May 15, 2015 – Gun Gag
Anchor lead: Should physicians ask patients about gun ownership? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Gun ownership is known to be a risky business, associated with much higher rates of suicide, homicide and accidental death than among those who don't own guns. In spite of these facts, the state of Florida is attempting to prevent physicians from asking patients about guns and counseling them on safety. Mike Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, comments.
Klag: This is worrisome from the point of view of physicians because we know that gun ownership is a risk factor for suicide, definitely if someone is depressed you need to know this, and that children play with guns. So asking parents whether they have guns in the home and how they're secured is important, and it's backed up by data. We know that gun owners who are counseled about the need to store weapons in a locked safe and unloaded that they are twice as likely to do that as people who aren't counseled. :29
Klag says other states are considering such measures as well. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.