It is horrible and terrible and should not have happened, but it did. We have to look at questions we have looked at before. We claim — all of us at one time or another — that human life is precious, and that its very existence is beyond price, and the quality of such existence is pristinely precious, and then everybody in America has to process this tragedy.
First, let’s take care of the straight medical questions. Congresswoman Giffords is obviously getting the best possible care and the most modern possible care. People have learned a whole lot about injuries to the brain since yours truly hung out in a semi-rural University Medical Center in Northern France. (I cannot believe it was over two decades ago).
The people taking care of her have told USA Today the basics, so I can only recapitulate.The shot was made at point blank range, estimated by some as 3 or 4 feet. The bullet entered the back of her head on the left side, and exited through the front. It is true that the structures controlling heartbeat, breathing, and basic survival are more toward the middle of the brain, or “brain stem.” Things like using the senses to put together images of what a human is dealing with are a bit more superficial. Read more on Left, Right, Jewish, Christian — Arizona Shooting Victims Are More Than Political/Religious Pawns…