The blindness of the NRA and NHS

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one – Paulo Coelho

In the UK, we recoil at each US school shooting; our incomprehension matched only by our careworn knowledge that this will be repeated. Even when surviving children speak up en masse, the lobbying power of the National Rifle Association (NRA) blocks any reform. Instead it claims that guns protect the citizenry. Though manifestly misleading, its propaganda prospers. Citizens seem blind to the root cause of gun violence in America, perhaps because historically, gun violence is the root cause of America.

grayscale photo of a boy aiming toy gun selective focus photography
Unnecessary at any age

Reassured that we in the UK could never be so blind, we turn our page past yet another healthcare failure; perhaps dozens dead or seriously harmed; failures at each level of the NHS. We’re unable to fathom it, but we know lessons won’t be learned and the pattern will be repeated.

Why do we quietly tolerate this mass harm, when we’d never allow US style mass shootings? Perhaps it’s due to our own myth: our belief in the NHS as a national symbol of fairness and kindness; and our own lobbyists like the British Medical Association (BMA), who’d have us believe that law protects NHS whistleblowers. In truth, harm recurs because muzzled staff know only too well – it’s the messenger that gets shot.

How long will we ignore this issue? Next time it could be our family that’s damaged – simply because the law doesn’t protect and staff dare not speak.

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