Today is the 317th day of 2018. So far, we have has 309 mass shootings. A mass shooting is defined here as a shooting where four or more people are shot. A mass shooting differs from a mass murder, where four our more people are killed.
I point this out because I received a lot of pushback from gun advocates last week when I wrote about the chilling message the Thousand Oaks shooter posted on Facebook just before he murdered twelve people. If you have a few minutes, scroll through the comments on the post. You’ll notice that the overwhelming majority of people who say that we need guns or that more guns are the answer are rather aggressive. Something else that will stick out is how angry many people were at *me* instead of at the situation being addressed. Interesting.
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But now we’re really taking the crazy up to 11. That’s because now, instead of our government taking steps to curb the rampant gun violence that is killing our children, schools have had to step up and train children in basic combat medicine. Seriously.
America, we have a problem.
The main cause of deaths in a mass shooting situation isn’t from the bullet itself, it’s the resulting damage caused by the bullet does as it travels through your body. Most deaths in mass shootings are a result of bleeding, and as the Department of Homeland Security notes in their handout, deaths could be prevented if the bleeding is stopped within five minutes.
And as NBC reports, 1/3 of these deaths from bleeding out could be stopped with the proper application of a tourniquet, which is why the state of Georgia is offering the training to students in every public school.
What sticks out to me here is the ‘matter of fact’ manner in which the students in the video talk about the training. One student said “we may not want to talk about it because it’s sad, or it’s something that shouldn’t be happening in our communities, but it’s happening.” Another student – a high school sophomore – said “at the end of the day, our job with this knowledge it to make sure the least amount of people die.”
These kids have adjusted to the real risk of being a victim in a school shooting. This is not normal. This is not something they should have to worry about. And this is not something that schools should have to teach them. Yet, here we are.
And to be clear, I’m not criticizing the schools, teachers, or doctors involved. They are taking action to help address the situation that they’ve been handed. My criticism is directed towards our lawmakers, who have repeatedly failed to act to pass common sense gun reform. Doctors have shared their story highlighting the need for something to be done. Even the American Medical Association has stated that gun violence is a national health crisis.
What will it take for our lawmakers to actually do something to stop the senseless killing of innocent people?