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Category Archives: 061 Distributed Security

Another Perspective on “Arming Teachers”

Jon Alexander has raised some serious challenges to the concept of “arming teachers” to strengthen security in our schools. Allow me to shift the debate somewhat by adjusting its fundamental assumptions.

Speculation isn’t necessary

In the U.S. today, at least fourteen states have laws on the books which allow school boards to authorize concealed carry of firearms by school staff, under various conditions, while ten more states do not restrict concealed carry to school staff members only, although most of them still require specific, individual permission of the governing school board. The number is growing every year: last year, Wyoming joined; this year bills are pending in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Meantime, in Ohio alone, over 1,000 trained school staff members are carrying concealed handguns in more than one-quarter of the school districts in that state. In South Dakota, Texas, Colorado and other states, significant and growing numbers of school staff members are already legally carrying concealed firearms – while Utah has allowed anyone with a state concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property for going on 19 years.

So, this is not a new idea; quite the contrary. We have a considerable amount of experience with it, and because of the decentralized approach, wherein state laws and school board policies differ, we have quite a variety of experiments underway.

How is it working out? Famously. While mass shooters have not been particularly deterred by the presence of uniformed School Resource Officers (Columbine High School and Parkland, Florida being particular examples), there is no evidence of a single school shooting taking place in any district across the country where trained, non-law enforcement school staff members are carrying concealed weapons. Correlation is not causation, but that fact cannot be easily dismissed.

There are also zero examples of injuries resulting from the kind of mishaps commonly predicted by the skeptics: no accidental shootings, no rowdy students shot by frustrated teachers, no gun take-aways by students. They’re just not happening.

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11 School Shootings This Year? It’s Past Time to Arm Teachers!

Guns-In-School

By: Bill Tallen Executive Vice President – Tactical Operations – Distributed Security, Inc.

The BBC ran a story recently on school shootings and the debate over arming school staff to defend against same (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42804741). I was present as an observer (along with the BBC reporter) at the FASTER training in Colorado in June 2017, supported the passage of legislation a year ago in Wyoming that allows armed school staff at school board discretion, assisted in the formulation of non-regulatory guidance on the topic for the Wyoming Department of Education, now support implementation of this law in my own northwest Wyoming school district, and am an officer and founding partner in Distributed Security, Inc. (www.distributedsecurity.com), which offers training in this and related areas. So I think I’ll weigh in.

Let’s not quibble over statistics any more than necessary, as it is about as thankless and unrewarding as wrestling a pig. Regardless of when you start counting, or what you count, it’s inarguable that school shootings, while not commonplace given the sheer number of schools in America, are certainly frequent enough to capture the attention of the media – and of parents and communities who understand that our children are our most precious assets. School shootings are a classic example of a “low probability, high consequence” risk. Events of such monstrously unacceptable consequence deserve our attention and resources, even if as individuals we think the dice in our particular neighborhood are very unlikely to come up snake-eyes.

Resistance is futile – arming school staff is the trend

The legal context is this. Federal law – the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1995 – makes it illegal to possess a firearm on school property anywhere in America, unless an individual falls under one of several specific exclusions, the most self-evident being the ones for commissioned law enforcement or contracted security guards.  But there is also an exclusion for anyone “licensed by the state” to possess a firearm in the schools. That license has been interpreted by the courts to include a state concealed carry permit, but only if the state law regarding permits explicitly authorizes permittees to carry in schools. The States differ widely. A few, such as Utah, simply do not list schools as areas off-limits for concealed carry.  This qualifies as an “inconvenient truth” for those opposing firearms in schools, because there hasn’t been a shooting, accidental or otherwise, in a Utah school in the 18 years this law has been in effect. Half of the States allow permitted concealed carry in schools under varying conditions. At last count (and here is an important quibble, BBC), fifteen States allow concealed carry by permittees with the permission of the school board or administration; another ten allow carry by staff as well as non-staff concealed carry permittees under a variety of conditions, most of which involve some form of local approval. As the BBC reports, six more states are currently considering bills which allow the arming of school staff.

We often hear, “If the threat is that bad, we should have police officers in the schools.” But to use my district as an example, we have one commissioned School Resource Officer, and seven schools. To hire more would cost $43-45,000 a year in burdened salary for each, or over a quarter million a year to put just one in each of the six unprotected schools. The initial cost of processing and training school staff who volunteer to carry their own weapons concealed would be $2-3,000 each, plus perhaps 20% of that each year for annual refresher training. The first year’s salary of one uniformed officer would pay the initial cost of 14-20 concealed carry staff members; and in many states, non-profit fundraising organizations provide scholarships to pay for armed school staff’s training. The cost advantages are obvious.

This background allows us to reply to the BBC’s title question, “Is it time to arm teachers?” by pointing out that between one-third and one-half of the States in this union have already decided that yes, it is, and authorized their school boards to proceed.

Teachers who do not trust. . . teachers

The next part of the BBC’s reportage that I’ll comment on is the uncritical presentation of certain opposition viewpoints. We are told that an NEA survey in 2013 reported 68% of teachers opposed to having armed non-law enforcement people in school. What is not pointed out is: (1) the NEA as an organization is opposed and campaigns against arming school staff; (2) the NEA is a teachers’ union with a well-documented leftwing slant on most social issues; (3) their survey was only sent to 800 of their own members, so what we do know is that 544 union members agree with their union on the topic. Pardon me if I am unimpressed. A survey undertaken in Powell, Wyoming this month gave results very nearly opposite the NEA’s – 64% of staff, not to mention 75% of parents, felt that armed staff would make schools safer – and I suspect that is closer to the sentiment of much of America, educators and non-educators alike. If it isn’t so everywhere, well, that’s the beauty of living in a republic – you can, within personal constraints, choose your community.

Legislators who don’t trust teachers

Our BBC friends also share the sentiments of a Michigan “former teacher-turned-Democratic state senator” who is among a “vocal minority that opposes” the bill that passed his house by a large margin last year, and who disparages anyone who would volunteer to carry in the schools as a “Rambo”. On the one hand, I might point out that his viewpoint lost, or that his views don’t seem to be informed by experience as an armed citizen or trainer. On the other hand, I could (and have) spoken against a legislative approach like Michigan’s that forces an expansion of concealed carry into a wide variety of locations – like schools – where it was formerly prohibited. Especially the schools. It is a contentious topic, and I believe it is best handled the way the afore-mentioned 15 states have done so – leave it to the discretion of individual school boards; and of course, the people armed will all be volunteers – no one would be forced to carry a firearm. Experience in Ohio, South Dakota, and elsewhere has shown that while boards are initially hesitant to use their discretion, once a few do so, the trickle quickly becomes a flood as it is demonstrated that the thing can be done safely, for a very substantial increase in security. I suspect this may also have something to do with the real liability question involved – not “what if there’s an accidental shooting?” but “what if there’s an active shooter, and our kids die because I and my fellow trustees voted down armed security?”

Training is the key

Everywhere this battle is joined, one of the more common refrains of the opposition to armed school staff is that “teachers” can’t be trained in X hours, with X being whatever training they’re taking or required to take.  First of all, “teachers” is a misleading, as usually all school staff, not just teachers, are eligible, and arguably administrators, counsellors, coaches, custodians, etc. can be better candidates as they are less likely to be tied down, responsible for a classroom full of kids, instead of free to respond toward the “sound of the gun”.

Second, many of the critics have never participated in any combative handgun training whatsoever and have no idea what they are talking about.

Third, modern training techniques allow a 24-hour course, mixing live fire training with scenario-based training using nonlethal firearms and live role players, as offered by DSI, FASTER, and other purveyors of training (and required by law in several states, and by liability insurance providers in others) to impart the necessary skills and mindset. I’ve heard these assertions of “not enough training” both from anti-gun progressives, and from retired law enforcement officers. The latter (all credit to them for their service) sometimes have not witnessed modern training techniques and default back to their dreary academy courses decades ago, where they spent 40, 60, or 80 hours in what amounted to painful, redundant, and unproductive training. I speak as a retired Federal Agent and former director of an agency academy myself; there are better ways, guys, come and see.

Finally – on the training issue – I find it interesting to hear it asserted that educators cannot possibly be trained to react appropriately in an active shooter situation. I’ve been training civilians (as well as police and military) for decades, and haven’t found any career field that disqualifies a dedicated person from learning the firearms, tactics, and decision-making skills required. In fact, educators by their very nature and background, are among the best adult learners out there. Millions of Americans, from all walks of life, carry concealed firearms daily without mishap or misjudgment, and when forced to react to a shooting, usually do so with skill and discretion – even those who have not completed intense 24-hour training programs. If you asked me, as a trainer, whether Michigan’s proposed eight hours of training is enough, I’d say probably not – and I hope that requirement will get beefed up before the bill reaches the Governor’s desk. But to all the “not enough training” sharpshooters, my last response would be, “Why do you think it’s better to have no defender at all, leaving kids helpless against a mass murderer, than to give them a chance of survival with someone who is willing to rise to the challenge and protect them, even if they have not attained some arbitrary threshold of training?”

 

Bill Tallen is Executive Vice President – Tactical Operations. Prior to joining the enterprise he had a 20 year career with the Department of Energy, where he served as a Federal Agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor, and manager in the agency which provides secure transportation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials within CONUS. He helped to found DOE’s Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents charged with recovery of lost assets. He has designed and conducted a variety of wargaming efforts in support of vulnerability assessments, security system design, and leadership training, and has taught a variety of crisis decision making models. Bill holds the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. 

Can the Free Market Provide National Defense?

Tom Woods hosts a debate (Ep. 1062 of the Tom Woods Show) between economist Bob Murphy (Ph.D., NYU – arguing for) and podcaster Todd Lewis (arguing against) who square off in the central debate of anarcho-capitalism: is government truly necessary for national defense, or could the free market (through Private Defense Agencies or “PDAs) provide this service?

Great points are made on both sides, however, we believe what is being argued here is only half the picture.

Much like personal defense, when one abdicates personal responsibility/security to a third party causes you to abdicate control, placing yourself behind in the decision-making process, limiting potential solutions to problems, increasing cost, and introducing moral hazards.

While PDAs are a necessary part of dealing with decentralized/asymmetric warfare (4th Generation Warfare), they are only a part of the answer.

What’s the other half of the picture and a better answer?

Distributed security.

Where individuals and communities can come together and provide security solutions as needed, and disband when it’s not.

Think of the Swiss system on steroids with a greater free market twist (like PDAs) and you will see the underpinnings of the solution.

In Response To All The “Resist” Fists Endorsed By Hillary And Obama…

In response to all the violent threats and attacks from the so called “resistance” we’ll be DEFENDING that which is ours. And by the way, all you miscreants giving Dana Loesch and the NRA hell about this ad, the least of your worries are 5 million NRA members. If I was you, I’d be a lot more concerned about the 20 million gun owners who think the NRA is a bunch of pussies.

EagleDefend

How To Beat Terrorism by L. Neil Smith

Away, way back in 1977, when I began writing my first novel, _The Probability Broach_ (still in print, after four decades), I was regarded as something of a nutcase because I argued that American society would be a much better, safer place if everybody who wanted to, carried a gun. I was by no means the first to do so, nor was I the only one at the time, but, except for Robert A. Heinlein, Elmer Keith, and the ghost of H. Beam Piper, I often felt very much alone in my simple, straightforward, common-sense advocacy of exercising one’s natural rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Now, of course, forty years later, armed self-defense has become a social movement. The degree to which I share responsibility for that is debatable, but I am proud of any part I may have had in it.

Last weekend (no, I am not changing the subject) was a pretty lousy one for peace and civil order in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Egged on by various evil shamans (one of them in the States), Islamic terrorists employed an automobile and big knives to wound and murder dozens of innocent individuals who were trying to enjoy a warm summer evening—in a near-Arctic climate that doesn’t offer many of them—and whose only “crime” was that they did not choose to follow the benighted religious precepts of a 7th century Arab merchant-trader.

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Georgia Fugitives Captured by Home Owners

Yes, we can.

The bravery of a homeowner put an end to the three-day long manhunt, Fitzhugh said.
The inmates had run through the woods to a home on Pruitt Road, near the rural community of Christiana.

“The homeowner was alerted somehow, he looked outside and saw the suspects trying to steal his vehicle,” Lt. Bill Miller from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said late Friday.

The homeowner called his neighbor and both men, each armed with a gun, confronted the fugitives…

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe after their capture.

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe after their capture.
Source: CNN

Does National Defense Require the State?

Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”

This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.

This thinking presumes at least two critical ideas: first, that defense of a population requires a government that rules that population; and, second, that if a government has the power to take over another country, it will do so.

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Kansas student activist group “warns” foreign embassies about campus carry law

I hope out of the 160 foreign embassies she wrote she included the 107 countries that have higher homicide rates and tighter gun control than the United states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

“Meaning many international students at Kansas universities would be surrounded by firearms without the legal right to also carry one — making it potentially even more dangerous for these students,” she wrote. “Considering the shooting of two Indian men who were presumed to be ‘Middle Eastern’ by a white supremacist in Olathe, Kansas last week, international students, especially those from certain countries or regions, are at a greater risk of being the victims of deadly violence once this campus carry law goes into effect.”

Source: guns.com

Trump And Russia: Just Pointing Out The Obvious — Capitalist Exploits

Chairman Trump may well be a child in a man’s body – erratic, lacking in finesse, as articulate as a gangsta rapper, contradictory, and missing the cognitive functions allowing one to think before acting. But.. But… he does seem smart enough to have thought a little about Russia. Thought alone is a welcome surprise from Washington.

The establishment for their part are fuming!

First their rice bowls are at risk, and to top it off they’re now publicly mocked. To egomaniacs this is worse than acne to a prom queen. As I mentioned a couple weeks back the mockery has come thick and fast:

CNBC’s John Hardwood decided to conduct a Twitter poll to see who the American people trusted when it came to the DNC hacks. Did they believe Wikileaks, who deny Russian involvement, or do they believe the intelligence community who has blamed Russia despite ZERO hard evidence being shown to the public?

The results were shocking and it stunned the media elite!

 

The absurdity over Russia has turned into a social meme. Few buy the narrative and those that do increasingly find mainstream thinking to be questioned.

Source: Capitalist Exploits

Off duty officer vs. Mike Strickland’s escalation of force: Something is wrong here…

 

“The confrontation began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property,” Anaheim police said in statement Wednesday.

This is most interesting.

You can watch the OODA Loops spin out of control as communications break down and either the wrong tactic is used or no tactic is selected at all due to the Sympathetic Nervous System or “SNS” reaction.

As the SNS response continued to rise all parties were beginning to think with their survival brain, hence the continued decline in communications which lead to anti-social behavior.

While one could write an article on the video tearing apart the officer’s tactics, or lack thereof (a training issue, not the officer’s fault). I won’t.

And while one could write an article critiquing and condemning the society and education system that fostered such blatant disregard for individual and property rights, I won’t do that either.

I will, however, state that had both sides had a modicum of respect for each other, other’s property rights, abided by the NAP, and had just a little bit of training, all these unpleasantries could have been avoided.

Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet, fortunately, were closer than most think (thanks technology!).

In the end, I hope the officer doesn’t face the same unjust consequences that as Mike Strickland is now facing for making the same sensible decisions to protect his life.

After all, two wrongs don’t make a right. And while a badge shouldn’t grant extra rights, it shouldn’t mean you have any fewer rights either.

Source: nypost.com

After Orlando shooting, Florida Republicans want to eliminate gun-free zones

A rose by any other name…

Seems rather desperate when one is forced to use the same regurgitated, unpopular, and failed arguments one has used in years gone by.

I do recall the same reactionary types calling Florida the “Gunshine State” because its citizens had the gall to support giving themselves more control over their own security.

This repeated itself time and time again, as it will continue to and should.

You can’t defeat a distributed threat by centralizing the response… most people sense this intuitively, hence the resistance to centralize.

“In the aftermath of the deadly Orlando nightclub and Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, two Republican lawmakers in Florida are pushing to eradicate the Sunshine State’s “gun-free zones” in a move that would put more guns in public areas. Sen. Dennis Baxley, of Ocala, and Rep. Don Hahnfeldt, of The Villages, want to allow people with concealed weapon permits to carry a deadly firearm nearly anywhere, including local bars, voting booths, courthouses, public schools, colleges and university campuses, airport passenger terminals and maybe even a Miami Dolphins game.”

 

Source: rawstory.com

Ex-SEAL: Battlefield medical techniques needed for civilian shootings

Remember, you are the “first responder,” by the time the police and emergency medical services arrive, it can be too late for someone who is bleeding.

Learning the basics needed to save lives during the “golden hour” isn’t rocket science.If a private can be trained in the proper application of pressure dressings and tourniquets, you can bet you can learn these simple skills yourself.

If a private can be trained in the proper application of pressure dressings and tourniquets (and they are), you too can learn these simple life-saving skills yourself.

Butler is part of the national campaign and its work to train first responders and civilians about what to do in the moments after a mass-casualty attack… “You have to think of an active shooting as a military action. The casualties are essentially combat casualties,” Butler said… More difficult is getting the message out to untrained civilians who could be in a position to stop bleeding during an attack. Butler hopes tourniquet use will eventually become a basic part of first-aid teaching like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

Source: pnj.com

Delta Force Operator: Gem of the week

Politics aside, the gem of the week is tucked away in a Delta operators observations abut conducting missions in non-permissive environments such as those found in Yemen.

After clearly explaining the situation on the ground in the larger context, he gets into the weeds and reveals a key to the reason for the difficulties:

“The terrorists have protected themselves and secured themselves, too. They have IEDs surrounding their bases. They have tripwires.  They run surveillance and counter surveillance. In some ways, they operate like a military without a state behind them. They’ve learned a lot of lessons from Iraq, and because of that, they are much more deadly than before.”

Bill Lind, John Boyd, Martin van Creveld, Chet Richards, and many more have been talking about this eventuality for decades now so this comes as no surprise for most people who keep an eye on these types of developments.

Decentralization is the only logical path forward, and fortunately, it’s the simplest to achieve in the immediate future and will pay much higher dividends than the current top heavy system.

The fourth generation of warfare is upon us, that means the 5th isn’t far behind.

You can’t beat today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions, especially when they are generations behind.

 

Source: ijr.com

Colorado’s rural schools arming themselves against danger, long response times

A distributed threat (lone gunmen, terrorism, etc.,) requires a distributed response.

Teachers and staff members in at least a dozen of Colorado’s most remote school districts are arming themselves instead of waiting for local law enforcement to rescue them in the face of a Columbine-style attack.Those districts have employees carry concealed weapons, train like law officers and then be the first line of security should a school or classroom be targeted by assault.

Source: The Denver Post H/T sayuncle

What is the Strategy for Winning a Gunfight?

The strategy for winning a defensive gunfight is converting disadvantage to advantage.

Let’s clarify what we mean by defensive combative firearms training.

Because you are not the one instigating the confrontation, you will initially be at a disadvantage and in a reactionary and defensive state because you are behind in what John Boyd called the decision making process or the “OODA Loop”.

Conversely, because your adversary is selecting the time, palace, conditions, and weaponry for the confrontation – he will initially start with the initiative as the causal factor in your situation because he has already completed may OODA Loops before you ever even knew of him or his intent.

While starting in a reactive state is an initial disadvantage; proper training can teach you how to convert this initial reactive and disadvantageous situation to your advantage and to the disadvantage of your adversary.

Solid training programs can teach you how to react in a manner that will cause your adversary to react to your actions, and exploiting this initial success can allow you to then wrestle the initiative away from your adversary and then keep him in a reactive state so you can end the with a more favorable outcome for yourself.

The key here is for you to become the causal factor to your adversaries plan for you, and thereby placing him in a disadvantageous reactive state, and the more solid your skills are, the easier it will be for you.

Obviously, converting the initial disadvantage to advantage is key, and this key does have a price, and that price is effort in training.

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What is Tactics?

“There is only one principle of war and that’s this. Hit the other fellow, as quick as you can, and as hard as you can, where it hurts him the most, when he ain’t looking.” – Field marshal William Joseph “Bill” Slim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Slim,_1st_ Viscount_Slim)

What is tactics and why should I care?

In short, tactics is “the art and science of winning engagements and battles. It includes the use of firepower and maneuver, the integration of different arms, and the immediate exploitation of success to defeat the enemy… the product of judgment and creativity…” FMFM 1

I will flesh out the above paragraph shortly, but so as not to string you along, and answer the question about why you should care about the study of tactics I can think of a few compelling reasons.

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Coming After Your (replica) Guns?

Toy gun

Of the 86 fatal shootings involving imitation firearms since 2015, the most common theme was mental illness: 38 of those killed had a history of it, according to their families and police reports. Fourteen of the calls were domestic disturbances. Ten others began as robberies. The remaining circumstances range from patrolling neighborhoods to serving arrest warrants to making traffic stops.

Are more laws needed to make a fake gun look fake to protect the person wielding it inappropriately?

Is the problem fake guns that look too real (whatever that means), or could other factors be at play?

Since people under a life or death situation (such as those described in the article) naturally achieve a sympathetic nervous system or (SNS) response which includes the loss of color vision; what modifications will be demanded when simply coloring guns differently doesn’t fix the problem?

It seems to me that the real problem is that some people choose to intimidate, coerce, or otherwise threaten other innocent people, and then other people react with appropriate levels of counterviolence when faced with someone acting in a manner that suggests that they or others are in immediate jeopardy of loss of life and limb.

As my friends in law enforcement say “You do stupid thing, you win stupid prizes.”

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String of shootings on party buses exposes gray area in regulations in Chicago?

And near the bottom of the article, the real issue comes out.

I am skeptical that any licensed carriers committed any of the shootings, and if they did, they need to be made an example of.

No need for further regulations, simply enforce violations of the NAP will take care of it.

There are already laws on the books for this kind of behavior, no need to place more regulations on any industry.

Pearson said he didn’t think a change in the law would make any difference because it’s unclear whether people shooting others on party buses are licensed concealed carry owners.

Source: String of shootings on party buses reveals gray area in regulations – Chicago Tribune

Finnland: Local man ignores laws and kills town official and two journalists.

It’s a common enough story that (again) shows that people who want to murder will always find a way, regardless of the laws.

A local man with a criminal record of violent offenses drove into Imatra (Finnland), around midnight on Saturday and took an illegally obtained hunting rifle from the trunk of his car, ignored the laws against murder, fired four or five shots (probably violating at least a city ordinance) into the presumably unarmed yet, law abiding, victims.

Seemingly satisfied with his work the 23-year-old stopped at that point and apparently waited for capture by the police.

The article mentions that Finnland is seeking an exemption from the European Union’s draconian gun laws based on “defensive needs.” Does this mean that the people of Finnland realize that a distributed threat is best addressed with distributed security?

Kind of sounds like it.

Finland shares an 833-mile (1,340 km) border with Russia and has sought exceptions from proposed European Union restrictions on firearms, citing defense needs.

Source: yahoo.com/news

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