Over the past two weeks there have been three mass shootings that were covered by the media in the US, first in Gilroy, CA, second in El Paso, TX and in less than 13 hours in Dayton, OH.
I am not writing about gun control, background checks, the second amendment, mental health issues or any other issue that comes up when there is a shooting that involves large groups of people. What I am going to write about is the people that were killed or injured as of the result of someone firing a weapon (be it handgun, rifle, or assault rifle) into large groups of people.
First this is about that person who was killed, second the person who was shot and may have survived or not and third the person who was injured due to the mayhem that was created because of the shooting and the aftermath that surrounds the family and society.
First the person who was shot and killed. More than likely they did not know what hit them, hopefully death was quick, and they did not lay there and suffer before death took them before help could arrive. The family will suffer many months and years to come.
In El Paso a man was killed trying to shield his wife and baby from the gun fire, unfortunately he could not save himself or his wife, but between them, they were able to protect the baby. Now the families of that baby will have to mourn the loss of a son and daughter and come to terms with their deaths. Someone, either the Grandparents, or the parent’s siblings will have to raise the child.
There are some things that need to be considered at this point. Who is paying for the burial expenses of the Mother and Father? It probably is not the shooter; he probably does not have any money anyway. Will it be the State, County or City? How long will they squabble over who’s jurisdiction it is and how much are they willing to pay for each burial, if they do decide to cover the expenses? Remember there are 22 people in El Paso, 9 in Dayton and 3 in Gilroy who are dead. Or is it the families responsibility to foot the bill to bury their family members, think about the injustice of that. First you lose someone from your family through no fault of their own and by the misconduct of someone else and then the family gets stuck with the bill.
Remember that baby? Someone will take the responsibility to care and raise him or her. But raising a child is not cheap. Will they be able to apply for Social Security on the parents account? How about the medical expenses? Who covers those expenses while the child is growing up, Medicare/Medicaid? If Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid covers these expenses of this one child, what about all the other children who lost a parent? That is a major burden to be placed on society because someone decided to go out and kill people that do not look or speak like him.
Second let us look at the person who did survive the gun shot. The cost of transport by ambulance, triage by the EMT’s and hospital staff in the ER, the operating room and staff, the doctors, the hospital room and staff to care for them, this is thousands of dollars of expense. Then there is the after-hospital recovery, be it at home or in a rehab facility and then home, along with the physical therapy, thousands of dollars more. What if the injuries are so bad that they will be affected by the aftermath for years and cannot go back to the work they once did, can they be retrained for a new career? While they are in the hospital who is paying for the rent and utilities of their home or apartment and the care of the family (such as groceries) during the recovery period? If they are retrained in a new career will they be able to maintain the lifestyle that was theirs before the disruption in their lives?
Now who picks up these expenses: The insurance companies. If so Who’s insurance: It would not be fair to require the injured party’s insurance company to pick up the tab and they are still required to pay the premiums. Or does it come back on society? What happens if the injured party is brought to the hospital treated (surgery) and still succumbs to their injuries? Does the hospital write off the costs, does the insurance company get billed or does the family get billed for the care? These services are not free, and somebody is going to pay and my bet is that it will be us.
Now for the third person in our scenario – YOU. You are going about your business just like everyone else, only you are lucky enough not to catch a bullet that is flying around. You can run, and you take off. Because of the mayhem, people are running in all different directions, they are just looking for a place to escape and get the hell out. While running someone trips and falls and you get tripped up also. At first, because of the confusion and mayhem, you do not realize that you too are injured. It may be just a sprain, a broken bone, or just skinned up due to sliding across the concrete.. You, if you can, take yourself to the hospital or you are transported by someone else. You are treated by the staff at the hospital and released. Who is going to pay your bill? Who is going to take care of you and you family if you cannot work because of the broken bone?
There is one more aspect that I have not covered in this article and that is the mental status of all these people. The family who’s loved one is killed, the person that is shot and recovers, the person who is injured and treated and released and all those who were there and were not injured physically but are suffering from PTSD. I pray that all of them can get the care they need, not just the medical but the mental health service for all of them to recover.
These are questions that have been going through my mind. I have asked several people these questions and they did not have any answers either. We will probably never know how our neighbors are taken care of financially, and physically. We just pray that we will never have to find out.