As a physician in emergency rooms and a surgeon, I have been on the front line of gun violence. Shooting, maiming and killing have become too easy. With rapid-fire weapons, a criminal can kill 26 people in seconds. The medical, physical, emotional, psychological and societal costs are enormous.
As a physician, I believe all life has value and no individual should decide, in violent rage, that another should be deprived of the right to life.
The United States Declaration of Independence states "... these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Tiny kids killed in a Newton, Conn., school. Death by murder and violence in the Fresno area averages on death, or more, a week.
The human toll of violence in our society is unacceptable.
Our prisons are overflowing and bankrupting the correctional system.
Across America, 30,000 American lives are lost each year because of bullets, stray or intended. This constitutes a public health crisis of the highest order. We physicians and nurses can no longer remain silent and must take a stand against violence and support the right to life.
Regardless of personal party preferences, we must all demand that our elected representatives support our families and help eliminate and reduce gun violence by passing legislation to get military weapons off the streets. Call representatives Denham and Costa and demand a better and safer Central Valley, and that they support the legislation.
Loraine Goodwin, MD, JDCongressional action chair, Madera