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By Arthur Przebinda, MD

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.

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership 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 WSJ reporter 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.

Stay In My Lane #stayinmylane doctors

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 imaging specialist in Southern California. He advocates for the Second Amendment in his state and nationally and since 2017 serves as DRGO’s Project Director. 

A version of this article was originally published at and is reprinted here with permission. 

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    • what do you think obummercare was about?! its about the govt creating an atmosphere of failure in the industry so they can take it over… that’s the end goal.

  1. And how many deaths are recorded each and every year from medical mistakes, prescription meds. etc. ” PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF “. Clean up your own house and stay the hell out of mine !

    • AMA admits to 250,000 deaths per year, Trial Lawyers claim 440,000 deaths per year.
      Split the difference to +/- 365,000 and that’s 1,000 killed per day by incompetent medical “professionals”.

      Docs should be doing their continuing education studies instead of taking on the 2nd Amendment.

      • “…incompetent medical “professionals”.’

        These kind of statements kind of irk me because the numbers are out of context. Just because someone died due to what is later deemed to be a medical practitioner’s error doesn’t mean the practitioner is incompetent.

        Doctors are not mechanics and people are not cars. We are not all built the same way and we don’t have the same biochemistry. The incision that saves one kills another while the drug that cures for one causes terrible reactions for others. Some medicines work miracles in a segment of the population while doing nothing for the rest of us. That’s why medicine needs to be individualized not socialized.

        Like everything in life a surgery or hospital stay, new medication or whatever is NOT risk free. You pays your money and takes your chances. The difference between a hospital and a casino is that the casino is rigged against you while generally speaking the hospital is rigged in your favor. That doesn’t mean you always win but it enhances your chances.

        Consider this: According to the CDC 125.7 million individuals will end up in the hospital at some point in any given year. What they are there for varies enormously but let’s talk basic stats here. Assume docs kill 400K people a year with “mistakes”. That means the medical profession kills approximately 0.318% of the patients that seek care at a hospital each year. In other words 99.682% of their patients are not killed by a mistake. Them’s bettin’ odds if you ask me. It’s also an amazing “batting average” considering the wide variety of serious injuries these folks see and the fact that no two people are alike.

        I’d call a 99.682% rate pretty damn competent, wouldn’t you?

        • In the USA in a year you have a .00921% chance of dieing from a gunshot wound. 99.99079% you will not die from a gunshot wound. How about them betting odds?

        • “The incision that saves one kills another while the drug that cures for one causes terrible reactions for others. Some medicines work miracles in a segment of the population while doing nothing for the rest of us. That’s why medicine needs to be individualized not socialized”…..Priceless irony written by a poster who calls for a one size fits all mandatory vaccine program….this is why we lose. The hypocrisy runs deep.

        • I never called for any such thing pg2. I merely pointed out some things that you curiously ignore while also pointing out that, generally speaking, when it comes to vaccine information you’re just like most vaxxers; no fucking clue what you’re talking about.

          You prove that you have no fucking clue with your comment here. Try this: learn about nuance. While you’re at it try picking up some knowledge on vaccines and how they work as well as some reading skills. That way you won’t have to resort to strawman arguments.

        • 9, all those percentages you just rolled out are complete bullshit. You even state “let’s assume”, then go on to use a blantantly made up statistic to prove your own point. That’s a pretty epic level of self serving douchebaggerry. Who do you think you are, CNN?

        • Strych, you’re full of it. And you know it. You’ve pushed the one size fits all vaccine program more than Shannon watts has pushed for gun control.

        • Most medical mistakes don’t kill, but maim in some manner. The total amount of botched treatments is unnecessarily great.
          Don’t forget the Opioid crisis, it’s squarely on the shoulders of doctors — you can’t get a prescription for them without a doctor.

        • You have to take some of these numbers in context:
          • 13th (last) for low-birth-weight percentages – a function of our ability to bring to term gestations that would have otherwise been unsuccessful
          • 13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall – a function of our ability to bring to term gestations that would have otherwise been unsuccessful
          • 11th for postneonatal mortality – a function of our ability to bring to term gestations that would have otherwise been unsuccessful
          • 11th for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males – a function of our ability to bring to term gestations that would have otherwise been unsuccessful

          I’m not an epidemiologist, but many of those adult numbers (and some of the neonatal ones to an extent) are far less a function of the quality of medical care and far more a function of environmental and individual risk factors.

        • @Calgun, we spend more capita on “health” care than all of the industrialized world, and by an emormous margin. Trying to explain these numbers away or diminish the significance of the failure that we call health care is absurd. As mentioned above, only someone with a financial imterest in the scheme would try to muddy the waters and obfuscate the facts.

    • Yep. Medical malpractice from doctors Fing up peoples meds is the third leading cause of death in this country. These “doctors” can go pound sand.

  2. 600,000+ abortions every year…pretty bloody and messy, too
    250-400,000 medical mistakes, too

    • The left promotes infanticide as a woman’s right while telling the same woman she has no right to a firearm to defend herself. Kinda conflicted.

      • The left tells woman her body is her own, she make all her own decisions including ending a unborn babies life. The left also tells the same woman the state can dictate what medical procedures she must undergo.

      • Agreed! Clearly the best policy would be “freedom”. Meaning government and their thugs stay the hell out of it. For firearms, this was recognized and addressed with 2A, now being ignored by tyrants. For abortion, that was an unknown concept when the Constitution was enacted, but suspect someone would be attempting tyranny by now anyway, even if freedom had been decided, just as they are.

        • no abortion was not unknown then it just was not done by the medical profession. It was done by the women themselves and involved extreme risks for the woman as well. Yes it was a lot less common than now but the mortality rate of women attempting it was also extremely high

  3. I’m pretty sure i get the point. Doctors hate guns. Doctors think guns are the root of all evil. I find I’m fine with that. I dont need my doctors to be gun guys. I”m fine if they are, but I’m fine if they are not.

    I dont think they have any more to add to the conversation that say….a hollywood celebrity.

  4. This is the same old bullshit that the left has been pushing since at least the Clinton Administration: using an emotional appeal to try to paint gun ownership as a public heath crisis. That’s why democrats always crow about the need for ‘gun violence research’ so that can once again try to go after gun manufactures like they did cigarette manufactures. That’s a big part of the reason why we have ‘The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act’ law.

  5. Thank You DRGO, for your support!
    The last time the “Do-gooder” Medical Community injected themselves into government politics of a sovereign country was Nazi Germany during the Third Reich…What did that gain, sure a stop smoking program, some public health stuff like drinking, dental care, etc…What else, ahh, it helped properly set-up concentration camps for medical experimentation on ethnic populations . Early forms of trauma medicine experimented upon the prisoners. You know Jews, polish, gypsies, etc…Those headed to genocide… You know, a Zyklon-b shower and the oven….Just thank the Medcial Community for “Stepping out of it’s lane…WAY OUTSIDE IT’S LANE!”

    • Actually those “medical professionals” considered their actions way inside “their lane”. Those they treated/experimented on were of inferior stock and therefore expendable.

  6. I’ll post a selfie of me watching TV with my family safe at home. It’s the aftermath of the night I pulled my 642 on the thief that confronted me in a parking lot. He ran away. Because of my gun their was no violence.

    • That would make a great meme.

      “Here’s me at the beach”
      “Here’s my baby with both parents”
      “Here’s the dog I adopted”
      “Here’s our family Christmas”

      –All brought to you by the AR-15 I used to shoot the three guys who invaded my home with rape and murder on their minds.

  7. I don’t know who the doc’s in the article are but all the ones I know, including my own, are gun owners…lots..and better quality in some cases than mine. Many hunt, especially going to Texas or Louisiana to hog hunt.

    Former military that payed for med that may a contributing factor.

    That and living in South Carolina!

  8. I’m an orthopedic surgeon and a Life NRA member. I’m frankly embarrassed by the American Collehe of Physicians (ACP) and their crusade against law-abiding gun owners. Members of the ACP ( for example the previous surgeon general) are internists, not surgeons and don’t know the first thing about trauma.

    • I am a maxillofacial surgeon, luckily my national organization has been quiet on this issue. I have spent most of my career in craniofacial trauma and have treated more than my fair share of GSWs (gunshot wounds); I was trained in the Drug Wars of Southeast DC by surgeons trained in the War in Southeast Asia. I am an NRA member and a member of DRGO. My grandfather (an international sharp shooting champion and NRA Life Member) and father were also doctors who owned firearms and believed in the 2nd Amendment. Like you I want to emphasize that not all doctors are anti2A.

  9. strych9 said (eloquently):

    “The incision that saves one kills another while the drug that cures for one causes terrible reactions for others. Some medicines work miracles in a segment of the population while doing nothing for the rest of us.”

    You’d think that a profession that wields terrible power by choice, power that will sometimes hurt, sometimes help based on the wielder’s choice and skill … would get guns. A gun is a terrible power, yet also one sometimes less harmful to grasp and wield than not.

    There’s the rub. In the end, they don’t think we are calm, knowing, skilled, or moral enough to grasp this power. Even at the expense of our own lives, congregations’ lives, children’s lives, we cannot be trusted with this power. Even when just some guy stops a massacre at a picnic, harming no one but the whack-job shooting the place up, even when a father dies, stopping an assault on his family, even when a guard stops a massacre in progress, preventing how many from dying before the police arrive, only to be shot by police… they’d rather “we” be disarmed.

    250,000 DGUs / year, more or less, they’d rather we take, rather than stop what’s coming, if stopping it requires a gun. We want to wield a terrible power, if we choose, not over others, but simply to protect our own lives.

    They’re fine when they wield power of life or death over the rest of us. In the end, it seems that many of them want to capture the medical system, to wield that power in bulk, toward their preference. One person at a time, toward that patient’s life and health isn’t enough, it seems. They become so vehement when such as we choose to wield similar power even just for our own sake. It is not for us to care for our own well-being. It is not for us to act on our own behalf, no matter how clear the threat, and cost if we do not.

    Their endorsement appeals to others, with the same opinion, of themselves, of their prerogatives, and of the rest of us.

  10. Some Doctors still practice preventative medicine. A long time ago, when one of mine discussed life style/health risk factors, I explained that I worked in the firearms industry and was around customers with loaded firearms all the time. When “she”, a former flight surgeon, “diagnosed” what I did every day we stopped the conversation, went into her treatment room, where she ginned me up a personalized IFAK, long before the “tactical” vendors started designating and marketing them a such. She made sure I knew how to use every part of it and wrote her emergency phone number on the outside. “If you get shot, use this, have someone call me and get you to the hospital, even if they have to drive on the sidewalk, I’ll meet you there”. Never needed the service but it did wonders for my peace of mind. I still always carry an (updated) kit. -30-

  11. lol, it’s the exact same childish shock tactics used by anti-choice extremists. Not a coincidence that both are attempting to deprive others of their rights.

  12. Good grief.

    For a minute I thought those were the fake operating room photos of that fake ass staged shooting in Thousand Oaks….errr Pittsburgh.

  13. Some recent research on medical errors puts the number of iatrogenic deaths in the US at 251,000 per year:

    Here’s the BMJ study the Washington Post is reporting from:

    Then we get into accidental medication errors:

    The stats on errors in medicine are staggering. Utterly and completely staggering. MD’s who want to point a quavering finger at guns are basically playing with hand grenades whilst living in a glass house.

    MD’s want to start opening their yaps about guns? Fine. Then maybe I’ll open my yap about how mathematically ignorant so many health care practitioners are, from incompetently used statistics in their studies, to the rampant dosage and medication administration errors that happen, just because someone can’t be bothered to check their math. Then there’s Medicare/Medicaid fraud. Maybe I should hire a lawyer; I’ll provide the math smarts and s/he will be filing the qui tam cases. We could strike it rich…

    • Don’t forget the over prescribing of opioid pain killers and anti-anxiety medications. These victims of medical malpractice walk amongst us every day in large numbers.

  14. As a physician whose spent twenty years covering trauma centers I can tell you most motorcycle injuries are far more impressive than any GSW. Thus their monikor as “donor cycles” or “RTVs” (resident training vehicles). Where’s the doctors against motorcycles group?

    Falls now rival the most common cause of trauma in some centers. No doctors against ladders?

    While GSWs can be devastating from a musculoskeletal standpoint they are often considered relatively benign in that for a typical blunt trauma induced fracture to have occurred multiple supporting ligaments had to have failed in contrast to penetrating trauma where they typical are unscathed. Thus penetrating injury induced fractures typically require less aggressive treatment.

    • I’ve been an EMT/Paramedic/Combat Medic for decades. I’ve treated hundreds of penetrating traumas.
      Nobody believes me when I say I’d much rather be shot than in a high speed motorcycle wreck or a rollover. Gunshots are easy, with just a few wound paths and obvious kinematics. Got a high speed MVA? Start hunting for injuries and make a list. It’s going to be a long one.

  15. Motorcycle accidents summed up; arrived dead, stayed that way, and I ride every day, I’d rather die while living than be counted among the already dead who are “alive”. -30-

  16. I certainly don’t like this, but that emotional argument is going to gain more ground for the anti gunners than a factual pro gun argument.

    • “…, but that emotional argument is going to gain more ground ”

      You cant use logic to change the mind of someone who came to their opinion using emotion.

  17. Where were those doctors when crazy people on meds, or off their meds, were doing the shooting? Oh yeah, they were saying he wasn’t a threat to anyone.

  18. NRA gets out of its lane all the damn time. Even the NRA-ILA which is supposed to be the main fighter for the 2nd Amendment. I’ve heard Chris Cox go after transpeople in speeches instead of focusing on gun rights. No one “stays in their lane,” and they don’t have to. We shouldn’t ask them to either. We have the 1st Amendment for a reason. It is every bit as important as the 2nd.

    • @Glitch

      Agreed with this. Am no longer an NRA member because of too many incidents like what you describe above. Plus which, since I am someone that people talk to all the time about firearms ownership, I know firsthand that they are directly alienating a whole group of people who could be their supporters. too bad.

      • I’ve suspected for many years the NRA was a compromised organization, an organization appearing to support the 2A at superficial glance, but really controlled opposition within and destroying the organization along with gun rights in the process. Details like this support this suspicion.

        • @PG2

          Could be, or could be just really bad decision making.

          None of the gun owners I know, liberal conservative or undeclared, want to hear from the NRA about what they think about gay people, gay marriage, trans people etc. We do not care what they think and we do not want their opinion on these issues. We all know gay and trans people and we are fine with them being who they are. We don’t see it as having one damn thing to do with gun policy, and the NRA going there, repeatedly, has alienated a whole lot of people – particularly people new to firearms who are gay/trans, minorities, and/or female. And there are a LOT of those folks.

        • Probably by design. The older I get, the more obvious it becomes very little happens by chance or coincidence.

      • “Plus which, since I am someone that people talk to all the time about firearms ownership . . .”

        This is more than a little frightening, Elaine.

        • @Garrison

          Why so?

          People are curious about guns. They know I shoot, so they ask about it generally. Doesn’t seem like an abnormal thing to me. Always happy to talk to them about it and answer any questions I’m qualified to. Mostly it’s women, minority and LGBTQIA folks concerned about self defense. Thinking about whether they want to acquire a handgun and take the LTC course. Most opt not to but I’m always happy to share information.

  19. i don’t see this as a intelligent avenue to traverse. insulting doctors is not going to get you any fans. on the flip side, if you are saying they are NOT qualified to speak on this, then who is besides someone with a conflict of interest? who do we get to conduct an unbiased look at this entire issue?

    is it even possible?

    you can’t have supporters or protesters of rights investigate issues with such rights or you are inviting Researcher Bias and it will not get us anywhere.

    • @Little Horn

      I tend to agree with this. I’ve worked on legislation in my state where we had to avert alienating doctors.

      People really really really like doctors, facts notwithstanding. They do, and they regard them as authorities, and going against them in dismissive ways is often a quick road to political suicide. I’ve seen it firsthand. Many times. Professions that could have gained licensure and traction in my state failed to do so because they alienated doctors by screaming about their rights, and they sank under the waters.

      As my longtime political mentor said: “Standing there and yelling about how something is bad for YOU does nothing. It’s really about showing the other side how what they want is bad for THEM that succeeds.”

      • @Elaine
        Yes most people do really really like doctors. I OTOH trust very very few of them. have seen in friends too many cases where doctors have completely misdiagnosed, like one in the last year tried to say a severe chest infection my partner had was asthma, or, and i have had this repeatedly, doctors insisting my back problems are simply muscular yet on the one occasion I have found one willing to get me sent for MRI’s they freaked out at the results and were wondering how i am still walking. I have also gotten my health better when doctors have had no idea what was wrong with me, yet when i suggested tests to confirm my suspicions (very specific about which ones too) they refused. That time I got my health back through some radical changes in diet (my diet had not been unhealthy even by western standards before that), to a diet high in home fermented foods and saturated fats. No doctors like everyone are not perfect, But they really need to loose the god complex

    • Pointing out hypocrisy, ignorance, and bias amongst those who would deprive people of the natural, civil, and constitutional rights is always the right thing to do.
      When doctors’ publish opinions, like the one telling us how the bullet from the AR15 is so much more deadly than from a normal rifle, we are right to point out they have no clue as to what they are talking about.
      As for trusting their doctor, people shouldn’t. They should doubt every single word their doctor says. They should demand that doctors spend the time it takes to understand their patent, and for the patient to understand what the Dr. is diagnosing and prescribing. They should seek multiple opinions as to their care, and they should only proceed with life altering care when they have done so.
      Doctor’s are people and the mess up constantly. They mess up a lot more when they spend their time focusing on issues other than their job.

      • @JWtaylor

        Not arguing with your opinion or points.

        However, people DO trust doctors whether they “should” or not.

        And while many people do not feel they need a gun, most people definitely feel that at some point they will need a doctor.

    • Hopefully this is a spoof post… sane or rational person would state that pointing out a profession which is literally and unnecessarily killing thousands of Americans each and every week is insulting the profession.

    • In the subject of a Constitutionally protected natural right, *NO ONE* is “qualified” to question it in any way. That is so simple to understand that it hurts.

  20. The most my doctor has done is to nag me about having a colonoscopy and a starting on a cholesterol drug. After I did a face plant on a sidewalk, an emergency room nurse asked if I was at risk for domestic violence. Recently, a nurse asked me if I felt safe where I live. (Had I been thinking quickly, I would have replied, “Safer than here. Nobody in my neighborhood has been carjacked.”)

    No one has ever mentioned firearms. If a medical professional did, I wouldn’t object as long as the discussion was confined to handling them safely (the four rules) and keeping them out of the wrong hands. (How I accomplish that is my business.) If they delivered a sermon on the evils of guns, they would get it back in their faces. My rebuttal would begin with, “That’s bullshit.”

  21. Fantastical claims of any connection between inanimate, non-organic machinery and health is purely asinine. Doctor’s opinions don’t matter.


  22. I have no problem with the NRA setting up with a Spokesperson of the NRA at EVERY Hospital. Going with the Priest, telling a Love One about the DEATH of a Child or Spouse. And telling them it was for the Common Good of being able to Carry Guns…

  23. Safe shooter 57 years
    Trauma Surgeon for 33 years
    Second Amendment Insures the First Amendment
    Crime is NOT a disease

  24. Americans who own firearms have a long memory of what happened to the people who did not own firearms! Tell the AMA that taking the doctors’ advise can be very dangerous to your health, possibly fatal! Get a second opinion from a qualified professional!
    Six unarmed, off-duty law enforcement officers who were reportedly at the bar in Thousand Oaks during the shooting. Their lack of weapons was a presumed consequence of a California law barring firearms in bars.
    “At least there could’ve been a chance” of preventing the shooting if they were armed, but “common sense” laws prevailed. Elected idiots in power!

  25. I think we should cap the salaries of doctors and open their profession up to more competition from physician assistants and pharmacies prescribing meds.

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