Health professionals have questioned the tactics of the gun lobby in employing a professional Queensland PR agency to attack Tasmanian doctors, nurses and paramedics who have spoken out about the need to protect lives by upholding and strengthening the Port Arthur Gun Laws.

The Queensland based public relations agency, Cole Lawson communications, today circulated a press statement questioning the right of nurses, paramedics, doctors and other health professionals to raise concerns about watering down gun laws. These laws have been integral to a more than halving of the number of gun deaths in Australia.

“Health workers are at the frontline of dealing with the fallout from gun violence – whether it be paramedics at the scene of shootings, nurses and doctors in the emergency department, surgeons in the operating theatre, or general practitioners, psychologists and counsellors dealing with suicide, victims of domestic violence and counselling of victims’ families,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, spokesperson for Medics for Gun Control.

The involvement of the Queensland PR firm in attacking health professionals concerned with watering down the Port Arthur gun laws highlights the increasingly aggressive NRA (National Rifle Association) style tactics that are being imported into Australia by the gun lobby to try to undermine Australia’s highly successful gun laws.

“We are all horrified by the gun violence we see so regularly in schools, churches and public spaces in America. Good regulations to minimise deaths and injuries from guns are as basic and critical a public health measure as vaccinations, smoking regulations and driving laws. Health professionals have every right to voice their concerns about good laws that protect public health and safety,” said Dr Phill Pullinger.

Since the National Firearms Agreement was established in 1996 after the Port Arthur Massacre, gun deaths in Australia have more than halved. Whilst there were 13 mass shootings in Australia in the 18 years leading up to the Port Arthur Massacre, there were none in Australia in the 20 years following the establishment of the Port Arthur gun laws, until Margaret River in May this year.

Medics for Gun Control are a volunteer group of health professionals concerned about reducing injuries and deaths from guns in Australia, including through upholding and strengthening the National Firearms Agreement.
Phill Pullinger