Should Doctors Be Allowed to Carry Concealed at Work?

By Andrew Crisologo, DPM

[Editor’s Note: Originally published on KevinMD.com on October 24, 2015 and republished here with the author’s permission.] 

Doctors with Guns
Doctors with Guns

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- One word: gun. That is all it takes to spark a debate between two very different camps.

One end of the spectrum feels guns are an evil haunting the nation by their mere existence, and they need to be dealt with by restricting (or even eliminating) everyone’s ability to possess them.

The other end believes it is a core right to keep and use firearms for sport, personal defense, collecting, etc., and that no further “gun control” legislation should be enacted. As with all things in life, no one extreme is the right answer.

As we are in the wake of another school shooting by a deranged individual, the spectrum becomes further polarized. People are passionate about this topic, and this is an expected reaction. Those for gun control call for further legislation: universal background checks (which would require background checks for private gun sales), making straw purchases a felony and a federal crime (it’s already a felony, federal crime punishable up to 10 years in jail and $250,000 fine), and closing the gun-show loophole (the rules are no different inside or outside a gun show). Some even openly call for the repeal of our Second Amendment. I feel that most calling for further legislation and government oversight do so because they truly do wish the best for the nation.

We who are strongly pro-Second Amendment, despite popular opinion, do believe in safety and keeping firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them. We just believe there is a different, more effective, way to approach the issue without eviscerating the Second Amendment. I believe everyone has the right to defend themselves. One way I choose to defend myself and my family is with a firearm. If someone breaks into our place of dwelling and attempts to harm my family, I will not hesitate to pull the trigger. I would only fire in self-defense, as firearms should only be used to protect life. The toaster and other material goods can be replaced.

So, I’m a doctor with a firearm who is ready to use it.

To some, this might sound counterproductive to my chosen profession. I got into the business to help save lives, not destroy them right? You got it. We in the medical profession feel called to help those in physical need. But me standing there, unarmed, with an armed madman in the room, means that there is a decent chance everyone inside could end up pushing up daisies. In fact, in a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, it was noted that there were 154 shootings in U.S. hospitals between 2000 and 2011 with 253 dead or injured.

How many of these attacks could have been stopped or deterred in the first place if doctors and hospital staff to be allowed to concealed carry?

An English translation of the original Hippocratic Oath text contains the phrase, “With regard to healing the sick … I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.” I realize this does not mean to be the hospital policeman, but I feel it is my duty to help and protect those around me and under my care from physical harm.

Unfortunately, working in a hospital means I work in an “easy target zone,” otherwise known as a gun-free zone. The patient being treated for any condition won’t get a lot better with a bullet in them. Gun-free zones do absolutely nothing to deter those with ill-intent. I have yet to see a sign reach out and stop a crime or see a criminal stop and turn around from committing their heinous act by seeing this public notice. All gun-free zones do is advertise that, “Hey, everyone who follows the law inside is unarmed.”

Just take a look at this YouTube video which shows how futile these signs really are. Why shouldn’t doctors (and all legally allowed hospital staff) be allowed to concealed carry at work? I say this should be encouraged.  No one wants to use a firearm in self-defense, but in the rare and unfortunate instance it was needed, it could save lives.

I’d rather have a fighting chance than be at the mercy of a gunman.

 

— Andrew Crisologo, DPM is a resident in podiatric surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He seeks to be a resident voice to promote and educate others about the Second Amendment and its relation to the medical field.

 

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation. www.drgo.us

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    Fred762Wm Barry TurnerTionicoBMacDr Dave Recent comment authors
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    Fred762
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    Fred762

    I know a lot of MDs who are shooters and many carry concealed to, from and AT work..offices and hospitals are target-rich environments and have mall-ninja security at best..

    Wm Barry Turner
    Guest
    Wm Barry Turner

    Carrying a weapon. to church, to work, hospital or school, , or anywhere else, should be the accepted responsibility of anyone who wants to continue breathing. It is faster for a criminal to injure you than it is for the police to respond, 99% of the time. Criminals survive by using the element of surprise. With the increase in violent crimes and terrorism, everyone needs to be ready to protect those they love and themselves. Laws that limit an individual’s right to carry a weapon, only really help protect the criminal element. I carry and I keep a loaded weapon… Read more »

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    It was clearly stated in the article that ANY who can lawfully carry elsewhere need to be able to carry in ths hospital or clinic. Every time I’ve visited anyhone in the hospital, I’ve carried…. in my state, the Available Victim Zones must be sign-posted according to certain standard protocols to be enforceable, and even then, the ONLY “penalty” if caught carrying past the sign is you are told to remove the firearm from the building. After that you may return, but unarmed. If yuo refuse, then and only then are you subject to a charge of criminal tresspass.

    BMac
    Guest
    BMac

    Are any of you implying that only doctors should be allowed to carry at work. What about RNs and other healthcare professionals?

    Dr Dave
    Guest
    Dr Dave

    I have defied the “rules” of the hospital for over 30 years as many of my colleagues have also done. We carry every day and depending on where we are in the facility we do so continuously (obviously not in the OR and or near the MRI equipment) but if you see in in a white coat I am carrying 98% of the time. I am sorry but the signs mean nothing and the Administration knows we do what we do. The signs are for political correctness. So far I have only drawn my weapon on grounds once it was… Read more »

    Diamondback
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    Diamondback

    The above comment was supposed to be a direct reply to JohnC

    Diamondback
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    Diamondback

    I completely disagree.

    Arms of Military Utility are the very arms the founders intended the citizens to keep and bear. Self-defense is only one small part of the RIGHT guaranteed/protected by the 2A.

    WE the People are entitled and were intended to have any and all weaponry kept and borne by the military and LE because several of the founders indicated in their writings etc. that the people should be armed so they were “little if at all inferior to an Army of any magnitude which may be raised against them.”

    Do your homework please.

    Diamondback
    Guest
    Diamondback

    Yes, EVERYONE has the RIGHT to BEAR arms for the purpose of self defense, loaded and available for immediate employ in the event of a spontaneous confrontation, wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, anywhere within the confines of the U.S. or its territories and possessions. The ONLY limitations to this RIGHT are in the very, very rare circumstance whereby the government can PROVE an OVERWHELMING and OVERRIDING governmental interest.

    No, schools and government building in general do NOT satisfy the overwhelming/overriding interesst standard.

    TEXDAN
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    TEXDAN

    JohnC what specified military equipment are you talking about? Perhaps Reflex Sights? hand guards with picatinny rails? Ammo pouches? boots? hats? Tanks? APCs? HMMWV’s? I live right next to a Military Base and have never seen anyone that even owned a Fully Automatic weapon. I know there are many automatic firearms owned by civilians, as I have seen them on YouTube, but I believe one must be a Doctor or a successful Lawyer to even own one, as they are very expensive to feed or to even purchase. As far as a Bazooka? Have you ever seen one of these,… Read more »

    RM Molon Labe
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    RM Molon Labe

    In Upper Darby PA a doctor shot a patient. This criminal had already shot his nurse assistant and a bullet grazed the good doctors head. The Dr returned fire and hit the patient, stopping the attack..The police stated, he (the dr) save many lives that day…I believe it happened in July of 2014…
    Molon Labe

    JohnC
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    JohnC

    Thank you DR. Your views seem to reflect my own. There can be both moderation and diligence by we gun owners. Fully automatic weapons, bazookas and other specified military equipment need not be available to citizenry but concealed carry of side arms is necessary to the safety of our public and nation.

    Paul C
    Guest
    Paul C

    My DR does, like he says, he has the right to protect his family also.

    durabo
    Guest
    durabo

    “First, do no harm” also means protecting the lives of your staff and the patients around you, even if it means taking the life of a violent criminal actor (VCA). Remember that physicians are, 1) Wealthy (usually, unless working in a reservation); and 2) Have access to narcotics.

    For those fond of quoting the Ten Commandments, the Sixth is an injunction against MURDER, not killing.