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Physicians continue to let the NRA know that #ThisIsOurLane

The medical community has no intention of letting up in its pushback against the National Rifle Association (NRA), which earlier this month took to Twitter to admonish doctors to “stay in their lane” when it comes to issues regarding guns and gun violence.

On Monday, the editors of the Annals of Internal Medicine — the medical journal that has been particularly diligent in publishing research on firearm-related injuries in recent years — released an editorial that made its position quite clear.

“The NRA does not believe firearm-related injury and its prevention is within the purview of physicians,” the editorial states. “We could not disagree more.”

“Doctors have a responsibility as health care professionals and scientists to seek the answers to questions related to health and safety. And we won’t be silenced in using what we learn to better care for our patients,” the editorial adds. “Those who seek to silence progress toward finding solutions to the crisis of firearm-related injury are traveling a lane that leads, literally, to a dead end. We’re going to stay in our lane and keep moving forward.”

The start of a Twitter storm

It was the Annals’ November 8 online publication of a position paper from the American College of Physicians on reducing firearm injuries and deaths that appears to have raised the NRA’s ire — and subsequently launched the Tweet storm that followed.

“Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane,” the NRA tweeted after the position paper appeared online. “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.”

That message appeared on Twitter just hours before a gunman killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

Emergency department physicians, trauma surgeons and other doctors responded quickly and angrily to the NRA’s mocking tweet. Using the hashtags #ThisIsMyLane and #ThisIsOurLane, they began posting their graphic personal accounts, sometimes accompanied by blood-spattered photos, of what it’s like to treat the victims of gun-related violence.

Here are some examples:

  • “You have never had to wipe the blood off your shoes before you tell the mother of a 17 yo boy that she will never hug her son again. THAT is my lane. Come to work with me for one day and see the impact gun violence has on our country,” wrote Boston emergency physician Ellie Wallace.
  • “Do you have any idea how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly? This isn’t just my lane. It’s my f****** highway,” tweeted California forensic pathologist Judy Melinek.
  • “First patient, first day of residency: gunshot wound to the head. Tried saving him as his mother cried into my shoulder pleading for us to save him. He didn’t make it. He wasn’t the last one either,” posted Florida physician Brent McCaleb.
  • Dave Morris, a trauma surgeon in Utah, tweeted a photo of his blue scrubs covered in blood. “Can’t post a patient photo,” he wrote, “so this is a selfie. This is what it looks like to #stayinmylane.”

‘This needs to be fixed’

Monday’s editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine was written by the journal’s executive editor, Dr. Darren Taichman; its editor-in-chief, Christine Laine; and Dr. Sue Bornstein, chair of the American College of Physicians’ Health and Policy Committee.

They point out in the editorial that they — and thousands of doctors like them — have no intention of “staying in their lane.” Indeed, both the journal and the American College of Physicians will now be collaborating with the nonprofit American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine to promote more research related to gun violence.

“Firearm-related injury in the United States is a public health crisis,” the editorial writers stress. “In addition to caring for the clinical sequelae of gun-related injury, we need rigorous research to better understand the crisis, test solutions, and learn how best to implement and sustain those that work.”

“To date, the ability to study important questions that might help reduce firearm-related injury has been hampered by a lack of funding and a worry among researchers that studying anything related to guns could put their research careers at risk,” they add. “This needs to be fixed.”

Yep. Definitely their lane.

FMI: You can read the editorial on the Annals of Internal Medicine website.

Comments (41)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/20/2018 - 10:52 am.

    I’ve been waiting for the people who have to deal with the medical consequences to finally speak up in an official capacity, I’d guess we could get an equal earful from EMTs, and maybe even from conflicted police officers.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/20/2018 - 11:31 am.

      Except they too aren’t addressing the real issue. Guns aren’t the problem, mental illness and criminals are what need to be addressed. 100+ million legal gun owners have never shot anyone yet you want more laws to restrict their right to own and carry guns?

      • Submitted by Joel Stegner on 11/20/2018 - 12:22 pm.

        Gun owners have a “right” than others don’t have. To become an instant criminal by pointing their gun at another human being and pulling the trigger.

        Of those people you call law abiding, how many are right on your bumper, driving 20 over the limit, cheating on their taxes, leaving loaded guns in drawers and purses, selling guns to known criminals, thinking of killing them selves of others. With freedom on speech and religion, one can chose not to listen, but with guns, if someone decides to shoot you, you are probably done with your life.

        Every day we read about irresponsible gun use. How many gun owners have experienced a gun death up close and personal? Perhaps we should require gun owners to sit in a trauma center and watch the carnage. Doctors know what they are talking about. Most hunters with guns do too because they know and follow the rules and have seen death. Most of us have no clue.

      • Submitted by Marc Post on 11/20/2018 - 01:27 pm.

        Nonsense. Nothing but a deflecting smoke screen. You point to something that can never be fixed. Can provide a solution to the “mental illness and criminals” problem? No? Then it’s a red herring.

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/20/2018 - 01:48 pm.

          Sure it can be fixed. First you lock up gang members etc for life if they use a gun in a crime. Secondly, you remove the current restrictions on law abiding citizens carrying guns so they can defend themselves and stop a lot of the crime either as it happens or prevent it from happening. Third, prosecute doctors who prescribe SSRI drugs to those under 24. The Drug Companies say not to give them to that age group but it happens a lot. Fourth, bring back mental hospitals and keep the severely mentally ill off the streets. People like Lanza, Loughner etc never should have been out in public to commit their crimes.

          Those 4 things will end most of the gun violence (and violent crime in general) in America. You can’t stop all of it but we can prevent most of it.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/20/2018 - 02:28 pm.

            “First you lock up gang members etc for life if they use a gun in a crime.”

            Why only gang members?

            • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/20/2018 - 02:38 pm.

              I did say “etc” meaning others that use guns to commit crimes. Get them off the streets permanently and they can’t commit any more crimes.

              • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/21/2018 - 06:38 pm.

                Who’s paying. I for one am not giving one up one iota of current governmental spending for your prison state, so where ya gonna get it?

                • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/27/2018 - 06:04 pm.

                  Who’s paying? You don’t get a choice although you can cheat on your taxes like many do. And why on earth would we put killers in jail?

          • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/20/2018 - 03:40 pm.

            The incorrect simplistic NRA’s view on what kills.
            It isn’t the gun that kills it is the human. The NRA is half right, there is a human involved. A gun is not an inert object and it too is involved. As soon as the trigger is pulled it then becomes the gun that kills. Guns with high capacity magazines and high killing power are strictly weapons of war and should not be available to the public. If weapons of war are not available to the human involved there will far less people killed with the gun. There are those who quote the requirements to change the second amendment. They want you to feel overwhelmed, so you’ll give in, it’s hopeless to make changes, mainly because it helps their case of wanting high capacity killing weapons. The NRA is killing American’s daily with their simplistic definition of what does the killing. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA spokesman, makes millions each year to make his ridiculous comments each time the NRA defends the gun as not being the killer.

            • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/21/2018 - 10:45 am.

              The extreme majority of gun deaths come from plain old handguns. More people die from falling off ladders than from ar-15 style guns. If you were to read history you’d know that weapons of war were meant to be in the hands of the citizens because they were the militia. The Founding Fathers set it up to be that way.

              • Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 11/21/2018 - 11:57 am.

                Bob: You need to get your stats from legitimate sources, for starters.

                And the citizen militias in the early years of this country used 1 shot muskets. AR15s and other modern day high powered automatic or multiple shot war weaponry didn’t exist, even in the minds of the Founding Fathers…..

                Here is some reading for you and everyone, because well researched information and govn stats beat personal opinions every time. (Caveat: Tho the Trump admin/regime has openly and egregiously altered some over the past 2 years, so beware of that particular type of propaganda.)

                Comparing Gun Deaths by Country: The U.S. Is in a …
                Jun 14, 2016 · Gun homicides are a common cause of death in the United States, killing about as many people as car crashes (not counting van, truck, motorcycle or bus accidents). Some cases command our attention …

                Mass Shootings · Mass Shooting in Las Vegas
                Firearms and Crime Statistics

                Firearms and Crime Statistics This page has been updated to reflect the most recently available data. The following is a list of BJS publications that include data on firearm-related crime.

                Gun violence in the United States – Wikipedia

                Gun violence in the United States results in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries annually. … although significantly more than in the United States, and have firearm death rates of 2.22 and 2.91 per 100,000 citizens, … The Federal government has spent over US$1.5 billion since the program’s inception on the hiring of prosecutors, …
                Gun ownership · Suicides · Homicides · Accidental and … · Violent crime

                Data & Statistics | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms …

                Available from no other source, this comprehensive collection of ATF-related data from national surveys, state-based surveys, other collected license statistics, and other data sources documents trends in firearms, commerce and use of federal services in the United States.

       › News › Stories

                Among some of the other statistics contained in Crime in the United States, 2015: The estimated number of murders in the nation was 15,696….

              • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 11/21/2018 - 12:37 pm.

                If you were to read history you’d know that the 2nd Amendment was an olive-branch to slaver states to make it easier to suppress slave rebellions, and the so-called ‘individual right’ was not divorced from the well-regulated militia until 2008, on a split SCOTUS decision.

              • Submitted by ian wade on 11/21/2018 - 03:43 pm.

                Dude, any firearm was a weapon of war back in those days. Don’t conflate modern day weaponry with “what the founders intended.” The fact is that you have no idea what the founders would think of modern day society. They couldn’t conceive of cotton candy much less 21st century armament.

          • Submitted by Rebecca Nesse on 11/21/2018 - 08:58 am.

            So glad to hear you are in favor of raising taxes to pay for all of your solutions!
            Rebecca Nesse

            • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/21/2018 - 10:46 am.

              No new taxes needed. We waste more than enough money that could be used to fix the problems. Just ending the drug war would save us billions a year.

          • Submitted by ian wade on 11/21/2018 - 03:49 pm.

            Since trained law enforcement only hit a moving target about 25% of the time, I’ll pass on the idea of armed vigilantes out en masse “stopping crime before it starts.” That’s too terrifying to even contemplate.

      • Submitted by Michelle Foster on 11/21/2018 - 08:24 am.

        This is such a tiresome response. If I’m angry or violently mentally ill, it is HIGHLY unlikely that I can inflict irreversible harm with my bare hands. To be clear, guns kill. They are a tool created to do so.

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/21/2018 - 10:48 am.

          You could use knives or a car just as easily. Or any number of other weapons. Go look at the knife attack epidemic in the UK now.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 11/21/2018 - 12:32 pm.

            No. It is clearly easier to intentionally kill people with guns that it is with knives or cars. That’s the entire purpose of guns. They weren’t invented to cut steak or move people from point a to point b. They are designed to perforate human flesh with kinetic force.
            There is a literal gun-death epidemic in the United States right now. Go look at that and quit obfuscating.

          • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/22/2018 - 12:26 pm.

            Ever hear of a drive-by knifing?

  2. Submitted by Steve Roth on 11/20/2018 - 12:46 pm.

    They are addressing the actual, real issue: millions of guns are out there, and far too many people – with and without mental health problems, and not just criminals – are killed and injured, every day.

  3. Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 11/20/2018 - 02:28 pm.

    Australia found themselves in a very similar position a while back and finally the ‘will of the people’ drove meaningful resolutions. Within 4 short years, their severe problem became a much smaller one and many lives were saved. Really it’s not that hard once politicians start listening, deal with the reality and implement policies that actually help.

    It is now 2018, almost 2019 – and not the mid-1800s. 85% of us live in cities and so few of us have any need to own a gun anymore. We buy our food from grocery stores, and limiting meat consumption will only help our collective health and eliminate a lot of waste problems. Plus our remaining wildlife are facing human driven extinction at rates never before imagined. So overall, ending the unnecessary slaughters can only help. I’m still ok with handguns used for target practice. But tech based home security systems and 9-1-1 have pretty much ended the need for home use firearms when safety and security are involved. And semi automatics, bump stocks and war weaponry have no place in place in polite society.

    Re some of the above comments: it’s obvious who the FOX watchers are:( They are the ones still buying into the planned and purposeful propaganda spewed 24/7 on what is now Trump’s ‘state tv’. And THEY all should shut down and charged with treason for intentionally driving lies and divisiveness across the country.

    • Submitted by Greg Smith on 11/20/2018 - 04:24 pm.

      So you want to imprison those who don’t agree with you. You are more scary the the Trump crowd

    • Submitted by Gerry Anderson on 11/20/2018 - 09:01 pm.

      Of course you must be right and the millions of responsible gun owners are wrong.

      I own guns. Keep them secure. Hunt. Shoot for sport.

      I also am open to ideas that would work effectively. The guy in Thousand Oaks did everything legally in the most restrictive state for guns by a lot. Those laws changed nothing. Guy was crazy. There were opportunities to stop this by cops and others but everyone is so worried about offending a single person, it’s easier to do nothing.

      So rather that the typical “we need gun control” let’s have some concrete proposed solutions with examples of how they would help.

      • Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 11/21/2018 - 12:02 pm.

        Australia solved its gun problem. Could America? – Vox

        The proposal worked, with suicide rates in Australia dropping about 57 percent after the reforms were implemented, and homicide rates dropping 47 percent, according to studies by Harvard researchers.
        No wonder commentators fixate on it.

        The US doesn’t just have a mass shooting problem – it has an enormous, multifaceted gun violence problem. Mass shootings are a growing and alarming phenomenon in the US.
        Gun laws in Australia – Wikipedia

        Studies on the effects of Australia’s gun laws have shown that the laws have been effective in reducing mass shootings, gun suicides and armed crime. [2] [3] [4] Polling shows strong support for gun legislation in Australia with around 85-90% of people wanting the same or greater level of restrictions.
        Overview · National legislative … · Firearms categories · Licensing
        Australia solved the gun problem. We can too –

        The US and Australia share some common history. The British sent settlers to occupy colonial land, although the Australians had to get out of prison first. Both countries encouraged gun ownership by white settlers, Rebecca Peters, a representative of Australia’s International Action Network on …
        How Australia Fixed Its Gun Problem : ChapoTrapHouse…/73wpfw/how_australia_fixed_its_gun_problem

        Spearheaded by Australia’s conservatives — yes, really — the laws banned rapid-firing long guns and launched an extensive gun buyback program that removed over 650,000 guns from the public. It …
        Gun Control: How Australia Stopped Mass Shootings | Fortune

        A land of roughneck pioneers and outback settlers, Australia had never embraced much government regulation and certainly not about their guns.This was a land of almost cartoonish toughness and …

  4. Submitted by joe smith on 11/21/2018 - 06:32 am.

    Gun crimes by legal gun owners is under 1%. Please name me a law, not already on the books, that will stop a criminal from getting a gun illegally. Doctors should worry more about the opioid crisis and the 63k deaths attributed to it. Too many folks getting hooked on painkillers starting with a Doctors prescription.

    • Submitted by B. Dalager on 11/21/2018 - 01:14 pm.

      You’re right. We should just ban guns altogether.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 11/21/2018 - 03:45 pm.

      Typical Republican response…change the subject.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/21/2018 - 06:43 pm.

      Every gun manufactured comes equipped with a biometric lock. Gun is inoperable without it. All legally registered firearms retrofitted. Every gun seized either retrofitted or destroyed. All gun sales illegal if not properly equipped. Could it be defeated, sure, maybe. But it’d be a heck of a lot more effective than nothing.

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/27/2018 - 06:08 pm.

        Make texting and driving, talking on the phone while driving, eating while driving, etc. a crime and we’ll save a lot more lives. A lot more lives.

  5. Submitted by Ole Johnson on 11/21/2018 - 08:17 am.

    Every year between 250K – 440K people die due to medical errors. It is the third leading cause of death in the US

    Gun deaths are somewhere between 10K to 16K.

    What lane are these doctors supposed to be in again?

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 11/21/2018 - 10:38 am.

      They are appropriately supposed to be in ANY lane where they see people being injured and killed.

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/27/2018 - 06:15 pm.

        So true. If the doctors would come out against obesity, opioids (that they prescribe), smoking (including pot), and check their patients for signs of mental illness we’d have a lot less deaths. Doctors should throw their weight behind the things that cause the most deaths and maybe there would be fewer deaths.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/21/2018 - 12:05 pm.

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say that doctors, as a group, are firmly opposed to medical errors. There is no wealthy, vocal special-interest group lobbying in favor of medical errors for everyone, so this particular issue may not be reported extensively.

  6. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 11/21/2018 - 12:36 pm.

    Leftists are not going to like the new debate when they start treating the consequences of poor behavioral choices as a threat to public health.

    Or maybe they think they can contain the discussion by censoring comment threads on social media sites?

  7. Submitted by Dave Carlson on 11/23/2018 - 08:29 pm.

    I have never understood why many law-abiding gun owners sit back and let the NRA dictate against any reasonable attempts to do something about the gun violence epidemic. Keeping guns out of the hands of people exhibiting mental illness, even temporarily, or those convicted of past violent crimes, seems pretty reasonable. Certainly ban or severely restrict the weapons of mass destruction. Having some form of background checks protects law-abiding gun owners. A registration system could help trace lost or stolen firearms (similar to tracing a stolen car). And no, invading enemies are not going to go door to door confiscating people’s legal firearms based on registration lists.

    Contrary to the NRA’s overreactions, there seems very little to no chance that gun ownership will ever be illegal or restricted more than just allowing a few common sense protections, so folks will still have their hunting rifles and self-protection handguns. But at least we are trying something to curb senseless killings that guns make so easy.

  8. Submitted by Pat Terry on 11/24/2018 - 05:09 am.

    Exactly. Those gun owners are wrong.

  9. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/24/2018 - 06:15 pm.

    The logic fallacy: “Legal gun owners are not the problem” Well it seems that most gun owners are legal until they aren’t anymore. Seems the Las Vegas killer was a legal gun owner until! Tha’t’s the problem gun folks you never know when a legal owner is going to slip and then its all over, just like car drivers, never know when a legal driver is going to slip and then its all over. Sorry but your argument logic is not logical, there fore logical folks cannot have a logical discussion with illogical people. Admit it, you but more love and value into your boom-boom machines than you do in other peoples lives & safety. .

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