A documentation of the aggressive arts. Written by Sawyer Paul.

What does it feel like to be shot?

It’s too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of Reddit threads, but I got really lost in this one. The variety of locales and situations that people have been shot (and, thankfully, survived) is staggering. What also got to me were how many people used the thread as a joke, as a platform to make a zinger, and how easy it was to feel a canyon of sadness for a girl who had been shot by her boyfriend, and then segue to laughing about a Forrest Gump reference.

During the NRA press conference last week, (full transcript), Wayne LaPierre mentioned that various (ancient) media “portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life.” It’s the one sentence from the tone-deaf speach that resonated with me. I feel like making light of situations is a natural human coping mechanism. If this Reddit thread had no jokes in it and only serious accounts of near-fatal shootings, it would be a lot harder to get through. We can’t help but portray life as a joke. Doing it any other way is too painful to comprehend.