The story behind the gruesome hashtag
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
If you’re like me and somewhat oblivious to trending topics on Twitter, you may be wondering why gory photos have been popping up on your feed captioned with #ThisIsMyLane. Well, a recent post made by the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Twitter account has inspired a shocking social media movement among medical professionals.
On November 2, the NRA published an article criticizing the number of studies released in the Annals of Internal Medicine where physicians and doctors pushed for gun control. On November 7, the NRA linked the article through their Twitter page with the comment: “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine [italics added] are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves.”
Needless to say, this caused extreme outrage.
Doctors, surgeons, and other various members of the medical community responded with graphic photos and confessionals regarding how firearms affect them every day. Due to doctor-patient confidentiality, the photos tend to be a bit abstract, yet are haunting nonetheless: bloodstained scrubs, bullets pulled out of victims, or clocks showing a time of death. Captions posted with the photos and the released confessionals go into detail conveying how the shocking sights and heart-wrenching tales of loss are an everyday occurrence for anyone working in a hospital.
The many proponents of gun control also sought to shut down anyone trying to silence, dismiss, or normalize their experiences. Ann Coulter responded to the blowback by posting the following; “Emergency room doctors pull cue balls, vines & gummy bears out of human orifices every week. That doesn’t make them experts on pool, horticulture or chewy candy.”
She was met with immediate criticism, not only from medical professionals but from the public at large. Her statement was labelled insensitive, ignorant, and cruel—and did very little to earn her any favour when those doctors turned their anger towards her.
Twitter rants and name-calling aside, #ThisIsMyLane has done an excellent job of bringing awareness to the everyday reality of gun violence. More importantly, it is keeping public attention on the issue of firearms and gun control without tying it to the latest mass tragedy.