The NRA told doctors to "stay in their lane" after a medical body recommended steps for reducing gun violence. Some US doctors responded with graphic images of their attempts to treat gunshot victims.
US doctors have denounced the National Rifle Association (NRA) on social media after the pro-gun lobby group told doctors they were unqualified to comment on firearms policy.
The NRA wrote on Twitter earlier this week that "someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane." It was responding to a paper by the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommending steps for reducing gun violence.
Twitter storm ensues
Some US doctors were quick to express their anger over the comment on Twitter, with several using the hashtag "#ThisIsOurLane."
"Do you have any idea how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly? This isn't just my lane. It's my f*****g highway," wrote Dr. Judy Melinek. The Tweet was shared 158,000 times and more than half a million users liked it.
"As physicians, we need to be more active in the fight for sensible gun laws," wrote Dr. Leah Torres in another Tweet.
Several physicians shared graphic pictures of surgery rooms where they had treated gunshot victims. Others described failed attempts to save the lives of patients with severe wounds.
Dr. Eugene Gu described how one patient treated for a gunshot wound to the stomach died from blood loss despite doctors' best efforts to save him.
Dr. Melinek, a forensic pathologist, told US broadcaster CNN that doctors were well qualified to take part in discussions about gun violence as a "public health problem" and ways to tackle it.
"We are seeing the day-to-day carnage", she said, adding: "What we want to see is less death."