On the first day of EMT class the instructor asked us “Who is the most important person at the scene of either a medical or trauma event.”
Random student-“The victim.”
Random student- “Whoever is hurt.”
Random student- “The dude bleeding on the ground.”
Instructor- “Wrong” “The most important person is you.”
I looked at TSM and he looked at me. As a Marine the idea that he would put himself first was. not. computing.
The classroom began buzzing…”Why are we there if not to help?” “It seems pretty selfish to be more concerned about myself?” “I can’t just do nothing.”
I found it interesting that the prevailing thought was the idea that to be concerned about your own safety was selfish.
It is a lie we have been told not only about our own lives, but about those who are in positions to help us.
We are taught by a large portion of society that we should not harm anyone even to protect ourselves and also that the police, fire, first responders, etc. should risk their own lives at all cost to save us. We are taught dependance.
EMT training does not work on this principal. They work on the idea that while you are there to help, you can’t do squat if your hurt or dead. Good point.
The way they drill this into our heads is to force us to say, every time we approach a medical or trauma event “Is the scene safe?” And each instructor constantly repeats “This is not your emergency.”
This is not your emergency means you, the EMT, is not having the heart attack, dizzy spell, neck injury. You, the EMT is there to help and you can’t do that if your worked up with adrenalin pumping through your body. If an EMT approaches a scene and doesn’t take the time to be sure it is safe then it is entirely possible that not only will the original person not get immediate help, but now the EMT is also in need of assistance. Two patients instead of one. This is what is known in the EMT world as not a good thing.
This idea of “Not your emergency” got me to thinking about guns, gun owners and training.
After an event like the shooting that took place in the Colorado movie theatre I read lots and lots of commentary from Conceal Carry folks that amounted to them claiming they would have saved the day. Whether they have the skill or not isn’t for me to say, but I remember thinking, would I do that? Would I put my life on the line for some person I don’t know in a theater, restaurant, bank…
Not just drawing my gun in defense of my life, but actively engaging a bad guy when I didn’t have to. For example, I am in the theatre, I have my gun on my hip, I hear shots and I see people going down. If I am right by an exit do I run out or do I stay and try to end the threat on behalf of my fellow movie goers?
I carry a gun for one purpose. That purpose is to up my chances of staying alive should I be attacked and forced to defend myself. My life, my chances, for defense. Now, that word “my” most definitely extends to my husband, children, and other folks that I care about.
If a person breaks into my home or my car and tries to do me harm, things are gonna get sporty. Can’t say exactly what I would do because each situation is different and while I think these things through and have a plan, I also recognize there is no way to know for sure how it will all play out. What I do know is that the plan will involve me actively fighting for my survival.
If I am walking into a local convenience store and as I open the door and I see what appears to be a robbery in place, what do I do? Now, I am not going to hop in my car and go home, but am I going to try to go back in, risk my life and try to take down the bad guy??? I have an answer to that situation. I know what I would do, do you know what you would do?
Is it selfish not to intervene? If you do and in the process save the day, but die, will your being selfless be much comfort to your spouse, parents, kids?
When a life is at stake be it on the scene of a car accident or due to a crime taking place most of us can not fathom doing nothing.
I think as part of any responsible self defense training one should seriously exam scenarios where he/she is not the primary victim and mentally work through the risks and emotions of both intervening and not.
Choosing to carry a gun is a very personal choice and is a huge responsibility. There is more to consider than just you one on one with a bad guy.
I have a clear idea in my head of when I believe I would intervene. I am not going to get into specifics because it doesn’t matter. Each of us has to decide for ourselves where that line in the sand lies, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t take the time to prepare for those possibilities.