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Bloomberg School of Public Health Professor: Take Granny’s Gun

Gun ban advocates, knowing their goals aren’t especially popular with the American people, have in recent years tried to couch their agenda in more innocuous-sounding terms. They don’t want to ban all guns, they’ll say, they just want to keep them out of the wrong hands. But once you start paying close attention to their claims, you realize that the “wrong hands” might be closer and more numerous than you think … and might even include the more senior members of your family.

Breitbart News recently pointed out that an “expert” who works at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) is sounding the alarm about firearm possession amongst the elderly. Perhaps not coincidentally, that “expert” also claims that firearm ownership is most common in America for those aged 50 or older.

Dr. Shannon Frattaroli of the Bloomberg School told New America Media that the typical gun control focus on crime and mass shootings leaves out the risks of firearm possession among older Americans. “[A]ny conversation about guns has to include a conversation [about] gun ownership among older adults,” she said. “There’s definitely more to be done on that issue in the United States.”

Frattaroli believes depression, frailty, dementia, grandchildren, and the risks of accidental shootings all counsel against senior citizens keeping firearms in their homes, as she claims, “they would harm someone coming into the home who’s not there for a home invasion, someone there for a legitimate purpose like a caretaker.”

One solution, the New America Media article suggests, is “competency tests for gun owners,” which would be similar to “requiring motorists to prove their proficiency behind the wheel as they grow older.” Another, according to Frattaroli, is allowing a concerned “loved one or neighbor” to obtain a court order to disarm gun owners whom the petitioner considers a risk to themselves or others.

It takes a true gun control extremist to paint Grandma with the same brush as others who are categorically prohibited from possessing firearms, such as felons or those who are addicted to illegal drugs like heroin or methamphetamine. 

And while Dr. Frattaroli’s views may seem extreme, she is far from alone in suggesting the aged have a dark side that weighs against trusting them with firearms. Even the Social Security Administration, as we’ve reported, is looking to get into the gun control business by reporting certain of its beneficiaries to the FBI as “mental defectives.”

But lest gun control advocates like Dr. Frattaroli be accused of age discrimination, college students fair no better in their eyes. A spirited classroom discussion is likely to provoke murderous rage, they insist. And if academic debate doesn’t lead to homicide, they argue, binge drinking or other degenerate behavior surely will. 

What about adults with children? Shouldn’t someone responsible enough to oversee the well-being of another human being be responsible enough for possessing an inanimate object like a firearm? No, gun control advocates argue. The safest course is for them to forgo guns as well, because the children will find them.  

Perhaps single women, then? No, gun controllers will tell you, because they’re too weak to hold onto the gun and too incapable to use it if they do. They’d be better off with whistles to summon help.  

Even in an age of advanced political correctness, apparently no stereotype is too offensive to be employed in the pursuit of banning guns. And when it comes to keeping firearms out of the hands of “dangerous people,” even the Bridge Club or the Shuffleboard League could prove just a little too high-risk to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

VIDEO: Empowering Public Housing Residents to Defend Themselves

In this News Minute from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, Jennifer Zahrn reports that, in Maine, Governor Paul LePage is expected to sign an NRA-backed bill that would allow residents of public housing to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

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Florida: Appeals Court OKs “Docs vs. Glocks” Law by Brandon Larrabee

A federal appeals court has upheld the state’s controversial “Docs vs. Glocks” bill, overturning an earlier court ruling that had blocked part of the law from being enforced.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

“In order to protect patients, physicians have for millennia been subject to codes of conduct that define the practice of good medicine and affirm the responsibility physicians bear,” Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote. “In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct — which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy — the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters.”

The majority found that the National Rifle Association-backed law, known as the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, “has only an incidental effect on physicians’ speech.”

The appeals court rejected a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke, who ruled last year that the law was built largely on anecdotal evidence, and that legislators couldn’t prove that gun rights would be jeopardized or that patients who own firearms might face discrimination.

Supporters of the 2011 law say doctors might turn away patients who own guns or who wouldn’t answer questions about whether they did. Critics argue that doctors need to know what’s in a patient’s home so they can offer safety advice.

In a sharp dissent significantly longer than the majority opinion, Circuit Judge Charles Wilson said the law was an unconstitutional “gag order” that infringes on doctors’ rights.

“The holding reached today is unprecedented, as it essentially says that all licensed professionals have no First Amendment rights when they are speaking to their clients or patients in private,” Wilson said. “This in turn says that patients have no First Amendment right to receive information from licensed professionals — a frightening prospect.”

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the law, said in a statement that his organization was “astounded” by the ruling.

“Today’s decision will keep doctors from asking reasonable questions and providing advice that could very well save lives,” Simon said. “We expect the doctors who filed this case to appeal this decision and that this decision will ultimately be overturned.”

The doctors could seek a full appellate court review or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This column is courtesy of the News Service of Florida from the Capital, Tallahassee by correspondent Brandon Larrabee, dated July 25, 2014.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of BeforeIt’sNews.com.