Politics

April 5, 2013

Bill Nemitz: A physician tries to heal the violence

By Bill Nemitz bnemitz@pressherald.com
Columnist

(Continued from page 1)

AIRING IT OUT

Tune in to NewsRadio 560 WGAN at 8:08 a.m. today to hear columnist Bill Nemitz talk about this column and other issues.

That said, McAfee has grown accustomed to howls of indignation (see the online reader comments at the bottom of this column) not from average gun owners like himself, but from that special breed of Second Amendment zealot "whose waking hours are dominated by fear."

"Fear of being shot," he continued. "Fear of not being macho enough without the newest firepower. Fear of having their gun confiscated by our government."

He also foresees all-out political warfare in the coming weeks as 30 or so bills involving firearms come up for legislative hearings in Augusta. A founding member of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, McAfee has his hopes pinned on legislation that would at least expand background checks to include private gun sales and outlaw high-capacity magazines like the six (each with 30 rounds) that Adam Lanza used on Dec. 14 to mow down the schoolchildren and teachers in Newtown.

"You're welcome to come up and testify," he told the roomful of young healers. "It will be a busy time."

Talk about preventive medicine. If the next generation of surgeons and emergency room doctors isn't qualified to speak to the consequences, intended or not, of this country's gun mania, then who is?

And if they can't convince lawmakers it's far better to prevent a gunshot wound than to treat one, who will?

That, concluded McAfee, is where the rest of us come in.

Reaching back almost 2,500 years to the Peloponnesian War in ancient Greece, McAfee told of the combat-weary soldiers who one day asked the historian and philosopher Thucydides if, after decades of war, peace and justice would ever come to Athens.

Replied Thucydides, "Justice will not come to Athens until those who are not injured are as indignant as those who are."

"It's so appropriate today to ask the same question," McAfee said. "I hope, because of Newtown, that more of us are indeed indignant."

And, just like the good doctor, not afraid to say so.

 

Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:

bnemitz@pressherald.com

 

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