Thinking more had to be done to protect their children, a number of teachers and school staff members around Ohio have been signing up for a variety of gun training courses offered at a discount or for free. Italian photographer Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini documented a concealed weapons course for school personnel in South Point school district in southern Ohio, where it borders Kentucky and West Virginia. He followed them throughout the two-day course in the classroom and outside practicing their marksmanship. About 30 or 40 school personnel participated in the class. Everyone Piccolomini photographed shared their names and where they taught. You can see the rest of the photos on CNN.
Tag Archive for school shooting
Threats of school violence happen from time to time, and they may be a cry for help, or may be the real deal. This one was rather close to home, I have known kids that go to Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway, CA – we used to live just a couple miles from this school. Yesterday, Saturday morning, a Twin Peaks school administrator received an e-mail from a 12 year old boy that had been sent on Friday night.
“The threat indicated that on Monday, Feb. 11, 23 students and a Twin Peaks Middle School teacher would be shot,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Donahue, who is with the Poway sheriff’s substation.
Surrounded by the superintendent of the Poway Unified School District, along with Poway’s mayor and the head of the school board, Donahue said the person who sent the email talked about having the firepower to carry out a devastating attack. ”The email made reference to 3,000 rounds of ammunition as well as numerous firearms,” he said.
Capt. Donahue said the Sheriff’s department immediately began working with the Poway Unified School District and they called in their so-called CATCH team that specializes in cyber crime.
He said within hours detectives had a suspect, a 12-year-old student who is a 7th grader at Twin Peaks Middle School. A search warrant executed at the student’s home on Saturday afternoon turned up a disturbing discovery. Law Enforcement discovered ”Several computers, along with numerous rifles and handguns.”
Capt. Donahue said the student’s parents were shocked at the allegations against their son. He said the guns were locked up and that the student did not have access to a key. “A total of five rifles, three shotguns and three handguns were taken,” he said. Read more here at San Diego 10 News.
San Diego NBC 7 News added that they had interviewed the teacher who was specifically threatened, and she honestly did not know of any reason this child would want to harm her, or his fellow students. NBC 7 news also said the boy’s father had the guns locked up, and that his parents were shocked. They added that when the boy was interviewed by the Sheriff he was very scared.
I am not sure if he would have really done it, perhaps if he really wanted to – he would not have sent the e-mail. Thank goodness everyone involved took this very seriously, this is actually a good news story. Hopefully they can get this boy the help he needs – and that he will apparently continually need for the rest of his life.
The Principal of Twin Peaks Middle School said there would be school on Monday. A letter was sent to the parents, read the complete letter here.
I read this in the Denver Post tonight: National Rifle Association President David Keene called Colorado’s backlogged system for gun background checks an unreasonable burden on a citizen’s right to bear arms and addressed the matter with Gov. John Hickenlooper when the two met privately Thursday.
“If I were a Colorado resident, and told I had to wait an undetermined period of time to buy a gun, I would go to court,” Keene told The Denver Post Thursday before the meeting.
The checks, which federal law says should take no longer than three business days, have taken as long as nine days to begin processing since the mid-December shooting in Connecticut and the wait continues to average about seven days in the queue.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is facing questions over its inability to meet the three-day federal gun background check mandate — told The Post on Tuesday it would have the state’s Attorney General review its policy for processing the checks. Read more here.
The above video is an interview that Denver Post Editor, Greg Moore conducted with David Keene tonight.
Do you need a short, sweet and too-the-point video to show the facts of guns compared to school violence? This video was made by the folks at Reason.com.
Continue to get the message out – share the truth, the reality.
We fear most what we do not know. Approximately 45% of the households in the USA have guns, and a good portion of people without guns may have never even shot a gun, never held a gun. The images they see of guns are scary, violent. I understand that, and if that was the only thing I knew about firearms, I would be scared too.
Why don’t we cower when we see a car? Why do we willingly get into them and drive on a road where there are millions of other cars, driven by all kinds of people? Undoubtedly, some drivers are insane, drugged, homicidal, and just plain drunk. Did you know that cars are the leading cause of death for children aged 5-9? The reason we are not afraid is: most of us have a car. Most of us ride in an automobile every single day. We spend hours in them. They practically become part of who we are.
Imagine if the media, and half of the politicians, launched a plan to impose increased auto control on the entire country. Obviously, cars are dangerous; they are killing our children, our babies. The new laws they are proposing will affect everyone. Everyone in the country will be affected, even if they have never had one speeding ticket or never even had a parking ticket. They will pay the price the same as a person who has had a Felony DUI, or been charged with Vehicular Manslaughter.
Let’s write the new Bill that congress will vote on to make this country a MUCH safer place not only for us, but more importantly, for our children…
One of the first things we can do is replace all current speed limit signs to the new speed, 30MPH. Beginning immediately, all cars sold must have a limiter installed by the manufacturer, only allowing a maximum speed of 30MPH. No one needs to go that fast. The reason we have a car is to get from point A to point B. Everyone can just schedule twice as much travel time in their day, in the name of making the roads safer for our children. This reduced speed will solve many issues for this country:
- Motor vehicle accidents will go down, resulting in fewer children killed.
- Fuel economy will increase, maximizing precious energy resources.
- It is good for the environment. Lower consumption of fuel, extended life of tires which will reduce landfill waste, and bicycles could become a more realistic form of transportation.
- We would be able to use lower octane fuel, which means less refined gas would be required, which would mean lower fuel costs.
- High-speed police pursuits will be a thing of the past; reducing the havoc they create on our road.
Next we will reduce the maximum weight to 3500 lbs. for all vehicles, this is for our children after all. This will ban all large SUVs. No one needs an SUV, there are plenty of reasonable mini-vans that carry large numbers of passengers and are much lower in weight. When extremely large SUVs are in an accident, the opposing car (and it’s occupants) are damaged or injured badly. This is due to their gross weight as compared to other cars on the road, simple physics dictates how that will end.
Now that the law requires a much-reduced speed, no one needs sports cars. I know that some of you are car enthusiasts, and you want to have a Corvette, a Lamborghini, a Porsche, or a Camaro, but because you can’t be trusted to remain in the 30MPH speed limit, cars with the sole purpose of driving fast will no longer be sold. I know most of you would only take them to a track to run them at their maximum speed. Track days with your cars will still happen, just at the reduced speed. These races will still be fun if tighter turns are added – everyone will be on the same playing field. Some of you want sports cars as part of a collection and would rarely drive them, but 100% new cars sold will have the speed restriction nonetheless.
We do have the pesky problem with all the other cars already out there, the ones that are able to accelerate to 100MPH and above. Confiscation, at this point, would be unrealistic. I propose “grandfathering” the old vehicles and leaving them out there until the end of their life, which for some could be 50 to 100 years (depending on care). If one private party wants to sell a grandfathered car, that transaction would remain legal as long as they submit the required documents with the Federal government to track ownership. Understand it will become difficult to drive these cars due to requirements for higher Octane fuel, 91 Octane will be heavily taxed, as will high performance tires and parts.
I am getting excited talking about this! Just look at how much safer our country is going to be: Our environment will be safe, global warming will be reduced, fuel prices would be cheaper, road rage would become a thing of the past, motorcyclists will have less to fear, AND our children would finally be safe from evil cars and their unsafe drivers. (You know – it is not the car’s fault that nearly 400 children aged 5-9 died in 2010.)
Wait a minute; before we celebrate this new Bill too much, let’s fast forward five years down the road it is now December 2017. Both the House and Senate approved the new Bill in early 2013. President Obama signed the Bill into Law that summer, with much fanfare at a ceremony in the Rose Garden, with the CEO of General Motors standing by his side. Federal funding was given to car companies to help them comply, and tax breaks given to those who met the guidelines ahead of schedule.
Have you ever been the person in the fast lane, going the speed limit, maybe 65MPH, and then suddenly you come upon a car only doing 50MPH in the fast lane? While others are going 65MPH, you have to try to change lanes, get past the car, and then you can resume the posted speed. This disparity in traffic flow is a contributor to accidents and traffic jams. This is the first unintended consequence of our new Speed Limiting Bill, vastly unequal speeds on the roadways.
What if someone snaps in one of the grandfathered cars? Even if they only go 10MPH over, things are going to get messy. I have never felt as vulnerable as I do when I rent a compact car on travel to Washington DC, and then get onto the DC Belt-way with the lunatics flying by and I have this tiny car with no power. It makes me feel like I could not get out of my own way if I tried.
We all know people who have zero regard for the speed limit law, and some of those people will get their hands on an old Dodge Cummings Diesel with a reinforced bumper. Can you imagine this person randomly driving 70MPH down the road when everyone else can only go 30MPH? Until those small slow cars could get out of the way, they would be at his mercy. Think of the accidents caused by this disparity in gross tonnage and speed alone, add to that reckless behavior, and you have a recipe for disaster after disaster.
Are cars evil? No, they are not – it is the behavior and decisions made driving that make them dangerous. Yes, sometimes there is a mechanical problem that will contribute to an accident. Most insurance companies will tell you that using defensive driving techniques and remaining vigilant on the road can prevent nearly any accident.
For those of you lobbying for increased gun control, when you are trying to figure out why we are so against adding one more law (to the thousands of laws that already exist), consider the parallel in this article I just discussed. We already own a lot of these guns (as you already have your cars), we use them for sport, hunting, protection, and yes – even family fun. Last I checked, most people use cars for every one of these things, most even need a car to get out to the area where they plan on hunting. Guns are truly a part of our life, our culture, the thread of our society – just as cars are for the country at large.
Killing is an unintended result of an automobile ride gone awry, while it is the primary mission of a gun in a criminal’s hand — I get that. A car is one method of transportation, but is not 100% necessary – there are others forms of transportation available. Just as a firearm is one measure of protection, one of many protection options available. Not everyone lives in a local where owning a car is necessary for transportation just as not everyone lives in a neighborhood where constant self-protection is necessary. However, if you live in the suburbs or a rural area, there is no way you would survive without your car. Should a person who lives in New York City dictate that all people should only use public transportation? If you were a single mother raising a family in Compton, you might consider a gun a necessity for protection of your family. Should someone who lives in a perfectly manicured neighborhood near the Hamptons be able to dictate how that mother chooses to protect herself? A rural farmer and a mother in a dangerous neighborhood will consider a car or a gun necessities, respectively.
Everyone has their own reality, and one shoe does not fit all. Gun control legislation is all about regulating someone to fit into a box that that someone else drew. It could be guns, cars, homes, knifes, food, clothes or anything that we can’t understand as being necessary or desired to someone other than ourselves. I think owing a car that goes 150MPH and doesn’t get at least 30MPH is stupid and potentially dangerous, do I have the right to regulate that?
Statistics pulled from the Center for Disease Control.
I just read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, called the “Gun debate needs a waiting period“. It was written by a gun-control advocate, obviously. In this article, Ruben Navarrette Jr. writes, “How about giving a horrified and heartbroken nation a chance to mourn the dead?” Mr. Navarrette, you are speaking for the side that began screaming for a gun ban before the bodies of those angels had even been removed from the crime scene. Before anyone knew anything about the shooter, before any details were know, while some of the media thought it was actually his brother that had done this evil deed. How is that glass house you are living in?
I will admit, I have been thinking that we need a Waiting Period on this conversation as well, but for different reasons. It has only been four days with precious little official information coming out about the shooter, what led to the event, the shooters mental state, etc. Only four days and this is what I have seen:
1. The President call for “meaningful action over gun control” during his Saturday radio address, and promised to “address gun violence” during the memorial service.
2. Senator Dianne Feinstein has spearheaded an effort to craft legislation to reinstate an assault weapons ban and would also back any law to close a loophole related to gun-show sales. It will probably include high capacity magazines, detachable magazines, possibly will include semi-automatic pistol magazine capacity as well.
3. Retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods suspended the sales of some rifles, and CheaperThanDirt.com ceasing the the sales of guns over the internet completely. This one really surprised me today, and actually started to make me feel a little worried about how serious all this could get.
4. Gun sales have gone nuts – they are flying off the shelves across the country. Is a future Assault Rifle ban going to make rifles already out in society illegal? Will the government come collect them? If the answer to that is no, if we will be able to keep any gun we have before the ban – I think a lot of people who may or may not have ever bought an AR-15 in the future bought them this weekend, just in case. On Facebook I have seen nearly every gun store say they are low on inventory. Everything I wanted on line was “Out of Stock”.
So, what do we have now? An emotional country, once again divided (although I would say not with a straight clean line, this one crosses the political spectrum.) We are all heartbroken from the entire class of 1st graders and the 2nd graders whose lives were robbed from their families – right before Christmas. Add to this sadness the passion of gun rights advocates worried as they watch the media demonstrate how emotional they are – hungry as a rabid pack of wolves, unwilling to have a thoughtful discussion just yet.
If you listen to people like Dave Ramsey, he will advise people not to make major life decisions right after the death of a loved one. In the heat of the moment, wrapped in strong emotion on both sides, any law written will have unintended consequences and will not include all the sides of the story.
Let’s all take a deep breath, count to 10 days, say a prayer for each person lost, and for our own blessings.
Read the link above from cnn.com.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the world, says it has removed all guns from its store nearest to Newtown, Connecticut, and is suspending the sale of certain kinds of semi-automatic rifles from its chains nationwide.
The move was made out of respect for the victims and families of last week’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting “during this time of national mourning,” the store said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Some media reports, unconfirmed, say he shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary attempted to buy a rifle at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few days prior to the shooting, but was denied.
What do you think about this decision?
Please read the article, written by Doug Wyllie on police one.com: Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial. It includes an outline and summary of Lt. Col. Grossman’s 5 D’s. Lt. Col. Grossman is an internationally recognized scholar, author, Soldier, and speaker. He is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime. Mr. Wyllie’s article goes into more depth, but here is an excerpt. It is more than worth reading his entire article, and his entire series on this topic. It is time to end the naivety. It is time to protect our children!
Grossman’s Five D’s
1. Denial — Denial is the enemy and it has no survival value, said Grossman. 2. Deter — Put police officers in schools, because with just one officer assigned to a school, the probability of a mass murder in that school drops to almost zero 3. Detect — We’re talking about plain old fashioned police work here. The ultimate achievement for law enforcement is the crime that didn’t happen, so giving teachers and administrators regular access to cops is paramount. 4. Delay — Various simple mechanisms can be used by teachers and cops to put time and distance between the killers and the kids.5. Destroy — Police officers and agencies should consider the following:
a. Ensure that the school/classroom have just a single point of entry. Simply locking the back door helps create a hard target.
b. Conduct your active shooter drills within (and in partnership with) the schools in your city so teachers know how to respond, and know what it looks like when you do your response.a. Carry off duty. No one would tell a firefighter who has a fire extinguisher in his trunk that he’s crazy or paranoid.
b. Equip every cop in America with a patrol rifle. One chief of police, upon getting rifles for all his officers once said, “If an active killer strikes in my town, the response time will be measured in feet per second.”
c. Put smoke grenades in the trunk of every cop car in America. Any infantryman who needs to attack across open terrain or perform a rescue under fire deploys a smoke grenade. A fire extinguisher will do a decent job in some cases, but a smoke grenade is designed to perform the function.
d. Have a “go-to-war bag” filled with lots of loaded magazines and supplies for tactical combat casualty care.
e. Use helicopters. Somewhere in your county you probably have one or more of the following: medivac, media, private, national guard, coast guard rotors.
f. Employ the crew-served, continuous-feed, weapon you already have available to you (a firehouse) by integrating the fire service into your active shooter training. It is virtually impossible for a killer to put well-placed shots on target while also being blasted with water at 300 pounds per square inch.
g. Armed citizens can help. Think United 93. Whatever your personal take on gun control, it is all but certain that a killer set on killing is more likely to attack a target where the citizens are unarmed, rather than one where they are likely to encounter an armed citizen response.
The tragedy at Sandy Hooks Elementary School has impacted everyone in the United States, and possibly beyond. Obviously and most seriously impacted, are the families and friends of the educators and children, whose lives will forever be changed by this event. I cannot imagine their pain, their grief. I have shed tears for them, and pledge my support and prayers. I am a mother – I have two children, one 16-year-old daughter and one 5-year-old son. I see the innocence and sweetness of my son daily, the trust he has that the world is a good place, that he is safe. As I watched the news on Friday and saw the horror on the faces of the children as they were led from the building, I imagined my own son, and my daughter at that age, and immediately knew that every one of those children are victims. It does not matter if they were wounded or not, they have all suffered trauma, and their innocence has been ripped from them, one week before Christmas, in a place where they should have been safe.
I have stayed quiet for a couple days because I was too sad to write, it seemed too soon to even discuss it, maybe it is too soon even today. The media obviously does not feel that way, and predominantly, the discussion is regarding increased gun control. This discussion is the same discussion that happens every time there is a mass shooting like this. I personally think this time it will be different. I think this time, because of the babies, the angels, that were taken too soon – this time the gun control advocates might be able to enact legislation to Federally increase gun control to a point that the entire country is as controlled as California, or worse. I mean, truly, who can vote “for” the murder of sweet six year old babies. You know that is how it will be presented: If you believe zero new gun laws are needed, you must think this slaughter of innocent children is no big deal. I heard Soledad O’Brien and Pierce Morgan on CNN both worked into a similar frenzy in the past two days. As members of the media, they were biased beyond belief. They both interviewed experts from the gun-rights side of the issue, but seemingly only so they could berate them on National TV – definitely not to allow them to present their case, not to allow factual information to pass their lips.
The opposing argument is that enacting new gun control legislation will not stop this type of tragedy. At one time in my life, I wanted to be a first grade teacher, my step-mom is currently a first grade teacher, and I love children – especially that age, so much. I just honestly believe if someone is set on harming a high number of people, there are some places that make it easier than others. A school, a movie theater, a mall are all obvious choices. All schools I know about are “Gun Free Zones” many malls and movie theaters have signs posted with the same decree. People in these places are like sitting ducks. Schools do drills for fire and tornados over and over, and I believe that because of the Columbine shooting, they have also started planning for a mass-shooting events. The teachers at Sandy Hook were incredibly heroic, beyond any expectation – they were strong and brave. Every situation is different, and I know lessons will come from this horrifying event that, in the future, will make schools safer than they are now. Greg Ellifritz wrote an article for “Active Response Training” detailing some ideas that both parents and educators might consider, to increase children’s safety at school. Click here to read his thoughts.
Will a ban on semi-automatic weapons, AR-15s, Sig Sauers, Glocks, stop this carnage? There has been quite a lot of research conducted that states otherwise. Read a couple examples the links below:
- Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser, conducted a study published in the Harvard Journal of Law, titled, “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” In it they compared the gun ownership of European nations with strict gun laws verses those with few gun laws and their comparative suicide and murder rates.
- Jacob Deakins, M.D. conducted a study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons titled, “Guns, Truth, Medicine, and the Constitution.”
I don’t want to wear you out with facts and details, but in order to retain our gun rights, we will have to educate ourselves. The gun control activists have the more emotional side, and they are less educated on the facts. They will flash and politicize the photos of these babies, and it will call to all our souls. It is fear mongering, and we must fight against it.
I ask again, would increased gun control have stopped this senseless tragedy? The Bushmaster .223, an AR-15, used in the Sandy Hook shooting would likely not be the only semi-automatic weapon included in any gun control proposal. Let’s consider a world where the only handguns allowed were revolvers. How fast can a person fire a revolver? How fast can a person fire a revolver, reload and then fire again? Here is an example of the fastest revolver:
Yes, this is an extreme example, but you get the point. What if a mentally ill person, bent on destruction, had only a revolver? What if the shooter on Friday had only killed 6 children, would that have been less tragic? We would still be horrified (rightly so) the number only makes it worse, but either story would have been a tragedy. Banning all semi-automatic weapons will do the following:
- Drive the price up, dramatically, for those weapons still out in society.
- Drive mentally ill, or otherwise evil, individuals to commit crimes to obtain a gun.
- Or, they will use other still legal weapons and means to commit their crimes.
All the existing gun laws, already in place, should have prevented this man from obtaining a gun. Apparently, he was denied a purchase of a weapon at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store a couple days before this incident. Should his mother have had better control over her guns, I would say so. Especially knowing what we know now, there is no doubt about that. The responsibility that goes along with gun ownership is not something to be taken lightly. Even if this 20-year-old man was brilliant, he reportedly had mental problems, and his mother, whom he lived with, would have understood that better than any background check would have uncovered. Maybe the details on that part of the story will come out, but no matter what took place in that home, this is a lesson to all gun owners. We must be more responsible than the law requires, more responsible than any trained course asks of us, if we truly want to keep our firearms.
Can someone cause this much damage without firearms? Friday morning, one of my blogging friends shared the story with me about the man in China who stabbed all the children. I was going to write about that, then a few hours later, on the same day the news began reporting the Sandy Hook shooting. What about the Oklahoma Bombing? Do you remember the photos of the fireman carrying a child from the building; do you remember the daycare center? Oh, there are ways to create a disaster, and people hell-bent on destruction will find those ways. Do not kid yourselves. Do not be naive.
Could one person with a concealed carry permit have stopped the killing, or some of the killing? I do not know the answer to that, much like the theater shooting, there is so much speculation either way. An under-publicized story from the Portland Mall shooting included a man who did have his gun with him, he took cover behind a pillar and pulled his gun.
He considered firing, and almost did – but he saw movement and thought there was a chance he would hurt someone else if he pulled his trigger. (A responsible decision, one that the media believes a responsible gun-owner is incapable of making.) Apparently, the gunman saw him with his gun and the next thing that happened was the gunman killed himself. Maybe what ever caused him to “trip off line” was tripped back to right at the sight of the gun pointed at him, and he realized what he had done and ended it. We do not know. There are so many reasons everything happened, most we will never know.
Another argument is that all teachers should not have guns, that they should not be trusted, the kids might get the gun, etc. No one says that ALL teachers should have guns, but undoubtedly, there are Principals and teachers who are very proficient with a gun, and who would be able to think clearly. Much like an air-marshal or a pilot on an airplane, why shouldn’t some of those people (very carefully screened) no be allowed to carry? It would lessen the opportunity of the “sitting ducks” and could make a person think twice before thinking a school is an easy target.
Read the studies I cited above, consider the people you know. I can promise you, banning firearms – even 100% of firearms, will not stop these crimes. What it will actually lead to is so much worse than what we saw on Friday (even though that is hard to imagine.) We have the 2nd Amendment for a reason, so that the people may protect themselves and their family against predators, especially a tyrannical government. How does a dictator rise to power? There is an entire series of events that must occur first – and disarming the public is part of that process. Do not give up your liberty for safety; there are other ways to find safety, to find protection.
I know this was a lot to read, and if you made it all the way to the bottom – thank you. Let’s all make a pledge to be responsible gun owners, and to educate ourselves against the battle that is sure to come.
God bless all those whose lives were taken or forever affected by this evil man. My prayers are with you always.