Guns and Scalpels
From the Sun-Sentinel-
A murder-suicide at the Cleveland Clinic Weston this month showed how easy it is to sneak a gun into a hospital, but health officials said Florida legislators have thwarted attempts to make it harder.Having worked in hospitals for years, much of what is listed in the paragraph above is already done. Police are on duty, the hospital has its own security(pretty worthless it is too in most instances), There is closed circuit TV cameras in some areas, and parts of the hospital are locked off. What is the legislature supposed to due? Mandate security checkpoints like there at airports?
The Legislature for five years rejected bills that would outlaw bringing a gun into a health facility, a move that would clarify a legal gray area making it difficult for hospitals to take tougher steps. Hospitals and nurses pushing the bill stopped trying in 2005.
"Hospitals are places where drugs are kept, where many people come in who are sick or under a lot of stress. It doesn't seem like a place where you want guns," said Richard Rasmussen, a spokesman for the Florida Hospital Association. "But there hasn't been legislative interest."
The 30 hospitals in Broward and Palm Beach counties try to monitor 1.2 million emergency room patients a year, 418,000 in-patients and all their visitors to keep out people with no reason to be there.
Their tools: identification checkpoints; security guards; off-duty police; electronic locks for high-stress areas such as emergency, delivery and psychiatric units; and thousands of closed-circuit TV cameras.
Some health officials said they hoped the Cleveland Clinic death and one last fall would revive the no-guns legislation.There are other laws on the books to punish those who bring guns to the hospital to commit crimes. Its called murder, assault, robbery etc etc. What will a new law really accomplish?
On June 4, Weston retiree Alberto Volinsky, 86, shot his wife, Hildegard, in her hospital bed, then shot himself. Cleveland Clinic has not disclosed her illness but said her condition was not terminal. The hospital has a no-guns policy but did not detect his pistol, police said.
In November, an impatient customer shot and killed a pharmacy manager at Shands Jacksonville Hospital.
The proposed bill would have added hospitals and health facilities to a list of places where guns cannot be taken, even by people with permits to legally carry them. The list includes courtrooms, polling places, government offices, large sports events, schools, airports and bars.
BTW, TFM is ambivalent on gun issues. I'm not either an advocate of tighter gun control laws or the 2nd ammendment. Personally, I own a firearm but live equally well without it.
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