No gun talk from doctors

08/25/2014 7:42 PM

08/25/2014 7:43 PM

In an astounding ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned an eloquent and powerful ruling by a Miami federal judge and upheld the law imposing a gag order on doctors.

Enacted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, the law aims to silence conversations between doctors and their patients — but only about guns, including how to prevent deadly accidents and suicides resulting from the negligent storage of firearms in the home.

How can it be constitutional that doctors, and especially pediatricians, are free to speak with parents about protecting their children with such preventive measures as screens around backyard pools or child safety seats in cars — but not about guns in the home?

This dangerous restriction on freedom of speech must be overturned or this awful product of the Florida Legislature will encourage similar gag orders in other states — and we will see more tragedies that might have been preventable.

Howard Simon, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Miami

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