- 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.
Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves. https://t.co/oCR3uiLtS7
— NRA (@NRA) November 7, 2018
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.”
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.
This tweet didn’t even make it 12 hours before another mass shooting. https://t.co/fewbCfDVbI
— Cedric Dark, MD, MPH, FACEP (@RealCedricDark) November 8, 2018
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.”
The @NRA tells doctors to "stay in their lane" re #GunViolence. We wish we could. Instead, we pledge to talk to our patients about gun violence whenever risk factors are present. Click the link at the top of the page and join us https://t.co/deFA2WfFh7 ….
— Annals of Int Med (@AnnalsofIM) November 8, 2018
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.
Doctors are the ones who work feverishly to staunch the bleeding and SAVE THE LIVES of those who are shot by the guns that the #NRA loves so much. Gun violence literally *is* medicine’s lane.????#ThousandOaks #gunsense https://t.co/Hk3rd0R4pN
— Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@DrDenaGrayson) November 8, 2018
One of the most devastating responses came from a pediatrician based in Oregon:
Hey @NRA when I was a pediatric resident a four year old came in after his cousin accidentally shot him. It took me a little while to realize that the pink stuff sliding down the gurney's metal frame was his brain. Keeping kids safe is my job. I'll go in whatever lane I want.
— jjaylynny (@jjaylynny) November 8, 2018
Gynecologist Jen Gunter said, “Who do you think removes bullets from spines… The tooth fairy? This literally is medicine’s lane.”
Who do you think removes bullets from spines and repairs (or tries to) livers blasted by an AR-15? The tooth fairy? This literally is medicine’s lane. https://t.co/V9yi1M6ecJ
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) November 8, 2018
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?”
— Joseph Sakran (@JosephSakran) November 7, 2018
Dr. Mary Brandt pointed to several studies showing a clear link between lax gun rules and more gun deaths and started a hashtag: #ItIsOurLane.
— Mary L. Brandt, MD, MDiv (@drmlb) November 8, 2018
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.”
The tragic news from Thousand Oaks, CA reminds us all that it's time to #EndGunViolence. 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.
— American Academy of Pediatrics (@AmerAcadPeds) November 8, 2018
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.