The Blame Game – Or – How to Stay in Your Lane

Let’s play a little game, just between us physicians, shall we?

Are you offended by the implication that you, as a lawful prescriber, are to blame for the opioid epidemic? Are you tired of the government telling you how you should practice medicine–all because of the actions of the criminal and the irresponsible? Are you tired of being asked to jump through hoop after hoop in order to “prove” that you are a responsible and competent physician?

Are you guilty of nothing, but absorb the blame for everything that goes wrong in your profession, including the hundreds of thousands of deaths by medical misadventure every year? Are you annoyed by every essential oil peddler and idiot who went to Google University acting like they know how to practice medicine?

Welcome to the world of the responsible firearms owner!

  • We have submitted to background checks–every single time.
  • We have been fingerprinted for our concealed carry permits and submitted to additional background checks for that.
  • We have studied the Byzantine firearms laws which vary from state-to-state and even building-to-building, trying to be responsible and lawful citizens.
  • We have undergone mandatory classes and training for concealed permits. And many of us CONTINUE to train.
  • Some of us even get trauma response training, because we understand that bad things happen that aren’t our fault, and we want to be prepared.

Yet we have to listen to idiots every day expounding about firearms who know jack about how any of it actually works–including YOU.

We promote education and responsibility, but we also recognize that with a Constitutional Right, there are limits to how “mandatory” that education should be.

The NRA is the largest firearms education organization in the world. It also works to protect my civil rights from the actions of the emotional, and the well-meaning but misinformed–meaning YOU. Yet you demonize the NRA as if it were a billionaire exerting his will on the people (oh wait, that’s Bloomberg), rather than an organization of several million citizens working to preserve our civil rights.

While I respect the work that you do in the trauma bays and ORs of the country, you CHOSE that life. You chose to place yourself between human beings and death. It is an admirable path, but it also means that you only see a tiny slice of reality.

You don’t see the mother who kept her stalker ex-husband from killing her and her children–because she shot him at the door he just broke down.

You don’t see the child who hid cowering in a closet clutching a shotgun against household intruders.

You don’t see the million DEFENSIVE gun uses every year–because either you only saw the criminal perpetrator who was killed or wounded in lawful self-defense, or because the perpetrator fled when confronted with a firearm, resulting in zero deaths or injury to anyone.

You also chose the area of the country you work in. The fact that you chose to work in a large city with many social ills and a large amounts of criminal activity, rather than quiet Middle America does not give you special input into my or anyone else’s Constitutional Rights.

It is natural to become emotional when dealing with trauma as you do, but physicians, as scientists, are supposed to be driven by data, not emotion. Emotions can inform your response to individual families, but it should NEVER override logic and data leading to advocating for the removal of the civil rights of peaceful citizens. Lawful citizens did not cause the destruction in front of you, but seek to preserve the right to protect themselves from such a fate in self-defense.

Firearms are NOT a “public health issue”. Firearm violence is a criminal justice issue. Firearm rights are a Constitutional issue. A medical degree does not qualify you to speak in either realm.