This spring at the local grocery store checkout was a picture of Montana Highway Patrolman Wade Palmer, who was shot on duty. One had the option to donate for a state employee’s medical expenses.

Recently I read that Palmer has returned from Salt Lake City from his treatment. Although I am thankful for his service and his recovery, and people’s generosity, perhaps with a different healthcare system I would not need to see a poster asking for donation.

A true nightmare of medical expenses occurred in the October 2017 mass shooting in Los Vegas. There were 460 shooting victims with over 500 gunshot wounds. Many of the victims, particularly not from the area, have found extreme problems in getting compensation for medical bills. Even those with good coverage have many hoops to jump through. A hospital stay with a gunshot wound costs an average of $95,887.

Something has to change, and personal responsibility needs to be reassigned. Medicare for All would be a good first step. If it must be that all firearms are an essential fiber in our society’s fabric, a realization must be made that with rights come responsibilities. There are some free lunches right now.

Erwin Curry,


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