Of course, a constant drumbeat about the inanity of our gun laws mount as disclosures reveal how James E. Holmes, the suspected shooter in the Colorado movie theater massacre, stockpiled weapons, and bought 6,000 rounds of ammo in the weeks before he allegedly gunned down 70 innocent people July 20, killing at least 12. Included in the arsenal was a .40-caliber Glock handgun, a Remington 870 shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle, and a high-capacity ammunition clip.
It's almost appallingly predictable how the gun law debate ebbs and flows with each tragic incident that haunts the country. And possibly no physician in the world could have counseled Holmes to steer him away from the madness. (According to media reports, Holmes allegedly mailed a notebook "full of details about how was going to kill people" to a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the attack.)
But the Florida legal action, which has been dubbed "Docs vs. Glocks" by the press, puts a twist on the gun debate, by showing how some docs want to get into the heads of their patients, and advise them to get guns out of their houses, if need be. Some of those discussions focus on whether kids are around the guns, or if a family member may have psychological issues that many believe should rule out having a weapon around.
Bernard Wollschlaeger, MD, FAAFP, a family practice physician in Miami, who is among the group of physicians who sued to successfully halt the Florida law, says he has counseled patients about gun use. As Wollschlaeger sees it, such conversations are important, not to clash with a person's privacy rights, but as an opportunity to improve a patient's health.