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Buy The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How To Talk With Children About Values or Michael's newest book The Honorable Hunter Instructor Training Manual on Amazon.

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Coincidence or Fate? Or Both?

This past week I attended a stunning workshop conference in Atlanta, Georgia, titled Crucial to Conservation. The workshop conference was sponsored by Safari Club International First For Hunters, The Dallas Safari Club, The Hunter Legacy 100 Fund, The Wild Sheep Foundation, Conservation Force and The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The attendees and speakers were superb and informative. I was a speaker and I shall leave to others whether I was superb and or informative or not.

 I will write more about this marvelous conference later.

 One of the issues I mentioned in passing was the lack of a strong rhetorical response to the Sandy Hook killings. I did not address actual programs or policies that have been enacted since the Sandy Hook killings that might reduce or eliminate such slaughter in our schools.

 Then I read my friend Laura Carno’s in depth coverage of the FASTER Program.

 I suggest it is vital to get this program into schools in every state.

 Laura’s article is presented completely. Please read it and get inspired to get this program active in as many venues as is possible.

 Keeping Kids Safe In A Broken World

Aug. 8, 2016 9:04am

 By Laura Carno, for TheBlaze

Getty Images.

·                ·          By Laura Carno, for The Blaze

Children are being murdered in their schools while politicians trade talking points and campaign promises about school safety. Our children are neither partisans nor political chess pieces. What can we do to keep our children safe while politicians jockey for position in back rooms? I met some heroes who found a solution that saves lives.

On Dec. 14, 2012, a shooter entered Sandy Hook Elementary School. In only 10 minutes, the murderer killed 20 young children and six adults. The 911 calls were heartbreaking.

Two school administrators ran toward the sound of gunfire empty handed. Both of them were murdered. Victoria Soto, a 27-year-old first grade teacher, died while physically shielding her students from the murderer. All she had to protect and defend her students from a madman was her body. These teachers risked their lives for our kids. What can we do to help these heroes as they protect and defend ourchildren?

Getty Images.
Image source: Twitter/YinonMagal

The day of the Sandy Hook Murders, some of the board members from Buckeye Firearms Association(BFA) had a conference call to discuss the tragedy. One said, “All those teachers had to defend their children were their bodies, and they sacrificed their lives to save those kids. We have to do better.”

That night, the idea of FASTER was born.

FASTER stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response. The program calls itself, “…a carefully-structured curriculum offering over 26 hours of hands-on training over a three-day class that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. The purpose is not to replace police and EMT, but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately.”

When BFA founded Buckeye Firearms Foundation(BFF), ordinary citizens across the country gave their hard earned money to help teachers defend kids. When FASTER offered their first class for 24 students in 2013, 2,500 teachers and administrators signed up. One BFF board member described the reverence he has for the teachers who volunteer.

He said, “These are teachers will stand between a murderer and your kids.”

That was three years ago.

Although the FASTER and BFF teams are all volunteers, the money they raise goes to the remarkable trainers at the Tactical Defense Institute and the Cerino Training Group. Both are world-class tactical training organizations that adapted their training to fit a teacher’s specific needs.

Most of the trainers have backgrounds as police, SWAT and federal law enforcement officers. They take this training seriously, as do the teachers. With each exercise, they know that this one skill taught to this one teacher may make the difference between people living or dying. It’s evident in everything they do.

My friend Rob Morse attended Faster Level 1 in June of this year as an observer. He documented his experiences in his blog Armed Heroes In Teachers Clothing.

To take the FASTER training, the volunteers must already have their state concealed carry license. School boards in Ohio retain full authority to allow or reject having armed teachers in their schools. Some states prohibit school districts from making that decision.

All the armed defenders are volunteers. In Rob’s article, you can see his deep respect for these teachers. They know that they may be called upon to defend their students. It’s a heavy burden that they take very seriously.

I was invited to attend FASTER Level 2 as an observer. The Level 2 training is for teachers and administrators who have already been through Level 1, and have typically been a first responder in their school for a year.

The training includes live fire exercises. That meant time at the pistol range on a sweltering 95-degree day with a heat index of 120. The range exercises were brutal in that heat. With an instructor to student ratio on the range of 2:1, there was a lot of coaching going on: tweaking a grip here, adjusting a stance there. Time and again, the trainers told students that, “You don’t rise to the occasion, but you fall to the level of your continued training.”

The second and third day had some work on the range, but also included advanced skills. Students learned hand-to-hand non-lethal techniques, and some added complexities that taxed their decision-making skills. Tiny nuances made the difference between stopping a threat and not stopping a threat.

One trainer put it this way, “Yes, it’s hard. AND your students’ lives depend on it. Why die to protect your kids when you can protect them and live?”

Said another trainer, “This attacker wants to kill you to get to the kids. You can’t let that happen. You have to protect the kids and you can’t do that if you’re dead. We have to win.

There has been research and reporting on the optimum number of armed defenders in a school. The bottom line, one per building per floor is seen as a standard.

Quickly stopping the threat opens the way for “second responders” who have medical trauma training but who are not armed. Many in the media miss this fact. FASTER isn’t about guns in schools, but about stopping a threat so first responders can save lives. These teachers added even more emergency trauma training in addition to what they had in their first FASTER class.

Bringing FASTER To Your State

I was beyond impressed by this training and the teacher volunteers. I was in awe of their commitment. What has to happen before this training could come to your state? First, check your local laws to see if armed defenders in schools are already legal, or if there are roadblocks in the way. Contact your state legislators and demand that they pass legislation to allow teachers and administrators to defend your kids in school.

Second, once the laws in your state support it, or if it is already legal, reach out to the folks at BFF and FASTER. Every situation is different, and they want to help. They will also know if someone from your state has already contacted them.

This Shouldn’t Be Political

Our children are not partisans; they are not political chess pieces. Politicians promote the fantasy that guns should never be allowed in schools. But those same politicians need to face the reality that disturbed or evil people do bring guns in to schools. Experts have shown us what will actually work to save lives. While politicians argue policy, kids are dying. Let us do something that actually make kids safer today.

One teacher said, “We live in a broken world. Hoping that killers won’t go on rampages doesn’t stop them. Only a competent, trained, armed defender can deal with the reality that bad people are out there in our broken world. It’s our job to stop them.”

It is our job too.

An expanded version of this article is available here.

Laura Carno is a blogger, media strategist and the author of Government Ruins Nearly Everything. Contact her at Her blogs are available at

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.


Michael's Latest Article

Harvest versus Kill
Words Can Help or Hurt Hunting
By Michael Sabbeth

I begin with two questions. 1. When hunters describe taking wild game, which word best serves the hunting community: ‘kill’ or ‘harvest’? 2. Will selecting one word over the other reduce the intensity of anti-hunting rhetoric? Words matter.  Words have power. Words can convey confidence and weakness. Words convey values. Words affect persuasion. George Orwell wrote, “Words control the language, and the person who controls the language controls the argument, and the person who controls the argument wins.” 

Harvesting.  We harvest trees, wheat, timber, and corn. The word harvest indicates the action is for human consumption and will benefit humans. Therefore, one can logically and ethically argue that the hunter harvested an animal. I suggest, however, ‘harvest’ has other meanings, and those meanings undermine hunters and hunting. To say a hunter harvested a deer implies the deer, a living animal, is no different from a stalk of corn. The deer and the corn are morally equivalent. That equivalence devalues the once-living animal. The word ‘harvest’ is a euphemism that denies reality. A living animal has died. The refusal to acknowledge that reality seems defensive and apologetic. The denial of reality shows a lack of confidence in the morality of hunting. The hunter seems intimidated. Those are not strong positions for defending hunting.  

Kill. We know the meaning of ‘kill.’ The life of something living was intentionally or recklessly ended. We kill mice, mosquitoes, flies, and enemies. To say a hunter killed an animal affirms reality. The statement is confident in accepting moral responsibility. The word ‘kill’ avoids a euphemism that devalues the animal.  

Another aspect of the ‘harvest’ versus ‘kill’ issue arises. Hunters are attacked as murderers and killers. ‘Murderer’ and ‘killer’ are powerful accusations. Here, again, we see an example of moral perversion. By using the word ‘killer’ or ‘murder,’ the accuser is creating a moral equivalence between an elk, for example, and your child or parent or friend. The logical inference of that accusation is that, morally, your child is no different from a deer.  

An accuser who calls a hunter a killer or a murderer does not want to engage in a reasonable search for truth or moral trade-offs. The accuser wants to shut you up. The accusation is a strategy to dominate you and to announce moral superiority.  

The irony is that the person who accuses the hunter of being a killer is not opposed to killing at all. They have their hamburgers, Thanksgiving turkey, and BBQ. They are only opposed to killing selectively—against certain people and certain animals under specific circumstances. This opposition to hunting is not based on moral principle. It is based on moral smugness and, often, a willful ignorance. And, unlike hunters, these attackers don’t have the will or the courage to do their killing themselves. They outsource their killing to ranchers and farmers.  

One point I emphasize above all others. When hunters show a lack of confidence in their words, they show weakness, triggering the most fundamental law of human nature: weakness invites aggression. Weakness ensures that the attacks on hunting will continue and probably escalate. Hunters intending to use words that do not offend are acting defensively. The anti-hunter will never scream out: You are a harvester! How can you harvest those beautiful animals? They will call you killers. Thus, we must develop the confidence to use words that reflect reality.  

Which is the better word to use? You have read my arguments. You decide. However, I am certain that using ‘harvest’ as a substitute for ‘kill’ will not lead to greater acceptance of or respect for hunters and hunting. Appeasement never succeeds.  

Michael Sabbeth is the author of the new book, The Honorable Hunter: How To Honorably & Persuasively Defend & Promote Hunting . Please see 

Thanks for checking out my site! Please come back soon for more interesting news!

Michael G. Sabbeth is a lawyer in Denver, Colorado. He lectures on ethics and rhetoric. He has written the book "The Good, The Bad and The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values." & is now working on a book titled "No More Apologizing! Arguments to Defend and Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports."



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