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A Society With Arms

Bang!

Image by ToastyKen via Flickr

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life”
Robert A Heinlein

On the way to work the other morning, the first half of that quote popped into my head and I had thoughts on it’s use and further thoughts on why it it doesn’t fit. And, because I’m nice, I decided to share them with you.

So, the quote is used by The Polite Society, an organisation that aims to teach people to use firearms in real life situations.  The firearms are, in all cases, concealed carry. The idea behind both the quote and the Society is that if everyone was both armed and prepared to fight to the death in various situations, that the world would be a better place. A high ideal and, at first blush, seemingly realistic. However, this assumes that firstly absolutely everyone is armed and willing to fight to the death and secondly that in this very aggressive atmosphere that everyone would react appropriately and not start shooting at the slightest provocation. Read the rest of this entry

Give Blood Regularly

Now that you’ve read the title, the text should be of no surprise to you.  Yesterday I gave blood again, this

National Blood Service

National Blood Service

was my twentieth donation and it took me less than an hour.  I’m too much of a scaredy cat to donate bone marrow and I’m not nearly clever enough to be a doctor, so this is what I do to do my bit.

If everyone stopped giving blood now, there is around a week’s worth left.  Just think, one week’s worth of blood in the whole UK.  It costs you nothing, except an hour or so of your time once every 3 or 4 months and you can bask in the glow of having saved a life – who knows, it may be your life at risk without blood stocks.

It should also be noted that the nursing staff are extremely important to any blood drive.  These are the people who draw the blood and can answer all sorts of questions about the process.  They are responsible for making sure it gets from your arm to the transport safely and hygienically.  It needs to be said that, although their job looks simple, it is very valuable and an extremely responsible position. Don’t forget, although the role as we see it doesn’t appear taxing, they will still have attended nursing school to become qualified to do this.

So, go to http://www.blood.co.uk to find your nearest donation centre and get signed up.

The Wonder Stabber

Guess what I did tonight?  Go on, guess.  Nope, try again.  Shall I tell you?  Well…

I gave blood.  I’ve been doing it several times a year for over 10 years now.  I have no medical skills, the thought of the pain of bone marrow donation gives me the shivers (not terribly manly, I know) so I do this.  I let a nice lady put a needle in my arm and withdraw about a pint of blood.

Do it, do it now.  The next life you save may be mine.  And I can think of nothing more important than that 🙂

What do they do?  Well, lets ask The National Blood Service:

Donating blood is simple

The blood donation process is much quicker and easier than you think. You just need to follow these five simple steps:

Step 3

A tiny drop of blood will be taken from your fingertip. This allows us to check your haemoglobin levels – to ensure that giving blood won’t make you anaemic.

Step  4

It’s time to take your blood. There’s nothing to worry about, most people hardly feel a thing. Normally about 470ml is taken – just under a pint – which is quickly replaced by your body.

Step  5

Once you’ve given blood, you will have a short rest before going to the refreshment area for a drink and biscuits. Giving blood shouldn’t take more than an hour.

This is how we do it in the UK.  Your particular country may do it differently.  It’s takes very little time (I was in and out in under an hour, though the fact that everyone else was watching England beat Trindad and Tobago 2-nil may have helped) and I had a nice chat with the Donor Carer.

And here’s some stuff about The National Blood Service themselves:

The National Blood Service is not to be confused with the National Health Service.

We are an integral part of the NHS, and we guarantee to deliver blood, blood components, blood products and tissues from our 15 blood centres to anywhere in England and North Wales.

Naturally, we also ensure that the blood we supply is properly screened and is safe for patients. Every year we collect, test, process, store and issue 2.1 million blood donations. We depend entirely on voluntary donations from the general public, and try to encourage our existing donors to give three times a year. (It’s amazing what the promise of a free cup of tea and some biscuits will do…)

But we also have a number of other functions. Such as continually carrying out new research into improving the safety of blood. And new ways it can be used to help save more lives.

We also provide specialist medical advice and clinical support to hospitals, as well as educating and training transfusion machine specialists. It’s a huge undertaking. But we’re dedicated to keeping Britain’s blood supply moving.

So do it and do it now.  It’s easy and painless and you could actually help to save a life.