Doctors lobbying about guns again

National ReviewThe same holds true for gun control. I believe a physician may indulge her or his First Amendment rights to decry the Second Amendment or to express an opinion on limiting gun ownership, but let’s face it, when it comes to gun policy, we doctors are not experts. That goes not just for individuals but also for groups like the American College of Physicians, which last month updated its firearms policy by offering restrictive strategies intended to “help reduce firearms-related injuries and deaths by keeping guns out of the hands of those at risk of harming themselves or others.” The ACP went on to suggest that physicians need to provide guidance to legislators.

When did the folks at ACP become experts on gun control? The answer is they aren’t. The fact that most ACP members favor stricter gun-control legislation does not automatically put them in a position to guide legislation; nor does the fact that physicians have to treat the devastating injuries that a gun can inflict. Certainly a forensic psychiatrist, say, is entitled to his or her professional opinion that those with a violent or significant mental-health history should be excluded from owning guns, but that’s as far as it goes.

Why should even a forensic psychiatrist get a say? One thing we keep hearing, even and especially from "experts", is that it's impossible to tell the patients who will turn violent from those who don't. They don't want the responsibility when it comes with liability, and they can't demonstrate the ability to predict results reliably either. The medical profession should restrict itself to treating wounds, not lobbying for gun control.

But then, it's not the doctors doing the lobbying. It's the professional organizations and the medical journals. Pournelle's iron law applies.

This entry was published Sat Dec 08 07:47:19 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-11-30 08:45:07.0. [Tweet]

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