If you are incapacitated and require emergency medical assistance, as an armed citizen, what happens to your gun?
In August, I read an article by Kevin Michalowski of USCCA on this subject. The article focused on what happens to your gun and how you get it back. My interest is more from the Emergency Medical System (EMS) personnel perspective and how this would be handled.
If you’re injured or suffer a medical incident in a more populated area, chances are good that law enforcement will respond along with EMS or they will at least be readily available. Law enforcement officers obviously have the ability to safely secure a firearm.
But what happens in more rural areas? I have a fair amount of experience in the EMS field and, in my personal experience, the subject of how to safely secure a firearm never came up.
I was a certified EMT in San Diego County for 25 years, which meant that I had to recertify every two years. Recertification involved at least 24 hours of classroom time. Not once do I ever remember the subject of firearms coming up in class.
I spent a dozen years doing search and rescue (SAR) work as a member of the San Diego Mountain Rescue Team (SDMRT). On one search we located three lost hunters in the mountains during a severe snowstorm. As we were searching on the second morning, we heard gunshots. The lost hunters were firing handguns into the air to signal us.
We had to yell at the hunters to stop shooting as we approached. When we reached them, as the lead medical person, I focused on treating the hypothermic hunters. Fortunately there was another team member that was familiar with firearms who thought to safely secure the handguns. I was not a “gun guy” at the time and that thought never even occurred to me. I wouldn’t have known how to do it if it had.
As a ski patroller at Bear Mountain, I helped injured guests every day. We trained regularly and recertified every season. Never did we discuss the possibility of an injured guest being armed or how that should be handled.
I was the training director for several years during my ski patrol time. I was also in charge of the training program for SDMRT for several years while with the team. I can tell you that the subject of firearms never came up and was never addressed. I wasn’t involved with guns at the time and was therefore unaware, so what I would consider common sense today never occurred to me back then.
Because of the irrational fear of firearms, (driven by dishonest politicians) that has gripped many in our society, most people lack a fundamental understanding of firearms and basic firearms safety. Any talk of firearms, even in terms of education, is taboo. Most American adults could not safely unload and secure a firearm.
Everyone should have an understanding of basic firearms safety. This is something that children should learn at an early age. We should all do what we can to promote this understanding and combat the intentional disinformation being disseminated in our society.
I’d encourage all gun owners to give back to the community by volunteering at events aimed at educating new shooters and bringing more people into the shooting sports. Events like the NRA’s Women on Target, SDCGO Shooting Socials, and many others designed for new shooters, are run by volunteers and are lots of fun for everyone involved.
If you want to keep your rights defend them by joining San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), and the National Rifle Association (NRA). Join the fight and help us restore and preserve our second amendment rights. Together we will win.
©2018 Joseph T Drammissi