Last week was the most active week of the 2017-2018 session and it will take several weeks to highlight all of the legislation that has moved forward. This week I start with the “Stop the Bleed” campaign.

As we reflect on yet another school mass shooting, it underscores the need for changes to be made by various members of our community. Before I make initial recommendations on multiple levels, it is important to highlight some facts. From 1993 to 2013, there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of guns in America, yet during that same period of time gun homicides have decreased by 50 percent. However, the number of mass shootings over that same period of time has increased exponentially both in frequency and intensity. Taking no action is not an option.

I believe state and federal lawmakers need to close loopholes in background checks, provide better resources for mental health services, and ban bump stocks. Large numbers of individuals who are arrested for illegally concealing a weapon are not convicted. We need district attorneys to enforce existing gun laws, to aggressively prosecute criminals with guns, and to prosecute the individuals that provide guns to the criminals. Finally, judges must impose the toughest possible sentences on repeat gun offenders.

Stop the Bleed Facts.jpgA couple of months ago I was asked by Dr. James Mahoney, a Milwaukee area surgeon, to author a resolution to promote training for ordinary citizens on how to treat trauma. I was immediately intrigued by this request. As a member of the United States Army Reserves, I have been trained on how to treat trauma on the battlefield, and that training places a special emphasis on stopping and controlling bleeding.

The leading cause of death for individuals under the age of 44 is trauma, and the fourth leading cause of death for all ages is trauma. Traumatic injury can happen at any time, in any place. It can happen as a result of a mass causality situation, a car accident, or an accident at home or work.

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is working with several federal agencies on this initiative – Department of Homeland Security, FBI, FEMA, Department of Defense and the American College of Surgeons.

Stop the Bleed training is similar to CPR training. Please prepare yourself to help another in a time of need. You can be trained in less than a few short hours. If you are interested in learning more about what opportunities may be available for obtaining this training, please contact Dr. Christopher Davis at chdavis@mcw.edu.

Assembly Joint Resolution 111 encourages all Wisconsin residents to learn these valuable skills. This resolution passed the Assembly unanimously. I am grateful to be able to help with this important initiative.

Photo courtesy of Rep. Dale Kooyenga

Rep. Kooyenga presenting AJR 111 to Dr. Christopher Davis. Dr. Davis is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at MCW and a trauma surgeon. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons and is the Wisconsin Chair of the Bleeding Control Initiative.

Dale Kooyenga is the state Representative for the 14th Assembly District. This appeared first in Kooyenga’s email to his constituents.