Those of us who work in emergency departments know all too well about the fragility of life. While the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is in many ways unexplainable, the sheer extent of violence in our society is undeniable. In 2008, 12,000 Americans died of gun violence, while during the same period only 11 people living in Japan did! We as a nation must explore why such a vast discrepancy.
There are fundamental differences in our societies. We have far too many guns that are easily accessible, our children are exposed to far too much violence in today's media (music, movies and games) and we have far too little comprehensive mental health programs (and that's only if you have health insurance). We as a nation must explore these issues as the public health crisis that it is.
The Dec. 16 Daily Herald editorial offered an excellent insight on the fragility of life. This holiday season, hug your children a little tighter, a little longer, and be thankful for the true gifts of the season. God's peace to all of us.
Dr. Charles Nozicka
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Advocate Condell Medical Center