On Thursday afternoon, T was shot.
By a gun.
Not a water gun.
A .45, with a hollow point bullet.
He was in the car with his best friend, J. J buys and trades firearms. He is reasonably intelligent and safe, but on Thursday something went wrong. While he was inspecting this particular firearm that (as I understand it) he'd just bought, checking the slide, the firearm...well...fired. That was unexpected. It should have been empty. Who sells a loaded weapon? And then doesn't tell the buyer it's loaded?
The bullet was one of the particularly horrid sort, a hollow point, designed to do as much damage as it can while it tears through flesh.
In T's case, it went into his abdomen, in one side and out the other. Because of the very close range, it didn't have a chance to blossom into the little nugget of destruction it was designed to be. Because it rocketed through soft tissue, it did relatively little damage, all things considered.
T took a helicopter ride to a level 1 trauma center and had some surgery performed on him.
There may be some long term repercussions - he lost some...er...to put it delicately...innards...and there's a concern of infection, but overall things are nowhere near as devastating as they could have been, and for that we are grateful.
So this happened on Thursday, as I was at Mum's sort of keeping her company and cooking dinner - she broke her leg on Monday and has been subsisting on soup and yoghurt, a home cooked meal was in order. I received the call as I was slathering butter on the chickens I planned to roast. My hands were all buttery and I almost didn't answer my phone, but a call from my sister-out-law is unusual so I picked up, butter and all.
I didn't immediately drive down - to what purpose? He would be out cold for a while, and there were already people there with him, people who love him and would let me know if there really was a need to go NOW. I didn't tell The Evil Genius about his father, because why let him worry all night? We would go the next day, Friday, and I would let him know what happened while we were driving. Had things gone bad, I would have told him what was up and driven us down to the trauma center, but they didn't.
With luck, T will be out of the SICU today, and perhaps out of the hospital next week. The Evil Genius and I went to see him yesterday and will try to go again tomorrow if I can find a sitter for Sprout.
I wouldn't be me if I didn't turn this into a teachable moment.
So, on the way to see T, the Evil Genius and I talked about our "Rules of Guns". These are OUR rules and may not mesh with other peoples' rules, but hopefully they will stick with him and save him experiencing what T and his friend J are experiencing now.
Guns are not toys.
Always maintain your gun.
The gun is always loaded, even when it isn't.
Never point a gun unless you intend to shoot.*
Never shoot unless you shoot to kill.*
Never take a life unless it is to feed your family or in defense of yourself or another.
Always honor the life you take.
My idea of gun control is to be in control of your firearm. I don't like them. I won't use them. I'll cut a bitch, but shoot? No. I won't own one because at best it would gather dust and at worst it would arm an assailant because I wouldn't use it. That said, I don't have anything against anyone else having one if they are safe and sensible with it. I don't blame the hammer for smashing my thumb, I blame my use of it. I feel the same way about firearms - I don't blame the object for the results of its use.
Speaking of blame - I don't blame J for this. Perhaps neither of them were as cautious as they could have been. Certainly the man who handed J a loaded firearm had an obligation to TELL him! Everyone involved will very likely exercise more caution in the future, and life will go on as life does. I am as worried about J as I am T - they'll both have scars after this.
If you'e the praying kind, the blessing kind, then sparing a bit of love, compassion, and healing energy for T would be much appreciated - I'm a damn good witch but I can only do so much.
*Update the first - T is out of the ICU and in a regular room. He is in good spirits. He should recover fully. Tomorrow he may be given his first semi-solid food, mashed potatoes! I'm bringing him some home made chicken broth and some chicken soup, with doctor's permission, later this week.
Update the second - T was rousted by the PT folks yesterday and marched up and down the hall in his terribly fashionable open-backed hospital gown. Alas, I was not there to take photographs with which to blackmail him later.
Update the third - T is out of the hospital and heading home for the remainder of his recovery, woot!!!
*I was recently mocked for this because what about cleaning or target shooting? "Oh, well, I guess I have to kill someone every time I pick up my gun!" You know what? Laugh. That kind of foolery is what gets people killed, because it makes it easy to dismiss safety and responsibility. As far as I'm concerned, guns aren't funny. If you can't follow a few simple safety guidelines, I'm not sure I want you in my home or if I want to be in yours. Fuck me for NOT wanting me or my children to be part of a horrid statistic.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.