DALLAS (CBS11) – Dr. Faisel Qureshi comes home from work every day and counts his blessings.
“My kids are safe,” he said.
As a pediatric trauma surgeon, he treats some of gun violence’s youngest victims.
He’s operated on a 9-month-old who was shot.
“Literally being fed in a high chair and a bullet came through the window. Really??” he said, with an expression of disbelief.
The innocent bystanders are the ones he finds most disturbing.
“Recently, I had a young boy – 14 years old, so the age of my son – he was playing basketball, doing nothing, minding his own business. There was an altercation right next to him. He was shot in the head, and he passed away.”
The hardest part for him, though, is seeing the families’ desperation and grief, often heart-wrenching scenes like the ones witnessed this week in Florida.
“It’s frustrating because that is purely avoidable. Do you know what I mean? If you get in a car wreck, most people don’t cause car wrecks on purpose. But a victim of gun violence? Somebody thought about pulling the trigger,” he said.
Trained to remain objective and keep emotions in check in the operating room, he says doctors are finding their voice outside hospital walls.
“We know we can influence lawmakers and lawmakers have to hear these stories,” he said.
Dr. Qureshi spoke to CBS11 as an individual sharing his person views and not as representative of the hospitals where he works, which asked not to be named in our report.
He belongs to the American Pediatric Surgery Association, which today sent a letter urging members to advocate for change in policy in legislation.
“Access has to be limited… to high caliber weapons, weapons with multiple rounds,” said Qureshi.
“I think the mental health issue needs to be tackled,” he added.
Qureshi says he’d like to see moderate voice and common sense win out.
“The only way lawmakers and legislators will be objective is if they have the data and nobody’s collecting the data on gun violence,” he said.
For the sake of children, he says, it’s time to find a solution.
“Try to find the middle ground and let’s be an adult about this,” he said.