whether I feel unsafe at home. That is to get at domestic abuse which doctors are privy too, sometimes and need to know to where they can refer people for help. They also need to find out if anyone is vulnerable in their homes. That is by way of keeping their patients safe. Asking about guns in the home is just another way of doing that. Pediatricians, in general, are taught about risk factors and understand that guns in the home can be a risk to young children. If they didn't ask perhaps people would be upset about that as well. Since gun injuries and deaths also contribute millions if not billions of dollars to health care costs in this country, it is also just a plain good idea for doctors and all health care professionals and also the public to try to lower the costs by prevention. If people practiced more prevention in general, health care costs would be lowered. That is why the medical profession is moving in the direction of more preventative medicine. Lest you all think there is some agenda there, that is the furthest thing from the truth. Since I am so close to people in the medical profession, I can tell for certain that that is the furthest thing from their minds. The oath- "First, do no harm_" is at the top of the list for physicians. Children and people visit doctors fairly often. It's a good place for them to hear messages of safety and prevention. NRA instructors do also give good advice in their own setting which is quite different from the medical setting. To say the NRA has no agenda would not be true. The NRA certainly would love to have more people on their side and more people interested in shooting sports. That's fine. I don't begrudge them that. I just don't get why the gun lobby is so tied in knots over this one. It is another solution looking for a problem.So we will disagree about who is qualified and who isn't. I say both are and the more the message is delivered, the safer our families will be. One simply cannot ask physicians to be firearms instructors nor should firearm instructors be trainied to be physicians unless either wants to. There are separate functions and that is as it should be. I'm sure you will agree that safe storage is very important and that small children do sometimes get their hands on guns and shoot themselves or someone else accidentally. And gun suicide is another matter all together. I don't intend that for you or anyone else to go off and running on a new topic. Why is it that you think the gun lobby should be involved in this at all? You don't like it when anyone tells you guys how to sell guns or give instructions. Why do you think laws should be made in this case when you seem to hate gun laws in general and just want the laws that are on the books.

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  31. And that is your choice, Bryan, but doesn't need to be in law.

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  32. Bryan- as to your last comment and question- do you understand that Pediatricians and Physicians in general ask this quesion as just one of many in their histories and phyiscals? Do you understand that your job and that of a Physician are completely and totally different? If so, then you should be satisfied with the way things are. If you choose not to visit a certain Physician, fine. If someone wants to take a firearms class, then fine. That is a choice that we all have.

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  33. "Do you understand that your job and that of a Physician are completely and totally different?"

    I absolutely do.

    Do you understand that an untrained person giving out advice on home firearms safety is dangerous?
    b

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  34. No I don't get that one at all Bryan. It is not dangerous for an MD to give out advice on safety in the home. That is your opinion and not at all shared by the majority of Americans. I'm done with this one now. We've gone around and back and we don't agree. I think you are wrong.

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  35. What are you planning to do to me and mine that you don't want me to have a gun available while you're doing it?

    And any doctor that presumed to lecture my children about gun safety, gets sued for malpractice.

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  36. John B.- I don't understand your question. What could I possibly do to you or your family? What are you saying here? Suing a doctor for malpractice is no small thing. I hope you would not consider that. Doctors are doing what they have always done- trying to keep their patients safe from injuries and disease. I just don't get what you guys have your undies so in a bundle about.

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  37. Jdege- give it a rest. Points have been made ad nauseum and my mind won't change about doctors talking about guns. Move on. This thread is done. How many times do you guys have to beat someone over the head with your points?

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