Monday, June 2, 2014

Live to Tell

That's the title of a type of a 48 Hours type show we watched the other night with our mouths agape. The premise of the show is that some guy (in 90% of the stories, the would-be murderer is male) attempts to end the life of some woman (his wife, girlfriend, lady he dated once from Shop-Co), but miraculously, she survives against all odds, hence "live to tell."  The episode we watched was particularly interesting to me, because it took place in Clearwater, Florida, and I grew up one town over, in Dunedin. The story was about this very cute blond nursing student who couldn't quite break things off with this huge bear of a ginger-colored man, even though he called her names, tried to strangle her at one point and threatened to kill her and her mom if she ever left him. But, you know, he had  rough childhood. She broke up with him, but one night, he called her crying and begged her to come out and just give him one last hug. She said okay, went out in her p.j.s and bedroom slippers to give him a hug, and then he stabbed her 38 times in the face and neck and arms and left her to die. An important note: he used two knives to stab her and in his car, police later found a pick-ax, more knives, and a baseball bat---everything but a noose and arsenic. No gun though. This will become important later.

In any case, she miraculously survived, though she coded twice in the ER and has permanent damage to her face. He went to jail after pleading guilty.  The story was wrapping up nicely, as we discovered that she became a domestic violence speaker and then there was this other little side story where she ended up dating one of the fireman who was first on the scene. And then, suddenly, almost as an aside, there was this crazy shift in the narrative, where she goes, "And my new boyfriend and I share a love of shooting guns!" Cut to scene with her and her handgun, shooting at a gun range.  Dan and I were both just like, What just happened? This person who fought to live but managed to survive despite massive trauma from a knife, is a huge gun lover. There was no discussion on the show or acknowledgement of the weird dissonance of this--no one said, Hey, what do you think would have happened to you if your ex boyfriend had gotten hold of a handgun? Do you think you would've survived 38 gun shots? Or even one?

You can watch the episode here. It's not that I think citizens shouldn't  own handguns (though I do think that), it's that it was such a strange switch in the story--like, couldn't they have focused on her and her boyfriend's shared love of dogs? Or Hawaii? Or eating at the DQ? And that no one asked the obvious question: would she be alive if her ex had gotten a hold of her gun?



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