Thursday, 30 July 2009


To get a shotgun in my corner (I don't know if it's a national requirement), a doctor's statement is needed.

This asserts that the person's sane and isn't going to go around killing lots of people.

Tricky one, that.

How can such an assessment of future risks be undertaken robustly? Locally, one GP practice solves this with a simple question to anyone asking for a shotgun. "Do you want a gun?" Anyone saying, "Yes!" doesn't get one. Most people don't want more guns in our society and think they're scary, so they'll assume that anyone who asks for one shouldn't have one. Their take is that they never offer a statement of support.

It's not NHS work, so my Trust obviously won't suffer me seeing folks in clinics or using patients' NHS time for private fee paying work, so it ain't something I do.

But as someone aligned to more libertarian views, it doesn't sit wholly comfortably with me. Shouldn't folk be able to have latitude to do what they want to do, but with that freedom accept the responsibility of consequences? Yet, with guns and the heightened risks to others this generates, it somehow has a different complexion to debates on drugs or other issues.

1 comment:

moviedoc said...

Regardless of your position on who should or should not have firearms, physicians should never provide such a determination. Our role is to diagnose and treat illness, not to sign whatever form a patient places on our desk because an ill-informed legislator or bureaucrat wants to cop out.