Hypocrisy of “We do this in order to protect you from yourselves”.

On a daily basis we hear the platitude that we must ban guns on one hand to protect people from harming themselves and other. It is interesting to hear we have to ban guns from hunting because people can accidentally shoot themselves or someone else. Sometimes people do shoot themselves or others while hunting. But let’s examine the shifting idea on the gun debate. As our population grows, we require more land to develop and build upon. We increase and develop the rural areas and turn them into bedroom communities creating our ever larger commutes to work. The loss of rural areas cuts down on the area where people can hunt. With loss of areas to for game to live there are less people who can go out and hunt and use firearms. With fewer hunters than non-hunters the idea grows that “We don’t need guns to hunt.” Why, “Because we don’t know anyone that hunts” and therefore its bad to have guns that can hurt people in my neighborhood.

But here is the hypocrisy of our society. Look on ESPN and watch extreme skateboarding, X-Games, motocross, or even NASCAR and see those people endanger their lives. Every weekend sports channels highlight NASCAR wrecks at 200 miles per hour. For more excitement they show when the cars under extreme stress come apart and debris lands in the stand hurting innocent spectators. We celebrate and reward people who fly through the sky, on a board, 30 feet in the air. We mourn that people die participating in these extreme events, but is having a gun is more dangerous? On average 38,000 people die a year in automobile accidents. But you say, “That’s different, we need them. They are a part of society.” So were rifles for the past 400 years. Even today, some people need firearms to hunt for the survival of their families. Even the excuse that the Second Amendment is outdated because we don’t have to worry about the government being tyrannical has gone by the wayside. When the government goes after the media and uses the IRS to suppress the rights of its citizens then it looks tyrannical, and thus breathes new life into the argument of needing guns to protect us from oppression.

If we are going to outlaw anything that can hurt you, or potentially everyone else, then park the cars that may kill someone in an accident and wrap everyone in bubble wrap. I don’t hunt and therefore someone can’t say I’m just a crazy NRA fanatic. The fact is life is dangerous. Don’t try to ban one thing saying we are looking out to protect society while celebrating others which are just as dangerous. To go all out on one and ignore the other because “We like the other one” is simple hypocrisy.

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Incident Management Team Success is through initial conversations on incidents.

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I joing an All Hazards Type 3 Incident Management Team and finally finished of my Operations Section Chief task book. The All Hazards Teams are extremely important in times of emergency. These teams go into towns such as Oklahoma City,or Long Island, and develop the plan to help them recover from devestation. The article is about lessons learned on a recent deployment.

Confidence in an Incident Management Team by the workers in the field is critical to success and constant changing of plans and tactics may lead to the questioning your IMT’s ability to manage the incident. It is critically important when your IMT responds to assist another IMT that you spend some time with the team already in place and develop your situational awareness. Once the other IMT leaves it is too late to ask questions. Your IMT may end up playing catch-up and spend considerable time trying to get up to speed.

Before you arrive, have a list of questions that you need answered which may not be covered on the ICS 209. During your in-briefing ask specific questions which may allow you go garner insights into how the incident unfolded, why it was being managed the way it was before your team arrived, and the unexpected challenges their IMT faced during their operational periods. The current IMT may have initially started their operational period with a set of tactics and as often the case, had to make changes and thus creating a hybrid plan. The IMT may have changed their plans on paper, but making the changes in field may take longer and the workers may be still transitioning from the original tactics to the hybrid plan.

During your initial briefings you receive the broad scope picture. Use the shadowing time to garner as much information as you can from the person you are replacing. During the one-on-one time you can find the little unexpected nuances that arose and influenced how they performed during their operational period. You should find out how they initially anticipated managing the incident, what went right, what went wrong, and why. The answers to these questions can help your IMT’s success. Failure to ask the questions can hamper effective transitions from team to team. By anticipating the challenges at an incident and developing your own set of questions your team can make the best use of the limited time with the out-going IMT. The key to your team’s success is the initial conversations that help your team create an in-depth situation awareness of the incident you are taking over.