Physicians who treat bullet wounds and deal with gun-related deaths were stunned when the National Rifle Association directed “self-important anti-gun” doctors to “stay in your lane.”
The Twitter attack just hours before 12 people were killed in a California bar late Wednesday (the second mass shooting in the nation in less than two weeks) triggered an avalanche of angry responses from physicians, other health care workers and their supporters.
The NRA also grumbled in its tweet that doctors were consulting only medical research and other members of the health community to reach the conclusion that guns are an increasingly serious public health issue.
“Half of the articles in the Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control,” the NRA complained.
Several new studies on gun violence were reported last month in the journal, which is published by the American College of Physicians. The organization also issued new guidelines for doctors to help protect their patients from gun-related injuries and death.
“Everyone has hobbies. Some doctors’ collective hobby is opining on firearms policy,” sniped an NRA opinion piece linked to the Twitter post.
Furious physicians noted on Twitter that treating bullet wounds or informing parents that a child has died from a shooting actually is their “lane.”
Dr. Mary Brandt, a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital and professor at Baylor College of Medicine, tweeted a number of studies linking increased gun control to a decrease in fatalities.
The NRA attack on medical doctors is the latest response by the gun manufacturers lobbying group against statistics and research detailing the devastating toll of firearms in American society.
Guns send nearly 8,000 children to U.S. emergency rooms each year, according to a study last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Half of all gun-related deaths in the world in 2016 occurred in just six nations, even though they include just 10 percent of the world’s population, according to a study in August in JAMA. The U.S. ranked second in the number of gun deaths with 37,200 fatalities, after Brazil’s 43,200.