Gun-violence is of ever-growing concern within the United States, as more and more mass shootings take place every day. Since the 1990’s, not only has coverage of shootings increased, but the number of actual shootings has reached an alarming rate. Just over the past two years, mass shootings have devastated local communities, schools, parks, and clubs all over the country. It wasn’t until recently that the government finally decided to tighten gun laws and promote nation-wide safety measures, but that can’t undo the damage that has already been done. While the societal and social side effects of gun violence are admittedly outrageous, from a pathologist’s point of view, gun-violence is seen from a different perspective.
Pathologists see the physical effects of gun-violence each and every day. It’s fairly simple: the bullet leaves the shooter’s weapon, travels at an insanely high velocity towards its target, where it punctures the skin, tears through muscle, bone, and every type of tissue comprising the human body, then exits, leaving a mutilated, if not completely dead victim in its wake. The lethality of a bullet comes down to the speed of its trajectory. According to pathologists, our bodies are not build to withstand such sheer force of impact.
What troubles pathologists more than the physics and science behind how a gun manages to hurt and kill people is the fact that most deaths relating to firearms are totally preventable. Many fatalities as results of gun-violence are accidents, whether by hunting mishaps or children playing with their parents’ firearms. Even those who are shot deliberately are victims of preventable deaths. We all know the risks associated with living with deadly weapons which are more or less easily accessible, yet more shootings occur by the hour. Pathologists around the country, who spend countless hours pulling bullets out of corpses, are urging lawmakers and gun owners to either give up their weapons or implement better safety practices regarding firearms.
The NRA, of course, met their pleas with stubbornness, advising pathologists to stay in their own line of work, to which these pathologist claim firearms are in their line of work, considering the massive amounts of homicides and suicides they deal with which guns were involved with. Forensic pathologists are just one of many groups throughout the nation pushing for stricter gun laws.