OK, it is Our Turn to Protest. But Ours has a Purpose and Meaning!

April 7th, in Ocala Florida we hope this is the start of many more to come. And we hope it is not localized to just Ocala. I just heard of one in Alabama on March 21st!

Recently in Florida, the State Legislators and Governor thought it was OK to take away the Constitutional Rights of those Florida adults between the ages of 18 and 20. Also, the walk out of students from school to protest school violence was in the news all over the country (some of which turned violent). Well many people in Florida, and across the nation for that matter, feel that this has gone one step too far. The infringement on our rights and the rights of all law-abiding firearms owners across the nation must stop! We are not the problem, and we should not be the ones whose rights continue to be taken away a little at a time, one age group, one demographic or weapon or magazine at a time.

On April 7th, 2018 on what we hope will be a beautiful Florida Saturday a group of people who believe in the rights of ALL Floridians will gather at a location in Ocala and walk to a local park that has a nice lake for fishing. In Florida, the state law is clear, under F.S.S. 790.25 (3)  LAWFUL USES.—The provisions of ss. 790.053 and 790.06 do not apply in the following instances, and, despite such sections, it is lawful for the following persons to own, possess, and lawfully use firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for lawful purposes: (h) “A person engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition; “ may openly display or wear a firearm. So to show the public at large, the media, and those who think guns are evil and dangerous things, we will be wearing our firearms (both pistols and long guns are welcome, following the 4 cardinal rules of gun safety of course) while walking from our gathering point to a local lake for a little fishing and fellowship. Maybe even a few speeches to be given (maybe one by yours truly!). Then everyone will be taken back to their rides at the starting point.

Many will be carrying flags, many will be carrying those scary AR 15 style rifles, and why? To show anyone who passes and anyone who asks, that they are not the scary, “assault weapons” that many have labeled them. They are no more scary or deadly than other semi-automatic firearms.

Some will ask “What do you hope to accomplish with this demonstration?” What we want to accomplish is to show the public in general that firearms and firearms owners are not scary things to be feared. We want to show people that we are normal everyday citizens just like them, but that we take our own protection and safety as our responsibility, not someone else’s. We want to talk with anyone that will listen to the actual facts behind firearms and supposed firearms violence in the country. We want to be able to spread the FACTS surrounding firearms and firearms crimes, not have the one-sided displays that some in this country call the mainstream media.

We the law abiding firearms owners of Florida, and those that believe in the Constitution will be walking to show our support for the 2nd Amendment, and to make a point to say that we are done allowing our rights to be taken from us. We will be working on future events like this, and also working on making sure that those who gave away our rights (yes yours and mine because aright is for ALL people) will be hearing from us at election time. We are tired of the taking of rights a little at a time, we are tired of the media bias and hate for all things firearms related. It is our turn to get the facts and information out.

So if you want to learn the true facts behind firearms and firearms crime and the talk to regular people that feel very strongly about the rights of all people, I invite you to come out to the park at our destination, bring your fishing pole and join us in a little relaxation, fishing, and fellowship! We would be glad to have you! No one will be violent, no one will be shouting at each other, this is a peaceful, simple demonstration of rights, and having a little fun in the process.

When: April 7th, 2018 at 11:00am. (We start walking at 11am!! Be early!)

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1510 NW 4th Street, Ocala, Florida

To: Tuscawilla Park, 829 NE Sanchez Ave, Ocala, Florida

Route will be provided for. Permit has already been drawn.

Stay tuned to floridafirearmscoalition.com for more information!! You can go here to post your response to this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/171104517023573/

Florida Legislators Pass $400+ MILLION Dollar Bill that Violates 18-20 Year Olds Rights and Other Stupid Things!

Yesterday the Florida Legislature passed SB 7026. A bill entitled ” Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School Public Safety Act” in order to provoke emotional responses and not actual logical thought. A Bill to “do something” even if parts of the bill make no sense or are outright unconstitutional. The introductory summary itself is 11 pages long! That should tell you a little about the bill itself.

A Bill that started out with good intentions took a turn for the worse when legislators started adding things to it in response to emotional pleas and unfounded fears.

This bill lays out training for people that want to be armed in the schools. Called the “Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program”, again an emotional appeal to people. Yes, he was a brave and outstanding human that protected his charges and was a true hero. What about all those that have done the same before him? What it does say is that teachers CANNOT take part in this program. That means other school staff may participate, but not teachers unless they are a veteran or former law enforcement officer. So that means that it will be staff or administrative staff that will be armed. Or others hired to do just this duty. The training the must undergo is the same training in firearms that law enforcement gets in the police academy (I teach this almost daily) and then some additional topics.

While this is a step in the right direction, the legislators could not leave it at that. Then they went on to BAN 18-20-year-olds from buying longs guns from dealers, private sales are not illegal. Now what kind of sense does that make (even though it is federally permitted). Now you say what is wrong with that? If you are an 18-20-year-old you see a lot wrong with it. It is a restriction of your 2nd Amendment rights, to begin with. Our young people who legally are considered adults can serve in the military (where they carry a firearm (rifle and pistol) and operate million or billion dollar equipment are not mature enough to own a rifle of any kind. Oh and let us not forget they can VOTE, which we are hoping they will in the thousands in Florida and let those legislators who voted away their rights know just what they thought of the loss of their rights.

It is obvious that this is an unconstitutional portion of the law. Anyone that has half a brain would have seen this and voted this portion out of the Bill. But no, we have to punish someone, even if they have had nothing to do with the crimes involved. Oh and a minor fact that the average age of the mass murderer of this type is 35, not 18-20.

The Bill also adds language that allows police to break into your home if you are subject to an ex parte order (order to seek mental treatment) and may take all of your firearms and ammunition into custody. While against the idea behind this potion, I am against the way it is written. It places to much burden on the police to be the deciders and they should not be. If your firearms are to be taken into custody it should be decided by the same court that decided you needed to be forcibly taken into custody for an examination. Cops are not psychologist nor are they judges and we do not want to be.

Part of the Bill I applaud is the creation of “community action treatment teams” which will help find and treat those who need it. And any steps in helping the identifying and treatment of mental illness is a HUGE step int he right direction. But it should not be tied to other parts of this Bill.

Also in this bill is a new “written threats to kill” section that would make it an arrestable offense to “or any person who makes, posts, or transmits a threat in a writing or other record, including an electronic record, to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism, in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat” commits a felony. Again this itself is not a bad thing and could have easily been a separate bill that added to the current laws already on the books about such things.

And of course, no anti-rights anti-firearms bill would be complete without banning those terrors of the civilized world “bump stocks”. The minor issues that bump-stocks have never been reported as being used in any mass murder, it is the focus of the uninformed and emotionally driven. The FACT that you do not need a bump stock to make a firearm operate at near or at automatic fire levels and can fire much more accurately without one is of minor consequence.  Here is a link to a short video showing what a practiced shooter can do, without a bump stock and with a standard semi-auto rifle. And of course, never mind the fact that they are outlawing something that makes thousands of Floridians automatically FELONS for simply owning these accessories used in no reported crimes to date. And for those sreaming at the screen “What about Las Vegas?” It has not been reported in any official report from the FBI or other law enforcement that a bump stock was used in that crime. Only that it was found on one of the rifles in the room. So stop screaming.

Legislators tried adding scores and scores of amendments to this already bad bill. Everything from outright gun bans, assault weapons bans, high capacity magazine bans and more. Thank goodness that those did not make it, the original is bad enough.

Now it is on to Gov. Rick Scott to sign or not sign. He has said he will take his time and read all 105 pages of this bill (yes a state law that is 105 pages long!) and hopefully he will see fit to line-item veto the parts of this bill that do not deserve to see the light of day as a law. Gov. Scott, I encourage you to veto the unconstitutional 18-20-year-old ban, the pointless “bump stock” ban that makes felons out of law-abiding citizens n Florida. Line out the pointless 3 days waiting period for all gun sales.

Do this thing and you might have some positive things come out of this debacle of legislation that has done more to show Floridians how emotionally driven and not factually based our laws are. Let’s not address real problems and add in things that just make people feel good and punish law abiding citizens. Shame on our legislators for passing this bill in the form it is. You took 4 days to get very little accomplished. Something that could have been done months or weeks ago, and in fact was proposed by other BIlls, yet since you don’t like other legislators, you decided to try and make your own.

I can’t wait to see how 18-20 years olds vote in the next election. I will be personally asking my college students to make their voices heard!

Here is a link to write to Gov. Scott and let him know what you think about this Bill.

Just how stupid is H.R.5087 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 115th Congress (2017-2018)?

I have gotten many questions about this Bill in the US House. H.R. 5087. What is it trying to ban, what would be illegal or legal? And after reading it, I have discovered that it really was written by people that have no clue how firearms work or how people can use them.

The list of firearms it attempts to make illegal is impressive and long! It first attempts to define that elusive “semiautomatic assault weapon” as a firearm that has any ONE of the following:

(i) A pistol grip.

(ii) A forward grip.

(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.

(iv) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.

(v) A barrel shroud.

(vi) A threaded barrel.

Now if you know anything about firearms you would know that those things would make many common rifles illegal, not just AR 15 type of rifles.

Then they go on to also spell out and make the vast majority of semi-auto pistols illegal, stating that any semiautomatic pistol that can hold more than 10 rounds is bad so how. Now, of course, I am not sure of how they came to that magic number of 10.

Then they go on to list many specific firearms and pistol and yes even shotguns as being illegal:

“All of the following rifles, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:

“(i) All AK types, including the following:

“(I) AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM.


“(III) MAADI AK47 and ARM.

“(IV) Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S.

“(V) Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS.

“(ii) All AR types, including the following:

“(I) AR–10.

“(II) AR–15.

“(III) Alexander Arms Overmatch Plus 16.

“(IV) Armalite M15 22LR Carbine.

“(V) Armalite M15–T.

“(VI) Barrett REC7.

“(VII) Beretta AR–70.

“(VIII) Black Rain Ordnance Recon Scout.

“(IX) Bushmaster ACR.

“(X) Bushmaster Carbon 15.

“(XI) Bushmaster MOE series.

“(XII) Bushmaster XM15.

“(XIII) Chiappa Firearms MFour rifles.

“(XIV) Colt Match Target rifles.

“(XV) CORE Rifle Systems CORE15 rifles.

“(XVI) Daniel Defense M4A1 rifles.

“(XVII) Devil Dog Arms 15 Series rifles.

“(XVIII) Diamondback DB15 rifles.

“(XIX) DoubleStar AR rifles.

“(XX) DPMS Tactical rifles.

“(XXI) DSA Inc. ZM–4 Carbine.

“(XXII) Heckler & Koch MR556.

“(XXIII) High Standard HSA–15 rifles.

“(XXIV) Jesse James Nomad AR–15 rifle.

“(XXV) Knight’s Armament SR–15.

“(XXVI) Lancer L15 rifles.

“(XXVII) MGI Hydra Series rifles.

“(XXVIII) Mossberg MMR Tactical rifles.

“(XXIX) Noreen Firearms BN 36 rifle.

“(XXX) Olympic Arms.


“(XXXII) Precision Firearms AR rifles.

“(XXXIII) Remington R–15 rifles.

“(XXXIV) Rhino Arms AR rifles.

“(XXXV) Rock River Arms LAR–15.

“(XXXVI) Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles and MCX rifles.

“(XXXVII) SKS with a detachable magazine.

“(XXXVIII) Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifles.

“(XXXIX) Stag Arms AR rifles.

“(XL) Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 and AR–556 rifles.

“(XLI) Uselton Arms Air-Lite M–4 rifles.

“(XLII) Windham Weaponry AR rifles.

“(XLIII) WMD Guns Big Beast.

“(XLIV) Yankee Hill Machine Company, Inc. YHM–15 rifles.

“(iii) Barrett M107A1.

“(iv) Barrett M82A1.

“(v) Beretta CX4 Storm.

“(vi) Calico Liberty Series.

“(vii) CETME Sporter.

“(viii) Daewoo K–1, K–2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C.

“(ix) Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000.

“(x) Feather Industries AT–9.

“(xi) Galil Model AR and Model ARM.

“(xii) Hi-Point Carbine.

“(xiii) HK–91, HK–93, HK–94, HK–PSG–1, and HK USC.

“(xiv) IWI TAVOR, Galil ACE rifle.

“(xv) Kel-Tec Sub-2000, SU–16, and RFB.

“(xvi) SIG AMT, SIG PE–57, Sig Sauer SG 550, Sig Sauer SG 551, and SIG MCX.

“(xvii) Springfield Armory SAR–48.

“(xviii) Steyr AUG.

“(xix) Sturm, Ruger & Co. Mini-14 Tactical Rifle M–14/20CF.

“(xx) All Thompson rifles, including the following:

“(I) Thompson M1SB.

“(II) Thompson T1100D.

“(III) Thompson T150D.

“(IV) Thompson T1B.

“(V) Thompson T1B100D.

“(VI) Thompson T1B50D.

“(VII) Thompson T1BSB.

“(VIII) Thompson T1–C.

“(IX) Thompson T1D.

“(X) Thompson T1SB.

“(XI) Thompson T5.

“(XII) Thompson T5100D.

“(XIII) Thompson TM1.

“(XIV) Thompson TM1C.

“(xxi) UMAREX UZI rifle.

“(xxii) UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine.

“(xxiii) Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78.

“(xxiv) Vector Arms UZI Type.

“(xxv) Weaver Arms Nighthawk.

“(xxvi) Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.

“(I) All of the following pistols, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:

“(i) All AK–47 types, including the following:

“(I) Centurion 39 AK pistol.

“(II) CZ Scorpion pistol.

“(III) Draco AK–47 pistol.

“(IV) HCR AK–47 pistol.

“(V) IO Inc. Hellpup AK–47 pistol.

“(VI) Krinkov pistol.

“(VII) Mini Draco AK–47 pistol.

“(VIII) PAP M92 pistol.

“(IX) Yugo Krebs Krink pistol.

“(ii) All AR–15 types, including the following:

“(I) American Spirit AR–15 pistol.

“(II) Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol.

“(III) Chiappa Firearms M4 Pistol GEN II.

“(IV) CORE Rifle Systems CORE15 Roscoe pistol.

“(V) Daniel Defense MK18 pistol.

“(VI) DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol.

“(VII) DPMS AR–15 pistol.

“(VIII) Jesse James Nomad AR–15 pistol.

“(IX) Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol.

“(X) Osprey Armament MK–18 pistol.

“(XI) POF USA AR pistols.

“(XII) Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol.

“(XIII) Uselton Arms Air-Lite M–4 pistol.

“(iii) Calico Liberty pistols.

“(iv) DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol.

“(v) Encom MP–9 and MP–45.

“(vi) Heckler & Koch model SP–89 pistol.

“(vii) Intratec AB–10, TEC–22 Scorpion, TEC–9, and TEC–DC9.

“(viii) IWI Galil Ace pistol, UZI PRO pistol.

“(ix) Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol.

“(x) The following MAC types:

“(I) MAC–10.

“(II) MAC–11.

“(III) Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol.

“(IV) Military Armament Corp. Ingram M–11.

“(V) Velocity Arms VMAC.

“(xi) Sig Sauer P556 pistol.

“(xii) Sites Spectre.

“(xiii) All Thompson types, including the following:

“(I) Thompson TA510D.

“(II) Thompson TA5.

“(xiv) All UZI types, including Micro-UZI.

“(J) All of the following shotguns, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:

“(i) DERYA Anakon MC–1980, Anakon SD12.

“(ii) Doruk Lethal shotguns.

“(iii) Franchi LAW–12 and SPAS 12.

“(iv) All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following:

“(I) IZHMASH Saiga 12.

“(II) IZHMASH Saiga 12S.

“(III) IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP–01.

“(IV) IZHMASH Saiga 12K.

“(V) IZHMASH Saiga 12K–030.

“(VI) IZHMASH Saiga 12K–040 Taktika.

“(v) Streetsweeper.

“(vi) Striker 12.”

That is quite a list of firearms. Many of which HAVE NEVER BEEN USED IN A CRIME. Yet for some reason automatically are considered evil by the authors of this Bill.

So let’s just show how stupid this Bill is. First and foremost it tries to blame an inanimate object for the actions of humans. If we did that to things that kill people we would have laws banning knives (they kill more than rifles each year), and we would make every car have a breathalyzer inside it (DUI’s kill more also). But that logic fails the authors of this bill.

Also if one just looks at the actual facts, you would know that banning things that have never been used to harm anyone, that makes zero sense. The Bill only bans new or future purchases, not any already owned firearm in the list. So exactly what is the intent of this BIll then? Simply put it is to try and reduce the number of available firearms by attrition.

So why is this Bill dangerous? Because if it passes, it is just the start of a slow decline of rights. First they outlaw these firearms (which includes not just rifles but pistols and shotguns also), and then what will stop them from going from 10 rounds to 7 then to 6 and finally to none? What is to stop them from making those firearms “grandfathered in” and making them illegal then? Where do they stop? Once the slide starts, what stops it?

America was founded on the basis that the individual freedoms were more important than the collective group sometimes. That the rights of Americans are vital to a free and just society. Why are people willing to give up freedom for an unknown outcome? Are you willing to give up freedoms for a little security? That sounds very much like Communism or other totalitarian types of societies. Do you want to live in a country where only the government has the weapons and the people lose any means of protecting themselves? Are you willing to rely completely on the police and the government for your protection?

I was a cop for 35+ years, I am also a U.S. Army veteran and I do not and will not allow my family and our safety be completely controlled by the Government. While I was one of those responding to help others, it was most of the time after the fact. After the shooting is over, or the violence has already happened. I cannot tell you how many times I had wished that the victims of the violence I witnessed had been able to fight back, or try and defend themselves.

We, a free people, cannot allow our freedoms to be infringed upon by the government that professes to want to protect us from ourselves? No thank you, I will take my chances by protecting myself and my family. I would rather be armed and never need it, than not armed and a helpless victim, like those I saw while working as a cop. Why can people not see beyond the emotions that the media and very select groups are trying to use against them? I find it hypocritical that those who are trying to ban the very firearms millions of us own, use and carry when they are themselves protected by guess what, armed security. Not all of us are as fortunate, and many of us have to provide our own armed security.

Our founding fathers were a very smart group. They foresaw a time when our society would change and we would need to make sure that words written back then, were able to be understood even now. So they wrote some very easy to understand words into the 2nd Amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

So to all those anti-rights and anti-gun groups and individuals out there who think that outlawing firearms is the answer to all the problems. You have the right to feel that way, and you have permission not to buy any firearms ever. But your fear and lack of knowledge do not outweigh my right to purchase, possess and carry a firearm. We both have our rights, and as long as yours does not intrude or infringe on mine, you may be as defenseless as you want. You just have no right to force your fear on me and my family.

So while I think this Bill is absolutely a piece of emotional, knee-jerk legislation, I also know that thankfully it stands very little chance of passing since the majority of our representatives still have some form of common sense and realize that it is pointless and will accomplish nothing. Now are your anti-gun and anti-rights types ready to discuss the real issues contributing to these types of tragedies? Mental health screening and treatment, the breakdown of the family unit, the lack of training on firearms in our schools and other youth groups. The only thing needed to overcome all this fear is the confidence that comes with knowledge and knowing that you are taking your safety and the safety of your family into your own hands. Self-reliance is a great feeling, it builds character and confidence, something that seems to be lacking in the authors of this bill and those that follow the anti-rights and anti-gun groups.

God Bless the United States of America and God Bless the Constitution, that document that makes America great and free.

The Stupidity of the Anti-Firearms Crowd

OK I want to make a few points to all the Anti-firearms types out there.

With all the continued cries for the banning of this type of firearm or that, or increasing the age to buy a rile, maybe we should look at this without emotion and knee-jerk reaction. Even gosh forbid, put a little research time into something before you make yourselves look more foolish than you are.

First how big a problem are these supposed death machines (AR-15’s or the like). Well, the minor fact that they do not cause a large part of the deaths from firearms should be a small bit of the consideration. Rifles (ALL RIFLES not just AR 15’s) accounted for 374 firearms deaths in 2016. While that same year hands and feet caused 656, 175% more by hands and feet! Knives, on the other hand, caused 1604 deaths, or 428% more deaths than those terrible rifles. So if we are really trying to look at reducing the deaths by firearms, why are the anti-rights/ Anti-gun crowd focused on rifles? Because they can use huge newsworthy murderers like the Parkland School murders, or the Pulse nightclub to push for the banning of some type of firearm. WHat they do not respond well to is being told that they are focused on the firearm that kills the least number of people yearly. Just how smart is that?

Also one has to wonder if the anti crowd reads at all, or has the ability to look up something on Google or elsewhere. It is common knowledge among anyone who cares about knowing what they talk about when it comes to firearms that the average age of amass murderer who uses a firearm is 35. Yet there is this outcry to raise the age to buy a rifle to 21. In the light of the fact that the mass murderers are almost all over that age, what is this supposed to accomplish other than penalizing law abiding good people who wanted to buy a rifle? Again logic fails the anti-rights crowd.

Another idea being talked about is making it a mandatory waiting period for all firearms purchases. While this already is in effect in many places, it is not in all places. But again let us look at the facts surrounding the mass murderers. How many were committed by people that went out bought a firearm and killed with it within 72 hours (since that is what is suggested). I will save you the research time. NONE. So making a mandatory waiting period for these purchases would have saved a huge ZERO lives.

So let me make one final point that is seemingly beyond many of the anti-firearms group’s comprehension level. There is one minor thing that is preventing you from outlawing these rifles and many other things you want to do. That is called the Constitution. Many on the anti-rights side will say that common sense (which if you read the above information you will realize is the last thing that they are using) gun control is not prohibited by the Constitution. I beg to differ. You see the Constitution is plain and simple to understand. The 2nd Amendment is not long, confusing or obscure. If you (I know here I go again) research just a little bit, without bias, you find that the reason they wrote that very Amendment was to prevent the Government from prohibiting firearms being owned and carried by the average citizen. Because that is exactly what England tried to do to the Colonies just before the Revolution. And we all know how that went.

And last but not least, we live in a free society. One where the rights of the individual are more important sometimes than the rights of groups. That prevents mob rule. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Oh and good luck trying to take rifles away from millions of Americans and making them criminals just because they decided to exercise their Constitutional Rights. That is what led to the first Revolution. One only has to look at the last election to see what happens when you try and push the silent majority into being the vocal majority.

Why do I have so little fear? The Answer is Simple Really.

Sitting in Church today and listening to my pastor Philip R Griffin talk about being “confident” and why and how we can misplace our confidence I had a “God Moment”.

Philip talked about how we can misplace our confidence in many things. Titles, education, rituals and good works can all give us false confidence in ourselves. But that confidence really means little when it all comes down to it. I then thought about what I wrote last night about training and being able to handle the fear and stress of a critical incident and the possibility of being hurt or worse, killed.

That is when sitting there listening to Philip I realized why I do not fear these types of situations. Yes, my training and experience have helped me as far as the response and actions to take in those situations, and the repeated mental conditioning has also helped tremendously. But when it came down to it and I thought about it in the light of my faith, I realized I felt confident and able to handle these situations without much fear because of my trust in my faith and Jesus Christ and his promise. I realized it is because I do not fear death like I used to before coming to my faith and Jesus Christ..

Of course, I do not want to die. I especially do not like pain any more than I need to have for life, and I have had my share of pain. But I also realize that ultimately if I were to be killed, in an active shooter situation or any other way, I am OK with that as long as I was acting in accordance with my faith and my beliefs and trying to defend my fellow man. Christ has given me the calm, steady mind that I need to handle these situations. He grants me the quite calm thought process that is vital in emergency situations.

As I sat there today and realized with even more clarity and calmness, that because of my faith in the word of God and my unshakable belief in Jesus Christ, I truly do not fear any evil.

After the service, I walked around looking at some of my fellow church members, and one of our elders and man of God Dr. Steven Jones was standing not far away. So I walked up and talked to him about this very revelation. That is when he just confirmed for me what I was thinking. Dr. Jones simply said he sees me sitting in front of him with the earpiece to our security radios. And he thinks to himself if something tragic like a mass murderer were to come in, he would push his family to the ground and then like me, confront and defend his family. And he went on to voice exactly what I have said here. He has no fear of dying in that case as he knows his faith is unshakable, and he knows his ultimate destination is to be with Jesus Christ. I thank him for his honesty and his faith.

So why do I voice this publically here? Because I think that if you think you know how you will react in an emergency, it is even better to know why you will react the way you will. Mine is my utter and unshakable belief in Jesus Christ and that death has no hold over me. I will not be reckless or easily throw it away, but I know in no uncertain terms, my faith is my shield against the fear that many have and cannot overcome.

Thank you for reading this, and if you ever want to discuss my faith, or yours, please feel free to call, message, or email me and we will talk about it all you want. I can’t think of any better topic that makes a person ready to face life and death situations than having that God confidence in your corner.

Oh and thank you Philip, for being the man of God that I need in my life and a great example for others to look to. If you are looking for a church in the Gainesville area, The Family Church is a great place of God not just a “church”.


Being Afraid and Being a Cop..

As more and more details of the mass murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida come out, we also hear more about the actions, or inaction, of some of the Broward County Deputies at the scene during the murder response.

First, let me give you some background. I was a Sgt. In the 3rd Infantry Division, 981st Military Police Company. My job was to train security forces that guarded our nation’s nuclear weapons. After leaving the Army I became a Deputy Sheriff in Broward County Florida. I now train law enforcement recruits, people who want to be police officers, and also police officers in firearms and various police topics and tactics for a living. I have been doing so for the last 24+ years. I was a Broward Deputy myself back in the 1980’s and 90’s. I left the Broward Sheriffs’ Office in 1996 when I took a position as a Police Commander at Santa Fe College and took over supervising the Law Enforcement and Corrections Academies. I say all that so you know where I am getting my view and knowledge.

Police officers these days are facing more things that officers’ years ago did not have to face. Terrorism, homegrown radicals, mass murderers and more. Years ago officers in Chicago, New York, and some other large cities faced gangs and organized crime groups armed with machine guns and grenades. Today is not that much different. Today’s police are better equipped and trained than officers of those times.

What you cannot train for and cannot know until it happens is how you will react when the proverbial SHTF situation occurs. Having been involved in shootings myself, and multiple armed encounters with suspects, I can tell you I did not know how I would react, but ultimately I acted how I had been trained. But one important factor is I am not just talking about physical training like firearms and defensive tactics, but also mental training.

As my friend, mentor and favorite training officer I ever had, Sgt. Gerald Ward of the Cooper City Police Department once said to me, “We do not run away or hide, we move to the sound of the gunshots and put an end to it.” Gerry was a Viet Nam Marine Veteran and a really great cop. I was told over and over again, and continued to do this throughout my 35 years as a police officer, to visualize myself in situations I was heading into and see myself fighting my way through it. I visualized myself being shot at, and returning fire (that happened), I visualized myself getting in physical fights with suspects, and winning, and that happened many times, even though I was injured also on occasion. I prepared myself mentally to do what I was expected to do and would not allow myself any other outcome.

I worked with many Deputies and police officers over the years. Some I had standing by my side when we confronted armed suspects trying to pull guns on us and shoot us. One particular suspect tried to pull a .45 semi-auto on myself and Dep. James Garrison. Jamie and I both at the same time got hold of the guy and it was quick and dirty, but we walked away and he went to prison. I knew how Jamie would react, and he knew how I would. MAny days I was afraid while working as acop, and those days I just had to push through it and move on.

So I know many brave, upstanding law enforcement officers. I have trained thousands of them. And the thing that bothers me about this recent mass murder, besides the act itself and the victims, is the fact that it appears that some Deputies failed to take action while students were inside possibly being shot.

We train over and over for just such events. We go over what to do and how to do it. Without giving away our tactics and techniques, we are to locate, isolate and neutralize the threat. Either alone or as a small team, we are to go in and stop the threat.

What we try to train the new recruits and officers about is that you may someday have to put yourself in the direct line of danger. You may have to be the one to distract the threat away from the innocents and be the one that is being shot at (and hopefully returning fire also). You may even be shot or injured and must continue to fight on protecting those that you swore to protect. We tell them, jokingly yet in all seriousness, that you are not out of the fight until you are dead. When this reality hits some recruits, they quit the program. Which we would rather they do than get into the middle of a life and death struggle, and then realize they cannot take the needed action.

As police officers, we are not afforded the luxury of waiting sometimes for more help to arrive. We are the help that others have come to rely on. We must take action and when we do not, others may die as a result of our inaction.

One way to train yourself to be ready for these life and death situations, and one that we have found that works is to “bulletproof” your mind. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a fantastic speaker on this topic has a 1 and 2 day series of speeches he gives all around the world on this very topic. I have heard Dave speak at least eight times and will attend again if given the chance. Something that those of us who choose to live the life of service to our fellow man can do to try and make sure that is along and faithful service, is to do as much as we can to prepare for these very incidents.

So I come full circle, back to the murders in Parkland. The situation surrounding the deputies that did not take the appropriate action of confronting the shooter as soon as they possibly could should be investigated fully. And short of any currently unforeseen reason, should face the punishment that is due them for such lack of action. They will have to live with their action (or lack thereof) but the victims of the mass murderer are not as lucky.

To the law abiding public out there who have lost some faith in the police forces that protect them because of this, do not think that the actions of a few represent or are indicative of the whole. There are far more brave, noble and ethical officers out there than those who are not.

How do we Stop Mass Murder like That in Parkland, Florida?

First and foremost I feel extreme sadness for the victims and their families of the recent school shooting in Parkland. Having been a police officer and traffic homicide investigator for my entire adult life I have seen my share of death and tragedy. If I have learned anything during those years it was that reactions to these types of situations usually are emotionally driven and do not really have any basis in facts or logic. I also trained security forces of the Army that secured our nuclear weapons. So I know a bit about protecting things.

The Facts on Firearms

Let’s look at a few facts so we are dealing in the realm of logic and real things that could make a real difference. First evil exists in the world. There has always been and will always be people that have some reason to hate their fellow humans and will try and harm and kill for various reasons. Regardless of the reasons, the outcome is the same and that is what we have to focus on. Also, we need to look and see if this a problem that is increasing, decreasing or staying the same. Why? Because that could have a bearing on what has or has not been working. Again logical, calm reasoning.

First has mass murder, or murder in general increased over time? In looking to the FBI and Department of Justice we find statistics that tell us the factual truth. Since a peak in 1993 Murder in the United States has gone down by over 40%. But that just does not seem right. The news, social media, and ability of news to travel at the speed of light has made it seem like these things are on a dramatic increase. How many times have you heard “We never had these things when I was a kid.” When in reality these things have been going on for decades. But with the instant media we have now, it seems like it has become an epidemic when in reality we are far better off now than just 20 years ago. Even violent crime is down in several categories.

Violent crimes per 100K people in the US went from 747.1 in 1993 to 372.6 in 2015. That is a drop of >50%! The chances of you becoming the victim of a violent crime, any violent crime, went from 79.8 per 1000 people in 1993 down to 18.6 in 2015, again a dramatic drop of >76%! But if you listen to the news and other sources, you would never know this.

Also are guns a problem in the United States? Again let’s look at the facts not emotions. Firearms account for around 11,000 to 13,000 murders a year. That is criminal murders, not suicides (firearms account for only 6% of suicide attempts) or defensive uses of Firearm. 13,000 murders out of a country of 350,000,000 people is actually pretty darn good. Yes if you are one of the victims or family of a victim it is not, but you are more likely to die from many other more common causes than being shot to death with a firearm.

And the last fact is about firearms, notice the focus of Congress and State Legislators on the “assault rifle”. So just how many people are killed with these “high powered” “killing machines”? For the answer, we turn to the FBI and DOJ again and guess what, rifles of any kind account for the least amount of firearms deaths except for shotguns. In 2016, out of about 11,000 firearms murders, only 374 of those were committed with a rifle. And if you know anything about firearms, a shotgun or pistol is a far better weapon for use inside a building. Pistols are used far more than rifles or shotguns, actually more people are murdered by hands and feet and knives than the big bad assault rifle.


What can be Done to Prevent or Lessen the Impact of Mass Murderers?

Well first let’s look at the causes that we do know about for some of these events. Bullying, terrorism, Workplace violence, mental illness, and others. So we can, of course, focus on some of those like mental illness, better treatment or better screening.

But those things are already being considered. Could we do better trying to find and screen those types of people? Of course.

Physical Security

But in reality, there are three things that actually can be done. First, if you look at places that we spend a lot of money to keep safe from shootings and violence they involve what is called physical security. “Physical security” is the term given to those things you can build or design and put in place that physically make it harder for something like this to happen. In the military, we used fences and blockhouses to secure the nation’s nuclear weapons (among other things of course). I have heard metal detectors mentioned, and fences and other things. Did you know that to build a new school to Fire Prevention standards adds millions to the cost of every school When was the last time we have a kid or multiple kids killed in a school fire? You haven’t because those things have worked and we have been conditioned and taught about them.

So my suggestions are along the same lines as the fire prevention people. Physical things like some bulletproof glass on classroom doors and entry doors, steel core doors that will stop bullets. Doors that can be locked remotely from the office. Cameras and microphones throughout the school are all things we can do to help limit access and stop or lessen the carnage. Metal Detectors are great, but how do you funnel 3000 students through them and into the school each morning without taking hours? All it takes is money. That is the killer of these suggestions most of the time. It cost too much, no one wants to pay for the required upgrades, even if they do save lives.

Add Armed Good Guys

Having been in law enforcement as long as I have been, involved in a few shootings, having seen it first hand, the only thing that will stop an evil person with a firearm bent on killing others is a good guy with a firearm of equal or better firepower. Why do you think police officers carry firearms? So when they are confronted with a firearm-wielding bad guy they can stop the threat, or at least shoot back.

So how would we get more good guys to put in places like K through 12 schools? Well in Florida Senator Baxley filed a bill that would address this issue. The Bill would allow retired LEO’s, Retired Military, Active duty Military and LEO’s to act as additional armed security at the schools. They, of course, would be trained by the local law enforcement, and be screened prior but having additional armed, trained personnel at the school might not only lessen the carnage if something happens, it may act as a deterrent if the future little murderer knew that there were a dozen armed and trained good guys with firearms at the school. Most mass murderers are cowards and kill themselves when confronted by an armed response. I would add to this allowing staff and teachers who are concealed carry licensed to be allowed to carry in the school if they wanted to. I know many teachers I have talked to that would actually go out and get training and get licensed to do this very thing if allowed. One told me “I would die to protect my kids, but I would rather see the bad guy die.” Words well spoken.

For colleges, since they are also a place where these mass murders have happened would be a simple fix of allowing campus carry. Since the college crowd are adults, those that already have licenses to carry concealed firearms outside the college should be allowed to carry inside the college grounds. What makes people think that those people that carry everywhere else should not be allowed to carry at a college to protect themselves? If you look back the last few years at where the college shootings happened, they were almost every one of them a “gun free zone”. Those places where staff and students of colleges are allowed to carry do not seem to have these mass murders. Why is that? Fear of getting shot on the part of the murderer I think.

And in line with this line of thought, get rid of all gun free zones. It has been proven time and time again that “gun free zones” do nothing to stop murderers. Only law-abiding people who are legally carrying follow that rule, and then become an unarmed target. Those people in Florida who are licensed concealed carry permit holders have been shown to be even more law-abiding than me and my fellow LEO’s! Actually 6 times more law abiding. So why can they not be trusted everywhere to carry, they carry almost everywhere now without incident. In fact, it again has been proven that there are times a licensed concealed carrier has saved lives, and some of those my brothers and sisters in blue. End all gun free zones for licensed firearms carriers.

An incentive to make places add security to allow licensed carry on their premises? Pass legislation making them liable for the patrons that visit them if they do not allow concealed carry legally and fail to make additional security measurements to protect their patrons.

Train People in and Make it Easier to Report Suspicious Behavior

Educate our children, and adults, on what to look for and who to report things that make them worry about someone or someone’s behavior. The “See something, say something” that is the current phrase used to remind people to report these things is great, but we need to not only teach kids and adults what to look for, but also our social networks, internet providers, and others also need to be encouraged if not mandated to report anything that would be considered threatening or dangerous in nature that is directed at a location, school or group.

This last mass school murderer had all kinds of warning signs, and those were reported to the FBI, yet it appears they failed to follow through on the information. This is unacceptable and those responsible should be held accountable. But in the future, policy and procedures need to be put in place to make sure that if something is reported it is followed up on. In line with this, there also needs to be a way for a person wrongly targeted by this attention by authorities to be cleared and the information disposed of when it is found to be nothing of importance.

What Should We Not Do?

Let’s talk reality. It is beyond the point that we need people who have no clue that it would be physically impossible to remove firearms from the people of the USA. There are far too many and far too many people own them now legally without causing any problems at all. Those people who are calling for “gun control” or “bans” have no clue that what they are truly asking is to make millions of Americans into criminals because they chose to arm themselves in order to protect themselves and their families. Confiscation just is not physically or logistically possible, nor would it be Constitutional so let’s stop talking about it.

We should not waste our time or government time on passing more restrictive laws that will not stop a single mass murderer. Why do people not realize that murder is already illegal and carries very stiff penalties yet happens? Mass murderers are not deterred by laws already on the books, what makes any logical smart person think a new law will change that. If you disagree, I have a challenge for you. Name one law that if passed would have stopped one single mass murderer in the last 5 years. I wouldn’t waste your time trying, there is none.

So if we want to stop or lessen the carnage, make physical changes to our schools, just like we did to help prevent fire deaths. Allow qualified, trained armed security to supplement our schools’ law enforcement presence. While we can’t put squads of armed cops in every school, we could probably get enough volunteers to make a difference! And last get rid of the completely ineffective, pointless gun free zones. They do not work and only make for “target rich environments” for someone bent on making high body counts out of unarmed helpless victims.