This is Our Lane

UnknownAn Open Letter to the NRA from American Healthcare Professionals:

’Dear National Rifle Association, On Wednesday night (11/7/2018), in response to a position paper released by the American College of Physicians (ACP) Reducing Firearm Injuries and Death in the United States, your organization published the statement “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.”

On that same day, the CDC published new data indicating that the death toll from gun violence in our nation continues to rise. As we read your demand for us doctors to stay in our lane, we awoke to learn of the 307th mass shooting in 2018 with another 12 innocent lives lost to an entirely preventable cause of death–gun violence.

Every medical professional practicing in the United States has seen enough gun violence firsthand to deeply understand the toll that this public health epidemic is taking on our children, families, and entire communities.

It is long past time for us to acknowledge the epidemic is real, devastating, and has root causes that can be addressed to assuage the damage. We must ALL come together to find meaningful solutions to this very American problem.

We, the undersigned – physicians, nurses, therapists, medical professionals, and other concerned community members – want to tell you that we are absolutely “in our lane” when we propose solutions to prevent death and disability from gun violence.

As the professionals who manage this epidemic, we bear witness to every trauma resuscitation, regardless of outcome:…’ (AFFIRM, the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine)

If you are a healthcare professional, you can add your signature to this letter, as I did.

2 thoughts on “This is Our Lane

  1. Jan L Crean MD FACOG

    I am an OB/Gyn in TN, and have wondered why we as physicians (and hopefully healers) have not gotten together before now on this issue. It’s true that “people kill people,” but dang, using a gun makes it so much easier.
    And by the way, we’re not talking only about death; what about lasting sequelae that survivors suffer, sometimes for the rest of their lives? Spinal cord injuries, head injuries, intestinal and soft tissue injuries, disfigurement, loss of ability to procreate or to care for one’s children, and on and on?
    So where do we go from here?

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  2. Broadening the dialog to insist that that social problems are public health issues has worked before. I was active in the disarmament movement as a physician (PSR and IPPNW) and I believe this angle was influential in the progress the world has made (until the election of the Orange Menace, at least) in lessening the risk of nuclear catastrophe. I think it is important to do the same with respect to gun violence. Of course one might legitimately ask if physicians enjoy the Creedence and social authority today that they have in decades past. You’re right to question whether we can still lay claim as a profession to the mantle of “healers”. Thanks for jumping into the discussion!

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