Heather Sher, a radiologist with a specialty in trauma cases, has just given an in-depth perspective on how treating the victims of the Parkland Mass Shooting differed from that of everything she had seen in her career. Ms. Sher begins by explaining that she she’s been radiologist in one of America’s busiest trauma centers for 13 years, having diagnosed thousands of handgun injuries to the brain, lung, liver, spleen, bowel, and other vital organs.
But last week was very different for her. Not just because of the scope of the trauma but because she realized how very different an injury sustained by a weapon such as an an AR-15 is from other injuries.
Heather Sher’s account, per The Atlantic:
I was looking at a CT scan of one of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who had been brought to the trauma center during my call shift. The organ looked like an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer, with extensive bleeding. How could a gunshot wound have caused this much damage?
The reaction in the emergency room was the same. One of the trauma surgeons opened a young victim in the operating room, and found only shreds of the organ that had been hit by a bullet from an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle which delivers a devastatingly lethal, high-velocity bullet to the victim. There was nothing left to repair, and utterly, devastatingly, nothing that could be done to fix the problem. The injury was fatal.
Though graphic, this is exactly the sort of thing we need to be talking about with respect to gun control debates. Whenever a person makes a salient argument against semi-automatic weapons or bump stocks. NRA advocates are so quick to re-frame the argument as one in which bleeding heart liberals just want to smash and grab all of the guns.
The survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attack have done a remarkable job of standing up for themselves to both high-level legislators as well as NRA spokespeople.
The stale argument that any mass shooting is unavoidable because all that’s required is a will to kill has been soundly rejected by the Parkland survivors. The fact of the matter is that it is just very, very, very, difficult to stab 17 people to death in an enclosed space.
Heather Sher continues:
With an AR-15, the shooter does not have to be particularly accurate. The victim does not have to be unlucky. If a victim takes a direct hit to the liver from an AR-15, the damage is far graver than that of a simple handgun shot injury. Handgun injuries to the liver are generally survivable unless the bullet hits the main blood supply to the liver. An AR-15 bullet wound to the middle of the liver would cause so much bleeding that the patient would likely never make it to a trauma center to receive our care.
This is the message that we must stay on as the gun control debate continues. At no point in the discourse has even a loud minority suggested a wholesale ban on guns; what we are arguing is that there is simply no reason for AR-15s to exist. There just isn’t. Do people enjoy owning them? Sure. Are they uniquely useful for anything other than murder?
No. No, they aren’t. There is no sound argument that the 2nd amendment wanted a “well regulated militia” to mean that total randoms go out and legally buy — with little to no push-back — instruments uniquely designed to slaughter groups of innocent people.
There is also no sound argument that the 2nd amendment somehow endows all of us to acquire dirty bombs, nor the raw materials to create ad hoc nuclear arsenals.
But… that’s just silly, right? The NRA wouldn’t make any money off nuclear arsenals, thus they must be excluded from “well regulated militia” necessities, right?