This is something I’ve thought about a bit. And the conclusion I’ve come to (for now) is something like this: it is one thing to use whatever you have, however you can, to save your own life in the heat of the moment.
But it is another thing entirely to plan to use something known to be less than ideal.
This holds true with holsters and carry guns, with safety protocols, with medical supplies, and with a whole lot of other things.
Improvising isn’t a plan.
It’s what you do when you’ve failed to plan.
Holster: Even though a gun could be carried without a modern holster, just by jamming it into the waistband or dropping it uncovered into a pocket, that’s not a great thing to do. It leaves the trigger exposed, and the waistband trick exposes the user to the risk of the gun slithering down the pants leg and escaping into the wild. There are better ways to carry a gun. So even though a person might do something like that in an emergency, it surely isn’t something we’d plan to do.
Safety Protocols: In the heat of a life-threatening emergency a person might inadvertently (or even deliberately) allow the gun to point at an interior wall that wouldn’t stop a bullet. But a smart person surely wouldn’t plan to do that in a classroom where they knew they’d be handling guns. Even unloaded ones. Instead, if a person were planning to handle guns in that environment, they would set it up so that they could trust that they had a genuine safe direction that would definitely stop an unexpected bullet.
Medical Gear: A tampon is not designed to stop blood flow, although it does make the blood less likely to pour out onto the floor. What does stop bleeding? Direct pressure. And a tampon is not designed to administer direct pressure, either. (It is rather explicitly designed not to put a lot of pressure on surrounding tissues, in fact.) Packing the wound with gauze designed for the task, and covering it with a compression bandage, works a lot better. If you’re going to carry something with you to stop bleeding, carry a thing that works.
Same thing with tourniquets. Someone did a study not too long ago and found that an improvised tourniquet without a windlass failed to stop the bleeding 99% of the time. Even with an windlass of some sort, improvised tourniquets failed 31% of the time — and are considerably slower to apply. Fortunately, a person can easily carry a true tourniquet on their belt (the PHLster Flatpack is a great product that I can recommend). And true tourniquets save lives. Ankle carriers for tourniquets are available, and range bags and car kits can easily carry one. A person can plan ahead so they don’t have to improvise this crucial piece of lifesaving gear.
I could go on, but perhaps you’ve gotten my point by now. Improvising isn’t a plan. It’s what we do when we’ve failed to plan.