Jesus Sanchez Melean
Governor Polis signed HB23-1213 into law, which was supported by both Democratic and Republican members of Congress. This bill creates a program to provide up to 2,800 bleeding control kits. The kits are targeted at Colorado schools. Schools are not required to receive and install the equipment. But the law urges the Colorado Department of Health (CDPHE) to encourage schools to receive and train their staff and students for their use.
I have mixed feelings about this legislation. I believe it is important to prepare for situations that can occur at any given moment. Mary Bradfield, the Republican representative from Colorado Springs, expresses this view. “No one should die from a hemorrhage, as there are ways to prevent it. This is a win-win situation for anyone in a school who may suffer a life-threatening injury,” said this Republican who sponsored the legislation.
World upside down
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a “Stop the Bleed” program, so this Colorado legislation implements that program locally. The US federal government designed that program in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut in 2012, where 20 students and six administrators were killed. Proponents of the legislation argued that access to this equipment is urgent in light of the increase in the number of school shootings in the United States.
Here’s the catch. It is true that a good policy should allow for effective responses to foreseeable situations. However, the approval of this law also means that U.S. authorities feel powerless and unable to stop school massacres in the United States. Hanging up the equipment to prevent bleeding and training students on how to use it is a tacit acceptance that there is no chance of correcting the source of the problem.
Weapons will continue to get into the wrong hands and will be manipulated by those who do not have the emotional conditions to use them. Admitting and holding on to reality is hard. Soon, it will be more useful to think about installing the 2,800 bleeding control kits in schools than to make it more difficult for students to access guns. We are in the presence of an upside-down world. We are devoting attention to the symptoms and postponing addressing the causes of gun violence and firearm deaths.