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The City of Federal Way recently experienced a shooting in which a young man used a shotgun to kill his live-in girlfriend and then also gunned down three other people. The police believe that he killed the additional three people in order to prevent them from testifying against him. This terrible event made national news and has caused series of repercussions in the local community.
A perennial candidate who had already indicated he would not be running for mayor- announced that he will now run because public safety is suddenly a concern. This despite the fact that law enforcement officers arrived quickly and neutralized the shooter by shooting him dead. There is nothing to indicate that having any more officers would have resulted in a different outcome or that anything that the police could have done would have stopped the carnage.
One victim, a 62 year old man, ran into his nearby apartment unit and bolted the door to call 911. The killer blew the bolt off the apartment door and then blasted away at his neighbor while he was calling 911!
Rudi Alcott, the publisher of the Federal Way Mirror criticized Mayor Skip Priest, implying that he handled the aftermath of “the horrific events on April 21 irresponsibly” and that our city leaders were remiss in the way they handled an initial press conference:
“At this point, things started to break down. Where was Mayor Skip Priest during this initial press conference? Not only did he not speak, he wasn’t even present. While I will grant the fact that this was predominately a police-centered press conference, the mayor should have opened the meeting assuring the general public that all of us were safe, that this was an isolated event, and that there would be a follow-up meeting — and then turn it over to the police chief for the details.”
Alcott compared how our city’s leaders reacted to the violence in Federal Way to how the mayor of Boston responded to the Boston Marathon bombings. Apparently members of the press were invited to a public meeting at City Hall.
The fact that the media was not permitted to remain in the room throughout the entire meeting caused a certain amount of indignation on Mr. Alcott’s part:
“For the first time, I wondered whether the mayor’s office or the police department was running this city. Imagine the outrage in Boston had the city issued a statement that said “Only the people of the blocks that were cordoned off to capture the fugitives could attend the meeting. All the rest of you need to go away.”
The publisher was “appalled by this action” and personally apologized to all of the citizens of Federal Way for the city’s “ineptitude’ in the way the meetings were handled. Rudi, your apologies are appalling!
Alcott inveighed, “Accept the fact that you mishandled this and begin to move the city in a direction that will heal the community. Your entire community deserves this, in likely the greatest time of need that this community will ever face.”
Does the publisher of the Mirror really believe that Federal Way has faced the worst it will ever face?
I wrote a column in the Mirror that regularly warned about how the times are becoming more violent and that we are all at risk. The Firearms Lawyer column appeared in print for four years because it was controversial and controversy sells newspapers. Although newspaper publishers often print editorial material that does not express the views of the publisher, Mr. Alcott certainly must have recognized that the reason so many people were purchasing guns was not because things are expected to improve for the better.
In fact, the Mirror suddenly terminated the Firearms Lawyer column after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, because management at the paper had determined that there should be “no more articles calling for more guns.”
I have been accused by some of blaming victims of violence for not being armed. I must say, however, that the 62 year old man who tried to call 911 might still be alive if he had picked up a gun instead of a telephone after he bolted the door to his apartment. He was known as a guy that watched over the premises. He and two other men laid down their lives just by being present on that terrible day.
Bob Roegner also climbed on, stating, “All that changed with the Pinewood Village Apartment murders. Suddenly there were several issues to raise: domestic violence, gun availability, neighborhood safety, and police department staffing.” Roegner also offered up additional pratings about domestic violence and twaddled about the city’s failure to take away the perpetrator’s guns (the murderer had no legal prohibitions and the weapons were legally owned). Other less preeminent sources of political wisdom also pontificated that Federal Way is going down the tubes (a recurringly racist theme often appears that our city has become a ghetto).
Jon McIntosh, a local pastor, got it right:
“As a local church pastor and a police chaplain, I had the privilege of participating in this meeting. I could not be more proud of our leaders than I was that night. It is moments like these that demonstrate the levels of integrity and care that assure us of a strong future. If you are unhappy with how the meeting was conducted, you have that right. But please remember, that evening you weren’t the most important thing.”
The same edition of the Mirror contained a highly informative story about gangs in Federal Way and surrounding areas. What the story failed to emphasize is that many of the gangs are affiliated with the Mexican cartels and every major cartel conducts operations in the Seattle area, including South King County and Tacoma.
The fact that the cartels routinely kill law enforcement officers, journalists, prosecutors and judges in Mexico, makes it appear highly likely that carnage will spread North from the border. The cartels have only held back because they know their operations will suffer if the bloodshed occurring in Mexico is duplicated North of the border.
It is easy to criticize Mayor Priest. He might become peevish or just not give you an interview. And I have to agree with those like Jim Ferrell (who announced he will be running for mayor of Federal Way after all) when they complain that money spent on the anticipated Performing Arts Center should instead go for essential services like police salaries.
But, as far as I know, politicians in the United States don’t cut off people’s heads like the cartels and jihadists. Criticizing Skip Priest for how he conducts grieving in Federal Way is misplaced and a bit arrogant.
The big question is who are you going to trust when things get ugly? For example, someone in high places abandoned Ambassador Stevens and three U.S. security personnel in Benghazi. The hearings last week put the spot light on the ambassador’s desperate phone calls for help while Al-Qaeda targeted him to be tortured, sodomized with a bayonet and killed.
Everyone knew that September 11, 2012 was a day when the risk of terrorism was high and the warnings about Benghazi were clearly written for all to see. J. Christopher Stevens was one of their own but the ambitions of those in the political class dictated that his death and the lies that were told during the aftermath are not a real story in the eyes of many except to the extent that the controversy imperils the Obama administration.
Rather than publishing editorials advocating for gay marriage and carping about phony issues like the press not being enabled to distract folks that need to grieve and heal, the Mirror publisher should be asking how Federal Way residents can better prepare for any future horrifying events.
Getting prepared was the dialogue we fosterd in the community with the Firearms Lawyer column. The dialogue continues in these blog pages. The key is not more guns but good communication between leaders in government, law enforcement, churches and those that live and work in Federal Way.
Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to have firearms training and carry a gun along with you- just in case. The hand writing is on the wall and we are entering a new time in which the whole world is a danger zone. Yes, I am still encouraging our neighbors to get trained with firearms. We cannot say for sure what tomorrow holds.
There are definitely times when a gun is better than a telephone. The four dead residents of Federal Way might agree. Ambassador Stevens and his security team were outgunned but the amabassador could have gone down shooting instead of being taken alive. But there I go, blaming the victim again!
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Shameless manipulation of statistics in Rahm Emanuel’s blood-soaked Windy City?
Chicago Mayor Emanuel is bragging because the first three months of 2013 saw the Chicago murder rate go down to 70. Michelle Malkin points out that in 2012, Chicago racked up the nation’s deadliest death toll, with 506 of its residents murdered. The murder rate has simply returned to business as usual in 2013. Here’s the first-quarter death toll breakdown for 2009-2013:
I heard the story on NPR about the NYC cop sent to a psych ward for blowing the whistle on the police administration in New York City. He had called attention to the City’s manipulation of crime data. This story is very well documented regarding NYC law enforcement’s policy of under-reporting serious crimes!
What do folks that live around Chicago think about the high rate of violent crime, including but not limited to gun violence, that still exists there? It seems like Chicagoans have just become numb but most the rest of the nation is saying, “This is why we are not going along with Chicago-style gun control!” There was an article in the WSJ yesterday showing that at least 17 new laws enacted since Sandy Hook, demonstrating that most states are still becoming less restrictive regarding firearms.
Some people claim they don’t even like to think about or see violence but prefer to read books like “THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO”.
Nevertheless, only a few states are going in the direction of more restrictions. The WSJ ran the story yesterday and Obama’s Democrats (like Sen. Feinstein) are lamely blaming the NRA for the fact that most of the President’s proposals for new federal gun laws are DOA; i.e., banning so-called “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines. Such measures are DOA- dead on arrival- for those that are not in the habit of reading about violent crime. Breaking through layers of institutionalized denial is what it will take to get the vast Sheepatopia to bleat “enough is enuf!”
Does anyone really believe that if honest Americans outside the “Bloody City” disarm Chicago will be safer? A good title for a movie would be, “THE CITY WITH THE BLOODY TATTOO”. According to the Wall Street Journal on April 4, 2013:
Arkansas eliminated prohibitions on carrying firearms in churches and on college campuses. South Dakota authorized school boards to arm teachers. Tennessee passed a law allowing workers to bring guns to work and store them in their vehicles, even if their employer objects. Kentucky shortened the process for obtaining licenses to carry a concealed gun.
Those laws, along with the long odds for major federal gun-control legislation, show how the march toward expanded gun rights in recent years has hardly slowed since Mr. Obama pledged to use the “full force” of his office to tighten limits after 20 children and six adult staffers were killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
This year, five states have passed seven laws that strengthen gun restrictions, while 10 states have passed 17 laws that weaken them, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks and promotes gun-control laws.
On Tuesday, April 2, an Indiana House committee passed a bill that would require an armed staffer in every school. A North Dakota law awaiting the governor’s signature eliminates prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons in churches. A Montana bill allowing Big Sky residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit awaits Democrat Governor Steve Bullock’s signature. His spokeswoman stated that the Governor is reviewing the bill.
On the other hand, here in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Washington, a bill that would have required universal background checks failed last month despite Democrats’ 55-to-43 advantage in the House and residents’ 79% approval for the bill, according to a state poll. NRA members know that the reason our organization remains so aggressive is because that is what we, the rank and file members, want- no compromise!
Woe to him that builds a town with blood, and establishes a city by iniquity! -Habakkuk 2:12
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Arming Teachers and College Students for Protection in a Washington State Classroom
Dear Washington State Senator Steve Litzow,
I do not know who else to turn to regarding the emergent need, I believe, that exists for teachers in Washington State to be armed with handguns in their classrooms. After the wave of school shootings in the United States in the past sixteen-years, with no end in sight to armed intruders taking advantage of what has been deemed ‘a gun-free zone’, I see no alternative to protecting students and staff in a school building.
Evidence exists that school shooters have overcome office staff, added security guards, alarms, locked doors, video surveillance systems, and office staff with ease. They simply shot their way into the building before police could respond in force.
This has left teachers and their students as vulnerable targets to be slain execution-style in their classrooms. Had adults in this country had the guts to pass laws allowing teachers to be deputized as law enforcement or to open-carry handguns in classrooms or anywhere else in an educational campus, many of these shootings might have been prevented or reduced.
As a Washington-State certified elementary school teacher (and currently teaching college), I see my first duty as a teacher as protecting the students in my charge. The second duty I fulfill is educating them.
Other than training students to carry a can of Campbell’s soup to class each day…as an object to be thrown en masse at intruders with weapons, I see no other way to stop such potential insanity.
I know many teachers who do carry handguns to schools and quietly conceal them. This comes with the great risk of losing his/her job should administration find out…or some insurance company deem them as a dangerous lawsuit risk. How would they then be bonded and the schools protected in lawsuits?
How about a teacher’s inalienable right to protect himself/herself from injury or death on the job? Should he or she survive such a massacre, no dollars will bring closure to the mental anguish that teacher will suffer for the rest of his/her life due to the guilty feelings of not being able to protect his/her students.
I beg you to have the courage to introduce a bill in the Washington State Legislature allowing teachers to carry handguns with them into classrooms openly. Otherwise, I beg you to introduce a bill to deputize teachers as law enforcement in educational settings.
Sean Thomas Taeschner, M.Ed.
Reprinted With Permission of Author
© 2013 Sean T. Taeschner, M.Ed.
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On Feb.12, 2013, I addressed the Federal Way School Board and enumerated a number of steps for which I had been advocating as necessary to supplement the School Resource Officers and other armed law enforcement already present in Federal Way schools. The message to the Board included an announcement that a committee of concerned citizens would meet and make recommendations regarding the most effective strategies that should supplement existing school security.
See King 5 Newscast here. A consensus is already developing that patrols are one good component in the overall strategy for protecting schools in the aftermath of the tragic wake-up call from Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
Of course, no single solution can stop every threat that may lurk in a world that seems to be growing more dangerous. Nevertheless, pairs of volunteers with the right training can deter violence and serve as extra eyes and ears for the School Resource Officers and other professionals that are already prepared to stop violence.
It appears that the public has become evenly split between folks opposed to the concepts I outlined at the School Board meeting meeting and others that are persuaded that we need to go in the direction of empowering “civilians” by arming specially trained individuals. Thus, supplementing the Resource Officers and professional security officers armed with pepper spray that already provide excellent security in our schools is the way to go, while arming volunteers is too controversial.
It will be interesting to see whether other jurisdictions that are going in the direction of deputizing volunteers will experience the dire consequences predicted by some of those that were alarmed by the proposal to arm and train some key personnel. I still remember how many in authority predicted that armed pilots and federal air marshals would be depressurizing aircraft with stray rounds. Incidentally, pilots are volunteers and pay for their own training conducted at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) facility at Artesia, NM.
Are pilots easier to train with firearms than teachers, school bus drivers and retired folks? If you knew your pilot was carrying concealed or harboring a pistol in the cockpit, would you refuse to board the plane?
There have also been many comments indicating that many people are not convinced that arming well trained personnel is the right course to take but want to hear more of the discussion that has already begun in Federal Way. The S.A.F.E.S.T (School Alliance For Every Student’s Tomorrows) committee met on February 19 and reached a consensus with the following recommendations:
1. We will reach out and seek to become allied with the PTA, WATCH D.O.G.S. and other parent groups to create partnership;
2. Our objective will be to see unarmed teams embedded in the schools with two parents or other volunteers in each team;
3. We resolved to look to the Federal Way School District and/or law enforcement for appropriate training recommendations for 2-person teams and help in any way possible to implement programs that are recommended by local authorities;
4. The teams should be comprised of PTA members or others that are approved in conjunction with the PTA and other parent groups that have children in our local schools and already have experience working with the Board, the District, teachers and administrative professionals.
We invite anyone interested in keeping schools safe to contact us. We will be providing contact information within the very near future. Once we know how to reach out to the PTA and other parent organizations, we will meet with any and all interested parties in order to plan a more detailed course of action.
Contact Elaine at email@example.com.
Denial kills you twice. Once during the incident, a second time (if you survive) because you will blame yourself for not taking the steps to train and prepare. -Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
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The Citizen’s SAFEST (School Alliance For Every Student’s Tomorrow) Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 19th at 7:00 PM. My email address and phone number are at www.firearmslawyer.net. Please contact me if you are interested in being involved with our committee or just wish to attend.
Many of us see the need to protect our schools with more than dialogue and political band aids. Elected officials and others that implement public policy have an instinct to keep themselves safe politically- especially regarding anything that has to do with guns.
At the February 12, 2013 meeting of the Federal Way School Board, I made sure that the Board knows that federal and state law empower the District to authorize armed personnel to protect our schools and that such personnel are not required by law to be law enforcement officers. I articulated the following points:
1. The FWPS should enable only highly trained and carefully vetted individuals to protect our schools;
2. These individuals might be called “Supplemental Staff” (or even Special Security) and will obtain training and equipment at their own expense; they should also qualify on the range in order to meet or exceed the same standards of proficiency as LEOs;
3. These Supplemental Staff will be available to back up School Resource Officers and FWPS security personnel that presently guard our high schools and middle schools; additionally, staff should be embedded in our elementary schools for which security is now only randomly available;
4. A Federal Way Citizen’s Safety Committee is prepared to meet and look at any sensible options for school safety;
5. My conviction that armed staff is the most effective means to protect the schools without immense cost is only my personal opinion (after several years of researching the options) but the Citizen’s Committee will advocate for any solutions that are feasible and effective;
6. There are already many parents and others- including the D.O.G.S.- that provide a presence in our schools that may help deter violence;
7. The objective is not to arm teachers! Nevertheless, teachers, administrators, principals , school bus drivers and maaintenance people should be eligible for training if they meet all the criteria established by the Board for those that particpate in the program- at their own expense;
8. The Citizen’s School Safety Committee will submit written recommendations to the District; meanwhile the Board should consider authorizing Superintendant Neu to work with us by discussing options and possibly involving the Federal Way Police Department’s advice.
We understand that many of the existing security precautions are not appropriate to be discussed but wish to at least understand any potential objections so that we can research various questions and become a valuable resource for the community.
Most of our leaders will not risk taking a stand until the right kind of people- their political peers- at least approve of holding the discussion!
There already are many WATCH D.O.G.S. in our schools ready to lay their lives down for the kids:
WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) - Is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security. Today, more than 2,610 active programs in 42 states participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program.
A local community activist named Kurt Peppard also made a statement. He stated that he is one of the WATCH D.O.G.S. and he knows a correctional officer that is highly trained and tactical. The officer told Mr. Peppard that he would not want to see armed volunteers in the schools and that the concept is a bad idea.
On the other hand, I have personally spoken to many highly trained individuals from various levels of law enforcement and military that are very passionately committed to the concept outlined above and that would participate in such a program given the opportunity. Some of them already put in many hours as volunteers with the City of Federal Way.
Think of Sandy Hook Elementary Principal, Ms. Dawn Hochsprung, who heard the shots and headed toward the danger. She was one of 26 at the school killed, including 20 students, who were murdered. She could have stopped the carnage if she had one simple piece of equipment- a pistol.
Ridgefield, Washington is in the news because they are using armed security guards. School resource officers are widely recognized for developing beneficial relationships in schools and communities but Supplemental Staff can also provide mentoring and other uplifting interactions with the youth in our schools.
There is a need for armed volunteers that are not in uniform- even if we could afford a resource officer for every school. The random nature of the threats requires that there be random potential for a trained adult to appear and deploy armed force at any time. The deterrent is in the fact that the active shooter has no idea how many armed volunteers exist or where they will be.
FROM THAT DAY ON, HALF OF MY MEN DID THE WORK, WHILE THE OTHER HALF WERE EQUIPPED WITH SPEARS, SHIELDS, BOWS AND ARMOR. THE OFFICERS POSTED THEMSELVES BEHIND ALL THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH WHO WERE BUILDING THE WALL. THOSE WHO CARRIED MATERIALS DID THEIR WORK WITH ONE HAND AND HELD A WEAPON IN THE OTHER, AND EACH OF THE BUILDERS WORE HIS SWORD AT HIS SIDE AS HE WORKED. BUT THE MAN WHO SOUNDED THE TRUMPET STAYED WITH ME. NEHEMIAH 4: 16-18 (NIV)
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
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The facts surrounding Adam Lanza’s mass slaughter of twenty children and six adults before taking his own life, has spawned various conspiracy theories.
Despite the implausibility of some of the theories, the Wall Street Journal has published at least two articles, on December 21 and December 22, 2012, that raise questions about where Lanza was immediately prior to the massacre at Sand Hook Elementary.
CNN has featured segments debunking the conspiracy theories. In view of the fact that national news media almost always ignore such conspiracy theories, the segments were surprising developments in themselves.
But apart from debunking the allegations that actors were utilized during the aftermath of the tragedy and the explanations regarding individuals that were taken into custody by the authorities and then released, Anderson Cooper did not address the serious question of where the shooter was immediately prior to the shootings and what he was doing.
The December 22 WSJ article states:
“The 20-year-old’s seclusion is proving to be the primary obstacle for investigators trying to piece together a comprehensive portrait of Mr. Lanza and his interactions with others in the days leading up to the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history, a state police official said. Afflicted with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, Mr. Lanza left few traces of interactions with people in person, or online, the official and others said. The person who knew him best, Nancy Lanza, is dead.”
After Christmas 2010, according to the WSJ article entitled School Gunman’s Downward Spiral, three years prior to the shootings Adam Lanza’s high-school classmates recalled Adam Lanza suddenly disappeared midway through high school in Newtown, Conn. “He disappeared off the face of the Earth,” according to one friend. The article is not clear as to whether Lanza was just out of contact with classmates during the three years or was also absent from the home where his mother lived.
When he allegedly murdered his “link to the outside world” he may have also sealed the mystery of where he lived and what he did during the years immediately prior to the shootings.
The other WSJ article, published on Dec. 21, 2012- one week after the December 14th shootings- states as follows:
But investigators so far have been stymied by the sheer absence of people who had communicated offline with Mr. Lanza. His primary contact, the official said, seemed to have been his mother, Nancy Lanza, 52 years old, whom he killed before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary. “It’s pretty thin,” the official said of Mr. Lanza’s profile.
The alleged shooter’s family members had been in discussions with the medical-examiner’s office about the body of Adam Lanza, according to the article. Adam Lanza’s body wasn’t with the family. The chief medical examiner of Connecticut didn’t respond to inquiries regarding Mr. Lanza’s remains and whether they had been claimed.
Officials reported that Mr. Lanza thwarted investigators by damaging a computer found in his home. Additionally, the fact that 28 were murdered and only one person was wounded raises the issue of why there were not more survivors. Many other questions have been raised and may be simply be explained by the fog of war with which journalists necessarily cope.
There are reports that Mr. Lanza’s mother was trying to have him committed and other indications that he was living with his mother immediately prior to the massacre. This article is based primarily on the two above referenced WSJ reports. Nevertheless, it would help if professional journalists like Anderson Cooper would at least tell us what is known and what is not known about the time line of Lanza’s life immediately prior to the shooting.
The focus on the so-called “assault rifle” and advocating for restrictions on “high-capacity” magazines has supplanted real journalism. Conspiracy theories can undermine national security and lack of factual reporting is fertile ground for many of the most insidious stories that are now circulated every time another catastrophe occurs.
We now have concrete information that the Newtown shooter was obsessed with killing more children than the shooter that killed 77 children in a shooting rampage in Norway. This is important because of the likelihood that “gun free” zones act as magnets to the kind of disturbed individuals that seek to obtain media attention by killing more people than their predecessors.
My motto is, “Just because you know you are paranoid, don’t think they are not out to get you!”
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An article about the Federal Way schools tells about what the District is doing to keep our kids safe in Federal Way. While some of the measures may be purposely undisclosed to the public, it sounds almost like business as usual. Meanwhile, a national discussion is raging related to protecting our schools after the slaughter of children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut.
Federal Way already has uniformed law enforcement at its high schools and security armed with pepper spray at the middle schools. Is it acceptable to leave elementary schools unprotected? One common objection is that armed teachers and volunteers send the wrong message or may lose control of their weapons. Weapons are worn concealed by all kinds of folks in many walks of life and armed citizens rarely lose control of their concealed weapons when they use approved holsters properly constructed for an appropriate weapon.
The same week as the nation mourned the children of Newtown, Connecticut, a man in China injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China by hacking and stabbing them with a knife. Apparently, mentally ill people in China attack schools on a regular basis. One string of knife attacks against school children in 2010 killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50.
Despite the media focus on renewing the Clinton assault weapon ban and high capacity magazines, some analysts are looking at the role that psychotropic prescription drugs like Prosac have played in many U.S. school shootings. Others are focusing on violent video games. But whatever the cause, the failure of draconian, un-Constitutional gun laws to stop gun violence in cities like Chicago, and Washington, DC, raises the issue of how more such laws will make a difference.
Armed security guards in schools may not save every child’s life but will significantly deter attacks and reduce the number of fatalities in our schools. Armed pilots and Air Marshalls have deterred terrorism.
Security guards also guard many banks. Our children are far more precious than the money in the banks. Armed volunteers, including some motivated school staff trained and supervised under the oversight of law enforcement professionals, are far less expensive to place in our schools than armed security guards.
One country whose children have been a target for mass murder for many years is Israel. See http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob81.html.
Federal Way kids deserve better proposals from school district officials and community leaders than just having security officers at our middle schools- prepared to deploy pepper spray- with a few officers that rove between schools.
Let’s find ways to make sure a killer never gets to attack children like the shooter did at Sandy Hook Elementary. Our community cannot wait for the federal government to make the United States a “gun-free zone” or to ban certain kinds of weapons. There will always be weapons available to those determined to kill. We need to protect Federal Way’s children at school now.
State lawmakers around the U.S. are now proposing that teachers and others carry guns in the classrooms.
Lawmakers in Virginia and North Carolina have proposed allowing teachers to carry guns into schools or store them in a central location. The concept of having volunteers with special training ready to react when violence begins in a school has been discussed for many years but until now public leadership has been lacking when it comes to meeting violence with firepower.
North Carolina state Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-High Point) told goqnotes.com, “The only thing that will stop a gunman is another gun.” Despite his support for more restrictions on gun owners, Rep. Brandon believes that arming and training selected administrators and teachers will make schools safer.
According to the Washington Post, Virginia’s Del. Robert Marshall (R-Manassas) has a proposed plan that would require school districts to designate certain teachers in each building to carry guns. Marshall’s plan is supported by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell ®. Lawmakers In six other states, including Tennessee and Oklahoma, have proposed legislation to allow teachers to be armed. It has worked in Israel and other countries and it can work in the U.S.
Various officials will excuse their lack of commitment to solving the problem by averring that the lawyers have determined that proposals to arm volunteers in our schools expose the District to liability. But many activities expose public institutions to liability! Nevertheless, projects worth doing still get done. All Americans need to complete the grieving process over the victims in Newtown who lost their lives and then get to work to protect our children.
Passing new restrictions on firearms is cosmetic window-dressing by which politicians make it appear that they are doing something while conducting business as usual. But the days of just looking good to the public have come and gone. Schools will not be safer until we guard them with our lives and armed force, not just with talk and new gun control legislation.
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In July, 2008, I wrote the first Firearms Lawyer column, actually a letter to the Federal Way Mirror, about the need to implement an armed volunteer program in order to protect the children in our public schools.
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I received some good feedback, including a report on this issue from Joe Waldron, a leader in the effort to introduce real common sense into the subject of gun policy:
In the 2002 session, Senator Harold Hochstatter (R-Moses Lake) filed SB 6479 that would allow school staff with CPLs to carry on campus for the purpose of protecting students. The bill was assigned to the Education Committee, where it died without even a hearing.
There was massive opposition to the bill from the “education establishment.” This is the same crowd that opposes gun safety education in our schools and who ignored the “Eddie Eagle” memorial (SJM 8009) passed unanimously by the legislature in 1997. Our “professional educators” will oppose ANYTHING that legitimizes firearms in the eyes of students.
I receivedthe following article from Andy Hobbs who suggested that I write on the subject of the armed teachers in Harrold,Texas:
HARROLD, Texas — A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.
Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.
In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
Superintendent David Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.
“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying ’sic ‘em’ to a dog,” Thweatt said in Friday’s online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.
“The naysayers think (a shooting) won’t happen here. If something were to happen here, I’d much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them,” Thweatt said.
Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses “unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution.”
It was unclear how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from students or potential attackers. Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee was out of the office Thursday and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, the newspaper said.
Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.
The 110-student district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.
Please let us know if you hear of anything developing along the lines of providing school employees with tactical training. I first came across the concept of armed volunteers in schools in some of Massad Ayoob’s articles about the Israeli program(s) to protect school kids from terrorists. I am convinced we should make such a program a legislative priority.
Categories: Announcements [A], 1568 words2 feedbacks • Permalink
We cannot hide our heads in the sand or deny the evidence coming from the interrogation rooms and terrorist training sites on the web. It’s a matter of when, not if. This is one of the reasons we carry weapons. Think of the good an “amateur” can do, stumbling on to a terror plot and stopping those that would create chaos and horror and grief. Each one of us has the ability to throw such plans into disarray. Stranger things have happened. People need to be alert these days and the time to decide to use deadly force in defense of others is now, not when the need arises. By then, it will be too late.”
The words above are from a retired member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that knows something about gunfights. I am not sure where he is getting his information; however, he gets feeds from many of the top law enforcement intelligence gathering services.
Check out Israel’s answer to school violence.
Schools and school buses are probably under surveillance by terrorists and being “pinged” in order to guage reactions and identify security measures.
Beslan was the event in Russia that is a model and was probably a dress rehearsal for the rape, slaughter and torture of young school children (no Todd Beamer’s this time unless an armed rescuer just arrives somehow, Rambo style). When the responders and concerned parents gather there will be booby traps and/or snipers. Keep in mind that every time some mindless shooter goes into a school like in the Virginia Tech shooting or several that have occcured in just the last week, the media analysis acts as intelligence that is picked up by professional Al Qaeda agents and their affiliates. These operatives are able to study every aspect of the reaction time, vulnerabilities, follow up, etc. You have to realize they are taking notes and making plans.
Every anti-gun idealogue that refuses to acknowlege the need for armed security forces in our schools is acting in a fashion that is tantamount to that of an accomplice.
Almost every attack has been in a “gun-free” zone. Thus, the murderer knows that it is unlikely any of his or her victims will be armed. At the present time, the Washington Administrative Code, promulgated by unelected bureaucrats, prohibits weapons on campus in Washington. It is questionable whether the WAC regulations have any legal effect since they conflict with Washington State’s firearms preemption law that prohibits any local municipal gun laws that further restrict concealed carry beyond the restrictions in the RCWs.
That is why some liberal lawyers and anti-gunners in Olympia want to get a new law passed to “clarify” the situation. No one wants to be a test case and you could get expelled from your state university for carrying so each student in a state college or university has to make an informed decision as to whether to exercise his or her right to carry on campus with a valid carry license pursuant to our state laws.
It is your life and your education that is at stake. There is no right to carry at a high school or elementary school with or without a license to carry, at this time. But write to your representatives and demand that something be done rather than listening to the anti-gun lobby chant that “common sense regulation and appropriate restrictions on weapons will solve the problem.”
The restrictions only restrict law- abiding people and not criminals, psychopaths and terrorists. If a single person would gun down a defenseless person, that same person will pay no attention to a law restricting guns.
In fact, the gun-free status of the institution or facility makes it a target for the psychopathic killer.
The individuals in our schools that need to be the first line of defense, however, are the students, instructors and staff with either concealed carry permits or specialized training possibly with a new kind of license indicating some advanced tactical training for the situations anticipated herein. It is not possible to hire enough armed guards to guard a large high school or college campus. Most of the security guards that do provide a presence at such places are unarmed security guards, however.
Remember, the reason for such slaughter is not because the terrorists expect us to cave in. Al Qaeda does not really care much about our foreign policy toward Israel and the West Bank either. They want you to get so mad that some of you start murdering innocent American Muslim people. This will alienate the moderate Muslims within and outside of America pushing them into the Islamicist camp.
True Followers of Christ will not engage in murdering innocent people but many Americans may be carried away with the concept of imprisoning Arabic people in the same way as Japanese were interned during WW II. Even a declaration of martial law could follow the holocaust that the Al Qaeda affiliates plan. The fact that Al Qaeda has been suppressed should not cause us to assume that that there are not many homegrown terrorists, even loners with no connection to organized terror. The attacker in Aurora, Colorado has been reported to have some affiliation with an Occupy Wall Street group in San Diego. Perhaps more information regarding the connection to the group will be forthcoming now that we know he was definitely not aligned with the Tea Party or one of Sarah Palin’s followers! ABC has been very diligent in checking out that lead.
The same “liberals” that already want to restrict our gun rights and disarm honest people may be holding the reins of power if and when the country faces the chaos of a WMD or some other disaster. On the other hand, the jihadist believes that in a few generations a Caliphate will arise to force you to submit (that is what Islam means- submission) to its religious laws. Nevertheless, the biggest threat of all continues to be those of us that read the Bible and that believe that Scripture has something to say about public policy. After all, any restriction on abortion or marriage rights represents a spearhead into theocratic dictatorship with domestic terrorism standing in the wings.
Many of the U.S. authorities are presently so eager to accomodate Islamicists (and are intimidated by CAIR’s threats of legal action) that Christianity is being denigrated while Islam is celebrated in the name of diversity. There are many examples but sufficient to state for now that these are the first steps toward submission.
Arming yourself legally (with a concealed carry permit in a majority of states) is not vigilante action. It is a lawful precaution for self-defense. Reasonable men and women obey the laws.
The “Islamofascists” count on some American Muslims to react to the slaughter and/or abuse of innocent Muslim people that could become the aftermath of an Beslan-style attack on an American school. The attacks on innocent Muslims will work as a recruiting tool for jihad (remember the Japanese internment under FDR and Earl Warren during WW II).
Keep an eye on school buses and warn public officials and your neighbors. Self-defense and defense of others when attacked is not vigilantiism.
Make sure you recognize your school bus drivers and ask your local school district to provide for some staff to become trained and certified to carry weapons.
It will take a change in the laws of most states, including Washington State, but we need to take precautions similar to the Israeli schools and schools in other countries like Thailand where the staff is armed and ready for jihad. Meanwhile get your permit and learn how to shoot.
It takes time to get ready and, even if you do not make the choice to get armed at this time, now is the time you can be observant and you should call 911 when things seem the least bit suspicious. Around the U.S., remote control planes have been observed cruising over bridges and other infrastructure and there is reason to believe that videos are being transmitted by means of remote control helicopters and planes(they show up on You Tube).
Any supicious activity involving facilities or infrastructure being observed and/or filmed should be reported. Remember that there are already terrorist training sessions online that focus on elementary schools and School buses are also probable targets. Al Qaeda tells American Muslims that they should not try to obtain training overseas but just study rescources that are available on the internet. Learning to shoot is very low tech compared to bomb making and other jihad tactics.
No person knows the future but the intentions of our enemies have been clearly announced and our government is telling us the enemy is here already. Why do so many deny that this is so? There is gang intelligence suggesting that weapons transfers involving Middle Eastern operatives are occuring near the Mexican border. Denial is a basic psychological mechanism.
The fact that many people do not want to believe these things does not mean it is not happening. A few jihadists with AK-47s can paralyze this country if they have a plan and are willing to die like they have done in Beslan, Mumbai and many other places. A few Americans with some pistols can stop them if we are trained and mentally prepared.
See also The Muslim Way of Death.
Categories: Announcements [A], 1486 words1 feedback • Permalink
If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it.
A 2006 train bombing in Mumbai killed more people but the 172 people that were gunned down marked a new level of terror because of the way that ten shooters were able to move through the city without any effective response from India’s law enforcement or military for several hours. Experts studying the operation have concluded that many aspects of the attack demonstrate new tactics that should be expected in future operations.
Detailed surveillance and planning began at least as early as 2007. The attackers sailed from Karachi but, according to some accounts, at least some of the shooters had already been in the city posing as students. The ten attackers hijacked a trawler, killed the whole crew and then beheaded the captain when they got near enough Mumbai to come ashore in two inflatable boats.
Each terrorist carried a Chinese version of the AK-47 (AK-56 automatic assault rifle) with seven 30 round magazines and 9-mm pistols with two clips. Additionally they carried 8-10 grenades each and IEDs containing RDX, ball bearings for shrapnel, and a timer. There were Heckler & Koch MP5 machine guns that may have been taken from downed Indian security personnel and accounts of prepositioned ammunition caches.
The four teams were able to keep moving and created enough confusion that the police could not seal off an area quickly enough to contain the shooters. The Indian police were totally outgunned as a result of the fact that their government does not trust the police to arm officers properly or even to provide enough ammunition for officers to practice properly. Nevertheless, whenever the shooters were confronted with armed force they moved on to other targets.
Mumbai is a financial center and contains a hub of hotels and other facilities that cater to elite businessmen and foreigners. The terrorists targeted middle class Indians and American, British and jewish travelers that normally utilize the restaurants and hotel facilities.
A two man team went to the train station and opened fire. Then they went to a hospital and began killing again. The team hijacked a police car and headed to a hotel when they were intercepted by the police. One terrorist was killed and the other captured but they caused a third of the total fatalities.
Meanwhile, a second team went to the Nariman House, a Jewish complex. This second two-man team killed eight. A third two-man team went to the Trident-Oberoi Hotel and began cutting people down with automatic weapons fire. During the 17 hours that the hotel was under siege two terrorists killed 30 people and then were themselves killed. The fourth team was a four-man team and deployed to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Chronology of the Attack
November 26, 2008 (all times are local)
21:20 Gunfire outside the Hotel Oberoi at Nariman Point in south Mumbai.
21:20 Terrorists run into Nariman House, where they take control of the Chabad Lubavich center.
21:30 Gunfire outside the Leopold Café at Colaba in south Mumbai, about 100 meters behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
21:40 Gunfire near the Bade Miyan Café (behind the Taj Hotel in south Mumbai).
21:45 Terrorists enter Taj Hotel lobby and fire indiscriminately.
21:45 Gunfire inside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai’s central train station. There are ten fatalities there.
22:30 Gunfire at the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai headquarters gate 2, opposite the CST.
22:35 Gunfire at Gokuldas Hospital, near the CST.
22:40 Gunfire at the Cama & Albless Hospital, near the CST.
22:50 Gunfire at the Metro Theatre (Metro Cinema Junction).
23:00 Explosion in a taxi in Vile Parle in north Mumbai. (This is one of the IEDs left behind in the taxi.)
23:00 Explosion in a taxi in Mazgaon—probably the second IED left behind.
23:10 Two explosions at Napean Sea Road in south Mumbai.
23:30 Explosion at Dhobi Talao.
November 27, 2008
00:30 Gunfire after a police van was hijacked at Dhobi Talao.
01:00 Immense blast in the Taj Hotel, possibly caused by two grenades.
02:00 Army arrives at the Taj Hotel.
03:00 Large fire breaks out at the Taj Hotel.
09:15 Army arrives at Oberoi Hotel, storm hotel.
09:15 Security forces engage in first attempt to retake the Taj Hotel.
10:30 Security forces engage in room-to-room searches at the Taj Hotel.
17:30 NSG forces arrive at Nariman House. Helicopters begin surveillance.
November 28, 2008
07:30 NSG forces storm Nariman House.
11:00 Hostage siege ends at the Hotel Oberoi, hostages released.
11:00 NSG forces report that they have cleared the new section of the Taj Hotel.
13:00 Indian security forces report 30 people dead in one Taj Hotel hall.
18:00 Operations reported to have ceased at Nariman House. However, NDTV reports that one floor still has not been cleared.
19:45 All NSG forces emerge from Nariman House, stating that no one was found alive.
November 29, 2008
04:30 Gunfire and explosions heard at the Taj Hotel.
07:30 Fire breaks out on the lower floors of the Taj Hotel.
08:50 Taj Hotel hostage siege declared over, according to Indian police.
By moving constantly, the shooters eluded commandos for 60 hours. Explosions, demands to release imprisoned Muslim fighters in exchange for hostages and detailed knowledge of buildings and streets all contributed to the tactical team’s ability to sow confusion and continue moving. The attackers only attacked in areas where the security was nonexistent or very light. They used cell phones, Satellite phones and Blackberries; handlers in Pakistan provided tactical advice and urged the young men not to be taken alive and to continue killing because the prestige of Islam was at stake.
By identifying goals that exceeded anything that had occurred prior to the attack, the planners boosted LeT’s ability to recruit jihadists within India and worldwide; the organization also gained prestige within the culture of terrorism, thus grasping parity with al Qaeda. The planners, almost certainly affiliated with elements of the Pakistani government also were attempting to destabilize the Pakistani civilian government’s relationship with the United States and other countries, including India itself. The Indian government demonstrated a complete lack of ability to protect its citizens.
Even though it had recently created an elite anti-terror force and intelligence personnel intercepted “chatter” pertaining to an imminent attack, the information was not disseminated from the central security agencies to the local police and coast guard at least in a manner that local security forces took any effective action.
The local Anti-Terrorism Squad was inadequately trained to seal off multiple attacks designed to create exactly the kind of confusion experienced by the first responders. Local army personnel took five hours to arrive. The elite National Security Guard, India’s most elite strike force, did not arrive for almost 10 hours. Counterterrorism experts allow 30-60 minutes from the time an incident commences but the NSG (or Black Cat Commandos) headquartered in Delhi had no aircraft and so the 200 commandos had to patch together air transportation in a helter-skelter manner.
Police officers were often seen hiding behind buildings with their heads down. Helmets and vests were substandard and many officers carried British .303 bolt-action rifles from the 50s. Most Indian officers are only provided with 50 rounds of ammunition per year with which to practice because of corruption and a colonial mentality that deems weapons to be dangerous even in the hands of law enforcement officers.
According to a TimesOnline article, Outgunned Mumbai police hampered by First World War weapons, Dec. 3, 2008:
Most of the police involved were carrying .303s or self-loading rifles like those adopted by the British Army in the 1950s.
Some officers said that they were not given enough weapons training because of a shortage of ammunition and shooting ranges. In theory, all officers shoot 50 rounds a year in training. In practice, senior officers get their full quota with small arms.
“The rest is all bunkum,” Mr Pereira said. “It’s target practice with a .303 rifle. I wouldn’t call it suitable knowledge of weapons and their uses in urban policing.”
All those interviewed said that the issue was not money: the Government allocated £154 million for modernising the police in 2007-08 alone. The problem, they said, lay with the Home Ministry’s procurement system, which is dominated by corrupt bureaucrats and politicians rather than technical experts.
“It’s a cartel,” Mr Singh said. “The Government is spending millions, but the police isn’t getting the equipment it needs.”
Thus, India’s strict gun laws severely hampered the ability of citizens and law enforcement to protect themselves from the armed attacks.
The low-tech nature of the equipment, the drawn out horror of a paralyzed city and the prestige garnered by mass carnage ensures that such an attack is being planned in the U.S. Are we ready?