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The ADTA,which started in Federal Way, Washington presented a New Shooters’ Clinic at a church in Everett over a year ago. The level of interest in a new chapter of the shooting group was high but we were unable to identify shooters with enough time to lead the group. The Armed Defense Training Association’s board of directors is now working with about 35 new members in Mountlake Terrace and the new chapter has already had at least one live fire shoot!
There is a need for an all volunteer chapter of the ADTA in Spokane and surrounding areas.
A New Shooters’ Clinic is held to prepare new shooters who wish to become participants in a live-fire shoot or just for people thinking about buying a pistol for the first time! The recent ADTA live-fire event in Snohomish County must have been at the West Coast Armory near Everett. I was the founding president of the original Federal way group but moved to North Idaho so don’t keep informed of all the new developments. Many people around the state know Jeff Coder who is presently leading the new Mountlake terrace group. We will be getting additional information from him as soon as he gives me a report.
The Live-Fire events are an important part of what the ADTA does on a regular basis. The approach is to remind folks that the most important tool for staying safe is mental preparation. If you think this is something you would like to discuss and learn more about, contact the ADTA or Mark Knapp at www.firearmslawyer.net.
Topics discussed at new Shooter Clinics including hands-on segments:
… The Four Basic Rules of Gun Safety
… Semiautomatic Handguns
The West Coast Armory range in Factoria-Bellevue area was the venue for several initial live fire action drill events the ADTA presented for the Federal Way club. The group now regularly presents Live-Fire action drills at an indoor range in Federal Way.
We have discovered that many churches and church members are enthusiastic about what the ADTA has to offer. Many women and new shooters have become very involved in the ADTA. The meetings are open to the public and we present speakers that focus on practical aspects of self defense, not religious or political topics. Church members, including pastors, have gotten involved in our group. We welcome people of every ethnic and political background, provided that you do not advocate unlawful violence.
And we do much more than just basic safety fundamentals. We have hosted seminars on Firearms Law & Use of Force, edged weapons, martial arts and more. Many women are also getting involved in all levels of the ADTA.
Inquiries can be directed to email@example.com.
If you are in Spokane or North Idaho, you can reach me at (253) 202-2081.
Israel presently faces an indictment in the court of world opinion because of the allegation that the IDF deployed unjustified lethal force against “peace activists” when it boarded the MAVI MARMARA. Nine activists were killed including a U.S. citizen with dual Turkish citizenship. Would Tea Party activists armed with steel poles and grenades, knives and possibly guns be identified as peace activists?
Egypt and Israel’s blockade against Gaza prevents Iranian missiles and other weapons from entering Gaza. Egypt and Israel have waged war with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas (the terrorist group that rules Gaza) for longer than most nations even recognized the existence of Islamic terrorism. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are the same organization with different names.
It is clear that approximately forty Turkish activists on board the MAVI MARMARA attacked IDF personnel. The IDF boarding was clearly within well-recognized rules of international maritime law and the IHH attack was clearly premeditated.
“I am going to be a martyr. I dreamed about it,” a Turkish activist reportedly told his family before leaving to join the flotilla.
Forty people on board the MAVI MARMARA armed with slingshots, knives, stun grenades and steel poles attacked IDF personnel forcing the IDF boarding party to deploy weapons. Despite the grave threat to the IDF, the international media and the world community are ready to convict Israel of massacring peaceful demonstrators.
The FREE GAZA MOVEMENT denies the allegation of an extremist presence on the Turkish ship. “Every person on that boat was a civilian. The terrorists on board those boats belonged to Israel,” a spokeswoman exclaimed.
Despite the spokeswoman’s indignant protest, however, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, a French counterterrorism magistrate who testified at the Ahmed Ressam trial in Seattle, states otherwise. IHH played an “important role” in the Millenium bomb plot- an Al Qaeda affiliated operation.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Bruguiere testified at trial that Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups were previously linked to IHH in financing and other assistance to jihadists headed to Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. The Turkish government unearthed weapons, explosives, and bomb making instructions in a 1997 raid.
Is IHH still linked to Al Qaeda? Whatever the answer turns out to be, the symbiotic relationship between Islamic extremism and the radical left has been longstanding.
Bruguiere is renowned for tracking down Carlos the Jackal, a professional Communist assassin known to have worked for radical Palestinian groups.
Thus, Mssr. Bruguiere would have had opportunity to closely observe how the radical left coalesced with radical Palestinian movements during the Seventies when modern Islamic terrorism was barely recognized by the news media. Bruguiere now coordinates tracking of terrorist financing for a joint European/American program.
Since 1948, Israel has been surrounded by predatory neighbors just waiting for the first signs of weakness.
The war against “Zionist aggression” will continue to be aided and abetted by an international media-government complex that has willingly lent itself to leftist manipulation for many years.
Meanwhile, the ship RACHEL CORRIE, named after the Evergreen College student killed by a bulldozer in Israel in 2003, is awaiting instructions. Would the news media have called Ms. Corrie an anti-Semitic racist if she had also been standing in front of the Congressional bulldozer called Healthcare Reform?
The New York Times published the following article in August, 2006. Entitled States Expand Right to Shoot in Self-Defense, the article is a particularly trenchant example of media bias. Adam Liptak regularly reports on legal matters and covers many gun stories for the New York Times. We will be analyzing some of the bias and try to get the rest of the story when we have more time.
Meanwhile, please send us information that provides more objective factual background related to the impact of recent changes in the laws of self-defense cited below. Please note that every impact alleged to result from recent changes in the “duty to retreat” is presented in a manner most likely to put the armed citizen in a negative light.
“Stand your ground” laws are also called “shoot first” laws, according to Liptak. This is what antigun idealogues like the usual suspects at the New York Times and the media outlets that echo the NYT call them. In case you haven’t noticed, most of the regional newspapers reprint articles from the NYT, the Washington Post and a few other newspapers and the radio and television news broadcasts take their cues from newspapers of record, like the NYT.
According to Liptak, a prostitute in Port Richey, Fla., killed her 72-year-old client with his own gun and was not charged in 2006. A man shot a neighbor over putting out garbage. These facts are presented as though they are events that occurred because of changes in the law that remove the duty to retreat from an attacker before deploying deadly force.
A Florida law served as a model for others by giving people the right to use deadly force against intruders entering their homes. The article contains no arguments that provide a rationale for why a homeowner should be required to retreat from an assailant that has entered his home bent on committing a felony. Is there any legal rationale for requiring a homeowner to prove that he or she has reason to fear for the safety of himself or other memebers of her family? Are we to experience indignation that the new laws only require proof that that the slain trespasser had intruded unlawfully and forcefully?
The Florida law does away with an earlier requirement that a person attacked in a public place must retreat if possible. A person about to be victimized has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with lethal force when confronted with an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. Sounds like common sense to me
The author quotes Anthony J. Sebok, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, without explaining that Prof. Sebok has authored numerous articles about mass restitution litigation, including lawsuits involving tobacco, handguns, and slavery reparations.
The professor’s written works are important because they show that Sebok is a tort lawyer shilling for the anti-gun idealogues. If you doubt it look at his analysis, provided by the NYT without even a superficial effort to provide a balancing viewpoint. The duty to retreat has been eroding nationally through judicial decisions, according to the professor. But the new laws just “expand the right to shoot intruders who pose no threat to the occupant’s safety". How many intruders in your home would pose no threat to the safety of your family? It seems laughable when you think about it!
“In effect,” Professor Sebok states, “the law allows citizens to kill other citizens in defense of property.”
Sebok, who contributes to FindLaw, asks us to consider a ridiculous hypothesis. What if Bob is a panhandler who approaches Sue’s car and touches it against her wishes? Perhaps it would be obvious to most observers that he had no intention of entering the car, but what if Sue panics and thinks he is a carjacker?
The fact that the law was not designed to permit her to use deadly force under those circumstances would not alter the fact that Bob would be dead. The fact that Sue would face criminal and civil penalties, is not relevant to Sebok. Apparently the damage has already been done because the lawmakers sent Sue the wrong message!
Journalist Lipchak bemoans the fact that a cabdriver in West Palm Beach killed a drunken passenger in an altercation after dropping him off. The altercation, it turns out, was over whether the passenger would get out of the cab. When he had reached his destination and had to be ejected from the cab he allegedly pulled a knife on the cabdriver. The knife was not located but witnesses saw the passenger holding something that could have been a knife so the first jury deadlocked 9-to-3 in favor of convicting the driver.
“Mr. Smiley had a lot of chances to retreat and to avoid an escalation,” said Mr. Munnilal, a 62-year-old accountant. “He could have just gotten in his cab and left. The thing could have been avoided, and a man’s life would have been saved.”
It turns out that the cabdriver did not get the wrong message; all of events described in the NYT article transpired before the new law was passed and the case was appealed to the Florida Supreme Court on the issue of whether the old law or the new law should apply.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the N.R.A., was also concerned about people getting the right message. “If you’re going to empower someone, empower the crime victim,” he said.
Adam Liptak tells us that many prosecutors oppose the laws, saying they are unnecessary at best and pernicious at worst. “They’re basically giving citizens more rights to use deadly force than we give police officers, and with less review,” said Paul A. Logli, president of the National District Attorneys Association.
The State of Washington has a dual standard and the legislature has made a record of its intention that citizens have a slightly more relaxed standard for the use of lethal force than the standard to which police officers are held. Despite the fact that law enforcement officers have to meet a higher standard than untrained citizens in some states, aren’t there prosecutors that support empowering armed citizens?
The NYT article quotes Gary Kleck, a noted gun policy scholar. With the typical New York Times-style elitocentric assumption that Southerners have primitive legal institutions, Liptak quotes Kleck with very little context to help us understand Kleck’s intelligent approach to the subject of guns and society:
“In the South, they more or less give the benefit of the doubt to the alleged victim’s account.”
Gary Kleck, a self-avowed liberal democrat and professor at Florida State University, is author of Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. When he started researching the issue of guns, he discovered that contrary to his original assumptions, violent crimes were prevented by firearms usage. The 1993 book was awarded the best book on criminology by the American Society of Criminology. Largely ignored by gun control advocates, most medical journals, the DOJ and the Center for Disease Control, the book has contributed a great deal to understanding the sociological implications of gun ownership and gun control laws.
It turns out that in the case of the Port Richey prostitute, the 72 year old man threatened to kill her and then kill himself. The man left a suicide note and other evidence supporting the conclusion that the slayer feared for her life. Before she used deadly force, the woman should have had to retreat (but for the new law). Under the new laws you don’t have to take a chance on getting shot in the back!
According to the NYT’s propaganda piece, Cliff Morningstar, the dead man’s uncle, was reportedly baffled by the killing. “He (the cabdriver) had a radio,” Mr. Morningstar stated. “He could have gotten in his car and left. He could have shot him in his knee.” Well how much more objective can you get than the victim’s uncle?
The NYT reporter apparently thinks that the man shot during an altercation over garbage illustrates the flaws in the Florida law. The NYT article states:
“I was no threat,” Mr. Rosenbloom said. “I had no weapon.”
The inference is that victimhood is being conferred on Rosenbloom, a very important mantle for the NYT’s regular readership.
The men exchanged heated words. “He closed the door and then opened the door,” Mr. Rosenbloom said of Mr. Allen. “He had a gun. I turned around to put my hands up. He didn’t even say a word, and he fired once into my stomach. I bent over, and he shot me in the chest.”
Mr. Allen, the man that shot his neighbor, claimed Rosenbloom had his foot in the door and had tried to rush into the house, an assertion Mr. Rosenbloom denied. The small amount of information that tends to explain what led to the shooting is presented in a context of skepticism towards the claim that the shooting was justified. Maybe the shooting was not justified. Without all the facts, however, such cases don’t tell us much about anything except the biases of the author and the New Yawk Times.
We started the ARMED DEFENSE TRAINING ASSOCIATION several years ago. We met for many years in a church in Federal Way. The Federal Way ADTA chapter presently meets in a Senior Community Center. When we start a similar group in Spokane Valley or even North Idaho, it could be a great opportunity for professional trainers who are willing to come in and help us on a volunteer basis. This will give trainers an opportunity to create relationships with potential clients. We should also reach out to churches and other community organizations.
We need 5 or 6 men and women that are committed to attending a meeting to discuss feasibility and create the structure. Participating in action shooting drills is a challenge for any organization because it can be time consuming and costly. We do not take the place of professional shooting schools. Nevertheless, we will have members that have the professional experience and credentials to help all the volunteers work safely and effectively implement training programs!
A church- or even a library- is an ideal location for monthly membership meetings and some occasional classroom education. We need names of potential members and leaders, that might be interested in such a self-defense group.
The ADTA is completely apolitical and simply encourages experienced shooters to help inexperienced shooters. A new Spokane area program modeled on the ADTA concept with similar objectives and protocols would present monthly live-fire events. Most ranges do not permit shoot-on-the-move or even rapid fire from the holster.
We will seek to arrange exclusive use of a range for 2-4 hours in order to set up drills for shooters to engage multiple targets on the move and from cover. The new group will present other educational activities like New Shooter Clinics, Firearms Law seminars, Personal Protection in the Home classes, etc, that can occur on the range and/or in a classroom or larger facility.
What we propose is to start a group in the Spokane Valley and/or North Idaho area that will be similar to the ADTA. We can present events that are similar to IDPA matches. We plan to start out without the competitive aspect of IDPA which often intimidates even experienced shooters. Nothing would prevent us from presenting competitive shooting events in the future, however. If the interest exists and we have a range facility that is practical to host such matches, we will be discussing these and other programs.
The ADTA, with about 100 members, has a new chapter in Mount Lake Terrace and may be close to starting another chapter.
Please also forward this message to friends- especially church members, members of law enforcement and other community oriented organizations that might be interested. I encourage those with questions to call me or send me an email. Contact information is at www.firearmsLawyer.net.
The Firearms Academy of Seattle provides training for “civilian” and professional shooters that covers most aspects of tactical shooting. The classes also provide basic safety and educate citizens in most of the legal aspects pertaining to armed self defense and concealed carry. Marty Hayes, the founder of FAS, has an extensive law enforcement background.
I attended an FAS handgun class last year. Massad Ayoob will be lecturing again and also provides hands on training at the FAS campus in Onalaska. None of this information is new for many Washington shootists but the news is that Marty Hayes has started a legal network in order to assist members that need advice and encounter legal problems involving self defense and related issues:
On March 19, 2008, just a little less than two months after the foundation of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, LLC, the funding arm of the Network was incorporated as a non-profit foundation, with the Washington Secretary of State, under the name of Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Foundation.
The idea is that when you join the organization some of the revenue from the membership fees is set aside in the above referenced nonprofit as a defense fund for members that get into legal difficulty as a result of exercising his or her responsibility to defend themselves or others.
Incidentally, issues relating to armed self-defense are often discussed in terms of rights; i.e., Constitutional rights, Second Amendment, etc. It is important to remind ourselves occasionally that defense of one’s self and others is a moral imperative just like providing for our families and being good neighbors. Many followers of Christ are convinced that Christ taught his followers to lay down the sword and practice pacifism. This is a misunderstanding.
The Lord was a Jew and understood the Jewish heritage of warfare. When he said to put down the sword, he went on to explain that he was laying down his life willingly. The failure to understand that the Lord was laying down his lawful ability to defend himself is also a failure to understand the meaning of why he had to die in a public execution. At the time of Jesus’ arrest, he stated that he could call down legions of angels to protect him from his persecutors.
Christ’s followers are instructed to lay down rights and even responsibilities under certain circumstances, such as when he said to let the dead bury the dead. When we are called to make way for higher priorities than personal duty we may leave a good paying job in order to serve as missionaries or sacrifice our well-being to serve a loved one. Love has no higher meaning than a man or woman laying down his or her life for a brother or sister.
Would any person advocate that there is a moral imperative to submit to rape or torture or watch your children be taken from you by evil-doers? Shockingly enough, some church people teach that a woman who takes the life of a rapist in order to prevent a rape in progress is violating the Scriptural mandate to respect and preserve life.
Additionally, even if you have an abstract belief in the Second Amendment or that self-defense is a God-given natural right/responsibility, you need to prepare ahead of time by taking the necessary steps to obtain a Concealed Pistol License and a weapon and to get trained (if you plan to protect youself with a weapon). Most folks tell me they would defend their families if it becomes necessary.
Nevertheless, many of those same people with whom I speak seem to think that they will know in advance when the time comes that a weapon is necessary. There is not normally enough advance warning to go home and get a weapon, let alone to go through the waiting periods and other red tape involved to purchase a gun when and if the time comes that you need to deploy armed self-defense. Incidentally, unarmed self-sefense also requires training but is not an extremely viable option for many people.
If leaders and theologians within the church world teach that women should submit to rape rather than use a weapon against an assailant, is it any wonder that the politicians and lawyers are so confused? My theology teaches me that those that are Followers of Christ hold the keys and have the authority to powerfully influence public policy. Many churches teach that the goal is to get as many people saved as possible, build churches and then hold on until we get to heaven. Such an understanding is just a little short of the mark!
One of the purposes of this website is to exhort Christian folks to take an activist stance and exert the wisdom that is in the Scriptures in a way that shows that we have answers. Being as wise as a snake and as innocent as a dove is good counsel. Preparing for the legal aftermath of a justified shooting also shows wisdom. You don’t want to go to court with your brother-in-law that normally practices corporate law any more than you would want a lawyer reciting a bunch of Scriptures to the judge.
Start making preparations now to retain a lawyer or make arrangments to have legal counsel available in the event that you are ever called upon to use deadly force.
See Combat Weaponry in the Book of Luke.
Send us an e-mail if you want more information about the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (253) 661-1252.
We canceled the Law of Armed Defense Class previously scheduled for April 2 but will be announcing the new date and location very soon. Watch the ADTA calendar page for this and other upcoming events.
Members of the Armed Defense Training Association recently participated in two live-fire events at Paul Bunyan Range in Puyallup. Dave Farrow and Bruce Wood, both experienced USPSA competitors and Range Officers, ran the courses of fire for the ADTA. Additionally, Dave is President of Paul Bunyan and Chairman of USPSA activities at Paul Bunyan.
At the first event, on March 23rd, Dave explained the rules for using the action bays at Paul Bunyan and a safety-check. Safety-checks are critical for any shooters that want to shoot-on-the-move because there is more going on than most of us have experienced in normal target practice and it is absolutely essential to understand the range commands, procedures and rules that keep everyone safe.
Some ADTA members still don’t have the right equipment. Choosing a firearm is an entirely personal decision. Nevertheless, .44 magnums, .22 pistols and .380s are not ideal for normal self-defense purposes. Most police departments require officers to carry a round that is at least .38 caliber. I have seen USPSA and IDPA competitors shoot revolvers much faster than most of us shoot semi-automatics. The speed with which a revolver can be reloaded would surprise most of the critics that want to ban high capacity magazines.
It is true, however, that most of us can reload a semi-auto faster than we can reload a revolver. If you choose to bring a revolver to an action shoot, you should have some speed loaders or moon clips and start practicing how to reload on the move.
And think about your holster, too. Some shooters showed up without any holster. If you are on a budget, Uncle Mike’s has very good Kydex holsters for all calibers. Outside the waistband holsters are safer for action shooting and will be required by ADTA in most instances. You can invest in a good inside the waistband leather holster for everyday concealed carry. I have several but increasingly wear OWB under my suit coat. IWB holsters are often needed for casual wear during hot weather when you won’t be wearing a coat.
We have to make sure we keep our muzzles pointed away from the top of the berms. One accidental discharge that gets over the top of the berm will destroy years of hard work by many generations of shooters that built Paul Bunyan.
We had twelve ADTA members participate in the second event, on Wednesday March 30th, including a few that shot on the previous Wednesday. We had some very experienced shooters and some inexperienced shooters, too.
Bruce administered safety-checks and Dave got us shooting a course of fire that was very similar to a relatively easy USPSA course of fire. We engaged multiple targets, reloaded while transitioning to a window. We engaged three steel targets with the strong hand from the window and then proceeded to another series of cardboard IPSC targets.
There was good sense of fellowship and some frustration as we experienced some of the stress that is normal while developing proficiency and making transitions under the eagle eye of Dave Farrow. Dave let us know when we made mistakes that involve safety and also had some helpful hints for better shooting techniques.
The evening was not complete without taking turns on shooting at a Texas Star that spins around with plates for targets. Then we engaged in a “billet drill”- five shooters in front of five targets shooting six shots into a target as fast we could. I am suggesting that we take up a collection and make both Dave and Bruce ADTA members. I hope they will continue to be involved even when we start holding live-fire events at the West Coast Armory. The ADTA Board also will be meeting and formalizing our intent to donate some nine millimeter ammunition to Paul Bunyan’s youth programs.
The following is a report from one of our members that attended the second ADTA event and recently participated in his first USPSA practice at Paul Bunyan:
Subject: BEFORE you get to the Range preparation-
Learn the commands, safety check procedure and where the safety area is and its purpose.
It is complicated and there is STRESS!! You need it to be second nature.
Practice drawing, reloading and firing with blanks/dummy rounds/snap caps.
Wear a big strong belt. Get all your gear on your belt as you will have it at the range.
Best procedures for perfecting your draw, presentation and other information about getting started can be located at Getting Started- USPSA Practical Shooting.
Research them on line, books, acquaintances.
Bring at least 3 magazines and belt mag holders, ‘More is better’. I saw some with a rack of 6-8 magazines on their belt.
Holster on one hip(outside the waistband)- muzzle straight down (I didn’t see any ‘FBI cants’); magazines on other hip.
No Rambo stuff – clothes, gear or attitude.
No cross draws, shoulder holsters (the muzzle points away from downrange. More on this below).
Your time to shoot is announced:
START of shooting sequence-
Step to the firing station
Face downrange and await instruction from Range Officer.
Know how to prepare your weapon for the start of the firing sequences at the firing station.
Face downrange. You have an unloaded pistol with NO magazine in gun in your hip holster.
Range Officer will tell you to “Make ready” (Remove pistol from holster keeping muzzle downrange, insert loaded magazine in your pistol and cycle a live round into the chamber, place safety on and return pistol to holster).
Stand facing downrange waiting for Range Officer behind you to issue these commands:
“Are your ready” (no response required unless there is a problem; nod head if want to); “stand by” ;"BEEEEEP” . Draw and Engage targets.
END of shooting sequence-
Know how to show clear to the Range Officer when directed.
To ‘Show clear’ after each shooting session:
While muzzle is facing downrange - remove magazine, cycle out last round, lock or hold open slide to display empty chamber, close slide and dry fire straight downrange.)
Oh, did I mention to keep the muzzle always pointing downrange?
If you break 180 by turning too far to the left or right you will be disqualified and not allowed to complete the match for that day. (See ‘DQd’ below).
Move and Shoot-
When you move between targets, change magazines. It saves time from running out (10 with one in the chamber is IDPA round limit/mag. IPSC-USPSA does not have a limit in the open category.)
One way in which IDPA differs from USPSA is that there are situations in which you will be required to retain the magazine when you reload.
When shooting at targets through a window, don’t stick your pistol through the window (you are thinking ‘the closer I get to the targets the better’). The window is small and if the pistol recoils or you jam it going into/out of the window - it can cause a firing interruption, or worse- a dropped gun- a DQ!
So many things will get you disqualified (see ‘muzzle downrange’ and ‘dropped gun’ above.)
Read and study the USPSA and IDPA rules material!!!
We represent a fledging organization and first impressions count. Make them good ones. You represent more than just yourself.
View YouTube “idpa or ipsc shooting” and see what you will be doing BEFORE you arrive.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dQNKN58ZDc for Renton facility. A good video.
Watch everyone else to see what they are doing. Copy/steal any technique that works! This is the American way.
After the “all clear” (RO confirms recent firing sequence is done, pistol is clear of rounds and re-holstered) is sounded, help paste paper targets / paint steel and pick up spent brass (most reload so they want it back).
IDPA has a strong focus on shooting from cover which is important to our objectives. USPSA, IDPA and Steel Targets are all good ways to build skills. Paul Bunyan’s steel match is the third Sunday of every month at 10:00 AM and IDPA at Paul Bunyan is on the fourth Saturday of evey month.
Many folks have observed that we are bonding together as neighbors in love and good fellowship that will continue to grow!
Federal Way gun owners are letting us know that they are serious about the proposed gun range for our city.
We appreciate all the support we have received for our Armed Defense Training Association to achieve our training objectives.
I don’t know whether we will be shooting like SWAT operators but we can all become proficient at shooting on the move and from behind cover. LEOs call such procedures Reality Based Training. Front Sight and excellent local schools like the Firearms Academy of Seattle (in Onalaska, Washington) are well worth the considerable time and expense — if you plan to own a weapon for self-defense.
Incidentally, at FAS you will shoot on the move, from cover and under low-light conditions! We are lining up similar opportunities locally by negotiating range time as a group and then bringing in various instructors and other professionals to make the events safe and productive.
We received encouragement to get going with this plan of action from several business leaders, including members of the Chamber of Commerce. Before the recent proposal for a Shooting Arts Center was published in the Federal Way Mirror, I spoke to the Noon Kiwanis Club and a local Rotary Club about armed self-defense. Soon after I spoke at Rotary, a Rotary Club member asked when we are going to get started with a range.
All ADTA scheduled events are posted here. As our membership grows, ADTA will continue working towards establishing a local Federal Way shooting facility with the flexibility to provide tactical shooting events.
We hope the proposed range will be a resource for law enforcement (at very little cost to local government) and ADTA members for training. There are quite a few of us working to make all these things happen!
Please watch this location for updates!
Another Federal Way resident, Rick Cook (USMC), and I wrote a book entitled, He Trains My Hands for Battle. The book is a primer on Scriptural Kingdom principles relating to armed defense. In order to obtain an electronic copy ofthe manuscript that you can printout on your own printer, go to www.firearmslawyer.net and use the e-mail address there to send $9.00 via Pay Pal. You can make additional copies for church groups and other nonprofit organizations at no charge. Please contact us if you wish to present a seminar or class based on the materials.
David Goldman attended the NRA Firearms Law Seminar in Nashville. David pioneered the NFA Gun Trust. He tells us that BATF ‘s attorney, William Ryan, made some interesting comments about the ATF, NFA, Gun Control Act and Gun Trusts:
1.A trust can be a beneficiary of a will or other trust and obtain a tax free transfer using a Form 5 if the trust or will is drafted correctly.
2.A Trust can be a beneficiary of a will if there is an order from the probate court directing the distribution to a trust, otherwise one might have to transfer to an individual on a Form 5 and then pay $200 to transfer items to a trust.
3.ATF is still reviewing the 9500+ comments filed on 41P.
4.ATF is not concerned about an executor being a prohibited person. (This seems to conflict with the original reason for 41P in the first place.)
5.ATF likes lawyer drafted trusts, most trust problems are from gun store trusts, free trusts, or trust form that individuals try to create themselves.
6.ATF examiners do not know the law, and have often made mistakes that can be cleared up by having your lawyer contact their legal department.
7.ATF has seen many trusts which name the same individual as the beneficiary. It would appear that all of those people are just copying the trust from someone else. They believe that one day this random person could inherit thousands of NFA firearms.
8.Between 2003 and 2012 trust applications increased 80,000 %.
9.ATF stated that Gun Trusts can purchase and own both Title I and Title II firearms (those under the GCA and NFA).
BATF feels there will be a big business in fixing poorly written trusts like Easytrust promoted by Silencerco.
One of the worst examples of an online trust we have seen is the Easytrust. Those who have unknowingly received the free or fill in the blank trusts may have problems in the future. There may be many people who have already received these trusts which contain numerous problems. Some even have more problems than a gun trust drafted from Quicken. The list of problems is huge, but the biggest problems include:
•The trust permits NFA violations throughout the document.
•The trust permits any trustee to sell your guns without your consent.
•The Trust permits trustees to take away your gun rights if in their opinion you can’t handle your own affairs.
•The trust directs distribution to beneficiaries upon your death without any written permission (a violation of the NFA.
•The instructions incorrectly state that the trust needs to be registered in many states where it does not (seems to be similar to the problem we reported with the quicken trust).
•Directs you to obtain an EIN number for their trust when it is not necessary.
Do some research on Gun Trusts and learn why you would want a Gun trust for all your firearms and not one limited to NFA Guns like Easytrust. You need a lawyer watching your back!
Medellín v Texas is a landmark that stands for freedom in the United States.
See United States
In recent years, some members of the U.S. Supreme Court have made attempts to meld U.S. law with foreign law. International norms are apparently a new prism through which U.S. Constitutional law should be interpreted, according to some justices.
For example, in criticizing the Court’s own previous decision upholding state laws against consensual sodomy, the Court stated:
Where a case’s foundations have sustained serious erosion, criticism from other sources is of greater significance. In the United States, criticism of Bowers has been substantial and continuing, disapproving of its reasoning in all respects, not just as to its historical assumptions. And, to the extent Bowers relied on values shared with a wider civilization, the case’s reasoning and holding have been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, and that other nations have taken action consistent with an affirmation of the protected right of homosexual adults to engage in intimate, consensual conduct. There has been no showing that in this country the governmental interest in circumscribing personal choice is somehow more legitimate or urgent. Lawrence v Texas reversing Bowers v Hardwick
In the Lawrence v Texas decision, the majority opinion focused on global economics and world order as a justification for reversing an opinion that the U.S. Supreme Court delivered seventeen years before.
Medellin is a death penalty case but the Supreme Court did something more important than just deal with the issue of whether the State of Texas must give a psychopath a new trial. In Medellin, the strict-constructionist members of the Court put a death knell to the concept that international tribunals, treaties and legal usages are binding on states like Texas (and the State of Washington). For example, by holding as it did in Medellin- that international treaties and presidential orders do not trump state laws- the Court may have protected Americans from the UN Treaty on Small Arms that the UN is preparing to promote very heavily in the U.S. (the UN has been working on this agenda throughout the world- even as the UN remains a haven for genocidal regimes of every stripe). The “Progressives” who are up in arms against the Roberts Court are livid, according to the Wall Street Journal:
Though the case became a global cause célèbre, its sordid origins trace to 1993, when José Medellín, a Mexican national, murdered two Houston teenagers. He was sentenced to death by a Texas jury, but his lawyers argued on appeal that he hadn’t had access to Mexico’s consulate before he confessed to his crimes.
This was a violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention, which holds that diplomats are supposed to be notified when their nationals are arrested. In response, the U.S. government took steps to ensure states better comply in the future, both to fulfill its treaty obligations and serve the reciprocal interests of U.S. citizens detained abroad.
But Mexican authorities made the case a referendum on capital punishment and international legal norms, ultimately suing the U.S. in the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The ICJ ruled in Mexico’s favor, ordering states to give Medellín and some 51 other nationals new hearings. The question before the Supreme Court was whether such international dictates must be enforced by sovereign state courts. An affirmative answer might have gone a long way toward validating the expansive claims of liberal legal theorists that U.S. courts take instruction from the U.N., among other moral oases.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the 6-3 majority, ruled that the ICJ finding was not binding because the Vienna Convention is an understanding between governments. It is a diplomatic compact that was never intended to automatically create new individual rights enforceable domestically by international bodies. Texas’s violation was of diplomatic protocols, and calls for a diplomatic remedy.
Treaty provisions must be in accord with the plain meaning of the Constitution as it is written, not as some European-style socialists would have it to be. This distinction establishes a fire wall between international and domestic law. It also protects the core American Constitutional principles of federalism and the separation of powers.
Justice Roberts pointed out that courts must leave to the political branches the primary role in deciding when and how international agreements will be enforced.
Medellín v. Texas also swatted away a claim of Presidential power. According to the WSJ, the Bush Administration attempted to calm the diplomatic world by directing states to comply with the ICJ ruling in a 2005 executive order.
The Court ruled that the President’s power is limited by the Constitution. Authority to make treaty commitments does not extend to unilaterally asserting new state responsibilities or legal duties. The executive makes new laws subject to the legislature. The same crowd that is so suspicious of the Bush Administration’s claims of executive power, can’t wait to turn the executive powers over to international politicians who have already banned guns in most of Europe, Australia and Canada, to name a few!
Another safeguard provided by the Medellin case, is the safeguard against potential hate speech laws that chill your First Amendment freedoms. Hate speech laws are being used all over the Western World to silence criticism of Islam. If the multiculturalist crowd has its way, it could become a crime to make statements in the United States of America that violate hate crime laws like the laws enacted in Australia and Canada and many Western European nations. Hopefully we will continue to have Supreme Court Justices that recognize this kind of totalitarianism disguised as multiculturalism as a threat to liberty and free speech.
The Medellín majority has delivered a victory for the U.S. Constitution. For many years, the elite lawyers and politicians have been claiming that the Constitution is always changing based on the needs of each generation. This is not rule of law but an argument for tyranny which would interlineate international norms in place of bedrock Constitutional norms.
There are still many law professors and judges that think treaties supersede the U.S. Constitution. Hopefully the Medellin case has put such legal doctrines to rest! The decision went against the Bush Adminstration this time but if Medellin is reversed the next decision could impose UN-made laws that shut down our ability to conduct full debate on many important issues. Debate is often a strength that promotes new ways of dealing with threats and opportunities.
Ironically, we have President Bush to thank for men like Chief Justice Roberts and the other justices on the Court that read documents in plain English and just said NO to the Bush Administration’s overly aggressive claim of presidential power.
See also Perverting the Bill of Rights.
In February, 2008, the Dallas Morning News reported that CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico and Nuevo Laredo were competing for the tiltle of bloodiest border city.
In the first two months of 2008, Juárez had 72 murders – most of them tied to the drug cartels. They are the result of a bloody fight for control of drug distribution routes to U.S. cities, including several cities in the State of Washington.
On June 6, 2009, a shoot-out that erupted in Acapulco left 18 dead. According to the LA Times, a war occurred when army officials received an anonymous tip and arriving troops came under fire at a house in the western section of Acapulco:
“The army said 16 gunmen and two soldiers died during the gunfight. Some news media reports said the gunmen belonged to the Beltran Leyva drug-trafficking gang, based in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, but they could not be immediately confirmed.
Soldiers later recovered 49 rifles and handguns, 13 grenades and two grenade launchers, the army said. The cache held more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition.”
Every authority on the subject has been predicting that such violence is about to cross the border into the U.S. About the time that Mexican officials discovered eight bodies buried at a Juárez warehouse, an El Paso Times/News Channel 9 poll showed that 64 percent of El Paso residents feared that Juárez violence would spill into the U.S. The two cities, just across the Rio Grande from each other, have close cultural ties.
In Nuevo Laredo, the cartels have killed at least one journalist, a city council member and a police chief on the job just seven hours before he was gunned down. Additionally, the cartels had created a list of police officers marked for death. Many of the LEOs on the list have already been killed along with scores of other officers that were not on the list.
According to the Dallas Morning News articles, the Nuevo Laredo news media “self-censor” much of the news they report about the cartels because of fear that more journalists will be assassinated. “We’re reporting maybe 15 percent of what’s happening in our city,” said Alfredo Quijano, editor of the newspaper, whose building has received bomb threats. The fact that reporters in Mexico only reporting body counts and refuse to investigate official corruption that enables the cartels raises the issue of whether U.S. news media are also intimidated.
“We’re seeing the importation of Nuevo Laredo-style violence being unleashed to take control of this important gateway,” said a senior U.S. law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “The … magnitude, the brutality, the type of violence, this is what we now call Nuevo Laredo-style. It’s a proven strategy aimed at intimidating the public, law enforcement, the media.”
If Laredo style intimidation is coming to King County, our American gun culture may be the best barrier to prevent the epidemic of murder, kidnapping and robbery that all the authorities have predicted will surge across the border. According to a recent CNN story, “the cartel’s tentacles and those of its chief rival, the Gulf cartel, already reach across the border and into metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; St. Louis, Missouri; and Charlotte, North Carolina.”
In March, 2009, thirty-two-year-old Alfonso Ibanez-Martinez, a Mexican national operating near Tacoma, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin. The Seattle DEA says Ibanez-Martinez has ties to the drug community in Michoacan, Mexico. Other major cartels like the Sinoloa and Tijuana also funnel drugs up I-5 into Seattle – a major distribution point before they head east to states like Wisconsin, Tennessee and North Carolina, according to King5.com.
CNN cited DEA Agent Joseph Arabit’s March, 2009 testimony before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. “No other country in the world has a greater impact on the drug situation in the United States than Mexico does,” said Arabit, who heads the DEA’s office in this year’s border hot spot, El Paso, Texas. CNN’s map pinpointing drug traffic by cartel indicates that all the major Mexican cartels operate in and around Seattle and King County, including Renton, Federal Way & Bellevue. See where Mexican cartels are in the U.S.
The Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center reported in December, 2008 that Mexican drug traffickers can be found in more than 230 U.S. cities.
Once again, drug war casualties are mounting on the Mexican side at a record pace in 2009 – more than 1,000 during the first three months of the year, Arabit said. See who the key players are » Since the same cartels are competing for turf in the Seattle area, violence seems inevitable.
Law enforcement officials and analysts told CNN that “it is only a matter of time before innocent people on the U.S. side get caught in the cartel crossfire.”
Although the cartels previously tried to avoid direct confrontation with U.S. law enforcement, Sinaloa cartel leader Guzman’s instructed his soldiers to shoot-to-kill- U.S. law enforcement officials included according to Los Angeles Times sources and intelligence memos.
Additionally, Stratfor, a Texas-based security consulting firm that helped to research Guzman and researches security risks, has been warning that the recent trend of cartel related kidnappings in Phoenix and Tucson will soon spread out to other localities within the U.S. and that the kidnapping business will not just continue targeting cartel members and their families.
Some neighborhoods in Phoenix have now become warehouses where the cartels hold illegal immigrants for ransom money. The economics of the “global market place” militate in favor of increased diversification The cartels have already begun to recognize the prospect of increasing revenue by kidnapping Americans.
Highways move the drugs. Nuevo Laredo is close to the Interstate 35 corridor, and Juarez has easy access to I-10, a major east-west interstate. I-25 runs north to Denver, Colorado. Tijuana is also conveniently near I-10 and I-5, which heads north all the way to the Canadian border via Seattle and Tacoma.
The violence involves beheadings, gun battles like the recent firefight in Acapulco. Mass graves and arms caches have been discovered and police and public officials have been gunned down in broad daylight. Recruitment banners in the streets display the open contempt that enforcers have for the authorities.
“From what we’ve seen, the Zetas have taken over the Gulf cartel,” analyst Stewart said. “In violent times, soldiers tend to rise to the top.” These soldiers are incredibly well-armed, police learned after a November raid that resulted in the arrest of top Zeta lieutenant Jaime “Hummer” Gonzalez Duran.
It was the largest weapons seizure in Mexican history – 540 rifles, including AK-47s; 287 grenades; two rocket launchers; and 500,000 rounds of ammunition.
Many of the Zetas are former Federales that walked away from their units taking their weapons with them. Even small towns are being taken over by groups like MS-13, an international network that uses the machete in order to increase brand recognition for the violent force which is the gang’s stock in trade.
There have also been reports that gangs have smuggled Middle Eastern terrorists across the border and that the cartels are menacing U.S. law enforcement at the border.
If the reports are true that the cartels and gangs like MS-13 are about to expand their operations into kidnapping for ransom and other activities, the U.S. population should be prepared.
But there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; it tells the state to let people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order.
Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir.1982)
Gail Gerlach is a Spokane area resident who has been acquitted of first-degree manslaughter charges. He shot 25 year old Brendon Kaluza-Graham on March 25, 2013. The shot and killed Kaluza-Graham who was driving away in Gerlach’s vehicle. The defense argued that the Defendant saw the fleeing man make threatening gestures that looked like he was pointing a gun at Gerlach when the vehicle was about ten or twelve feet away but certainly not 66 feet as the prosecution reportedly argued.
The deceased man’s family was disgusted with the way the media portrayed Kaluza-Graham, saying their relative was made into a “one-dimensional thief.” According to the Spokesman Review, one family member lamented, “He was made into a poster boy for the angst of the community, a sacrificial lamb. That’s not right.”
“He had hopes and dreams,” said Ann Kaluza. “He was made into a poster boy for the angst of the community, a sacrificial lamb. That’s not right.”
Gerlach, who reportedly faced up to a decade in prison if found guilty, turned down a plea offer in which prosecutors offered him one year of confinement. Gerlach testified that he thought he saw Kaluza-Graham pointing a pistol at him through the back window of Gerlach’s SUV. His perception was that it was a gun and that “this was it", that he was going to be killed.
Gerlach told prosecuting attorney, Deric Martin, that he wasn’t aware children were gathering at a bus stop near where the shooting took place. Would he have acted in the same way even had he known they were there? One police officer brought up the presence of children that he saw after he had arrived on scene. There were children present at some point but the shooting was before the normal school bus stop time according to the Defendant, Gail Gerlach.
“Even if you had been aware, as you testified in direct examination, any kids at that bus stop would have been collateral damage,” Martin stated to the Defendant.
“… if you’d missed Mr. Kaluza-Graham or missed your vehicle, and hit one of them, that’s just a risk you were willing to take?” Martin asked.
“I didn’t miss,” Gerlach said.
Under the pressure of cross-examination from Martin, it sounded cocky. Bob Smith related much of this to me and assures that the Defendant is not arrogant or cocky. All acknowledge that the shot, while aimed at the threat, was a fluke. It hit glass, a child’s car seat and headrest before striking Kaluza-Graham. Gerlach testified that he shot because he believed if he didn’t, he would have been killed.
Robert Smith, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was an expert witness whose testimony was critcal in Gerlach’s trial. Smith spent over four hours testifying and was instrumental in helping the jury reach a verdict of not guilty. I asked him to share his observations regarding the case and he told me that he spent the last seven to eight months on Gerlach’s defense team with an associate, a retired state crime lab expert in firearms forensics. Smith’s expertise is in use of force, particularly lethal force.
Smith has no time for “gun shop commandos” or gun prohibitionists. He has been a law enforcement firearms instructor who also teaches armed citizens. After over three decades of such instruction he found some lessons in the case from which we can all learn.
The term “furtive movement” describes exactly what happened in Gerlach’s case. Smith uses the example of the Spokane County deputies who shot a man that presented keys in a manner that the deputies took as threatening. What the officers knew at the time that they had to make such a critical decision is how they must be judged by a police review board or a jury.
According to Smith, the media did not show bias against the deceased man but may have “massaged” the facts in such a way as to make Gerlach out to be an irresponsible gun owner.
“This case has never been about defending against a property theft by using lethal force. It has always been about self-defense against a perceived threat of deadly force against Mr. Gerlach, and that is what the jury understood, after weighing the facts of the case. Yet some of the media has reported before, during, and after the verdict that this is what the case was about.”
The news media published a high school graduation picture of the Brendon Kaluza-Graham and another picture surfaced after the trial that appearedto be Kaluza-Graham at about 12-14 years old. This is what many found so reprehensible in the George Zimmerman trial; i.e., photos that were several years younger than what the so-called victim looked like at the time of his crime. No sympathy for the armed citizen, no reports regarding all the other vehicles that Kaluza-Graham stole or even very much about 25 grams of methamphetamine in his possession. “He was just turning his life around.”
While the possession and the possibility that Kaluza-Graham was under the influence of drugs was inadmissible, it was known to the defense during the trial and explained the behavior Gerlach described. Remember the Zimmerman case? The City of Sanford fired their police chief because he refused to refer charges against Zimmerman. Eventually pressure was brought to bear via the media and protesters many of whom were threatening violence in the streets of Sanford, Florida. Even the U.S. Department of Justice brought pressure to bear and there is evidence Holder’s DOJ was committing resources to coordinate the protesters calling for Zimmerman to be prosecuted.
Eventually, prosecutors stepped forward at the state level and put a whole new spin on Zimmerman’s case. Unless you keep an extra two-three hundred thousand dollars lying around just for your criminal defense, it may be wise to not saying anything “that can and will be used against you in a court of law.” As law enforcement officers are told, “You may not go to jail because you did something wrong. You may go to jail because you could not articulate that what you did was right.”
Armed citizens are taught the same thing in most Use of Force classes. There is a reason police get 48-72 hours before they are required to make statements, Smith says. “We are all subject to the same psychological effects related to that critical incident. Learn the 2-5 minimal things to say, then don’t say anything more until you have had time to rest, reflect and seek counsel, both legal and psychological.”
The suggestion that Kaluza-Graham had a new job interview the next day makes for a good human interest story but isn’t Gerlach as sympathetic a victim as the deceased? Gerlach thought he was about to be killed and has been through hell and back- about $300,000.00 worth of hell! Isn’t that worth some sympathy?
Incidentally, the jury will now decide whether to award Gerlach reasonable attorney’s fees under Washington State’s special verdict statute for self-defense cases. The cost of his legal defense may be close to $300,000.00.
The jury deliberated a relatively short amount of time and determined that the case was one of self-defense. That means the state owes the defense some fees. A hearing on fees is expected within the month. Smith should have no problem getting outside expert fees. Defense attorneys, David Stevens and Richard Lee, showed the jury what it means to see things as a reasonable man or woman.
The case also show the Prosecutor’s Office not to file charges against honest citizens that are trying to do the right thing. The Spokane Prosecutor’s Office actually took a vote- three were for and three against filing; Steven Tucker broke the tie. Bob Smith comments, “Really, we charge now by vote, not evidence?”
The case was also forwarded to Steven Tucker’s office by the Spokane Police Department with no recommendation- which in a way is a recommendation. Tucker also publicly stated that he “wanted to send a message to the citizens of Spokane.” Well, perhaps the citizens sent a message back via the jury. Reasonable men and women can look at things from the point of view of what Gail Gerlach knew when he thought he saw a gun pointed at him.
What do Charlton Heston and Rev. Martin Luther King have in common? Along with the fact that both men pursued callings in which they portrayed the Biblical role of Moses descending from the mountain top, both men were committed to the struggle for civil rights. In fact, Heston marched with Rev. King in the South and often stated that his commitment to Second Amendment issues was a natural corollary to the struggle for racial equality. The history of that struggle reveals that Heston was not engaging in mere NRA rhetoric.
The NRA was the first national organization to become integrated when it was founded in 1871. No other association existed in the U.S. in which integration was the rule. Quite possibly this was because General Ambrose Burnside, one of the NRA’s founding members, was a leader of Black Union troops during the Civil War. Even by the time of the Korean War (1950-1953), most white officers were reluctant to lead Black troops because of the perception that this would ruin an officer’s prospects for promotion.
President Truman was the first President to begin desegregating the United States Army. In fact, the United States government still practiced rigid segregation in the civil service during and after Woodrow Wilson’s administration.
Modern gun control started with post-Civil War laws enacted in the former Confederate states restricting the right to keep and bear arms to whites only. Newly freed black citizens returning from military service on the sides of both the North and the South were forced to submit to weapons searches in their homes.
Resistance to such gun control measures would often lead to lynching. In 1921, a whole section of Tulsa, Oklahoma was destroyed and as many as 300 may have died (most of them blacks) after some black men, many of them returned WW I veterans, attempted an armed defense of their neighborhood against a violent white mob.
Tulsa’s black section was a shining example to the world of what black professionals and business people had accomplished in the United States. Its destruction by angry white mobs raises the issue of whether a member of a racial, ethnic or religious minority should trust exclusively in government for safety.
Mahatma Gandhi, the architect of nonviolent resistance, lamented that one of the greatest injustices was the colonial restriction on the right of the Indian people to possess firearms.
Gandhi recognized that nonviolent resistance, the strategy adopted by Rev. King, was not an end in itself, but that nonviolence was the only way to gather the moral force to persuade England to give in to the demands of justice.
Would Northern liberals have supported the civil rights movement if pictures of armed black men had appeared on the evening news?
One important group within the civil rights movement, the “Deacons for the Defense”, showed up at marches and demonstrations all over the South with shotguns, rifles and pistols. These were armed churchmen like Condoleezza Rice’s father, a theologian and preacher. According to Ms. Rice, they guarded each other’s homes and families from night riders when the lives of civil rights protesters were at risk in Birmingham, Alabama.
Cities like Chicago and Washington, DC (two of the most segregated cities in the U.S.) still favor gun control. The Founding Fathers anticipated that democracy would be a bumpy road.
The new campus security law that permits concealed carry on Idaho campuses passed and has been signed by Gov. Butch Otter.
There are presently five states: namely Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon and Utah, that allow students, teachers and others to bring guns to class. Idaho and 22 other states presently leave it up to the colleges to determine who will carry on campus. Twenty-one states have enacted outright bans regarding carry on campus. The bill allows retired law enforcement officers and all people with Idaho’s enhanced concealed-carry permit to bring firearms to campus.
Applicants for the enhanced permit must be 21 or older. The legislation prohibits firearms in certain places like dormitories even with enhanced concealed-carry permits. Nevertheless, several of the trustees at North Idaho College were troubled by the proposal to provide students with the means of defending themselves. In fact, almost every administrator in Idaho opposed the legislation. They seem to think that arming students amid a “beer” culture is irresponsible.
Maybe it is time for colleges and university administrators to ask whether it is time to create new environments for higher learning by encouraging responsibility and trusting students to rise to a high level of serious endeavor by helping to make campuses secure and offering classes in gun handling!
Another concern was the need for local control with a majority of the trustees apparently voting to oppose the bill. It is worth noting that security guards at NIC are unarmed. Todd Banducci, an NIC trustee, a weapons instructor and expert military marksman, commented during a recent board meeting that he strongly supported the proposed bill along with arming campus security guards.
The majority view, however, seemed to be that arming students will be a dangerous innovation, especially when the security guards are not armed! To make it perfectly clear for the majority who voted to maintain the status quo, most law abiding folks on the NIC campus will be helpless for as long as it takes for the police to arrive if the present status quo prevails. That should mean also arming security on campus.
Unless we arm some personnel on the NIC campus, the present state of affairs leaves the NIC campus vulnerable to an active shooter attack. Utah and four other states allow carrying of firearms on campus. It’s noteworthy these states have seen very little if any increase in school shootings.
The rest of the United States has seen almost one school shooting almost every other day for weeks and school shootings have tripled. Isn’t it time to give people the opportunity to be armed during that critical gap while law enforcement is scrambling to get to the scene of an active shooting?
The proposed legislation followed fatal shootings on college campuses. A student shot and killed a teaching assistant at Purdue University in Indiana Tuesday. Another fatal shooting occurred outside a South Carolina State University dormitory several weeks ago.
Senator Curt McKenzie, an Idaho state senator who is proposing the bill, said that arming students and faculty can prevent school shootings.
The same week that the trustees met at NIC, police in Maryland were continuing to study a journal that the Columbia Mall gunman kept in which he expressed hatred for certain groups and unhappiness with his life. “Shooter’s handwritten journal offers no insight into whether he knew the victims,” police said in a tweet. Another tweet said the killer “knew he was having mental health issues.”
So What’s the Difference between an Active Shooter and Action Shooting?
Darion Aguilar, reportedly a skater and regular at the mall, shot himself in the face after killing two Zumiez employees. So what is the difference between an action shooter and an active shooter?
An active shooter is the modern parlance for a person who starts shooting at people in public places. In the case of the Maryland shopping mall, he killed his victims and injured several others with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Action shooters, on the other hand, are competitive shooters who train for speed and accuracy through practice shooting at multiple targets while on the move. Such exercises can be training drills or performed in competitive match venues like IDPA or USPSA matches. To qualify, action shooters follow strict rules of safety in highly controlled environments.
A few years back we surveyed several high school girls in Federal Way with a few simple historical questions like which came first- the Civil War or WW II.
See video of Texas Tech Survey.
One girl in our unscientific survey knew the Civil War came before WW II but had to think about it- a lot. She remembered Harriet Tubman from Black Studies and that jogged her recollection. The video linked above exemplifies the same kind of results we discovered in Federal Way
Most of the HS students in Federal Way get taught much about critical thinking and diversity- both very big with modern educators; history is just for senior year, or so the Federal Way high school students claim. Supposedly knowing the difference between an ad hominem argument and a priori reasoning is more important than knowing any facts.
The trouble with such sophistry is that you can use critical thinking to convince someone of almost anything! You thought you believed in gravity, for example. But just because you fall doesn’t mean that some capricious entity hasn’t been manipulating the physical environment for years to create the illusion of a consistent natural principle. Scientific laws just seem inherently true due to our apriori assumptions that material and mass have actual physical properties that hold the universe in place. This is pseudo intellectual casuistry, of course, but a sophomore in high school (or even college) might find an instructor prating away on such things to be very enlightening.
The Bible states by Christ all things consist. But can’t it just as easily be the Lord of the Flies? Critical thinking responds, “Isn’t exalting a righteous God is just a method of injecting a dope like quality to people that are being enslaved by the overseer class? And by what standards do you determine your God’s so-called righteousness?”
objecting that our claim that history was not taught in the schools was unfair because Federal Way students only study critical thinking up through their third year in high school- but not history. That was exactly the point Mr. Hoff and I were trying to make when we gave our simple history test to a few students!
Its not difficult to persuade people into nihilism when they are starting out void of factual information- especially with kids! You are working with a blank slate in the first place. Biases like honoring your parents, loving your country and rejecting the evils rejected by your forefathers are safeguards against intellectual chaos.
When kids have some experience and know some facts, they can actually exercise the “critical thinking” process to assess shortcomings in what they receive. Critical thinking would be relatively harmless if it were not for the fact that many of the teachers have been so radicalized by diversity training, Black studies, Chicano studies, neo-Marxist analysis and other anti-American biases.
It is amazing that more kids are not going on shooting rampages. Taking God and the Bible out of schools doesn’t really help either.
There is a whole branch of feminism that is also Marxist. None of these “studies” come labeled as Marxist or radical but they all employ elements of the so-called critical thinking process to deconstruct everything we try to teach kids at home. Communist lawyers founded a whole school of Critical Legal Studies many years ago. The CLS movement is still going strong and has been persuasively demonstrated how judges make decisions based on protecting the interests of their class-based social status. Let’s do the same thing with the Progressives that pretend to transform America for the greatest good for all. Deconstruct some of the progressives’ own privilege-based biases and hidden agendas.
Most of us were also educated into the “Progressive” agenda. So we need to use critical thinking to see through the agenda. Critical thinking can be good or bad; i.e., it is only a process and can be used to reach almost any conclusion. Especially when you eliminate any facts that are deemed to be biased just because they are traditional. On the other hand, supposedly innovative social ideas (which aren’t really new at all) are deemed to be inherently progressive, modern and imminently worth entertaining with a dialogue that usually engenders more Progressive foolishness.
There really are people trying to steal what we have received from our forefathers and we are starting to see the tragic results. Our freedom was purchased with the blood of patriots not with endless “dialogues” conducted by talking heads & pundits!
They enemies of freedom have not really been people like Khrushchev, Mao or some faceless Communist party members in Red China. People like the Clintons, the Obama True Believers and even some Republicans are just as subversive as Chairman Mao ever was. But the real source of the attack is coming from tax exempt foundations bearing names like Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie. Millions of dollars go to fund academic studies and it skews the academic process and skewers our young.
Communist and Socialist are academic distinctions. The way the Obama administration has encouraged the racial strife in Ferguson, Missouri and other places along with the Obama Administration’s anti-police rhetoric is a harbinger of violence to come.
The only possible distinction between Communism and Socialism is that Communists profess to believe in violent revolution. But they also resort to disguising their beliefs and will even profess to be Socialists, Progressives, Democrats or even Republicans if it suits their purposes.
Do you know who Saul Alinsky is?
A very famous Chicago Communist, Alinsky died many years ago. Nevertheless, Saul Alinsky is still somewhat famous because President Obama learned community organizing under some of the organizations that followed Alinsky’s strategies outlined in the book, Rules for Radicals.
Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis about him and actually worked in Alinsky’s operations before she took off for law school at Yale!
Mrs. Clinton was recruited into Alinsky’s operations in her Methodist Church right in Park Ridge where I went to high school. She graduated the year I started so we were not at Maine South at the same time.
I read her senior thesis written while she was at Wellesley College. It is about Saul Alinsky’s life and community organizing strategies. Very interesting! It makes my case better than I could explain it in 20,000 words or more. See the link to the thesis above.
We now have leaders who have values that are as chaotic and dangerous as the values I previously rejected when I got to meet some of the radicals in Chicago’s Hyde Park. I repudiated all of my leftist and hippy beliefs after I received Christ as my Lord and Savior. It would be a good thing for our nation if some of our leaders would also repent!
But what of our children? The so-called critical thinking that has replaced traditional educational values rooted in the traditional American heritage have left our students poorly prepared to question the premises of teachers who teach that the United States is a nation of genocide and greed. No wonder things are coming apart and our leaders seem more like adolescent children having a food fight when so many important issues confront the nation.
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed DC v Heller in a five to four landmark decision last year. Justice Scalia firmly placed the Court’s decision, which knocks down Washington DC’s ban on firearms within the bedrock of the Founding Fathers’ original intentions; i.e., the decision sets forth a principle scorned by tyrants over the centuries. It is in the people that the power of governmental force resides. The government’s use of deadly force ultimately derives from an individual’s duty to protect herself or himself, one’s family and neighbors.
The fact that the discussion of self-defense is usually framed in terms of rights is, perhaps, unfortunate in that Americans can easily become exhausted by the perpetual yapping about “rights“. We have welfare rights, immigration rights, First Amendment right to purvey obscenity. The “right” to keep and bear arms is first of all a duty. Many states, especially in the Eastern U.S., still have laws on the books requiring men of certain ages to have a military weapon and suitable ammunition in specific quantities in order to be ready to perform militia service:
That is what Congress did in the first militia Act, which specified that “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.” Act of May 8, 1792, 1 Stat. 271.
Ironically, many of the states that still have such laws on the books will see state and local restrictions on gun ownership challenged as a result of Justice Scalia’s bold enunciations. The Court has recognized an ancient truth that the ancient commonwealths of Israel, Athens, Rome and England (to name a few) took for granted. Free men should own weapons. Those that refuse will not remain free for long. As late as WW II, the authorities called out armed civilians to patrol the East Coast to prevent possible invasions.
The habits of training and handling personal firearms breed a culture of respect for life, habits of steady minded courage, craftsmanship, patience and skill along with appreciation for history and the role of the individual and families in shaping history.
With the Founders’ values and principles in mind, it is worth reflecting on the context of the decision. Yesterday, the Court in another five to four decision, Kennedy v Louisiana, referenced evolving standards to institutionalize a “consensus” that capital punishment for violent child rapists offends decency. In both cases, there were four solid justices lined up in favor of looking to the Founders’ intentions against four justices that regularly look to vague extra-Constitutional concepts such as international norms, foreign precedent and “consensus“. These paradigm shifts in the court evolve in synchronicity with the evolution of elitist morality that has so often been legislated upon those of us that are not law professors or enablers of the American mandarin class.
Judges like Justice Ginsburg, a former ACLU counsel, will normally confront the violent rape of a child with a certain amount of equanimity. After all, in her world, shaping public policy is a priest-like and arcane activity, requiring esoteric power to construe the direction of evolving standards and articulate a mysterious consensus about which mere mortals are unaware.
Rather than attempt to amend the Constitution from the bench as the dissenters would, Justice Scalia’ majority opinion in the Heller case began squarely with the plain meaning of the terms employed by the framers of the Bill of Rights:
“Keep and bear Arms.” We move now from the holder of the right—“the people”—to the substance of the right: “to keep and bear Arms.” Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear,” we interpret their object: “Arms.” The 18th-century meaning is no different from the meaning today. The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” 1 Dictionary of the English Language 107 (4th ed.) (hereinafter Johnson). Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” 1 A New and Complete Law Dictionary(1771); see also N. Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language (1828).”
Justice Scalia went on to define what it means to keep and bear arms:
We turn to the phrases “keep arms” and “bear arms.” Johnson defined “keep” as, most relevantly, “[t]o retain; not to lose,” and “[t]o have in custody.” Johnson 1095. Webster defined it as “[t]o hold; to retain in one’s power or possession.” No party has apprised us of an idiomatic meaning of “keep Arms.” Thus, the most natural reading of “keep Arms” in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.”
Thus, when the Constitution was drafted, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects. Scalia quotes Blackstone, the great expounder of the common laws of England. Blackstone’s Commentaries “constituted the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation….” The English Bill of Rights inspired, to a large degree, the U.S. Bill of Rights and, according to Blackstone, self defense and the right to be armed was “one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen”. See 1 Blackstone 136, 139–140 (1765). Contemporary authorities concurred.
The Heller decision also presents incisive history lessons related to the nature of the organized & unorganized militia, concepts that were familiar to many at the time that the Federalists were trying to win over anti-Federalists who feared standing armies and the despotism that was associated with strong central government:
There are many reasons why the militia was thought to be “necessary to the security of a free state.” See 3 Story §1890. First, of course, it is useful in repelling invasions and suppressing insurrections. Second, it renders large standing armies unnecessary—an argument that Alexander Hamilton made in favor of federal control over the militia. The Federalist No. 29, pp. 226, 227 (B. Wright ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton). Third, when the able-bodied men of a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist tyranny.
Thus, Justice Scalia states, “It was understood across the political spectrum that the (Second Amendment) right helped to secure the ideal of a citizen militia, which might be necessary to oppose an oppressive military force if the constitutional order broke down.”
Many of the state constitutions at the time of the Founders used Second Amendment keep and bear arms language in a manner that clearly demonstrated an intent to recognize that individual ownership and use of firearms was encompassed by the term. Scalia cites Pennsylvania’s Declaration of Rights of 1776:
“That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the state . . . .” §XIII, in 5 Thorpe 3082, 3083 (emphasis added).
The majority opinion goes on to point out that many colonial statutes required individual arms-bearing for public-safety reasons— such as the 1770 Georgia law that “for the security and defence of this province from internal dangers and insurrections” required those men who qualified for militia duty individually “to carry fire arms” “to places of public worship.”
The Court cites St. George Tucker’s version of Blackstone’s Commentaries for the proposition that:
The right to self-defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine the right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” He believed that the English game laws had abridged the right by prohibiting “keeping a gun or other engine for the destruction of game.”
Another famous Constitutional scholar wrote:
One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offence to keep arms, and by substituting a regular army in the stead of a resort to the militia.” A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States §450 (Story).
The Court cites one of my favorite authors, firearms lawyer Stephen Halbrook, to illustrate that “in the aftermath of the Civil War, there was an outpouring of discussion of the Second Amendment in Congress and in public discourse, as people debated whether and how to secure constitutional rights for newly free slaves. See generally S. Halbrook, Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866–1876 (1998):
Yet those born and educated in the early 19th century faced a widespread effort to limit arms ownership by a large number of citizens; their understanding of the origins and continuing significance of the Amendment is instructive. Blacks were routinely disarmed by Southern States after the Civil War. Those who opposed these injustices frequently stated that they infringed blacks’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Needless to say, the claim was not that blacks were being prohibited from carrying arms in an organized state militia.”
The majority opinion discussing the legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment quotes a joint Congressional Report that described how after the Civil War “in some parts of [South Carolina], armed parties… without proper authority, engaged in seizing all firearms found in the hands of the freemen. Such conduct is in clear and direct violation of their personal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, which declares that ‘the right of the people to freedmen of South Carolina have shown by their peaceful and orderly conduct that they can safely be trusted with fire-arms, and they need them to kill game for subsistence, and to protect their crops from destruction by birds and animals.”
The view was common right after the Civil War that newly freed black citizens held a constitutional right to bear arms. The viewpoint expressed in these statements “was widely reported and was apparently widely held.”
For example, “an editorial in The Loyal Georgian (Augusta) on February 3, 1866, assured blacks that “[a]ll men, without distinction of color, have the right to keep and bear arms to defend their homes, families or themselves.”
“It was plainly the understanding in the post-Civil War Congress that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to use arms for self-defense.”
Justice Stevens’ dissent strains to reach new apogees of linguistic sophistry. It is like listening to President Clinton split hairs about what the meaning of “is” is:
“[K]eep and bear arms” thus perfectly describes the responsibilities of a framing-era militia member. This reading is confirmed by the fact that the clause protects only one right, rather than two. It does not describe a right “to keep arms” and a separate right “to bear arms.” Rather, the single right that it does describe is both a duty and a right to have arms available and ready for military service, and to use them for military purposes when necessary. Different language surely would have been used to protect nonmilitary use and possession of weapons from regulation if such an intent….”
The dissent lectures the majority on the principle of stare decisis; i.e., the principle that a court should not lightly set aside prior precedent. Citing Miller, Justice Stevens argues that the holding relates the right to keep and bear arms to military matters.
Belying the dissent’s reliance on Miller, there was no party briefing the case for the other side in Miller. The Miller Court ruled that the distinction between the sawed-off shotgun possessed unlawfully by the defendant in that case and a militarily useful weapon should be the basis for upholding the National Firearms Act that outlawed certain kinds of weapons. That is as far as the Miller court went. Nevertheless, from 1939 until now the Miller case has been cited to deny individuals any standing to enter the courthouse door and seek redress state, local or federal policy render us defenseless. See United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 (1939).
In 2003, the usual Supreme Court suspects cried, “Stare decisis be damned and full speed ahead with the global social agenda!” All in the name of melding our institutions with the evolving international consensus. That was the case where the Court overturned its own seventeen year old precedent, negating its previous opinion upholding states that outlaw sodomy between adults.
Think of all the cities like Chicago and Washington, DC that have disarmed their citizens, a citizenry that has seen children raped, the streets held by thugs and armies of drug dealers. Citizens fear what used to be called “hue and cry”. Well, now the mayors, like Seattle’s Mayor Nickels and the Mayor of the other Washington, are making the hue and cry.
See full text of Heller decision.
The Deacons for Defense and Justice formed in the Deep South during the 1960s.The Deacons exercised armed self-defense and often operated in conjunction with other civil rights organizations. Local law enforcement, state authorities and the Ku Klux Klan often enforced Jim Crow laws with impunity in places where the federal government was ineffective or unable to intervene.
Larry Pratt points out that, although Hill does not deal with the lack of Scriptural support for segregation, Jim Crow laws and segregation were very clearly a set of laws in conflict with Scripture. Exodus 12:49 requires that the same law apply to everybody alike. The black self-defense group did not engage in any theological debates over whether the use of lethal force in self-defense is Biblical. (See Larry Pratt: What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control? The Deacons’ practical self-defense approach did not square with national leadership’s stated views on the direction to be taken by the Civil Rights Movement but nevertheless contributed immeasurably to the ultimate success of the larger civil rights effort.
“The goal of black self-determination and black self-identity—Black Power—is full participation in the decision-making processes affecting the lives of black people, and recognition of the virtues in themselves as black people.”
Stokely Carmichael wrote of the Deacons:
“Here is a group which realized that the ‘law’ and law enforcement agencies would not protect people, so they had to do it themselves…The Deacons and all other blacks who resort to self-defense represent a simple answer to a simple question: what man would not defend his family and home from attack?”
Proponents of non-violence had previously protected themselves with guns. Fannie Lou Hammer confessed that she kept several loaded guns under her bed. Robert F. Williams armed his local NAACP branch. The NAACP and the federal government were not happy with Williams’ stance but Martin Luther King Jr. also employed armed bodyguards and had guns in his house during the early stages of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956.
The Klan strategy to intimidate African Americans included burning five churches, destroying a Masonic hall, a Baptist center, and murdering innocent victims- often women and children. Jonesboro, Louisiana was the scene of much of the violence in 1964.
Because of state and federal governments’ failure to protect African-Americans, men in Jonesboro, Louisiana, led by Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick, founded the Deacons to protect civil rights workers, their communities and their families, against the Klan violence. The Jonesboro chapter later organized a Deacons chapter in Bogalusa, Louisiana.
The Jonesboro chapter initiated a regional organizing campaign and eventually formed 21 chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The militant Deacons’ confronted the Klan in Bogalusa and forced the federal government to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Many of the original Deacons were war veterans with combat experience and the Deacons galvanized federal law enforcement by the very real threat that the Deacons would kill Klansmen in self-defense.
Ernest “Chilly Willy” Thomas understood that things were secured by force rather than moral appeal. According to Lance Hill, “Thomas was eager to work with CORE, but he had reservations about the nonviolent terms imposed by the young activists.” Thomas and others would guard the Jonesboro community in the day with their guns concealed and carried their guns openly during the cover of night to discouraged any type of Klan activity.
The Deacons became involved with the wider Civil Rights Movement during the 1966 March Against Fear. Stokely Carmichael urged that the Deacons be used as security for the march. Akinyele O. Umoja states, “Finally, though expressing reservations, King conceded to Carmichael’s proposals to maintain unity in the march and the movement. The involvement and association of the Deacons with the march signified a shift in the Civil Rights Movement, which had been popularly projected as a ‘nonviolent movement.”’
Akinyele O. Umoja suggests that ideological shifts in the movement were becoming apparent even before the March Against Fear. An alliance between CORE and the Deacons around 1965 and the support of armed self-defense by many southern-born Black people is a significant aspect of the civil rights movement that has been ignored by white and black historians. Additionally, a significant portion of SNCC supported armed self-defense. Local Southern blacks knew violence that was up close and personal. The national leadership, on the other hand, steered a wider agenda that included gaining support from Northern white liberals and mainstream media outlets.
The Deacons worked with other groups that practiced nonviolence and provided armed guards so that the NAACP and other groups could maintain their nonviolent stance. According to Lance Hill, author of The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement:
“The hard truth is that these organizations (i.e., SNCC, CORE, and SCLC) produced few victories in their local projects in the Deep South— if success is measured by the ability to force changes in local government policy and create self-governing and sustainable local organizations that could survive when the national organizations departed…The Deacons’ campaigns frequently resulted in substantial and unprecedented victories at the local level, producing real power and self-sustaining organizations.”
According to Hill, the Deacons were the true resistance that enforced civil rights in areas of the Deep South. Many times it was locally armed communities that laid the foundation of equal opportunity for African-Americans. National organizations played their role by exposing problems; local organizations and individuals implemented change and were not intimidated by whites who wanted to enforce and perpetuate segregation. Without these local organizations employing armed self-defense not much would have changed, according to Hill.
An example of how armed force changed the civil rights equation took place in early 1965. Black students picketed the local high school. They were confronted by hostile police and fire trucks with hoses. A car of four Deacons emerged and in view of the police calmly loaded their shotguns. The police ordered the fire truck to withdraw. Lance Hill observes that this was the first time in the Twentieth century “an armed black organization had successfully used weapons to defend a lawful protest against an attack by law enforcement.”
Another example from Hill:
“In Jonesboro, the Deacons made history when they compelled Louisiana governor John McKeithen to intervene in the city’s civil rights crisis and require a compromise with city leaders—the first capitulation to the civil rights movement by a Deep South governor.”
The Deacons kept their membership secret to avoid terrorist attacks on their supporters. The tactics of the Deacons attracted the attention and concern of the FBI which produced more than 1,500 pages of relatively accurate records on the Deacon’s activities, largely through numerous informants close to or even inside the organization.
The information herein is a summary of an article about the Deacons at Wikipedia.
The purpose of the LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS’ SAFETY ACT OF 2004 (18 U.S.C. Sec. 926B and 926C) is to supplement active law enforcement personnel in order to deter crime and prevent terrorist activity. The federal law accomplishes this by anticipating that additional armed law enforcement personnel that have already been trained will be present within each jurisdiction as officers travel from one jurisdiction to another while on business, vacationing or for any other reason.
The Act authorizes retired officers and active police officers from any jurisdiction within the United States to carry a concealed firearm within any jurisdiction of the United States; thus, increasing the likelihood that an armed officer will be present if circumstances warrant appropriate use of armed force. The retired officer must qualify annually per the standards that officers are required to meet for firearms proficiency within the agency from which he or she retired. For a retired officer to carry a weapon in all fifty states, the federal statute requires:
“… a certification issued by the State in which the individual resides that indicates that the individual has, not less recently than one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the State to meet the standards established by the State for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm.”
The LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS’ SAFETY ACT OF 2004 is an aid to law enforcement and the public that costs the state or the federal government very little because the training has already been provided at the state level and each retired officer essentially becomes a volunteer who must pay the cost of maintaining his/her qualifications at the state and/or local level.
RCW 36.28A.090 reads in part:
Firearms certificates for qualified retired law enforcement officers.
(1) The purpose of this section is to establish a process for issuing firearms certificates to residents of Washington who are qualified retired law enforcement officers for the purpose of satisfying the certification requirements contained in the federal law enforcement officers safety act of 2004 (118 Stat. 865; 18 U.S.C. Sec. 926B and 926C).
(2) The Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs shall develop a firearms certificate form to be used by local law enforcement agencies when issuing firearms certificates to retired law enforcement officers under this section.
(3) A retired law enforcement officer who is a resident of Washington may apply for a firearms certificate with a local law enforcement agency. The local law enforcement agency may issue the firearms certificate to a retired law enforcement officer if the officer:
(a) Has been qualified or otherwise found to meet the standards established by the criminal justice training commission for firearms qualifications for active law enforcement officers in the state; and…
We have produced a legal opinion letter that we will make available to any law enforcement agency in Washington State.
Liability for Mistakes in Low-Light Environments
Nevertheless, the question of liability for officer shootings in situations where justifiable use of deadly force becomes an issue is a very common situation for officers that needs to be addressed at a number of different levels according to experts.
The following information is from the Police Policy Studies Council and Law Enforcement News (a publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY):
Police shootings involving unarmed suspects often occur in a darkened setting. Many law enforcement agencies do not train their officers how to shoot under such conditions.
According to the Houston Chronicle, 59 percent of the 189 shootings that occurred in Harris County from 1999-2004 occurred between sunset and sunrise. In at least five cases involving unarmed suspects officers appeared to have mistaken an object for a gun in low light.
Research conducted in Los Angeles County, Baltimore County and New York City by Tom Aveni, a sworn officer, and trainer with the New Hampshire-based Police Policy Studies Council, turned up similar results.
Since most shootings occur under low light conditions, it makes sense for armed citizens and police officers to get specialized training in low-light combat shooting tecniques. The Firearms Academy of Seattle provides such training along with training in most aspects of rifle, pistol and shot gun tactics.
Although most state officer training only requires qualifying under daylight conditions that bear little resemblance to the environment in which police officers do their job, the study indicates that such training is critical.
In many if not most of these shootings, the low light conditions are such that a cell phone is mistaken for a gun especially where the suspect acts in such a way that the suspect’s body language is interpreted as intense or aggressive.
“When I see officers getting into trouble, it’s because they’re shooting at things they haven’t clearly identified.”
David Klinger, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and the author of “Into the Kill Zone: A Cop’s-Eye View of Deadly Force,” believes that as much information as can be gleaned from real-life situations should be integrated into training.
“I can’t say that no police are ever trained [in low-light conditions], but it’s a training issue where many officers don’t get the opportunity to fire under those circumstances, absolutely.” He told LEN. “We want to make our training as realistic as possible so police officers are able to have spent some time in a variety of environments if they find themselves having to make a life and death decision. To the extent to which officers are not getting realistic training is the extent to which we’re not preparing them as well as we should.”
Just shooting at targets is not the kind of training that is needed in order to protect the officer and the public from the shootings that occur with a great deal of frequency, usually under low light conditions. Many shooting schools provide low light training for officers and non-police civilians; e.g., Firearms Academy of Seattle.
One example of an innovation that augments the traditional firearms training is the situation created at a recent IPSIC competition at Paul Bunyan Shooting Range in Puyallup. I participated in a scenario that created the sort of chaos present in the street environments faced by officers in real life where we started out in a mocked-up drivers seat, exited from a vehicle while engaging multiple targets that were behind partial cover and shot at moving targets.
Another situation involves engaging targets where lights may be bright in one room, dark in another and you have to move from a low-light environment to a brightly lit room.
I recently completed the defensive handgun class at FAS in which we were introduced to low-light combat techniques and learned the basics of shooting from cover. The low-light training is conducted in a darkened room with dimmer-controlled lighting. We learned two different methods of deploying a flashlight while shooting. The learning curve is rapid at FAS and by the end of the two day class all of us were shooting multiple shots with accuracy and speed that I never expected to achieve even after quite a bit of previous training and competition.
Incidentally, experts like Massad Ayoob recommend IPSIC and IDPA competitions because the degree of stress engendered in racing through multiple targets creates enough stress that a shooter begins to function like he will under the extreme stress of a gun fight. Continuing to function after your gun jams is a matter of survival that is inculcated by such competitions in which you find yourself racing through a maze of targets, making tactical decisions as to when to load another magazine and which target to engage first.
Perpetrators tend to run in packs and malfunctions are almost inevitable, especially during rapid fire shooting. Good shooters continue to move while they clear a jam (or stay behind cover). And the first rule in real life combat is that the situation is constantly changing. You may look up and find an innocent bystander standing in the doorway from which shots were fired a moment before. The ability to keep on thinking and functioning in these situations develops from constant repitition under stress with a professional trainer to push you past your normal limits of endurance.
Competition will also get you out there pushing your comfort level. So what makes the difference between officers that survive gunfights and those who don’t survive or make critical mistakes at the expense of unarmed civilians?
“The answer, simply put: ‘It is the difference in training.’ ”
Ancient Israelites were commanded to carefully obey all the law their servant Moses charged them to keep! They were not to swerve to the right or to the left. Thus, they would be successful in everything they did. The laws revealed through Moses were to never leave their lips:
You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful. I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.”
Joshua 1:2-9 (NIV)
God gave a clear order for Joshua to take action to possess the land promised to the Israelites many years before. Action was required to receive the promise. The instruction then was to possess and defend what God had given.
Every step that Joshua took in obedience to the command opened up new windows of opportunity to perform what seemed to be an impossible undertaking. Joshua’s spies received assistance from Rahab, a harlot. Now, of course, harlot is a not too polite way of saying she was a whore. According to Joshua 2: 8 and 9, the spies lay down for the night and Rahab went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.” Joshua 2:8-9 (NIV).
The Scripture repeatedly demonstrates that people that are oppressed, despised and exploited are on the heart of the Father when they are fighting for the Kingdom and not for the other side.
Rahab stated that the people’s hearts melted when they heard about the power of God after he parted the Red Sea and destroyed the Amorites. The reports of Israel’s exploits while they wandered in the wilderness created a general fear of YAHWEH, the God of Israel, in all the nations that surrounded the Israelite tribes. All that remained was for Joshua to take his people across the Jordan River and claim what God had already given them.
In a leader like Joshua there is a temptation to seek conquest. Consider, for example, men like Alexander and Napoleon. Self-aggrandizing militarism and conquest for the sake of ego gratification is not what Americans desire. Just look at the current polls regarding whether to launch a limited strikes in order to degrade Syria’s capacity to wage war against the rebels, many of whom are aligned with the same Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists our government is trying to detect.
The NSA sifts through our emails and spends billions to break into encrypted messages while the CIA prepares to arm and train the very same operatives the other side of our U.S. intelligence community is seeking to detect!
Even Americans that have no familiarity with the Bible have received a cultural understanding that abhors militarism. In fact, the idol worshipping nations and tribes that surrounded the ancient Hebrews worshipped conquest, sexual lust and militarism. It sounds like both of our major political parties and most of the public officials that live within eighteen or nineteen contiguous zip codes around the Washington, DC area.
Joshua had to remain connected to his Creator and continue receiving instruction every step of the way in order to prevail against the armies of the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites that stood between where Joshua’s army waited and the peace and security that had already been promised.
To be a successful warrior, God reminded Joshua, “…be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.”
Thus, Yahweh instructed the ancient Israelites to remain grounded in the Books of the Law. A close relationship with God is necessary for a nation or an individual to succeed. He Trains My Hands For Battle Page 7.
Trusting in the promise of God’s protection was therefore linked to strong action. A similar mindset is necessary in modern times. God has given us a mandate to protect the heritage with which we are blessed and the means for doing so with bold action.
The reason Israel spent forty years in the wilderness is because of the reports of men that Moses had sent with Joshua to survey the promised land. The men came back and gave all the reasons that seeking God’s promises was futile. We see the same thing today in the “mainstream” media and academic elite. They deride the idea that sound principles for conducting public policy can be found in the Bible.
If a student in most university classes advances the idea that Scriptural principles may be a the basis for sound public policy, the professor will treat him or her like an unruly child that has interrupted a serious adult conversation in order to recommend that following the gingerbread crumb trail is the best way to find our way out of the forest.
David was already trained in warfare when he slew Goliath. 1 Samuel 16 demonstrates that he was skilled in warfare and prudent:
One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him.”
1 Samuel 16:15-18
There are others whom God called to lead in times of need – none of whom thought they were any more qualified than the average citizen of today for the task, young men like Jephthah:
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a harlot: and Gilead begot Jephthah. And Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.
In other words, Jephtah was rejected because his mother was a whore and he joined up with some kind of gang. But the Ammonites made war against Israel. And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead turned to Jephthah who was in Tob.
The elders pleaded with Jephthah to be lead them, apparently because he was experienced in fighting. They wanted him to fight the Ammonites. And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me, and run me out of my father’s house? and why are y’all coming to me now when ye are in distress?”
The leaders of the community turned to Jephtah and asked him to go with them to lead the fight against the Ammonites, and be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?”
And the elders of Gilead agreed to Jephtah’s proposal. Then Jephthah went with the volunteers from among the people to fight their enemies. Something just like that seems to be happening in Detroit, Michigan where it takes almost an hour for law enforcement to arrive if you call 911. The people have been taking possession of their own communities and keeping watch on things, even cleaning up the garbage and demolishing abandoned houses.
We might be tempted to call them thugs today. Most of these young men probably had suffered rejection that was similar to Jephthah’s experience. What makes Jephthah worthy of special mention in Hebrews 11- a list of men and women that demonstrate mighty faith?.
But despite the fact that he seemed to be motivated by selfish ambition, Jephthah knew the heritage of Israel. He sent messengers to the opposing King of Ammon (the people that inhabited the territory comprising modern day Jordan). The message set forth a legal brief and Scriptural basis for Israel’s historical freedom.
Jephthah’s messengers asked the king of Ammon, “Why are you coming against us to fight in Israel? And the king of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even to Jabbok, and to Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.
And Jephthah sent messengers to the king of o Ammon again and said to him, “Jephthah told us to convey the message to you that Israel did not take the land of Moab or the land of Ammon: But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness to the Red sea, and came to Kadesh.
Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Let me please pass through your land: but the king of Edom would not listen. And in like manner they sent to the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel stayed in Kadesh. Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not into the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab. Jephthah’s messengers knew their history and this is how Jephtah demonstrated great faith. He had good lawyers that represented matters in a way that was based on Constitutional rights!
The messengers went on to explain not so diplomatically that, back in Moses time (the times of the Founding Fathers, so to speak) , Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, please, through your land into the Canaan.
Sihon had then fought against Israel. And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and Israel smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites from Arnon even to Jabbok, and from the wilderness even to Jordan. The LORD God of Israel had taken away the land of the Amorites and given the land to Israel.
The messengers boldly asked the king of a the people that lived in and around modern day Jordan, “And should you possess it? Won’t you possess that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So who ever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.”
Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin talked like that to a terrorist warlord in Somalia and the politicians marked him as not sufficiently diverse in his outlook, albeit one of the most respected leaders of the war on terrorism. From 1978-1993 he was assigned in various capacities to Delta Force. A Fort Bragg psychologist almost ended Boykin’s career, wanting to exclude him from Delta Force because he was “too religious". However, he was finally accepted into the Delta Force. When the Bush Administration terminated him Lt. General Boykin was the preeminent leader of the warriors hunting, killing and bringing terrorists to justice.
The Bush administration terminated Lt. Ben. Boykin’s military career for wearing his uniform to church and saying things that were not nice about followers of the religion of peace. Gen. Boykin is still fighting the war against terrorism (but is no longer wearing the uniform) and has demonstrated how true believers will always be set outside the camp. The camp of our Lord;s enemies does not want to listen to truth.
Look at how the Obama Administration has waged a war against American gun owners even while giving firearms to the narco-terrorist cartels in Mexico. It is clear that the Obama Administration has been arming the Muslim Brotherhood, including the factions that tortured, raped and murdered the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi. And now the Adminstration is arming Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria.
And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them, while Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?
Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.
Jephthah is an example of young men that are motivated by a sense of adventure and understand their duty to uphold the heritage of their people. We need an understanding of Biblical history and our American Constitutional heritage in order to be prepared for the times in which we live! Jephthah was a warrior that declared the mighty works of Yahweh from one generation to another.
The Washington Times recently ran the following editorial:
Last week’s slaughter at Fort Hood Army base in Texas was no different - except that one man bears responsibility for the ugly reality that the men and women charged with defending America were deliberately left defenseless when a terrorist opened fire.
Among President Clinton’s first acts upon taking office in 1993 was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases. In March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection. For the most part, only military police regularly carry firearms on base, and their presence is stretched thin by high demand for MPs in war zones.
After talking to a veteran and reviewing some forums on such matters, it seemed that the assertions in the article may not bear up under scrutiny. For example:
“I spent 23 years in the military under about 6 presidents and I can’t recall anyone walking around US bases (been through many of them on my way here and there) armed unless they were MPs or DOD cops, or troops about to deploy (in which case they would be on their way somewhere, and ,,, the live ammo would still be in the crates until they reached wherever it was they were going to use it). I don’t recall anyone strutting around with side arms just for the hell of it.”
We have finally located Army Regulation 90-114, the 1993 regulation which limits carrying of weapons for law enforcement and security personnel within military installations. Despite the Clinton administration’s limitations upon MP’s and other LEOs on base, the regulation nevertheless provides for law enforcement personnel to carry weapons to:
(1) Conduct law enforcement activities including cases or investigations of espionage, sabotage, and other serious crimes in which DA programs, personnel, or property are involved and investigations conducted in hazardous areas or under hazardous circumstances.
(2) Protect classified information, systems, or equipment.
(3) Protect the President of the United States, high ranking Government officials, DOD personnel, or foreign dignitaries.
(4) Protect DOD assets and personnel.
(5) Guard prisoners.
d. DA military and civilian personnel may be authorized to carry firearms for personal protection when the responsible intelligence center identifies a credible and specific threat against DA personnel in that regional area. Firearms will not be issued indiscriminately for
that purpose. Before individuals are authorized to carry a firearm for personal protection under this regulation, the authorizing official must evaluate—
(1) The probability of the threat in a particular location.
(2) The adequacy of support by DA or DOD protective personnel.
(3) The adequacy of protection by U.S. or host nation authorities.
(4) The effectiveness of other means to avoid personal attacks.
Thus, officers of field grade rank or higher, or civilian equivalent of GS-12 or above may authorize the carrying of firearms and the Secretary of the Army has authority to authorize carrying for personal protection within the continental United States. And yes! It is hard to believe that we don’t trust soldiers with guns on an Army base when we trust these very same men in Iraq and Afghanistan:
“In states where legal concealed carry is an accepted practice, American service members need to be allowed to carry a gun for self-defense – on post and off – because the global war on terror has changed the risk level they live with each and every day.
The global war on terror has changed the way America fights our wars and has changed the risk level our service members are forced to endure. Letting soldiers have the same rights afforded to civilians when it comes to carrying a concealed handgun is a reform that is well past due.”
See also How Many Died Because of Ban?
The Washington Times article refers to research showing that when folks are armed the damage caused in active shooter situations will be more limited. This is because a “major factor in determining how many people are harmed by these killers is the time that elapses between the launch of an attack and when someone - soldier, civilian or law enforcement - arrives on the scene with a gun to end the attack.”
The article goes on to claim that all the public shootings in the United States in which more than three people have been killed have occurred in places where concealed handguns have been banned.
A 23 year old Islamic convert killed one soldier and wounded another outside a recruiting center in a jihad attack in Little Rock, Arkansas:
A 23-year-old man upset about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan opened fire from his truck at two soldiers standing outside a military recruiting station here on Monday morning, killing one private and wounding another, the police said. According to the New York Times (June 1, 2009):
The gunman, identified by the police as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad of Little Rock, fled the scene and was arrested minutes later a short distance from the recruiting station, in a bustling suburban shopping center. The police confiscated a Russian-made SKS semiautomatic rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a handgun from his black pickup truck.
The NYT article goes on to explain that bomb threats and vandalism against recruiting offices are not uncommon. For example, in 2008, a bomb exploded at a military recruitment center in Times Square. Thus, our troops are in as much risk at home as they are on foreign battlefields. Rather than blame it on President Clinton, we should focus on enabling soldiers and sailors to carry weapons openly on base (and openly or concealed off base as permitted by local and state laws; i.e., with a Concealed Pistol License where and when required. It even makes sense to provide some special training that will qualify personnel to carry on base. By arming more qualified personnel on and off base, the military will advance the objective of keeping our men and women safe while they protect us from our nation’s enemies.
Federal Way is positioning itself to enjoy some of the money generated by the firearms industry.
The United States is experiencing a historic wave of new shooters. Bellevue, Wash., and Las Vegas, Nev., are two cities that have attracted successful gun-related businesses.
Potlatch, Idaho, a former timber town alongside the Clearwater National Forest, is among several cities that are recruiting gun manufacturers and other gun-related businesses. In fact, states like Idaho and Montana have recognized the economic opportunity in America’s legacy of firearms freedom and the spirit of enterprise.
Las Vegas received funds from a sell-off of federal lands pursuant to a law that only applies to Nevada. Most of the revenue had to be used on parks, and $64 million has been spent on the Clark County Shooting Complex, located on 2,880 acres north of Tule Springs in the northernmost part of the valley. The complex will see another $3 million spent to build a facility for shooting clay pigeons.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas has acres of indoor gun ranges all competing for the wave of enthusiasm for shooting activities in and around the strip.
In Washington state, the number of concealed pistol licenses is up by nearly 64,000. Other states are reporting similar increases in concealed weapons permits. Gun rights advocate Dave Workman says the number of gun owners in Washington who have concealed pistol licenses is 358,335. The number has never been so high.
The best estimates of gun sales are based on the number of NICS background checks, which have been soaring right along with the numbers of CPLs.
This trend can partly be explained by fears that President Obama will bypass Congress and ban certain kinds of gun ownership by entering into a U.N. treaty or by administrative fiat.
It is also recognized that every time a mass shooting occurs, many people purchase weapons, often for the first time. But the trend has continued unabated for many years and started long before most of us ever heard the name Obama.
The good news is that many new gun owners are motivated to take classes that often go beyond basic safety courses. It is widely acknowledged that gun safety increases when gun owners invest time practicing their shooting skills. Working with professionals increases the safety factor by teaching even experienced shooters how much we have to learn.
Of course, the needs don’t stop with instruction. Gunsmiths, holster manufacturers and sales of optics are all examples of markets that Federal Way can tap into.
There are also many vendors that market to law enforcement. Some federal agencies in Federal Way will be utilizing the new ranges, bringing their colleagues to Federal Way for training sessions and spending money in our stores.
Some of those vendors must be thinking about relocating to a city that is on the verge of becoming a mecca for law enforcement officers.
The best part about it is that with all the cops from around the country coming to Federal Way, the predators will be going elsewhere.
Can Federal Way learn something from Las Vegas and Bellevue? We now have our first indoor range in Federal Way, and another one is in the works. Bellevue area hosts at least three indoor ranges, and a number of outdoor ranges, all within a short drive from one another. Where there are ranges, there are also firearms schools and other businesses that cater to gun owners.
Federal Way can only gain by hitching our economy to America’s love affair with firearms — a love affair that shows no signs of receding.
Reprinted with permission from Sandpoint PR.
Many in the education community oppose the idea of protecting schools with armed security. I talked to one principal about the idea of certifying specially trained school personnel to provide an armed presence in schools.
She was indignant that I would suggest armed personnel to protect the schools against active shooters. “Guns send the wrong message,” she insisted. Many parents and teachers get indignant about armed law enforcement in the schools.
The fact is, most school districts cannot afford armed security and just the cost of insuring volunteers could be too exorbitant.
Shipping companies refused to hire armed security- until recently- because the insurance companies considered it more cost effective to pay ransoms to Somali pirates than to allow armed personnel on expensive ships loaded with valuable wealth. The fact that sailors were occasionally tortured and killed constituted a negligible cost compared to other actuarial considerations. Are our kids any less valuable than a tanker full of petroleum?
Some teachers in Farmington, Missouri were recently informed that a school safety drill would require them to wear goggles and be shot at with air-soft pellet guns during an active shooter drill to be conducted by the police.
Despite the fact that they were informed the statute requiring such drills provides for opting out of the active shooter drills, the teachers objected to being offered the opportunity to be shot with air-soft pellet guns. Four teachers at Farmington High school even contacted the prosecuting attorney’s office after they were handed goggles during the exercise.
An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a conﬁned and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use ﬁrearm[s] and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.” ~from Wikipedia
Active shooter protocols were developed after the Columbine massacre. Police realized that waiting for a SWAT team to arrive results in much higher body counts. Officers are now trained to go in immediately, with back up if possible, but not to wait for SWAT teams which may take more than 30 minutes to arrive. Most officers now have military style semi-automatic rifles in their patrol cars (those little black rifles with high capacity magazines) because they are more accurate at greater distances than shotguns or pistols.
Using simulated ammunition gives police officers opportunities to work out the problems of stopping one or more armed intruders that hide in the chaos of panic stricken students and school personnel. The Associate Superintendent in Farmington stated that the teachers had the option to declare, “I don’t want to be one of the victims, I think that’s too scary. Teachers could sign up to work in department meetings and in other professional developmental opportunities. We had about 45 members of the staff to do those.”
“I think what we’re going to see is a need to readdress and reevaluate the statute,” said the Missouri State Teachers Association spokesman. Of course, once the union sees the statute as an issue there is bound to be some hand wringing. The fact that we live in an evil world teeming with irrational violence is an interruption to a more important dialogue about making people feel good.
Teachers need to feel comfortable knowing that there are law makers busy trying to outlaw evil guns. Some guns are too heavy and powerful, others are too lightweight and still other are evil black rifles with those high capacity magazines. Parents should feel good because the teachers are dedicated professionals and deplore violence. Though many children are not reading well or doing very well in arithmetic, the government has new programs that will banish illiteracy!
The teachers’ union reminds us that our teaching professionals, like our schools, need more money and the members of the school board are touting global citizenship strategies. Mom and dad are not sure what global awareness has to do with reading, writing and arithmetic but everyone seems to feel so good about the Board’s latest fact finding trip to Finland or some country in Africa!
School shootings can supposedly be laid right to the door of NRA zealots like Wayne LaPierre and the Republicans in the legislature that capitulate to the evil gun lobby by offering opportunities for teachers to participate in “active shooter” drills.
Is now the time?
But isn’t it time to stop wringing our hands and take action? After the shootings in Connecticut, a Federal Way, Washington school superintendent was reported to have said, “I hate this conversation, I hate that it’s a necessary evil. What happened in Newtown…is just horrible. And having young children at home, and sitting and watching the TV, and seeing those photos with the names being called…with your children in the room, looking at the TV, and looking at you, and you’re fighting back the tears. You’re so thankful they’re sitting in that living room with you, and you’re not one of those parents. I can’t imagine what those parents feel like.”
We all felt such sorrow and dismay but the problem is that the expressions of sorrow and condolence above were the superintendent’s public response to a shocking event that called for him to use his lawfully delegated authority to prevent similar violence in the Federal Way schools.
The Federal Way Schools Superintendant went on to state during the January 8, 2013 school board meeting, “But the reality is, if a gunman wants to do what these gunmen want to do…there’s little that anyone can do to stop them. Putting guns in the hands of teachers and principals, who got in this business of educating kids, and not being armed forces…It’s just not a solution, in my mind, and will not be one that comes forward as a recommendation while I’m your superintendent.”
Some states are acting on it
Many states are already enabling teachers and armed volunteers to enhance police protection by wearing a pistol while in the schools. There is a need to develop programs that will include more than just opportunities for school personnel and volunteers to be a target for a simulated active shooter. Programs that entail tactical training for armed citizens already exist and criteria for certifying specially trained volunteers can be developed.
The idea of airline pilots becoming armed resulted in hand wringing about how cabins would become depressurized. Nevertheless, airline pilots can get certified and now carry in the cockpit. High-seas piracy has become much less profitable by the fact that shipping companies have deployed armed personnel on their ships. Maybe the legislators in Missouri wanted to shake some educators into reality.
We should not wait for the teacher’s union to endorse any programs that are not in line with a Brave New World that has been in the making since the advent of John Dewey and the Progressive agenda in the United States. Dewey could be characterized as a Forefather to the modern educational establishment and was one of the most influential American philosophers of the Twentieth Century.
A little history
In 1939, John Dewey was elected President of the League for Industrial Democracy, which promoted the U.S. labor movement. The student wing of that organization became the radical leftwing Students for a Democratic Society. He was accused of being an apologist for Communism but opposed Stalinism. An atheist, Dewey was one of the original 34 signatories of the first HUMANIST MANIFESTO in 1933.
Dewey believed that education and schooling are instrumental in creating social change and reform. “Education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness.”
Dewey taught that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of such “social consciousness” is the only sure method of social reconstruction. Is it any wonder that our kids have lost their moorings? His belief in “Industrial Democracy” and that teachers are not in schools to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child has become a reality in America. Now we need to send a new message- the idea that active shooters will be stopped from roaming around schools and using them as abattoirs. Folks in states like Utah are empowering people in the schools to be armed.
It is not just the students that are losing their moorings. Dewey’s Progressive policies have become so institutionalized that many teachers that have never heard of him are regimented and educated as John Dewey’s philosophical offspring.
Here are the 18 states that allow adults to carry loaded weapons onto school grounds with few or minor conditions:
•Alabama (which bans possessing a weapon on school grounds only if the carrier has “intent to do bodily harm")
•California (with approval of the superintendent)
•Connecticut (with approval of “school officials")
•Hawaii (no specific law)
•Idaho (with school trustees’ approval)
•Iowa (with “authorization")
•Kentucky (with school board approval)
•Massachusetts (with approval of the school board or principal)
•Mississippi (with school board approval)
•Montana (with school trustees’ permission)
•New Hampshire (ban applies only to pupils, not adults)
•New Jersey (with approval from the school’s “governing officer")
•New York (with the school’s approval)
•Oregon (with school board approval)
•Rhode Island (with a state concealed weapons permit)
•Texas (with the school’s permission)
•Utah (with approval of the “responsible school administrator")
•Wyoming (as long as it’s not concealed)
Washington state also provides for school boards to authorize individuals to be armed in the schools, so there are at least 19 states that should be on the list with many other states about to pass new legislation empowering armed personnel to protect public schools. Federal law recognizes that state legislatures and local school boards retain authority to arm school personnel and others in the schools.