The NRA told doctors to 'stay in their lane' when it comes to gun deaths — and doctors are posting furious, devastating responses

  • Just hours before the deadly shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, the NRA tweeted out an angry rebuttal of a position paper authored by the American College of Physicians.
  • The paper in question wrestled with how to reduce gun injuries in the US and called for a “multifaceted and comprehensive approach to reducing firearm violence that is consistent with the Second Amendment.”
  • The NRA blasted the paper, telling doctors to “stay in their lane.”
  • Doctors quickly pushed back, saying that gun violence is very much their business, since they’re the ones who stop the bleeding and save lives after people get shot.
  • One doctor asked, “where are you when I’m having to tell all those families their loved one has died?”

The National Rifle Association, the most powerful gun lobby in the country, is under fire from doctors for a Tweet that many are calling insensitive and ill-reasoned.

On Wednesday, just hours before a gunman stormed into a bar in California and killed 12 people, the NRA went after the American College of Physicians on Twitter for writing about policies that could reduce the number of deaths and injuries from firearms.

The tweet came shortly ahead of the US’ 307th mass shooting of the year, and a day before the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that gun deaths are on the rise across the country, at rates not seen in a decade.

The paper in question wrestled with how to reduce gun injuries in the US and called for a “multifaceted and comprehensive approach to reducing firearm violence that is consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Read More: The US spends less on gun violence research than nearly every other leading cause of death in America – and that’s on purpose.

Doctor Cedric Dark was one of the first to point out the timing of the NRA’s comments. “This tweet didn’t even make it 12 hours before another mass shooting,” he wrote.

In response to the NRA’s stay-in-your-lane argument, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the journal in which the paper appeared, tweeted back: “We wish we could. Instead, we pledge to talk to our patients about gun violence whenever risk factors are present.”

Doctors like Dena Grayson were also quick to point out that their “lane” pretty much is gun violence, since they are the ones who “staunch the bleeding” when people get shot.

One of the most devastating responses came from a pediatrician based in Oregon:

Gynecologist Jen Gunter said, “Who do you think removes bullets from spines… The tooth fairy? This literally is medicine’s lane.”

Joseph Sakran, a trauma surgeon at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, asked the NRA, “Where are you when I’m having to tell all those families their loved one has died?”

Dr. Mary Brandt pointed to several studies showing a clear link between lax gun rules and more gun deaths and started a hashtag: #ItIsOurLane.

The American Academy of Pediatrics joined in, tweeting that “As long as gun violence remains a public health threat to children and families, pediatricians will not rest in our pursuit to keep them safe.”

Despite the fact that the NRA represents less than 20% of all gun owners in the US, the lobbying group is extremely influential in Washington. The NRA pushes for laws that restrict how federal money can be spent to study gun violence, which makes it difficult for lawmakers to figure out how to reduce gun deaths.

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