Understanding American Gun Violence Part 1: The evolution of America’s relationship with firearms

By Temple Now | December 7, 2022

Stoneleigh Fellow Jessica Beard joins her Temple University colleagues for part 1 of a discussion on gun violence from a variety of perspectives.

Category one, gunshot wound to abdomen. In minutes, the trauma team at Temple University Hospital has evaluated the bloodied young man wheeled into their trauma bay and decided to take him to the operating room for life-saving surgery. Now, Jessica Beard’s hands move deftly inside the large incision on the patient’s abdomen checking for damage to the major blood vessels, kidneys, liver, and spleen. Finding them unscathed, she turns her attention to a bullet-damaged part of the intestine, reconstructing it with a quick combination of staples and stitches.

As Beard discards her bloodied gloves and her young patient begins to wake up from anesthesia, she allows herself a brief moment of relief. This young man—who should be too young to know the brutalization of a gun—will live, and soon be reunited with his mother, who has been pacing the waiting room with silent tears running down her cheeks.

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Read Part 2