Oregon Health Care Providers Want Courts to Implement Measure 114

AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

There are a lot of things you should probably listen to your doctor on. After all, if they're looking at your test results, they know what they're talking about generally, so you should listen.


But when you get groups of doctors, nurses, or others, you may get some different takes that have nothing to do with you or, in some cases, reality as a whole.

I'm talking about when groups supposedly representing medical professionals start trying to opine on matters of public policy that they don't really grasp. You know, like guns.

See, doctors see gunshot wounds in the hospital on a regular basis, and I have no doubt it's horrible, but that doesn't convey expertise on gun policy. And yet, their groups are trying to change gun policy, such as trying to pressure the courts into implementing key parts of Oregon's Measure 114:

Eight groups representing Oregon health care professionals have asked an appeals court to clear the way for a delayed gun-control measure, arguing it would cut down on the firearm-related deaths and injuries they see first-hand.

The coalition of groups representing doctors, nurses, physician associates and others argued in a brief filed June 14 that Measure 114, a 2022 voter-approved measure since tied up in legal challenges, would reduce what they characterized as Oregon’s rising gun violence.

“The medical profession has a special responsibility to speak out on this topic, just as physicians and nurses have spoken out on other public health issues,” reads the brief written by Margaret Olney, an attorney with Portland law firm Bennett Hartman.

The brief supports an appeal filed by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to overturn a ruling by Harney County Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio. In 2023, Raschio sided with a pair of gun owners challenging the measure, finding that it violates the state constitution and would not improve public safety.


Now, the medcial profession doesn't actually have a special responsibility to speak out on this topic, mostly because they see one dimension of it and think that gives them that responsibility.

They don't see the lives saved by guns, which is an order of magnitude more than the lives taken with them.

What's more, they have some pretty ridiculous ideas about how gun control would actually work, such as this tidbit:

The medical groups further argued that laws requiring background checks don’t do enough to reduce firearm-related deaths. However, Measure 114’s permitting and firearm safety instruction requirements would enhance public safety, they argued.

“Dealing directly with law enforcement when getting a permit is likely to deter purchasers from buying a firearm and then using it against another person or to commit a crime,” reads the brief.

Excuse me for a moment. I need to rupture my spleen laughing at this.

OK, I'm back. Thank you for your cooperation.

Honestly, this is the stupidest thing I've literally ever heard come from the medical profession, and when you consider the outright lies dished out by doctors during the pandemic, that's saying something.

First, the people who commit crimes with guns aren't buying them lawfully. The only people who will be interacting with police will be law-abiding citizens who weren't going to go out and commit a crime in the first place. Sure, it may make people a little more nervous about straw purchases, but those only account for a small percentage of the guns that end up in criminal hands.


Instead, criminals get their guns through theft in most cases. They either steal it themselves or buy a stolen gun from a third party.

You're out of your mind if you think that they're going to go through the process to get a purchase permit in order to buy an illegal gun.

It just isn't going to happen.

Doctors only see one side of things. That colors their perceptions. While they have a right to hold whatever opinions they want, they don't get to pretend facts are irrelevant simply because they have "MD" after their name. 

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