No one has a closer view of the tragedies wrought by gun violence than doctors at a place like Boston Medical Center, which has the busiest emergency and trauma service in New England. Today, as gun control is front and center on the national stage, a group of BMC emergency doctors posted an open letter on the new Boston Trauma blog. It reads in part:
As witnesses to the consequences of gun violence on a daily basis and in response to the recent horrific events of December 14th, we feel strongly that a frank discussion of the role of firearms in our society is overdue.
Trauma providers see injuries and deaths due to firearms first-hand. The 16-year-old who will never again move his lower extremities after being shot multiple times will never become a statistic worthy of the media’s attention; his future is limited and punctuated by further suffering due to his condition. Or the 20-year-old shot multiple times in the head whose mother does not recognize him due to the damage to his face as the trauma team fights to save his life. This young man dies despite the heroic efforts of every component of the medical community. Such people come to us on a daily basis and for each one that dies there are hundreds more who are forever altered by sublethal firearm injuries and who go unnoticed by society at-large.
Read the full post here. It concludes:
We do not want silence on our part to be interpreted as acceptance of the status quo. We insist on a meaningful discussion of the role of firearms in our society. We believe that military grade/assault type weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips that have the sole purpose of taking human life should have no role in a society at peace. The easy access to them by an individual represents an unnecessary and unacceptable threat to our society and to the individuals within it.