Do doctors have the standing to speak out about gun violence as a public health crisis? The National Rifle Association doesn’t seem to think so.
On Wednesday afternoon, hours before a gunman entered a California nightclub and opened fire and killed 12 people, the gun rights group sent a tweet that sparked a social media war between the organization and the medical community.
NBC News reports the tweet was apparently in response to an article published last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the flagship publication of the American College of Physicians, that issued new guidelines for doctors to follow in order to help protect patients from firearm dangers.
Within hours, doctors and medical professionals responded to the NRA with their own stories of treating patients who were victims of gun violence.
According to NBC News, doctors have repeatedly attempted to gain more freedom to research gun violence in recent years and to speak to their patients about the risks associated with firearms, but Congress and state lawmakers have limited such research through carefully worded legislation and budget cuts to organizations like the Centers for Disease Control.