It’s Doctors’ Duty to Promote Gun Safety With Patients

Art Caplan has a new opinion piece up at Medscape: “It’s Doctors’ Duty to Promote Gun Safety With Patients.” From the article:

There is a huge problem with guns in the United States, and there are many things that public health can do, and many things that doctors should do to try to minimize the threats that guns pose to children, families, and all of us. One of the leading problems with guns is that we don’t educate children to know what to do when they find a gun or see a gun. So, if a 5- or 6-year-old sees a gun, we need a program that teaches that child that if you see a gun, walk away, get out of the area, and then tell an adult. That is a public health program. It’s something that school nurses could do. It’s something that pediatricians should talk about with their child patients. It’s something that families should hear about. We need a campaign. Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General candidate, thinks that it is an appropriate thing to do. Apparently, the NRA doesn’t.

You can watch or read the full piece on the Medscape website (access requires a login and password, but registration is free).

2 thoughts to “It’s Doctors’ Duty to Promote Gun Safety With Patients”

  1. Since when have physicians been experts in firearm safety? The NRA and most local gun clubs have good courses on this topic. Many years ago, kids in rural areas were introduced to .22 rifles, and believe it or not, there were very few adverse incidents. When I was a kid, my grandfather taught me how to drive at the age of 10, and I was shooting a target rifle at 11.

    Maybe physicians should get involved with automobile safety instead. 40,000 deaths per year nationally is way too many. Maybe the physician could use his expertise to select his patients’ cars for them, or use his stethoscope to ensure his patients’ cars don’t have valve lifter tapping or rod bearing knock, or give the patients tips on vehicle maintenance and repair. Certainly (s)he should tell the patient to obey the traffic laws and not drive while tired or impaired.

  2. “Apparently, the NRA doesn’t.” says Dr. Caplan. But the NRA does… I hope the NRA sues Dr. Caplan for spreading lies about them:

    The NRA has a program, with available to everyone, to teach kids about gun safety.

    If “Dr. Caplan” had spend 10 seconds googling, he would have known this.

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