Doctor shoots man who opened fire on hospital staff

I’ve bolded the interesting parts of the story, which is from USA Today.


A psychiatric outpatient opened fire Thursday inside a psychiatrist’s office at a hospital near Philadelphia, killing his caseworker and slightly wounding the doctor, who shot the gunman with his personal firearm, authorities said.

The suspect, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, Pa., was reported in critical condition after the shooting at 2:20 p.m. in an office at the Mercy Wellness Center of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said at an evening news conference.

The unidentified 52-year-old doctor shot Plotts three times and suffered a graze wound when the suspect returned fire, Whelan said at an evening news conference. Two guns were recovered.

[…]Whelan said Plotts, who has a history of unspecified psychiatric problems, and his caseworker arrived at the doctor’s third-floor office about 2 p.m., Whalen said. Soon after, another staffer heard a loud argument and opened the door to find the suspect pointing a gun at the doctor. The worker then closed the door and call 911.

Minutes later, gunfire erupted.

[…]Plotts, described as being in his mid-30s, was in surgery at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. He was shot twice in the torso and once in an arm.

[…]A sign tells visitors to the wellness center to check weapons at the front, a medical technician told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Hospital policy allows only on-duty law enforcement officers to carry weapons on campus, a Mercy Health System spokeswoman told the Associated Press.

So there was a “gun-free zone” sign. That didn’t stop the crazy person from coming in with a gun. And thankfully, it didn’t stop the DOCTOR from having a licensed concealed-carry firearm. But what if the doctor didn’t have a firearm? Well, then he’d be dead. The police would NEVER have got there in time to save him. And who knows how many more people the crazy person would have shot? I think this story shows the reason why law-abiding people need to own and carry firearms. When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

11 thoughts on “Doctor shoots man who opened fire on hospital staff”

  1. Score one for the Second Amendment, although the Hippocratic Oath may have taken a hit. Not that today’s medical practitioners as a whole routinely follow the practice of “doing no harm” anyway.


    1. Are you saying, John, that “first, do no harm” takes moral precedence over saving the lives of others or that the doctor was even practicing “medicine” and under the Oath at the time he pulled his gun?


      1. Not at all WGC. It was a lame attempt at humor. The Hippocratic Oath applies to the gentleman in question as a doctor of medicine, not as an upright citizen defending himself and others.

        The “as a whole” comment was reference to abortionists, suicide doctors, and the like.


        1. Thanks, John. My snark-o-meter is in for service this weekend and I missed that! :-)

          I was looking at the traditional Oath, which, unlike the modern one, includes “no abortions” and it was interesting to see a societal standard being set as well. I think the current Oath pays lip service to that.

          I was having a little trouble with the language in the traditional Oath, and was trying to understand to what extent doctors were morally constrained outside of their medical practice. I couldn’t tell for sure – it seemed like “be a respectable member of the community” stuff. Do you happen to know or even have an educated guess on this?


          1. Honestly, no i don’t. About all I know of the HO is the part you stated, “First, do no harm.” I briefly looked at it earlier but they lost me when they talked about swearing to apollo and what-not lol


  2. Amen! And the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. And the only thing that stops a good guy with a gun (from defending himself and his family) is a liberal (who outlaws guns).


  3. WK, in your opinion, how does the second amendment and related issues pertain to the purpose of your blog, i.e. “integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square”?


      1. Haha, LMAO, WK! Am I allowed to use that acronym on this Christian site?!?

        I might argue that the 2nd Amendment certainly relates directly to the Christian faith, as Christian men, in particular, are called to be protectors, providers, and spiritual leaders. We are called to defend the weak, helpless, powerless.

        Certainly, the “power of the sword” in righteous civil government “to punish those who do evil” is worthy. Whether that is individual defense, civil defense, or military defense, done righteously, it is a good and noble. The fact that this power is sometimes inappropriately used bears no warrant on its moral veracity.

        Let’s face it: conservative or liberal, we all get a warm feeling in our hearts when the weak and defenseless are protected from bullies, murderers, thieves, etc. (This is what makes abortion demonstrably the heinous atrocity of our age.) That warm feeling is universal, even when mis-applied, as when liberals incorrectly argue that the bully (Hamas) is actually the victim (Israel).

        So, the public square aspect of this is twofold: 1. We should encourage the righteous protection, under a Christian view but certainly not under an atheistic one, of the weakest members of our communities, societies, etc. 2. We should condemn those who attempt to eliminate our power to do so, through their efforts at gun control, hand-cuffing our police officers, and cutting defense. (And, it should be noted that the secular empirical data fully supports fewer gun control laws, not more, in terms of reducing violent crimes. As far as the direct correlation between pacifism and human suffering, must I say “Neville Chamberlain” or “Barack Obama” too many times? Are we not, in many ways, living the 1930’s all over again?)

        The reason that the 2nd Amendment is second is to protect the 1st. The reason that it is not lower in priority is because our founders and early leaders did not suffer from living in a post-modern, post-Christian, feminized Amerika.


      2. It seems to me Christians (myself included) are very interested and invested in protecting our second amendment rights, but I’m having a hard time putting into words why that should be so.


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