'This is my highway': Bay Area doctor's tweet spurs gun debate

ByTimothy Didion via KGO logo
Thursday, November 15, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

When Bay Area, Dr. Judy Melinek saw a recent Tweet from the National Rifle Association she decided to let the world know exactly what she thought about it.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As a forensic pathologist in the Bay Area, Dr. Judy Melinek spends much of her time describing the way a single bullet has killed someone. But when she saw a recent Tweet from the National Rifle Association she decided to let the world know how many shooting deaths she's seen.

"I tweeted back, 'do you know how many bullets I pull out of Cadavers weekly. This isn't just my lane, this is my F-n highway,'" explains Dr. Melinek.

The NRA had recently told doctors to, "Stay in their Lane." The group was upset after the American College of Physicians issued guidelines for doctors to help protect patients from gun violence.

RELATED: Worst mass shootings in recent US history

But the timing of the NRA's warning couldn't have been more explosive. Just hours after the post, a gunman opened fire at a bar in Thousand Oaks, killing a dozen people. Dr. Melinek says she was heading into an autopsy and thought enough is enough.

"I do think America needs to hear from doctors, because it's the emergency room physicians and the trauma surgeons and the forensic pathologists who bear the brunt of the responsibility of patching these cases up," says Dr. Melinek.

RELATED: A look at recent police shooting deaths that have shocked the nation

And plenty of people are hearing her. Dr. Melinek's response quickly went viral, with more than half a million likes. Other doctors joined in under the hashtag: #ThisIsOurLane and #ThisIsMyLane. She believes the power of doctors speaking out about the toll they see daily from gun violence could help drive the campaign for safer gun laws. Even if it means standing up to the politically powerful.

"I'm not afraid of the NRA," she says. "I'm afraid of guns."

Go here to take a look at recent stories and videos about gun safety.