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Should Paramedics Carry Guns Deep In The Heart Of Texas?

February 28, 2013 by  

Should Paramedics Carry Guns Deep In The Heart Of Texas?

Paramedics who act as first responders to emergency calls can tell some pretty incredible stories about the violence they’ve seen.

Gunshot wounds, stabbings, domestic beatings — there are times when those events are still in progress when paramedics arrive. There are times when paramedics and EMTs beat police to a scene by several minutes. There are times when they know only what their dispatchers have been able to glean, over the phone, about the security of an unfamiliar location and the intent of its occupants.

Those times make for some crazy stories. But there are a few emergency responders who aren’t around to share them anymore, because they were shot dead while on a call, doing a job fraught with nearly as many dangers as firefighting and police work.

In rural Texas, paramedics could soon be allowed to carry firearms for on-the-job protection, if a bill introduced this year by Representative Ken King (R-Canadian) succeeds before the State Legislature. The bill would also allow firefighters and “other individuals,” both paid and volunteer, to carry weapons if they’re engaged in an emergency response operation.

CBS 11 News in Dallas/Fort Worth heard both opposition and support for the idea Tuesday from people in the local Emergency Response business.

Whether residents support arming emergency responders is another matter.

On one hand, first responders certainly face exposure to agitated, excited and dangerous people more frequently than does the general population.

On the other, arming paramedics, EMTs, firefighters and “other individuals” would undoubtedly alter the fundamental public perception of what it means to be an emergency responder and could inadvertently lend medical and fire personnel the aura of enforcers. Citizens may balk at the idea that special legislation can extend gun-carrying protections to a new category of uniformed public service workers at a time when the general population’s 2nd Amendment rights are under fire.

Given the right cocktail of bad circumstances, it might even force well-intentioned emergency workers to make choices about whether to use their firearms in “shoot first” scenarios. And in America’s tort-drunk legal environment, that could be disastrous for the private companies and public agencies that employ them.

The Texas bill isn’t sweeping in its ambitions; it’s aimed only at emergency workers in counties of 50,000 or fewer people. It wouldn’t affect densely populated areas — where violent crime is typically more frequent – and, therefore, won’t “protect” many of the very paramedics and firefighters likely to face self-defense situations.

But the bill does raise the question of whether arming public servants engaged in non-defense and non-enforcement work exceeds the 2nd Amendment powers afforded regular civilians.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Vicki

    Hmmm… Lets see. Paramedic. A person. Subset of The People. Yep they can keep and bear arms. If their employer says no then they could just say no to working for that employer.

  • Harold Olsen

    Not just in Texas but in every state paramedics should be allowed to carry weapons. I used to work as a security officer in the tallest building in Seattle, One night this guy comes in and asks me to call the paramedics. He said he was on PCP. So I do so and ask that they also send the police. Both arrive about the same time. The medics entered first with the cops right behind them Three of each. As soon the the medics walked through the door, the guy who asked me to call them went berserk. The medics had to wrestle him down while the cops stood by and did nothing. When paramedics respond to a call, they never know what they are walking into. So, yeah, I think they should all be allowed to carry weapons.

  • Elected4Life

    Yep, Paramedics will be allowed to carry weapons as long as the elite machine indoctrinates them FIRST and they agree to become part of the unconstitutional police state. Then they can join up with hollow point team “Obama against Freedom” with the Social Security Administration, USDA, EPA, National Weather Service, U.S. Forest Service, etc. Conform to the Marxism or be murdered with a hollow point?

    • Elected4Life

      I cast my vote for the freedom of Paramedics to protect themselves along with other law abiding citizens of the U.S.~!!

  • dan

    Hells Bells…they’re Texans ! Why aren’t they packing already ?

  • dan

    ….and assault scissors just don’t cut it !

    • http://aol CommonSense4America

      Those are personal defense scissors for government workers.

  • FreedomFighter

    Should Paramedics Carry Guns Deep In The Heart Of Texas?

    nobody seems to get the meaning of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”

    Government arming them is not what I want, if they themselves want to carry – so be it.

    Laus Deo
    Semper FI

  • eddie47d

    Can any of you think beyond the gun you carry on your hip? A paramedic is also a “doctor” who has to patch people up and hook folks up to intrvenous fluids and so forth. If he’s busy bandaging someone up his weapon is exposed and the injured person will have easy access in grabbing it. If the injured person is a perp you are giving him just what he needs in making a get away (A gun and a vehicle). It could actually endanger the life of a paramedic.

    • Opal the Gem

      I have yet to see an EMS response with less then two paramedics in the vehicle and often there are three. That makes your anti-gun rant rather pointless. And no I am not arguing for the paras to be armed I think that should be up to the individual states and local jurisdictions to decide.

    • TheTruthHurts

      …same could be said for any LEO… what if there were just one more perp when they responded to a call… and they lunged for the gun?

  • Jeanette

    Texas has a high number of illegal aliens, a group which statistically commits violent crime against Americans at a much higher rate than other Americans do. For that reason alone, emergency personnel should be allowed to do whatever it takes to protect themselves.

    And although I imagine that everyone would rather no one was killed, if someone is going to be killed, then there is this question: Do we want a growing population of violent criminals and a shrinking population of emergency personnel, or do we want the reverse?

  • Bev

    The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

    • Vicki

      It is not the only way but it is a VERY effective way. Which is why police carry guns.

  • ibcamn

    If it’s for protection to one self,more power to them!they got the job that may require them to go into areas that,as was stated,are like war zones then yeah..i know several EMTs and several volunteer firefighters,believe it or not bikers have responsible jobs too,and non of them have the need to carry at work except one,EMT,he seems to get calls that take him to less than questionable areas,and has said several times that he has asked his boss to let him take his firearm with him on calls!(he gets the insurance and liability speech)so,not!

    if it’s for that,no problem!but!if it ends up were some may start taking the law into their own hands,or Obama gets a new great idea(like wanting to arm postal carriers)then questions abound!be careful on this one,talk to local fire stations or ambulance personel and even go to EMT charity events and find out how they feel!were i have lived,they usually never shoot at EMT or the AMBULANCE!but we are talking criminals here!times change…

  • Michael Shreve

    I am at a loss to explain why TRAINED emergency personnel of any kind should not be permitted to defend themselves and others, NOR why private citizens should not be ENCOURAGED to do so.

  • TheTruthHurts

    The title of this article is inane… any law abiding citizen should be able to carry personal protection wherever they are, all day, everyday. Criminals do not set up appointments, therefore we should not have limiters on who/what/when/where…

  • Dave67

    Everyone should be carrying guns at all times… If not to protect from the unlikely event of attack from gangs of boogeymen, but to gain protection from Obama the supreme dictator that we voted into office.

    Fear, its what this country deals in.

    Now excuse me, my bazooka just arrived and I need to keep kids off my property.

    “KEEP OUT OF MY BUSHES YOU KIDS!!! OK! I warned you!”


    Oh its just so fun to make fun of the fear merchants.

  • TML

    As a Texas resident, I have no problem with this bill. While it does seem to go beyond necessity in legislating emergency responders (fire fighters & parametics) to carry a weapon in some kind of an official capacity, it seems more ridiculous that such personnel are not already allowed to carry a weapon for self-defense as a personal choice.

    “Citizens may balk at the idea that special legislation can extend gun-carrying protections to a new category of uniformed public service workers at a time when the general population’s 2nd Amendment rights are under fire.”

    Highly doubtful. While the general population’s 2nd Amendment rights are under fire on the national level; the majority of Texans certainly do not support those proposals. Texas legislation has been introduced to nullify any national gun law restrictions, and has two different bills on the table for open carry of a firearm.

  • Julie

    What I don’t understand is Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian). Canadian???

    • TML

      Canadian, Texas

  • http://midcontent ridge runner

    If paramedics can not carry a side arm, people are pretty much numskulled. First the is plenty of wanted drugs that even Obpma would like to used or has used and sold. Also the area is loaded down with illegal drug cartel pukes,and perverted muslim terrorists crawling in here, ask any one that lives in Tucson, about abanded stinking prayer rugs.Since most criminal don’t register themselves and never buy a gun of any type, only a [expletive deleted] communist demorat would beleive in taking guns away. Something gun haters never say, when praising countries that have taking away all guns, is the run away home invasions, assults and rapes that triple in numbers, and robberies go out of site. Yhe idea law can stop gangs and crimminals, they only show up to take pictures and call the meat wagon and clean up crews!

  • GALT

    Bullard is HERE!!!!!

    Not looking good……..

    You have to wonder how such great journalism and all that truth,
    withers so quickly……..facebook?

  • cawmun cents

    There are highways and byways in west Texas,that you dont dare stop to help someone on.Places where trouble lurks around every bend in the road.
    The cartels and drug runners are often deperate and will take what they want from you to achieve their ends.Sometimes even your life.
    So being a Paramedic in that type of environment breeds the need for personal protection…plain and simple.


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