Why are there so few vocal gun owning doctors?
I started my firearms “career” at a late age—46, to be exact. This was shortly after I started my medical career, and I must say that at times I have felt as though I were the proverbial “voice crying in the wilderness”. Now, finding DRGO, at least I know that I am not alone.
But that leaves the question—why do there seem to be so few of us who are willing to go against the grain and speak up?
I have several physician (and other medical personnel) friends whom I shoot with competitively. But it seems as if our firearms ownership is still a bit of a “dirty little secret” among our medical colleagues.
I suspect that this is for the same reasons that I maintain a pen name—out of fear of professional backlash or retribution. Maybe that is a misplaced fear, but it exists nonetheless.
It’s almost as if physician firearms enthusiasts are running a type of low grade insurgency. We resist in principle the anti-gun push of Organized Medicine, but we live in fear of our healthcare employers or professional organizations finding out, and sending us to the career-ending gulag. Thus, most of us remain silent.
Because I write a little blog, the National Shooting Sports Foundation deems me “media”, and thus allows me a press pass to the yearly Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) in Las Vegas. Let me tell you that the looks people in the shooting industry give me when I tell them I am a pediatrician range from amusement to . . . shock. They almost act as if I am double-agent, LOL!
I can’t say I blame them, considering that the American Academy of Pediatrics has been one of the leading anti-gun voices in the medical community. Personally, though, I have refused to be assimilated.
I have met several other physicians at previous shows, but most are retired from practice and are working on second careers. Thus, they are not in fear of career-ending retribution. And none of them so far have been pediatricians.
So, while I’m at SHOT Show this week, I was thinking maybe we should arrange a secret handshake or something. That way if there are other physicians out there in the crowd of 60-70,000, we might recognize each other and know we aren’t alone.
Maybe we can find a few more vocal physicians this way. Personally, I will be continuing my insurgent activity by leaving fliers from DRGO lying about at the show. If you see a frumpy middle-aged woman with a hot pink Maxpedition bag, it might be me. Flash me a “gun doc” gang sign, and we’ll know we aren’t alone.
Yours in the Resistance,
—“Dr. LateBloomer” is the pen name of a female general pediatrician (MD, MPH, FAAP) who enjoys competitive shooting sports, including IDPA, USPSA and 3-Gun. Evil semi-automatic firearms are her favorites.