Florida stance correct on doctors asking about guns in the home

LETTER — Posted Aug. 1, 2011

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Regarding "AMA backs challenge of 'don't ask' gun law" (Article, July 4): The American Medical Association stance on the Florida law restricting the unnecessary and highly judgmental questioning of patients or parents about the presence of a gun in the home gives me another good reason for being glad I do not belong that organization.

Negative opinions regarding guns in a home have absolutely no basis in fact and have been created by "politically correct" thinking and "junk science," which has been thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately, any incident with a firearm is publicized widely, implying much greater frequency and severity of such incidents than is actually true in relation to other events adversely affecting personal health and safety.

Rather than judgmentally implying that families should not have guns in the home, physicians who are truly interested in patient safety should encourage responsible gun ownership and familiarity.

After all, gun ownership is and always should be a right of free people. Rather than suggest that children not be allowed to be around guns, they actually should be taught to respect and use guns in a responsible way.

Ronald D. Weddle, MD, Louisville, Ky.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/08/01/edlt0801.htm.

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