A Proggie-run first aid class reveals the shocking level of ignorance, innumeracy, and illogical thinking behind their anti-Second Amendment stance.
I’ve always liked the Boy Scouts’ motto: “Be Prepared.” Because I’ve been fortunate enough that I seldom have to put my first aid techniques into use, I always forget them, so my part of being prepared is to take a refresher class every four or five years. Even if my memory were better, I’d still take the classes because the protocols constantly change, as is the case with CPR. (Nowadays, you need to remember your BeeGees.“)
In terms of first aid, this class was time well spent. I’m now up to date on conducting a basic examination on a conscious or unconscious person, using pressure or tourniquets to stop bleeding, making slings out of anything handy, doing CPR, and using an AED. As always, I hope that I go several years without having to put into use the skills I learned.
But all was not perfect in this friendly and helpful class. The subject of gun violence came up several times and both the teachers (MDs, RNs, and EMTS) and the students showed really shocking ignorance and a complete lack of logical — and perhaps moral — thinking on the subject of guns and death in America.
My past California-based classes have always revolved around specific emergency scenarios: earthquakes, fires, car accidents, and every day emergencies, ranging from heart attacks, to drowning, to accidental knife wounds. This time, though, the teachers said that the single most important emergency we can prepare for is a mass shooting, as well as generalized shootings, because guns are the primary danger facing us.
“When was the last school shooting?” a teacher asked, clearly expecting people to talk about the Valentine’s Day mass murder in Broward County Florida. But this is Marin and the class knew better.
“Yesterday, in Michigan. Two died.”
“That’s right,” said the teacher. “How many people are killed every day in America with guns?”
A moment of silence, before someone called out her best guess.
“No,” said the teacher, “ninety. Ninety people die every day.”
How does one begin to unpack all the fallacies, innumeracy, and illogical thinking in the above interactions?
Fallacy #1: For a first aid class, mass shootings are currently the most important thing to need to prepare for.
The claim that our greatest risk in Marin comes from guns is so very wrong and to worry about our schools getting shot up is so paranoid. There are two things going on here, one of which is the likelihood of an event occurring and the other is the magnitude of the event should it occur.
Take earthquakes, for example. It is true that earthquakes happen infrequently even here in California, so maybe we’re being overly cautious preparing for one. But the thing is that we know, we absolutely know that a big one will hit here in Northern California, and when it does, it will make a mass murder look like small potatoes. If we’re preparing for unlikely, but possible events, we should definitely be preparing for that earthquake — although it’s good to know that the same skills will apply to other unforeseen events, including that unlikely mass shooting.
And how unlikely is a mass shooting? It turns out, according to a recent study from a source Proggies should find reputable (Northeastern University), that overall American schools are safer than they’ve been in the past few decades:
Four times the number of children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than today, Fox said.
“There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” he said, adding that more kids are killed each year from pool drownings or bicycle accidents. There are around 55 million school children in the United States, and on average over the past 25 years, about 10 students per year were killed by gunfire at school, according to Fox and Fridel’s research.
It’s not just that mass murders at school are decreasing. All violent crime has been decreasing over the past 25 years — subject, of course, to the bump that can be tied directly to the Black Lives Matter movement causing police to retreat from America’s most violent communities. (There may also be a legalized marijuana bump in crime.) [Read more…]