Doctors Take On Gun Violence, NRA Pushes Back: A New Battle Over Policy
With David Folkenflik
A major doctors’ group demands immediate action on gun violence, calling it a public health crisis. The National Rifle Association demands doctors “stay in their lane.”
Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, principle investigator of Firearm-Safety Among Children & Teens Consortium (FACTS). Director of the Injury Prevention Center, associate vice president for research in health sciences and professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. (@StrohCunningham)
Dr. Sue Bornstein, chair of the American College of Physicians’ Public Health and Policy Committee (@ACPinternists). Executive director of the Texas Medical Home Initiative. Co-author of the updated Firearm Position Paper or “guidelines” from the American College of Physicians. (@sue_bornstein)
Lois Beckett, senior reporter for The Guardian covering gun policy, criminal justice and the far right in the United States. (@loisbeckett)
How Things Played Out On Twitter
From The Reading List
Annals of Internal Medicine: “Reducing Firearm Injuries and Deaths in the United States: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians” — “For more than 20 years, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has advocated for the need to address firearm-related injuries and deaths in the United States. Yet, firearm violence continues to be a public health crisis that requires the nation’s immediate attention. The policy recommendations in this paper build on, strengthen, and expand current ACP policies approved by the Board of Regents in April 2014, based on analysis of approaches that the evidence suggests will be effective in reducing deaths and injuries from firearm-related violence.”
University of Michigan Health Lab: “NIH Funds a Research Consortium to Address Firearm Deaths Among U.S. Children and Teens” — “Among children in the United States, firearm-related fatalities are the second leading cause of death.
“Such preventable injuries include the unintentional shooting of a toddler who finds a gun, the use of a firearm to self-inflict harm by a suicidal teen, the escalation of fighting or dating violence, lethal use by an adolescent or a tragic school shooting.
“‘Research and training in the field of firearm injury prevention needs to be substantially increased to develop evidence-based solutions to prevent and reduce firearm injury,’ says Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., a professor of emergency medicine at Michigan Medicine and the University of Michigan School of Public Health and associate vice president for research-health sciences at U-M. ‘There is a current deficit of data-driven solutions.’ ”
Vox: “The NRA told doctors to “stay in your lane” on guns. I’m a doctor. This is my lane.” — “I called into the morgue last Friday to find out what my day’s workload was going to be.
“‘One gunshot suicide and two other autopsies, probably natural.’
“Not a busy day, by any means. It was part of a perfectly ordinary week working as a forensic pathologist in Oakland, California. A couple of days earlier, I had pulled out two 9mm bullets from the body of a middle-aged man. The previous week, it was a 30-something, shot in the back.
“Right after I got off the phone, I saw a tweet from the National Rifle Association telling doctors to ‘stay in their lane’ — their response to the American College of Physicians’ updated gun safety guidelines. That was just hours before a man with a handgun and a high-capacity magazine shot dead 12 people in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and less than two weeks after a man with an assault rifle shot dead 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Angered, I fired back a response, shut off my phone, and began my day.”
NPR: “After NRA Mocks Doctors, Physicians Reply: ‘This Is Our Lane’” — “A mocking tweet from the National Rifle Association has stirred many physicians to post on social media about their tragically frequent experiences treating patients in the aftermath of gun violence.
“‘Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane,’ the NRA tweeted on Thursday. ‘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.’ “
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