Medical Groups Should Stay In Their Lane

The NRA’s response to the American College of Physicians trotting out its same old recommendations of infringing on the Second Amendment rights of Americans after the Thousand Oaks mass murder has ignited a social media firestorm.

DRGO was asked for a comment on the matter by the Wall Street Journal, which predictably gave our voice the typical sandwich treatment.

For nearly 25 years, DRGO has been demonstrating how the medical profession strays far out of its lane on guns. In April of 2016 I wrote on this subject. As was the case then, so it is now: Why Johnny Shot Mikey Is Not a Medical Issue. Yet, organizations like the ACP churn out the same talking points meant to build their case for supply-side gun control. They produce papers whose “peer review” process is tantamount to an echo chamber as devoid of honesty as their study design.

I directed reporter WSJ Peter Loftus to that article and provided this official statement:

For decades, hoplophobes in medicine have been aggressively pushing an agenda of stripping away Americans’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

They do this based on the erroneous notion that guns are a direct causative agent of injuries, death and other societal ills. Whether they truly believe in this or are deliberately using it in a sophistic effort to leverage a weak position, it is an ignorant and naive view. And for this reason, they are far out of their lane when they advocate for gun control.

It is the very essence of our professional responsibility to stop the bleeding, close the wounds, mend the bones and do all the other things to try to ensure that a patient goes home alive. Trauma is gory and to proclaim distress at witnessing the very thing that defines the specialty one chose is disingenuous at best.

Violence has been a feature of human nature as long as the species has existed. Tempering its effect on society is possible by addressing its human and social causes. But removing or restricting access to the tools with which violence is enacted has never solved the cause of the underlying impulse. That only deprives decent people of a means to defend themselves.

These virtue signaling physicians would be in their lane if they pursued better surgical techniques, better postoperative treatments. They are in the wrong profession if they want to cure society’s ills. If that was their life’s calling, they should have pursued a career path in psychology, criminology or the clergy.

The NRA is absolutely right. The ACP, AMA and other medical organizations agitating for civilian disarmament are far out of their lanes when they insinuate their paternalistic prohibitionist agendas into public policy discussion.

Their lane is the professional accreditation and development of their members and seeking better treatments and interventions for their patients.

The ACPs membership numbers about 154,000 members. That is a bit more than half the conservatively estimated 250,000 annual deaths from medical errors.

By way of further comparison, DRGO advocates for the rights of all Americans – whether they chose to exercise that right or not.


—Arthur Z Przebinda, MD is an imagingazprzebinda_70x88 specialist in Southern California. He advocates for the Second Amendment in his state and nationally and since 2017 serves as DRGO’s Project Director. 

All DRGO articles by Arthur Z. Przebinda, MD.