Fight Like Hell for the Living

Fight Like Hell for the Living

April 11th, 2023

We recently installed a public access bleeding control station. It’s a well-marked cabinet stocked with first aid kits designed to stem catastrophic blood loss before an ambulance can arrive. This might not be something many of our customers have seen before, but it should be more common in public spaces. Blood loss is the leading cause of preventable death in trauma.

After the Pulse nightclub shooting, when a gunman killed 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, members of our collective started thinking a lot about the risk of ideologically-motivated violence. Our concerns only escalated in 2018 when our staff became a target of harassment by nazis and, again in 2020, when local Right-wing activists obsessed over our bookshop's supposed relationship to “antifa.” None of us signed up to be the target of hate crimes, but it’s undeniable that queer and trans people are more vulnerable than ever in this climate of political opportunism and conspiratorial mass delusions.

But queer spaces aren’t the only ones where violence happens. Last year there was a mass shooting in the United States every 13.5 hours. Bookstores and social centers can’t stop gun violence but we can make our communities safer by being prepared. That includes planning and training; for spaces like ours it includes access to life-saving tools like tourniquets and hemostatic dressing. We don’t love that this is something we have to think about, but taking responsibility for our collective health and safety can be empowering. We encourage you to carry an individual first aid kit and ensure that the places where you work, study, and socialize have well-stocked trauma kits!

Image Description: A photo of the bleeding control station at Firestorm, a white metal cabinet that contains eight individually packaged “stop the bleed” kits from North American Rescue. The inside of the cabinet door displays instructions for use and a red sticker along the side of the cabinet reads “Bleeding Control Kit.” A poster on the wall above the station reads "Fight Like Hell for the Living" in cursive.