US doctors are sharing haunting pictures of the aftermath of gun violence on social media after the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) told medical experts to “stay in their lane” when it comes to firearms restrictions.
- NRA criticised “self-important” anti-gun doctors
- Angry medical workers responded with powerful tweets
- Pathologist said profession had a responsibility to call for firearms restrictions
WARNING: Some readers my find this content disturbing.
Photos of blood-stained scrubs, graphic X-rays and moving selfies have flooded Twitter in response to a post from the NRA promoting a news release which took aim at medical professionals calling for gun restrictions.
The NRA promoted the post in a tweet, which had attracted 3,000 likes but more than 20,000 replies.
“Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane,” the tweet read.
“Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control.
“Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted no-one but themselves.”
Forensic pathologist Judy Melinek saw the tweet as she was preparing to perform an autopsy on a victim who died from a gunshot wound.
Angered by the message, she fired off a reply before heading to the morgue.
By the time she finished her shift, the tweet had gone viral, attracting more than 500,000 likes since Friday.
Dr Melinek has seen more carnage and trauma than most during her career, having spent months examining remains from the 9/11 World Trade Centre attack.
She was also called to the wreckage of American Airlines flight 587, which crashed shortly after taking off in New York in November 2001 with 260 people aboard. None survived.
During the two years she worked in the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, Dr Melinek was also clinical instructor in forensic medicine at New York University and has written a book about her experiences.
Other doctors around the country also took to Twitter to vent about the NRA’s stance:
Tweet from Stephanie Bonne: Hey @NRA ! Wanna see my lane? Here’s the chair I sit in when I tell parents their kids are dead. How dare you tell me I can’t research evidence based solutions.
Tweet from Mahau Dey: Bullet I took out of a 6 month old’s brain. @NRA you created my lane! #stayinmylane #ThisISMyLane #GunControlNow #Docs4GunSense
Tweet from ScrubbedCTSurg: 16 y/o GSW to the Aorta.@NRA his mother is in the waiting room. Should you tell her he didnt make it? Didnt think so. #stayinmylane #ThisISMyLane
Tweet from DShadowgazer
Tweet from Katherine Holte: I am a trauma surgeon. This is what it looks like. #StayInMyLane #ThisisMyLane
In an opinion piece for Vox, Dr Melinek said medical professionals had a responsibility to speak up about gun regulations, pointing out the push for tobacco regulations in response to the lung cancer epidemic caused by cigarettes.
“As scientists and caregivers, we doctors are in a unique position to understand the scale of human suffering caused by guns,” she wrote.
“We have to do something.
“We didn’t choose this fight, but we if we have to, we can take on the NRA.”