Children, Doctors, and Guns

I got this email this afternoon:

I agree with the premise of your Op-Ed piece, with one caveat. My children's Pediatrician asked a similar question once when my son in to see her, but it was phrased a different (and I felt appropriate) way. She asked "If you were over at a friend or relative's house and was playing hide and seek and found a gun, what would you do?" I took that to be as innocent as asking if they knew what to do in the event of a fire. My son, who was 9 at the time, answered perfectly by telling her that he wouldn't touch it, he believes it's real, and goes and gets an adult. I didn't have a problem with the question posed in that manner. We have worked with both of our children with gun safety. Ours are locked away (quick handgun access for protection if needed; long guns and other firearms in gun safe). I am not a Texas CHL holder, but will be soon. My children are familiar with firearms and have been shown their destructive power, been to the range, etc., but I can't speak for other kids that may be in my house if I’m not immediately available. My kids need to have a good understanding because I can't control other's access in their homes. It's my responsibility to them.

Here is my response:

My only concern is that even by asking the question there is the implication that these deaths are at all common. In 2004 for children under 10, the age that would encompass your son, there were 28 accidental gun deaths (something that would have been the outcome of the hypothetical example that the doctor gave). If the doctor had gone through similar hypothetical questions for everything else that had 28 or fewer accidental deaths associated it, the doctor would have spent hours on the topic. Why just guns?

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Anonymous dbjack46 said...

If the good doctor's examination of the minor child includes intentional inquiries of a potentially criminological nature, for which the doctor is not certified, and he fails to include any and all other hazardous materials in the home, he could be committing a "boundary" violation (practicing in a field for which he/she is not trained, certified or licensed) and subject to legal action.

10/11/2007 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's faulty logic, though, John, because you assume that there is no effect of teaching children gun safety. How many deaths would there be if every time kids encountered a gun they played with it, instead of walking away and telling an adult like they are taught?

10/16/2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Rod said...

I'll be prepared to wager that there are less deaths caused by sharks than by guns.
...but no-one would ever advocate putting a dangerous shark into each familys bath tub just in case a burglar tries to steal their soap.

10/19/2007 9:11 AM  

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