I Am Not Afraid of Getting Shot

Look, maybe I’m just desensitized.

Mabye I’ve just seen too many movies and too many crime-related TV shows and watched too many graphic cable news reports from violent parts of the world. Maybe I’ve just been shown how medical science can fix just about any serious wound on shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy that I rarely worry about getting injured and not being able to be mended in a quick-like fashion.

Maybe that’s why I’m not afraid of getting shot.

If you’re like me, you’ve learned from watching the mainstream media that most bullets miss the major organs completely. I mean, there are guys walking around with crossbow arrows still lodged in their brain (having missed “the major organs” once again) and how many times do you see people limping around holding their shoulder where a bullet passed through one side and out the other? How many of us have learned that the quick-fix solution to a bullet wound is to simply apply pressure on said bullet wound and wait for the cavalry to come calling?

How many of us are more scared of food poisoning than getting shot?

Recent polls taken by groups with unmemorable corporate names not worth mentioning here have talked to a group of over 1,000 Americans asking them what they’re most afraid of. Choices on the list involved getting arrested, getting food poisoning, having someone break into their home, being given a sexually transmitted disease, losing a limb in a tragic vending machine toppling accident and getting shot with a real-life, speedy-painful bullet. Can you guess which choice was lowest on that list as the one thing people were the least fearful of?

Yes. You guessed it. Losing a limb in a tragic vending machine accident.

I guess that’s because a lot of people have seen friends get angry with vending machines, seen them topple over atop said idiotic friends, and read a lot of stories about how when you’re pinned under a vending machine and you may lose a limb by being trapped under said vending machine, that the adrenaline kicks in and you can lift the vending machine off your body much like you can lift a car off a person if you’re feeling heroic, adrenalized and stupid.

But the second least feared item on that list? Getting shot.

While getting burned alive or drowning in a ever-filling room of water is a pro-longed death that no one would ever dream of…getting shot by a bullet is probably one of the most common, least-feared situations to be faced with. As we all know, about 98% of people who are shot by a bullet, end up living to tell the tale. This is primarily due to the fact (and we’re basing this information on a lot of TV watching) that people can shoot to save their life. Do you remember seeing that video on the TV news where the disgruntled client waited outside a courthouse for the lawyer he wanted to kill? And the lawyer sees the guy with the gun and he starts ducking and weaving behind a tiny skinny tree? And the disgruntled client keeps shooting at him over and over again and the lawyer is ducking and weaving and jumping and skipping and this goes on for about five minutes until finally someone tackles the gun-shooting disgruntled client and…

…that pretty much made me unafraid of getting shot.

Because, sure — the lawyer got a few shots, but each bullet missed anything important and the primary reason for the lawyer surviving was (a) luck, (b) people can shoot to save their life, (c) medical science can save you when you’ve been shot by a bullet, and (d) using a tree as a way to block the bullets.

And the world is filled with trees, my friends. The world. Is filled. With trees.

So, combining the fact that the world is filled with trees, that people can shoot to save their life, and that bullets almost always miss the major organs due to some design flaw that no one has really pointed out since bullets were invented, my fear of getting shot is at an all time low when paraded next to things like accidentally falling off a cruise ship, being mauled by angry seals, or finding out someone spit in my food.

But bullets? And getting shot?

This dude can handle it.

8 comments on “I Am Not Afraid of Getting Shot

  1. Amy - December 29, 2006 at 11:26 am -

    Keep moving, Pauly. As long as you’re moving, it’s harder for you to get shot.

  2. Pauly D - December 29, 2006 at 11:28 am -

    Amy – That’s the reason most people die from gun shot wounds. They keep moving. That’s what they think they’re supposed to do. Common knowledge is…if you stand still and let someone shoot you, they’ll almost always miss the major organs.

  3. Jeff - December 29, 2006 at 12:29 pm -

    Yeah, but how do you feel about getting shots?

  4. Pauly D - December 29, 2006 at 12:37 pm -

    Jeff – I absolutely freak out when I have to get shots. And it doesn’t help that nurses tell you to “look away” when they give you the shot. That doesn’t HELP — that makes me even more freaked out.

  5. Daniel - December 29, 2006 at 1:31 pm -

    Yeh well, guns don’t kill people- it’s not the bullets being shot, it’s not even the holes they make; it’s the thing after that.

    Watching a lot of TV. and main stream movies does desensitize one to the concept of violence and the emotional disposition to it

    I think. I mean, I don’t have any stats or anything.


  6. susan - December 29, 2006 at 3:39 pm -

    I love that bullet dodging lawyer! (who probably deserved it) I’m sure I’m at least as fast as him AND I live in a very tree-filled area – I’m all set!

  7. Dave2 - December 29, 2006 at 6:07 pm -

    I’m more afraid of Connie Chung’s singing than I am of getting shot.

    And cauliflower.

    I’m terrified of cauliflower.

  8. Neb Okla - January 2, 2007 at 4:34 pm -

    Pauly said “getting shot by a bullet is probably one of the most common, least-feared situations to be faced with.”

    The fact of the matter is that it’s not as common as you’d figure based on watching TV and the news. It’s been pointed out that in Miami, FL during the time the show Miami Vice took place, there was only one crime committed by a person with a machine gun – and that guy was a cop! From watching the show it seemed like everyone in Miami had machine guns and got in big shootouts all the time, against cops with handguns who kicked their asses. The drug dealers in that show were worse than stormtroopers.

    I know a lot of people. Only two of them have been shot. One was a police officer trainee who accidentally shot himself because of improper firearms safety procedures. The other was a Marine and he was hit in his vest (but not on the armored part). His wound broke the skin, but he was back in action after some stitches.

    I read a rundown one time of probabilities of various kinds of incidents (like getting shot). It was so low that it wasn’t even on the list.

    According to the CDC in the US, here were the leading causes of death from 2004:

    Heart disease: 654,092
    Cancer: 550,270
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,147
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 123,884
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 108,694
    Diabetes: 72,815
    Alzheimer’s disease: 65,829
    Influenza/Pneumonia: 61,472
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 42,762
    Septicemia: 33,464

    Getting shot isn’t anywhere on the list.

    One interesting stat though is that 90% of gun crime happens in 3% of US counties – the 3 percent with dense urban population. It’s no coincidence that the illegal drug trade is prevalant in these areas and that gangsters, with no legal way to resolve business disputes around their ilicit trade tend to shoot each other a lot to resolve their differences.

    In the US, if you’re not involved with gangs or drugs, you have a very slim chance of getting shot.

    That’s one of the reasons that mother government has focused less on gun control of late and more about food control such as banning trans-fats in NYC. I wonder if the Mafia will start a black market in foods containing trans-fats now… 😮

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