Why Doctors Are Taking on the NRA

We see gunshot wounds on Monday, we see gunshot wounds on Tuesday, we see gunshot wounds on Wednesday… We are on the front lines of taking care of these patients. There is a fiery debate online after the NRA says doctors should “stay in their lane.” When a lot of us in the medical community saw this communication, we were incensed. Doctors across the United States are trending on Twitter under the hashtag “#ThisIsOurLane” in response to the NRA. The danger of making it into a partisan issue is that people continue to be injured and continue to die. I’m Mallory Williams. I see more gunshot wounds as a trauma surgeon here in the United States per week than I did when I was serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan. There’s no question about it. My name is Amy Goldberg. I’ve been a trauma surgeon for greater than 25 years. We see here at Temple University Hospital about 500 gunshot wounds a year. My name is Joe Sakran and I’m a trauma critical care surgeon. The city of Baltimore sees a tremendous number of gunshot wound victims annually. This guy, a young, 20-something-year-old male, after a gunshot wound. Looks like it’s a transmediastinal gunshot wound; is that right Dr. Wong? That’s right. So you can see here the lung is collapsed, and this right here is the trajectory of the bullet. There are some injuries that we see that despite the best medical technology, we’re not able to save those patients. So the way you save those patients is prevent them from ever happening in the first place. Over the past 20 plus years there’s been really a moratorium on federal funding of research to look at the cause of gun violence. Trying to provide the care that those patients need after they’ve been shot is not enough. We have to do more. We are facing, in this country, a public health crisis. We need the federal dollars appropriated to this disease in order to address it adequately and to address it with data. And if we do nothing, and maintain the status quo, one million Americans will be shot in the next decade. American College of Physicians provided some recommendations on the approach to firearm injury prevention. So on November 7th, the NRA sent out the communication that essentially said that doctors should stay in their lane. Doctors across the United States are trending on Twitter. There is a fiery debate online after the NRA says doctors should “stay in their lane.” When a lot of us in the medical community saw this communication, we were incensed. When the NRA told the medical community to mind its own business, doctors fought back. They’re showing graphic pictures of bullet wounds, etc. They expect us to simply just clinically care for the patients, and not do anything else. The idea of talking about gun ownership as a science and ways to limit gun ownership in order to maximize public health I gotta tell you that creeps me out. It is none of your doctor’s business as to whether or not you should own guns. I mean they’re asking about legislation. That’s not care, and it creates a weird kind of relationship with you and your doctor. The reality is that part of our responsibility is injury prevention. When there were motor vehicle fatalities in the sixties and seventies, we didn’t get rid of cars. We made seat belts and airbags and roads safer, you know, same thing with tobacco. So we have to approach this in the same manner. One of the things that the NRA has been very successful at doing is to really separate gun owners from non-gun owners. And that’s an illogical construct. The gun owner in America is likely not to be a monolithic voice. This is me as a combat surgeon and lieutenant colonel at the time, practicing with the M-16 rifle. This is at the range at Kandahar air base. I understand the rationale for people wanting to exercise their second amendment right as a part of their life. I think gun owners want the same thing that non-gun owners want and that’s safe communities. This is a part of our health as a nation. As a trauma surgeon, I kinda see the ramifications of it all. You know, you had a gunshot that came in through your hip. Tell me a little bit about your physical therapy; I understand that you’ve been walking around the hospital with some assistance. When I first came in, I couldn’t feel nothing. But after the surgery I started feeling from my hip to my knee, now from my knee all the way down to my ankle. This is our lane; we must have a voice. Who better to be able to talk about the impact of a firearm on a patient’s life, right beneath the patient themselves, than the doctor who was directly responsible for caring for those injuries. These are instruments that we use when our patients come in with gunshot wounds and they present with no pulse and no blood pressure. And this instrument, as brutal as it looks, really helps us separate the ribs so that we can adequately visualize the heart and lungs and stop what’s bleeding. The stapler is really just something that trauma surgeons have come upon to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds or gunshot holes in the heart. The more you see of these injuries, day after day and night after night and year after year, you are moved. And I do believe that trauma surgeons really just want to communicate that to a society that we believe cares. This is the 38 caliber fragment that was given to me. I usually keep it on my dresser. I remember the day very clearly, September 23rd, 1994. We were going to the first high school football game of the year. There was a fight that had broken out, and a guy pulled out a gun and started firing into the crowd. And I got hit in the throat with a random bullet that ruptured my windpipe and ended up in my shoulder. It’s a reminder of what I’ve been through personally, but it’s also a reminder of the work that we have yet to be done. This is not a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. This is an American issue. The tweet that I wrote regarding “stay in your lane” really expressed my view of gun violence as being a public health crisis. When we as doctors say ‘for your high blood pressure, don’t take any sodium,’ it’s not that we’re accused of being anti-sodium. The only agenda that we have is taking care of our patients and really advocating for their health. The country really needs to do something urgently, before each one of us is affected more personally. Just as we have spoke up about tobacco, just as we have spoken up about drinking and driving, I find this to be a logical continuum that the gun discussion would include a medical voice.

100 thoughts on “Why Doctors Are Taking on the NRA

  1. Watch all of our videos on the conversation about guns in our playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI2eUIMVL5I&list=PLDamP-pfOskMmHLsQDJ8UBWnIi5TnVzaw

  2. American doctors know how the rest of the world works and that it is not normal for an alleged 1st world country to have that many gun shot wounded patients….

  3. Second Amendment is firm. Other countries have a knife crime problem. Women get acid dumped on them. You cannot legislate morality.

  4. World’s most powerful nation is rotting away from inside. At the same time Finland is the most stable society with a huge amount of guns as well. We have a thing called social security, free education and lowest welfare gaps. No street crime, no gun violence, no violent gangs. Still the ”most powerful nation” can’t figure out what’s wrong and how to solve their issues.

  5. We have a murder problem in many places in our country. The tool that caused harm or death of someone doesn't matter in the perspective of a doctor. Should doctors start showing knife wounds and how ugly they can be too? An appeal to emotion by graphic photos should not be used to push political agenda.

  6. Doctors dont have much to say about gun ownership/policy and this video proves it. However, Doctors should focus on the real problem: MENTAL HEALTH. #StayInYourLane

  7. The Right of the people to keep and bear arms is for
    personal protection and protection against all enemies of the constitution foreign or domestic.
    If you think we could never get invaded, you are mistaken and just like
    the American Revolution, the patriots will fight for flag and country
    and the gender confused soy boys will cry in their safe spaces.

    FIX THE PROBLEM… If someone wants to kill someone, they will find other ways to do it… Banning guns is not fixing the problem.

  8. Please enumerate one shooting perpetrated by "the NRA".
    Just one.
    Yeah, that's what I thought.
    The Atlantic is a steaming pile of propagandist shite.

  9. Fun fact of the day doctors killed 9 times as many people as guns due to doctor malpractice the real problem is doctors

  10. "This is not a Democratic issue. It's not a Republican issue,” Dr. Sakran says. “This is an American issue. And it’s a uniquely American problem.” Wrong! This is almost exclusively a Democrat problem. The majority of gun violence happens in inner cities, that vote over 90% Democrat. Progressive policies are responsible, and you can't fix this problem as long as Democrats are in control.

  11. Maybe these doctors need to visit Auschwitz, the Killing Fields, a North Korean gulag, etc. then maybe they will understand why we have the 2nd amendment


  13. I don’t get the point the first doctor makes. You’re in the military, your job is to take precautions so that you don’t get shot. On top of that there isn’t that mass population that you’re dealing with.

    Next edit: second doctor (woman). Okay. Good for you. That seems actually less than I thought you would be seeing. That’s barely 2 people per day.

    Second edit: third man (analyzing shot wound). Sure you could say that your job is to prevent bad things from happening to your patients but this is one of those outside things that you shouldn’t have control over. I don’t go to the doctor after a breakup. I don’t go to a doctor to let him take guns away. Because what if I don’t have a gun then I get shot? Would you have wanted to prevent that too? You couldn’t have, logically.

  14. It seems that any public mention of guns–no matter how reasonable–leads many gun zealots to start barking like junkyard dogs. They think every knock at the door is someone trying to steal their stuff.

  15. What the video says: Physicians are concerned about gun deaths in the U.S.

    What NRA members hear (and what the NRA stokes): Doctors want to outlaw guns!

  16. 80 people shot in one weekend in an liberal hyper gun control area and the MSM is silent. Handguns are banned in Chicago but some how, some way, black people keep ghetto blasting each other EVERYDAY!

  17. Please correct me if I’m wrong.. but according to vox, and this is from the 2016 study they pulled, “nearly 39,000” people died by a firearm in 2016. and out of a population of 327 million people in the US, give or take, that would give us a 0.012% chance of actually dying by a firearm..right?

  18. Remember, it's the doctors, along with other political groups trying to infringe on YOUR individual rights, leading to disarmament of the American people. The NRA is an irrelevant straw man. Perhaps Doctors should clean up 250K+ DEATHS per year due to medical practice incidents, vs the 14K gun homicides???? Arrogant that these docs think they can control human behavior by banning a particular tool. And of course ZERO mention of the roughly 500K to 2 MILLION YEARLY defensive firearms events that SAVE lives…..

  19. All right. First of all, you doctors need to stop killing your patients before you are going to flap your gums about your personal political opinions. 250,000 patients are killed EVERY YEAR across the US due to YOUR acts of negligence and absolute incompetence. 250,000 per year. That is more than 1 MILLION by 8 years. And you have the nerve to tell us about the "dangers if guns" and expect us to even listen to you for more than one second? Get the fuck out of here with that shit. I've had THREE acquaintances and ONE family member killed in hospitals due to malpractice. Don't you think that is fucking insane? Do you think that is acceptable?

    Now I am certain some of the Kool Aid types here will want to say something back to this. I am just putting this statement out here. Don't try to change my beliefs or views on this subject. It ain't going to happen. And every thing that I see in the American medical system only confirms it.

  20. Here is one fact doctors all over the US do not want you to know. Did you know that medical malpractice is the THIRD leading cause of death in the United States? Right after cardiovascular disease and tobacco related illnesses? Over 250,000 people die from medical malpractice every year. And what is worse is that malpractice deaths are 100 percent PREVENTABLE. Instead of finding solutions to making hospitals much safer for the public, these COWARDS are trying to cover up their own dirty secrets by trying to shift our attentions away to absolutely ridiculous subjects. It ain't going to happen. Make sure to do your part to educate those around you about the true dangers that lurk in the US healthcare system today. And make sure that those doctors who are doing wrong and trying to avoid responsibility for their actions are exposed for all to see.

  21. How many people in the US have died in the last decade due to Doctors over prescribing of opioids?

  22. NRA are a bunch of losers and the doctors are right. Its high time we do something with gun laws and regulations. These people need better protection and it starts with legalizing fully automatic weapons and armor piercing rounds followed by abolishing the ATF.

  23. Its up to patients to ultimately decide how they live. Doctors don't want to force you but apparently will limit options. I see this somewhat as doctors trying to ban Acupuncture.
    If someone doesn't want to listen to a doctor and continue to eat sugar with diabetes with toes falling or own a semiautomatic rifle against whatever advice warning of the damage it can do, that's up to that person and maybe the doctor can just drop them if they continue to not listen.

  24. Willing to bet a majority of anti gun people are also pro abortion. Which is hypocritical if you ask me. Ban guns , guns kill people but killing millions and millions of babies every year is okay.. planned parenthood has taken far more lives in last decade then guns have.

  25. Note how some of the photos shown here were already shown NOT to be from actual hospitals but were in fact staged marketing photos.

  26. The Leftists at the Atlantic and the AMA can go to Hell.
    "A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care" by John T. James, PhD[5] that estimates 400,000 unnecessary deaths annually in hospitals alone.

  27. Lets be real most of the guns used in these shootings are illegal black market firearms not registered under the shooters name also most of the shootings are probably gang related i don't think gun control on legal firearms will bring the death toll any lower so if you really want to make a change in your community go after the gangs they are the root of the evil

  28. Every single person that goes against our constitution will lose all their power and influence over everything in society and their wickedness will eat them from within. ✝️👁

  29. "Taking on the NRA" is libspeak for "Financial elites taking on half of all American people and also the Bill of Rights"

  30. Because bullets can be hazardous to your health?
    There is no money for the NRA for this brand of preventive medicine.

  31. Dunning-kruger has taken over the rightwing. Imagine telling doctors, fucking doctors, to "stay in their lane" over matters of life and death.

  32. Okay, so 1,000,000 Americans will be shot in the next decade. Well, even Obama's CDC 'gun crime' study shows that during this same decade, between 3,000,000 to 8,000,000 American lives will be saved by lawful usage of firearms in self-defense. So, I don't give a shit about the vast majority of those 'shootings', which are suicides, gang related violence or 'known victims'….I prefer to keep all my guns and preserve my Natural God Given Right.

  33. Doctor’s mistakes cause 400k plus deaths annually and use to cause 600k plus, before President Trump came into office. I’d say guns are less dangerous when you look at actual DEATHS- nuff said.

  34. I wonder how many of these gun-rights advocates have been shot, or seen someone shot, or know someone who has been shot? Probably apart from those serving or having served in the military or the police, next to none.

  35. Does anyone know if any of these doctors have had a one-on-one conversation with a pro-2A person? I would like to see their responses when they are challenged by a law-abiding gun owner. No partisan intended, just researching.

  36. How ied wounds do you see in USA Dr huh the war in Afghanistan isn't being fought with small armsvittd being waged with drones and ballistics

  37. The gun lobby is terrified of objective information about firearms being generated and widely dispersed. Like tobacco and opioid companies, the NRA promotes falsehoods.

  38. Australia got it right ! USA should do the same. We look like complete idiots to the rest of the industrialized modern world. We are still playing Cowboys & Indians. I understand well regulated Militias. The current Gun situation in the US is not what the founding fathers intended. In the late 1700's they only had muskets. Now we have semi-automatic weapons that spew out hundreds of rounds with simple clip swaps. This is a big difference from manually loaded muskets. End of story.

  39. I never understood the argument that guns mean safer communities.. other countries don't allow guns and have way less violent crimes, robberies committed than the US

  40. I really don't see gun control being enforce any time soon in the US. All those mass shooting won't impact a thing so long as the second a amendment is in the constitution. Maybe is time to "amend" the constitution. Or a another civil war who the fucks knows.

  41. Fantastic job Atlantic! Easily one of the best videos I have seen in a while and on such an important issue, thank you!

  42. I grew up around deer hunting rifles and never once did anyone ever have to deal with dealing with gun shots. Maybe these people getting shot should not play at being gangsters to need to get bullets dug out of them. Quit with that gang banger bullshit and you won't get shot, its a no brainer.

  43. This is their lane on a daily basis. Refuse to treat gun shot wounds. Anyone who turns up with a wound, send them to the mortuary.. Or take the ultimate sanction and leave medicine en mass.

  44. The NRA has nothing to do with criminals. Stop blaming the NRA for the acts of criminals. It's like blaming Ford for DUI fatality accidents.

  45. NRA should get smart! Work with society instead of trying to destroy us. That why I believe when you pay your dues you are paying the Russians! And they launder the money to GOP!

  46. I want to see more videos like this from us medical professionals… But how about on alcohol use, tobacco use, drug use even like marijuana? Yes, look at those numbers still. Instead of inanimate objects. And take away the 60% or so being suicides which is another important topic an important statistic in itself. It About the hate and mental issues going on.. it's about how the media spins thing for strategic purposes and uses certain words and phrases. It's how this violence is portrayed, use, sensationalize. how about situations like Erica Thomas, Smollett Etc promoting more hatred falsely.

  47. I want to know the exact number of gun shot victims in Afghanistan during any one year, or month period of time when Dr.Williams was serving versus gun shots victims in the same length of time in the area that he's attending in now. Just because someone says something doesn't make it true, even a doctor. He has to prove his position with facts.

  48. Why do americans always want to be different? Almost every nation in the developed world has, after a mass shooting, taken measures to control someones ability to procure firearms. Its a simple case of cause and effect. Why is it that Americans think if gun control is implemented that somehow it will be different to every other nation that has gun control. I live in Australia and you don't see criminals running around with ar 15s and Glocks, when there's a tense moment on the street, you're not worried that someones gonna pull a gun out a blast you in the face. We did the right thing and we're better of because of it.

  49. As someone who is not American, can Americans explain to me why, despite regular mass shootings, you still want firearms to be available to civilians?

  50. This doctor called gun violence a disease and feels federal funding will help heal this disease. He then talks about injury prevention in regards to gun violence.

    It is interesting to watch doctors who are responsible for millions of injuries and deaths worldwide every year from medical mistakes and toxic synthetic prescriptions show this level of concern for gun shot victims.

    Perhaps if they united on the topic that causes more damage than gun violence and put pressure on the same industries they serve and get paid from we could see some real positive change. This would require the realization that the medical industry is a much bigger threat to public health than gun violence however and is too much for most Rockefeller indoctrinated doctors to handle logically and emotionally.

    So they must keep the focus on anything else but themselves like most who cannot stand to look at the Truths about themselves and who they serve. Guns are a great topic of distraction from other causal factors contributing to mass harm within industries claiming to be about healing and health. Hardly any mention of the synthetic psych meds many of these shooters are on.

    See how easily THEY can shift the focus and blame onto the symptoms and not the True Causes THEY themselves are involved in.

  51. Let's look at the community how can 13% of the US population commit 50% of the crime quit blaming white people

  52. Doctor BS. There is 300,000 deaths due to malpractice and the doctor comply at 30,000 where most at suicide,drug and gang related. It is all for a gun grab. Smarten up Sheeple

  53. Doctors aren’t trying to limit gun ownership, they’re trying to make it smarter, so that people aren’t getting injuries.

  54. We will defend the second amendment !!! The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED !!!!

  55. Timothy McVeigh used not one gun to kill 168 people. More people die from food illness every year then a gun. The majority of children in this world are killed by abortion, not guns but by "doctors". Most of them happen to be black babies, you hypocrites! You indoctrinated, college educated fools have not brought an ounce of common sence to higher learning! Just think, the information you recieve, you accept, you dont question who the hell its comming from. No gun and no bomb every hurt a human being, the people that wielded that awesome power made sure that idiots like yourself would blame the object rather than the malcontents who's world view is nihilistic and absorbed with their own contempt for humanity. Stay this madness and look at the world as a dangerous place but never put in the hands of government to protect you.

  56. US doctors should take a glance at the UK, their knife crime epidemic.
    Because shopowners are not allowed to have firearms (like most everyone in the UK), they have to rely on cricket bats and so forth, and hope that their bats are bigger than the ones the criminal robbers bring with them.

  57. 99,000 die each year to Healthcare Acquired Infections.
    In 2012 antibiotic-resistant MRSA killed more Americans than emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkison's disease, and homicides combined.

  58. The NRA isn’t a scary group of faceless and evil entities. It’s literally just your neighbor and his neighbor and his neighbor’s neighbor. Stop acting like owning a gun is a crime.

  59. So most gun shot wounds come from guns that are illegally obtained. Sooo how does this have anything to do with the NRA?

  60. These doctors clearly don’t know what they are talking about. Civil rights such as gun ownership and any other civil rights needs to be respected.

  61. I guarantee 99% of those gun shot victims were not shot by someone in legal possession of the firearm. Criminals don't care about your restrictions. They get their guns from crimes. Hence: criminals


  63. As a survivor of a doctor incompetent. If you are taking illegal drugs, quit. If your friends are taking illegal drugs, have them quit. Illegal drugs are putting bodies on the street.

  64. National Drug Overdose Deaths—Number Among All Ages. More than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids.

  65. "Johns Hopkins study claims more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors."
    Maybe not the best crew to interview on keeping people alive.

  66. We have doctors from dc, philly, and baltimore. Some of the most violent cities in the US, how is this indicative that our gun laws are the issue? Especially when the gun laws in those cities are stricter than most red states.

  67. Imagine this scenario:

    Veterinarians: "We're concerned about the very high numbers of dogs we're seeing with severe wounds from golf balls."

    The PGA: "Shut up and mind your own business, veterinarians! Stop trying to outlaw golf! Veterinarians kill more dogs than golf balls do!"

  68. There taking on this camp adventure to deflect the "OPIOD" crisis off them. But all the law suits being put forth by Governments in NA should curb these deviants big mouths. They kill more people on a yearly basis then FA's every will, but like most you like to put these murderer's on a pedestal. #MURDERERSWITHOUTGUNS.

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