People continue to cast about to identify lessons learned and take-away “to do” agenda items in the wake of last Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson. The overarching theme has been the need to dial back the hatred that colors so much rhetoric across the political spectrum. Restore civility. Eliminate or reduce incendiary language.
There are calls to curtail gun ownership, allowing only the purchase of one gun a month; to do more meaningful mental health checks before consummating a sale; to bar gun clips that enable the rapid shooting of so many rounds. There are calls to loosen HIPAA laws so information about potentially dangerous individuals can be more easily shared among educational, community and public safety organizations. And, of course, there are those who argue we need to step up funding of mental health services in the community.
Some members of the U.S. Congress have called for increased security for themselves and for staff.
If I were an education administrator today or an official involved in setting policy, I would try to make emergency medical training (call it First Aid), including CPR, a requirement for graduation from high school. Kids would know what to do and not do as a stopgap measure until EMT’s arrive on the scene. Its applicability on the sports field is obvious, but its value goes well beyond that. Heart associations and ambulance service associations offers courses to school systems. Some larger employers provide such training as part of their investment in their workforces.
No doubt Daniel Hernandez, Jr. has the right stuff, the mettle for heroic action. He showed that on Saturday. But all of our young people should be exposed to the training and tools to give them the confidence to act skillfully should the circumstance arise.
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