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    Guns should not be allowed in private physicians' office

    Employees in any sized healthcare facility should not be allowed to carry guns inside their place of employment.


    Pro Gun: You can't keep guns out of medical practices


    I am not a gun owner and never have been. I’m not inclined to own a gun in the future. I never lived in a neighborhood where guns were commonplace. Luckily, I have never been in fear for my life, either as part of growing up in small-town America’s “safe” suburbs nor during urban medical school or residency training. I never acquired the taste for hunting live animals but I am not offended with the culling of wild animals humanely to allow for the safe expansion of their populations. 

    I am a carnivore and I understand “where the meat comes from.” I enjoy “shoot-‘em up” movies as much as the next guy and whenever I see a LivingSocial offer for practicing shooting guns in a shooting range, I always imagine myself as 007. One day, I will buy one of those offers. It looks a fun way to blow off steam regarding my frustrations with the U.S. healthcare system: insurance pre-authorizations, “meaningful” use, alternate payment schemes, unreasonable patients, etc. 

    I am an internist in a solo private practice in the heart of Washington, D.C., once the murder capital of the United States. My practice is close enough to Pennsylvania Avenue that the motorcades often affect my commute home. Everyone in the D.C. area seemingly believes “when” and not “if” in regards to terrorism—particularly whenever you hear loud noises unexpectedly. 

    In D.C., private businesses can prohibit the carrying of guns as long as proper signage is posted at the entrance to the business or private property. District law also allows a business owner to carry a firearm on his person as long as it is hidden from public view and mandates that the firearm be stored securely in a device that is attached to the property. This only applies to businesses where the business owner reasonably knows that minors cannot access the firearms. 

    So, what is my policy regarding guns? I don’t carry or store them in my office. I don’t allow employees to bring guns into the office— but in 15 years, no one has ever asked to do so. I allow law enforcement personnel (city/state police officers, FBI agents, Secret Service agents, and foreign embassy security details) on active duty to carry weapons into my office. Even so, they always ask me if they can carry while on active duty and I always say “yes.” Off-duty law enforcement personnel have never asked me if they can carry when coming to my practice.

    Next: Our offices are safe havens

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    • UBM User
      I like how the author doesn't "allow" patients to carry a firearm in the office. Since he lives in DC, most folks can't get a concealed carry permit anyway, so it's a moot point. I'm a physician and I have a concealed carry permit. I don't need anyone's permission to carry my pistol when ever and where ever I feel like it. Besides, they have no idea if I'm carrying or not. If some lunatic starts shooting people at the hospital or where ever, at least I've got a fighting chance.

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