Dr. Gregory Engel: Doctors Should Be On the Front Lines of Gun ‘Safety’

doctors docs glocks guns


For my friends in Washington State, you might want to reconsider treatment from this particular doctor (although he isn’t wrong about the training problem):

Gun owners tell me how important good training is to preventing injury. Though I myself do not own a gun, I believe them. Yet more than 40 percent of owners receive no formal training in operating a gun. …

There are more than 300 million guns in our country today.  With guns so ubiquitous, parents should ask whether guns are present and properly locked in the homes their children visit. In Washington state, more than 200,000 children live in homes where guns are not locked securely.

“More than 200,000” huh?

Personal opinion here. Soft-pedaling gun control like this is more dangerous than those who are bold and up-front about it. Soft-pedaling gun control is how antis find their way into pro-gun groups and create problems from within.

I want my patients, neighbors and fellow citizens, both gun owners and non-owners, to appreciate the risks and benefits of owning a gun and the things we can do to make our homes and communities safer. Armed with accurate information, most people will make choices that promote health and safety. Physicians, as stewards of public health, need to take the lead in promoting gun literacy, both in our practices and in the public domain.

– Gregory Engel, physician/epidemiologist in Washington State, for the Seattle Times, Physicians Should Be on Front Lines of Gun-Safety Education



  1. avatar Warlocc says:

    Gotta give him credit, he’s not wrong about a lot of stuff in the article. It’d almost be a pro gun piece, if not for the bits about suicide and research.


    1. avatar frank speak says:

      ….but who protects us from him…and his cohorts…when they screw-up?

      1. avatar BR says:

        Having first hand experience seeing how malpractice lawsuits work in court, it is basically other doctors, often doctors associated with the offending doctor or doctors whose job is now exclusively to defend other doctors in court who determine if the doctor is guilty. Why? Because doctors are the only ones trained enough to know if a doctor has been “minimally trained and reasonably prudent” and as such tell the jury what to think, even though there is an obvious bias.

        In other words everyone allows doctors to determine if doctors are right or wrong. That being the case why doesn’t everyone allow gun owners to determine if gun owners or right or wrong? I mean a trained gun owner would know far better than a non-trained non-gun owner such as this guy on how best to keep firearms when all possibilities are considered.

        Bunch of egotistical hypocrites it would seem.

        1. avatar anonymoose says:

          But they went to school for a whole 8 extra years, so they’re better than you, pleb.

        2. avatar BR says:

          And I’ve had a whole extra 19 years of firearms experience over them so that should mean something but it doesn’t.

      2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        So we learn that the medical community are stewards of the public’s health. If this is true then they are doing a poor job of it. Doctor, you should focus on ways to reduce or eliminate the number of people that die from medical incompetence each year and let gun owners take care of their own responsibilities.

        1. avatar burley says:

          Maybe Diabetes or Cancer could be their focus?
          Anyway, who gets to define “Formal Training”? I was taught by my Dad who was a career Marine that also taught Hunter Safety courses. His lessons on Col. Cooper’s 4 rules seemed pretty formal to me at the time.

      3. Don’t more people die from medical errors than gunshots?

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


          Medical errors kill about 10 times as many people as gunshot wounds. And if we compare medical errors to firearm handling errors (in other words “accidents” or “negligence” rather than intentional acts), medical errors kill about 1000 times as many people as gunshot wounds.

    2. avatar napresto says:

      From the article: “I want my patients, neighbors and fellow citizens, both gun owners and non-owners, to appreciate the risks and benefits of owning a gun and the things we can do to make our homes and communities safer.”

      Agreed. And done.

      Sadly, I expect the author’s response would not be, “Great. Have an awesome day at the range.”

      More likely: “Glad you agree, but there’s always more you could be doing to make the world safer. Maybe that AR isn’t such a safe choice, hmmm…? Let’s have a common-sense conversation about it, shall we?”

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        He also stated he is not a gun owner, meaning *HE* is not aware of the benefits, “doctor, heal thyself”!

    3. avatar Lou says:

      The doc says he does own guns himself. Getting advice on guns from him is like getting medical advice from my grandmother, who has no medical training. Neither is worth anything.

    4. avatar Scott T says:

      Two words for the good doctor: Join drgo.us

  2. avatar Conrad Song says:

    An obvious failure as an epidemiologist… too harsh?

  3. avatar ollie says:

    It’s probably equally or more important to ask if there are any sexual deviants residing in the home one’s children might visit. Sexual assaults upon children are much more likely to happen than shootings.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      All sexual assaults on children should be followed by the immediate compulsory shooting of the assaulter.

      1. avatar RA-15 says:

        Baldwin . double tap to be sure.

    2. avatar HoundDogDave says:

      Actually, while I was doing some research on adolescent death rates I discovered that a child under the age of 2 that has been murdered is most likely to have been murdered by a family member, quite often their own mother, by drowning, strangulation or suffocation. Adds some meaning to “BAN the mothers!”

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

        “…a child under the age of 2 that has been murdered is most likely to have been murdered by a family member, quite often their own mother, by drowning, strangulation or suffocation.”

        Age of 2, huh?

        Right around the time the little bastards associates the word “no”.

        The ‘Terrible 2s’ aren’t just terrible for the parents, it seems. 😉

        (And my family wonders why I don’t have any kids…)

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Thank you for your service to the gene pool. 😉

  4. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    Dr. not Firearms instructor. As a Dr. do not tell me how to mow my lawn. I know lawnmowers are dangerous. So is climbing a ladder. Neither of which fall within your profession. If I fall off the ladder, or chop off a finger from reaching under the mower as it is running then I need a Doc. If i get shot, then I need a Doc. Until then keep you politics to yourself.

    1. avatar Daniel G Dixon says:

      My Doctor is a gun owner, and appreciates the dangers associated with gun ownership. He is nearly deaf in his right ear from practice at the range, and advocates hearing protection.

  5. avatar Baldwin says:

    I want to rant about how the hell health and guns are even in the same sentence. Health and guns are not the same subject matter. But, as much as I hate it, words stopped having viable and consistent meanings years ago. Doctors that promote gun control and other forms of human rights suppression should just do so as John Doe’s , and not as doctors.

    1. avatar Tom T says:

      There is no logic in associating the two topics except to manipulate public perception.

  6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Here’s the problem, you don’t need formal training to figure out the proper way to clean a Beretta 92. All you have to do is read the owners manual. And if he’d just turn that pistol around he’d see engraved on the side of the frame, ‘Read manual for safe use, free from Beretta USA’.

    Takes a lot of brains to be a doctor.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      people..even those in law enforcement..do stupid things…irregardless of the training…

      1. avatar Shiffrod says:

        Great comment section today. People trying to call out doctors but are typing out anti vaccine bullshit and false flag rants. Somebody even used “irregardless” unironically.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Pg2 is an anti-vaccine activist. There’s no subject you can present him in which he won’t bring up vaccines.

        2. avatar Pg2 says:

          Saw the “irregardless” also, about as literate as the gov. Posts. As far as anti vaccine posts, didn’t see a single one here .

        3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Somebody posted this; ‘Physicians should be the front the line of pharmaceutical and vaccine safety since they are middle man between industry and the public. But they are not, in fact they are anything but.’ down below.

        4. avatar Pg2 says:

          And that’s anti vaccine how exactly? Can you read what you post?

        5. avatar Pg2 says:

          Gov, real question, what’s your reading comprehension level? Even high school level?

        6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          What?!? Insinuating that vaccines are dangerous? What’s anti-vaccine about that?

          Also, when Pg2 meets any skepticism about his anti-vaccine propaganda he starts throwing insults to show how super right he is.

        7. avatar Pg2 says:

          Lol, you really are semi literate, aren’t you? This is why we lose, Americans are being systematically dumbed down.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Here’s the trap. Mandatory training after you complete your mandatory physical and mental evaluation after you complete your mandatory UBC. Then you will be allowed to apply for your license to ask permission to buy a gun. Do not put ‘self defense’ as a reason for purchase.

      The medical profession stands to gain financially from these requirements, so they will push them.

      The former ‘operators’ now running training schools as a livelyhood will profit so they will testify to congress how nobody should be allowed to touch a gun without weeks and months of ‘top tier’ training.

      And POTG that are uncomfortable with transgendered folk and non white non christian folk will support the mental health evals as a way to stop ‘those icky folk’ from having guns.

      1. avatar BR says:

        Thank you JWM.

        I’ve seen your comments around for quite some time and you are one of the few frequent commenting TTAGers that actually understand human rights to the full realm that they cover, and uncommon trait even to us POTG.

        I hope prosperity to you, and freedom to us all.

      2. avatar No one of consequence says:

        Nice analysis.

        It reinforces the old truism: always ask “Who benefits from this?”

      3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          BTW, I never knew that dude’s(?) name was ‘Ackbar’. I wonder if Gial is Mon Calamarian (as in squid?) for Allahu?

      4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        ‘And POTG that are uncomfortable with transgendered folk and non white non christian folk will support the mental health evals as a way to stop ‘those icky folk’ from having guns.’

        That’s got to be less than 1% of the POTG.

      5. avatar CWT says:

        Is it wrong to question gun ownership by a group that has an attempted suicide rate of over 40% (transgenders)?

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          It is if you’re one of the 60%.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Absolutely wrong. 2A does not include an “except queers” phrase. If you accept arbitrary restrictions for any reason, you have no right to object when the arbitrary restriction targets you. Besides, if you were tricked into such surgery, wouldn’t you want access to a gun? I sure would, my surgeon would prefer I did not have it.

        3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          Larry in TX
          People are already having guns confiscated because of a FEAR others have of mental illness. The gay community can’t have it both ways. THEY bring up their own mental health issue to try a guilt the rest of society. This will back fire on them when their socialist progressive friends figure this out.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          Suicide is a private choice, CWT. You, me, nor the .gov has any business meddling in that choice.

          Freedom can be messy and ugly. But it beats hell out of the messier and uglier alternative.

        5. avatar BR says:

          It certainly is wrong. To deprive a right there must be a trial with fair due process. Period.

          As one of those 60% I refuse to have anyone try and take my firearms. I am no threat to anyone nor myself so there is no reason to try and remove my second and fourth amendment rights because some arbitrary decision made by someone who doesn’t know any better decided it to be so.

          And all this is ignoring that suicide is a private right anyways.

      6. avatar Chi_City says:

        POTG Need to get together more often and discuss this issues, shoot together more, and do local outreach. Start a shooting club where you are and once you get it going invite “outsiders” …. many will look beyond their politics once they actually meet responsible gun owners even if they own an AR1500000

  7. avatar Bugs Nasty says:

    How many people die each year in the U.S. because of Medical Malpractice? How many die each year because of irresponsible prescription of medications?

    “Physicians, as stewards of public health, need to take the lead in” making sure they and their colleagues are not killing us by their own incompetence and malfeasance before claiming any authority in dispensing legal, political and parenting advice.

  8. avatar LibertyToad says:

    Clearly we have another doctor presenting “knowledge” on a subject he has no expertise in and who really hasn’t bothered to look at both sides of the issue. He is completely ignoring defensive gun uses.

  9. avatar mark1955 says:

    https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=EFC76859-879D-4038-97DD-C577212ED17B ( Sorry for thread “Hijack” )!

    False Flag warning:

    Possible FBI staged Hoax “Shooting” attack ( Where no one actually gets hurt ) today the 13th ( A key illuminati/Satanist day ) Or in the near future , to Try and “Grease the skids” for passage of Dianne Feinstein’s recently submitted: ‘Assault Weapons Ban of 2019’ Bill.

    If “Anything” happens, please call it out for the staged Farce that it is!

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      So, nothing happened. Are you entering therapy as a result? Doubling the layers of your tinfoil hat? This is *STUPID*, dude, they have infiltrated your mind, you need to request confinement and treatment until you understand the extent of the threat to your sanity!

    2. avatar OBOB says:

      the second you posted this “( A key illuminati/Satanist day )” you instantly lost ALL 100% of your credibility…. (whispers over shoulder) ‘get the net for mark’

  10. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    “Armed with accurate information, most people will make choices that promote health and safety.“. What the good Dr calls accurate information, I call bullshit propaganda from Anti-American leftist terrorists.

  11. avatar former water walker says:

    Hey doc quit murdering babies and making medical blunders…FIFY.

  12. avatar HP says:

    Someone needs to tell Dr. Gregory Mengele that doctors exist to assist us with our health, and not to exterminate our constitutional rights.

  13. avatar Rv6Driver says:

    Compare gun deaths to medical malpractice deaths. Technically, you’re much safer having a gun and not going to the doctor. Most medical problems can be cured with healthy diet and exercise.

    Western medicine is pretty good at treating trauma but completely fails on chronic conditions. Most medications they treat you with are poison. Just listen to the pharmaceutical commercials….

    As for doctors and guns…. Remember anyone documenting your statements is asking you questions because they don’t know…. Giving them intimate details unrelated to your reason for being there is like getting a permanent tattoo and will likely be used against you in the future….

    1. avatar BR says:

      I agree completely.

      Case studies aren’t good arguments but are good examples: I have good family friend, he is in his 50s and has severe Crones’ disease. His doctor gave him 10 years when he was diagnosed and advised him to take a perscription or it would be sooner. My friend said no, and knowing all natural remedies with local herbs and a good diet that was almost 20 years ago.

      US doctors are nothing but pill pushers banking on you having a bad reaction to said pill so they get more out of you later. You know, kinda like that mechanic that pokes a pinhole in your oil pan so you’d come back later.

  14. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    I’m all for training by qualified personnel and a proper curriculum.

    As in starting in kindergarten and progressing through their senior year of high school. Every school will have a range either indoor 25 yard or 100 yard or more outdoor if enough property. Opting out by parental consent will not be an option and that includes the children of doctors.

    One or two generations of children….

    just sayin..

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    Well, Physicians should FO back to their medical malpractice and “stay in their lane” rather than assume their medical experience gives credence to the philosophical conceptualization of gun ownership.

    If I want to know how to treat a wound I’ll talk to a doctor, otherwise they can FO.

  16. avatar Kap says:

    Question? how is this DR. going too treat my Gun’s trauma? first off he’s not a Gunsmith, just a Bloviated Jackass (Democrat) that needs something too talk about other than his Malpractice insurance going up because of his prodigious screw ups!

  17. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

    What I would like to see is a site where a patient can look up the number of times, reasons and dispositions of each Doctor in the USA as to their record of practice, malpractice, lawsuits, etc… a quality control site geared to helping patients choose a Doctor with the least Ooops’s in their history. That’s a site that could save tens of thousands of lives every year.

    Most Doctors embody that Democrat personality flaw of “we’re smarter than YOU…we’ll make life decisions for YOU (relax, this might hurt a little)”.

    I always found it incongruous that Medicare rates of compensation are determined and set by a committee of Doctors…because only they have the skill to assess [sic] their abilities and set values on them (what we used to call a closed feedback loop).

    My GP is religious, conservative and a firearm owner…and, fortunately, he is much younger than me so (hopefully) he’ll be around for quite a while.

  18. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Just recently I read a piece about doctors in America kill more people a year than guns do.,

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Yeah, like 10X!

  19. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    …Or live in the Socialist People’s Republic of M Assachusetts…Where thanks to this man’s ilk, made sure that before even being able to fill out an application for a FID/LTC card at YOUR Local maybe not so friendly police depart.. A mandatory “Safety Certificate” is required to start the “application” process…(Re : STASI enforced, draconian [email protected] laws…aka, unconstitutional!)

  20. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

    Per Wikipedia – Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where) and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations..

    “health and disease”
    You have just discredited yourself Dr.

    PS: I don’t ask my mechanic if my driving is appropriate for social needs. Why would I want your opinion dictating my choices.

  21. avatar Pg2 says:

    Physicians should be the front the line of pharmaceutical and vaccine safety since they are middle man between industry and the public. But they are not, in fact they are anything but.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Any story with a doctor in it and you jump on the vaccine issue. Yawn.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    Doctors should be on the front lines of medical safety. Here’s a tip — wash your fvcking hands.

  23. avatar RGP says:

    Interesting name, Dr. Engel. Add an “M” to the front and an “e” to the end and it spells “Mengele” as in Dr. Mengele so what is your real name?

  24. avatar Kendahl says:

    What was the source of the photo? Notice that he is holding it by the muzzle. He would lose fingers if it fired. The action is closed and we have no idea whether it is loaded. At least the hammer is down. I don’t need advice about safety from someone who violates one or more of the basic rules.

  25. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    Sounds like he’s advocating a tax on doctors to fund K-12 firearms training? How does an MD correlate to knowledge in any other field?!? When you consider it, this guy is scary.

  26. avatar Jackass Jim says:

    Formal training?

    What about automobiles – a very dangerous item that 99.9% of Washingtonians interface with every day – however 99.9% of Washingtonian s have never had the benefit of formal training as an adult to operate, use, or otherwise benefit from.

    But . . . but . . . but . . . (some idiots will certainly say) drivers training is required for all new drivers under 18! Yep that is so, but all of that training is administered to non-adults. Anyone over 18 does not need training of any kind, nor does anyone with a current out-of-state license.

    Deez Pearls!

  27. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    With 300 million(+) guns in the US, they seem seem pretty innocuous, or we’d all be dead.

    Maybe parents, and doctors, should pay attention to bigger risks, or to whack-jobs prone to use guns if they must do something gun related.

  28. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Doctor, Doctor there is confused.

    Doctors are not the Stewards of public health. They are technicians, with a guild. And the “public health” is not a property to be stewarded for its owner; it’s a convenient shorthand for the health, in bulk of 300 million individuals.

    Doc Doc’s position makes sense doing animal husbandry of a commercial herd. Nobody likes armed sheeple come shearing time.

  29. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    At one time a Doctor could have a person committed for observation. But that power was taken away in the 1970’s, by the ACLU. If a doctor gets the power to order gun confiscation, then a sharp knife, hammer, saw, rope, a car, etc, etc, will be use as a murder weapon.

    The socialist progressive. The Liberal. Can’t create a utopia. No matter how many dead bodies they use to pave the way for their good intentions.

    1. avatar P2 says:

      They’re not trying to create a utopia.

  30. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    He’d make a fine staffer for MinHealth (a division of MinProd). Or has MinTrue not gotten around to changing the names, yet?

    I mean, no, no … no such thing n never will be. (Don’t hurt me.)

  31. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    “… prone to *misuse* guns …”

    /meta = edit button

  32. avatar strych9 says:

    A non-gun owner taking part in the creation of “firearms literacy” is like someone who’s never read a book telling everyone else about regular literacy.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

      …or a virgin discussing preferred sexual experiences.

      Yeah. Just not buying that crap…

  33. avatar 22winmag says:

    The Seattle Times?


    Build a wall around Seattle.

    1. avatar Jim Bullock says:

      I left, for non-policy reasons, for up state N Y, which turned out to be an improvement.

  34. avatar CZJay says:

    Teach gun safety in schools.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

      They teach driver’s ed. Sex ed.

      That’s where we need to be…

  35. avatar Pg2 says:

    Epidemiological studies are probably the most easily manipulated type of study. They can have some value, but very limited.

  36. avatar possum says:

    200,000 kids around unlocked guns, according to some that should equal 200,000 dead, correct? Actually the Doc has some good points There’s a Doctor around this rural area that most go to( like they’ve got much choice) he’s a hunter and firearms enthusiast. However he has ,from what I’ve been told, asked them some pretty suspicious questions. This could be a case of “some for me but not for thee”. … I can not see the reason he asked my X wife ” Does possum still have all those guns?” Oh, and by the off chance that he/you visit this site, and have figured out who I am by my post,, “”The jigs up buddy”, everybody ain’t as dumb as you think

  37. avatar Rad Man says:

    Said the doctor who doesn’t own a gun.

  38. avatar Derfel Cadarn says:

    Doctors kill far more people than firearms, until their house is in order they have no place in another ! Being a snitch is not protecting anyone. The expansion of governmental control just be thwarted at every possible turn. An unarmed People are SLAVES.

  39. avatar RMS1911 says:

    This fool needs to stay in his lane and quit helping to kill a quarter million people a year
    Through staggering incompetence.

  40. avatar GS650G says:

    I don’t see doctors as lead authorities on gun safety or storage. Sorry Doc, your role isn’t as a firearms life coach.

  41. avatar Truckman says:

    That’s the reason you do not talk to Dr,s about guns unless you know they are gun owners

    1. avatar possum says:

      Not even then.

  42. avatar burley says:

    It’s not coincidence that the left is clamoring simultaneously for 2 things: government control of healthcare and healthcare motivated control of guns. If we don’t put a holy terror of US back into the lives of politicians, all is lost.

    1. avatar pg2 says:

      Careful burley, you’ll be called a conspiracy theorist because most of the hacks here are not bright enough to to see the elephant in the room.

  43. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    What if the French Yellow Vests were armed?

    Asking for a friend’s country.

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