D.C. trauma surgeon: “There is something evil in our society”

In the aftermath of Monday’s deadly mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, a shooting which left at least 12 people dead, Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, had some strong words regarding the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.

“There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate,” Orlowski said after decrying what she called “senseless trauma.”

“There’s something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries,” she continued. “There is something wrong.”

“I would like you to put my trauma center out of business,” Orlowski added. “I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots and not to be an expert on this.”

“It’s a great city. It’s a great country, and we have to work together to get rid of this,” she concluded. “Because we just cannot have, you know, one more shooting with, you know, so many people killed.”

Here’s video of Dr. Orlowski’s comments.


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14 thoughts on “D.C. trauma surgeon: “There is something evil in our society”

  1. She’s right of course, but this is America. There is almost a gun for all 300 million people. There is so much ammunition in the population that there are shortages now. Nutjobs in office are pursuing secession. At least half the republican party thinks the center right president is a communist. Their dehumanizing language now has devolved to the point where liberals are called baby killers. One thing is certain. Trauma centers will not be closing.

  2. What is the “evil” talked about in this statement?

    It is a combination of three elements: the greed of gun manufacturers, the support of the gun makers by the NRA and ALEC through legislative efforts, and most importantly a cowardice and false conscience of our elected representatives, state and national.

    I call upon my Senator, Ron Johnson, and my Representative, Sean Duffy to reject the “evil” and to be brave and do the moral thing: a background check for all and elimination of high capacity gun clips.

    If not, they enable and are part of the “evil.”

    1. Duane,
      You are 0 for 3 on the three elements and until if ever we get out of the blame, blame, blame business we will never get on to the solve, solve, solve business. That is where we are currently at.
      Yes, another tragic and I’d like to think preventable act has occurred. I don’t like it either. And while I appreciate the Chief Medical Officers sentiment, this is probably not the best place/time to air her personal opinion. It is completely understandable why she did though.
      The only solution for the Duane’s of the world is to ban and confiscate all weaponry. And even that will not stop acts like this. More background checks and restricted parts would not stop this guy or any of his predecessors, ever.
      We are all frustrated by these heinous acts. The issues are complex and if they are ever to be positively impacted upon people need to bond together and resist the temptation to blame government or anyone else.
      We live in a free society of mostly good people and a small minority of evil people. The real question is, are we willing to accept evil people in our free society or should we as society remove them from our free society?
      All Americans hurt when things like this happen. Not just left, right, liberal or conservative.

        1. Steve, thanks.

          IG’s reply would be laughable if it wasn’t so dangerously deceptive with its false premises and rash judgments. Those NRA guys are so easy to rattle with their “ban and confiscate” fear.

          BTW, the next time you travel south, stop in to see my gun collection if you have time. My favorite is a semi-automatic M-1 Carbine which I bought used from my best friend, a gun dealer. It is the type of rifle which I qualified upon enlisting shortly after North Korea invaded the South. I’ll show you around my 40 acres, but don’t worry about the abundance of Black Bears in the neighborhood. I wear my 9MM from early Spring until they hibernate in the Fall.

          1. Duane,
            Please point out the dangerous deception, false premises and rash judgments. Thanks.
            If Feinstein and the gun grabber’s bill would have passed a while ago your favorite M1 carbine would be illegal. Would you turn it over to authorities for decommissioning?
            btw – I am on record as supporting extended background checks. The string attached is that only if it is part of cohesive plan that can potentially draw mental health records in the FBI background check system.
            Btw II – I undergo an FBI background check monthly. Pass every time.

            1. Sorry, IG, but I will not take your bait to turn this thread into a you-me distraction. You took your best shot and I replied, but that is enough. I’ve been doing the blog thing for 15 years and served as an adviser to a major,national message board. I’ve seen too many good discussions hijacked by going off-topic or with personal exchanges.

              The argument here is about what was meant by the statement, “There is something evil in our society.” My view is that the “evil” is the greed of gun makers enabled by the advocacy of NRA and ALEC as well as by legislators who fear removal from office and/or who have a false conscience. You see it otherwise.

              The choice of the word, “evil” referring to gun violence and a conclusion that it exists is by one who deals with it all too frequently hands-on with its human tragedy.

              1. Duane,
                Understood regarding off thread/ hijacking. It was no bait, just a question that was in response to your post.
                Perhaps the next time you reference a post as “laughable, dangerously deceptive with its false premises and rash judgments”, you would be willing to elaborate.
                I guess “evil” is in the eye of the beholder.

        2. SC,
          I know that. The point is “banning” everything would not impact acts like this, why does anyone think pin pricks like banning a mere part would have impact?

  3. Democrats at a congressional level and President Obama need to be pushing for more Education Dollars and a full enactment of the affordable care act to prevent mental health issues.

  4. If you want solid majorities of wingnuts in both houses go ahead and pressure democrats to enact common sense gun regulations. Nothing will cause them to go down in flames faster. No I’m afraid the democrats cannot touch this issue. A better approach would be to dump it all in the right wings lap. Something like “we have tried to offer common sense legislation but our colleagues on the other side of the article will have none of it. Since they have taken the lead as experts on gun violence in our society it is a problem they must take the lead to solve. Or not.”

  5. Obviously the woman in this video is talking about something evil in our society – in our culture – we as a society of individuals, not merely our inadequate regulatory measures with respect to guns. Benen hit on one angle that perpetuates that evil:


    The meandering, dissembling discourse of Conservative-Libertarian radicals is one place to start in addressing that evil. Recognize it. Reject it. Repeal the 2nd Amendment. Devise a federalized system for gun control that actually addresses the multifaceted problem of firearms in our society.

    1. I am pro gun, but strongly in favor of steps to reduce gun violence. I’m not sure repeal of the Second Amendment would eliminate the “evil.” In fact it might make it worse by having fifty different state laws on gun rights.

      I believe the term “A well regulated militia” is no longer valid. The “militia” has been supplanted by a standing volunteer ARMED force(army), a state National Guard, an active reserve, and an inactive reserve. The latter part of the Second Amendment could be left as is to ensure gun rights although the term “infringed” would no longer be applicable since the necessity(a militia) for owning a gun is non existent.

  6. Hi Duane,

    Avoiding a state by state approach to gun regulation would be the goal, hence the qualifier for devising a comprehensive federalized system. We already have a situation with fifty different state laws. Though at the rate the gun manufacturing lobby is going all 50 states will adopt homogenized pro-gun measures. In which case any “states’ rights’ arguments would be rendered moot anyway. A federalized system could be created with enough flexibility for states to tighten regulations further or keep them at the federal standard.

    “The well-regulated militia” clause is the determining right to which the 2nd Amendment pertains. Now no longer applicable. “shall not be infringed” refers to not disarming the militia and does not refer to individual gun ownership as a right. There is no right to individual gun ownership enshrined in the Constitution.

    The 2nd Amendment is antiquated and inapplicable to the 21st century. Certainly under its current inaccurate interpretation the 2nd Amendment serves only as a pretext for inhibiting gun regulations, also for radicalizing the citizenry and creating a culture of fear and hostility. The Amendment serves only the interests of the weapons industry; it doesn’t serve the interest of society as a whole. The 2nd Amendment secures no necessity for We the People.

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