Nursing and Gun Rights

As referenced in my introduction, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has a statement opposing the right to own firearms as part of its platform. They state support for a waiting period on handgun purchases and a ban on “assault weapons”. They also want a ban on “clips that contain 10 rounds or more”,  and end with a vague statement on the need to “address the endless cycle of gun violence and inadequate access to mental health services”.

Rather than focus on the true issue, which is unjustified violence, they focus on the liberal boogieman – civilian gun ownership. I fully support the right of individuals to own guns, and believe the government, police, nurses, and doctors need to stay out of our lives. It is true that we see a lot of the consequences of violence. I have seen the results of shootings, attempted suicides, and negligent discharges. However, I have also seen the results of stabbings, fireworks, fistfights, and drunken hiking. I would ask why the ANA doesn’t oppose knife, firework, and alcohol ownership, but I’m not convinced that those won’t be included in their platform in the future!

Plenty of other people have written about the positive effects of guns, so I won’t rehash that here. The issue is the desire to control. Nursing should not be about control. I go to work to help my patients, and politics shouldn’t factor into that one tiny bit. An organization that purports to represent American nurses should stay the hell out of partisan politics.


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