The Daily Gamecock

Potential bill could jeopardize children's health

Misguided paranoia not needed in SC legislature

It’s crucial for parents and pediatricians to maintain an open line of communication. But legislation coming from our misguided state House could change that.

Rep. Joshua Putnam, a Republican from Anderson, proposed a bill that would prevent health care providers to discuss gun safety with their patients. It would make it almost impossible for them to inform patients on the risks of keeping guns in a home with children.

For us, this is a message that is needed desperately. In the past few months alone, three children in South Carolina have tragically died due to gun accidents — all of which could have been prevented if people were properly educated about gun safety.

But instead of ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable, Putnam, along with about 56 of his colleagues in South Carolina’s House of Representatives, have decided it would be a better use of their time to protect doctors from any law that could potentially be enacted under the Affordable Care Act, because, as Putnam put it, he’s “scared” of what could come of it.

While it can be useful to trust one’s instincts, what exactly is he afraid of? Does he have access to a crystal ball that forewarns him of the evils that will come that the public is simply not aware of?

Despite his fears, proposing legislation that prevents doctors from doing their job, such as educating their patients on issues that could affect their health, does not protect anyone from anything. Our state doesn’t need this garbage taking prominence over more important legislation.