First Amendment vs. Second Amendment

By William R. Toler

Similar bills in several states could have civil libertarians scratching their heads, trying to decide what side to stand on.

Three southern states, including North Carolina, currently have legislation in the works that would prohibit doctors from inquiring about gun ownership, according to USA Today.

Gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, say that by health care officials questioning patients– or for the kiddies, their parents–about the status of a firearm in the home, is a violation of the Second Amendment.

Doctors counter that by arguing that keeping them from asking violates their First Amendment Rights.

Florida recently passed the bill in both legislative houses and the governor is expected to sign it into law.

Opponents of the bill say doctors aren’t concerned with the politics of gun control, but of saftey…especially that of children.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated otherwise:

“..the absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents. A number of specific measures are supported to reduce the destructive effects on guns in the lives of children and adolescents, including the regulation of the manufacture, sale, purchase, ownership, and use of firearms; a ban on handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons; and expanded regulations of handguns for civilian use.”

That looks like they support gun control to me.

However, the paper reports that constitutional law expert Erwin Chemerinsky says that banning doctors from asking about guns in the home would be “because it restricts speech on the basis of content, which is ‘allowed only if it serves a compelling interest and there is no other way to achieve it.’”

Sadly, I have to agree with that conclusion. So, here’s my solution.

As my pal Daryl says,”The problem is, we have too many laws.” So, let doctors ask their questions. All the patient has to say is, “That’s none of your damn business.”




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0 Responses to First Amendment vs. Second Amendment


    The Dr. here in Morganton, NC refused to see me unless I answered the ? on the form they gave me. SO I ripped it up and left.

  2. James

    The Second Amendment reads:
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Asking if someone has a gun does not infringe on this right in any way, shape, or form. Growing up in a house with guns is not a negative thing. Growing up in an irresponsible household with guns is a bad thing. A pediatrician is trying to set up a healthy environment for the child. Telling a doctor what they can and can’t say is a violation of the 1st amendment (not to mention entirely hypocritical of the conservative party). The so-called Obamacare is chided for removing the ability for doctors to work without government intervention, except this issue does just that – it inhibits the ability of doctors to even ask about gun safety in the home.

    Taxpayers are also going to suffer because these laws will be challenged, and will lose, and it is the taxpayers who are going to pay the bill.

  3. I believe in this case a doctor can ask any questions they want, but privacy rights of the patient allow them to withhold information such as what they own in their homes. I believe that the gov’t shouldn’t have any say in the matter, and if a doctor refuses to treat a patient because they do not want to answer this type of question a doctor has a right to refuse service and the patient has the right to seek care elsewhere.

  4. Uno Hu

    If you refuse to answer, you have effectively answered “Yes, I have one/several guns in my house”.

    My response was “A gun? In my house? Certainly not.” The nurse bithely recorded the answer.

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