Gun Grabbers Target Your Doctor by Wes Vernon

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Published Date: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

The once-respected American Medical Association wants your doctor to butt into your constitutional right to own firearms.

Although only an embarrassingly low 32 percent of American physicians are members of AMA, the organization claims to speak for all doctors.

If your doctor is among the majority of physicians who are not AMA members, perhaps he could give you a laundry list of reasons for a refusal to participate. They could range from nonsense bureaucracy to politics.

The latter consideration may have something to do with the fact that President Bush did not deliver the traditional first health care address to AMA. Like its counterpart in the legal profession – American Bar Association – AMA has been drifting left in recent years.

If your general practitioner is in AMA, don’t be surprised if the next time you have a physical exam, he asks you about guns you have in your home.

Dr. Miguel Faria, in a study for Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), says AMA is urging doctors, in effect, to abuse the trust and authority of the physician by prying into a political matter totally unrelated to medicine or your health.

Dr. Timothy Wheeler, a prominent California surgeon who heads Claremont Institute’s Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, says the president of AMA, Dr. Richard F. Corlin, "has declared war on gun owners.”

AMA head wants his group to use its massive lobbying clout to persuade Congress to re-empower the social engineers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revert to its gun control activism of the Clinton-Gore years.

The CDC was squarely in the gun-control business until Congress moved to cut the funding for this taxpayer-backed propaganda machine.

Putting aside the fact that, as reported last year, careful research has disproven claims that gun ownership endangers the owner or causes crime, or increases the likelihood of mass killings, there is the question as to whether doctors have any business, from a health standpoint, getting involved in your Second Amendment right to own firearms.

Moreover, AMA, which could better spend its energy on lobbying for tort reform, may risk making doctors even more vulnerable to legal action.

As a recent article in the AAPS publication Medical Sentinel puts it:

"To engage in Home Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in home safety and risk management, and to concentrate on one small politically correct area, [i.e., firearms] to the neglect of all of the other safety issues in the modern home, is to invite a lawsuit because the safety counselor, the physician, knew, could have known, or should have known that there were other dangers to occupants of that house more immediate than firearms.”

"Once the physicians start down that path of home safety counseling,” adds the AAPS article, "they are completely on their own.”

Dr. Faria has warned against pushing for "gun control masquerading as gun safety.”

It used to be that when lawmakers on Capitol Hill wanted authoritative, unbiased information on medical issues, they would turn to AMA.

AMA has been turning left on multiple issues, including unionization of doctors and opposing a state initiative in Washington state, which was aimed at ending racial preferences.

Moreover, in its anti-gun efforts, American Medical Association has found itself formally allied with the likes of such left-wing groups as Children’s Defense Fund and so-called Million Mom March.

Patients who seek unbiased and objective analysis of their health concerns may want to be on their guard against any attempt to use the practice of medicine to advance a pet leftist cause.

Written by Wes Vernon

This commentary originally appeared in on February 26, 2002.

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