RI Hospital doctor joins #ThisIsOurLane debate

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new wrinkle in the debate over gun violence in America has medical professionals going head-to-head with those seeking to protect people's 2nd Amendment rights.

While one side is telling the other to "stay in your lane" and the other is claiming that "this is our lane," a Rhode Island Hospital doctor who's getting involved says progress is being made. 

In response to a position paper from the American College of Physicians on gun violence, the National Rifle Association (NRA) tweeted last month that "someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane." 

Those last four words struck a chord in the medical community and many responding using #ThisIsOurLane.

Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at R.I. Hospital, published an editorial on the movement this week. 

"This is so healthcare's lane, and this is healthcare's lane the same way that other disease and injury epidemics across history have been our lane," Dr. Ranney said Friday.

Dr. Ranney, who is also the chief research officer the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine, or AFFIRM, says this should be about health and safety, not politics.

"Our goal with #ThisIsOurLane and our goal at AFFIRM is to take this out of politics and make this a public health issue," Ranney added.

Frank Saccoccio, the president of the RI 2nd Amendment Coalition, told Eyewitness News the first part of the NRA's tweet was out of line but that he isn't as bothered by the rest. He said medical professionals should have a seat at the table when it comes to solving gun violence.

"If there is something that makes the public safer but doesn't infringe the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, I don't think we'd have a problem with it. We're all on the same page on that," he said.

"For the first time in a very long time, I'm sure that we can fix this, and we can do it together," Ranney added.

Eyewitness News reached out to the NRA for comment but have yet to hear back.

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