Florida Republican representative Jason Brodeur introduced a bill that will forbid pediatricians from asking parents whether they have a gun in the house, and if they do, whether it is secured, and inaccessible to the child. The “crime” of asking will be a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to $5 million fine.
Pediatricians that follow evidence-based guidelines on injury prevention routinely ask about bicycle helmets, about swimming pools, fire extinguishers, but guns? The author of the bill sees it as an invasion of privacy.
1.3 million kids live in homes with unsecured guns. More children die of accidents than of diseases. Rep. Broudeur is apparently unconcerned. He and his cohorts are concerned that the good doctor will report them to a government registry. No such registry exists, and ownership of guns – with some regulatory restrictions – is legal in this country.
Why did this representative write this bill? Could it be because it is one of the NRA’s top legislative priorities? Did Mr. Brodeur, perhaps, get some generous contributions from the gun lobby – directly or indirectly? I don’t know.
I don’t want to engage in yet another heated debate about the gun lobby. But this bill, coming from the party that doesn’t want government interference in health care, strikes me as loony and, BTW, a big waste of Florida’s tax dollars.
You be the judge.