Don’t Go Off Half-Cocked

228

Don’t denigrate the humble Hi-Point pistol. That gun is both cheap and ugly, but it shoots straight and is as reliable as the big guys’ iron.

As a young man, I admit to having harbored a fairly stylized mental image of criminals. My vision of the typical run-of-the-mill burglar was a scruffy-looking middle-aged white man sporting a few days’ worth of stubble and wearing a black beret, a striped shirt and a mask. I’ve never admitted this to anyone, but I actually slept with a GI-surplus practice grenade under my pillow when I was a wee tot, just in case I met that guy unexpectedly in the middle of the night. I’m not sure how that would have worked exactly, but I was obviously too young for guns. There’s no telling what that says about my psyche, but I do suspect a psychotherapist could take that and run with it. And then I grew up, worked in a busy inner-city emergency room, and met a few real thugs.

I still held some unrealistic preconceptions. Criminals seem to do their best work at night, so they obviously sleep in. I imagined that they might roll out of the rack late in the morning and grab a shower and some brunch before striking out on their missions of chaos and mayhem. I figured their moms fixed them a bag lunch and launched them off with the admonishment, “Have a great day, honey. I hope you have a good time raping and thieving. Take care you don’t shoot yourself in the crotch!” One guy I met wishes he had heeded that warning.

The Players

Our hero was an unlicensed amateur pharmacist, a drug dealer in the vulgar tongue. Think back to your experiences watching “Miami Vice” when you were a kid. He was nothing like that. Real drug dealers, in my experience, are not rich, cool, or even clean. This guy was pretty nasty.

Like most of his compatriots, this dude had grown up with a dearth of role models. He likely didn’t know anybody who knew anybody who actually got up every morning, put on a necktie, and went to work in an office. Most of them were raised by hopelessly overworked grandmothers with no resources.

These were the days before fentanyl, snappers, wicked X, cat valium and crank. This guy’s bread and butter was good old-fashioned crack. He spent his days ruining lives one rock at a time. Lamentably, he had plenty of competition.

Things Get Real

He got sideways with a competitor over turf, the affections of some fair lass, or something comparably critical, and both men slapped leather. This guy couldn’t be bothered with a holster, so he just packed his cheap heater stuffed into his low-slung pants. As he drew his stolen 9mm Hi-Point from its appendix carry position, his finger accidentally stroked the trigger.

Folks will denigrate the Hi-Point pistol. I actually own one. I bought it for $46 at a law enforcement auction without a magazine. Sourcing the magazine accounted for a substantial fraction of the gun’s purchase price. That thing is as ugly as a transgender Airborne Ranger. The trigger is as creepy as Joe Biden at a Girl Scout jamboree. However, it shoots every single time you squeeze the trigger. This unfortunate slob had used his to centerpunch his shlong.

His opponent figured he’d made his point and left the poor man to die in peace. Our hero arrived at the emergency room via ambulance with a pressure dressing on his groin. As you might imagine, he was in quite a sordid state. When I first peeled that bad boy back, it was all I could do not to gasp.

Apparently, they don’t teach a lot of gun safety in drug dealer school.

Questioning One’s Career Choices

I got into medicine for the glamour. You know … the groupies, the shaving cream ads, the unfettered adoration of a grateful public. I’m kidding. Emergency medicine in the inner city is the absolute hands-down nastiest job in the world.

Anyway, I did a good assessment and ensured the guy wasn’t going to bleed to death acutely. I then consulted the urology residents to come meet their new play date. They got a great case out of it.

Proper thuggery is a dangerous profession. A lot of the serious players were familiar faces in the ER. I saw this guy maybe nine months later and reintroduced myself. He recognized me. When I asked how he was doing, he whipped out his manhood to show it off. The wound had healed nicely, but now his member shot off at a cocky angle amidships. He smiled and claimed it made him all the more popular with the ladies. Variety is indeed the spice of life, I suppose.

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