It is an abbreviation for “ Gun Shot Wound.” It is also the direct cause for an abbreviated life by a number of personalities. We have US Presidents Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and James Garfield, Martin Lurther King, Harvey Milk, Mahatma Gandhi, Park Chung Hee, Atty Robert Kennedy, Music Legend John Lennon, Singer Selena, Benazir Bhutto, Diego Silang, General Antonio Luna, Ceasar Climaco, Senator Benigno Aquino, Jose Rizal, Gregorio del Pilar, Andres Bonifacio, and more.
In my personal sphere in Davao, there was one person who succumbed to GSW—Davao Penal Colony’s Penal Institution Supervisor Robert Quinto and he was still in his prime. And the nature of his death is similar among those assassinated celebrities. He is in good company at a glance.
Robert was my former security officer during my incumbency at the helm of a penal colony, a protégé because of his initiative and loyalty to his institution. Whenever I would return back to my camp in the evening, close to midnight, I would notice a crack platoon checking every nook and cranny of the penal facility and reservation. There was an active patrol and it was headed by Robert, something which I never expected since the fellow was my executive assistant. He should be in bed but no, he was still up and about, supervising the patrol. I was impressed by the audacity.
I pushed his vocation and his peers sponsored his promotion. He slowly rose from the ranks. He was already on the road to an accomplished career. But one treacherous evening in front of his house while he was disembarking from his car, he was shot from behind. He reached for his service firearm but his assailant had dashed off. He got a bullet on the left side of his back and it exited a few inches below his nipple. The impact of the gsw damaged several of his internal organs—- broken ribs, perforated lung, bruised kidney and spleen, ripped intestine and injured vertebrae.
He was rushed to the hospital and for two days he struggled. Dawn of November 17, 2016 he passed away. He was 39 years old, older than Rizal (who died from firing squad at the age of 35), Bonifacio at the age of 34, Gregorio del Pilar at the age of 24. All of them were felled by a bullet, some of them a hail of it.
Such is life. It may be long or short but in our cosmos, in the great universe a lifespan is just a snap. One day we are feted, another day we are reviled. One day we are celebrated, another day we are ignored. One day we are praised, another day we are forgotten.
We only console ourselves that there is life hereafter. That there is Heaven. That life is better after death. That death is merely a gate where one must pass through to meet all those who departed and eventually reunite with loved ones.
We will never know how if there is truth in this or there is another truth out there. We only realize when sickness hounds, when accidents happen, when fate becomes definitive either through senility or gsw.