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Medical Professions and Guns - I'm Curious

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by 1894, May 4, 2011.

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  1. 1894

    1894 Member

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    Ok so there is a huge representation of LEO / military / etc on this forum. No Brainer. (Thanks for what you do guys)

    Maybe it's my imagination, but it seems like there is also a disproportionate representation of medical professionals as well. Medics, EMTs, Nurses, etc. However, it also seems that there are relatively few physicians.

    Without a database to query I can't be sure. But, being a (presently bored) data geek, I gotta ask the question. Am I nuts? Or, if I'm right, is it b/c many of you have military experience? Maybe it's an external ballistics question?

    Just thought I'd ask. Your thoughts???
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Physicians (MDs) are much rarer than EMTs and nurses, as such it only makes sense that there are far fewer of them in any given demographic, including on a gun forum.


    Then again, it's also possible that there are more MDs than you think, and they simply don't advertise it.
     
  3. 1894

    1894 Member

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    General,

    Your observation is valid, so much so that I'm ashamed I did not include that bit in my OP. I guess I should have phrased my question more clearly. What I'd like to know is:
    1 - Is there a disproportionate number of medical professionals that are interested in firearms?
    2 - If there is, what might the reasoning be for such a disparity?
    3 - Is there some sort of draw for them towards the idea, or is the draw from firearms towards the medical profession?

    An answer of: "1894, you're nuts," is acceptable. I'm just thinking out loud here.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  4. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    AMA ,as well as most medical education professionals are not the most gun friendly folks.

    The literature and education provided to medical professionals is typically anti firearm in nature. They still use the old worn out and disproved statistical statements of decades ago.
     
  5. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    There's a mix, like in any profession.

    Some docs are very anti-gun, some can't get enough, and some are in between.

    Most docs have a decent income, so if they are into guns, they can get REALLY into them. Docs by definition like big-boy-toys, and have the purchasing power to really run with it.

    I shoot competitively, recreationally, and I also have done some tactical medicine stuff too. I would say about 1/4 of my colleagues where I work are actively into some sort of shooting sports, another 1/4 have guns but don't really do much with them, 1/4 will come to the range for fun once in a while but don't have much interest in owning a gun, and 1/4 don't like guns at all. That breakdown probably varies with geography (rural > urban, red state > blue state), specialty (surgeons > pediatricians), and gender.

    One thing that I find interesting is when I see posts here with people who are upset when their doctors ask about weapons in the home and they think the doc is anti-gun. I'm pretty pro-gun, but it is the standard of care to ask about unsecured weapons in the home for parents of pediatric patients and anybody who might be at risk for homicide/suicide. It's the same thing as asking about smoking if you are worried about lung or heart disease.

    If your pediatrician doesn't care about safe storage of firearms in the home, then he isn't really doing his job, and I would wonder what other important things he doesn't care about.

    I don't want to take anybody's guns away, but if somebody is having a rough time with depression, is having thoughts about hurting themselves, and they have access to firearms, then that really makes a big difference in my assessment of how safe they are at home. Usually a reasonable solution is to have them arrange for a family member or close friend to hold on to the guns until things get turned around. I've had friends do that during rough times.

    -J.

    Oh, hey, look, there's one now. ^^^
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  6. docnyt

    docnyt Member

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    Maybe because medical professionals are often exposed to the darker side of human nature and the violence that ensues. Hence it is only natural that we try to protect ourselves against violent persons and guns are currently one of the more convenient force equalizers available.

    You'd be surprised how many physicians are progun, especially in the South.
     
  7. Big_E

    Big_E Member

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    A few of my parents' doctors and my old dentist seemed to be into hunting. I remember when I was younger sitting in the dentist office reading Field & Stream.

    I know that there is a group http://www.dsgl.org/ so some doctors try to get into the political realm.

    If a doctor told me I shouldn't have guns, I'd call him a quack and find someone else. It really isn't their business, unless I was very suicidal, still that would be my/my family's decision.
     
  8. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    Yep.

    You take care of some kids who were screwing around with guns when they shouldn't have and it changes your view.

    On a lighter note...around 1/3 of the GSWs I've seen in the ED are accidentally self-inflicted (almost all did well). Glocks are most common--take what you will from that. Also unholstered CCW takes quite a toll when the gun slides down and the trigger stays in place. I should probably ask my patients if they have any holsters in the home.

    I don't think that's what doctors do in general, but some docs might.

    The usual conversation:

    Doc: Any guns in the house?
    Parent: Yep.
    Doc: You keep them locked up or out of reach of your child?
    Parent: Of course.
    Doc: Cool. Remember as he gets older he'll get better at finding stuff and climbing. Keep that in mind when you think about how you store them. You keep medications and chemicals out of reach too?
    Parent: Yep.
    ...and so forth.

    -J.
     
  9. loneviking

    loneviking Member

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    Oh boy...now you did it. Now there's going to be umpteen million Glock owners telling you how full of it you are.

    Well, that's true for the pro-gun crowd. The anti's look at what comes in and figures the world would be better off without guns.

    Why so many medical professionals? My guess is that we are wired very much like cops and soldiers. Lots of stress, lots of adrenaline, have to keep cool when the SHTF.....so we are drawn to action sports like competitive shooting or the adrenaline sports like base jumping. Plus, many of us work 3/12 hours shifts a week so we have an extra day to play with the toys.
     
  10. unknownrash

    unknownrash Member

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    I'm a podiatrist and I can't get enough guns. My wife is a ER physician and she sees the carnage all the time that idiots with guns can do. She doesn't like talking about it. Funny thing is when she was in medical school in Chicago back when, she was all about getting a firearm to protect herself and took shooting classes. It would surprise you how many docs have guns or are into guns. I think most docs will not admit to you as a patient that they are into guns or shooting because it may make them feel like it taints them as a medical professional or they are afraid to be viewed as some violence skewed quack.


    I know a few docs who carry all the time. I usually pack a 1911 or a M&P under my lab coat when I'm in my office. Definitely harder to pack a gun when in surgery, but never felt the need for it then, LOL. My patients are none the wiser. My staff know I carry but they are very cool with it. I could probably carry into my hospital too and not be detected , but I follow the rules and don't.

    As a little experiment, I put out my copy of American Rifleman in the patient rooms to see if it would get picked up/read. I have to chuckle every time I walk into the room and there is somebody reading about firearms. That mag gets more action than most.
     
  11. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    It's always possible that some just don't decide to announce themselves as physicians, or surgeons.

    I have met several pro-gun physicians and surgeons. My "unscientific poll" says that women MDs and pediatricians are least likely to like guns, while ER physicians and surgeons are most likely.

    There is a vocal minority of ER docs and trauma surgeons that takes the air of "I have seen what guns can do--they must be banned!" I think more are of the mind: "I have seen what happens to people when they are defenseless."

    That's not surprising. Not because they are unsafe--they are not--but because they're so well known (likely to be bought by someone who knows little about guns) and so common in general.
     
  12. Dejavu

    Dejavu Member

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    This is one, ex-Marine, physician who is very into weapons of all variety, even after doing a bunch of anesthesia for gunshots, with bad guys usually involved. I met a man once who was in ER with a bullet wound 12 hours after being released from jail. No doubt a slow learner.

    Several of the people I work with are weapons owners.
     
  13. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    I once sold an M1917A1 watercooled MG to a doctor in Richmond, Va. He then proceeded to have it stolen out of the trunk of his car. (It was eventually recovered, though. The police and the ATF don't rest easy until they track these things down. They never did recover the spare barrel.)
     
  14. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    I'm a LEO and a respiratory therapist. I work with with plenty of doctors that are into guns. Of course, I work in a very rural area which might have something to do with it.
     
  15. svtruth

    svtruth Member

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    American Association of Pediatrics (or what ever it is called) I believe has an antigun statement in its mission statement.
     
  16. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Member

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    All my personal Doctors and my dentist are avid hunters and shooters. My dentist is an AR fanatic and my primary care physician is an avid hunter. I guess all that I know are gun owners and hunters, maybe it is this part of the country where outdoor activities and firearms are common.
     
  17. WillDe83

    WillDe83 Member

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    My dad and brother are doctors and very pro gun. Im doing undergrad pre med tract right now, hopefully ill be another pro gun doctor :)
     
  18. bigalexe

    bigalexe Member

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    For all the doctors I have seen I rarely if ever discuss guns with them. The few I have mentioned it to are all local and don't take issue.

    On a side note last week I was at a doctor visit and there was a guy in the elevator with his arm splinted from a bullet wound, the other two bullets went in his chest. Yes this was in Detroit. I can understand how seeing kids (guy was maybe 20-25, same age as me) taking random bullets can deter doctors from liking guns, its kind of a poisonous introduction.
     
  19. Professor Gun

    Professor Gun Member

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    I think that physicians who are gun friendly vs those who are gun hostile is just a reflection of the cross section of society.

    Having said that, I am a Ph.D. who is a professor at a university. I would suggest that among faculty who have Ph.D.'s there is an overwhelming level of anti-gun sentiment. I am a rarity, being involved in USPSA and Three Gun, as well as running NRA pistol classes and helping out with Appleseed Rifle Marksmanship clinics.
     
  20. danprkr

    danprkr Member

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    Have no idea of the answer to your question, but will be tracking this thread with great interest.

    FWIW - I once overheard a conversation between a surgeon of mine, and his office nurse that started with the Dr saying, "If you can shoot a turkey the best way to skin it is..." Unfortunately they moved on down the hall, and I still have NO idea of how to skin a turkey, but I'd bet he's not anti. He may not be seriously pro because I offered to swap him for services and he didn't even nibble, but hopefully he's not one of those antis who hunt.
     
  21. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    I suppose it's a valid concern when dealing with families whose children are sheltered from guns (or are irresponsible and thus restricted access to them), but what about those kids who have full access to firearms in the home because their parents have taught them safe gun handling, have been ingrained with good habits, and are shooting enthusiasts themselves?
     
  22. Dr_B

    Dr_B member

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    I'm a professor and I am pro-gun. I agree with "Professor Gun" above, who stated "among faculty who have Ph.D.'s there is an overwhelming level of anti-gun sentiment." Some of the other profs I know are gun owners who aren't into guns that much. But the majority of them are anti-gun. I have not had an honest discussion with my physician about his view on guns, but I assume he might be middle of the road.
     
  23. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    As a physician, I have noticed that it depends on the persons upbringing. I have plenty of physician friends that hunt and fish, but I wouldn't lump them into the catagory of avid shooters. It is more of a social event thing such as a dove shoot.

    Some of them are avid shooters and typically shoot on thier own land quite frequently.

    I have met a few very anti-gun docs, but those are in the minority and are typically not "from the south".

    I will only bring up firearms in certain situations. Usually if someone is wearing some sort of gun garb, be it a shirt or hat or the like. Mostly just for conversation. I don't go parading around that I'm a gun enthusiast for various reasons.

    I would probably even carry in the office if it weren't against company policy. Never know when some crazed addict will go to extreme lengths to get at the meds in the locked cabinets.....unlikely, but it has happened locally in the past which resulted in an injured nurse.

    I'd imagine that we, as docs, are very similar to any cross section cut in the U.S. It takes all types to make the world go 'round.
     
  24. burley

    burley Member

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    Respiatory Therapist in a trauma center here. We see several gsws a week, sometimes several a day. Unlike the poster above, a negligent dc wound is rare for us. Usualy, it's young blak guys that shoot each other, older whites that shoot themselves and guys shot by cops. We're all pretty numb to gun violence,we know it's out there and alot of folks from work have CCW permits. We've recently had an amendment our gun policy on campus too. If you make a gun on a visitor, it's not to be reported unless there seems to be a threat.
     
  25. 41

    41 Member

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    My primary doctor and dentist are both hunters. My doctor doesn't talk about it very much, but when I go to the dentist, we always end up talking about hunting.
     
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