“This is my lane”

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.

This is my lane

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.

12 thoughts on ““This is my lane””

  1. Not shown: the fact that the 16 year old is an MS-13 member who’s here illegally and has been committing crimes since he was 10.


  2. I ran a trauma center for seven years and trained as a surgeon at LA County Hospital. I saw hundreds of gunshot wounds. Most of the guns that caused them were illegal and no background checks would stop them.


  3. make the criminal decide “not today.”
    Or, at least, “Not that guy/gal.”

    One thing about staying in your lane, though: What’s your lane?

    I ask, because it’s not so much opining outside your paid area of expertise, as it is not using the authority of your paid area of expertise to claim that you should have authority in other realms.
    I think this is why complaints about this sort of thing get pushback from regular folks. They get intuitively that people should be able to have opinions, and the attacks on this often seem like attacks on that (“Shut up and sing!” and “Doctors know nothing about crime prevention.” Who says those people don’t have opinions worth listening to?).

    So, make the point that this is not about a bunch of stupid doctors, but about doctors who think so highly of themselves as “experts” (part of the elite, therefore you peasants should listen to them) that they feel qualified to tell you what to do and how to think in other realms.

    I opine a lot. And I think I’m qualified to do so by virtue of living a life of observing what goes on in the world. Heck, I even have some qualifications that I could wave in your face (assuming you cared about those qualifications) and lend me some air of authority. But, like Paul*, I would at the end tell you not to believe me because of my qualifications but because I’m right – and to test my ideas and see if they’re right.

    (* Philippians 3:4-6 and others)


    1. Right, it is not using the argument from false authority. A doctor is not a criminologist. So doctors have every right to have and express there opinion about gun control. What they should not do is pretend they have an special insight into the causes of violence.


  4. Lefties with high IQs think they have the obligation to tell people stupider than they are what they must do to live their lives in the proper way.

    GFY, doctor loser.

    A nurse acquaintance of mine says to never leave someone you love in the hospital by themselves, even if you have to sleep on the floor next to their bed. Hospitals are where you go to get sick and die.

    We’ll figure out how to defend ourselves. You keep training to do the great work you do in the ER.


  5. My brother recently died after a botched heart transplant. I don’t want to hear a word from these people about gun control. I’d rather they told me how and why they screwed up…..


  6. Somehow I think what I’m about to write here won’t be popular. Here goes nothing.

    Authority in the sense of assumed expertise is easily abused. Arthur Herzog, in his book The B.S. Factor, derided persons who had substantive accomplishments in one field but then acted as if that entitled them to be “Anything Authorities.” Certainly it’s right to disapprove of such persons…but the discussion cannot be confined to that phenomenon.

    Have you ever thought about why everyone allows himself opinions about politics? Because politics is supposed to be simple. It’s supposed to be about justice. Right and wrong. Things every schoolchild learns at his mother’s knee. Politics isn’t supposed to be the property of a bunch of specialists running simulations on high-powered computers. It’s supposed to be about the defense of the nation and keeping the peace in the streets.

    These days, of course, politics is about everything BUT the defense of the nation and keeping the peace in the streets. But people still feel entitled to opinions about it, regardless of how much they know about whatever freshly politicized issue is being discussed. Celebrities, professionals, athletes, barbers, taxi drivers, and housewives are entitled to their opinions. They just aren’t worth much unless the issue on the table is exceedingly simple.

    So let Doctor X have his opinions – but deny him the assumption of an authority, or an expertise, that he doesn’t possess. Because you and I have opinions as well. We might know something about certain issues, or we might just be a couple of cranks. Other people aren’t likely to be able to tell the difference with complete assurance…any more than we are guaranteed to discern their knowledge, intellect, possession of relevant evidence, and so forth.

    It’s part and parcel of an old saying of mine:
    Opinions are like assholes.
    Everybody’s gotta have one.


    1. Politics isn’t about justice in the USA, its about freedom. Anyone can define what slavery is, and if you believe in logic, then freedom is the opposite of slavery. But there is no agreed upon definition of justice. Everyone has a different opinion. Western jurisprudence is based upon the ten commandments but our laws are complex extensions of those basic beliefs that are made by the negotiations of legislatures, or their equivalents over centuries. The only algorithm I am aware of for justice is for dividing a cake between two people. John Rawls is the most modern and accepted formalization of justice we have and it is a complete failure in emergency rooms. We don’t treat those who need care the most first if they are going to die no matter what, we treat those who can perhaps be saved, even though their need is less. We do this because there are limited resources available. Marxists hold that justice and freedom are antithetical, the more freedom there is the less justice, and vice versa. And with their brutally simple system of justice, you class determines your guilt or innocence, regardless of your actions, that is true. And the Modern left’s substitution of identity for class is every bit as brutal and every bit as opposed to freedom. To have your guilt determined by the color of your skin, your sex or sexual proclivities make you a slave to immutable characteristics that cannot be changed. A society based upon freedom is possible and worked in an earlier time right here in the USA. Societies based upon justice and “fairness”, like all socialist societies, have failed miserably, killing million as they fail.


    2. Or the other version:
      Opinions are like assholes.
      Everybody has one
      no one needs another one
      and no one wants to hear anyone else’s.


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