Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:47 PM
Redfairen (1,276 posts)
Pediatricians vs. the NRA: How the gun lobby is trying to gag doctors from talking about kids & guns
What does the body of a 6-year-old girl look like after a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle’s high-velocity bullets rip through her? The average 6-year-old girl weighs about 44 pounds and stands around 3 feet 9 inches tall. The size of her organs and the diameters of her arteries and veins, bowel, and bones are much smaller than an adult’s. But a 6-year-old girl is not a miniature adult; her organs are more vulnerable and less protected by bones. So when a high-velocity projectile like a .223-caliber bullet, traveling at approximately 2,000 miles per hour, from an assault weapon like a Bushmaster AR-15, enters her body, all hell breaks loose. If that bullet pierces her chest wall into her heart, it will cause her heart to explode, and if it passes within 3 inches of her aorta, the shockwaves will tear it open. If it slices into her arm, it will shatter her humerus into so many fragments that it will no longer be recognizable as a bone. If it spirals into her brain, the cavity and damage the bullet causes will be so extensive that her head will break apart.
Guns kill kids. In 2010, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,694 children and teens in the United States died because of a firearm. Another 15,578 children and teens were injured. Every 30 minutes, a child is killed or injured by a gun. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the largest organization of pediatricians, recommends that conversations about guns and gun safety start during a prenatal visit and be repeated every year as part of anticipatory guidance. Those conversations start with a question: “Do you own a gun?”
One Tuesday in the summer of 2010, at Children’s Health of Ocala, Fla., a pediatrician named Chris Okonkwo asked the mother of a 7-year-old patient, “Do you have guns in the home?”
Her response was unexpected: “None of your business!”
What happened in that pediatric office led an NRA lobbyist to sponsor legislation in the Florida State House. “Privacy of Firearm Owners” was signed by Gov. Rick Scott and passed into law on June 2, 2011. This law prohibits doctors from “making written inquiry or asking questions concerning the ownership of a firearm or ammunition by the patient or by a family member of the patient.” It also prohibits doctors from “unnecessarily harassing a patient about firearm ownership during an examination.” But this law does not define what “unnecessarily harassing” means. The question Okonkwo asked could be construed as “unnecessarily harassing” if that mother filed a complaint with the Florida Board of Medicine. And Okonkwo could be censured and his license to practice medicine revoked, as well as fined up to $10,000. But this was a watered-down version of the law. The original bill called for more Draconian measures: a third-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $5 million and a maximum of five years in prison. All for simply asking the question, “Do you have guns in the home?”
3 replies, 802 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Pediatricians vs. the NRA: How the gun lobby is trying to gag doctors from talking about kids & guns (Original post)
Response to Redfairen (Original post)
Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:55 PM
HockeyMom (13,419 posts)
1. They can ask about child safety locks on cabinets,
electrical outlet plugs, etc., but not GUNS? All those are safety issues which can prevent the accidental death of a child, but no questions on the safety issues of GUNS around a child?
Response to Redfairen (Original post)
Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:07 PM
Hoyt (26,042 posts)
2. I support the peditricians who discuss guns, the killer of kids.
Gungeoneers blasted the doctors when this occurred, and celebrated the gag legislation and NRA.
Thanks for posting.