The Atlantic: ‘Doctors Most Qualified to Decide Who’s Fit to Carry a Gun’

By AWR Hawkins

The Atlantic: ‘Doctors Most Qualified to Decide Who's Fit to Carry a Gun'
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(  On June 30 2014 The Atlantic ran a column focused on treating firearms as “a public health crisis” and allowing physicians “to determine who is fit to carry a gun.”  

According to The Atlantic, “all U.S. states allow citizens to carry certain concealed weapons in public for lawful purposes, with the exception of felons, persons proven to abuse controlled substances, individuals with a history of domestic violence, and those deemed mentally unstable or dangerous.”

Citing the caveat regarding “those deemed mentally unstable or dangerous,” The Atlantic explains that “some states may… require” a physician to sign off on a concealed carry permit application before one is issued. This points to an opportunity for physicians in all states on this matter, because “gun violence” is increasingly described as “a public health crisis.”

After all, “the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, and U.S. Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy are calling gun violence a public health crisis,” which provides a basis for viewing doctors “as a crucial link in the prevention chain.”

A survey of physician attitudes on this subject printed in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that 59 percent of responding physicians do not believe they can “accurately assess whether [their] patient is physically capable of safely using a concealed weapon.” In addition to this, 47 percent are not sure they can “adequately assess whether [their] patient is mentally capable of using a concealed weapon.”

Eighty-four percent of responding physicians say only physicians specially trained to assess possible concealed carry permit holders should be asked to judge a patient's fitness in that arena.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America's Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA's Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at

  • 4 thoughts on “The Atlantic: ‘Doctors Most Qualified to Decide Who’s Fit to Carry a Gun’

    1. The scariest part of this is that nearly half of doctors seem to think they CAN judge who is “safe to carry a concealed weapon.” The best available research to date has shown that the BEST predictive validity our medical/mental health pros have been able to achieve so far is about 40 percent (correct, that’s theoretically less than chance), and even this degree of accuracy is heavily based on using the person’s past history of violence as a predictor. We have virtually NO ability to predict first time violence. However, what this statistic really means is that the nearly half of doctors who think they can do so, not only are totally unfamiliar with the research, but have vastly overblown beliefs about their own abilities. Either that, or they are liberal ideologues who would just deny everyone the right to carry, thereby obviating the need to know anything about what they are doing. Really SCARY!

    2. As I’ve said before: my doctor can “certify” me to possess and carry a weapon when I can “certify” him to perform brain surgery.

    3. Looks like the anti 2nd Amendment minions are running out of new ‘gun control ideas’. They’re being defeated on all ‘fronts’ or should I say all ‘affronts’ of the Constitution.

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