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What Bullets Do to Bodies - Highline
The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day.
guns  health  impact  review  AmyGoldberg  profile  Highline  2017 
2 days ago by inspiral
Guns tend to empower white, financially unstable men—who oppose gun control | Ars Technica
Shooting past “gun culture,” researchers hit factors linked to policy attitudes.
In the wake of a mass shooting or fresh data on gun violence, pundits and the media often blame the US’ high rate of gun ownership and deaths on a deeply rooted “gun culture.” For many—particularly advertisers—this culture conjures ideas of morally strong, empowered, self-reliant, American patriots bearing arms. And it grazes notions of masculine heroes, protectors, and providers.
But it’s difficult to define a single culture behind gun ownership and the opposition to gun control legislation that sometimes accompanies that. More importantly, blaming something as vague as “culture” isn’t exactly helpful for identifying ways to reduce the US’ high death toll.
Aiming for more useful data, researchers tried to hit on factors behind why people own guns and their attachments to them. Who owns guns and how do they feel about their possessions? And how do those feelings affect their stances on gun policies?
guns  politics 
3 days ago by rgl7194
What Bullets Do to Bodies
Over my years of reporting here, I had heard stories about Temple’s trauma team. A city prosecutor who handled shooting investigations once told me that the surgeons were able to piece people back together after the most horrific acts of violence. People went into the hospital damaged beyond belief and came walking out.

That stuck with me. I wondered what surgeons know about gun violence that the rest of us don’t. We are inundated with news about shootings.

We get names, places, anguished Facebook posts, wonky articles full of statistics on crime rates and risk, Twitter arguments about the Second Amendment—everything except the blood, the pictures of bodies torn by bullets. That part is concealed, sanitized. More than 30,000 people die of gunshot wounds each year in America, around 75,000 more are injured, and we have no visceral sense of what physically happens inside a person when he’s shot.

The goal of a trauma surgeon is to limit the amount of time that a patient spends in a trauma bay, to stabilize the patient until he can be transferred for a CT scan or to the OR for surgery. The temperature in the room feels about five degrees hotter than in the rest of the hospital. The air doesn’t seem to move.

The action-movie hero is shot in the stomach; he limps to a safe house; he takes off his shirt, removes the bullet with a tweezer, and now he is better. This is not trauma surgery. Trauma surgery is about fixing the damage the bullet causes as it rips through muscle and vessel and organ and bone. The bullet can stay in the body just fine. But the bleeding has to be contained...

Eighty percent of people who are shot in Philadelphia survive their injuries. This statistic surprises people when they hear it. They tend to think that when people get shot in the belly or the chest or the face, they die. But the reality is that people get shot and then they are going to survive, because trauma surgeons are going to save them, and that’s when the real suffering begins.

She meant it as a strictly human thing. There’s no medical reason for a patient to be in a hospital longer than necessary. The point was the ridiculousness of the situation. A woman gets shot through no fault of her own, she comes to the hospital scared, and if she’s OK, Goldberg says, “It’s like, here, take a little Band-Aid.” The woman goes home, and for everyone else in the city, it’s as though the shooting never happened. It changes no policy. It motivates no law. In a perverse way, the more efficiently Goldberg does her job inside the hospital, the more invisible gun violence becomes everywhere else.
guns  violence 
3 days ago by jbertsche

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