The Doctor Will Ask About Your Gun Now

More physicians are making gun safety part of routine visits. But should they be?

THE ATLANTIC – A man comes to Northwell Health’s hospital on Staten Island with a sprained ankle.

Any allergies? the doctor asks. How many alcoholic drinks do you have each week? Do you have access to firearms inside or outside the home?

When the patient answers yes to that last question, someone from his care team explains that locking up the firearm can make his home safer.

She offers him a gun lock and a pamphlet with information on secure storage and firearm-safety classes. And all of this happens during the visit about his ankle.

Northwell Health is part of a growing movement of health-care providers that want to talk with patients about guns like they would diet, exercise, or sex—treating firearm injury as a public-health issue.

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In the past few years, the White House has declared firearm injury an epidemic, and the CDC and National Institutes of Health have begun offering grants for prevention research.

Meanwhile, dozens of medical societies agree that gun injury is a public-health crisis and that health-care providers have to help stop it.

Asking patients about access to firearms and counseling them toward responsible storage could be one part of that.

“It’s the same way that we encourage people to wear seat belts and not drive while intoxicated, to exercise,” Emmy Betz, an emergency-medicine physician and the director of the University of Colorado’s Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative, told me.

An unsecured gun could be accessible to a child, someone with dementia, or a person with violent intent—and may increase the chance of suicide or accidental injury in the home.

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Securely storing a gun is fundamental to the National Rifle Association’s safety rules, but as of 2016, only about half of firearm owners reported doing so for all of their guns …


“Sorry, Doc, I Invoke The Fifth” 

When a doctor asks if you own a gun, shut the **** up 

HEADLINE HEALTH – Anything you tell your doctor is likely to end up in your electronic medical record, where it will remain forever.

Medical records are government-regulated and no matter what anyone tells you, government-accessible.

If Russian and Chinese hackers can crack hospital databases — and they can — so can the FBI, the BATF, the Department of Justice, and local law enforcement:


“A medical tech company that handles billions of records was hacked. On Feb. 21, Change Healthcare, a property of UnitedHealth Group, disclosed that hackers had disrupted operations for the company that processes 15 billion health-related transactions a year. Change Healthcare operates a digital “clearinghouse” that connects doctors, hospitals and other health providers with insurance companies that pay for medical care and authorize medical services.” 

SC MAGAZINE, JAN 25, 2024 

“An attack on technology company HealthEC exposed almost 4.5 million records belonging to patients signed up to 18 U.S. healthcare providers.

“For one Michigan provider, it was the second time in a matter of months that a significant amount of its patient data — about a million records — were breached due to a hack related to its supply chain.”


“Over the past decade, more than 5,100 healthcare breaches have compromised data from about 489 million patient records across the country, according to the report.”

So if you doctor asks if you own a gun, it may be best to shut the **** up.


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