Rochester, N.Y. – In his 20 years as a Rochester neurosurgeon, Dr. Paul Maurer has operated on countless shooting victims, including Officer Anthony DiPonzio.
“I’ve seen my share of carnage, so I know the receiving end of what a bullet does,” he said.
One might think seeing the devastating consequences of gun violence would make Dr. Maurer an advocate of gun control. Instead, he’s a passionate supporter of the right to bear arms.
“I’m a believer in the Second Amendment and I think it’s an important part of the republic,” Dr. Maurer said. “I think it was an important founding principal and I think it’s once we should be very cautious about surrendering.”
He spoke publicly about his views for the first time this week at a Monroe County Legislature meeting Tuesday night. The Republican majority voted to oppose the state’s new gun control law, NY SAFE. Dr. Maurer doesn’t think the state law will dent gun violence.
“Go after the root cause of the crime,” said Dr. Maurer. “Let’s not make believe we can polish this up, cover this up, with a one-night bill that we passed in the dark of night and now we’re on our way to utopia. I think it’s a political gesture.”
Dr. Maurer first became familiar with guns during his service in the Army in Operation Desert Storm. He said he doesn’t have the solution to firearm violence, but said gun laws must be based on data. He urged the government to study the problem.
“In medicine, when you give someone a treatment that you know in your heart won’t work, but you’re doing something out of frustration, it’s worse than doing nothing, because you’ve made believe you did something,” he said. “I think that’s where we are with violence in this culture.”