Bearing witness to horror of gun violence

I am writing in response to Derrick Z. Jackson’s Jan. 19 op-ed “Are all shootings equal?” I wanted to add one more witness to plead for peace. I am a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital. When I was a medical student, I took care of a 15-year-old boy who was killed from crossfire while standing on his lawn.

He was the first person I saw die. It was horrible. We did everything in our power to save him, including cutting into his chest to manually pump his heart, only to find that he had no blood left to pump.


He can’t speak for himself today, so I want to add his voice to the call for gun control. More than 3,000 children are killed each year by guns, but sometimes big numbers aren’t enough to move us to action.

For me, it took witnessing a young man’s death. I wanted to share this story to make this issue personal. Hopefully, this means fewer deaths, fewer Sandy Hooks, before we commit to reforming our gun policy.

Dr. Kelsey Johnson


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