[From The Hill
“About 55 children die a week as a result of gun violence,” AAP President Thomas McInerny told The Hill. “For us, that’s a big problem.”
McInerny’s group, which represents 60,000 U.S. pediatricians, has recommended asking patients about guns for decades in its clinical guidelines.
The practice has a long history in U.S. medicine, McInerny said.
“If there’s a gun in the house, a family member is three times more likely to die from a gunshot wound [than] an intruder,” he added. “We advise parents about car safety seats, about bicycle helmets, and about guns. It’s just part of our prevention frame of mind.”
King, criticizing Obama’s healthcare law, suggested that doctors’ practice of asking about guns could ultimately help the government surveil citizens.
“What they’re doing is compiling a record that, one day, the Obama administration or a succeeding administration could tap into,” King said. “Who is getting those records? They will be in ObamaCare’s database file. That’s part of that.”
“Are they going to start asking if [patients] are Republicans or Democrats?” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), another member of the Judiciary Committee. “Asking questions that are none of the pediatricians’ business is out of bounds.”
“It’s not their business,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s like asking, ‘Do people pray in your home? Do they voice opinions contrary to the [Obama] administration?'”
Contrary to many of their colleagues, some GOP lawmakers who practice medicine sympathized with that view this week.
“Our pediatricians do a fabulous job,” said Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), an OBGYN with an “A” rating from the NRA. “In the spirit of knowing that maybe there were guns in the home, to advise a parent or a legal guardian about gun safety, I think I understand.”
“If I’m a pediatrician, I want to make sure the kids I take care of are safe,” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), a physician. “So having a discussion about all types of things … I don’t have a problem with it.”