Opinion: I was a teenage gun owner, then an ER doctor. Assault-style weapons make me sick.

Many who know me might be shocked by this: I shot my first pistol when I was 8 or 9, taught by my father, a physician, aiming at targets in our basement. At summer camp, I loved riflery the way some kids loved art. Staring through the sight, down the barrel, I proved an excellent shot, gathering ever more advanced medals from the National Rifle Association. As a reward, for my 13th birthday, my uncle gave me a .22 Remington rifle. I did not grow up on a farm or in a dangerous place where we needed protection. I grew up in the well-off, leafy suburb of Scarsdale, N.Y. When I entered high school in the 1970s, I joined the riflery team and often slung my cased gun over my shoulder on my mile-long walk to school for practice. It didn’t seem dissonant that on other mornings, I went to the train station to join protests against the Vietnam War. Once mostly associated in the public mind with sport, guns in the United States are now widely regarded more as weapons to maim or kill — or to protect from the same. Guns used to be on a continuum with bows and arrows; now they seem better lumped in with grenades, mortars and bombs. In the 1990s, by which time I was an emergency-room doctor at a Level 1 trauma center in New York City, I became acquainted with the damage that small-caliber handguns could cause. When I started […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.