In a victory for Florida pediatricians and family physicians, a federal judge has blocked a state law that restricted physicians from asking patients if they have guns at home, calling the measure unconstitutional.
The NRA and others said asking patients about guns in the home was a violation of privacy.
In her Sept. 14 opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke said the loss of doctors’ First Amendment freedoms, even for a minimal period, constituted an irreparable injury.
“The evidence on the record shows that practitioners have eliminated questions about firearm ownership from intake questionnaires and either curtailed or stopped routine counseling on firearm safety as a result of this law,” Cooke said. “Practitioners are self-censoring themselves out of fear of disciplinary actions. Plaintiffs’ injury is their chilled free speech.”
So, it took a Federal court to make sure the US Constitution is upheld. Too bad. That’s what they’re for. Also, not just for Florida Peds and FP’s. It’s for every American.
I was quite disheartened by the number of commenters in the linked threads who were quite certain squashing physician speech was totally legal as long as their gun owning ox didn’t get gored. (‘Business licensure’, like how dry cleaners cannot ask what that stain in the shirt is, grasping at straws gun owners should never resort to). Which is of course short sighted. And stupid.
Yeah, there may well be a challenge, but as only Florida (so far) has been as credulous as to pass this NRA sponsored legislation (disclaimer: I’m an NRA Life Member, and yes, the NRA sometimes screws up), hopefully the appeal won’t be taken up.
Look, I understand the American Academy of Pediatrics is, well, nuts on this issue (‘until recently’, when they stopped advocating for gun control, or whatever peeved the NRA), but that is NOT, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, an excuse to suppress speech. First amendment, right above the second. (And, as I say, the second assures the first).
Speech is sometimes unpleasant, and there are places where all unpleasant speech is suppressed. You won’t like it there.