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Are Schools Safe and Growing Safer?

March 15, 2018

How safe are our schools? Are they growing safer? You would think those simple questions would be well covered given the extensive media time we’ve devoted to the Parkland, Florida murders. You don’t know the answers because the media never told you. It is easier for the media to manipulate you if you are uninformed. It is easier for politicians to manipulate you. For a moment, let’s try to understand rather than inflame.

There is not a “epidemic” of mass murder in these United States, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the news. Schools are safe and becoming safer. If that surprises you, then be ready for this. The most destructive mass murder in recent history wasn’t in the United States. The most destructive mass murder in a school wasn’t in the US either. The most destructive mass murder in a US school involved neither a firearm nor was it committed by a young adult. On top of that, we already have 23 thousand firearms regulations in place..and they failed miserably in Florida. Those are significant facts that put the Parkland murders into context. You didn’t know those facts because you weren’t reminded of their significance.

The issue goes beyond facts and feelings. We need context to understand a story. That is the a critical question to ask yourself as you read the news.  “What is the context and the significance of a mass murder that killed 17 people in a public school.” That question is critical to you, but incidental to our so called “news media.” The MSM wants to keep you watching their show by frightening you every few seconds. They capture our eyes by playing on our anxiety.

The news media didn’t tell you what we’re already doing to make schools safer and what you can do to help. Let’s replace the mainstream horror movie with real facts. Watch this video if you want to know the truth about “gun free” schools.

Thank you for becoming informed rather than inflamed.


I gave you 300 words. Please leave a comment. RM


School Administrators Fear a Mistake More Than Mass Murder- repost of David Cole

March 12, 2018


Why do school administrators leave our children defenseless? My friend David Cole has been there. He was an army officer, a police officer, and a member of the SWAT team. David has seen leaders fail at tough decisions.

Is your local school board brave enough to protect your children? RM

“You’ve done the math in your head. Your fear is that when a school shooting breaks out, a teacher with a gun will “make it worse.” You are afraid that the teacher might miss and hit a kid, even if the teacher manages to stop the killer in the process.. You fear being blamed for it, because you made the decision.

“You actually fear that possibility more than you fear the killer who enters your school and murders unopposed for minutes.”

Source: What Do You Fear? – Black Man With A Gun ™

Which States Allow Armed School Staff

March 12, 2018


Which states allow school staff to be armed? The answer changes day to day. The recent murders in Florida left many of us wondering if we could do something to help protect our students. Many states allow armed staff in schools. Once the first school district in a state establishes such a program, then other districts often follow their lead. Other early adopters have moved forward and taken lessons from other states with long standing first responder programs. The states marked in green have at least one program approved by a school board or authorizing body. When we look at the map, most of us could put a program in place. We could protect our schools and our students today.


The laws that govern firearms near schools are often a leftover feature of the war on drugs. For very good reasons we didn’t want armed drug dealers standing at the front of our schools. Today, those same laws keep our children unprotected by disarming trained volunteers.

There are ways to protect our students even in the states that prohibit guns on school grounds. Some Florida sheriffs appointed selected school staff as auxiliary deputies. Auxiliary Deputies usually handle traffic at the county fair. They block traffic for funerals and parades.  Now, that classification of law enforcement officer is being used for a different purpose. A sheriff deputized trained teachers to protect our schools. The lesson is simple. There is often a way once there is the will.

Ask your local school board what they are doing to protect our children. Maybe they need your help.


Please share and comment. I gave you 250 words. What do you say?

Questions and Answers about Arming Teachers

March 12, 2018

Defending our students is a serious issue. It deserves more thought than a sound bite or a tweet. Unfortunately, politics is driven by emotion rather than reason, by appearances rather than by facts. I’ve heard bad arguments about arming teachers and about disarming them. Let’s look at the issue piece at a time. Let’s separate fact from fiction.

Perhaps you’ve heard this.

Should teachers be armed at school?
Each of us has something different in mind when we think about “allowing guns in schools.” Even the definition of school is different from state to state. Regulations may extend from daycare facilities to postgraduate research sites and hospitals. These “schools” may be privately owned, operated by a church, or publicly funded. Do the regulations cover the classroom during school hours, or the parents’ van when students are on a fieldtrip after school? Describing what we mean eliminates a lot of soundbite confusion.

The issue is complicated. Who is responsible for authorizing armed staff? Is it the school principal, the school board, or the local sheriff? Usually they are all involved in approving a program and selecting volunteers.

“I’ll quit teaching if they make me carry a gun in class.”
I’ve studied this subject for years and I have not found a single example of school staff being ordered to carry on campus. ‘The programs allow trained and authorized staff to be armed rather than forcing anyone to carry a gun at school.

Should selected school staff be allowed to go armed to protect themselves and others?
A school board usually makes the decision to arm staff. The board then looks for volunteers who already have a concealed carry permit. If selected, then the volunteers are often screened by the sheriff. Training may be local or at the state level.

Teachers don’t want to carry guns.
The answer you get depends on who you ask. Recent training classes for school staff have been full to overflowing. I know of training programs which trained over a thousand educators yet they had to turn qualified teachers away because they didn’t have enough money to train everyone who wanted to attend. Fortunately, enough teachers want to be trained to protect our students.

Guns don’t belong at school. That isn’t a place for violence.
This statement confuses reality with fantasy. In fact, violence is in our schools every day and has been for awhile. Our children are more likely to be the victims of violence in our schools than when they are at home. Students are more likely to be killed by violence in schools than by accidents like fire or earthquake. We conduct fire and earthquake drills at school, but we ignored the greater threat of deliberate violence..until now.

I’m here to love and nurture these kids. How does a gun help me do that?
Guns aren’t the answer. How can violence ever stop violence?
A firearm is a tool. That tool can help stop people from perpetrating violence against others. That is the very reason a million law enforcement officers carry a gun. That is why about 20 million civilians legally carry a concealed firearm in public. Armed defense only is part of a safety solution that also includes door locks, first aid kits, and training.

Leave the guns for the police, not for school staff.
We have not seen a gun-free school. Time is the enemy when an attacker comes on campus. Police need minutes to respond to the attacker. It may take EMTs hours to treat the injured. That means too many students will die while we wait. Volunteers at school want to stop the threat and treat the injured until help arrives. What tools should we give them?

Policemen have training that teachers don’t, so teachers are not qualified to defend students.
Armed school staff are defenders. They don’t have to do the many jobs that we ask of the police. Teachers don’t need to make high-speed chases or write tickets. Teachers don’t make arrests, preserve evidence, or testify in court. The program to train school staff varies from state to state, but in the programs I’ve seen, trained teachers did very well. They were required to perform above the level set for police officers in their shooting qualification.

Teachers also have a hidden advantages over law enforcement. Teachers know their school and their students. Armed civilians are less likely to shoot innocent bystanders than the police.

We can’t arm staff because it is illegal to bring guns in school.
In some states it is legal and in some states it is illegal. School districts arm school staff in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio. Hundreds of school districts have programs in place. Thousands of teachers are armed in schools today. Unfortunately, I’ve heard school and law enforcement officials lie about what can be done inside the law. If necessary, we can and should change laws to protect our students. 

Our insurance company won’t let us bring guns on campus.
That may be true, but it isn’t the whole truth. Some insurance companies insure schools and churches with armed staff. The insurance rates are comparable with unprotected schools. Insurance companies look at risks. Leaving our children unprotected presents a risk of loss and of lawsuits. Arming teachers presents some risk depending on the level of training that school staff receive.

We shouldn’t have to arm teachers.
We already protect our students today. We design our schools to withstand fire and natural disasters. We protect our students from people as well as from nature. We don’t release the children to strangers, and we report abuse when we see it. We want to protect our students from every threat they face.

Some school staff want to protect students from bad people who come on campus. I want to encourage them and thank them. They are there to protect my children when I can’t be there.

I gave you 900 words. Please leave a comment and a rating. What do you think about arming trained school staff? RM

A Rape Survivor Says Thank You for Protecting Self-Defense

March 11, 2018

From my friend, Shayna Lopez-Rivas, and reposted with permission. Shayna lives, works, and went to school in Florida.

To the Senators and Representatives that voted no on that atrocious bill our Governor Rick Scott signed in to law, this is for you. Thank you!

I am writing you to sincerely thank you for standing up for our Second Amendment rights and voting against the most recent gun control legislation that is now in effect today (3/9/18). Though I do not live in your district (my Rep and Senator are anti-gun shills), I wish I could have you in my district, as my representatives do not seem to know what it means to take an oath that swears “to support, protect, and defend the Constitution.”

In 2014, when I was 20 years old I was raped on my university’s campus by a deranged sociopath wielding a knife. A good friend of mine quickly brought me to the range soon thereafter and that was when I realized three things: 1) firearms could be used in self-defense, 2) I could have used that firearm to defend myself, and 3) I could now use firearms to defend myself and ensure I never become a victim again. I devoted myself to training and soon enough I had a firearm, when I was 20 years old, NOT 21.

It’s why I feel particularly hurt by this legislation with Governor Scott rubbing salt in old wounds by signing it.

In the weeks/months following my attack, there were days where I not only didn’t feel safe outside my home, but I didn’t even feel safe IN my own home. Those were days when I was still training, prior to possessing a firearm. When I finally had a firearm, even if I couldn’t carry at the time and thus still didn’t feel safe outside of my home, at least I had the peace of mind that I was SAFE in my home because I had the ability and the means to fight back should someone break and enter and try to attack me.

That is what my firearm granted me—peace of mind.

Had this bill passed in 2014, I would have NOT had that peace of mind for nearly a year after my attack (about 10 months) until I turned 21. And though this bill does not affect me now, I am disheartened and extremely saddened for other victims of violent attacks both now, and in the future, who are not yet 21 and who will not be able to have the choice to empower themselves and obtain the peace of mind that I was able to have.

I am extremely concerned that this bill is only the first of many. Why stop at 21? Why not raise the age of concealed carry and the ability to purchase firearms to 25? 30? What if we put a prohibition on POSSESSING firearms?

Thank you to those of you who stood in support of the Second Amendment. I’m sorry you must deal with your cowardly colleagues who do not agree. I’m sorry that they simply do not understand what they are doing and how it severely impacts individuals much like myself. And I’m equally sorry for the anti-gun crowd and its nonsense you are likely putting up with right now.

I just want you to know that by not backing this poisonous legislation that is a direct attack on our Constitutional rights, there’s at least one person that supported/supports you. You did the right thing.

Thank you for supporting individuals like me when you voted no.

Shayna Lopez-Rivas

You can follow Shayna here.

The Answers We Never Heard After a Murder in School

March 10, 2018

This is the speech we never heard. These are the answers we never got from politicians in Florida. If we were eager to know the truth, then this is what they’d say.

Thank you for coming to this town hall meeting. Children and teachers died in a public high school. We knew about the murderer. We failed to protect you and your children. We let you down and I’m sorry. It is time for things to change.

We lied to you. We said that you and your children are safe. That isn’t true. We can’t keep criminals and crazies away from you. Not at school and not when you are at home. I’m sorry.

As a state lawmaker, I want you to understand what happened. It is easy to make laws that sound good. It is very hard to make good laws that actually work. Too often, politicians like me left broken laws on the books and passed laws that we knew would fail in practice.

We said that we’d protect your children at school and we can’t. We have no duty to protect any of your children. Not at any time and no matter how badly we fail. Not the FBI, not the state police, local police, local deputies and not school resource officers.  By law, we are never accountable for their safety. Not one child. Not now. Not ever.

That sounds horrible, but please understand the size of the problem. I can’t protect your children when they are in the classroom. I can’t protect them when they are on school grounds, or on school activities away from school. I certainly can’t protect them when they are on the bus traveling to and from school. They are vulnerable all that time.

I can’t protect them in private daycare facilities, in a church that operates a kindergarten, or at the state university. I can’t do it there or anywhere in between. Beware the people who tell you otherwise. Some are sincere, but most are self-serving politicians trying to advance an agenda or their careers.

I can’t protect you from the mentally ill. A judge said we can’t force the mentally ill to take their medications. It is difficult and expensive to lock dangerous people away from us. We have done it, but we didn’t do it this time. We didn’t pass new laws to protect you. Instead, we passed laws that sounded good and that offered ineffective solutions. You never held us accountable. I hope you will.

In the case of the Parkland murders, we didn’t keep crazy people away from your children. We didn’t arrest and prosecute individuals who blatantly broke the law time after time. We denied you and your teachers the ability to protect yourselves and your children. We proposed more laws that will provide a TSA like solution. We offered you security theater that looks good on the TV and sounds good to the media in a soundbite.

There is hope. There are solutions. It is time we got out of the way and got our laws out of your way. You are more likely to find good solutions with your local school board than to depend on Washington. Your school board might be accountable. The people in the state capital and in Washington DC are not.

There are good solutions to keep our children safe all across this country. We’ve seen local school districts harden their schools to keep a bad guy out at minimal cost. We’ve seen local schools approve and train armed staff to stop an attacker inside your schools. We’ve seen them provide medical supplies and training to school staff.

Some counties provide mental health treatment. Some states provide effective mental health care. We didn’t do that. That is our fault, not yours.

We failed you, now please go protect your children because we can not.


I gave you 600 words. Please leave a rating and a comment. What would you like to hear your politician say? RM


Not Shinola – Black Man With A Gun ™

March 9, 2018

From is an article by my friend David Cole. David was a military officer, and a law enforcement officer, and a member of the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team. Today David trains civilians and provides security. He says that defending students is more accessible than some people imagine. David should know since he has done both jobs. RM

“..this article..suggests that 132 hours of training is somehow insufficient for a teacher to carry a concealed firearm in the workplace. Give me a break. People who think that some sort of “extensive” training is necessary for a teacher to defend against a school shooter frankly are either ignorant on the subject, or they are liars with an agenda.

“The truth is that anyone who possesses basic competency with a concealed carry pistol can carry safely in a school, and can defend against a school shooter. Period. Full stop.”

David’s comments deserve your attention. Read his full article here- Not Shinola – Black Man With A Gun ™

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