I recently read an online article in The Atlantic magazine written by a medical doctor who cared for patients from the Parkland shooting. As a radiologist she compared the characteristics of wounds from a handgun injury to those that the AR15 semi-automatic rifle inflicted on the students.

In a CT scan a typical handgun injury shows a straight path through the body with entry and exit wounds about the size of the bullet. The wound from the handgun very likely can be repaired if the bullet does not hit the heart or a major artery and the patient gets to the hospital.

However, according to the article: “A typical AR-15 bullet leaves the barrel traveling almost three times faster than – and imparting three times the energy of – a typical 9mm bullet from a handgun.” A high velocity bullet from an AR-15 essentially shreds tissue several inches from its paths and makes an exit wound the size of an orange or a softball. The catastrophic destruction from the AR15 leaves nothing to be repaired and is lethal. The high capacity magazines allow delivery of multiple wounds.

Even though a trauma physician was at Parkland as victims were carried out by first responders, nothing could be done at the scene for the students who were shot. Most of them died on the spot. Even if they made it to the trauma center their injuries proved to be fatal.

There is no reason for such killing machines to be in the hands of civilians. The right to life supersedes the right to own high-velocity weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Elizabeth Welch, Niceville