Arming Teachers and Administrators in “Gun Free Zones” (already a reality)

…Because predators didn’t get the memo

Yea, I know. When are you going to move on, Richard? Maybe now. Yea, I know. This is so polarized, what’s the point? Biting social commentary is the point, always. Thinking is the point, always. Nothing out of bounds for consideration is the point, always. The Internet and self information gathering and education is the point, always. Living your own life for your own sake and by your own calculated means is the point, always. Resisting all who would compel, restrict, and outlaw your rational endeavors in seeing to your own life is the point, always.

This is not about guns per se. It’s about effective self defense and defense of the defenseless like children, who by nature depend upon our competent stewardship—life & death to them—and not so much on our pathetic, ideological, ineffective-to-task-at-hand whip cracking at their expense. Wankers.

Commenter DJ dropped a bomb that I woke up to this morning. The understated, humble title of the post truly belies its importance: An opinion on gun control. What it is, is a roughly 10,000 word exposé on the whole enchilada of gun control; reasoned analysis of the various proposals to limit gun violence from a current novelist with a gun-rich past. His article is apparently making quite the rounds

Larry Correia is the New York Times bestselling author of the Monster Hunter International series, the Grimnoir Chronicles, and the thriller Dead Six.

…However, before that I owned a gun store. We were a Title 7 SOT, which means we worked with legal machineguns, suppresors, and pretty much everything except for explosives. We did law enforcement sales and worked with equipment that is unavailable from most dealers, but that means lots and lots of government inspections and compliance paperwork. This means that I had to be exceedingly familiar with federal gun laws, and there are a lot of them. I worked with many companies in the gun industry and still have many friends and contacts at various manufacturers. When I hear people tell me the gun industry is unregulated, I have to resist the urge to laugh in their face.

I was also a Utah Concealed Weapons instructor, and was one of the busiest instructors in the state. That required me to learn a lot about self-defense laws, and because I took my job very seriously, I sought out every bit of information that I could. My classes were longer than the standard Utah class, and all of that extra time was spent on Use of Force, shoot/no shoot scenarios, and role playing through violent encounters. I have certified thousands of people to carry guns.

I have been a firearms instructor, and have taught a lot of people how to shoot defensively with handguns, shotguns, and rifles. For a few years of my life, darn near every weekend was spent at the range. I started out as an assistant for some extremely experienced teachers and I also had the opportunity to be trained by some of the most accomplished firearms experts in the world. The man I stole most of my curriculum from was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Special Forces, turned federal agent SWAT team commander. I took classes in everything from wound ballistics (10 hours of looking at autopsy slides) to high-speed cool-guy door-kicking stuff. I’ve worked extensively with military and law enforcement personnel, including force on force training where I played the OpFor (i.e. I got to be the bad guy, because I make an awesome bad guy. You tell me how evil/capable you want me to be, and how hard you want your men to work, and I’d make it happen, plus I can take a beating). Part of this required learning how mass shooters operate and studying the heck out of the actual events.

I have been a competition shooter. I competed in IPSC, IDPA, and 3gun. It was not odd for me to reload and shoot 1,000 rounds in any given week. I fired 20,000 rounds of .45 in one August alone. I’ve got a Remington 870 with approximately 160,000 rounds through it. I’ve won matches, and I’ve been able to compete with some of the top shooters in the country. I am a very capable shooter. I only put this here to convey that I know how shooting works better than the vast majority of the populace.

I have written for national publications on topics relating to gun law and use of force. I wrote for everything from the United States Concealed Carry Association to SWAT magazine. I was considered a subject matter expert at the state level, and on a few occasions was brought in to testify before the Utah State Legislature on the ramifications of proposed gun laws. I’ve argued with lawyers, professors, professional lobbyists, and once made a state rep cry.

Basically for most of my adult life, I have been up to my eyeballs in guns, self-defense instruction, and the laws relating to those things. So believe me when I say that I’ve heard every argument relating to gun control possible. It is pretty rare for me to hear something new, and none of this stuff is new.

Feel free to dismiss him out of hand as biased, which he admits to. What you can’t claim, however, is that he doesn’t know his subject material. The article is actually written in English, makes arguments, and so I can’t see how anyone would be subject to magical mind control. The only ones for whom such a reasoned article would be a waste, are those who don’t hold anti-gun positions based upon reason…because it’s impossible to reason a person out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

Much to my surprise, however, I learned that my initial idea in my first post (Don’t Worry: When Seconds Count, the Cops Are Only Minutes Away—a phrase he uses in his essay), that willing and able teachers and administrators ought to be armed, is already a reality in Utah, thanks to his countless hours of donated time & effort.

Armed Teachers

So now that there is a new tragedy the president wants to have a “national conversation on guns”. Here’s the thing. Until this national conversation is willing to entertain allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, then it isn’t a conversation at all, it is a lecture.

Now when I say teachers carrying concealed weapons on Facebook I immediately get a bunch of emotional freak out responses. You can’t mandate teachers be armed! Guns in every classroom! Emotional response! Blood in the streets!

No. Hear me out. The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again.

Police are awesome. I love working with cops. However any honest cop will tell you that when seconds count they are only minutes away. After Colombine law enforcement changed their methods in dealing with active shooters. It used to be that you took up a perimeter and waited for overwhelming force before going in. Now usually as soon as you have two officers on scene you go in to confront the shooter (often one in rural areas or if help is going to take another minute, because there are a lot of very sound tactical reasons for using two, mostly because your success/survival rates jump dramatically when you put two guys through a door at once. The shooter’s brain takes a moment to decide between targets). The reason they go fast is because they know that every second counts. The longer the shooter has to operate, the more innocents die.

However, cops can’t be everywhere. There are at best only a couple hundred thousand on duty at any given time patrolling the entire country. Excellent response time is in the three-five minute range. We’ve seen what bad guys can do in three minutes, but sometimes it is far worse. They simply can’t teleport. So in some cases that means the bad guys can have ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes to do horrible things with nobody effectively fighting back.

So if we can’t have cops there, what can we do?

The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started. [emphasis added]

The teachers are there already. The school staff is there already. Their reaction time is measured in seconds, not minutes. They can serve as your immediate violent response. Best case scenario, they engage and stop the attacker, or it bursts his fantasy bubble and he commits suicide. Worst case scenario, the armed staff provides a distraction, and while he’s concentrating on killing them, he’s not killing more children.

But teachers aren’t as trained as police officers! True, yet totally irrelevant. The teacher doesn’t need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps.

But this leads to the inevitable shrieking and straw man arguments about guns in the classroom, and then the pacifistic minded who simply can’t comprehend themselves being mandated to carry a gun, or those that believe teachers are all too incompetent and can’t be trusted. Let me address both at one time.

Don’t make it mandatory. In my experience, the only people who are worth a darn with a gun are the ones who wish to take responsibility and carry a gun. Make it voluntary. It is rather simple. Just make it so that your state’s concealed weapons laws trump the Federal Gun Free School Zones act. All that means is that teachers who voluntarily decide to get a concealed weapons permit are capable of carrying their guns at work. Easy. Simple. Cheap. Available now.

Then they’ll say that this is impossible, and give me all sorts of terrible worst case scenarios about all of the horrors that will happen with a gun in the classroom… No problem, because this has happened before. In fact, my state laws allow for somebody with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a school right now. Yes. Utah has armed teachers. We have for several years now. [emphasis added]

When I was a CCW instructor, I decided that I wanted more teachers with skin in the game, so I started a program where I would teach anybody who worked at a school for free. No charge. Zip. [emphasis added] They still had to pay the state for their background check and fingerprints, but all the instruction was free. I wanted more armed teachers in my state. [emphasis added]

I personally taught several hundred teachers. I quickly discovered that pretty much every single school in my state had at least one competent, capable, smart, willing individual. [emphasis added] Some schools had more. I had one high school where the principal, three teachers, and a janitor showed up for class. They had just had an event where there had been a threat against the school and their resource officer had turned up AWOL. This had been a wake up call for this principal that they were on their own, and he had taken it upon himself to talk to his teachers to find the willing and capable. Good for them.

After Virginia Tech, I started teaching college students for free as well. They were 21 year old adults who could pass a background check. Why should they have to be defenseless?  None of these students ever needed to stop a mass shooting, but I’m happy to say that a couple of rapists and muggers weren’t so lucky, so I consider my time well spent.

Over the course of a couple years I taught well over $20,000 worth of free CCW classes. I met hundreds and hundreds of teachers, students, and staff. All of them were responsible adults who understood that they were stuck in target rich environments filled with defenseless innocents. Whether they liked it or not, they were the first line of defense. It was the least I could do. [emphasis fucking ADDED!]

Permit holders are not cops. The mistake many people make is that they think permit holders are supposed to be cops or junior danger rangers. Not at all. Their only responsibility is simple. If someone is threatening to cause them or a third person serious bodily harm, and that someone has the ability, opportunity, and is acting in a manner which suggest they are a legitimate threat, then that permit holder is allowed to use lethal force against them.

As of today the state legislatures of Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are looking at revamping their existing laws so that there can be legal guns in school. For those that are worried these teachers will be unprepared, I’m sure there would be no lack of instructors in those states who’d be willing to teach them for free.

For everyone, if you are sincere in your wish to protect our children, I would suggest you call your state representative today and demand that they allow concealed carry in schools.

There; that’s for the hero files, as well as the hand-wringing helpless Mogan (and Piers Moron) files.

Go read this whole thing, and then, all you gun folks, get to it like this hero did, get some teachers trained as competent defenders of their charge, and let’s get on with life in the FUCK YOU! way that we ought to.

Oh, and one more thing. Go ahead and tell Larry Correia, me, or anyone else arguing these social issues in my comments that they care more about gun rights than in effective protection of defenseless children we are solemnly charged to protect—all of us, as human beings. The reality is that King Bush I has child blood on his hands, as does Clinton, King Bush II, and now Obama: Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.

Gun Free Zones

Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period.

Exactly. Please stop being so stupid. It annoys me. You’re on your own.

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More


  1. AJ on December 21, 2012 at 12:46

    Great writing Richard and I look forward to reading the entire piece by Larry Correia.

    There is logic and knowledge is in your piece, but unfortunately the debate being driven by the media, Hollywood and politicians is 100% EMOTION driven .

    Keep at it Richard, you will get through to some sheep eventually.


  2. Tim Starr on December 21, 2012 at 13:00

    Ab-so-fucking’-lutely right. I’ve been saying this since the mid-90s or so. I’m glad to see the idea gaining traction, thanks to the efforts of better people than me.

  3. rob on December 21, 2012 at 13:03

    My plan for dealing with the school shooting horror is to do absolutely nothing because when you divide 300,000,000 by 20 you get a really small number.

    What everyone else is going to do about the school shooting horror is to throw a lot of money at it, which will do absolutely nothing to prevent the next school shooting horror.

    /But … but … WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!
    //No we don’t

    • Richard Nikoley on December 21, 2012 at 13:16

      I’m advocating for doing less.

      • Joseph on December 23, 2012 at 21:14

        Religion can help here, in a real way. Praying to Santa Claus and holding a candlelight vigil for the departed is less harmful overall than enacting a bunch of stupid legislation that isn’t going to do anything (except maybe make it harder for concerned citizens to protect themselves from being the next victims on the altar of “good government”).

    • Rob O. on January 6, 2013 at 05:47

      Right! As tragic as the shooting was, it occurred at 1 elementary school out of more than 90,000 in the U.S. We can’t afford to throw good resources after bad to address that miniscule stat.

  4. Daniel Kirsner on December 21, 2012 at 14:08

    In the wake of the CT shooting Mayor Bloomberg and Dr. Robert Lustig have joined forces to push for a Spoon Buyback Program to combat obesity. I wish them luck.

  5. Alex on December 21, 2012 at 14:53

    I’m actually glad you’ve devoted the amount of blog space to this issue that you have. It’s something that needs to be discussed, and positions need to be stated clearly. It’s not enough to feel something here; there has to be a sound argument behind those emotions. Guns are scary/cool doesn’t do shit. And while I can only speak for myself, I can say that you’ve moved me very close to your side on this issue. I’ve never handled a gun myself, and come from a pretty lefty family. So it probably isn’t surprising that I’ve always sympathized with the “ban everything” side of things. I can’t say that I’m going to go out, get the training, and get a gun. But I can say I’m considering it, and that’s something I would not have done previously. I’ve examined my previous position, and found my reasons for holding it wanting.

    In any case, back to potatoes.

  6. beans mcgrady on December 21, 2012 at 16:32

    Keep it up if you want to Richard.
    This one takes the cake though. I have been having this argument elsewhere, and have come across most of the information he puts together in a number of places, but whenever I find something like this that has it all in one place I get pretty excited. One link, all the info, only fools can really disagree.
    So thanks.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 21, 2012 at 18:24


      i hear you. yea, over the years i’ve agued many of those same things in similar or exact ways. to have it all in one nice place, well written, is really a gift.

  7. Corey on December 21, 2012 at 16:54

    The FBI knows that terrorist groups want to target our gun free schools… and the PTB seems to be fine with that??? WTF?? I guess its a win-win for them, another crisis to use to their advantage.

    From the teachers point of view it would be hard to have the responsibility to protect children and yet be completely unable to do so. All teachers do not need to be armed to be a deterrent; just enough that these homicidal types can’t play out their mind fantasies to their twisted definition of success.

  8. chris on December 21, 2012 at 19:44

    in venezuela the left (chavez) is in favor of militias and weapons for the people and farmers
    and the right are against that
    ironic, eh?
    actually, there are several reasons. farmers being killed, the 2002 coup, etc

  9. Linda Sand on December 21, 2012 at 21:05

    I sent a link to this to my friend who teaches gun safety. Maybe you guys have started a movement. I can only hope so. Just because I, personally, couldn’t shoot a person doesn’t mean I don’t think there are some out there that need shooting.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2012 at 10:31


      I think it’s perfectly alright to delegate the task of offing a predator to those of us who not only could but would absolutely delight and take pride on it. Blood lust.

      • Joseph on December 23, 2012 at 21:12

        Idiots would think more carefully if they lived in the world of my grandfathers, a world in which predators were likely to be killed as soon as they were recognized. The US population is larger now than then, yes, but not really that much larger (I think: maybe Taleb can correct me by showing that we have passed a bottleneck, such that a few more people in our world makes a nonlinear difference in security; I am open to that possibility). Back in the day, people all had guns, knives, clubs, the works, and they all knew how to use them (from regular practice, much of it as part of routine farm work that they all did growing up, even the ones who moved to the city eventually). You didn’t walk into a school and start unloading because someone, anyone, was really likely to take you down on the spot. The kind of low-level violence that these idiots represent was something to which communities back than had better immunity. The average Joe was a better policeman (and it actually made sense to speak of “the citizen’s arrest” as something real). Nowadays, we train ourselves to be helpless, not because this makes us safer, but because it makes things more convenient for those in charge (allowing them to “do things” for us and justify the ever-increasing tribute they need for their outrageous benefits and bail-out programs). We might experience less violence in some places than formerly, true (even when I was a kid, school-yard fights were normal: I took it all as a matter of course, trying to make sure that I never initiated or engaged without a good exit strategy; learning martial arts really did help; today, kids are not supposed to fight, ever). But this just makes us weaker and more vulnerable when violence does erupt (as it always does). And we get generations of people who don’t understand violence and pain from a real-word perspective. No surprise that they lack the ability to respond well under pressure.

  10. DJ on December 21, 2012 at 22:06

    You’re welcome, Richard. I knew after I finished reading the piece that it was the best essay I’d ever seen on the subject… written by someone that knows exactly what he’s talking about. He’s not sitting up on high somewhere in DC, he’s down in the trenches with the rest of us.

    He addresses most of the myths around gun control… which I loved. He also got into defining an “assault” weapon and how it’s just a fucking arbitrary label applied to whatever gun the media or it’s ilk decides they want to ban.

  11. Jason on December 22, 2012 at 08:45

    This isn’t about kids, it’s about raping the second amendment. There is nothing but logic in what you said, but they’re not interested in logic. This is an attack on an emotionally vulnerable mass of ignorant people. It’s an opportunity to exploit ignorance and strip away one of the few things that make us fundamentally different as a people. The most disappointing thing is how large a percentage of the population doesn’t even try to think it through.

  12. AJ on December 22, 2012 at 16:41

    Richard posts about a potato and gets 150 comments.

    Richard posts a logical and realistic opinion on self defense for the defenseless and the sound of crickets.

    Just goes to show just how much the media has neutered the public on issues they deem off limits and too taboo to debate.

    Emotion and fear rule the sheep.

    Thought and survival drive the wolf.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2012 at 18:31


      The cool thing is I still get 100k new eyeballs on the blog per month. New. First time visitors. 1% taking a closer look is 1000 people.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2012 at 18:44

      But, not to detract from your point, it is very difficult to keep up the enthusiasm sometimes.

      I do this for free, and you would think that for regular readers they would socialize posts regularly, via the channels. If you ask, yea, they’ll do it,

      But you’re the one writing the blog day after day, so why ought you have to ask?

      I have seriously considered hanging the whole thing up and go make real money again.

      • Joshua on December 23, 2012 at 08:02

        What does socialize a post mean?

        What channels? You talking about the RSS feed?

      • Richard Nikoley on December 23, 2012 at 09:02

        It’s the like button, google plus, stumble upon, that sort of thing. Social networks.

  13. Shane on December 26, 2012 at 16:12

    “The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started.” I agree with the author’s position, but this isn’t a good argument for it. Whatever the means by which civilians stop a shooter, with guns or no, it would take less time than law enforcement, barring the unlikely situation where civilians stop a shooter after law enforcement arrives. Additionally, one could reasonably argue that the reason shootings stopped by law enforcement have more casualties is that the more competent shooters are only capable of being stopped by law enforcement and the less competent shooters are easily stopped by civilians. Correlation does not mean causation.

  14. Renewal | Four Sides on December 31, 2012 at 13:02

    […] Arming Teachers and Administrators – Free the Animal […]

  15. Rob O. on January 6, 2013 at 05:55

    A big concern I have with arming teachers is the blowback that’ll occur -when- there’s an accident. You have even one child killed via friendly fire by a teacher during an attack on his/her classroom and it’ll make Zimmerman look like a picnic in the park. That teacher’s life will be over. That well-intentioned teacher will be crucified!

    We all love the fantasy of Dirty Harry, but we can’t stomach the associated reality of the collateral damages.

  16. grinch on January 24, 2013 at 10:52

    My whole problem with guns is that i dont trust the majority of humans to handle them properly without tragic accidents and arguments escalating into shootings. If you get into an argument its much easier for a law-abiding citizen to pull their gun out and shoot because that one moment they lost control of their emotions. Without that weapon the person has more time to calm down before making such a tragic misake. At least law enforcement have training and authority to diffuse situations.
    Do i agree with gun control as its typically proposed? No but the thought of more people carrying guns in public seems like a bad and scary idea.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 24, 2013 at 14:41


      Why should your uniformed, baseless irrational fear mean a runny shit to me?

      This is the essential problem.

      We need fucking emotion control. That’s what we need. Mind control and logic control and facts control would be good, too.


      FWIW, I’ve been around all kinds of people all my life who had guns. What you want is to be relieved of the responsibility of judging people.

      Here’s a clue: if you regularly spend time around people you would not trust to have a gun, you are a fucking lazy moron and you should get what you deserve so you don’t pass it on to children.

      Now piss off.

  17. grinch on January 24, 2013 at 11:00

    Has any checked stats on gun owners and religious affiliation? I would bet there is a correlation. If people who believe in fairy tales often own guns, then i question their ability to handle them rationally.

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