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22 comments on “Newsletter
  1. Joe, I thought the presentation went very well. I believe you can have the support of the majority of the people who attended. Fixating on the helplessness of “doing nothing” or some involved “evacuating” procedure, is one of the stronger approaches you can take. Go for it. But know this, I am not convinced that the POST plan is better than my lock box concept. I’ll email you what I think would be the more complete lockbox plan which you can work at finding holes in it or you can embrace the concept and build on it. I will continue to convey the ideas of:

    You cannot maintain complete anaminity of those personnel that involved. Students will and can figure it out. Almost to a point of being a game. And what then do we do when these teachers are exposed and have a target on their back? Students have 9 months every year to realize who is carrying. I believe this is a flaw in the program. What teacher wants to worry everyday as to what to wear to hide their weapon. To go out and buy clothes that are appropriate for school but conceals the facts. EVERYDAY there has to be a caution to be presentable not not revealing what they must hide everyday. A very trying task and do it every school day for 9 months.

    What does happen when these teachers are discovered to be carrying. Must they opt out for their own protection?

    The idea of posting that there are armed teachers at the entrance is not going to be a deterrent anymore than posting no guns allowed at bank! Bank robbers don’t care. Crazed perpetrators don’t care! But I guess it’s a great selling point to an audience.

    My own observation is that there is a significant weak link in all this and that would be the buses. Just as I am convinced kids will eventually determine which teachers are carrying, the same will happen with buses. Truth be told, we’re dealing with bus drivers who may not have the same aptitude as the teachers. Once a perpetrator knows who doesn’t have a gun……. game over!

    I’m pulling notes together.

    Keep on, keep on!


    • Mike – thanks for attending last night and for commenting here. We agree on far more than we disagree on. Also, I welcome the legitimate challenge to what we are proposing – it will only make it stronger after being tested.

      A few things to ponder:

      1 – I am not sure we will ever be able to convince each other about the ability to stay concealed or not. I am not a teacher so I have no authority to say how they go through their day. I am a concealed carry holder and carry every day in every place that I am legally allowed – often with a primary and a backup gun. I have never been identified as having a firearm as far as I know. I recognize that’s a strong caveat (as far as I know), but I am in situations all the time with people that if they noticed I am fairly certain they would say something. Maybe we could find a few teachers that are also concealed carry holders and ask them if they think they could stay concealed at school?

      2 – Have you given any more thought to the point that Joe brought up last night = the time / distance that would need to be covered to get to a lock box? Also, isn’t there a risk that an attacker could learn the code or force their way in? Just trying to test your ideas like you are testing ours.

      3 – on sign posting, I agree that the signs by themselves will not stop it all. However, I do think it will stop a portion. It is true that people still rob banks, but I think you would agree that more people would rob them if there were no armed guards there. We know the shooter in Aurora went by several theaters that in theory would have been “better” targets (i.e. they had more people, bigger auditoriums, closer to his house) to go to one specifically that had no gun signs posted.

      4 – Agree with you on the bus drivers being a neglected aspect of all of this. Something we need to do some thinking on…imagine a 9-11 style attack with a bus.

      • I sat pulled together the POST with Lockbox concept in a more organized manner. If you could send me your email address I’ll send it to you. suffice to say, I am a proponent of this concept and my proposal list what I consider the advantages and disadvantages of POST and my proposal.

        I would address a couple of misconceptions:

        1. access to the lock box is thumbprint or fingerprint access only. there are boxes out there that can be programmed with at least 6 sets of prints and there are probably other boxes that can take on more. So there is no concern about memorizing codes or trying to enter a code in a critical situation. stick your thumb or finger on the pad and you have access. Amazon, $127.00.

        2. oh no, I won’t agree about displaying the poster. If someone is unbalanced enough to WANT to do harm, they are not ”right thinking” anyway and will push through that risk by any means to get to the end.

        3. CCDW on bus drivers would have to be everyone of them……….as the kids will figure it out as to who does and who doesn’t have CCDW status.

        4. I believe you when you say you CCDW and no one knows it. But if you are in a school environment, 5 days a week for 9 months, do you actually think you can conceal for that long? Do you want to have to worry about that conceal situation everyday. Do you want to realize that what you wear is predicated on maintaining your CCDW status……….I was stopped by a high school teacher last nite when I left and she told me that her feeling was that the students would have the CCDW figured out within 2 weeks. That’s pretty extreme. But is you are around the same people in the same environment, they’re going to notice, you’re going to make that mistake and you will have been exposed.

        keep it up. I’m going to work just as hard at this as I can. What I don know is what have to have our teachers as the first line of defense, and they have to be armed. Right now the biggest hiccup is the Board of Education and my frustration with C. Ed Massey is beyond civil conversation.

        keep on, keep on.

        send me your email address so I can send an attachment.


        • Thanks for the continued discussion. Responding to your points in order:

          1 – I am aware of biometric safes. Have you seen that they can be compromised?

          2 – yep, I think we are aligned. The sign will deter some – but those that are truly “around the bend” will need to be stopped by what the sign is advertising.

          3 – having some good discussions with bus drivers. Expanding the program to them is a good idea and will need some more thought to think about things like defensive driving, etc.

          4 – You asked me a question and my answer is yes. I have carried around the same people for years and no one has noticed (again, at least so far as I know – important caveat). And yes, I do have to dress around my gun – and yes, that is harder for women. No one said that this would be a sacrifice free program. An entire module of the course is dedicated to deep concealment and that includes dress options. As I said before I am not a teacher so I accept that their day to day circumstances are different than mine – however, I still would like to hear from a teacher that is also a CCDW holder. I think they would be the best to comment on whether they think they could stay concealed at school if they were allowed to carry.

  2. Though unable to attend the meeting, I have been following this issue in the media. While I support the POST initiative, I believe Mike’s lock box idea is more compatible with the educational environment as long as the lock boxes were in the trained worker’s vicinity. In addition, I would have the lock box automatically send a signal to office and/or PD when opened. Time/distance discussion seems legit on surface however I am not certain how big of an issue that really is in terms of response time and its effect. If 5% or so of teachers are in the POST program, odds are an armed employee will not be the first to encounter the shooter (i.e. it’s not a quick draw scenario) and thus, there will be a time/response delay anyway. Adding 30-45 more secs would prob. not hurt deterrent effect and am not sure it would be that detrimental to providing an effective response against the shooter. The risk (or risk perception)/reward ratio is such that the lock boxes may be most reasonable alternative. Please keep up the public discussion, it is important!! Also, please do not fall into the trap of letting perfect become the enemy of a good alternative. Best wishes!

    • Ken – thanks for the additional comments. Certainly some things to think about. Again, I do welcome this sort of testing / thinking since it will only make the overall concept stronger.

      There may be something to the math / probability angle you are taking – will give it some more thought. The one additional concern though that popped into my head though with what you describe is cost. I accept the fact that there is nothing more precious than a child’s life, however I am also trying to come up with something that will get by the fiscal realities we face in today’s school districts. To make the lock-box approach work, wouldn’t you need more than one gun per teacher to have adequate access? And then how much more would the boxes (and the maintenance of the boxes) cost than holsters, belts, etc?

      Again, I am not trying to say its a bad idea – just testing.

  3. This plan was developed by highly trained professionals with first hand knowledge and experience in violent armed encounters. Not on thoughts or feelings.

    For those thinking students will know who is armed and who is not I offer this test.
    Let us train 5 teachers on concealment then put them in school carrying a concealed blue gun (these are plastic training tools). Then we will find out if the students know who is carrying.

    Also let us not forget these shooters are cowards they are not looking for a gun fight. They target known gun free zones and shoot themselves when confronted with an armed response.

  4. Keith, you some others keep bringing up a test but you. Moppet elf miss the point. We are not talking about a chance encounter to determine who is carrying and who is not. We are talking kids that will be involved, observing and figuring out exactly who is carrying they will have the opportunity to do this 5 days a week, for 9 months! A teacher stopped me after the meeting and commented that she was confident that the students would have the identities within 2-3 weeks. It’s not like it is a passing by chance, these teachers are in close proximity and in constant contact with students. Once CCDW is established I’m willing to bet they make it a contest to determine who the CCDW individuals. Then the question becomes, with the loss of anonymity, the teacher now has a target on their back. Will they need to opt out of the program? Remember, these teachers are exposed to these students 5 days a week, 9 months. Teachers need to be careful what they wear, how they sit, where they sit and how they do or do not move about so as not To expose the fact they are carrying and where. What teacher wants that stress and responsibility when it is not necessary. That’s the point.

  5. interesting that Defcon accessed via the key option AND NOT the fingerprint. I’m not a proponent of a key option. I only did a brief research on the different types of biobox systems but I have to feel there is a secure fingerprint system that will work. The Amazon one, not particularly the one I would think would work has capacity of (6) different sets of prints……$175.00.

    let’s just keep on keep on.

    I sent my observation/proposal with Joe Kalil. Eventually I want to post it just so people see it as an option. If you haven’t read it yet……do so, I’m just as hard on my own proposal as I am on POST.

  6. Mike C,

    I’m not sure of your background or if you currently have a CCDW. I have had my KY CCDW since 1997 (the year this was established in KY) I am also a certified firearms instructor and carry on a daily basis.

    I have never bought special clothes nor am I careful of what I wear. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy. I carry concealed to church and every other place I go that I’m legally allowed to do so. I have never been asked if I’m carrying nor has anyone ever felt or known that I was. I mention church because we sit very close to one another and are hugged on a regular basis in that environment.

    I also worked on the admin staff for a school district in Ohio for a year and my office was in the High School right next to the resource officers office.

    Now that you know I speak from experience and not from some generalized feelings on a subject I know nothing about let’s talk about the test I proposed.

    When the teachers volunteer for this program to ease the minds of those of you thinking the students will find out who is carrying. Let’s train the teachers on how to conceal and what that actually means. Then set them up with the exact holster and a blue training replica of the actual firearm they will be carrying. We can have them in class for your hypothetical 2 to 3 week time frame or longer.

    This will prove to you that the students will not know who is carrying. Also, remember these teachers are volunteers who want to do this and are fully aware of the stress and responsibility. They are for the program and ready to be trained and have to pass the rigorous screening process before they are allowed to carry in class.

  7. I believe you in every situation that you have mentioned, but I’m not convinced for the same reasons I have mentioned a done other observation. First, sitting in a pee at church is one time a week. Teachers are exposed to students to teachers all day, 5 days a week, 9 months of the year I believe it is a dangerous game to play.

    Second, I doubt seriously and realistically if someone will actually call you out if they happen to recognize that you are carrying. Can’t imagine someone right out of the blue walking up to you and ask, ” just curious, are you carrying a concealed weapon ?”. No, they are more likely to hide the fact that they even know….. And this is from my own personal experience down in Red Hill,KY. We happen to be on a trail ride when we came upon other riders who were friends of those we were riding with. It was not obvious to my daughter or her boyfriend, but I did see that 3-4 of those riders were carrying, in a concealed manner. Maybe not to the standards that you are familiar with but none the less, sitting on a horse, maneuvering over the trail provided just enough for me t make that determination.

    Third, why put that sort of stress on teachers thru the entire school year. Sure they volunteered, but why add to the stress of CCDW when it is not necessary nor productive. Sure you feel comfortable in most of your situations but you haven’t provided an environment that these teachers have gone thru. 2 weeks is like comparing 2 years to a life time. You’re asking them to do this the entire school year, everyday with the same students in the same classrooms.

    The question still remains the same, what happens when a teacher is discovered to be carrying? Are they retired from the program as we surely can’t ask them to continue with that sort of target on their back.

    The lockbox proposal can stand on its own merits. Though not as accessible as CCDW,and we are only talking seconds, it is still effective and takes the everyday stress of CCDW off the teachers.

  8. I figure I would put my thoughts in on your concern with the teachers concealing a firearm and the students noticing.

    I also have had my CCDW for many years now in which I carry every day that I am legally able to and I have never been second looked or noticed when I am carrying by anyone.

    The term “Concealed” is just that. If you can see someones firearm while they have it on their person they are not conceal carrying.

    With that being said my wife has also recently ( the past 2 years ) been carrying with her CCDW every day. She does not have to think about what she has to wear to properly conceal nor has she ever been “stressed” by the means of her carrying a firearm due to either if someone will notice or what to wear while doing so. My wife is a “normal” sized lady meaning she could be used as a very good example of a female carrying a weapon ( however that should never be stereotyped or categorized as there are MANY women carrying )

    With all this being said if this program can offer the teacher both male and female the proper training with a firearm and the proper ways of concealment. That training along with the knowledge of the massive available holsters type in both materiel and location of carry, the teacher would never have any issue with the kids or anyone else noticing they are carrying or “printing”

    In today’s world its so common for people to have gadgets and items attached to them be a cell phone case or other personal item, no one second guesses or even thinks about it. I for one have never looked at anyone and asked myself ” I wonder if that tiny bulge behind that persons shirt is a firearm or not?”

    Mike you also mentioned “The question still remains the same, what happens when a teacher is discovered to be carrying? Are they retired from the program as we surely can’t ask them to continue with that sort of target on their back.”

    In my opinion in that matter, Nothing will happen if they are “discovered” to be carrying. I do not see how this would make anyone a target. The knowledge of the teachers to be carrying is statically shown to defer any threat AWAY from that person. The same reason why as mentioned banks with armed guards or any place with armed guards are NOT the targets of any active shooter threats.

    Also in reference to your sign posting comment a sign that simple says “No guns allowed” Does NOT have the same effect as a sign that says ” Teachers are Armed and Trained” They are two completely different signs. One tells the threat I am free to do whatever I please because NO ONE is allowed to carry guns.. thus I have the upper hand here…. And one tells the threat Hmm this school has xx amount of teachers that are armed… I certainly think my chances of doing damage here are very slim. ( with that being said while yes this program is a great start I think the effects of it will not be seen as a full success until all or the majority of the schools have this program, as a threat would then target the schools that do NOT have this program or one similar to it in effect)

    Also As for “but why add to the stress of CCDW when it is not necessary nor productive”

    That is the whole goal of this program. Carrying a firearm is your right in which you will hold the responsibility to protect yourself and anyone under the law you are able to do so from a threat. It is very necessary to arm more good citizens especially in the name of our children.

  9. I would like to hear more discussion about the mobile aspects of this program. To imagine 60 – 66 souls confined within a vehicle being used as a captured audience and each one being visuallized as a “point” for these crazed individuals. I think we need to realize and consider the exposure our transportation employees encounter with not only the in school situations but also the general public during the collecting of our precious cargo. Remember safety and security begins from the assigned bus stops to the safe return home. I am a CCWD in public safety and remain confident we are on the right track here.

    • DC – I agree that this is an area of the program that needs some more definition. We have done some initial thinking about it and talking with some other schools and instructors. There would be no harm in having school bus drivers becoming post certified, however to fully address their needs some specific additional training would need to be developed, focused on topics like situational awareness, defensive driving and maintaining control. I think its definitely an area that needs some more attention.

  10. I have found this discussion very interesting. It’s beginning to sound like the very children we’re hoping to protect could turn out to be the greatest threat. If that’s the case, then how do the teachers survive without being armed?

    Please realize I say this with tounge in cheek, however, given that today’s student are most likely brighter than most would give them credit, they are still, just like the rest of us, subject to human nature, and most assuredly, curiosity.

    No one can deny that the news has most likely spread throughout the halls of every school in the commonwealth by this time, because it is a fact that Boone County is not the only school system in Kentucky that is mulling over this issue. But, I am pretty confident that the entire student body aren’t in conference planning an uprising.

    Perhaps it would first be prudent to look at why these students would set out on a quest to uncover who the clandestine teachers might be. “Curiosity”. Curiosity of something that has been deliberately withheld from them, also, curiosity of something that they do not have a working knowledge of. The reason they do not have a working knowledge is because no one has offered to teach them. This, by the way, is perhaps the reason that so many adults are having trouble grasping the concept of this program.

    Maybe we should look at including the students in this plan. Explain to them (as if they wouldn’t already know) that this program is to insure their safety, that the information of who is or isn’t carrying can not be known because it would decrease its effectiveness as well as present a safety issue. Make sure they understand the rigorous training as well as the responsibility involved in being an armed volunteer. Anyway, if the concern that the students are smart enough to figure out who is carrying a gun, then it seems reasonable to gain their respect and enlist their help to ensure the program would succeed.

    And since we’re talking about the intelligent level of the students, to think that a student couldn’t compromise a lock box, should greviously insult any self-respecting twelve year old. I recently had a Locksmith show me just how easy it is to open a lockbox and I quickly realized that secure, they are not.

    Now back to the curiosity factor. It seems strange to me that our society has adopted a “no gun anywhere near our children policy”, but we have no problem allowing them to watch guns being used (most often than not improperly) on TV and at the Movies, and let us not forget the carnage they produce on their computer games, and yet we never address the curiosity factor after the fact. We are content to just tell them that guns are bad. Well, yea, they’re bad alright, you should have seen what it did to that guy on the computer.

    We are convinced that our children are far to irresponsible and it is far to dangerous to expose them to firearms. Instead, we have no problem sitting them in a four wheel projectile, handing them a cell phone and sending them out into a blaze of other four wheel projectiles. But wait, that’s different, they went to school to learn how to drive. Hmmmm, that’s an interesting concept, perhaps….maybe….what if we send them to a gun safety class, then they could gain a proper knowledge of firearms, obtain a healthy respect of guns and what they’re capible of and in the process tame the beast we call the “curiosity factor”.

    Now before someone catapults out of their chair and hits their head on the ceiling, Firearms Safety Education has a proven track record and it works.

    Folks, we’re all in this together, like it or not. We have all seen the result of passively addressing a murderous rampage. The statistics and the professionals agree without question, when the time comes (and we all pray it never does) two things are a certainty; time is not on your side, decision’s and actions must happen almost simultaneously; and the threat must be addressed aggressively and deciessively. Preparation is the key. The training and the tools must be at hand, there will be no time to run and get either. Law Enforcement across this great land of ours has learned much over the last 20 years about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to defending school children, more than the average citizen can even imagine, and for them to come and recommend that arming teachers is the most effective means of defense, should tell us that they are convinced that nothing else will work.

    Again, the statistics and the professional opinions are right in front of us. Could it be our children are in danger while we continue to over think what is already a proven fact. I certainly hope and pray we don’t think to long, for the childrens sake.

  11. Tom A,

    Well thought out and well articulated. However, I think it’s a bit idealistic to think we’d have a better than majority of the student body on board for such cooperation. Every week, nah, almost everyday we hear about a bulling issue. Why does this have to exist in our schools? The answer to this is the same as asking for cooperation in CCDW. There always is a “fringe” out there that only see it their way!

    However, I can see your point, it’s just a little too far for me to believe there would be such cooperation and understanding and I am not a pessimist, more of a realist.

    Regarding lockboxes, please understand that the type I am proposing are FINGERPRINT access only and are securely anchored or embedded in the wall. Sure it’s possible students could remove a lock box with the right tools, time and cloaked in anonimity (breaking in at night. This is not going to happen during school session). And we would hope school security systems would kick in before such action got very far.

    Let’s just continue to work thru this, but I, for one still cannot figure out how any plan works for the buses. CCDW for every bus driver? I don’t think so. Those who don’t carry, they become the target.

  12. Tom A. Tom, I read all the pro and con articles regarding the program and your reasoning and comments are by far the most logical. It was said that we are all in this together. Including the students in just about all factions of the program will certainly enhance the possibility of success. I believe they are sensible enough to realize this is all for their protection and will do more to help than to harm. Thanks for your viewpoint. Jim McH

  13. Mike C.,

    I have not read your lock box proposal but wanted to ask you. Will the lock boxes be concealed somehow or hidden? The reason I ask is your concern about students figuring out who is carrying. Won’t the students be aware of where the lock boxes are located and couldn’t a student just target those lock boxes and the staff that try to access those lock boxes.

  14. The answer is……..they are not hidden….but I suppose they could be, but we all know how kids are today. If you hide it….they’ll make a game to find it!

    However, these lock boxes are FLUSH mounted to the wall, so that there are no handles to pull just a single hinged door. there would be a pad for you to stick your thumb or specific finger on to gain access. These boxes are FINGERPRINT/THUMBPRINT accessible only. No codes to remember or fumble thru in case of a disaster.Schools already have security systems in place to prevent or reduce break ins after hours.

    I like this concept because it still provides trained teachers, who know where the boxes are, have been trained as to what to do, where to go, in the lock boxes is a fully loaded semi-automatic, extra magazine AND a color coded arm band and maybe a head band. ONLY the police department knows the color of the bands and in this way can identify the good guys from the bad guys.

    This concept takes away the issue of our teachers carrying loaded concealed weapons and just as importantly, our students figuring out who is carrying a weapon.

    If you were at the meeting last night, it was sooo tilted to those against guns in our schools, well, so am I and Joe Kalil, POST. But today, bullying and all other behavior problems have brought us to this point. I was terribly disappointed not to have 3 minutes to publicly enter my proposition into the public record. I need to find another way to let people know there is another way to provide FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE (FLD) in our schools without waiting on law enforcement.

    This proposal has its draw backs but I believe the benefits far out way these drawbacks.

    I know that teachers that would be in the POST program without the LOCK BOX program will be put in a daily situation that they do not need to be in and will be a distraction for both teachers and students.

    what happens when a teacher is discovered to be ”carrying” in the POST program, are they forced out of the program as now they are a ”target”?

    With my proposal, there is total anonymity for the students, as there is no guessing
    game as to who is carrying and where the gun is being carried. Teachers go about their business of teaching.

    POST will tell you that it requires time to get to the lock boxes. I agree, this proposal is not as immediate but we are talking only seconds…….maybe 5-10 seconds and our teachers will now be protecting….not their students….but their children.

    It is a more expensive proposition than the straight forward POST, but what I propose is a one time expenditure. I’m guessing for all (24) schools $25,000.00 to $35,000.00….and I believe this is a high estimate as these lock boxes are already available on the market.

    Taking the stress away from the teachers for 5 days a week for 9 months seems a good trade off for prevention that may never take place.

    I will say this. To think that some sort of ”Evacuation” program that Bill Fletcher spent half the time last night discussing is simply flawed. Our children cannot out run a bullet. What we can do is develop a program that allows the FLD to be on the premises. For me, I want that, whether my proposal or POST, I don’t care. For a teacher to stand in front of her ”children” with nothing to defend them with when a perpetrator enters the school is just not right. If that teacher has a hand gun, teamed with others, there’s a pretty good chance the worst will be avoided.

    Last night showed a lack of interest in what the public thinks. Somehow, I’m going to get this proposal out to the public. We avoided a tragedy in 1994 at Ryle but I don’t think we want to push our luck or blessings. We need a plan and its not running from bullets.

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