Lawmakers and Advocates Respond to TYT’s Report on ‘Mass Casualty’ Training

In TYT Investigates by TYT Investigates1 Comment

A student wearing makeup to simulate injuries holds his head as he is evacuated during a school-shooting and mass-evacuation drill in Alameda, California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

By Ken Klippenstein

Last week, TYT reported exclusively on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) program to teach school children safety measures in preparation for “mass casualty events.”

According to federal procurement records, DHS’s program seeks to provide school children all over the country with “the knowledge necessary to stabilize the injured and control severe bleeding until first responders arrive on the scene.”

The story quickly garnered national attention and was referenced by numerous major media outlets including The New York Times. But it wasn’t just the news media that took notice.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) responded to the story, telling TYT via email, “It’s appalling that the Trump administration seems to think that teaching children how to respond to carnage of massacres can take the place of regulating the weapons that are responsible for these horrific acts of violence.”

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, also had concerns about the DHS’s program. Watts’s organization, founded one day after the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, is a nonpartisan advocacy group that focuses on solutions to gun violence.

Watts told TYT via email, “The Trump administration is asking educators, students and parents to accept that school shootings are the norm in America, as if they’re acts of nature and not the consequence of political acts of cowardice. Instead of passing common-sense gun laws that are proven to reduce school shootings and save lives, the government will now be teaching our children how to treat their classmates’ bullet wounds. But I have news for the administrators and lawmakers going along with this plan—gun violence that kills and injures our children is not normal, and we will never allow it to be.”

Rep. Grijalva echoed Watts’s concerns about political inaction, telling TYT, “Instead of bowing to [the] NRA and ignoring the role of firearms in school shootings, the Trump administration should get serious about protecting our students and work with Congress on public safety legislation that bans assault weapons, provides universal background checks, and closes loopholes.”

“We must create an environment for our children to learn, not one that requires them to act in absence of elected officials who are too scared to stand up to the gun lobby.”

Ken Klippenstein is a freelance journalist who can be reached on Twitter at @kenklippenstein or via email: [email protected]

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