Hospital Shooting: A Blow to Gun Control Advocates


The Associated Press reported that on Thursday, Richard Plotts, 49, kept an appointment with his psychiatrist, Dr. Lee Silverman, at a psychiatric crisis center across from Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA. Plotts was accompanied by Theresa Hunt, 53, of Philadelphia who was a case worker for Dr. Silverman. Accounts from police revealed that once Plotts and Hunt arrived at Silverman’s office, he allegedly shot and killed Hunt after an argument with Silverman ensued. Plotts then turned the gun towards Silverman which prompted him to draw his firearm and defend himself. Pro-gun rights supporters view Silverman’s use of a legally possessed handgun to engage the shooting suspect in self-defense and in the defense of other hospital employees and patients, as a blow to arguments made by gun control advocates.

Reports suggest that the motivation for the shooting was Plotts’ anger over hospital signs declaring it a gun-free zone. Police say that after Plotts twice shot Hunt in the head at point-blank range, Silverman dropped to the floor and took a handgun which he had in his pocket, and engaged Plotts in a close-quarters exchange of gunfire. Plotts was struck twice in the upper body and once in the leg by shots fired by Silverman before the doctor’s .32 caliber handgun was empty. During the gun battle, Silverman was grazed in the head and thumb by two of Plotts’ bullets.

According to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan, another case worker, John D’Alonzo, heard shots being fired from Sliverman’s office and called 911. He then made his way into the office where he believed the wounded gunman was attempting to reload his weapon. D’Alonzo succeeded in wrestling Plotts revolver away from him. Investigation at the scene disclosed that Plotts had another 39 rounds of ammunition in his possession. Whelan’s belief is that Plotts intended to use them. Whelan also stated that Silverman’s action against the armed assailant likely saved his life and the lives of others at the hospital in spite of regulations that prohibit firearms on the premises.

Parties on both sides of the anti-gun debate are weighing in on the Darby PA hospital shooting with Second Amendment supporters calling it a blow to gun control advocates. While on the other side, those who call for strict gun control claim the Darby scenario is extremely rare and insufficient to offset any pro-gun control argument. Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital has yet to make any statements regarding Silverman’s violation of the hospital’s no-guns policy. Donald Molineaux, Yeadon Police Chief, said that Silverman was acting in self-defense and further characterized the doctor as a hero. FOX News reported that any criminal charges against Silverman were unlikely and it is yet unclear if Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital plans to take any administrative action against the doctor for violating their strict policy.

Further complicating the issue of gun control versus gun rights is the occurrence of recidivism in violent offenders who are released from incarceration to commit more violent crime. It is reported that Plotts has a criminal record and is a convicted violent felon. There are also reports of media bias in the amount of coverage pro-gun control stories receive as opposed to the amount of coverage pro-gun stories get. One such report noted that the major networks covering the shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital could not air the story for more than 43 seconds. Conversely, pro-gun control stories typically receive up to eight times more coverage. Pro-gun rights supporters say that the shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby represents a perfect scenario for supporters of the Second Amendment and issues a blow to those who advocate stricter gun control laws.

By Mark Politi

Syracuse News
ABC News
ABC News 2
Daily Times
Trib Live
WSB TV Atlanta
FOX News
The Inquirer

8 Responses to "Hospital Shooting: A Blow to Gun Control Advocates"

  1. Hexaflouride   August 3, 2014 at 7:42 am

    @thebronze “…whole of NOTHING.”

    Typical regressive can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Here’s another item that the regressives wish to sweep under the rug: Their own excutive order driven study of Defensive Gun Use (DGU) by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

    The $10 million study was commissioned by President Barack Obama as part of 23 executive orders he signed in January 2013. The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council released the results of their research through the CDC in May 2013.

    Researchers compiled data from previous studies in order to guide future research on gun violence, noting that “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year”.

    Thus, the NRA estimateof yearly DGU (between 2 and 2.5 million). while on the high end, is not out of line and actual DGU may even be higher.

  2. thebronze (@thebronze)   July 30, 2014 at 12:18 am

    This “article” said a whole of NOTHING.

  3. Katie   July 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

    Typical that it was a “gun-free zone.” Guess what? I IGNORE those silly signs … simply because there ain’t a criminal in this country who would obey them. It’s open season for them.

  4. bobowensbearingarms   July 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Actually, Mercy noted on their Facebook page that they looked forward to having Dr. Silverman back at work soon, which means they do not intend to fire him.

  5. james e   July 28, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I love how when people ignore the no gun signs then all of a sudden the anti-gunners say this is extremely rare. If it was anywhere else they would say, “it happens all the time!”

  6. Mark Politi   July 28, 2014 at 6:54 am

    In today’s upside down twisted world, it would not surprise me in the least to see the hospital discipline the doctor and the suspect bring a civil suit against him for damages. Yes, the world needs psychiatric help.

  7. Sp60   July 28, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Just another case of a ‘good guy with a gun’ stopping an attack. If they had to wait for police, those 39 bullets wouldn’t have stayed in the killers pocket.

  8. Ronald73   July 27, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    “FOX News reported that any criminal charges against Silverman were unlikely and it is yet unclear if Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital plans to take any administrative action against the doctor for violating their strict policy.”
    Dr. Silverman would certainly be justified if he took action against the hospital for having a “no guns” policy but not enforcing it. Their policy resulted in the death of caseworker Hunt and almost cost Dr. Silverman his life.


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