There is a considerable amount of discussion circulating over the Internet about the invasion of privacy from doctors and insurance companies asking patients about gun ownership. It is becoming a very politically charged issue. In some cases state laws prevent it (Florida) and in others nothing. There are medical organizations driving this anti-civil liberties agenda and finally some of it is coming from both doctors and/or insurance companies.
There are a number of articles floating around about how to handle the situation if a doctor asks you gun ownership. Many of them discuss “making a statement” or filing complaints and other such actions. I can appreciate the need to fight back, but I am not sure that is the best course of action here.
When I was in college I knew a gentleman that was about 20 years my senior and was coming back to finish his degree and get a graduate degree. By all accounts this guy would be considered a bit off. He was a conspiracy theorist to the nth degree. He would go on long diatribes about social security numbers, the Fed, black helicopters, and any other number of issues. He would go online forums and argue, debate fellow students, write letters, put letters to the editor in the paper and many other activist activities.
Today I have no idea where he lives or what he is doing or even if he is still alive for that matter. What I do know is all the same things he rallied against back then are still issues today. If you believe in or don’t believe in these things is not what is tangent to this post.
One thing I repeatedly pointed out to him was the potential issue to himself from deliberately bringing down a larger and better funded enemy down on his head. I refer of course to the number of bureaucrats, ABC government officials and their countless databases and record keeping systems. I used to offer a metaphor/parable to him. I said if you are walking across your wooden deck with your bare feet and you come across nails poking up a little what are you likely to do? My rhetorical question/answer was you would take a hammer to the offending nail. The nails that would NOT receive a hammer blow were the ones that stayed low and didn’t bring attention to themselves by poking up.
I felt this was a good parable for life when dealing with our oppressive government of today at all levels. If you yell and scream all the time you will bring a lot of unwanted attention to yourself and when the hammer comes out (and it always does at some point) you will be the first one to get pounded down. While I can appreciate and even participate in activist activities you have to know how and when to do it. You have to be smart about it.
In my opinion arguing with your doctor, filing complaints against them or the insurance company, taking to social media to protest, refusing to answer on the grounds that it is none of their business etc. just makes you that proverbial nail poking up on the deck. If you say you refuse to answer because it makes you uncomfortable or you refuse to answer you might as well as just say “yes” because you already did. It will be noted in their file and anyone with half a brain will guess you have guns and are refusing to answer because you are one of those crazy NRA guys. If you take it farther by writing letters, complaints, etc. you simply raise your profile even more.
Let me offer what I believe to be the absolute best solution. I am at the doctor and they are going through their little questionnaire and hit the question of do I own guns. Here is my elaborate well planned, perfectly executed battle strategy for just such a situation… “no” next question.
Yep, that is it. Simply say no with a straight face and move on. In case it isn’t super clear I am telling you to LIE to them. It is none of their business anyway so I feel no moral compunction to tell the truth. It won’t impact the health services I receive in ANY way if they don’t know. I stay out of any databases and I my “objection” is also not noted anywhere. Nobody, but me and wall know the truth. Now doesn’t that sound like a much better solution?
With my solution I might not be an activist and I might be “rolling over to tyranny” and whatever else someone wants to accuse me of. You know what else I also am? Untracked, unrecorded, with no notation in my PERMANENT medical record as having any issues for or against guns. A record that is easily previewed by any number of Federal government bureaucrats. I don’t receive diminished healthcare services, don’t create an adversarial relationship with my doctor, insurance company and most importantly don’t become the proverbial nail poking up on the deck waiting for the hammer to fall.
If you disagree you are free to handle it any way you want. I know how I will handle it.