Hot New Idea: Doctors Should Be Trained to Determine Who is "Fit" to Carry a Gun

Posted: Jul 01, 2014 8:30 AM
Hot New Idea: Doctors Should Be Trained to Determine Who is "Fit" to Carry a Gun

Remember when I warned about the dangers of President Obama's Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy? Here's another reason why the National Rifle Association and even pro-Second Amendment Democrats have lined up together to oppose his nomination: the Left wants doctors trained to determine who is "fit" to carry a firearm. More on this proposal and study being used to justify the move from The Atlantic:

The American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and U.S. Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy are calling gun violence a public health crisis.

North Carolina is among the states where law enforcement can ask physicians to sign off on competency permits, but a recent survey of the state’s doctors shows many of them worry they may not be equipped to judge their patients’ physical and mental ability to handle concealed guns safely. The U.S. currently lacks training programs and comprehensive standards to guide doctors in making such assessments, so physicians are reduced to using their best clinical judgment.

Twenty-one percent of doctors who responded to the survey said they had been asked to sign off on concealed-weapons competency permits, and indicated they had done so 80 percent of the time when asked. But most of them admitted they did not feel comfortable assessing patients’ physical competence to carry a gun. A sizable minority also expressed concerns about mental competence evaluations. Most physicians (84 percent) felt that medical assessments for competency should be conducted by physicians specifically trained in doing so.

“There are things we can do now to change this,” Dr. Kathy Barnhouse, a professor of family medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and co-author of the study, said in a press release. “We discovered that the great majority of physicians feel that assessments for concealed weapons permits should best be done by providers specifically trained in making such assessments, presumably with standards to make assessments about mental and physical competence.”

And how does Obamacare play into this?

The North Carolina survey also showed that doctors are concerned about the potential ethical consequences participation in this assessment might have for the doctor-patient relationship. While the Affordable Care Act forbids the collection and recording of data about patients’ gun ownership, the Obama administration has made it clear that health laws do not prevent physicians from disclosing necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members or other people when the patient is deemed to present a serious danger to himself or others. But the American Psychiatric Association has cautioned against laws requiring doctors to talk to law enforcement about patients who may appear to pose a threat to themselves or others.

The connection they're trying to make here is between mental health issues and concealed carry permit holders, which is a non-argument. Gun control advocates get their ideas from mass shootings or from bogus "child" gun death stats that they conveniently fail to acknowledge come from gang activity in big cities like New York and Chicago. Nearly every mass killer who used a gun in the past five years gave ample warning signs about plans to do harm, but those signs were ignored repeatedly by parents and police.

Concealed carry permit holders aren't the people carrying out mass shootings or gang murders. Instead, they overwhelmingly obey the laws already on the books and don't need a doctor stepping in to infringe on their Second Amendment rights. Concealed carry permit holders aren't the problem and they shouldn't be made into one for the sake of doing something about "gun violence."