Doctors Publish Editorial Calling For Gun Research In Response To The NRA

Physicians have rallied together after the NRA tweeted that doctors should 'stay in their lane.'

A doctor's hands typing on a computer, surrounded by a thermometer, stethoscope, folders, a clipboard, etc.
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Physicians have rallied together after the NRA tweeted that doctors should 'stay in their lane.'

Doctors are hitting back at the National Rifle Association after the organization tweeted that doctors should “stay in their lane,” CNN is reporting. The tweet was in response to several research papers published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine that documented statistics regarding firearm injuries and deaths as well as discussed possible ways to reduce gun violence. Many physicians responded to the NRA in outrage via their social media accounts, and some doctors even shared graphic photos of the damage bullets can cause. Now, members of the medical community have taken it one step further by publishing an official editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal.

“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,” read the editorial. “This needs to be fixed.”

Dr. Sue Bornstein, chair of the American College of Physicians’ Health and Policy Committee, teamed up with Annals of Internal Medicine’s editor-in-chief Christine Laine and executive editor Dr. Darren Taichman to produce the editorial, which called for “rigorous research to better understand the crisis, test solutions, and learn how best to implement and sustain those that work.”

They also shared in the editorial that they will be working with the nonprofit American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine to further research regarding gun violence. Aside from the statistics published in the journal, other researchers presented their findings at a panel on Friday for the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Panelists included Daniel Webster, a professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, and Jack McDevitt, a professor and director of Northeastern University’s Institute on Race and Justice.

Webster pointed out that while homicides are certainly an issue plaguing the nation, 60 percent of people who die from gunfire have actually lost their lives to suicide. McDevitt suggested that doctors speak with patients and their families about removing guns from their home.

“They can’t compel anyone to do anything, but they can sometimes put it in the framework of, ‘I’m concerned for your health’ as opposed to, ‘I want to take your guns away,'” McDevitt.

As for the physicians calling for more research on gun violence, they refuse to be intimidated by those who are in opposition to finding ways to prevent gun violence.

“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,” read the new editorial that was published on November 19. “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.”