The death count in the Santa Clarita school shooting is now at two:
A 16-year-old student pulled a gun from his backpack and opened fire on classmates at a high school north of Los Angeles on Thursday morning, striking five people before turning the gun on himself, law enforcement authorities said. Two students, a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, died at a hospital.
Emma González, one of the Parkland students who helped form March for Our Lives, tweeted a link to this article in the New England Journal of Medicine this morning:
At the end of an inconspicuous hallway and strategically placed far from the controlled chaos of the trauma room lies a dimly lit waiting area that we in the medical field call “the quiet room.” It is a bland spot; a few soft chairs surround a table that holds a box of crisp institutional tissues. There may be a picture or two on the wall, but generally it is an unassuming room where we physicians tell mothers about the deaths of their children, far too often because of firearm violence.
As we make our way to this room, we recite a careful script; we use words intended to ease this painful first-and-only meeting. The reality is that over the years, we have found that there is no good way to tell a mother that her child has died, especially when the unexpected death might have been avoidable.
We introduce ourselves as the doctor who took care of their child. We take a deep breath, look into their eyes, and quickly break the devastating news — there is no reason to delay. What follows is the visceral, piercing shriek of a mother’s wailing, “Please God, not my baby!” We often weep with these mothers, we sometimes quietly blame ourselves for not being able to do more to save their baby’s life — and when they are alone, as is often the case, we hold them up while they cry.
Two children died today, but hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives were affected, including the paramedics, doctors, nurses and techs who tried to save those kids, and all the other people who knew them.