Will Biathlon Shooting Events Come to North Idaho?

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Kris Jensen competes in a Biathlon Shooting Event on cross-country skis. Photo courtesy Kris Jensen.

Story by Sandpoint PR Contributing Editor, Mark Knapp.

A lot of people watched the WINTER OLYMPICS and are asking questions about the Biathlon competition in Sochi. In a Biathlon, competitors get their heart beats racing by skiing across the countryside from one location to another and then stopping to engage targets out as far as 165 feet!

One of my friends asked me about the unique features of the .22 caliber rifles that the competitors use. I went to law school at Gonzaga with Kris Jensen. Jensen is a Biathlon competitor so I asked him about which rifle he shoots. It is an Izshmash 7-4. Izmash was at the Shot Show this year and, judging by their presence in Las Vegas, the armory that produced the AK-47 and many other Russian firearms, is invading the U.S. gun market in a big way.

There are two makers of biathlon guns, Anschutz, the German Biathlon rifle is about $3500.00- just for an entry level version without most of the accessories. The Izshmash entry level version is about $1500.00. All the guns used in competition have been modified extensively to lower the weight, custom fit the shooter and make the gun shoot more accurately. The rules of Biathlon are that triggers be within a certain pull weight, overall weight must be over a certain amount and lengths are also specified within certain parameters. Ammunition is standard .22 caliber.

The bolt action on the Anschutz is finger pull back and thumb press forward. The Izshmash action is also finger back and thumb forward but requires the thumb to come out on the side of the bolt, which is a little slower because your hand moves a little more between shots. This German YouTube video shows some good views of the Biathlon rifles that show the bolt action movement with finger back and thumb forward.

Jensen grew up in Wenatchee in a family that hunted a lot. Jensen had two other brothers that were also athletic. Over the years he enjoyed Nordic skate skiing more and more. His family had a cabin in the Methow Valley where he was cross-country skiing a lot during the winter. Skiing and shooting were a natural fit. Jensen is the President of the Methow Valley Biathlon board. The team is coached by a volunteer, Winthrop veterinarian Betsy Devin-Smith.

The participants are mostly high school kids but there is a Masters division that holds regular races during the winter season. There is also a club that uses facilities at Stevens Pass.

Jensen helps support the team and takes the pressure off the coach by administering the website and helping with logistics.

Methow Valley Biathlon has two main fundraiser events each year. They are called TRY BIATHLON. The club invites recreational skiers to come try the sport of biathlon. If you want to give Biathlon competition a shot or just get more information, you can go to http://methowvalleynordic.com/biathlon/try-biathlon/.

Range size really depends on the site. Shooting distance is 50m (165feet). A range typically has ten lanes, so that’s about 100 feet wide making the total shooting footprint about 16,500 square feet. Jensen estimates that with proper backdrop and good side shields you could squeeze it onto one acre (43,560 ft2). An enterprising entrepreneur or local government working with Idaho business leaders can create such a venue in North Idaho with a minimum of expense and use the range year around for action matches, high power and bull’s eye shooting the rest of the year.

The backdrop in the pictures is USFS land with a steep hillside. We have been advocating for additional shooting venues in North Idaho and there are already things happening behind the scenes that promise to be exciting! Olympic shooting trials can bring in a huge amount of international coverage and tourism. Thus, despite the suggestion that one acre may be sufficient, several acres may be more favorable to North Idaho’s plans for economic development.

If some investors want to get really ambitious, North Idaho can even become the birthplace of a new sport in which participants shoot rifle, pistol and shot gun from skis. Biathlon started as a military discipline with high power rifles. In 1978, eighteen years after Biathlon became an Olympic event, athletic officials bowed to European ways by going to standard velocity, more politically correct .22 caliber ammunition. Prior to 1978, the American team used Winchester Model 70s in .243 Winchester!

In the summer time, North Idaho can turn the Nordic skiing trails into motocross trails and really crank up some high speed shooting action!

Reposted with permission of Sandpoint PR.

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Concealed Carry Legislation Passed for Idaho College Campuses

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.

FEMA, CONTOMS & Local First Responders

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently promulgated guidelines recommending that medical first responders provide First Aid to victims in areas that have not been secured by law enforcement. If the threat is not direct or immediate, medical personnel should consider enter “Warm Zones” even though potential threats exist.

It will be interesting to see how the new recommendations will impact training for paramedics, firefighters and other personnel.

It is now apparent that many of the 250 people killed in shootings and bombings since the massacre at Columbine High School could have been saved with immediate attention. In the Columbine attacks, LEOs waited 30 minutes before entering the school.

Since that time, law enforcement have developed active shooter protocols in which one or two of the first officers to arrive engage the active shooter without waiting for SWAT teams. This is also the reason that many patrol officers now carry AR-style rifles. One officer at Columbine could have taken a shot but hesitated because of the risk of hitting students at the distance involved.

FEMA and other experts studied the Boston Marathon bombing and determined that the numbers of dead victims were greatly reduced because of a number of medical personnel at the finish line that administered immediate assistance. Newtown and Aurora, Colorado also provided data for the study,

More than 200 people were injured but only three died from their injuries at the Boston Marathon. Should we prepare some paramedics to carry guns? There are definitely new training protocols on their way. There is reason to believe that “within five years you are going to see this required of everyone” in the EMS field. Towns and cities must coordinate their emergency response efforts.

Mass shootings are usually over in less than 10 to 15 minutes. Dr. Lenworth Jacobs said in an interview with the New York Times. “We’re seeing these events in increasing frequency, and unfortunately we have to change how we approach them to keep death tolls down.”

Medics should be trained in weapons and ammunition so they can better assess the damage that different firearms can do, according to the recommendarions of The Hartford Consensus. The study involved eight experts from medicine, the military and law enforcement. The group is advocating for local governments to implement their suggestions.

Most fire departments have a policy of not responding to emergencies where there is an imminent threat of violence. There has been a Counter Narcotics Terrorist Operations and Medical Support (CONTOMS) program funded by the Department of Defense:

The CONTOMS Program is unique in that it provides the student with actual certification as an Emergency Medical Technician -Tactical (EMT-T). The program provides a comprehensive approach to emergency care and operational medical support in the tactical environment. It is focused on the broad range of knowledge and skills required for crisis management medical response including: care under fire; Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD); medical counterterrorism; counternarcotics; protective operations; hostage rescue; explosive ordnance disposal; maritime operations; civil disorder; and major national security events.

The program trains paramedics and EMTs assigned to SWAT teams. They are like combat medics in the military. We live in a time when budgets are strained beyond belief. New programs seem to be out of the question.

During the Los Angeles riots in 1992, many firefighters and EMTs dispatched from all over the Northwest could not carry legally, but they carried concealed firearms nevertheless.

We should not be in denial when it comes to the potential for violence. Law enforcement is presently trained with much more intense and innovative tactical methods than ever before. Armed citizens need to discuss new methods for protecting our schools, homes, churches and the workplace. Let’s also find ways to equip firefighters and EMTs for emergencies where the potential for violence is present.

Terrorism Alert: Federal Way Schools Welcome Angela Davis to Federal Way!

It was 1968 and Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague spring”. Angela Davis joined the Communist Party. She was soon fired from UCLA because of her membership in the Communist Party. A First Amendment court battle forced UCLA to rehire her.

In 1970 Davis was implicated in the an armed invasion of a Marin County, California courtroom. Judge Haley, the prosecuting assistant district attorney, and two jurors were removed from the courtroom at gun point.

Judge Harold Haley’s was blasted in the head with a sawed-off shotgun owned by Davis. She then fled using aliases and had disguised herself when she was arrested two months later in New York City.

At her 1972 trial, Davis acted as her own attorney. Thus, she could not be cross-examined. She presented a number of alibi witnesses, almost all Communist friends, who testified that she had been with them in Los Angeles playing Scrabble at the time of the Marin slaughter. Prosecution witnesses who placed her in Marin were dismissed by Davis and her fellow attorneys as being unable to accurately identify blacks — because they were white.

When Davis was acquitted many of the jurors went to her victory party!

According to DiscovertheNetworks.org, Davis was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize in 1979 (formerly named the International Stalin Peace Prize) by the East German police state. Davis ran for Vice President of the United States in 1980 and 1984, alongside Gus Hall, on the Communist Party ticket.

Davis remained an active member of the Communist Party until 1991, when she was expelled for opposing the coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. She then formed the “Committees of Correspondence” to carry on the Communist mission with other Party members, including Bettina Aptheker (also a professor at UC Santa Cruz), Conn Hallinan (Provost at UC Santa Cruz), and Professor Harry Targ (Chair of the “Peace Studies” program at Purdue).

Davis is the leader of her own movement against what she calls the “Prison-Industrial Complex,” claiming that all minorities in jail are actually “political prisoners” and should be released.

Says Davis, “My question is, Why are people so quick to assume that locking away an increasingly large proportion of the U.S. population would help those who live in the free world feel safer and more secure? . . . [H]ow difficult it is to envision a social order that does not rely on the threat of sequestering people in dreadful places designed to separate them from their communities and their families.”

These facts, along with the fact that she recently spoke to our community at the invitation of the Federal Way Public School District, raise the issue of whether she has ever actually changed any of her views regarding violent revolution.

She called for killing those in authority. Jonathan Jackson with whom she lived, acted on her beliefs and entered the Marin courtroom with a sawed-off shotgun which Davis had purchased and admitted giving to him the day before he hijacked the courtroom and shot it out with law enforcement.

Did the Federal Way School District know any of this history before they invited her? Did anyone on the Board object? Has Dr. Davis ever expressed any remorse for the sorrow she brought to so many lives?

Additionally, if proponents of armed revolution are to be invited to speak to our community, why did Beamer High School make an advertiser completely republish a school sports calendar to prevent my Firearms Lawyer URL from being advertised? I paid for the calendar- along with other Federal Way business people. The school prohibited the FirearmsLawyer.net URL or any reference to my firearms law practice.

The publisher refunded my money and had to republish several hundred calendars. I would have spoken at the lecture series with no charge and could have told how I repented of Marxist-Lenist philosophy when I recieved Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

Incidentally, I still have not heard any reports on how much we paid Dr. Davis to come to Federal Way. The District does not seem to be announcing who the future speakers will be in the Intercultural Speakers series? She is a radical feminist, Lesbian and expert on raising conciousness.

Thus, her credentials when it comes to Progressive diversity are unquestionable. She pulled down a hefty salary at the University of California before she retired which proves again, radical left politics is the gift that just keeps paying and paying for its avatars.

Full disclosure: I wrote some articles for the Federal Way Mirror- a few years back- about local educational issues that even earned praise from some of the liberal trolls that usually denounced me at every opportunity.

I subesequently learned that person(s) from the FWPS District told the Mirror not to publish further columns from me related to education. I was told by the paper not to submit any more articles related to education. It seems that the First Amendment freedom to proclaim any philosphy under the sun stops when it comes to urging public schools to slow down their Progressive juggernaut.

Attacks in Kenya: Case Study for Armed Citizens

It is becoming painfully apparent that the authorities in Kenya might be withholding the true number of dead hostages. This is because of the embarassment caused by corrupt soldiers who cordoned off the mall and then proceeded to loot merchandise, steal money out of safes and cash registers and get drunk on the alcohol in the restaurants.

It is no wonder some terrorists might have escaped. There are now reports that there may have only been four gunmen. There are allegations that the Kenyan government has intentionally misrepresented some of the facts or simply covered the fatcs up. There are also reasons to believe that the terrorists paid security forces to look the other way as al Shabaab’s killers brought their weapons into the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

But armed citizens performed very well during the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi. The hostages held by al Shabaab terrorists in Westgate did not fare well, however. The government reports 60-70 dead but there is reason to believe the number is far higher and that even the identities of the victims are puposely being covered up!

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble suggested to ABC in October that the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world should look to armed citizens as a solution to such attacks on public places.

Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit. More professional security or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves:

“Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” Noble said, referring to states with pro-gun traditions. “What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

Reports are mixed but it looks like the Kenyan army troops and special forces may have caused the collapse of a roof which buried many hostages in rubble and may have helped some of the attackers posing as victims to escape.

The authorities in Kenya received specific warnings related to the Westgate Mall for many months but failed to develop basic response plans that would facilitate a coordinated response. Kenyan forces arrived four hours after the attack began. According to the Telegraph:

No radio contacts were set up between the units. No overall command had been appointed, and different commanders squabbled. A senior policeman was shot dead in a friendly-fire incident. Chaotic gunfire streaked across the mall’s open spaces.

Kenyan commanders did not listen to advice from UK operatives and others that attempted to give advice. When Kenyan troops entered the area where the hostages were held, they shot at the terrorists with an RPG and brought down part of the structure. Then the “White Widow escaped, crying with her clothes covered in blood to disguise herself as a victim.

An SAS trooper armed with a pistol shot it out with al-Shabaab and led hundreds to safety. The ex Royal Marine was at the Westgate mall when it was attacked. He had a pistol and hostages were still being held by the terrorists, possibly as many as 13. The former soldier returned to the building on a dozen occasions while taking fire, saving 100 people.

A local businessman, arrived at the mall to help his brother and carried a four-year-old to safety. A Kenyan Hindu neighborhood patrol also came with their pistols and forced the terrorists back. The fact that Kenyan officers took action against the armed neighborhood patrol, may have contributed to the stand-off which lasted for eighty-hours!

Four large explosions occurred. Smoke poured through a skylight inside the mall’s main department and grocery store, according to the Associated Press. Sorting through the rubble is a slow process because of the threat of bombs.

Nevertheless, the initial reports indicate mass torture with victims hung from hooks, eyes gouged out, castrations, rape and mutilation of limbs, fingers removed and hands and faces burned. By including children in the carnage, the terrorists are seeking to create so much hatred for all Muslims that the backlash of persecution against innocent Muslims will radicalize as many Muslims as possible.

Reports from Kenya describe a technique in which the al Shabaab terrorists “sharpened the arms” of the victims and forced them to write their names in blood with their limbs as writing implements.

Torture is the way Communist and other radical terrorist organizations have always worked. But such gruesome techniques are nevertheless shocking.

The other lesson the terrorists want to drive home is that governments cannot respond well to such attacks. On the other hand, we know from many recent attacks in the U.S. that ordinary people closest to the initial attack have the best opportunity to stop the carnage- if we are armed and ready to bring violence to bear that is just as sudden, bold and deliberate as the actions of the attackers. The former SAS-Royal Marine was just having coffee when all hell broke loose!

The armed citizen’s identity has been withheld for security reasons. The British train and operate out of Kenya and members of the British Royal Marine work with governments and security firms across East Africa. The “former” SAS member may have been a professional operator employed by a government or private industry. On the other hand, he could have just been retired and found himself at the wrong place with the right weapon at the right time to save lives!

Nevertheless, the fact remains that his heroism under fire is within the grasp of anyone that takes the trouble to carry and train continuously. You may die going against several automatic rifles with a pistol. But it is better to die and break up a well-rehearsed jihad operation than to die cowering in a corner.

SAFEST Committee Forming in Federal Way for Armed School Volunteers

The Citizen’s SAFEST (School Alliance For Every Student’s Tomorrow) Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 19th at 7:00 PM. My email address and phone number are at http://www.firearmslawyer.net. Please contact me if you are interested in being involved with our committee or just wish to attend.

Many of us see the need to protect our schools with more than dialogue and political band aids. Elected officials and others that implement public policy have an instinct to keep themselves safe politically- especially regarding anything that has to do with guns.

At the February 12, 2013 meeting of the Federal Way School Board, I made sure that the Board knows that federal and state law empower the District to authorize armed personnel to protect our schools and that such personnel are not required by law to be law enforcement officers. I articulated the following points:

1. The FWPS should enable only highly trained and carefully vetted individuals to protect our schools;

2. These individuals might be called “Supplemental Staff” (or even Special Security) and will obtain training and equipment at their own expense; they should also qualify on the range in order to meet or exceed the same standards of proficiency as LEOs;

3. These Supplemental Staff will be available to back up School Resource Officers and FWPS security personnel that presently guard our high schools and middle schools; additionally, staff should be embedded in our elementary schools for which security is now only randomly available;

4. A Federal Way Citizen’s Safety Committee is prepared to meet and look at any sensible options for school safety;

5. My conviction that armed staff is the most effective means to protect the schools without immense cost is only my personal opinion (after several years of researching the options) but the Citizen’s Committee will advocate for any solutions that are feasible and effective;

6. There are already many parents and others- including the D.O.G.S.- that provide a presence in our schools that may help deter violence;

7. The objective is not to arm teachers! Nevertheless, teachers, administrators, principals , school bus drivers and maaintenance people should be eligible for training if they meet all the criteria established by the Board for those that particpate in the program- at their own expense;

8. The Citizen’s School Safety Committee will submit written recommendations to the District; meanwhile the Board should consider authorizing Superintendant Neu to work with us by discussing options and possibly involving the Federal Way Police Department’s advice.
We understand that many of the existing security precautions are not appropriate to be discussed but wish to at least understand any potential objections so that we can research various questions and become a valuable resource for the community.

Most of our leaders will not risk taking a stand until the right kind of people- their political peers- at least approve of holding the discussion!

There already are many WATCH D.O.G.S. in our schools ready to lay their lives down for the kids:

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) – Is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security. Today, more than 2,610 active programs in 42 states participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program.

A local community activist named Kurt Peppard also made a statement. He stated that he is one of the WATCH D.O.G.S. and he knows a correctional officer that is highly trained and tactical. The officer told Mr. Peppard that he would not want to see armed volunteers in the schools and that the concept is a bad idea.

On the other hand, I have personally spoken to many highly trained individuals from various levels of law enforcement and military that are very passionately committed to the concept outlined above and that would participate in such a program given the opportunity. Some of them already put in many hours as volunteers with the City of Federal Way.

Think of Sandy Hook Elementary Principal, Ms. Dawn Hochsprung, who heard the shots and headed toward the danger. She was one of 26 at the school killed, including 20 students, who were murdered. She could have stopped the carnage if she had one simple piece of equipment- a pistol.

Ridgefield, Washington is in the news because they are using armed security guards. School resource officers are widely recognized for developing beneficial relationships in schools and communities but Supplemental Staff can also provide mentoring and other uplifting interactions with the youth in our schools.

There is a need for armed volunteers that are not in uniform- even if we could afford a resource officer for every school. The random nature of the threats requires that there be random potential for a trained adult to appear and deploy armed force at any time. The deterrent is in the fact that the active shooter has no idea how many armed volunteers exist or where they will be.


Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Federal Way Discussing Armed Volunteers in Schools


According to the Federal Way Mirror, Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu has announced, “There will be no discussion on arming FWPS teachers or administrators.” He lamented, “ To hear the ensuing debate about arming teachers and principals and security guards, I just want to go on the record with the board in saying I think that is one of the most irresponsible positions to take in this gun discussion.”

The Mirror reported that Neu stated during the Jan. 8 school board meeting:

“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.”

Neu said the proposal to arm teachers and/or administrators is irresponsible. But who is actually being irresponsible? Neu’s emotional reaction is not a decision. His refusal to discuss all the options, however, is a decision. The Superintendant has admitted to being paralyzed because he is unwilling to face up to the necessary responsibility of leading our community:

” 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.”

Neu’s statement that “if a gunman wants to do what these gunmen want to do…there’s little that anyone can do to stop them” was not a true statement and invited carnage right here in Federal Way. This was an abdication of his responsibility to protect our schools. Rather than use his authority under the law, he claimed that we are helpless!

I have previously taken the position that the first thing we should do to stop active shooters is to terminate Rob Neu’s employment. On January 22, several members of the public went to the meeting of the Board and addressed the issue of why it is critical to at least have the discussion. The President of the Board, Tony Moore, indicated that he is willing to discuss the issues.

We are calling on concerned citizens to join with us for the purpose of exploring all the concerns related to various proposals regarding armed volunteers which should include school personnel that are interested in a program to protect our schools with deadly force. There have been close to sixty volunteers working with the FWPD and some of them are almost full time. About sixteen of them attended a class we provided at Federal Way City Hall and many of them were retired military with CPLs and emergency preparedness training. Use the email or phone number at http://www.firearmslawyer.net to contact us.

The Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(q) ) is a federal United States law that prohibits any individual from knowingly possessing a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a “school zone” as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(25). The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 states in part:

(A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm—

(iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;

(v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
(vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or…
See http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922

Washington State has a similar statute which states the following in part:

RCW 9.41.280

Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities — Penalty — Exceptions.

(1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:

(a) Any firearm;….

(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

(b) Any person engaged in military, law enforcement, or school district security activities. However, a person who is not a commissioned law enforcement officer and who provides school security services under the direction of a school administrator may not possess a device listed in subsection (1)(f) of this section unless he or she has successfully completed training in the use of such devices that is equivalent to the training received by commissioned law enforcement officers;

See Washington State Gun Free School statute.

Subsection (1)(f) includes:

(f)(i) Any portable device manufactured to function as a weapon and which is commonly known as a stun gun, including a projectile stun gun which projects wired probes that are attached to the device that emit an electrical charge designed to administer to a person or an animal an electric shock, charge, or impulse; or

(ii) Any device, object, or instrument which is used or intended to be used as a weapon with the intent to injure a person by an electric shock, charge, or impulse.

Thus, carrying electronic devices requires special training for non-LEOs. The legislature has already provided that non-law enforcement personnel armed with firearms need only be involved in school district security activities; i.e., authorized to carry a weapon for security purposes.

Even though the statute does not require specialized firearms training, certain criteria should be determined by the district in conjunction with law enforcement experts and possibly others. Such unpaid personnel could be called “Special Security Officers” since they would submit to very intense training and not merely be amateurs that walk in off the street.

Ed Barney asked the Chief at one of the recent meetings what Chief Wilson’s opinion was about arming teachers. The Chief stated that he thinks arming teachers will distract them from educating students. Thus, Federal Way is beginning to have the discussion. Kudos to Ed and the Chief.

But we need to drill down and get past politically correct talk into the realities of a very fluid and disturbing situation which is beyond simply being a matter of tactics but rather an overall attack against our lives and our way of life that requires an overarching operational strategy in which firepower is embedded randomly to combat random violence. The embedded firepower needs to be prepared for deployment in such a way that an active shooter has no idea how many adults may be ready to confront him or where and how the volunteers may be placed.

Police officers are present as school resource officers at our high schools and there are also some security personnel at the middle schools. The fact that there are uniformed officers means that uniformed individuals could be the first personnel targeted by active shooters. Chief Wilson delivered a report that included many of the important things done to make sure the schools are safe.

The Chief emphasized that many of the circumstances regarding school shootings are very random and that events can begin on the other side of a campus, where the school resource officers may find it difficult to protect lives. Even if there are no teachers interested in obtaining the specialized training that could qualify personnel to carry in the schools, there are others that will do whatever it takes to become qualified. If there are ten volunteers going around to all the schools, there will certainly be the kind of deterrent effect that we have seen from having armed pilots and air marshals in the friendly skies.

There may also be maintenance staff or administrators that are willing to take some time off and pay for their own training- like commercial airline pilots can decide to do.

Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.


Prov. 24:11,12

I have gone on record at school board meetings, offering to meet with the District and share ideas about protecting our schools. I have also contacted many of the school leaders via email regarding security issues. Tony Moore told me on January 22 that he is willing to look at the legal basis for putting policies in place that are already being considered in a number of states and localities.

My first Firearms Lawyer column appearing in the Mirror in July, 2008, called for armed volunteers in our schools.

Armed volunteers, including some motivated school staff trained and supervised under the oversight of law enforcement professionals, are far less expensive to place in our schools than armed security guards. And they can be more effective in deterring violence because there is no way for an active shooter to anticipate who will emerge to deploy unexpected deadly force.

Volunteers will also have roots in the community and can be an example and an encouragement to our youth. These could be retired military folks, those with law enforcement experience or just grandparents that can meet the qualifications including proficiency testing on the range that will be at least as rigorous as the testing under which LEOs qualify.

In other words, do not assume that a “volunteer” is just a person that walks in off the street with a CPL. The criteria will be determined by the Board working with top law enforcement officials and security experts. The main expense may be the consultants and the insurance cost which will eventually go down in time if a number of school districts decide to work with armed volunteers.

Federal Way deserves better proposals from its leaders than just having armed, uniformed law school resource officers at our high schools and security officers armed with pepper spray at middle schools with some security roaming between the remaining elementary schools. Let’s find ways to make sure that if anything happens here our students and school personnel do not have to wait for the police while witnessing carnage in a school. We owe it to everyone in our schools to make sure that they can do more than just hide from violence.

Rob Neu seems to be getting over his grieving process and looks like he is ready to get back to work to articulate real solutions to protect our children. Public policy should not be determined by emotionalism even where the aftermath is shocking and gruesome. The cost of denial after what has already occurred is unthinkable. Schools will not be safe until we guard them with more than talk. Our schools need armed force that can materialize randomly- just like the violence that continues to plague our society. Maybe some Bible reading in the schools might also help?


Texas Teachers Ready Tactical Response Team

In July, 2008, I wrote the first Firearms Lawyer column, actually a letter to the Federal Way Mirror, about the need to implement an armed volunteer program in order to protect the children in our public schools.

Follow Firearms Lawyer at Twitter.

I received some good feedback, including a report on this issue from Joe Waldron, a leader in the effort to introduce real common sense into the subject of gun policy:

In the 2002 session, Senator Harold Hochstatter (R-Moses Lake) filed SB 6479 that would allow school staff with CPLs to carry on campus for the purpose of protecting students. The bill was assigned to the Education Committee, where it died without even a hearing.

There was massive opposition to the bill from the “education establishment.” This is the same crowd that opposes gun safety education in our schools and who ignored the “Eddie Eagle” memorial (SJM 8009) passed unanimously by the legislature in 1997. Our “professional educators” will oppose ANYTHING that legitimizes firearms in the eyes of students.

I receivedthe following article from Andy Hobbs who suggested that I write on the subject of the armed teachers in Harrold,Texas:

HARROLD, Texas — A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.
Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.

In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.

Superintendent David Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.

“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying ‘sic ’em’ to a dog,” Thweatt said in Friday’s online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.

“The naysayers think (a shooting) won’t happen here. If something were to happen here, I’d much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them,” Thweatt said.

Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses “unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution.”

It was unclear how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from students or potential attackers. Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee was out of the office Thursday and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, the newspaper said.

Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.

The 110-student district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.

Please let us know if you hear of anything developing along the lines of providing school employees with tactical training. I first came across the concept of armed volunteers in schools in some of Massad Ayoob’s articles about the Israeli program(s) to protect school kids from terrorists. I am convinced we should make such a program a legislative priority.

See http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/south_king/fwm/opinion/27137859.html

Carnage & the Culture of Slaughter: Mumbai November, 2008

If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it.

Proverbs 24:10-12

The terrorist attack on Mumbai, India in November, 2008 lasted 60 hours. The fact that news media focused on the attack for such an extended period of time amplified the emotional impact.

A 2006 train bombing in Mumbai killed more people but the 172 people that were gunned down marked a new level of terror because of the way that ten shooters were able to move through the city without any effective response from India’s law enforcement or military for several hours. Experts studying the operation have concluded that many aspects of the attack demonstrate new tactics that should be expected in future operations.

Detailed surveillance and planning began at least as early as 2007. The attackers sailed from Karachi but, according to some accounts, at least some of the shooters had already been in the city posing as students. The ten attackers hijacked a trawler, killed the whole crew and then beheaded the captain when they got near enough Mumbai to come ashore in two inflatable boats.

Each terrorist carried a Chinese version of the AK-47 (AK-56 automatic assault rifle) with seven 30 round magazines and 9-mm pistols with two clips. Additionally they carried 8-10 grenades each and IEDs containing RDX, ball bearings for shrapnel, and a timer. There were Heckler & Koch MP5 machine guns that may have been taken from downed Indian security personnel and accounts of prepositioned ammunition caches.

The four teams were able to keep moving and created enough confusion that the police could not seal off an area quickly enough to contain the shooters. The Indian police were totally outgunned as a result of the fact that their government does not trust the police to arm officers properly or even to provide enough ammunition for officers to practice properly. Nevertheless, whenever the shooters were confronted with armed force they moved on to other targets.

Mumbai is a financial center and contains a hub of hotels and other facilities that cater to elite businessmen and foreigners. The terrorists targeted middle class Indians and American, British and jewish travelers that normally utilize the restaurants and hotel facilities.

A two man team went to the train station and opened fire. Then they went to a hospital and began killing again. The team hijacked a police car and headed to a hotel when they were intercepted by the police. One terrorist was killed and the other captured but they caused a third of the total fatalities.

Meanwhile, a second team went to the Nariman House, a Jewish complex. This second two-man team killed eight. A third two-man team went to the Trident-Oberoi Hotel and began cutting people down with automatic weapons fire. During the 17 hours that the hotel was under siege two terrorists killed 30 people and then were themselves killed. The fourth team was a four-man team and deployed to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

Chronology of the Attack

November 26, 2008 (all times are local)

21:20 Gunfire outside the Hotel Oberoi at Nariman Point in south Mumbai.

21:20 Terrorists run into Nariman House, where they take control of the Chabad Lubavich center.

21:30 Gunfire outside the Leopold Café at Colaba in south Mumbai, about 100 meters behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

21:40 Gunfire near the Bade Miyan Café (behind the Taj Hotel in south Mumbai).

21:45 Terrorists enter Taj Hotel lobby and fire indiscriminately.

21:45 Gunfire inside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai’s central train station. There are ten fatalities there.

22:30 Gunfire at the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai headquarters gate 2, opposite the CST.

22:35 Gunfire at Gokuldas Hospital, near the CST.

22:40 Gunfire at the Cama & Albless Hospital, near the CST.

22:50 Gunfire at the Metro Theatre (Metro Cinema Junction).

23:00 Explosion in a taxi in Vile Parle in north Mumbai. (This is one of the IEDs left behind in the taxi.)

23:00 Explosion in a taxi in Mazgaon—probably the second IED left behind.

23:10 Two explosions at Napean Sea Road in south Mumbai.

23:30 Explosion at Dhobi Talao.

November 27, 2008

00:30 Gunfire after a police van was hijacked at Dhobi Talao.

01:00 Immense blast in the Taj Hotel, possibly caused by two grenades.

02:00 Army arrives at the Taj Hotel.

03:00 Large fire breaks out at the Taj Hotel.

09:15 Army arrives at Oberoi Hotel, storm hotel.

09:15 Security forces engage in first attempt to retake the Taj Hotel.

10:30 Security forces engage in room-to-room searches at the Taj Hotel.

17:30 NSG forces arrive at Nariman House. Helicopters begin surveillance.

November 28, 2008

07:30 NSG forces storm Nariman House.

11:00 Hostage siege ends at the Hotel Oberoi, hostages released.

11:00 NSG forces report that they have cleared the new section of the Taj Hotel.

13:00 Indian security forces report 30 people dead in one Taj Hotel hall.

18:00 Operations reported to have ceased at Nariman House. However, NDTV reports that one floor still has not been cleared.

19:45 All NSG forces emerge from Nariman House, stating that no one was found alive.

November 29, 2008

04:30 Gunfire and explosions heard at the Taj Hotel.

07:30 Fire breaks out on the lower floors of the Taj Hotel.

08:50 Taj Hotel hostage siege declared over, according to Indian police.

By moving constantly, the shooters eluded commandos for 60 hours. Explosions, demands to release imprisoned Muslim fighters in exchange for hostages and detailed knowledge of buildings and streets all contributed to the tactical team’s ability to sow confusion and continue moving. The attackers only attacked in areas where the security was nonexistent or very light. They used cell phones, Satellite phones and Blackberries; handlers in Pakistan provided tactical advice and urged the young men not to be taken alive and to continue killing because the prestige of Islam was at stake.

By identifying goals that exceeded anything that had occurred prior to the attack, the planners boosted LeT’s ability to recruit jihadists within India and worldwide; the organization also gained prestige within the culture of terrorism, thus grasping parity with al Qaeda. The planners, almost certainly affiliated with elements of the Pakistani government also were attempting to destabilize the Pakistani civilian government’s relationship with the United States and other countries, including India itself. The Indian government demonstrated a complete lack of ability to protect its citizens.

Even though it had recently created an elite anti-terror force and intelligence personnel intercepted “chatter” pertaining to an imminent attack, the information was not disseminated from the central security agencies to the local police and coast guard at least in a manner that local security forces took any effective action.

The local Anti-Terrorism Squad was inadequately trained to seal off multiple attacks designed to create exactly the kind of confusion experienced by the first responders. Local army personnel took five hours to arrive. The elite National Security Guard, India’s most elite strike force, did not arrive for almost 10 hours. Counterterrorism experts allow 30-60 minutes from the time an incident commences but the NSG (or Black Cat Commandos) headquartered in Delhi had no aircraft and so the 200 commandos had to patch together air transportation in a helter-skelter manner.

Police officers were often seen hiding behind buildings with their heads down. Helmets and vests were substandard and many officers carried British .303 bolt-action rifles from the 50s. Most Indian officers are only provided with 50 rounds of ammunition per year with which to practice because of corruption and a colonial mentality that deems weapons to be dangerous even in the hands of law enforcement officers.

According to a TimesOnline article, Outgunned Mumbai police hampered by First World War weapons, Dec. 3, 2008:

Most of the police involved were carrying .303s or self-loading rifles like those adopted by the British Army in the 1950s.

Some officers said that they were not given enough weapons training because of a shortage of ammunition and shooting ranges. In theory, all officers shoot 50 rounds a year in training. In practice, senior officers get their full quota with small arms.

“The rest is all bunkum,” Mr Pereira said. “It’s target practice with a .303 rifle. I wouldn’t call it suitable knowledge of weapons and their uses in urban policing.”

All those interviewed said that the issue was not money: the Government allocated £154 million for modernising the police in 2007-08 alone. The problem, they said, lay with the Home Ministry’s procurement system, which is dominated by corrupt bureaucrats and politicians rather than technical experts.

“It’s a cartel,” Mr Singh said. “The Government is spending millions, but the police isn’t getting the equipment it needs.”


Thus, India’s strict gun laws severely hampered the ability of citizens and law enforcement to protect themselves from the armed attacks.

The low-tech nature of the equipment, the drawn out horror of a paralyzed city and the prestige garnered by mass carnage ensures that such an attack is being planned in the U.S. Are we ready?

Will Federal Way Public Schools Take Action Against Gun Violence?

There are many voices urging that the U.S. follow other countries that have restricted the use of firearms. After Australians surrendered 640,381 personal firearms for destruction by the Australian government, homicides increased by 6.2 percent. Assaults are up 9.6 percent and armed robberies are up 44 percent. Implementation of the law enacted to reduce gun violence cost Australian taxpayers more than $500 million dollars!

Chicago prohibited possession of firearms in the home by most citizens. The Second Amendment Foundation recently sued Chicago and the State of Illinois in two separate lawsuits and won recognition that the Second Amendment applies in and out of the home. A federal judge gave the state six months to come up with a law that enables people to carry publicly in Illinois!

Chicago has seen children shot in its schools on a regular basis and regularly has 10-40 shootings over a single weekend. The rate of violent crime was going down in Australia before it’s government confiscated guns from its citizens. Will violent crime go down in Chicago now that honest people will be able confront armed predators with deadly force?

While many politicians and media people are renewing their cry for more restrictions on certain kinds of firearms, many Americans are responding to the slaughter in Sandy Hook Elementary by going to gun stores and purchasing weapons. Meanwhile, a man in China injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China. Apparently, mentally ill people in China attack schools on a regular basis. One string of knife attacks against school children in 2010 killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50.

But despite the media focus on renewing the previous ban on so-called assault rifles and high capacity magazines, some analysts are looking at the role that psychotropic prescription drugs like Prosac have played in many U.S. school shootings. Others are focusing on violent video games. But whatever the cause, the failure of Chicago’s gun laws and the inability of the Clinton assault weapon ban to stop the carnage in our schools demands that we look for ways to fight fire with fire.

Armed security guards in schools may not save every child’s life but will significantly deter attacks on schools and reduce the number of fatalities. Armed pilots and Air Marshals have deterred terrorism. Security guards still guard many banks and armored truck drivers are armed. Our children are far more precious than the money in the banks; armed volunteers, including some motivated school staff, trained and supervised under the oversight of law enforcement professionals, are far less expensive to place in our schools than armed security guards.

The idea of training volunteers to protect our children will never make sense to people that are in denial regarding the potential for sudden eruptions of violence in a chaotic world.

Even countries like Germany that are virtual “gun-free zones” by virtue of strict gun laws have experienced massive school shootings.

One country whose children have been targeted by mass murderers for many years is Israel. After Israel armed many of its teachers and trained them to fight back, terrorists have avoided Israeli schools. Contrast Israel with Mexico, another “gun-free zone”.

While Mexico continues to blame private gun sales in the U.S. for its carnage, the evidence is that most guns manufactured in the U.S. that have turned up in recent slayings South of the border were trafficked into Mexico by the Obama Administration.

There is a concerted effort to justify renewing the Clinton-era ban on high capacity magazines and to prohibit military-style semi-automatic rifles and get a U.N. treaty in place that will mandate government control of firearms. Soledad O’Brien should ask Tutsis in Rwanda what they think about the U.N. mandated surrender of the means to defend themselves and how the U.N. solutions resulted in the Hutus slaughtering helpless Tutsi families. U.N. troops and the world community, including President Clinton, just looked on.

Hitler disarmed the Jewish people in Germany before the Holocaust. Not long before that, Stalin introduced Soviet Russia to gun control and proceeded to murder Ukrainians and other ethnic minorities. Chicago has gun control and children are murdering each other at rates that are almost genocidal. We don’t know whether gun ownership will reduce the gun violence in Chicago but Chicagoland is about to find out as a result of recent court decisions that include the right to carry.

But “liberals” could never see how the deaths of 800,000 Tutsi victims by hacking (or genocide against Jews and other minority groups) has anything to do with the creation of “gun free” zones. All the mainstream media like CNN really care about is conveying the message about guns that the America’s talking class understands; i.e., getting new gun laws enacted.

Federal Way deserves better from its leaders. Let’s find ways to make sure what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary never happens here and not wait for the federal government to make the whole United States a “gun-free zone” in order to protect Federal Way’s children at school