Brady and This Is Our Lane elevate the voices of healthcare professionals on the frontlines of America’s gun violence epidemic.
Following a 2018 comment by the NRA that doctors should “stay in their lane” and had no business in sharing solutions to prevent gun violence, Brady Board member and gun violence survivor Dr. Joseph V. Sakran launched @ThisIsOurLane, a community of medical professionals dedicated to reducing firearm injuries and deaths.
“Doctors, nurses, medics, and other health professionals face the horrific reality of gun violence every day. We’re uniquely situated to address this senseless public health epidemic head-on.”— Brady Board Member and @ThisIsOurLane Founder Dr. Joseph V. Sakran
About 50 healthcare professionals signed Brady’s open letter in Roll Call demanding the U.S. Senate ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
We are trauma surgeons, pediatricians, emergency medicine doctors, and healthcare professionals, and we’re in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with your offices to urge the Senate to bring the Assault Weapons Ban Act to a vote before the end of the current session. This past year, we’ve treated over 110,000 Americans who have been shot. Forty-five thousand of those never made it home. These senseless tragedies are increasing, with gun-related injury becoming the leading cause of death in children and adolescents. Tackling this complex public health problem requires a number of solutions, one of the most important of which is banning assault weapons.
While this measure continues to gather dust in the Senate, the slaughter of Americans with military-style assault rifles has ripped apart families and communities across the country. From a grocery store in Buffalo and an LBGTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs to a July 4th parade in Highland Park and an elementary school in Uvalde, the one thing that holds true in all these circumstances is that the best medical treatment is prevention.
Assault weapons are uniquely deadly. Data demonstrates mass-shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to occur under the federal assault weapons ban of 1994. And we have seen this firsthand. These weapons operate with such force they literally blow holes into human bodies. They liquefy organs and explode bones. While we do our best to save lives and treat the destruction caused by military weapons that leave bodies resembling blocks of swiss cheese, it’s not always possible. Sometimes, children’s bodies are left so unrecognizable that parents can only identify them through DNA tests.
While the care we provide to patients is critical, we have both the opportunity and responsibility to think beyond the bedside to advocate for solutions to address this public health crisis. From motor vehicle fatalities and tobacco to clean water and vaccines, healthcare professionals have always been at the forefront of addressing public health problems. We want to make sure our position is clear: Failing to pass an assault weapons ban means more patients on our operating tables and explaining to families that their loved one is never coming home.
We plead with you to bring the Assault Weapons Ban to a vote before the legislative session ends. And we call on all others to join us, Brady, This is Our Lane, and March Fourth by contacting your senators and demanding the Senate pass this life-saving bill without delay.
Tackling Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic
Focused on nonpartisan solutions and taking action, not sides, we’re blazing the trail for a public health approach to preventing America’s gun violence epidemic.
Brady has long viewed gun violence as a national crisis and public health epidemic and has partnered with @ThisIsOurLane since its inception. We believe gun violence is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but rather a uniquely American epidemic. We believe in evidence-based strategies tailored to the communities most impacted. Our programs, grassroots advocacy, and policy work address the root causes of gun homicide, gun suicide, mass shootings, and unintentional shootings.
Read more about Brady’s approach on gun violence as a public health issue in reports like “The Mental Health Impact of Mass Shootings,” “Shooting Costs,” and “The Truth About Suicide and Guns.” You can also listen to episodes from Brady’s Podcast “Red, Blue, and Brady” featuring healthcare professionals discussing issues like firearm suicide, how to talk to kids about gun violence, and the role of healthcare professionals in the movement to prevent gun violence.