Protect gunowners, stop the Florida tattle-tailing ring

State governments pass more safety control measures in violation of the United States Constitution than drunken sailors drink whiskey. If only our founding fathers could magically resurface and see that the Truths endowed by our Creator, defined as unalienable Rights, have been ignored, trampled and misinterpreted by modern day ignorant, unjust and corrupt politicians, their jaws would sink to the ground in disgust.

Florida lawmakers, for example, are embroiled in a First, Second, Fourth and Ninth amendment controversy ever since uppity representatives seeking to disrupt innocent Americans in their pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness created in 2011, an unnecessary and unconstitutional law; the “Firearm Ownership Privacy Act”.

The wording of the law makes it seem appropriate enough, but really it is just a means to an end. The end being control of liberty, the means being Second Amendment enthusiasts.  Starting with the premise that laws of an overly burdensome, restrictive nature conflict with liberty and the Constitution, let’s examine the controversy.

During a visit to a pediatrician with her young child, a mother residing in Ocala, Florida was asked questions concerning firearms in her home.  The mother declined to answer the inquiry, and the physician refused to keep the child on as a patient.  Okay, so the mom gets a new doctor, no?  No.  The parents reach out to the Florida legislature to create a new law, instead.

Big mistake. The Florida legislature have a specific interest in making law upon law, restriction upon restriction, having its own agenda of collecting dollars and controlling its citizens – all in the name of safety.

So why would a doctor have an interest in knowing if a family is in possession of firearms in the first place?  Yep, you guessed it. Yet another menacing Florida law that makes it mandatory for physicians to report any suspected case of child neglect to the authorities or face criminal penalties.  After all, “accidental shootings kill children every day, so it is easy to see how a pediatrician could feel strongly about, and want to discourage, the careless handling of firearms,” says Emergency Physicians Monthly.

Any physician can feel strongly about any topic and act accordingly. In a free society the customer simply chooses a new product.  But in a not so free society, where the government has created arbitrary standards, the pediatrician, in this case, may feel pressured to protect themselves from liability, and err on the side of caution.

Yet the Constitution does not carve out special provisions that provide authorities to determine the threshold of safety, then create laws that serve as a list making, tattle-tailing operation. In fact, studies have shown that mandatory reporting does not protect children at all, and the State of Florida did not feel it necessary to conduct any studies of their own before it imposed the most rigorous mandatory reporting laws in the nation.  Bear in mind Communist Cuba has mandatory reporting. So did Hitler.

Whether a pediatrician makes a judgment call on a family’s lifestyle is irrelevant, patients are not forced to see that pediatrician, or are they?  Maybe in this case physicians are banning together to protect their livelihood and reputation from prosecution by an overbearing government.  For parents, good luck finding a pediatrician who doesn’t join the bandwagon; we might as well cave in and admit to owning a firearm, or (at your own risk) get rid of the firearm altogether.

The formidable question here is this:  Do we correct one anti-Constitutional law with another law that is anti-Constitution? The answer is no. We operate to correct the bad laws that exist, and encourage our elected officials to stop making so many laws to begin with.

Criminal procedure books are filled to the rim with laws that never expire oftentimes existing indefinitely, regardless of whether it violates the Constitution or not.  Closer scrutiny of new and old laws are in order, but money making governments in a bad economy see law upon law, restriction upon restriction, as a money making operation.

After being pressured by constituents to do something to supposedly protect the Second Amendment rights of patients, the Florida legislature passed the “Firearm Ownership Privacy Act,” which has been erroneously described as a law that restricts doctors from asking patients about firearms in their home. In practicality, it does no such thing.

While the wording includes a restriction of inquiry regarding firearm ownership, it adds this important phrase: “Unless the practitioner in good faith believes the information is relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety.” (Oh boy there’s that safety word, again.) Also built in the measure is the imposition of sanctions if doctors “unnecessarily harass a patient about firearm ownership.”

Do we really think the norm for physicians is to harass patients because of differing political perspectives? Common sense says no, of course not.  Does the law actually give enough leeway for physicians to go ahead and ask questions regarding firearms, anyway?  Yes, of course it does.

Nonetheless, on June 24, 2011 state chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and six individual doctors sued the state of Florida claiming a violation of First Amendment rights and Federal Judge Marcia Cooke issued a permanent injunction against the “Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act,” finding that physicians have a right to discuss safety with patients.  She is right.  However, it is also true that patients have a right to reject such inquiries, and seek services elsewhere.

Now, Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering appealing Judge Cooke’s ruling. My advice to the good governor is this: Kill two birds with one stone; reject the anti-Constitution ineffective tattle-tailing ring created by mandatory reporting laws, and see how quickly pediatricians stop asking parents about their guns.

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