dr. peter rhee on gun background checks: "common sense"

Dr. Peter Rhee, Director of Trauma at University Medical Center in Tuscon, was the attending physician to U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords as well as other victims shot by gunman Jared Loughner on January 8. With experience serving as a battlefield casualty physician in Afghanistan and Iraq, he was arguably the best man for the job on that terrible afternoon.

Having also treated his share of gunshot wounds at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, you could say that Dr. Rhee is someone who can speak with authority on at least the physical repercussions of gun violence. Here's a Huffington Post piece he wrote in support of a new plan to fix gun background checks in Arizona: One Gun in the Wrong Hands, Six Innocent Lives Lost.
All at once, we were treating eleven patients with gunshot wounds. Despite the best efforts of everyone, six innocent people died that day at the scene and no treatment could have saved those innocent people as they were killed instantly. I am proud of the work by everyone, which helped keep that number from climbing. The outcome could have been worse. But unfortunately, we need to treat people who are shot all the time, all over the United States. When I go to Europe to lecture they often ask me to speak on how to treat patients that were shot. This is because they don't have gunshot wounds in Europe, because they don't have anywhere near our level of gun violence. In Japan and Korea, they have practically no gunshot wounds at all. One fact is true, and undeniable. Where you have guns you will need well-trained trauma surgeons.

My hope is that the January 8 tragedy will teach us a lesson, so we can make sense of that ridiculous day, and so we will do everything we can to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

So, today I am joining other Arizonans, including several people wounded on January 8, and officials like Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini to support a new plan to fix gun background checks.
It's common sense. And as Dr. Rhee points out, more stringent and comprehensive background checks for purchasing firearms still respects constitutional rights. Seriously. Listen to the guy who has had to treat more gunshot wounds -- right here in the United States -- than you will ever see your lifetime.

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