The ER Lost A Patient

I just spent the day at a hospital Emergency Room (for reasons worthy of another column, but this is the wrong venue for that one). What’s relevant to TZP is that while I was there, they lost a patient.

Don’t start with the sympathy yet. He didn’t die.

They lost him:

“Hey, have you seen [xyz]?”
“He went to the restroom.”
“I checked; he isn’t there.”
“Maybe he’s in the other one.”
{insert pitterpatter of sneakered feet}
“He’s not there either.”
“Where did he go?”
“I don’t know. Look.”

There’s garbled talk of hospital security (who eventually showed up to search) and the Sheriff’s department, who also showed up. People in scrubs running up and down the hall, looking in every room. Multiple times. Muttering which I took to be poorly suppressed profanities.

Mildly amusing, you may be thinking, along with, “What the heck does this have to do with self defense, the right to keep and bear arms, or any of the other things that interest The Zelman Partisans?”

Some of you might see where this is going, but I’ll explain anyway.

Thanks to HIPAA — not to mention hospital Public Relations — no one was going to tell me exactly what the fuss was. But I overheard some gossip between staffers and law enforcement.

It appears that Patient Werrdefuqdego was a transferee from the jail. Possibly a mentally disturbed transferee. An unrestrained transferee. -ding!-

And no one from the Sheriff’s department was watching him. -ding!-

Nor was the hospital staff keeping an eye him. -ding!-

In fact, they were letting him run around without a keeper — in a yellow gown, blanket worn like a skirt, and no shoes. -ding! ding!- (Yes, he was a peculiar sight, before dropping out of sight.)

Figured out the relevance yet? For visitors unfamiliar with the Constitution, but hooked on magical thinking: The hospital with an escaped loon — possibly dangerous — from the jail, who was left to roam at will, is a “gun-free” zone.

So with a potentially dangerous nut on the loose due to lack of give-a-sh!t on the part of the staff and LE, I was deprived of my usual defensive tool. True, I could have refused to leave my sidearm behind and told the hospital to blow it their appropriate orifice, or even refuse to go there in the first place. But for personal reasons (possibly appropriate for the aforementioned other column), not going, or getting busted for trespassing, wasn’t an option. I had to go, and under trespass law, I had to disarm myself.

“No problem,” might say the Constitutionally challenged magicians, “the cops and hospital security will protect you.”

Except they didn’t. They turned the loon loose. They didn’t warn me, nor did they hang around to guard me.

Tell me again how gun-free — helpless-target-rich — zones make me safer.

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