By Rob Morse : Opinion
USA –-(Ammoland.com)- What is the real divide in the United States? Black Lives Matter thinks we are divided by race. Antifa thinks the real divide is about wealth and class. Muslims think it is about religion.
I think they are wrong, and the great divide in America is about character.
Here is one small example where ordinary people volunteered to be heroes. I'll show you who, and why, and what this says about us. It always comes down to character and freedom.
This morality tale begins with you working in a school. You see hundreds of children every day. Every problem these children have at home follows them to school. You do your best to make school a place where they are able to learn.
It is an amazing job. The parents in your community entrust you with their children. You look after their education, their hearts, and their physical safety. You're not their parents, but you are the responsible adult on the scene when their parents aren't around. You call the students, “my kids.” because that is how you feel about them. Some school staff want to protect “their kids”.
Teachers and school staff see the news about violent attacks on our schools. School administrators wonder what they can do. What would you do in their place? If there were a violent attack at a school near you, would you lock your office door, silence your phone, and hide under your desk until you heard the “all clear”. Would you escape out a window and leave the children behind, or would you fight to protect “your kids” from attack?
Many teachers would fight for our kids. If an armed attacker threatened their students, these teachers would move toward the threat. That is how they would act at home, and that is how they want to react to protect students and staff at school. Here we uncover the great divide in the US today.
I sympathize with these teachers. I feel the same way about my family and friends as they feel about their students. I want teachers empowered because I think the world is flawed and people are awesome. I’ve seen ordinary people hold the world together when things break. If a school board wants to train staff volunteers as first responders, then more power to them. Not everyone agrees with my utopian view of human nature.
Some groups think that people are fundamentally flawed.
They think that the ordinary citizen is dangerous and only government employees should be empowered.
Only firefighters should use a fire extinguisher. Only EMTs should perform first aid. Only the police should use force to stop an attack. These groups say that trained school staff should never be armed and that the role of a good citizen is to step back and wait until government officials arrive to do their job. Some teachers said they could never protect students because they might do something wrong and might injure an innocent person by mistake.
Their dystopian vision is easy to describe, yet I still find their claims unbelievable. My friends who are firefighters taught me how to use a fire extinguisher. My doctor told me to learn first aid and CPR. Policemen told me I should take the required classes so I can be legally armed in public. They told me to do what I can until help arrives.
We may differ philosophically, but most of us share that first-aid perspective of doing what we can until help arrives. You probably have a medical kit and fire extinguisher at home and at work. That is a good start, but those supplies are worthless without you and the training you bring to an emergency situation.
Knowing what to do makes those supplies invaluable. Being a capable first responder is like a physical or spiritual fitness plan. It takes regular practice to be effective.
Would you stand by and do nothing for fear of making a mistake? An experienced law enforcement officer at the teacher training course offered his personal experience. He was one of the first law enforcement officers on scene after a school shooting in Colorado. The officer said that nothing is as bad as someone attacking our children. Nothing. People will die if you stand back and wait for police. These school staff volunteered to save a life and act in time of need.
There we have the great American divide laid bare. Some people move toward an accident and try to ease the suffering. Others back away and don’t want to get involved.
They want to “leave it to the experts” and make it illegal for you to give aid.
The thousands of school staff who have taken first responder training are prepared to be heroes. They wouldn’t call themselves heroes, but I do. I hope they never have to use a gun to stop a threat. I hope they never have to use their emergency medical kits to save a life. Even if they are never put to the test, I am relieved that the teachers are equipped and prepared. The world is a better place because they volunteered.
They are not alone. There are millions of people who step forward in a moment of need. I am grateful to all of them. They are the real character of these United States.
About Rob Morse
The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.