Doctors and medical officials have increasingly taken on gun violence as a public health issue. Last month, the American College of Physicians issued new guidelines for doctors to follow in helping protect patients from firearms dangers, and published several reports on gun violence in its flagship publication, the Annals of Internal Medicine.
We need to ask our patients about firearms, counsel them on safe firearm behaviors, and take further action when an imminent hazard is present, Dr. Garen Wintemute, of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California Davis Medical Center, wrote in one editorial in the magazine.
When you look at gun violence in our country, we have a public health crisis, he told The Daily Beast. This is probably in my opinion one of the worst blemishes on our character as a nation. Over 30,000 people are dying annually, not to mention the two to three people injured per death. This is not comparable to what were seeing in any other country.
On Wednesday, the NRA took issue with the ACP, which represents more than 150,000 internal medicine specialists. Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane, the group tweeted.
We are not anti-gun; we are anti-bullet holes in our patients, retorted emergency medicine specialist Dr. Esther Choo of Oregon Health & Science University in a tweet Thursday morning.
Dr. Joseph Sakran, director of emergency general surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, tweeted his dismay over the gun advocacy groups divisive statement.
Doctors Hit Back at NRA for Trying to Silence Them Over Guns
We take care of these patients every day. Where are you when Im having to tell all those families their loved one has died?,” he wrote.
Not only are we not going to stay in our lane, but we are going to do everything in our power to ensure that Americans in communities all across this nation our protected from these senseless tragedies.
And the Annals of Internal Medicine, the influential journal for the ACP, tweeted a pledge to its 33,000 followers to talk to at-risk patients about gun violence.
Hours after the Thousand Oaks massacre, doctors and other medical professionals began quoting the NRAs original tweet, citing years of research in public health and medicine that consistently showed that firearm availability was linked to gun violence and death.
Doctors have increasingly fought for more freedom to research gun violence and deaths and to speak to patients about the risks. In Florida, lawmakers sought to prevent doctors from asking about guns in the home but in 2017 a federal appeals court ruled against the law.
And Congress had quietly limited CDC research into firearms violence using carefully worded legislation and budget cuts that precisely matched the CDCs budget for such research.
Having to perform a Cesarean section on a dead pregnant teenager with a gunshot wound to the head in the trauma bay of the Emergency Department is something that NEVER leaves your memory. The @NRA has a lot of gall telling us physicians to stay in our lane…
The CDC published new data on Thursday showing that gun deaths rose in 2015-16 after having started to fall in earlier years. The report says the rise in deaths is driven by both violent crime and by suicides.
Fresh Off Re-Election, Gillibrand Says She Is Giving Long, Hard Thought to 2020 Run
HealthHealthGun control is a kids' health issue, pediatricians sayDuring 2015–2016, homicide was the 16th leading cause of death among persons of all ages in the United States and the third leading cause among youths aged 10–19 years; a firearm injury was the underlying cause of death in 74 percent of all homicides and in 87 percent of youth homicides, the CDC team said in the new report.
We are not anti-gun; we are anti-bullet holes in our patients: OHSU doctor criticizes NRA tweet
More than 27,000 people were killed by guns in 2015-16 and nearly 45,000 people died by suicide using a firearm, the CDC said.
The NRA Started A Feud With Doctors And Got Humiliated In The Process
youre welcome to come along next time i have to tell a mother her child has been shot and killed. we deal with this tragedy on a daily basis. THISISOURLANE. #docs4gunsense #ThisIsOurLane @ResearchAffirm
Previously observed decreases in firearm homicide rates have not continued, with more recent rates showing an increase both nationally and in large (urban areas), the CDC team wrote.
Within hours, doctors and medical professionals responded to the NRA with their own stories of treating patients who were victims of gun violence.
It is too soon to know whether recent increases in firearm homicide rates represent a short-term fluctuation or the beginning of a longer-term trend, the team added.
From 2015 to 2016, violent crime increased 3.8 percent for the nation overall, 6.1 percent in cities with populations of 250,000 and higher, 2.2 percent in suburban areas and 1.6 percent in nonmetropolitan counties.
Im going to sound like a broken record, but I keep going back to Malcolm Gladwells seminal 2015 essay about school shootings. At the risk of oversimplifying Gladwells argument, he argues that each mass shooting lowers the threshold for the next. In essence, we are in the midst of a slow-motion riot of mass shootings, with the Columbine massacre in many ways the key triggering event — especially in the school-shooting context. As the riot unfolds, more people consider committing mass murder as a way of addressing their grievances. Here was Gladwells conclusion:
Access to guns is one clear factor, the CDC said. Research shows the decision to die by suicide is often a last-minute thought.
Reducing access to lethal means during an acute suicidal crisis by safely storing firearms or temporarily removing them from the home can help reduce suicide risk, particularly among youths, the team wrote.
Efforts to strengthen household financial security; stabilize housing; teach youths coping and problem-solving skills; identify and support persons at risk; and implement proactive prevention policies in schools, workplaces, and other organizational settings are associated with reductions in suicide, the CDC team added.
Yes, well of course have the familiar fight over gun control and the NRA. The New York Times referred to the California shooting in the introduction of an extensive article about the evolution of the NRA. Yet the NRA has been thoroughly routed in California. Its gun-control regime exceeds even the dreams of most national Democrats. This Dana Loesch tweet provides a good summary:
Careful policing can help reduce homicides, the CDC team said. So can community efforts such as business improvement districts, housing tax credits and cleaning up abandoned buildings and lots. Restraining orders against people with a history of domestic violence can prevent homicides, as can background checks for gun buyers.
Maggie Fox is senior writer for NBC News and TODAY, writing top news and analysis on health policy, science, medical treatments and disease.
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.
Its time to face facts. At this moment in American history, we dont know how to stop — or even seriously reduce — mass shootings.
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 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.
Actually I did consult others…the children Ive cared for who were injured or paralyzed by guns and the families of the kids who didnt survive their #GSW. #ItIsOurLane
My lane as Pediatric ICU physician: why don't YOU try being the person who has to go into a room & tell a family the worst possible news they are ever going to hear because the damage their kid came in with was beyond our saving? Not only is this OUR lane, YOU ARE IN IT. #GetOut
Unless you are working beside me in my Pediatric ER while I code a child dying from a gun shot wound while his mother screams in a way that will stay with you forever you need to STAY IN YOUR LANE. Gun control and gun violence is ABSOLUTELY my business.
Um, yeah, how dare we publish public health articles in medical journals. We're real assholes. #itISourlane
ALL CAPS @NRA are you on call? We have lots of gun shot cases for you to treat in Cleveland if you have the time? Want to take call this Saturday?????
Was consulting with doctors who treat gunshot wounds and anxiety/ depression with gun related violence and loss not enough? With whom did they want us to consult?
The impact of caring for a #Gunshotwound victim on first-responders, doctors, and nurses is understated. #ThisisMyLane
This is everyone's lane. We have to be in this together. And I invite anyone into this lane who wants to help fix the problem. #ProtectOurKids #ItIsOurLane
Yeah! Who ya gonna listen to? An organization that lobbies to make gun manufactures rich or the medical professionals that have to repair the bodies sacrificed to corporate profits? 🤔
Dr. Mary Brandt, a pediatric surgeon at Texas Childrens Hospital and professor at Baylor College of Medicine, tweeted a number of studies linking increased gun control to a decrease in fatalities.
"Open carry ban decreases fatalities and healthcare utilization even in a state with baseline strict gun laws." #ItIsOurLane pic.twitter.com/lfCqDDdyHy
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 worlds 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 Brazils 43,200.