Arts for Action's Sake

Gunplay - A Physician's Point-of-View About Gun Control

April 18, 2018

Tags: Gun control, NRA

"Grandma Swift's" guest post about the need for gun control elicited many comments and much conversation. So today, Peter Acker, a practicing pediatrician and author of the medical thriller Blood Brain Barrier weighs in on the issue from a physician's perspective.

A few years ago I wrote an essay with the provocative headline ďItís the Environment StupidĒ. It was inspired by a talk from Dr. Y. Cathy Kim, associate director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Center at the Maria Fareri Childrenís Hospital. I wrote about the environmental factors that influence the health of children and argued that it was well within our purview as pediatricians to get involved in community issues such as the type of food readily available in our schools. Of course, every doctor should want to know about environmental influences, but I think it is of particular moment in pediatric care because we pediatricians are charged with advocacy for a group that does not have the clout of adults.

I thought of this piece while digesting all the articles I have been reading about the current gun control debate. Unfortunately, it is loaded (excuse the use of this verb!) with hyperbole, myopia and absurdity. For example, (more…)

A Modest Proposal from Grandma Swift

March 28, 2018

Tags: Gun control, NRA

High School Students Demonstrate for Gun Control in Washington, DC, March 24, 2018
This is a guest post from Marian Armstrong Rogers, author of Astonishments: Stories as True as Memory

Now, you have no idea what Iím going to say about guns until you hear me out, so please doÖ

I was once the proud owner of a gun. Loved that little water pistol. Never owned a real gun, or even thought about it. When I talk about my schooldays, my grandchildren donít believe me. Of course, those same years my black brothers and sisters down south were wondering which way to run to escape Jim Crowís hefty guns and other deadly dealings.

But now there are mass shootings at concerts, nightclubs, hospitals, even schools where children not far from infancy are mowed down by others not far from childhood! Road-rage? Going postal? Sweet Jesus, I never heard such weirdly descriptive terms Ďtil every hair on my head was gray and standing straight up at the thought of what they mean.

Truth be told, I donít like feeling afraid when Iím walking down an empty sidewalk. So instead of burying myself in a book Iíve been mulling this problem over, listening to the debates, considering the latest proposal to keep our children safe: training school teachers to shoot guns and keep one nearby (where? in a desk? a pocket? tucked into a belt?), in case a deranged shooter suddenly appears, and Iíve come up with a solution of my own.

Itís even more outrageous than arming the kiddiesí teachers. Youíll think Iíve finally slipped off the cracker. In fact, I myself wonder if Iím going mad, along with the rest of the country. Could be. But trust me, if nothing else, this solution will tickle you NRA members to deathÖ

I say arm everyone! The young, the old, the in-between; the well and infirm; the calm and agitated; the contented and frustrated. (more…)