An emergency-room doctor grew up in suburban New York learning how to shoot. She has watched gunshot wounds get worse since she started practicing medicine in the 1990s, for a simple reason:
In the 1990s, by which time I was an emergency-room doctor at a Level 1 trauma center in New York City, I became acquainted with the damage that small-caliber handguns could cause. When I started treating gunshot victims, I marveled at how subtle and clean the wounds often were, externally at least. Much cleaner than stabbings or car-wreck injuries.
We searched for a tiny entrance wound and the larger exit wound; they were often subtle and hard to locate. If you couldn’t find the latter, you would often see the tiny metal bullet, or fragments, lodged somewhere internally on an X-ray — often not worth retrieving because it was doing no damage.
Guns and the devastating injuries they cause have evolved into things I don’t recognize anymore. My Remington .22 has about as much in common with an assault-style weapon as an amoeba has with a human life. The injuries they produce don’t belong under one umbrella of “gun violence.” Though both crimes are heinous, the guy who shoots someone with an old pistol in a mugging is a different kind of perpetrator from the person who, dressed in body armor, carries a semiautomatic weapon into a theater, house of worship or school and commences a slaughter.
[N]o disaster drill really prepares an emergency room for a situation where multiple people are shot with today’s semiautomatic weapons. You might save a few people with careful triage and preparation. Most just die.
Any other trade association whose products got more dangerous every day would soon be sued into oblivion. It's time to kill the NRA, and return to sensible firearms regulation.