02/21 What You’re Saying: U.S. Rep G.K. Butterfield, C.P. Mangel, Wiley Post

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-1st District)
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-1st District)

Congress has the power

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the latest tragedy in a long line of senseless shootings, including 18 school shootings this year alone. Congress has watched the body count rise while doing nothing to address the scourge of gun violence in this country, other than by offering its thoughts and prayers to the suffering families and friends. Congress must finally act.

Congress has the power to help prevent these tragedies. There are common-sense bills that exist, including bipartisan approaches to reduce gun violence in America. I call on the Republican majority to immediately bring gun violence prevention legislation to the House floor for a vote. The refusal of the Republican majority to act on gun violence prevention legislation is disturbing.

U.S. Rep G.K.Butterfield

1st Congressional District

Trump doesn’t get trauma

Last week President Trump declared that “lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation” of domestic violence, and “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone.” Trump clearly favors batterers over battered spouses; of this we should not be surprised.

In a 2012 New England Journal of Medicine article, physician scientists raised the question: “What can physicians do about Intimate Partner Violence?” They cited a CDC report that approximately 36 percent of women in the U.S. are raped, assaulted, or stalked by domestic partners at some time during their lives, and that nearly 30 percent of men have been victims of domestic violence sometime during their lives. These facts show us exactly whose “lives are being shattered and destroyed” by the physical and psychological traumas inflicted by domestic abusers.

However, before even trying to recover from the assaults traumas and suffering caused by their abusers, victims first have to survive their abuse. They have to survive the assault, rape, stabbing, choking, kicking, beating, strangulation, pistol-whipping, being pushed down stairs, having their head submerged in sink, tub or toilet, cigarette burning, being drugged and hypothermia inflicted on them by their abusers. In July 2017, the Atlantic reported CDC that “over half of the killings of American women are related to intimate partner violence.” Many women who attempt or commit suicide are victims of prior domestic violence.

In a 2013 NEJM article, physicians reported that over 15 million U.S. children are exposed to domestic violence, an estimated 7 million of these children witness severe violence by the abuser against the victim, and that childhood domestic violence exposure is “linked to higher rates of myriad physical health problems in children.” These physicians articulate the tragic, irreversible and lifelong medical problems suffered by children exposed to domestic violence, and help us understand that not only are the lives of victims of domestic violence “shattered and destroyed,” but also the lives of their children and grandchildren.

The physician scientists who asked “What can physicians do” urge health care practitioners: “First, clinicians should acknowledge the patient’s admission of abuse.”

Trump will likely never recognize or acknowledge the devastating traumas suffered by victims of domestic violence. And their children and grandchildren.

But we must.

C.P. Mangel

Chapel Hill

The KKK, NRA and 18th school shoting

Touché Mr. Doucette (“A good day for the 2nd Amendment,” Feb. 14). Please lecture me on how on the same day we have America’s most deadly mass school shooting you can defend white privilege that a white man can bring a loaded long gun to where he thinks a KKK rally will be. The year is not even two months old and now we have the 18th school shooting. Congratulation on defending the NRA your check is in the mail.

Wiley Post

Hurdle Mills

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