TINS©, TIWFDASL© in Da City, as a medic. (Kinda where this entire series of stories began, right?) Every night my partner and I would respond to somewhere around 12-20 runs in the course of a twelve hour shift, seven shifts in each two week pay period. Let’s call each typical night 12 runs. It makes the math simpler. Nearly every shift, there’d be one shooting, sometimes we would catch a couple or four shootings, occasionally no one would be shot among our patients.
So, after over 6 1/2 years, back of the envelope math reveals that I responded to something on the order of 14 000 calls, maybe 2 000 shootings. I developed my own opinions on why it is that folks get shot in Da City.
First in the list, most popular, if you have your heart set on being shot, is engaging in the unlicensed retail narcotics trade. If you prefer, in order to accommodate delicate 21st century sensibilities, we can refer to folks so occupied as “Undocumented Pharmacists”. These entrepreneurial souls were commonly among the shoot-ees in my ambulance. As regards their numbers among the shooters, well, I lack direct data, but it seems reasonable to conclude that these folks were not shot by the Amish, nor by employees of competing internet startups; for one thing, there was no internet in these dark times. Rather, it seems likely that the perpetrators of these shootings were attempting to dissuade competitors from marketing in what the shooters thought of as their markets.
Secondly are alcoholics or those who associate commonly with alcoholics. Patient census wise, this was also a “popular” option should one seek to be shot. Well, for certain meanings of “popular”, that is.
Third in line (and likely showing some overlap in our Venn Diagram of morbidity with the first two groups), are those folks who owe some third party sizable amounts of money, and have allowed this third party to have some lack of confidence in either the timeliness of repayment, the completeness of repayment, or some combination of the above. And, I do not mean MasterCard or Quicken Mortgages. They only shoot you in the wallet.
Next up in our list of popular triggers, so to speak, of being shot, is represented by Lotharios who romance somebody, that somebody else believes is THEIR love interest exclusively. That aggrieved somebody else may seek redress ballistically.
Last in measurable terms is the innocent victims of random violence.
An over arching theme among the above, is the report of the shoot-ee, that “There I was, minding my own business, and these two dudes, they shot me for no reason!” This is akin to the classic report by the family of deceased home invaders, immortalized in recent months on television news, as “He dindu nuffin! Ain’t no cause to shoot im! He just breakin in, dat ain’t no deaf penalty crime!” (checked for typos)
Also associated with this is the lament that the decedent was studying to be an aeronautical engineer, transplant surgeon, minister, or was studying music so that, once his rap career was successfully concluded, he could find a second career being a choir director, given his love for choir as a yout.
In summary, may I remind one and all of John Farnam’s dicta, which I repeat to my family ad nauseum. In my iteration, it is referred to as “Avoid the Four Stupids!”, or in more detail: “don’t go to stupid places, at stupid times of day, to do stupid things, with stupid people.” This includes by reference the mantra that “Nothing good happens after midnight!” Mr Farnum’s own formulation reads as follows:
(a) Don’t go to stupid places. (b) Don’t associate with stupid people.
(c) Don’t do stupid things. (d) Be in bed by 10.00pm (your own bed!).
(e) Have a “normal” appearance. (f) Don’t fail the attitude test! (http://defense-training.com/2018/where-is-safety)
(So, I suppose that makes for Six Stupids: “Don’t go to stupid places, at stupid times of day, to do stupid things, with stupid people. Don’t look stupid, don’t act stupid”)