DRGO History

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO) was founded in 1994 by former director Timothy Wheeler, MD, a now retired southern California surgeon. DRGO is a nationwide network of physicians, health professionals and others who support the safe and lawful use of firearms.

Dr. Tim Wheeler

Has Your Doctor Advised You Not to Have Guns in Your Home?

If so, your doctor may be violating a doctor-patient boundary. Doctors are ethically bound not to use their patients’ trust to advance a personal interest such as a political agenda. And the evidence shows that in almost every case, doctors’ questions to you about guns are motivated by anti-gun politics.

The Problem

Motivated by deep-seated prejudice against gun owners, groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association began working in the 1990s to deprive Americans of one of their constitutional rights—the right to own firearms. Even though strict gun control measures, especially gun bans, have become less accepted in 21st century America, public health anti-gun rights advocates are still waging their culture war against gun owners.

These public health gun control advocates make no distinction between law-abiding gun owners and gun-wielding criminals. An example is the New England Journal of Medicine, once a premier publisher of high-quality medical research. This medical journal has unfortunately established a tradition of “advocacy science,” or pseudoscientific articles designed to provide objective justification for laws prohibiting gun ownership by good citizens.

The Solution

DRGO’s members include experts on public health, firearm technology, gun safety education, and tactical medicine. DRGO is the antidote to those who twist science to serve a misguided political agenda of gun control. We believe that managing the lives of honest citizens does not control crime, but putting criminals out of business does.

In over two decades since DRGO began exposing the false scholarship of the public health gun banners we have seen a remarkable shift in public opinion. Public policy based on false assumptions—like the all-guns-are-bad mentality of public health activists—has been abandoned. Most states have adopted right-to-carry laws, and crime levels have dropped instead of rising. The much-ballyhooed federal “assault weapons” ban sunset in 2004, and no crime wave ensued. The 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller established the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as an individual right.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, once a factory for anti-gun advocacy science, has conceded that it could not find any evidence that gun control laws reduce violent crime.

Has Your Doctor Advised You Not to Have Guns in Your Home?

Some medical organizations have urged doctors to tell their patients about the dangers of guns.  We all know that misusing guns can be dangerous, but the risks of guns have been blown way out of proportion by groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  Even worse is the tendency of some medical organizations to inject their political views favoring gun control into patient education. That’s simply unethical.

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, is a nationwide network of physicians, scientists, medical students, and others who support the safe and lawful use of firearms. We believe that average Americans, including young people, can be trusted to use firearms safely for the benefit of themselves and their communities. You don’t need a doctor lecturing you about guns, especially if he or she has no knowledge of firearms. And firearm safety is not something you learn in medical school.

Ever since Thomas Jefferson advised his young nephew to take his gun along on walks, American youth have learned judgment, respect for life, and trustworthiness through the shooting sports.

Here are the real facts on gun safety:

  • Fatal gun accidents have steadily decreased in number for over 80 years.
  • This decrease has occurred as the population has more than doubled and as gun ownership has greatly increased.
  • Organized shooting activities help kids develop character and learn how to be safe around guns.
  • More than 3 times as many people die from accidental drowning than from gun accidents.
  • Kids who are taught by their parents to shoot safely are less likely to become delinquents and use drugs than those who have no familiarity with guns.

You don’t have to be afraid of guns. If you provide simple safety instruction for your family, you can confidently keep guns in your house for any lawful purpose, including target shooting, home defense, or hunting.  Here are three ways to get more information on gun safety instruction for adults or kids:

  • Contact your state firearm owners association.
  • Check out the National Rifle Association’s many gun safety programs.
  • Look at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project Child Safe program.

Gun safety facts are based on statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the National Safety Council, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.