I’m not sure on whom this reflects worse–the Florida legislature, the NRA or our rather unusual gun culture.
NRA lobbyists helped write a bill that largely bans health professionals from asking about guns. Hammer says she and other NRA members consider the questions an intrusion on their Second Amendment rights.
But physicians see this as part of safeguarding families and children.
pediatricians ask a lot of questions. Dr. Louis St. Petery says it’s all part of what doctors call “anticipatory guidance” — teaching parents how to safeguard against accidental injuries.
Pediatricians ask about bike helmets, seat belts and other concerns.”If you have a pool, let’s talk about pool safety so we don’t have accidental drownings,” he says. “And if you have firearms, let’s talk about gun safety so that they’re stored properly — you know, the gun needs to be locked up, the ammunition stored separate from the gun, etc., so that children don’t have access to them.”
Medicynical note: 500 children are killed yearly by gun accidents and 34,000 about ten 747 passenger jet-loads of people are killed yearly by guns.
The NRA is remarkably paranoid and a major contributor to our dysfunctional culture.
Paul – do you have more documentation on this NRA action and something that summarizes this law from a newspaper report ? I am a progressive outdoors blogger in Minnesota, and I am both intensely pro-shooting sports and very opposed to the NRA leadership’s policies ( know some pretty reasonable NRA members, however). I have two children, fraternal twin girls who are seven, they are learning to shoot and hunt (they also fish, camp, cross-country ski, swim, and bike). I want more young kids shooting and hunting. But I also am very concerned about safe firearm practices when it comes to youth. IMO, there are big public health benefits to kids being involved with shooting and hunting at an early age (less obesity, higher connection to nature), but with the unsafe gun storage practices that are prevalent in this country, there are significant public health dangers as well, esp to youth. I think it is pathetic that the NRA resists SOME kind of safe storage laws, but frankly, I also have a problem AAP’s position that people with kids should get rid of guns in the home. The AAP should be pro-kids shooting and hunting because of the health benefits to the child and family, as well as advocate for safe storage legislation and proper supervision of firearm use by kids. There is that study by Grossman that was published in 2005 that showed safe storage practices are a feasible alternative to asking families to not have guns in the home. I think the AAP’s clinging to the position of “no guns in the home” allows the right wing of the gun owning community to stir up a lot of suspicions of the motivations of public health advocates when they raise issues about the dangers of kids and guns (yes there are moderate and liberal gun owners, in fact, combined, they are the majority).
I’ll check back or you can email me.
The law was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. The issue was not whether parents should not have weapons but whether they could be asked whether the weapons were stored properly considering the presence of children in the household. It is a fact that “Each year, more than 20,000 children go to U.S. emergency rooms with gun injuries, a new study estimates. That number is 30 percent higher than what researchers had previously found. ”
America’s unique love affair with guns has costs and this is one of them.
Thanks, but I was more interested in press coverage of the NRA getting this law through because it is particularly outrageous and I like to attack the NRA leadership on my blog for variety of reasons. The press coverage would be useful in that regard.
i somewhat disagree with your characterization, America isn’t unique, there are a number of countries with high private gun ownership, and they don’t have near the same rate of gun accidents that we do. They are not as high a rate of ownership, but close: the best estimates are that the US has a 40% private firearm ownership rate, Norway, Finland, Canada, and Switzerland have rates of 25-32%. It’s the kind of gun politics we have, and a subset of the gun culture (a big, vocal minority) that’s the problem.
Paul – googled and looked at your link, did find stories about the ruling and the law’s enactment. May use this at some point.
I am in total agreement with AAP recommending that pediatricians ask about guns, I have never felt it was “an invasion of privacy” when asked at my kids’ well-kid check-up, I think it is good that they do that.
I do think the AAP needs to do some research on the other side of the equation, and look into the health benefits of kids being involved with hunting and shooting, and back off “no guns in the home”. It should be “safe storage of guns if you have them”, end of story. The tiny risk of properly stored guns to youth is outweighed by the public health benefits of shooting sports.