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Thu Feb 15, 2018, 04:51 PM

What Bullets Do to Bodies

Huffington Post: What Bullets Do to Bodies. This is a long article, parts of it are disturbing; but, you really need to read it. The opening says: "The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day." Probably the hard core '2nd amendment' advocates in Congress wouldn't be affected -- after all, they're sociopaths and psychopaths. What this might do is stiffen the spines of Democratic Congresspersons to oppose this horror.

The first thing Dr. Amy Goldberg told me is that this article would be pointless. She said this on a phone call last summer, well before the election, before a tangible sensation that facts were futile became a broader American phenomenon. I was interested in Goldberg because she has spent 30 years as a trauma surgeon, almost all of that at the same hospital, Temple University Hospital in North Philadelphia, which treats more gunshot victims than any other in the state and is located in what was, according to one analysis, the deadliest of the 10 largest cities in the country until last year, with a homicide rate of 17.8 murders per 100,000 residents in 2015.

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. Fourteen dead in San Bernardino, six in Michigan, 11 over one weekend in Chicago. 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. Goldberg does.


Rafi Colon had a gunshot wound in his stomach that took months to heal:

The holes in his intestines leaked stomach acid and burned away the surrounding tissues and skin, leaving less skin available to eventually stretch over the wound and close it. Colon learned to sop up the excess acid from his exposed intestines with gauze pads and later with a machine that sucked the acid through a tube. When his friends came to visit, they had a hard time looking at him. He messed with them once by asking a buddy to get him a Rita’s water ice, Philadelphia’s version of a snow cone. He knew what would happen when he ate it. The water ice was red, the Swedish Fish flavor from that summer, and 30 seconds after he swallowed it, the red water ice came oozing out of the hole in his intestine. His friends bolted.

Another gunshot victim begins a long, painful road to recovery.

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Reply What Bullets Do to Bodies (Original post)
LongTomH Feb 2018 OP
Calculating Feb 2018 #1
Cirque du So-What Feb 2018 #2

Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Thu Feb 15, 2018, 04:58 PM

1. TBH, I'm not sure if getting stabbed or hacked by a sword is much better

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Response to Calculating (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 15, 2018, 05:42 PM

2. Thing is...

An attacker must get in close proximity to the victim in inflict damage with a knife or sword - mad knife-throwing skills notwithstanding. Same with a pointy stick or frozen halibut, for that matter. Guns allow an attacker to maintain distance and shoot at everyone within line-of-sight. Add a bump stock and killing potential is raised exponentially. Kinda takes the wind out of the sails of the RW argument that determined attackers will just use a baseball bat, claw hammer, ad nauseam.

As for injuries, I can attest to the fact that bullet wounds are inherently worse...F = ma.

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