Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

We at honor those who lost their lives or lost loved ones, along with those who were critically injured, in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history early Sunday morning in Orlando, Fla. The gunman has been described as a terrorist, as a person who was mentally ill, and had been evaluated by the FBI as a person of concern on more than one occasion. And yet, he was permitted to purchase an assault weapon that allowed him to kill at least 50 people because Congress has not passed a law to make it a crime to sell or possess a semiautomatic weapon.

Women can force the people we elect to represent us in Congress to hear that we have had enough. Women can insist that our representatives enact legislation that will make the sale of these guns illegal. Women have a voice because we vote and we need to send a message to Washington that we have had too many mass killings in this country because someone could buy an assault rifle.

Today on Medical Monday, we join with President Obama, who has addressed Americans 14 times after 14 mass shootings. He said on Sunday in yet another address to the American people about the need to curtail the availability of guns, “To actively do nothing is a decision as well.” The innocents who died in these 14 mass shootings need more than mourning. They need to be remembered with action.

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  • Linda White June 15, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Our country, our cities – maybe even our own neighborhoods – are almost weekly beset with horrific acts of senseless violence that touch increasing numbers of innocents.We wring our hands in despair and frustration tinged with fear, wondering what we can do to defuse, or at least, reduce the incidence of these atrocities, and somehow identify and stem the flow of people who commit such acts.

    “Evil triumphs when good men (and women) do nothing,” reminds us that finding a solution will require our immediate action. We must write, call, or visit our local, state and national elected officials to express our growing alarm. Key to getting their (and he public’s) attention and respect will be to come armed with a sound, realistic, workable PLAN for setting us on the rocky, obstacle-strewn road to positive change.

    A few prayers, whoever our deities, wouldn’t hurt, either,
    Linda White

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. June 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm


    I am from Kentucky as well and all my brothers hunt and fish and do outdoor activities like these which they enjoy a great deal but no one has an assault weapon. \

    You may know, however, that the NRA does have support from some evangelical Christian organizations. Can you imagine? Thou shall not kill as a commandment vs the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

    I love the name of the new org, WAAR: Women Against Assault Rifles. Now, who will start it?

    Dr. Pat

  • Suzanne Fawbush June 13, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I completely agree with you Dr. Pat and thank you for stating this! It is ludicrous that this person could – and in my opinion, that any person can – legally acquire a semiautomatic weapon in our country. I think women must raise their voices on this issue because our elected officials will not. As someone who grew up in Kentucky in a family of hunters, I can tell you that none of my relatives own assault weapons. The reason is that assault weapons are not used for hunting or sport. Assault weapons are weapons of war whose sole purpose is to kill or injure as many people as possible as fast as possible. Why would we ever allow them to be legally sold or possessed in this country? I think women need to rise up and start an organization that will force our legislators to act. Something akin to MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Our new organization could be WAAR – Women Against Assault Rifles. We have the power to do this but do we have the will? The time is now.

  • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger June 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I’m so pleased you have made this stand. I’m standing right beside you, arms linked, ready to defend our right to safe lives for our citizens -whatever their choices.

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. June 13, 2016 at 11:09 am

    The NRA represents the arms manufacturers in America and control many of our representatives either with money from lobbyists or in other ways. Everyone is afraid of them. This is why women who vote can have an impact. We have nothing to be afraid of except living in a place and in a time where mass shootings are no longer unexpected or unusual. We need to make these semi automatic weapons illegal to buy and illegal to own. No one needs a semi-automatic weapon to go duck hunting. THanks so much for the comments and conversation.

  • Ellen Flamm June 13, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Right on, and wish we (all of us) could do something to try to prevent this sort of horror happening — like refusing to sell guns to those who have no legitimate use for them. There must be more effort to prevent this kind of horror from happening. . .

    Ellen Flamm

  • Abigail Congdon June 13, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I completely agree with Dr. Pat’s statement.
    In the last five years I have had the chance to speak about our irresponsible and tragic gun policies with two very highly placed senators from the Northeast and, while both have agreed with the absolute need to change gun our gun policies, both essentially have thrown up their hands at our inability to win over the National Rifle Association and their supporters. The scare tactics the NRA uses to imply that moderation of access to guns would equal a removal of all guns or their right to bear arms continue to block any movement on this issue.
    Possibly, women can become a force to talk to the people in their lives who belong to or support the NRA to compel them to see reason. Inaction is, indeed, an Action.

  • Bernadette Laganella June 13, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I will be reblogging this article tomorrow because you are so right that doing nothing is an act and political statement in itself.