The NRA has been running a campaign “Stay in your lane” critical of people who have expertise in another field (like, say, medicine) weighing in as though they are also experts on crime, the causes of violence, and how to reduce said violence. The reason is quite simple: being an expert in one field does not confer expertise in others.
Well, some doctors have been shooting back with pictures of themselves spattered/covered with blood and some text about losing a patient due to gunshot wounds. To be blunt, the pictures I’ve seen appear to be staged. For example a neat little stripe of blood on the surgeon’s mask behind the plastic shield. That didn’t get there in the OR. Someone dipped their finger in blood (or red paint) and wiped it across that mask.
Text would be something like this:
16 yo GSW to the aorta @NRA his mother is in the waiting room. Should you tell her he didn’t make it? Didn’t think so. #stayinmylane #ThisISMYlane
Sorry doctor dancing in the blood of your patients, but while treating trauma such as gunshot wounds might be your lane, dealing with crime and violence as crime and what effects various policies are likely to have on it is not.
Let me ask you a few questions, Mr. Doctor.
Would you be happier telling some young girl that her father won’t be coming home because some punk with a knife pureed his intestines? Perhaps you can comfort her by telling her that although, thanks to folk like you, he didn’t have a gun to defend himself, at least he wasn’t shot.
Would you be happier explaining to some young boy that his mother can’t bear to be touched by a male, even her own son just looking for a mother’s love, because of PTSD from being beaten and raped? But, thanks to his mother not having a gun, at least her rapist wasn’t shot.
Would you be happier asking a young newlywed to sign donor release forms on behalf of her newly wedded husband who had his skull caved in by a mugger with a length of pipe who was looking for the price of his next fix? You can suggest that instead of complaining that the love of her life was not armed to defend himself, in death he will be able to save other people’s lives. That should make it okay for her, right?
Things like the above don’t happen hundreds to thousands of times every day because people use guns to defend themselves from the criminals. Most of them never reported to the police since the gun is never fired. Merely presenting was enough to end the threat and make the criminal decide “not today.” Various studies have attempted to estimate how often that happens and even the low end or such studies show that guns are used more often to defend against crime than they are used in the commission of crime.
Events like your 16 yo GSW are tragic, don’t get me wrong. But banning or further restricting guns is not the answer. At best it trades your particular individual for others such as I described. At worst, it doesn’t even save your 16 yo GSW because illegal, even homemade, guns are almost trivial for criminals to obtain.
You may be an expert in treatment of trauma including gunshot wounds, but that does not make you an expert on crime, self defense, and the effects on public safety on particular gun policies.
And, you know, there are more than 250,000 deaths by “medical mistakes” per year. That’s more than two and a half times all non-negligent homicides, suicides, and auto accidents combined. Maybe you should be worrying more about that than about something you actually know little about, like gun policy.
So stay in your lane.