Opinion: Proof-positive of how absurd the gun debate has become

(The Brady Campaign)

(The Brady Campaign)

Let’s talk a bit about the fanaticism of the gun-rights movement and the cowardice of American politicians in standing up to their lunacy. And let’s begin with the story of an 11-year-old girl who was having lunch at a Newnan restaurant with her family Sunday when she was wounded in a shooting incident.

The person who pulled the trigger? Her 2-year-old brother, who found their mother’s pistol in her purse.

In that particular case, the injuries weren’t fatal, but many aren’t that lucky. According to research by the Associated Press and USA Today, a child is killed in an accidental shooting every other day in this country. Such shootings “most often happen at the children’s homes, with handguns legally owned by adults for self-protection,” the investigation found. Furthermore, “states in the Deep South, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia, are among those with the highest per capita rates of accidental shootings involving minors.”

A quick Google search confirms that this month alone, such child-involved accidents have occurred in Fort Valley, Ga., Jasper County, Ga., California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, New Mexico, West Virginia, Indiana, Idaho, Mississippi and Florida, where an 8-year-old in Jacksonville accidentally shot and killed his 5-year-old sister.

As a result of such tragedies, groups such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that their members ask about gun ownership as part of a safety checklist for their patients, just as they ask about storage of prescription medicines or toxic materials. They’ll ask about the presence of guns in the home, where the weapons are stored, whether they are stored loaded or unloaded, whether the firearm and ammunition are stored separately.

In Florida, however, gun-fetish groups such as the National Rifle Association decided that such questions somehow posed an intolerable threat to the Second Amendment. In 2011, they pushed a compliant state Legislature into passing a law that forbids physicians from even asking such questions, with the potential loss of their medical license as punishment for those doctors who violated the law.

Supporters of the law brushed aside arguments that this supposed threat to the Second Amendment couldn’t begin to justify a direct, significant violation of the First Amendment. They didn’t care when opponents pointed out that they were directly intruding into the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship. And they simply didn’t give a damn that as a result of their law, the lives of young children would probably be put at greater risk by parents who did not know or hadn’t given sufficient attention to proper storage of their weapons.

It has taken a while, but that law has now been struck down. The Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that by making a particular type of speech illegal, Florida’s so-called “Firearms Owners’ Privacy Act” violates the First Amendment.

“Florida, perhaps guided by a paternalistic notion that it needs to protect its citizens from viewpoints they do not like, prohibits doctors from discussing an entire topic and advocating a position with which it does not agree,” one judge wrote.  “This it cannot do.”

As the court also drily noted, “The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right.”

While the circuit court’s ruling is welcome and clearly correct on constitutional grounds, it should have been unnecessary. The very idea that government should make discussion of firearms illegal between doctors and patients is or ought to be ludicrous on its face, yet the fanaticism and political power of the gun lobby forces such nonsense into law. Had Florida’s legislation been upheld, you can bet that copycat versions would have started popping up in legislatures around the country, including here in Georgia, and they would have been difficult to stop.

It’s madness, but it demonstrates just how unbalanced the debate over such issues has become.

Reader Comments 0

3177 comments
Peachs
Peachs

This Trump crowd is surreal!You got a Russian aided coup!Trump, which has made his stupidity and classlessness obvious, before and after taking office, would not have been president, without the help. We really don’t elect junk like this!it is the secret ingredient of why we were great, and now after receiving unmitigating help from Russia, wants a merger with Putin, ,or his money laundered outside the Russian government, stolen and processed. You may have two masses of normal citizens wanting to roast both these thugs, and that’s what brings peace in our times, a common enemy, Trump.

Peachs
Peachs

What I always have a hard time with, is the press leans on that Trump redneck base ,and how that equates to Trump being here the whole four years. Nixon’s ratings the day he walked to the helicopter were in the middle thirties.So why is that bad for Nixon and good for Trump?

gotalife
gotalife

I don''t see trump's base leaving trump .


Like the cons under w, they followed him right over the cliff.

elgrunir
elgrunir

@gotalife Sigh... remember, you're going over the cliff DECISIVELY!!!

elgrunir
elgrunir

YOU THINK THAT GOD’S GONNA REWARD YOUR GREED?

So many virgins per jihadist are waiting

Is no different that Trump’s hot air baiting

Tunnel without light

You’ll be feeling God’s might

If your beliefs are simply about hating 

Peachs
Peachs

@elgrunir love how that always plays out for the rich.  Who knew God was rich?  But my rich friend love to tell me it is ok to make money, like they have a direct line to God.  

rimsky
rimsky

@elgrunir

Is no different that Trump’s hot air baiting

+++++

That is a stinger.

gotalife
gotalife

I have an idea for the labor shortage due to the gop. gop pick their crops and fill in small business jobs for free. They are not doing anything and are available to work.

elgrunir
elgrunir

@gotalife @elgrunir It's pretty much as the title suggests.  The CEO of a company changes his/her appearance enough and lands an entry-level position at the company.  Generally, they find out just how hard the grunts are working and often hook 'em up after learning hard lessons.  I remember that when the CEO of Hooters, who'd simply been handed the job by his father, became a grunt at a restaurant--and was fired.

Peachs
Peachs

@DownInAlbany @elgrunir @gotalife The difference in Cuban and Trump is Cuban actually can show his taxes, he is a billionaire.We should put in the constitution, if you want to run for office, you have to show your taxes, or be considered a total liar, call it the Trump amendment.The masses, who never met a millionaire, more less a billionaire, but voted for Trump because he was a so call, “billionaire”, whatever that was, and excuse him being stupid ,because he is a fate billionaire, will be the first to ratify this amendment.


elgrunir
elgrunir

@gotalife Republicans remind me of the arrogant jackwagons on "Undercover Boss" who find out that their demands and expectations are preposterous.  Even better when the "boss" gets fired.

Peachs
Peachs

@elgrunir @gotalife or Trump finding out he is too small for the job, and is a big fan of Obama, now that he sees what he had to do.

BabyCakesATL
BabyCakesATL

When's the last time you ever heard of an employer arrest for illegal hiring?  Illegal immigration will dry-up almost immediately when the "law" cracks down on illegal hiring. Until then, give me a break with the fence/wall rhetoric and bellowing ....

Kamchak
Kamchak

@BabyCakesATL 

Zero tolerance and mandatory minimums at The Atlanta Federal Penitentiary would put an end to it real quickly

Peachs
Peachs

@honested @BabyCakesATL the Republican Party is the party of drugs, and the things they are asking of Trump, is union like stuff, so union, and rich ,because that is who makes money off the Republican Party and make everything they do a bubble, because at the end of the day the 1% suck the life out of it, don't reinvest it and we have meltdown and bailout, none helping the middle class or this country, and you got thugs like Trump telling us ,what a mess the maid made, cleaning his mess up W  left, while Trump would have a clue where a mop and bucket could be found.  

rimsky
rimsky

@BabyCakesATL Come to NGA.  If they arrested all the illegals the whole carpet industry will shut down within hours.

rimsky
rimsky

BEIJING — There's no question that China's hawkish Global Times newspaper has been harsh in its assessment of America's new president.

The state-run tabloid has called President Donald Trump "reckless," "unfit to lead a superpower," and "as ignorant as a child" regarding foreign policy.

Inside the Global Times' offices in Beijing, China. Eric Baculinao / NBC News

One recent editorial warned the U.S. to back off "unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea." Another noted that "his presidency is off to a rough start."

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/china/china-s-global-times-hawkish-decree-or-reflecting-readers-n722316

+++++

Watch Chicken Hawk Trump back Track.

gotalife
gotalife

Make it a felony to hire a illegal would collapse the economy.


JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Thus no E-verify enforcement. Even when they have both houses and the presidency.

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky @Paul42 @JeffreyEav Hopefully nobody, I would love all the contributions of the illegals to one day just shut off and Betsy Buckhead is mowing her own grass, or that watermelon sits in the field till I can get down there and steal it.

ody> endment.  The masses, who never met a millionaire, more less a billionaire, but voted for Trump because he was a so call, “billionaire”, whatever that was, and excuse him being stupid ,because he is a fate billionaire, will be the first to ratify this amendment. 

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

If illegal is illegal? Why didn't the theme park operator get arrested for employing someone using someone else's SS card?

gotalife
gotalife

Trump knows manufacturing is not coming back so wants to drill everywhere and let Wall Street collapse the economy again.


It is the gop way for higher growth. They love taking risks.

rimsky
rimsky

@gotalife I t isn't risk.  It is sure suicide.  Except there are no 72 virgins at the end of the tunnel.

td1234
td1234

Why in the heck did they not detain the woman for deportation since a judge already signed the order for her to be deported? 


"The Phoenix City Council turned down a plan to become a sanctuary city, citing that the state’s 2010 immigration law, SB1070, which bans any jurisdiction from providing a safe haven to illegal aliens, as the Associated Press reported.

Phoenix’s Democrat Mayor Greg Stanton made the motion to deny the City from becoming a sanctuary jurisdiction, citing the 2010 immigration law, but then denounced President Donald Trump’s efforts of deporting criminal illegal immigrants.

“We cannot allow this to continue to happen,” Phoenix resident Maria Castro said told the City Council, also noting that her mother is an illegal immigrant. “Deportations are happening every day. You are leaving orphans at home every single day.”

Others, though, took issue with illegal immigration.

“We must be living in the ‘Twilight Zone,’” Tim Rafferty said. “This is the United States of America, we were built on laws. This isn’t about being mean or being hateful. This is our immigration law.”

A wide range of residents spoke before the city council, with sanctuary supporters invoking the detainment of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, an illegal alien in Phoenix, who was deported to Mexico.

Garcia de Rayos had been living in the U.S. illegally since she was 14 and is married to another migrant. In 2008, she was detained by ICE after she found to be illegally using a Social Security number to work at a theme park.

In 2013, a judge ordered her to return home to Mexico, but she instead was required to periodically meet with immigration officials due to lax enforcement policies under former President Obama. Now, Garcia de Rayos’ deportation is routinely used by the open borders lobby to advocate in favor of illegal immigration, as Breitbart News reported."

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234 

"Breitbart News reported."

And there's your sign.

Paul42
Paul42

@td1234 Lots of Police Associations have determined it'll cut down on the willingness of people to talk to them, thereby increasing the crime rate and letting criminals act with impunity.

They also resent being forced to do the feds' work for them.  Especially with a president with a history of not paying his help.

elgrunir
elgrunir

@Kamchak @td1234 Dude, the sign is glowing, nuclear, neon-red, like the Kenny Rogers Roasters sign across from Kramer's apartment, but he has the sleep mask on.

elgrunir
elgrunir

KAMCHAK:  What you think of that enormous upset in the FA Cup?  A non-league team advancing this far for the first time since 1914?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@elgrunir  I don't know about Kam, but I think it is fantastic.  I have a cousin who teaches HS in Lincoln and his kids are crazy excited.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@elgrunir 

Kinda embarrassing for Chelsea.

Lincoln beat Burnley, but the last time The Blue Lions played Burnley the best they could get was a draw. 

elgrunir
elgrunir

@Kamchak @elgrunir Given that Leicester City won the Premiership last year, that Trump is President, that the Cubs won the World Series... -anything- is possible.