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My Mother Was a Good Gal with A Gun

by A.W. Naves 5 months ago in defense
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But the only person she ever shot was my father

My Mother Was a Good Gal with A Gun
Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The year was 1975. I was in fifth grade. It was a night like any other until my mother woke me in the middle of the night to call an ambulance for my father. He was rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The bullet had pierced his stomach lining and lodged near his spine, requiring major surgery for the organ damage and internal bleeding. My father was well-loved by anyone who knew him, so who would have been so callous as to come into our home and shoot him?

Well, as it turns out, that person was my mother.

Now, let’s back up a bit. There were a number of events that led to what happened that night, but the end result was that my mother, in an attempt to ward off an intruder stealing my father’s plumbing tools from his truck, had gone outside and shot into the air to scare them away.

This woke my father up and he sat up on the edge of the bed which was right inside the door. He asked Mom what she was doing and told her to come back inside. As she did so, she tripped on the small step that led into the bedroom she shared with my father. The gun was jarred loose, hit the floor, and discharged. He was directly in the line of fire. The bullet struck him in the abdomen.

Seeing someone who has been shot is nothing like you see it on television. Dad was conscious and there was hardly any blood at all, just a tiny spot on his pajama top. His only words to my mother upon the discharge of the gun were “you shot me” according to her later recollection. He always was one for understatement.

An ambulance transported him to the hospital and major surgery was performed to stop the internal bleeding and to repair the damage. Doctors had trouble getting him into the operating room as he refused to be put under until the police arrived so he could tell them personally that it was an accident and not to charge my mother. Why? Because I was asleep when it happened, leaving only the two of them as witnesses.

That’s love, folks. He chanced dying in order to make sure Mom would not go to jail. Now, it didn’t mean that during his subsequent weeks in the hospital, he didn’t tell people she shot him without further explanation to embarrass her, but he wasn’t about to let her be punished for what was an accident. I guess he figured he was at least entitled to give her a little bit of crap for the bullet that would remain lodged near his spine for the rest of his life, as the surgeons felt it was too close to attempt its removal.

So, when people talk about the proverbial “good guy with a gun” I think about my mother, a good gal with a gun — who still managed to shoot the wrong person with it. I won’t lecture you on gun control. Instead, I’ll just leave all of you with some statistics from aftermath.com. You can decide for yourself if you are taking the proper measures to protect yourself and your family from an accidental shooting in your home.

  1. Because of the lengthy pandemic lockdown, fatal unintentional shootings were up 43% for March and April alone, compared to the same length of time in the previous two years.
  2. Almost 80% of accidental gun deaths happen in the privacy of the home.
  3. Between 2006 and 2016, nearly 7,000 Americans died from accidental shootings. 2016 alone saw 495 incidents of unintentional deaths from gunshots.

defense

About the author

A.W. Naves

Writer. Author. Alabamian.

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