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Good News on Pennsylvania Hospital Shooting

Doctor who saved lives unlikely to be fired, prosecuted.

by
Howard Nemerov

Bio

July 26, 2014 - 7:08 am

Yesterday, the Tatler posted about Dr. Lee Silverman, the psychiatrist at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, who was forced to defend himself against an armed attacker. The outstanding issue was the defender violating hospital policy that required anybody but law enforcement to be disarmed on premises. This is a reasonable concern, considering incidents like the Walgreens pharmacist who likely saved lives by shooting at two armed robbers, and was then fired for violating company policy.

Today, Associated Press reports that the hospital stands behind their heroic doctor:

The hospital said Friday it was thankful for the “brave and difficult action” taken by Silverman and his colleagues. It said he remains a full member of the medical staff and “we look forward to Dr. Silverman’s return to serving patients at our hospital.”

There’s more back story about the attacker, too. He has a “lengthy history of gun arrests, violence and mental health problems.”

[The attacker] also had at least four gun arrests, along with assault and drug charges, according to police and court records. And he has been barred from at least one residential shelter because of his violent history, Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

He had 39 more rounds of ammunition on him when stopped by Dr. Silverman. The attacker had just killed Silverman’s associate and wounded Dr. Silverman, such a clear case of self-defense that local law enforcement was quick to support Silverman’s actions.

“If the doctor did not have a firearm, (and) the doctor did not utilize the firearm, he’d be dead today, and I believe that other people in that facility would also be dead,” [Delaware County District Attorney Jack] Whelan said.

Whelan also stated it was Silverman who was the intended target.

Dr. Silverman deserves our good wishes for a speedy and complete recovery, and hopes that Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital amends its firearms policy to include people like Dr. Silverman, responsible armed citizens who can stop mass murderers before authorities arrive to stabilize the situation.

Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
Top Rated Comments   
Dastardly doctor arming himself for self defense. Shameful. No doubt the shooter went there because of the no firearms policy. Criminals just can't count on citizens obeying the law anymore.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only way to stop an evil man (or terrorist) with a gun is a good man with a gun. When seconds count the police are only minutes away.


12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now, here is the unbelievable story of the day.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
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This story reminded me of a situation that happened a couple of years ago at our local hospital. A woman came in to the ER, the victim of a terrible auto accident. After several hours of surgery she was moved to the ICU, and the prognosis was not good. Her family gathered in the waiting room to await news of her fate. After a couple of hours the doc came out of her room and announced that, despite their best efforts they could not save her from her injuries suffered in the car crash. One of her relatives went to his car and brought back a gun, which he then proceeded to shoot around the ICU. According to the local newspaper, he was just "demonstrating his grief." But according to one of my neighbors who was a nurse in that ICU, he was trying to kill the medical staff because they could not save the woman who was injured in a CAR ACCIDENT. As I understand it, he injured a few staff people, and the entire ICU was on lockdown for several hours, trapping the staff in with the patients, while the HRT "negotiated" with the gunman. Bottom line, it was typical thug behavior by the typical thugs who populate the Atlanta area. If the hospital had not been a "gun-free-zone" maybe someone on the medical staff (or even a security guard) would have been armed and would have taken care of the armed thug so he could never hurt anyone else.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Go on ahead, jump on the Dr. Silverman bandwagon. There's nothing more to glean here now that the Associated Press has presented the narrative. By all means, do not cross reference alternate news sources when the issues are so neatly cut and dried and tied up in a convenient little ideological package for you.

Why pay attention to the unarmed and unlauded caseworker and doctor who wrestled Richard Plotts to the hallway floor and subdued him after Dr. Silverman wounded him from a crouched position behind his desk?

Don't ask why Dr. Silverman anticipated and prepared for gun violence, but didn't have the foresight to coordinate resources for the arrest of a known threat on felony possession. Clinic walls slow errant bullets, don't they?

Why bother with an escalating argument that when overheard, alarmed Dr. Silverman's colleagues enough to intrude on a closed door session?

Do not contemplate Plott's transition from self-directed rage and suicide attempts in 2010 and 2013 to homicidal intent, while under psychiatric care. Dare not think about Plott's history of drug offenses and the potential interactions of black market drugs and drugs with black box warnings, or the apparent lack of drug rehabilitation.

One man wears a white coat and can prescribe drugs and involuntary commitment with a mere 15-minute evaluation. The other bears a scarlet letter diagnosis and an escalating history of criminal offenses. The woman who most directly observed and knew their history of interaction cannot witness from the grave, and wasn't heroic enough to pack heat. Complexity and unintended consequences denied. Case closed.

Return to your regularly scheduled narrative.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a little known fact that 61% of ALL workplace assaults are suffered by healthcare workers -- in other words, more than all other occupations COMBINED (probably excluding policemen), and as reported by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (the guys who pay the worker's comp medical bills).
Any physician who carries is making a very wise decision. The hospital in which I practiced was contracted with the government to provide healthcare to federal and state prisoners from several facilities, and they occupied an entire floor, from which they not infrequently attempted to escape. My medical colleagues were shocked when I pointed out to them that the hospital was probably the most dangerous place they visited regularly, with the possible exception of their local bank.
Personally, I CCWd for several years while in practice, with the tacit acceptance of the hospital CEO, always in condition yellow, and always safely.
Dr. Silverman is not only a hero, he's also a brave man who takes his personal safety and that of others as a citizen's responsibility.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everyone jumped the right way, that's a start.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
arming doc's isn't new. doc holiday was rumored to always carry and was quite a good shot. also, several past presidents had guns at the ready, and many were avid hunters. can you imagine the old press' reaction to a candidate who hunted? oh wait, I believe Sarah Palin's horrible and unfair treatment speaks to that. nothing like professionalism in journalism. if only we we had some.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lesson learned: carry anyway.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
The hospital should not amend the no firearms policy they should eliminate it altogether. Gun free zones and such have proven to be an invitation to massacres by goons with guns instead of civil people with guns!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
I still say this could not have happened. It's impossible propaganda! All my Liberal friends tell me it's just not true that armed Americans can actually SAVE lives. And if the Doctor hadn't been armed he wouldn't have been worried about his job? It's the "bad gun" in the perpetrator's hand that's too blame. Pardon me, while I go make sure my weapons are cleaned and ready. You go Doc. Good luck to you. Get some help with the nightmares you'll be having , but it'll be alright. You didn't just do the "right" thing, you did the "only" thing you could, if you and others were going to survive the day. Fire him? They should make that day an annual party day for Dr. Silverman.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Finally. Some good news. Best wishes to this heroic physician.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but why do we have to be indignant, burning up the phone lines or otherwise showing our disapproval of the elites for the right thing to be done?

If the Hospital management had looked across the fruited plain and not seen (via internet forums) that people supported the doctor, they would have fired him.

If the same forums had not lit up, Sudan would have executed Mariam and Obama and the State Department would have sat on their thumbs.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Ostupid and his buds are always pushing "job training", why did they never get any for him?
He doesn't even spend enough time working at his job to be aware of what's going on.
He learns everything from the news, according to him.
Effing BOZO!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, I think the police said something to the hospital. They seem to be supportive of the good doc.

I imagine all the employees feel the same way, grateful that the doc ignored the gun ban.

Same thing when civil order breaks down. Suddenly the anti-gun crowd is cozying up to the guy with the guns who can protect them.

So now, the question is, do they change the anti-gun policy in the hospital, now that reality has intruded harshly?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're describing the way representative government works. Politicians get blinded by the excitement, power, trappings, etc. Same dynamics may be working here, or perhaps the hospital just decided to do the decent thing, considering the doctor and others would be dead. It's a PR coup for them to support him. Money and popularity are also motivators.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Methinks if the guy with the gun was an orderly, he'd have been s-canned, no matter what.
I suppose if we must have classes of individuals, I'd as soon that doctors were near the top.
Somehow, though, that wasn't the original deal, was it?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are you saying there's 2 justice systems? Why, Rhett, Ah am shocked and appalled, and may have the vapuhs!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dastardly doctor arming himself for self defense. Shameful. No doubt the shooter went there because of the no firearms policy. Criminals just can't count on citizens obeying the law anymore.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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