Some time back, the state of Florida enacted a law to prevent doctors from asking patients whether they had guns in the home. I’m not going to discuss whether doctors were doing this because of their concern for patient safety or because of the well known anti-gun leanings of the American Medical Association.
I’ve had contact with several doctors about this, and the ones I chatted with seemed genuinely interested in patient safety, and the rest of their practice reflected that. For instance, they had lots of information on other child safety issues like swimming pools and car seats.
Then there is my own doctor. When I first moved to this area, I picked him because he was the closest family practitioner and because he’s my age. I want a doctor my own age, or a little older, because I want him or her to believe me when I come in with some new ailment. The youngsters might not.
But I noticed a lack of patient safety brochures in the waiting room, and there were no outdoors magazines, much less hunting or firearms magazines. Yes, he asked on the patient information form whether I had a gun in the home, be I decided not to answer, and he never asked about it.
So, I didn’t know his stance on gun issues, since it’s never come up in the 9 years I’ve been his patient.
Nevertheless, when I went to see him last week for a regular checkup, I decided to ask him to check my blood lead levels, since I do shot indoors on occasion. I wanted him to know why, so I told him I did some target shooting indoors. This led to a small surprise, as he agreed, and told me owned a .357 magnum revolver himself.
He then told me to be sure to wear my hearing protection all the time, and told me how he used to shoot without hearing protection with his uncle when he was in high school, and had suffered some hearing loss in one ear as a result. I told him I have always used ear plugs or muffs, and indoors I use both.
So, that was that. They took my blood, and I found out later that my level was 15 micrograms/dL, which is in the normal range. So, add that to what I found out about whether my doctor is anti-gun, and I guess that’s two less things to worry about.