Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Based on a True Story ... Followed By, The True Story

Diana Barker and her husband used to live in South Africa with their children, but three decades ago, they decided to move from there because of the ever-increasing violence, and they settled in America, in Texas, and became US citizens in 1996. She’s a normal woman, I guess, whose two sons married and now she is a grandmother of four. Diana says, of herself, “I am anybody’s mother and grandmother.”

One day, back in January 2011, Diana and her husband had been to dinner with friends to celebrate a birthday. After the meal, as the couple walked through the parking lot, a man driving his car into the lot dropped a cigarette lighter on the floor and bent down to retrieve it.
His car struck 74-year-old Diana Barker and nearly killed her.

Unconscious, she was taken by ambulance to Houston’s Ben Taub Hospital where she underwent two life-or-death surgeries, and then remained in Intensive Care for two weeks. I mercifully can’t recall those painful two weeks, where my family was constantly scared for my life. Two weeks later, finally stable, she was transferred to the Texas Institute of Research and Rehabilitation where she underwent extensive physical therapy and began to contend with a newly attached colostomy bag.

She endured five major surgeries from January through August 2011, where, in just one procedure, the neurosurgeon attempted to graft the 13” sural nerve from the back of my right leg on to the sciatic nerve, in hopes that she might regain use of a paralyzed left foot and ankle.
Sadly, that surgery wasn’t so successful, and Diana still has no feeling in that foot, and may never walk normally again.

Luckily, if there is luck to be had, the driver of the car that injured Diana was insured to the fullest and all of her medical bills will be …. Wait. What?

That’s not a true story; it veered from the truth right after “One day, back in January 2011, Diana and her husband had been to dinner with friends to celebrate a birthday.” This is what actually happened:

On the night of January 13, 2011, Diana and her husband Paul were celebrating with friends in a restaurant in Kingswood, Texas. A man sitting at a table behind Diana was showing his companion his sable-lined leather jacket and had ‘forgotten’ about the Derringer pistol in the coat pocket; the gun fell out, discharged, and the bullet ripped through Dina Barker’s intestines, damaging her sciatic nerve and lodging itself in her ribcage.

Her husband yelled for help, and Diana’s son, Richard, who was in the bar, ran to help, stopping to take the gun away from the man as he attempted to put it back in his pocket. He told the man to wait for police.

Now, the story of her life for the next seven months, the surgeries, the paralyzed foot, the colostomy bag, well, that’s all true. But it could have been prevented, right? The gun owner should have known better, right?

The District Attorney should have known better. That DA found the gun owner not criminally negligent as there was no ‘intent’ to fire the weapon, though there was gross negligence. He was allowed to leave the courthouse without so much as an admonishment and probably went back to his guns because he did have a legal Texas license to carry a concealed weapon.

Funny, though, or perhaps, ironic, if the man had hit Diana with his car, which he would have been driving with a legal Texas license, and presumably had insurance, all of Diana Barker’s medical bills would have been covered. But, since it was a gun, and there are no such strings attached, well, there is no insurance for Diana to use.

Let me make this queer: the District Attorney got it wrong; there was ‘intent’ because everyone, everyone, who carries a gun intends to use it. Now, clearly, the man didn’t intend to use it in a crowded restaurant, but he carried it with him with the intent to use it if it became necessary.

Also, how is he not responsible for not remembering the gun in his own coat pocket? How does his negligence not make him guilty?

That’s the problem with guns in America; there are no repercussions from even accidental shooting. The shooter in this case received not one whit of punishment or admonishment; he was not told to relinquish his guns because he cannot properly care for, or carry, them. Hell, he can’t even remember where he put it.

I don’t want people’s guns taken away, but I want people held responsible for their actions when gun violence occurs. I want people checked out before they can buy a gun; I want people to have to be licensed before using one — like we do with people and cars — and I want people who own guns to have to carry insurance in case that injure someone with a gun — like we do with people who own cars.

Is that so wrong?

10 comments:

the dogs' mother said...

Agreed!

anne marie in philly said...

that poor woman! mr. gun owner should be FORCED to pay for her medical care; if it were not for his stupidity, she would not be in a living hell.

mrs.missalaineus said...

i agree


xxalainaxx

S'A said...

I concur, 100%.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I agree with you completely... except at this point I DO want people's guns taken away.

I can't believe that gun owner wasn't held responsible and didn't have to at least cover all medical expenses. How could this possibly NOT be his responsibility!?!

Guns don't kill people. Stupid people with guns kill people.

Frank said...

Makes absolute sense to me. Let cops ask for license, registration, insurance whenever a gun is involved in an incident; expensive insurance coverage would preclude many from owning guns BUT I doubt you could find an insurance company willing to insure a gun owner for liability. They are no fools: payouts would bankrupt them.

This gun toting idiot should pay every medical bill till he is bankrupt himself.

www.DiatribesAndOvations.com said...

This is an excellent post and I could not agree with you more. Anyone who carries a weapon, clearly, does so with the intent to use it. (How someone rises to the rank of District Attorney without coming to this conclusion boggles my mind.) Of course, Texas appears to be the land of "Shoot First and Think Later If Ever".

If this woman and her family, and others like her, can't hold the gun's owner accountable pressure should be put on the restaurant, the gun's manufacturer, the company that makes the bullets, and the designer who created a coat with a pocket that won't safely hold a gun. Eventually, logic will point the blame at the idiot who brings a loaded gun into a restaurant, drops it and shoots the lady at the next table.

www.DiatribesAndOvations.com said...

This is an excellent post and I could not agree with you more. Anyone who carries a weapon, clearly, does so with the intent to use it. (How someone rises to the rank of District Attorney without coming to this conclusion boggles my mind.) Of course, Texas appears to be the land of "Shoot First and Think Later If Ever".

If this woman and her family, and others like her, can't hold the gun's owner accountable pressure should be put on the restaurant, the gun's manufacturer, the company that makes the bullets, and the designer who created a coat with a pocket that won't safely hold a gun. Eventually, logic will point the blame at the idiot who brings a loaded gun into a restaurant, drops it and shoots the lady at the next table.

Helen Lashbrook said...

You don't have to have insurance when you carry a gun?

designing wally said...

Nice post Bob.