I Have a Solution That Will Allow Florida to Ban Doctors From Asking About Guns

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Via Ed Kilgore, I see that Florida recently passed a law making it illegal for doctors to ask their patients about gun ownership. A federal judge blocked the law a few weeks ago because — duh — it’s an obvious violation of the First Amendment. If this case ever makes it to the Supreme Court, I have no doubt that it will be overturned 9-0. It’s a no-brainer no matter how gun-friendly a judge you are.

But I have a solution! I’m pretty sure that Florida can issue guidelines to its own employees, and those guidelines could include rules about whether its employees are allowed to ask about gun ownership. So Florida’s law would probably pass constitutional muster if their doctors all worked for the state.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If Florida were to implement true, NHS-style socialized healthcare, they could tell their doctors to zip it on the gun questions. And surely the NRA would support this, since any and all gun rights laws, symbolic or otherwise, are always more important than any other law.

Too bad Obama and the Democratic Party didn’t sniff this out earlier. If they had just included a provision in Obamacare that restricted any doctor receiving federal money from asking about gun ownership, they could have had a way stronger bill and passed it 100-0. Maybe next time.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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