Doctor: City Is 'Awash In Guns'

doctor gun control
On the streets of Brooklyn, New York Tuesday morning, there were islands of sorrow in a sea of blue.

By all accounts, Officer Dillon Stewart was a good cop. Married, two kids, 35-years old. Police say he was gunned down by a three-time loser who was toting a stolen gun.

CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts reports that for Dr. Robert Kurtz, it was one shooting too many.

"As a trauma surgeon I have to unburden myself," he says. "This country and this city are awash in guns."

A rare burst of personal frustration by a physician paid to keep his emotions under control — and his opinions to himself.

But Dr. Kurtz says the more he sees, the harder that is to do.

Kings County Hospital is one of the busiest trauma centers in America. An average one gun shot victim is treated here every day.

The night officer Stewart was shot, there were three other shootings. One victim was 18 years old.

"His heart stopped," Dr. Kurtz says. "We rushed him into the emergency room."

With some 38 million guns in America, Dr. Kurtz has become a gun control advocate.

Some people might hear his passion and say he's a New York bleeding-heart liberal.

"You know, I know how to deal with bleeding hearts, I sew them up. I don't have one myself," says Dr. Kurtz. "I want to keep people alive and I want to keep them from coming to me with holes in their heart and holes in other parts of their bodies. Whether you call that liberal or conservative, I don't know and I really don't care."

On the night officer Stewart died, Dr. Kurtz literally held the cop's heart in his hands. For five hours, a team of physicians worked to save his life.

Dr. Kurtz didn't know what to say to Stewart's wife at the end.

"You know, I felt like putting my arm around her and hugging her. I didn't do it, but that's what I wanted to do," Dr. Kurtz says. "I had blood on my coat at that point."

Dr. Kurtz was one of the thousands who attended Officer Stewart's wake. Gun violence, he says, is like a disease — once life is taken, countless more torn apart — generation after generation.