I hate guns.They kill my courage!

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“Patay na si Mingoy.Nabaril sya sa uma” (Mingoy is dead. He was shot while he was in the farm)- text message on Joy’s phone.

This SMS shocked me and Joy. It took us a while to regain our composure. Returning back from a hearty lunch with my cousins earlier we immediately talked about what to do next. Joy called nanay on the phone and told them not to go to the farm anymore as the “assailants” may still be lurking there. We then proceeded to the hospital where the body was brought in. We were all too late. Mingoy is dead.

Mingoy is dead on arrival when he was brought into the hospital. His body is in the morgue when we arrived there. Talking to the first few people who saw and brought him to the hospital and to the investigating officers on the scene, it seems like he died from an “accidental shot” to the side of the abdomen. No one actually saw what or how the incident happened.Mingoy was gasping for breath and wasn’t able talk before he died. Nanay is in disbelief when he heared this story.She knew Mingoy didn’t have any firearm. But when Mingoy’s friends and some neighbors told the investigators Mingoy  was hinting/showing a “paltik” days before this unfortunate incident, Nanay calmed a little

According to the investigators’ findings, Mingoy was watching a noontime tv show while (semi supine semi sitted) on a wooden long chair. TVis still on when the police arrived there and his shirt hanging on the chair rest.. Mingoy tucked his “paltik” gun (inside an an unsecured gun holster) tucked inside his shorts. The gun supposedly slipped through this holster when he lay supine, landed on the cement floor gun butt first and then self fired itself. The paltik has no safety lock, has a long hammer pin that almost kiss the bulletshell’s bottom and is loaded with a 20 guage shell. It often fires when loaded even on slight nudging.The slug hit him on the side of his abdomen, probably because he leaned over to the side to pick his gun. There was no exit point and probably he died from an “internal hemorrhage”.

We were all in disbelief. I was totally aghast at the accident. How could such unfortunate incident happen when just about two days ago, Mingoy was jokingly asking for my professional service in case he falls into an accident!

Of course there was also these fear of a possible “hit” by persons he had previous grudge with. Nobody remembers Mingoy has had previous fights or arguments with any other person. Besides, the bullet entry point and trajectory plus the evidences (gun, prints, house access, etc) all points to an accidental firing scenario. I asked for an autopsy just to allay our “hit” fears.This will also at least clear up the doubts on Mingoys cause of death.

But one loose end still remains. The paltik. Nobody knew where it came from. Her in our place, the dead won’t talk.

That’s why I hate guns. They do nothing but kill…

(Post note: Mingoy is a distant relative of Joy and their de facto farm care taker. He has been with the family since he was a teenager. He is single and was a very cordial and sharp guy)

Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is Chief of Clinics at General Santos Medical Center and Medical Specialist II Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (www.remomd.com).