[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
We are going to be honest with you. Our first reaction to this testimony was to turn it off and never think about it again. It’s that disturbing.
However, the more we thought about how callous so many of our lawmakers — and their cheerleaders out here in the real world — are being despite tragedy after tragedy, we thought… hey, maybe this is something that needs to change. Maybe people need to hear about the horrors that went on. The damage these weapons do to children’s bodies is unimaginable for most people — which makes it easier for them to ignore school shootings. And if we’re ever going to get any common sense gun legislation passed, we need people to stop ignoring what’s going on.
Dr. Roy Guerrero is the only pediatrician in Uvalde, the site of one the worst school shootings to date. He was there that day to treat the wounded after the shooting at Robb Elementary School. And on Wednesday he described what he saw to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Gun Violence.
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Again he’s the only pediatrician in town — so several of the victims were his patients. These were kids he knew. Of course he went to help. He remembered:
“I raced to the hospital to find parents outside yelling children’s names and desperation and sobbing, as they beg for any news related to their child. Those mothers’ cries, I will never get out of my head.”
He found 11-year-old patient Miah Cerrillo in the hospital, someone he’s known since she was a newborn babby. She had survived by spreading the blood of her classmates on her clothes. On her Lilo & Stitch t-shirt. He says after that he was scared he would find her 8-year-old sister Elena among the dead. He recalled:
“I had heard from the nurses that there were two dead children who had been moved to the surgical area of the hospital. As I made my way there, I prayed I wouldn’t find her. I didn’t find Elena. What I did find was something no prayer would ever relieve.”
Yeah. Don’t send this man thoughts and prayers. Do not do it.
Again, this is extremely graphic. But we should all, as a society, be forced to hear it. He described:
“Two children whose bodies had been pulverized by bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been ripped apart that the only clue to their identities was a blood-splattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them… clinging for life and finding none.”
He said he hoped these bodies were the exception, that others who had been shot would be able to be saved. But “they never arrived.” The AR-15 is a weapon designed to kill human bodies, and it did its job too well.
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Dr. Guerrero called out the legislators in front of him, saying:
“Innocent children all over the country today are dead because laws and policy allow people to buy weapons before they’re legally old enough to even buy a pack of beer. They’re dead because restrictions have been allowed to lapse. They’re dead because there are no rules about where guns are kept, because no one is paying attention to who’s buying them. The thing I can’t figure out is whether our politicians are failing us out of stubbornness, passivity or both.”
“My oath as a doctor means that I signed up to save lives. I do my job. And I guess it turns out that I am here to plead, to beg to please, please do yours.”
Moving stuff. See the full testimony (below):
[Image via ABC News/KSAT/YouTube.]