Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Healing, Not Killing

Yesterday, I had to go inside a hospital. My father received a call from my aunt. Her husband, who was already suffering from cancer, had just taken a sharp turn for the worse.

After consulting with doctors and deliberating, the family decided to let the tube be released. My uncle would have required even more extensive surgery, and that would have guaranteed nothing but perhaps a few more weeks of suffering. It was time.

Fortunately, the hospital staff were able to provide plenty of support. They ensured a safe and comforting environment for my family. While my uncle's passing was certainly saddening, we at least had a safe space to grieve last night.

This is what hospitals are supposed to do. And of course, they're supposed to provide a safe place to heal for those who are not terminally ill. Hospitals are supposed to aid in healing life, not provide a backdrop for violent death.

Sadly, violent death occurred in Renown Medical Center in Reno yesterday. The shooter opened fire and killed a victim before committing suicide. Two other victims are in critical condition.

How could this happen? And why? Again, hospitals are supposed to be healing environments. They're not supposed to be killing fields.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one appalled by this ghastly event. Assembly Member Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D-Reno) tweeted a statement yesterday that cut to the heart of the gruesome reality behind yesterday's shooting.

"So sad. Our community is still hurting from the last shooting. Soon, tweets about condolences become white noise, and more has to be done."

Just two months ago, a student opened fire and sparked a murder-suicide at Sparks Middle School. Meanwhile down south, we witnessed another deadly Las Vegas Strip shooting. As we discussed earlier this week, gun violence has seeped into nearly every nook and cranny of our everyday lives. Yet what has been done to curb this dangerous trend?

Perhaps this is what Assembly Member Benitez-Thompson was mentioning in her tweet. Governor Brian Sandoval (R-NRA) tweeted condolences shortly after the Sparks Middle School shooting, yet said nothing in the wake of another Las Vegas Strip shooting. Rep.
Mark Amodei (R-NRA) delivered a flowery speech on the House floor. And Senator Dean Heller had a flag lowered. Yet when all of them had the chance to do something about this senseless gun violence, they all decided to cut and run.

I'm sure they've already begun tweeting condolences. Maybe we'll get another flowery floor speech. Perhaps another flag will even be lowered. But when will we see action taken to stop this bloody insanity?

Hospitals are for healing, not killing. When did we forget this?

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