In 1877, 17-year-old Frank Eaton, aka Pistol Pete (he's the original one), was commissioned as a U.S. marshal. He lived by the gun but died from natural causes after a long, full life at age 97.
Unfortunately, many stories about youngsters and guns don't have happy endings. In 2013, researchers at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that in the U.S., around 7,500 kids a year (more than 20 every day) are hospitalized for gunshot wounds. About 500 die in the hospital.
And there are other ways that guns harm kids. Last month we mentioned how lead-filled dust lingers in the air at many indoor firing ranges, contaminating range workers and visitors, and making them sick. The lead dust also travels home on their skin and clothes, where their children are put at risk for lead poisoning.
That information — and examples of the serious health consequences — comes from an important piece of investigative journalism written by reporters at the Seattle Times. (We originally attributed the material to The Columbian, and want to set the record straight.)
We know it's your right to have a gun, but you and your children also have the right to be safe from gun-inflicted dangers. So, keep ammo and guns in separate, locked locations out of children's reach; warn kids about the dangers of playing with any firearm; and ask your gun range for proof of top-notch sanitation and air filtering, or go elsewhere.
Now we're done shooting our mouths off!
WILD FOR WATERCRESS
Hippocrates (the Greek father of medicine) opened his first hospital in 400 B.C. on the isle of Kos. Watercress was grown in the adjacent springs and was used to treat “blood disorders.” Ancient Persians made sure their armies had a daily serving, and in England the crustless watercress sandwich has been a hallmark of High Tea since 'cress was first cultivated in the 1600s. But here in North America, watercress has been somewhat neglected, until recently, when news hit that it is packed — and we mean packed — with nutrients that fight diseases such as cancer, and are essential for a younger RealAge and loads of energy.
Turns out that, per calorie, watercress delivers the maximum amount of nutrients, earning what the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index considers a perfect 1,000. One cup of watercress contains 4 calories, but delivers 106 percent of your daily value for vitamin K, 21 percent of vitamin A; 24 percent of vitamin C; 4 percent of calcium; 3 percent of potassium; and a touch of several B vitamins, as well as manganese, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.
MATTERS OF THE HEART (AND HEART DISEASE)
In “Bonnie and Clyde,” when the dashingly handsome but sociopathic Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) confessed to Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) that “I'm not much of a loverboy,” he didn't have a clue that erectile dysfunction was an indicator of future heart disease.
A new study from Johns Hopkins' Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease reveals that if you and your doctor think you're heart-healthy (you've got no symptoms of heart disease) but you've got occasional ED, well … take it as an early warning sign that you're building up plaque in your cardiovascular system, and that's why sometimes your arteries are all that's stiffening.
Trouble in your circulatory system that precedes heart disease — increased levels of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries and in the lining of your carotid artery — can increase the risk of ED by 53 percent.
But you don't have to be a Clyde Barrow fugitive from a happy heart, physically or emotionally! If you're “healthy” yet still find that you're dealing with ED, make a pledge to get on a heart- and romance-saving regimen. Your reward (it was $1,500 for Clyde, dead or alive) will be a healthier heart and a much improved love life.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Dr. Michael Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.sharecare.com.