Why shouldn't guns be in hospitals?

Why shouldn't guns be in hospitals?
Waldrebell / Pixabay

Sometimes, the list of places you can’t take a gun makes some kind of sense. While I disagree with anywhere being off-limits, I do get the thinking involved in some of those places. Courthouses, for example, make sense, even if it’s a wrong choice.

But in some places, hospitals are on that list.

In Vermont, an op-ed was published titled: “Conor Casey: Why wouldn’t we keep guns out of hospitals?

It includes this bit:

This week the governor will have the opportunity to choose action over inaction. S.30, the legislation currently sitting on his desk, is a small but meaningful step to save lives. Banning firearms in medical settings is the very least we can do to protect health care workers who have done so much to protect us over the course of this pandemic.

Hospitals can be chaotic, emotionally charged environments and having guns present only increases the likelihood of a violent episode.

But the very question that starts this is problematic. Why wouldn’t we keep guns out of hospitals? That’s not how you frame a constitutionally protected right. It’s the wrong line of thinking from the very start.

First, hospitals can be chaotic and emotionally charged.

However, you know what you don’t see in the many states that haven’t made hospitals off-limits? Shootings.

That’s right. Despite the emotionally charged environment, people just aren’t gunning down hospital staff for failing to save their loved ones. It simply isn’t a thing.

When you’re talking about restricting someone’s rights, you need to make a compelling case that it has to be done. I’m going to disagree regardless, but the standard has to be set high so as to prevent every other right from being infringed upon simply because it’s fun.

Libel and slander laws, for example, cause harm to individuals and their reputations, which may well make it more difficult for them to get work, hold a job, or a host of other things. It’s not a case of “why not restrict free speech.” There’s a serious reason why we draw that particular line.

But carrying a gun in a hospital isn’t like that. There’s no compelling interest in disarming anyone there. Especially when there are plenty of good reasons someone might, none of which represent an issue for anyone else.

It’s not a question of “why not restrict it?” but “why should you?”

At the end of the day, there’s no reason to do so. The author’s unfounded fear isn’t justification for restricting a basic civil liberty, nor should it be. If so, I could argue that his ability to write op-eds should be restricted because he’s talking scary rhetoric that could restrict my ability to protect my family.

I won’t. One reason is that I support the Constitution. Another is that I’m not a quivering coward who thinks the world should revolve around me and ban anything I might wet my pants over.

But that’s just me.

As for the rest of the op-ed, it’s in support of closing the so-called Charleston Loophole, which isn’t a loophole. It’s simply a way to keep the government from denying people the ability to buy a gun by delaying background checks indefinitely.

A more productive way to prevent another Charleston is to support making background checks faster and more efficient so that there won’t be delays.

But from a guy who asks, “Why wouldn’t we keep guns out of hospitals?” that might be asking a little much.