Ann Coulter’s attacks on doctors calling for gun reform did not sit well with Fred Guttenberg.
Guttenberg lost his daughter in the Parkland school shooting earlier this year and has since become a vocal advocate for gun reform. This week, he took to Twitter to defend a doctor who had identified guns as a public health epidemic, after she came under attack from Coulter.
The controversy started this week when the National Rifle Association criticized the growing number of doctors who have spoken about a need for gun reform, calling on their firsthand experiences treating gunshot victims and seeing the danger that guns can cause to the human body.
Dr. Garen Wintemute, of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California Davis Medical Center, wrote an editorial — for the Annals of Internal Medicine— calling on doctors to counsel patients on safe firearm behaviors and to “take further action when an imminent hazard is present.”
In response, the NRA called on doctors to “stay in their lane” with regard to gun reform advocacy.
“Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane,” the organization wrote on Twitter. “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.”
The statement drew widespread criticism and prompted a number of doctors to share their expertise on treating gunshot wounds while noting that the NRA actually has no medical expertise to discuss the effects of guns, especially the high-powered assault rifles facing calls for a ban. But the statement also rallied the support of a number of conservatives, including pundit Ann Coulter.
Doctors: NRA should work with us to reduce death toll from guns @hshermd @JosephSakran @peter_masiakos @Anya13 @AJGTempleSurg @BHWilliamsMD @darakass @meganranney https://t.co/m7Dh0kE0DW— Dr. Robert Glatter (@DrRobertGlatter) November 10, 2018
Coulter had responded to a tweet from Judy Melinek, a noted forensic pathologist, who said that she pulls bullets out of corpses weekly so has a deep understanding of the effect guns can have on the body.
“This isn’t just my lane,” she wrote. “It’s my f***ing highway.”
Coulter blasted back, quoting Melinek and saying that her experience as a doctor still doesn’t make her qualified to speak out on gun reform.
“Emergency room doctors pull cue balls, vines & gummy bears out of human orifices every week,” Coulter wrote on Twitter. “That doesn’t make them experts on pool, horticulture or chewy candy.”
That prompted a reply from Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime Guttenberg was killed in the February school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He rose to the defense of doctors, offering his own anecdote and calling Coulter a “pathetic loser.”
“My brother used to be an emergency room physician. He treated many gun shot victims,” Fred Guttenberg explained on Twitter. “He eventually died from the cancer he got from his service at the WTC. My daughter died from the Parkland shooting, one AR15 bullet. Making a joke out of this just makes you a pathetic loser.”