(Warning: some images may be graphic).
Just days after a single gunman took the lives of 12 at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., the National Rifle Association sent an angry tweet Thursday suggesting that the medical community stay out of the gun debate. “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control,” wrote the NRA. “Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves.”
On Saturday, nurses, doctors, and emergency medical services who have spent years trying to save the lives of gun violence victims launched a viral campaign in response: “#ThisIsMyLane.”
“Hey @NRA, have you ever had to look a mother in the eye and tell her, ‘I’m sorry, we did everything we could, but your child died’ after they were shot? Because I have,” tweeted Elizabeth Laverriere, MD, of Johns Hopkins University. “Preventing gun violence is completely in my lane. No one should EVER hear that. #PedsICU #PedsAnes #thisismylane
While some shared photos of blood-strewn trauma rooms, others talked about the dreaded moment they have to share with a parent or family member that their loved one didn’t make it. “Hey @NRA ! Wanna see my lane? Here’s the chair I sit in when I tell parents their kids are dead,” wrote Stephanie Bonne, MD, a truama surgeon in New Jersey. “How dare you tell me I can’t research evidence based solutions. #ThisISMyLane #ThisIsOurLane #thequietroom”
“I can’t begin to estimate how many times my scrubs have looked exactly like this from gun violence,” a doctor named Alissa tweeted beside a picture of scrubs soaked with blood. “I remember EVERY story, each face of those I could not save. I HAVE to be the voice for those no longer here to tell their own story. #Docs4GunSense #ThisISMyLane @thosewecarry”
More than 36,000 Americans were killed as a result of guns in 2015, the most recent year for which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has data. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, 96 Americans are killed per day as the result of gun violence, and hundreds more are injured.
As of Saturday afternoon, the NRA had not replied to the responses from the medical community on Twitter, tweeting out instead a billboard in support of gun rights.
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