Shouldn’t ER Doctors Know What To Do About Gun Violence?

Yesterday a horrendous shooting occurred in of all places a city named Chicago.  But as opposed to most shootings in Chicago, this shooting didn’t take place in the street.  In fact, it happened at Mercy Hospital, located on the city’s South Side. The hospital treats its share of shooting victims from the surrounding streets. This time, the victims were hospital staff themselves.

              The story behind the shootings was the same old, same old. Guy gets into an argument with girlfriend, out comes the gun and bang, bang, bangity-bang. The first victim was an ER doctor named Tamara O’Neill, evidently the former fiancée of the shooter, a relationship she broke off at some point prior to yesterday’s attack.  The shooter, identified as 32-year old Juan Lopez, may have possessed a concealed-carry permit which, no doubt, he obtained in order to validate his 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ The episode started with an argument between Lopez and O’Neill in the hospital parking lot; the ER doctor was shot dead right on the spot, Lopez then ran into the hospital, killed two more people, then was either shot by the cops or killed himself.

There’s probably a good chance that the late Dr. O’Neill was a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the professional organization which sets treatment protocols and lobbies for ER medicine at both the federal level and individual states. The organization’s website recently posted a study in which nearly half of 3,536 ER doctors reported that they had been physically assaulted during their work in an ER. Not a single respondent to this national survey claimed that the person who attacked them used a gun.

Perhaps this is the reason why ACEP gives generous political donations to Congressional members representing various districts throughout the United States, but also representing the NRA. What I mean by that is there are 15 current House members who receive the coveted A+ rating from the boys in Fairfax, which means they make sure that what the NRA is what the NRA gets.

The leader of this pack of fools is Richard Hudson (R-NC) who has received $20,000 of the $143,000 that ACEP has contributed to the campaigns of these 15 NRA reps in 2016 and again this year. Why does Hudson rank Numero Uno when it comes to ACEP’s political support? Because he sponsored Public Law 115-83, which eases registration requirements for EMS companies to use controlled substances during an emergency call. One other NRA rep, Ralph Abraham, was given $1,000 and he is listed as a co-sponsor of the bill. Not a single other NRA Congressional toady was a co-sponsor of this legislation, but ACEP found it convenient to give them $122,000 over the last two campaigns.

This bill was passed in the House with a unanimous vote by both parties, no debate. A real tough one, okay? ACEP needed to give Hudson 20 grand for this? And by the way, Hudson also happens to be a major supporter of the national concealed-carry bill, which if it had passed and he was still alive, Dr. O’Neill’s killer could have carried his gun into any other state. Of course after Parkland, Congressman Hudson tweeted his ‘prayers.’

I am sure that within a few days, the ACEP website will contain a loving and glowing tribute to Dr. O’Neill. Maybe the organization will establish a scholarship in her name. In the meantime, let me break the news to some of my friends who happen to be members of APEC and have yet to make a single peep about how their organization funds Members of Congress who, when it comes to gun issues, are the worst of the worst.

Here’s how you end gun violence.  Get rid of the goddamn guns. I don’t mean Grandpa’s rusted, old shotgun that has been sitting in the basement for the last twenty years or the little, 22-caliber rifle that you fired at summer camp. I mean guns like the type used by Tamara O’Neill’s ex-boyfriend to shoot her dead.

Can’t ER doctors figure this one out?


1 thought on “Shouldn’t ER Doctors Know What To Do About Gun Violence?

  1. I read somewhere that this guy had had a previous girlfriend try to get a restraining order against him. I suspect we will hear more about him.

    I’m not surprised at the high number of ER staffers who are assaulted, given what I saw in the ER back in the day. Its where the problem children enter the hospital.

    I put myself through college working P/T in the Security Dept. at the Univ. of Rochester and stayed on for a year F/T after graduation as I needed a mental health break from academics. During my last year in Rochester before heading off to graduate school, I was sometimes assigned to the ER, over at the U of R’s Strong Memorial Hospital. It was not uncommon to have drunk, drugged, disturbed, or mentally problematic people hauled in, sometimes in restraints. One night a Sheriff’s deputy arrived and hauled a drunk out who was literally hogtied. On one other memorable Saturday night, two of us, yours truly included, in those blue U of R security uniforms were helping the ER staff put a patient in restraints (this was in the 1970’s) and it was rough going. I ended up exhausted, drenched in sweat, and with a few bruises. We all got bounced around a fair amount.

    Fortunately, no one ever showed up with a firearm during my time there although Rochester was not a violence free city. One of my classmates was murdered in a botched home robbery a few blocks from my abode. Stabbed to death.

    Funny ending to that night with the psych patient. I got home at about 0730 a.m.after that graveyard shift and was still pretty wound up, so I put on my pajamas and opened a beer. And then another beer. Who comes to the door except a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses to save my soul. I think they saw the beer and me in my pajamas and promptly gave up.

    Yep. As long as the bar is set low on gun ownership, esp. handguns, this crap will happen. Its a statistical certainty.

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