Part II

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As if you didn’t suffer enough if you read my previous post I read a couple of articles in the newspaper that reminded me of points I wanted to make. Rather than update my previous post, I’m just going to write a new one.
I promise it won’t be nearly as long.

First, I should have mentioned the size of the bus we need to cover all those people getting thrown under.

The executive director of a gun rights organization in my state was quoted as saying that we need more mental health screening. Maybe his quote was taken out of context or I was reading it incorrectly, but I construed his statement to mean that gun owners need more mental health screening. As in it being part of the process to get a concealed carry license. Right, because it’s not expensive enough as it is currently. I can easily see my goofy state requiring a sign off from a physician or mental health professional stating that Applicant X poses no thread of harming the general public due to mental health issues. Because no one would think of suing a doctor if they signed one of those forms and their patient went off the rails. Nor would the politicians of this state offer any sort of immunity to doctors and others who did sign such a form. Which would mean that no one would be able to get a license. Which would make the politicians of this state, or most of them, very happy indeed.

I don’t know what this guy was thinking when he said that. Most people with mental health issues aren’t homicidal or suicidal. Some just have problems coping with stuff going on in their lives and need a little temporary help. I know I have from time to time. What they probably don’t need is to be lumped in with homicidal maniacs and denied their rights.

Bad idea.

Then there was an article talking about “lockdown drills”. Where in schools and other public buildings lock all of their students and others inside the kill zone when someone starts shooting. Performing such drills helps to reassure students that these procedures are there for their safety and that it makes the kids feel better.

“There is some evidence that this does work.” says a mental health professional. I couldn’t figure out what it was that she was saying works. Is it collecting would be victims in one area and then locking them inside? Or is giving them false reassurance that the procedure works? Either way, “some evidence” isn’t compelling, ask Rogue Medic.

Mrs. TOTWTYTR has worked in a number of school systems since about 2000. They’ve all had lock down drills and in all of them the drills were a farce. One class room was at ground level and had an entire wall of windows. Which gave a great view into the class room, effectively leaving no place to hide. Another had doors doors that didn’t lock securely. The nearby “secure door” was routinely opened by students and others to let people in without knowing who those people were. Remember what Gen. George Patton said,

“Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity.” See also, Maginot Line.

Lock downs in schools are monuments to the mental masturbation of school administrators and security experts.

Finally, the term “Gun free zone” is a total farce. As we’ve seen time after time, the only people free of guns are the victims. The murderers seem to have no qualms about bringing them in. Most hospitals are gun free zones, and yet I’d bet just about anything that many of the people in visiting their friends who are victims of violence are carrying. I’m sure that some hospitals have metal detectors, but not around here. Then again unarmed security guards manning metal detectors are little more than bullet sponges.

Truth in advertising would dictate that the term “Gun Free Zone” be replaced with the term, “Helpless victim assembly point”.

That is all.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll tackle this post before I try chewing on the longer post before it. 🙂

    We don’t need more mental health screening; we need more mental health TREATMENT, especially outpatient treatment. That would have the two-fold benefit of (1) helping people who could get their lives together with a little help (and not multiple 72 hour lockups that don’t correct anything), as well as (2) freeing up the emergency psychiatric systems to deal with the (far less common) dangerously disturbed patients. No, we won’t catch every violent psychotic (protection has to be right every time, an assassin only has to get lucky once); but allowing emergency services to focus on the dangerous people will help make sure fewer slip through to hurt themselves or others.

    The phrase “Gun-Free Zone” is not wrong by itself; it’s just used poorly. A true “Gun Free Zone” combines two things: detection/screening and enforcement of the screening. Courtrooms and some other government buildings are examples of true “Gun Free Zones”. Schools and movie theaters that claim to be “Gun Free Zones” are incorrectly named and just wishful thinking. As for hospitals, maybe all large hospitals should follow San Francisco General’s model: they’ve got a sheriff’s substation built onto the ED.

    • Airports and airplanes are supposed to be “gun free zones” and yet people get them through with distressing regularity. Courts might be more secure, but I’d not bet on it. Any place that claims to be “gun free” merely because they hang a sign at the entrance is just a fantasy.

  2. Airports and airplanes are supposed to be “gun free zones” and yet people get them through with distressing regularity.

    Oh god, please tell me you’re not comparing TSA to real law enforcement or otherwise competent security. 🙁

    • I’m not, but we’re told that they are effective at securing airplanes from weapons. Which they aren’t. Nor are we likely to get real police officers at many other locations that are supposed to be “gun free zones”.

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