Don’t Cry, Your Son is Just a Statistic

 

Sure, Parkland marks another tragedy in an all too common story.firearm-handgun-revolver-gun-53351.jpeg

At least they’re not people I know.

Thank goodness this didn’t happen in my community.

This is America; it’s just who we are.

After all, this is 2018’s school shooting number seven, right?

The 24-hour news cycle is going to have to come up with something a little more interesting than 17 homicides and 14 injured to hold our attention.

Callous? Could be, but I’m an Emergency Room nurse and I work in one of my city’s busiest trauma centers; I see this every day. Cumulatively, our annual numbers for gun injury victims far exceed all school shootings.  I took care of six shot kids on two back-to-back shifts just last week. In the end, like many cases in my 25 years of nursing, this wasn’t that newsworthy.

The facts are just the facts:

They’re black

They’re teenagers

They’re inner-city.

Don’t be shocked by my bluntness! You probably read about similar victims where you live and didn’t blink an eye!

I don’t even know why I bringing this up. Then again, it’s probably because it’s not easy doing this over and over and over.

Do you have any idea what it’s like have kids beg you not to let them die?

Have you ever faced grief stricken parents and grandparents to tell them their son isn’t coming home.

Have you ever been accused of not trying “hard enough” or asked,“Why did you let him die?”

But hey – reality check — there’s no time to dwell on this. I’ve got a job to do.

I just roll them to an operating room. Push them up and out then haul my butt back to the trauma bay.  The next police drop off (penetrating trauma victims brought by police) is just around the corner and like I said, I got a job to do.

I’m just being truthful here.

It’s Olympic time and my city is going for gold. Our category — aggravated assault with a gun. 237 victims by week six of the 2018  Crime Stats Report for my town means we’re up YTD by 3% from 2017. The good news though? — the murder rate is down!

You know why?

It’s the police and fire-rescue services — They get them to us so fast! Add to that the proliferation of guns, propensities for violence and the disparity between those that have to those that don’t. Efficiency, volume and experience is just making our team great at something society shouldn’t need!

 

The news only goes from bad to worse — the report finds a 500% increase in homicide in the past 28 days when compared to the prior 28 days. Maybe my city is just a tough town in winter; these are probably just seasonal blips. Right?

Politicos tried to pass gun legislation but, you got to keep your hands off my bump-stocked AR-15! That’s my Constitutional Right #2! Putting the brakes on selling guns to criminals and delaying gun buys until that background check gets in might work. Then I’m reminded that those “thugs” aren’t shopping at Jim Bob’s Gun N’ Game. There’s no background check on the street.

You got cash? Then you can carry!

Others have tried to show us the money – “Firearm related injuries result in an annual financial burden of approximately $2.8 billion in ED [Emergency Department] and inpatient charges“.

But who’s burden?

I don’t have that kind of cash and frankly, my salary is probably tied into that figure. I should just shut up! There’s nothing to do except numbly watch the numbers climb.

Then again…

What if we woke up and realized this is happening to our people AND in our community AND in our country!

Doesn’t being American mean you pull together and do the right thing? 

United, could we become indivisible from each another? Might we seek liberty AND justice for all? Would we truly become a people of Brotherly Love?

Anyway, I’d go on but the Trauma System just got activated, “Victim of gunshot wounds, Male, 19, No Vitals”.

Don’t you worry though — you won’t have to read about this guy either.

He’s just another statistic for week seven’s report.

 

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