Bob Morse publishes a commentary called “Slow Facts” on WordPress, discussing various aspects of our right to keep and bear arms, and related topics.
The day before Election Day 2022, he wrote about a nurse who saved wounded police officers in a firefight:
“Who is the first responder for the first responders?
An off duty nurse was dropping off groceries at home when she saw two police officers shot in the line of duty. She pulled her car between the officers and their attacker. She applied emergency trauma care to a leg wound, and a wound in the neck and shoulder area. The attacker shot the hood of her car.
She stopped treatment after police and EMTs arrived and transported the wounded men to the hospital.
EMTs are taught to wait until police declare the scene safe. This nurse didn’t wait for permission. She simply saved lives in Newark, New Jersey.”
However we may view police, this was definitely a good deed on the part of the nurse, and demonstrated her courage, compassion, skill, and preparation.
The prohibition on EMTs providing emergency medical services to people before the law enforcement “clears the scene” is a sad result of insurance and risk adversity – both on the part of the corporations who provide more and more EMS and the local governments who often have a monopoly.
It is an evil practice and also disgusting. Imagine if military medics were required to do the same – how many more brave warriors would be permanently disabled or die prematurely if that were the case? It is also a violation of basic and essential medical ethics.
Mr. Morse’s point about first responders is a good start, but we need to recognize that the TRUE first responders are those people who have the skills, tools, and courage to take action when things go down – when the balloon goes up. That is often the close bystanders – often armed and often equipped with key tools/materials – who show their agape love for others by coming to their aid with only minimal concern for their own safe-being.
A truly free society will encourage and honor people who are good Samaritans like this woman. And will both teach and enable those people to do good deeds.
But such a society will ALSO encourage homeowners, business owners, residents, youth and retired people to themselves be “First Responders” – trained and equipped to do good deeds. To be heroes. Instead of worshipping people who lie for a living (actors) or who play games for a living (sports figures) or even who play music for a living (musicians – whether rock or rap or classical).
Each of us should constantly ask and judge ourselves, and encourage those around us to do the same: are we prepared to be the first responder in a crisis, a disaster, an emergency? At home, in our neighborhood or rural area, in the mountains or the city or on the highway?
Or are we going to default to the “Let George do it” – where often “George” is Uncle Sam or your local band of tyrants and their minions?
I recently was in a short back and forth with Tulsi Gabbard on my thoughts on how to deal with the school shooting phenomena. I feel that the answer if two fold. First harden the school. By that, I mean do the obvious. Don’t allow just anyone entry into the school without a reason for being there. That means only one means of entry with a guard watching and approving entry. All the other doors are exit only, with the teachers having a key to let students back in.
The other needs to harden the school are of course, numerous, but would be added, and would include arming such teachers that wish to get extra training than that simply required for a CCW. I got the training for that in Michigan, and frankly it is not really enough for someone who is going to routinely be carrying a gun every day in defense of a large number of kids.
The second part of dealing with the school shooting phenomena is that of managing trauma that occurs when a person is shot. Many times, during a large number of shootings, the person is not killed outright, but instead, they bleed out, waiting for help to arrive. If all teachers and staff are trained in more advanced level first aid to include traumatic level first aid, including stopping massive bleeding, untold numbers of lives could be spared.
Such training could be as simple as teaching the Jr. High teacher how to put a tourniquet on a students arm, above the gunshot wound, to stop an arterial bleed, this stopping the student from bleeding to death waiting for an ambulance. Or the male gym teacher, instead of throwing himself onto the student to stop the bullets, he could draw his legally possessed J Frame .38, and return fire, perhaps wounding the murderer, stopping the attack then and there, and then go to work stopping the bleeding of any wounded students or teachers in his area. This of course would take the spending of a small bit of money on real first aid bags, with things like real tourniquets, and bandages that can be used to put pressure on bleeding wounds, and materials like Quik Clot or similar materials, to stop the bleeding of serious wounds. And a policy of checking the first aid bags once a month. This could be done by a varsity club, or a ROTC or some other appropriate group, it there is one. But the kits must be checked and kept stocked with current materials, and not allowed to become just some other piece of junk that finally gets ignored and pushed into a corner, covered with dust until it would not be of use no matter what.
It could have a new club started with students who are interested in a career of some type of medicine, be it nursing, a doctor, a nurse practitioner, etc. It would give them the mindset of organizing their equipment and keeping an inventory of what they use, and help them feel as if they are a part of something more important than just themselves.
Let the students get involved with the project, and you would get so many good and worthy suggestions that you would hardly be able to keep track of them all. And since they would be protecting in effect themselves, taking ownership of it would make them feel like they had accomplished something in the time that they had spent in their school. Maybe even encourage them to have a method of keeping an eye out for students that look like they need mental or emotional help, without any stigma attached to it. Let the students themselves come up with a plan on how to make it happen, in such a way that will work without causing even more problems for the troubled student.
I know these are all a bunch of words, but we have to start somewhere. Who knows just where we start that will work? Hopefully someone will come up with a way to help without taking away our civil liberties. There must be a way to do so, because that is the only proper way to do so.
Some excellent thoughts. Perhaps more people can chip in, but here are some additional thoughts and comments.
1. Regarding the training and arming teachers: there are several private firms and associations which have developed and provide training for armed teachers across the nation. I know of those in at least Ohio and Colorado: 2-3 days of intensive training including casualty care. The problems are decades of inertia and indoctrination, union and administrations/educrat wokeness, and a lack of pressure from parents and the community.
2. The physical hardening of schools has been gradually developing, again for decades, but done usually without input by experienced people – instead, some teachers’ association (union) or “professional publication” publishes a quickie article and checklist which is then ineptly implemented and never really properly tested. And then (as you point out with 1st Aid kits) NOTHING
Continued from previous: … NOTHING more is done: no refresher training (if they were trained in the first place), no practice, no drills. And no contingency.
3. The trauma response points you make are very important, and perhaps the single greatest failing. We here at TPOL also are involved in business, and part of our businesses includes mining safety and health training, which includes first aid training for miners as a critical element. (For those who do not know a lot about mining, new miners must have a minimum of 24 hours of safety and health training when newly hired, and at least 8 hours of annual refresher training: most mine operators have weekly and even daily safety training, of 10 to 30 minutes, in addition to that.) Part of the training includes equipping and maintaining effective trauma first-aid kits. (Similar to what people driving on German highways are required to have in their vehicles, as a matter of fact.) Procedures would require annual or semi-annual (each semester?) refresher training/practice.
The problem is, we are talking about government-run, tax-funded schools whose faculty and staff are generally the product of such GRTF institutions for 18-20 years (including masters’ and doctoral programs). And who are supervised by hyper-motivated school boards – or worse, town/township boards who concentrate on money, money, money – and maybe test results and admissions rates. An example of that, about 20 years ago, in Colorado, was a statewide survey of high school chemistry labs, which revealed massive problems with hazardous materials storage, use, and contamination, and which the schools could NOT be trusted to handle.
4. All of your ideas need to be implemented, and they need to start with private and religious schools where they are less woke and less contaminated by the “let the government do it” mindset. But it needs to go back to the teaching colleges – the normal schools – and what is taught and practiced there.
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As a Firefighter/EMT, it is impractical, unsafe, and unlawful for me to be armed with my EDC firearm while on duty. It is locked in a safe box in my truck during the shift. While it is true that our response plan for “unsafe scenes” is to stage until the scene is cleared by state police, I would personally do the same unless I could have personal body armor and carry my own weapon. Every time a tactical Rescue/EMS class is offered, I decline for this reason. That said, when off duty and armed I become that real 1st Responder that would jump in and help because I am no longer restrained by regulations.
Sadly, the “unlawful” part of that is all too common – indeed, almost universal – in the States today. I know that as far back as the 1970s, some EMTs did both ignore the law (always with knowledge of their supervisor, among the ones I knew of) and had come up with practical and safe ways to carry concealed on duty. I know of people – EMT – in frontier/rural areas who today continue to do so. Not because they have high crime rates as much as because of such fun things as rattlesnakes, bears, and mountain lions, and they are operating in remote areas with little or no sheriff’s presence.
It HAS to be a personal decision, and it has to be explained to the contracting officers and lawmakers/administrators. But much of it comes down to letting these things be at minimum decided locally and by the providers themselves. And that is one reason many frontier and rural areas tacitly allow this today: without that, they would not get the volunteers they so depend on.
I have an older brother who was a school teacher. In Michigan, teachers must continue on after their 4 years, to get additional college classes, to maintain their teaching certificate. I am not sure how many, but I believe that it is somewhere around another years worth of classes.
Because of these extra classes, many, if not most teachers continue on and get their masters degrees, because then they get paid much more per year, having that sheepskin. I know my brother did that, and got I believe an extra 15,000 per year, when he was making about 40,000. I don’t know what he ended up making, when he retired, but he was sort of forced to retire, or lose 30,000$ of his pension.
I graduated high school the same year he graduated college, and he started teaching that fall, in September. I started pouring steel in a steel factory that same September. With overtime, I was making about the same money that he was. But I had to work the entire year while he had his 3 months of summer to do other things, while I had to sweat pouring steel.
My ideas of solving the school shooting crisis, while likely effective, are not likely to be put into action. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, the Democrats do not want the issue to go away. Just like Big Pharma doesn’t want a cure for the common cold or for cancer or any other condition where they sell medications that don’t cure the patient, but merely treat them. Because if they cure the patient, there will no longer be any money to be made. In like manner, if the Democrats solve the problem of school shootings, what will they use to campaign and raise money on? How will they whip up anger against the Republicans who hate children and want to see them laying in pools of blood, with their brains splashed on the desk? No, the Democrats don’t want to really solve the problem.
The other reason that the ideas won’t be put into place is that the school shooting crisis is not real. Not if you look at the actual number of cases of school shootings, and the number of people actually shot, or killed, in real school shootings.
The only way that the anti gun people are able to jack up the numbers to any amount, is by cheating. They will count it if a drive by shooting a block over, late at night, happens to have a bullet hit the window of a school house. Or they count it if a robbery at the corner stop and rob has a shoot out, during school hours, while children are on the play ground.
But if you look at the actual numbers of school shootings, they are really not very high. Of course, any shooting of any one, be they a young person, or an adult, is never a good thing, or acceptable. But to say that it is an epidemic, when the actual number of people murdered in school shootings is somewhere around 300 -400 per year, in a nation of over 340 million, that is statistically not an epidemic. I hesitate to use the term insignificant, because to the people who lose their loved ones, every death is significant. But to consider something a huge crisis, and to beat our chests and spend millions or even billions of dollars on it, most likely in the absolute worst ways possible, that won’t help accomplish anything, but make things worse for individual freedoms, is something that we should learn by now that we need to avoid.
To say that a teacher can’t be expected to teach and also carry a gun and be responsible for security is in my opinion, complete BS. I have had female teachers that I went to school with their dads or moms with, tell me that. I carry a gun, daily when I am going about my business, either shopping, or getting gasoline, etc. I am not worried about being the policeman for the world. But I am the protector of myself and anyone with me. If a teacher can’t be that, then they don’t have to volunteer to accept that responsibility. There are many women and men, who are quite capable of doing so, without any problem. Allow them to do so, plus publicize that fact in big bold letters out front of the school, that staff members are armed and will use deadly force to protect the children and themselves, and most likely the chances of the school becoming a target will lower to nil.
With this midterm election, I don’t foresee any change in the way things are going at this point. Even if the Republicans take control of the House, they are in such disarray it is likely that they won’t be able to come together to accomplish much, and they won’t be able to stop anything. So basically it is another 2 years of just what we have seen. An economy that is horrible, politicians who are so crooked that they could be used as corkscrews, and a never ending attack on both Donald Trump and the people who dared to align themselves with him. The left doesn’t like it if you refuse to play their game. And they play the game for the long haul.
All of your points make sense. The fearmongering on school shooting is primarily Democratic, but the GOP has its own specialties of fearmongering and terrorizing people into supporting them. Both old parties are far more interested in control and awarding their bosses and stalwarts than solving problems. Just as too many schoolteachers, brainwashed or not, are all about themselves no matter what they say. (Your editor says this as the son of two public-school teachers for many years.)