A Veterans Affairs psychiatrist allegedly told a Facebook user to “off yourself” during an online argument about gun control on July 24, according to an image posted on Imgur Monday.
Gregg Gorton, who the Washington Times reports is a staff psychiatrist at the Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center, allegedly responded to the post by suggesting that the commenter commit suicide.
The inflammatory Facebook comment that he allegedly responded to said:
This is why I always carry my 45. I am all for gun control. If there is a gun in the room, I want to be in control of it. I do commend you on your efforts and hope you continue trying to take away our rights. [Because] of you people more and more Americans are buying guns. Thank you. Hopefully you idiots will get more and more attention so that more and more people will buy guns.
To this, Gorton apparently responded, “Off yourself, please.”
The harsh remark sparked outrage, both with the person who took a screenshot of the conversation, and with commenters on the thread.
“All you anti-gun/violence liberals are pretty violent huh Gregg Gorton?” one user replied.
“Wow Mr. Gorton, is that what you say to pro gun Veterans at the VA?” asked another. “I wonder if your employer knows you are advocating suicide in an online forum.”
The psychiatrist and Tufts alumnus is listed as a mental and behavior health physician on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs online directory, as of May 2013.
The VA apologized to all veterans and their families for the “completely unacceptable” remark as soon as they found out about it.
“Our mission is to provide the highest level of medical and mental health care, which is not reflected in the Facebook post,” a VA spokesman said. “The post was totally inappropriate and does not convey our commitment to veterans. We are taking steps immediately to address the situation.”
It is unknown what steps the VA is taking and whether or not Gorton will keep his job.