Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Dr. Roy Guerrero

Dr. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician from Uvalde, Texas, speaks during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on June 8, 2022. (Photo: Jason Andrew/ Pool/ AFP via Getty Images)

WATCH: Uvalde Pediatrician Who Witnessed 'Carnage' Begs Lawmakers to Act on Gun Control

"In this case, you are the doctors and our country is the patient," Dr. Roy Guerrerro said during his graphic, emotional congressional testimony. "We are lying on the operating table, riddled with bullets like the children of Robb Elementary and so many other schools."

Brett Wilkins

A local pediatrician who rushed to Uvalde Memorial Hospital after the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Texas last month testified Wednesday during a congressional hearing on gun violence.

"The thing I can't figure out is whether our politicians are failing us out of stubbornness, passivity, or both."

"I was called here today as a witness," Dr. Roy Guerrero told members of the House Oversight Committee. "But I showed up because I am a doctor. Because... many years ago I swore an oath—an oath to do no harm."

"After witnessing first-hand the carnage in my hometown of Uvalde, to stay silent would have betrayed that oath," said Guerrero, a Robb Elementary alumnus.

The physician recounted how the day "started like any typical Tuesday" at his pediatric clinic until half past noon, "when business as usual stopped and with it my heart."

"I raced to the hospital to find parents outside yelling children's names in desperation and sobbing as they begged for any news related to their child," he said. "Those mother's cries I will never get out of my head."

"As I entered the chaos of the ER, the first casualty I came across was Miah Cerrillo," recalled Guerrero. "She was sitting in the hallway. Her face was still, still clearly in shock, but her whole body was shaking from the adrenaline coursing through it. The white Lilo and Stitch shirt she wore was covered in blood and her shoulder was bleeding from a shrapnel injury."

Cerrillo, who also testified at the hearing, was a lucky survivor. Guerrero said he next saw "two children whose bodies had been so pulverized by the bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been so ripped apart, that the only clue as to their identities was the blood-spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them."

Guerrero continued:

I'll tell you why I became a pediatrician. Because I knew that children were the best patients. They accept the situation as it's explained to them. You don't have to coax them into changing their lifestyles in order to get better or plead [with] them to modify their behavior as you do with adults. No matter how hard you try to help an adult, their path to healing is always determined by how willing they are to take action. Adults are stubborn. We're resistant to change even when the change will make things better for ourselves. But especially when we think we're immune to the fallout.
Why else would there have been such little progress made in Congress to stop gun violence?

The thing I can't figure out is whether our politicians are failing us out of stubbornness, passivity, or both.

"I chose to be a pediatrician. I chose to take care of children," said Guerrero. "Keeping them safe from preventable diseases I can do. Keeping them safe from bacteria and brittle bones I can do. But making sure our children are safe from guns, that's the job of our politicians and leaders."

"In this case, you are the doctors and our country is the patient," he continued. "We are lying on the operating table, riddled with bullets like the children of Robb Elementary and so many other schools. We are bleeding out and you are not there."

"My oath as a doctor means that I signed up to save lives," he added. "I do my job. And I guess it turns out that I am here to plead. To beg. To please, please do yours."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo