There are generally two approaches when it comes to stopping mass killers:
1. Armed Resistance and 2. Gun-Free Zones.
The gun community obviously supports training and arming civilians to confront mass killers. Meanwhile, the anti-gun community believes that mass killers can be stopped via policies and laws that create gun-free zones.
Given that 92 percent of mass killings happen in gun-free zones it should be self-evident for anyone who is not a hoplophobe or an ideological zealot that gun-free zones are wholly ineffective and that the optimal way to stop an “active shooter” is to confront the threat with force, especially lethal force.
But expecting an untrained civilian, like a teacher or principal, to stop a mass killer is a tall order. Thankfully, there is the Ohio-based Faster Saves Lives program, which provides lethal force training and medical response to teachers and staff members.
FASTER stands for Faculty, Administrator, Safety Training & Emergency Response.
Launched in 2013, the program has made real headway over the years. Last week, the program director announced that, since its inception, 773 school teachers and staff members from 194 districts in 8 states (including teachers and staff in 74 of Ohio’s 88 counties) have attended the Faster Saves Lives program.
“In 2016, we saw unprecedented support not only from school districts but also from county sheriffs across Ohio,” said director Joe Eaton.
“As one example, a sheriff worked to get the last 4 districts in his county authorized and trained,” continued Eaton. “We used the sheriff’s range and the school buildings to conduct the classes. It was truly awesome seeing the entire community come together to put school safety first!”
Faster is a 3-day, 26-hour class that actually exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. It’s not designed to replace police, EMT and other first responders but allow school personnel to stop school violence and render medical aid if need.
“We expect 2017 to be another year of growth,” said Eaton. “With the passage of SB199, we expect many universities to now join the FASTER program. We will also host our first FASTER Saves Lives for businesses, churches and the public as a fundraiser for Buckeye Firearms Foundation.”
The non-profit Buckeye Firearms Foundation has provided over $500,000 to fund the Faster program.
It’s great to see more and more educators hopping off the gun-free zone bandwagon and hopping on a program like Faster, as it really has the potential to save lives.