Opinion: Take it from a trauma center physician — gun violence in America is as routine as the sunrise

The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
Shown is the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., where Omar Mateen opened fire last week, killing 49.
(John Raoux / Associated Press)

To the editor: As an emergency physician working at a trauma center, I recently got a call for a gunshot wound victim headed to us just as I walked in the door. We received another call for a second victim while still trying to revive the first. Neither one survived. (Re “C-SPAN scores big with Democrats’ sit-in coverage,” Business, June 24 and “FBI sees no evidence gunman was gay,” June 24)

Being unable to save these lives was tough. The difficult conversations with the families of these victims were devastating. But somehow, the worst part of my day was when I walked out of the hospital and realized that nothing out of the ordinary happened at work that day. Seeing patients die from gun violence is just normal for me.

The American Medical Assn. recently declared that gun violence is a public health crisis and has pushed to end the congressional ban on gun violence research.

Having been held up at gunpoint on my own block, I understand the desire to protect oneself. Taking away guns from people who feel they need to protect themselves and their loves ones is not a real solution to the problem. But studying the problem helps us get to the right solution. Action must be taken to address this public health crisis.


Erick Eiting, Los Angeles

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