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The NRA Just Went After Doctors for Advocating for Gun Control, and Doctors Are Fighting Back

Doctors fired back at the National Rifle Association after it lambasted "self-important anti-gun doctors" in a social media post after a gunman shot and killed 12 people at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

The NRA's tweet was in response to the issuance from the American College of Physicians (ACP) of new guidelines for doctors to follow to help protect patients from firearm dangers.


The NRA tweeted an editorial from its own website which criticizes ACP for its policy recommendations, which "include a ban on semiautomatic firearms and “high” (read: standard) capacity magazines, licensing and permitting requirements, improved reporting to NICS, restrictions on concealed carry, and so on."

"None of the ACP’s policy recommendations focus on law enforcement or the importance of identifying, prosecuting, and incarcerating criminals," the NRA continues. The group laments later in its editorial: "If only the ACP had the same sort of respect for the 2nd Amendment."

The post was immediately criticized by medical professionals who have been vocal about gun violence as a public health crisis.

The Annals of Internal Medicine, the magazine in which the ACP's guidelines appeared, pledged to continue "to talk to our patients about gun violence whenever risk factors are present."

"We are not self-important: we are important to the care of others," wrote Dr. Esther Choo, an emergency doctor and associate professor at the Oregon Health & Science University.

Dr. Sonia Kahn, a Fremont, California ICU physician countered: "Not only is this OUR lane, YOU ARE IN IT."

"I am DONE with @NRA telling me I can't talk about this," wrote Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency doctor at Brown/Rhode Island Hospital and the director of The Emergency Digital Health Innovation (eDHI) Program at Brown University.

"These injuries are REAL LIFE. This us OUR LANE," she continued.

The NRA's defense comes on the heels of new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that gun deaths rose in 2015-16 after having started to fall in earlier years.

“During 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 said.

“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 added. "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."

Yesterday, Dana Loesch, the national spokesperson for the NRA, was criticized for blaming the Thousand Oaks shooting on California's strict gun laws.

“What happened was horrific. Evil is real. So are CA gun laws," she tweeted before listing the "evil" elements of California's firearm legislation.

Her response to the tragedy did not go over well with social media users who've called for gun reform.

The Thousand Oaks shooting is the 307th mass shooting in the United States in 2018. One of the victims had survived last year's Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people, only to die in yesterday's massacre. A number of survivors from that shooting were also at the Borderline Bar and Grill yesterday.