I suspect many of you tire of hearing me say this. But I am going to say it again: execute the basics well.
Claude Werner is The Tactical Professor. He carries out his profession on a place on the Great Venn Diagram of Life where guns, tactics, data, training, and public policy merge into a spot occupied by few others. Never one to pass on an opportunity to use data to put things in perspective, he shared this piece on Facebook this evening, entitled "Prevent The Number 1 Cause Of Death."
It's not being shot by gang bangers or ISIS, folks. It's cardiovascular disease. From the link above:
"Cardiovascular disease (which includes Heart Disease, Stroke and other Cardiovascular Diseases) is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 787,000 people in 2011.
There are roughly 32,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. Of those, around 60% are suicides. About 3% are accidental deaths (between 700-800 deaths). About 34% of deaths (just over 11,000 in both 2010 and 2011) make up the remainder of gun deaths and are classified as homicides. According to FBI statistics, there were 12,664 homicides in the US in 2011.
12,664 homicides vs. 787,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease."
For those of you who've read Pivot Points, you may recall my discussion of this very subject:
Despite these basic, inexpensive suggestions which would dramatically improve the outcomes of medical and trauma patients, our national narrative on the subject of protecting people from harm isn’t about teaching basic safety or first aid. Instead, we are far more likely to worry about more dramatic, often violent, dangers, which garner a lot of press attention and generate fear but which are more far difficult to solve on both the societal and individual level. If we were truly concerned about preserving life, we’d be more focused on teaching people first aid skills and how to use a fire extinguisher – skills that could be useful in the kinds of emergencies that we are most likely to face.
Speaking of the top causes of death in America, can you guess the top ten?
1. Heart Disease
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases (like COPD)
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6. Alzheimer’s disease
8. Kidney disease
9. Influenza and pneumonia
In a society that values preparedness, people put a priority on physical and mental health. Many of the causes of death you see above are brought about by lifestyle choices – lack of exercise, poor diet, alcohol and tobacco abuse. While it’s true we all have to die of something, we can increase our productivity to society if we engage in preventative care, sensible diet and exercise. An extended emergency with limited infrastructure will require a tremendous amount from you; that’s not the time to realize you are out of shape and dependent on medications to function.
Now, a confession here - I need to take my own advice and work on my cardio fitness and blood chemistry. As the teenager in my house likes to say, "the struggle is real." I like sweet stuff. And carbs. A lot. So even though I eat healthy much of the day, I regularly supplement it with less than healthy food choices.
That is bad. My diet is a bigger risk to me than a random act of violence. Yet I train and carry tools to deal with the latter, while not spending near enough time and effort dealing with the former.
I need to work on this. As do many of us.
Thanks for the reminder, Claude.
Here's where I tell you what I think about things I think about.