As you have probably guessed, this story definitely falls into that latter category.
I know I write a lot about gun violence, and it must seem to you that anyone around me can walk into a corner store, buy a gun of his or her choosing, and immediately start firing at everyone and everything for any goddamned reason. The truth is that it isn't nearly as common as I make it sound (fortunately). If it were, it would be like the OK Corral with bullets whizzing around my head constantly (I assume - I wasn't actually there despite how old my children think I am). Luckily reality isn't quite like that and guns aren't that easy to obtain. I just write about those stories more than the 84-year-old who fell off her toilet and bonked her head on the bathtub, because who the hell wants to read about that crap. I just re-read that last sentence and almost deleted it because it's so stupidly boring.
Oh, and before I go on and before anyone starts a pedantic comment regarding the title, I fully realise that "unvaluable" is not a real word. Unfortunately due to a remarkably stupid quirk in the English language, "invaluable" is actually a synonym of "valuable", much like "inflammable" means "flammable". There just is no good antonym. So I made one up. Sue me.
Now where was I? Ah right, guns and valuable lessons. That is where our story starts.
Nancy (not her real name™) was brought to me as a Level 1 (high level) trauma, and unlike many of my Level Ones who are unresponsive because they are drunk, she was a real Level 1.
"Hey Doc, this is Nancy. She's 25, multiple gunshot wounds. We saw one on the right chest, two in the right arm, two in the left wrist, and two in the neck. She's been stable, complaining of right chest pain and shortness of breath."
With all those holes you might expect Nancy to be near death (I certainly did), but she wasn't. Not even close. Sure, she was uncomfortable and unhappy, but her vital signs were fine. My evaluation (read: where I found holes) was consistent with what the medics had told us:
- Right chest
- Right upper back
- Right upper arm (2)
- Left wrist (2)
- Back of neck (2)
A quick examination of the neck (since that seemed the most immediately life-threatening injury) revealed it was a simple graze wound somehow. Lucky girl. An X-ray of all the other various Parts With Holes showed no fractures in the wrist or the arm (LUCKY GIRL), but she did have a few broken ribs and a haemothorax (blood in the right chest). A simple chest tube and some pain medicine should suffice, and she would most certainly live to tell her tale.
Which left only her tale. What made someone shoot this young lady four times? What had she done to deserve this?
Nothing, it turns out. It was her boyfriend Will (not his real name™) who has caused this.
The police told me later that Will had wanted a gun, but instead of figuring out which hoops to jump through to buy one legally, he decided to buy one from Some Guy With Guns In His Car. I don't think Some Guy With Guns has a permit, but that didn't stop Will. Oh no, not at all.
But Will had another problem. In addition to a severe shortage of guns in his possession, he also had no money. Most idiots who want to buy a gun illegally but have at least half a functional brain would probably find some just-as-illegal way to find some money, and that's exactly what Will did. Sort of. Will did acquire some money illegally, but that illegal money he illegally obtained in order to acquire his illegal gun illegally was counterfeit.
You probably see where this story is going.
Will drove with Nancy to buy his gun and gave his funny money to Some Guy With Guns In His Car. Unfortunately (and despite his choice of occupations) Some Guy was somehow bright enough to recognise the fake bills. Even more unfortunately Will hadn't foreseen the very slight problem with trying to trick a guy with guns: THE OTHER GUY HAS GUNS. So Some Guy did the only logical thing for a guy in his position: he used the gun on Will, who did not survive long enough to earn a trip to my trauma bay. He then used it on Nancy, who did.
|WE AIN'T FOUND SHIT!|
I somehow wonder why Aesop never wrote a fable about that little moral.
P.S. For any of you playing on the last post, the correct answer (not counting duplicates) was 20.