Russian Bots Aren’t the Only Thing Shaping Public Narrative on Guns

Russian bots! Ahhhhh! How do we stop them? (Photo: Storia.me)

Russian bots are attacking our social media platforms, spreading misinformation and spouting extremist viewpoints. So says NPR in this article.

Okay, I’ll bite. What are these bots saying that’s so damaging to the free and open exchange of ideas on the interwebs?

Basically, Ruskie trolls were propagating conspiracy theories that the Florida shooting was an inside job by Democrats and “advancing an extreme pro-gun position, saying teachers need to carry concealed handguns to protect students,” reports NPR.

Russian bots or no Russian bots, conspiracy theories abound after every national tragedy. Part of the reason for this is because the mainstream media is horrible at its job. People don’t trust it, so they look to other reporting to get the truth. More on this in a moment.

Arming Teachers is Not an Extreme Position, It’s Common Sense!

Teachers should be armed. The very idea that that is an extremist position in today’s climate is everything that’s wrong with the mainstream media. Sociopaths are shooting up schools in this country because we are making it easy for them to do so. Not just arming teachers, but training teachers on how to use firearms would be a small step to making schools safer.

And listen, we’re not talking about arming every teacher. Mrs. Weatherby, the 80-year-old librarian with cataracts and arthritis, isn’t going to get tossed an M4 with the expectation that she’s going to be at the point when it comes time to engage a spree killer. That’s lunacy. We’re talking about getting a select group of willing and able educators to learn the ropes of responsible gun ownership. That would help the cause.

Everyone who is for arming teachers, myself included, will admit that it’s no substitute for full-time security personnel, whose sole job it is is to monitor the campus and confront suspected threats. Yet, it is better than the status quo. The hope that the active killer will see the “No Guns Allowed” sign posted on the building, halt his attack and discard his gun at the door.  If armed security isn’t an option due to budget constraints, armed teachers is the next best thing.

Lastly, schools across the country have implemented programs to arm faculty. It’s not like this already isn’t happening. Back in 2017, I wrote about 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.

Since its inception in 2013, FASTER has trained at least 773 school teachers and staff members from 194 districts in 8 states (including teachers and staff in 74 of Ohio’s 88 counties). My guess is that right now their phone is ringing off the hook. It’s not “extreme” to want your children to be guarded by capable adults with guns. Considering the alternative, it’s the sanest action we can take to stop future tragedies.

The people highlighted in the video below are extremists!!!  Because they want to learn how to defend themselves and school children.

Back to the Media and Russian Bots

Honest question. Who is more damaging to our Republic, these meddling bots or the mainstream media?

The bots are telling us to arm teachers. Meanwhile, the mainstream media is lying to us about the number of school shootings this year to push an anti-gun agenda that involves dismantling the core of our 2A rights. I’m not pro-bot.  Just pointing out the facts.

As I wrote about last week, the source of the “18 school shootings this year” lie is Everytown for Gun Safety, the Bloomberg-funded gun control organization. What Everytown did is redefine “school shooting” to mean any time a gun is discharged on a school campus. The result is a complete exaggeration of the truth. Because when we think of “school shooting” we think Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine. We don’t think of suicides or gang fights that incidentally happen on school property or the negligent discharge of a firearm in a criminal justice class that wounded no one. But all of those were included on Everytown’s “school shootings” list.

SEE ALSO: Five Reasons to Support Gun-Free Zones in Schools

The media and anti-gun politicians (Yes, I’m talking to you Ms. Feinstein), took this stat and ran with it. TIME, CNBC, New York Daily News, HuffPost, NBC, ABC all reported on it while either wholly omitting the fine print of Everytown’s school shooting definition or glossing over it. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one out there debunking this claim. PolitiFact also analyzed it, concluding that it was “mostly false.” A polite way of saying it’s B.S.

Of those 18 “school shootings” so far this year, “only three involved a mass shooting. And the count includes two suicides, three accidental shootings and nine incidents in which there were no fatalities or injuries,” noted PolitiFact.

So this is where things come full circle. When the mainstream media continuously distorts the truth to push gun grabbing or calls what is a sensible position an “extreme” one, what happens to its credibility? It tanks. Which, in turn, forces people to look elsewhere for accurate news and information. Sure, some folks will get caught up in crackpot conspiracy theories disseminated on TwitterBook and InstaFace. Many others, though, will begin to see things more clearly.

I guess what I’m saying is that the answer to the bot problem is an honest media.  One that asks the right questions, investigates both sides of a story and reports the truth void of an agenda.  Until we get that, expect more buzz from these meddlesome bots.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Zach Lloyd February 26, 2018, 4:44 pm

    I have to say, that the areas that allow teachers to carry, typically require them to past more stringent background checks, and qualify more frequently than do the local law enforcement of thier area. So the argument of them being undertrained etc is totally false. This coming from a veteran of Afghanistan in the US Army infantry. These districts do not pay for the teachers to do continued training, nor do they give a pay raise. The staff that choose to do so, do it out of a genuine desire to protect the students they are already tasked with protecting, as well as themselves. You elitist soldiers also should remember that the schools aren’t being attacked by groups of insurgents with AK’s, RPK’s and RPG’s. Anyone willing to put up the extra cost of training, [which they are already probably doing], and with a clean enough background and stable enough mental state, should be allowed to carry on school premises. This however should not be a federal mandate in my mind, but handled state by state. Alter the Gun Free School Zones act, to allow people willing to notify local authorities, if licensed with a conclealed carry permit, to go through further processing, to allow them to carry as well. When my kids are at school and I am not with them is the only time I fear for them, because you cannot guarantee me that anyone else will fight for my childrens lives as much as I.

    • Zach Lloyd February 26, 2018, 4:59 pm

      To add to this, I have many friends, some of whom are teachers, that I would trust to do what is necessary over many people I served in the infantry with. Many of them train with more dedication than I do currently to thier skills, and while I might still be “better” at shooting and at stressful situations and at handling systems under duress in the dark, that in no way disqualifies them outright from exercising something that is a fundamental right to defend themselves. Otherwise we are asking them to do as Coach Feis did in florida and merely to sacrifice themselves to a slaughter and attempting to shield our kids with thier bodies. There is no debate it should be allowed in my mind, its just a matter of how to handle training and certification.

      Put it a different way. If someone came into our church and started firing a gun, they would likely have 30+ men and women stand up and return fire, and we have way more than 30 concealing. How would a shooter walking calculatingly and calmly down a hallway and into classrooms executing children at will, be better than the shooter fearing immediately for his own life and possibly being put down by a trained staffer or two? At a minimum it will put a freeze on the shooters intent because he will be forced into the OODA loop and have to re-evaluate his options, saving lives Period! I studied mass shootings in college getting my CJ degree as well, under one of the top investigators in the state on shootings who had studied them for over 30 years. Every day people are just people, just like soldiers are just people. Special kinds of heroes do not belong exclusively to the armed forces.

  • Winston February 23, 2018, 7:55 pm

    Ruskie trolls. LOL. Don’t be such an Schiff Head Blannelberry. Too many Americans are poorly adapted lunatics on psych drugs and live in the fantasy world that Schiff Eater lives in.

  • JoshO February 23, 2018, 12:20 pm

    A lot of veterans returning from war struggle to find gainful employment, especially employment that utilizes the skill set they already possess. Even a disabled vet in a wheelchair can guard a school entrance.

    After a process ensuing that they are mentally capable to do so and not themselves so disturbed by what they have already endured to be safe and reliable, being guardians of our children would be a fantastic way for retired/honorably discharged military personnel and disabled veterans to continue honorably serving the country they love.

    It’s going to cost money, though. But the liberals should be ok with that — they love raising taxes!

  • Wade February 23, 2018, 10:56 am

    I see that we have some ‘vets’ arguing against citizens use of arms to defend themselves and those who’s safety they are held accountable for. What a bunch of elitist B.S. Just because ‘you’ have some sort of ‘combat’ experience does not mean others can not be qualified to engage a bad guy with a gun or sword or club. OK, maybe you are some kind of hero, good for you. Your attitude reflects that of the British occupying America during the colonial times. No firearms for the populous, just for the ‘trained’ soldiers.
    The simple fact that there could be someone available to confront a bad guy is way better than the reality of the fact that when a police response is, on average, eight(8) minutes away at best. By time the police arrive the damage is usually already catastrophic and usually over. Any of you naysayers ever read the ‘Armed Citizen’ reports in the the NRA magazines? Sounds like ‘no’. There are first account stories in there every month about average citizens, not ‘vets’, that stop bad guys without being ‘tier 1 operators’. They seem to be doing a reasonable job of confrontation and deterrence without all the arrogance and condemnation laid out in the replies on here. Not everyone with a gun is going to run to the sound of battle. Didn’t happen at the school and doesn’t always happen in actual combat on the other side of the world either. If you ‘vets’ are so concerned for the conduct of an armed school faculty, how about YOU get on the stick and go train them? Didn’t you train your troops to your acceptable standard? I know I did.
    Teachers and school staff with guns is a prudent step towards better safety in the schools.
    Yes, I am also a ‘vet’. But my nose is not stuck up in the air and I don’t wear my medals on my chest out in public.

    • Godfrey Daniel February 23, 2018, 11:07 am

      Thank you, brother. From one vet to another; well said.

    • deanbob February 23, 2018, 12:30 pm

      Well said. That 8 minute average is much higher in the country. And Hell YES, I read that column every month in my American Rifleman. Our founders knew what they were doing when they places the second amendment where they did in the Bill of Rights.

    • Baco February 24, 2018, 9:45 am

      Unfortunately, the majority of prior military people expect everyone to revere them, because they happened to serve X amount of time. They are ALL about themselves. They typically talk the talk, but rarely step up and walk the walk. If there is nothing in it for them, they won’t do much, if anything other than puff up their chests and talk about how great they are, and how they deserve more than they already get.

  • MTB February 23, 2018, 9:54 am

    Teachers are already horribly under paid. Now they need to put their life on the line as armed security as well ? If a teacher is expected to double as armed security then they should get a VERY LARGE pay raise.

    • Mike V February 23, 2018, 10:37 am

      Call for volunteers, provide a bonus, most who are so inclined would do it for free if the law would let them.

      If they can’t draw enough help on that, then make the bonus or pay rate larger.
      Doesn’t seem so hard to me.

    • JoshO February 23, 2018, 11:15 am

      Their lives are already on the line, why wouldn’t they want the ability to fight back and end the threat? Use your noodle, pal.

      • Wzrd February 27, 2018, 6:54 pm

        Exactly. It’s really no that hard to understand this. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend the mental ineptitude of those arguing for gun control & against a teacher’s right to self-defense. They claim “common sense” but it’s the exact opposite.

    • Escape February 23, 2018, 11:53 am

      My wife is a teacher. I’ve been shooting since age 7. I taught her gun safety and how to shoot multiple weapon platforms. You have it backwards MTB. She has been putting her life on the line for the past 16 years sitting in a classroom unarmed. Do you know what they are told to do if a shooter enters the school? Huddle in the corner of the classroom. Really? That’s just creating a kill box for a shooter. And what are they told to do if the shooter makes their way into her classroom? THROW BOOKS! That’s absurd! So no, my wife doesn’t want or need extra pay to carry in school if it were allowed. She and myself would both feel much better if that were the case.

  • Reticent Rogue February 23, 2018, 9:18 am

    Freedom loving Americans are going to lose this argument if we cannot and do not wrestle control of the narrative away from the liberal media. Merely arguing about what the Second Amendment means, then and now, will not do that.

    The Las Vegas shooting and School killings like that in Florida are known legally and clinically as ‘spree/rampage killings.’ Global statistics demonstrate a different perspective than the US media, whose perspective is in essence pure myth. 1. Mass murder (spree killing) is not exclusive to the US. It happens in every major country. 2. Spree killings involving schools and school children happen in every developed country. 3. The US leads the world in spree killings involving firearms but ranks 20th in the number of deaths. 4. Every developed country has had numerous major incidents involving firearms, many of them countries in which individuals are forbidden to own firearms. 5. Firearms are not the only means of executing a mass murder. As an example, The Shiguan kindergarten attack occurred at a kindergarten in Shiguan village in Gongyi, Henan, People’s Republic of China, on May 8, 2006. At about 9:00 that morning, 18-year-old Bai Ningyang entered a classroom on the second floor of the kindergarten, threatening children and teachers with a knife, killing 12 and seriously injuring 5 more. Follow the link provided and you will find the one thing all had in common—and it is not the use of a firearm. All the perpetrators globally—without exception—were mentally disturbed.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers

  • Rebel Dunn February 23, 2018, 8:11 am

    So ,unless you’re on the level of a Seal or Green Beret you’re not fit to protect yourself ? Because that’s precisely what a teacher would be doing , protecting themselves,and consequently their students. I hold the belief that NO ONE is more qualified to protect me than ME.

  • Bill February 23, 2018, 6:57 am

    MP,
    What is your suggestion to attempt to stop school shooting. Due to budget cutbacks and RIF, there’s no extra Police. I’ll wait for your sensible answer, without the rant like above

    • MP February 23, 2018, 11:57 pm

      Spend the money to reinforce and harden the school structures and pay for a cop to be assigned to every school- and not some 30 year veteran of the force who’s cruising into retirement and will shit his pants at the sound of rifle fire, but younger cops, well armed, willing to risk life & limb to engage the threat.

  • ronald February 23, 2018, 6:44 am

    Why is the Left so afraid of Russians now?

    • Winston February 23, 2018, 10:06 pm

      As Putin said, Russia is a Christian nation and the US is not.

  • Mike Blanton February 23, 2018, 6:25 am

    largely agreed. I’m former LE and I agree that all of those conditions of training must be met with 100% Go or 100% no go by any teacher that wants to carry. That will mean that 6-8% of the applicants might be allowed to carry.(thats the high number). That means that we have to have specifically trained security/ LE for high school campuses.

    • Happy Hippo February 23, 2018, 8:43 am

      So lets say it is one in twenty. Lets say that only a quarter of any school applies. For it to pass your test, it would take 80 faculty applying at a school to even get 1. Given that the guy supposedly with the training did nothing, you’re going to have to convince me that only trained professional personnel is the answer.

    • Me February 23, 2018, 9:12 am

      I totally disagree with you. If I am in a supermarket and someone starts shooting it up am I supposed to watch my kids or other get killed because I haven’t had specialized training. No! I don’t believe a person should have to get permission from the state to arm themselves, but since so many do, if the state says they are qualified to protect themselves and their loved ones that should be good enough to carry in schools. Should a teacher wish to get better training I would be willing to apply taxes toward the training.

    • Freddy February 23, 2018, 10:45 am

      Spoken like someone paying union dues.

  • MP February 23, 2018, 5:24 am

    As a Vet and as the son of educators I gotta say – arming teachers is a ridiculous (and more importantly dangerous) notion.
    If you think that 1 out of every 4 teachers is going to get the training to bring them up to an actual combat standard, you\’re out of your mind. We\’re not talking about some b.s. CCW class. We\’re not talking about shooting at sedentary paper silhouettes on a range under perfect conditions after a 3 hour class.
    We\’re talking combat school- advanced training. Knowledge of what constitutes legal, justified use of deadly force- under all foreseeable circumstances (if the teachers are armed they won\’t just be armed during school shootings- but all the time).
    Advanced training in both tactics and techniques- shooting moving targets, multiple moving targets, from multiple positions, using cover & concealment (and knowing the difference), in low and no light, clearances of all possible malfunctions under duress, loading and reloading, learning to do all of the above one handed, including with the weak hand… weapon retention, how to disarm an aggressor with both pistol and long arm… let me repeat again, under extreme stress, heart rate and respiration at double their resting rate, surrounded by panicked, terrified children who are under their charge…
    Sorry. No friggin\’ way, bud.
    Maybe 1/10,000 teachers will be able to reach that standard for me to even think about it, but it seems to me that if you think arming teachers is a good idea, then you have an awfully low standard of training & proficiency, and little regard for your kids\’ safety (or mine), and I have to suspect you have little personal knowledge of how chaotic combat is- and how persistently and continuously you have to train to build both the mental and muscle memory to be able to perform at even 50% of your best under that level of duress. It\’s a perishable skill set that needs constant refreshing. The cost of consistent training alone (if it were to be at as high a standard as it should be) would be astronomical, not to mention the actual guns & ammo. Teachers aren\’t exactly rollin\’ in the dough, in case you haven\’t noticed.
    Put cops in schools. Period. Ones that won\’t freeze or fail to engage the shooter. Let the professional teachers teach. Let the professional guardians guard.

    • Mike V February 23, 2018, 5:47 am

      Bull.
      If only 10% of adults on campus carried the deterrent effect would prevent some of this by itself.
      Don’t have to be a special forces ninja to fight these clowns.
      Ordinary people defend themselves and their families all over the country all the time.
      Will it solve the problem 100%?
      No.
      Can it help?
      Absolutely.

    • Brian February 23, 2018, 5:55 am

      Dumbest Response ever to a serious problem. If you had not heard, a cop was quickly on the scene of Parkland and failed to engage the suspect. The rest of goop you barfed out would take a book to talk about.

    • El Guapo February 23, 2018, 6:01 am

      While I agree with you and understand what you mean that it would be impossible to bring teachers up to a combat level of training and awareness. I think the idea is to get away from the gun free zone and make arming the teachers a deterrent. For example, there is a town in Georgia that back in the early 80s made a city ordinance to require all homeowners to have a firearm in their home. So for many years a person wanting trouble would go to the town north or south of this armed town leaving the armed town alone. It is a deterrent. Also, there is a very successful program to arm airline pilots as a deterrent, the pilots are trained and require recurrent training every six months. It too is a deterrent to someone wanting to cause trouble and take an aircraft again. It will not happen.

    • Kb31416 February 23, 2018, 6:41 am

      I respectfully disagree. Your comment suggests letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. There is a continuum of good between a seal team 6 member and an armed teacher. I taught at a local high school, and although I was never in the military, I am reasonably proficient with firearms. I would much rather have the ability to confront a school shooter with a firearm than with a meter stick if I was the only thing between him and my students.
      Your perspective is also dangerous because it seems to suggest that without all of the training that you suggest, one is not qualified to use firearms. I don’t recall the 2A including a training requirement, but this is precisely one of the barriers that our enemies seek to erect in front of our rights.

    • Pat Bryan February 23, 2018, 7:09 am

      I concur and certainly could not have said it better. The new Tax Law removed the deduction for teachers who have to buy supplies for their own students because the districts have been driven too poor to provide pencils or art supplies for their students.
      If I were a teacher forced to arm, I\’d take that gun to the pawnshop and use the money to buy stuff my kids really need.

      • Patriot February 23, 2018, 9:47 am

        spoken like a true liberal woosie,pencils and arts and crafts,,LOL..what a joke,turn in your man card,

    • Jay February 23, 2018, 7:15 am

      MP, as a vet myself I have to agree with you! I have taught many individuals the skill of shooting but put them in a position of protecting my children in a high stress situation I could maybe pick a handful out of hundreds, for training to do so! I would sooner trust my youngest son of 27 to protect kids at school with a firearm than many if not most that posses a gun license.. I have long said that a CCW class is not gun training but bottom line safety check that you know your laws and don’t shoot yourself in the foot, or someone else. CCW classes are not meant to train but to certify you that you can legally carry and your training starts! Too many States do not have any sort of class at all and to me that’s just dangerous. There are people that should not be carrying a gun, period, seen them and flunked them but that doesn’t stop them from going to a different class and trying again!

    • Steven Jimenez February 23, 2018, 7:28 am

      I can also throw around my veteran street-cred.

      Nobody is calling for teachers to become honorary SEALs who will form squads and actively pursue active shooters. This is patently absurd and a gross distortion of your opposing position.

      The actual position you are arguing against is that teachers should not become criminals for carrying an otherwise legal firearm during their work day. The idea is that we, as a society, should not be forcing people to hide and die.

      • Matthew Van Camp February 23, 2018, 10:13 am

        Exactly! Why is everybody else taking this to the extremes of logic?

    • CountryLogic February 23, 2018, 7:39 am

      “Let the professional teachers teach. Let the professional guardians guard.”
      You mean “professional guardians” like the sheriff’s deputy who could have engaged but failed to do so?
      You assume the teachers aren’t VET’s or already trained.

    • Atlanta Scott February 23, 2018, 9:42 am

      Also a former vet, so guess we’re tied on that count. Calling horse droppings on you.
      You assume that the assaulting person is a well-trained combat SOF instead of some doofus punk with a rifle in his hands. Give me a few moderately trained teachers willing to take the chance against this idiot and I guarantee you’ll have less lives lost at the end of the day. Your contention that everyone should just lay down and die until LOE show up is preposterous. As with anyone who carries, the secret is to train train train, and it doesn’t take a million bucks to do so. I train myself constantly, and training can consist of simple things such as sitting on the sofa and practicing trigger pull and mechanics, practicing draws and aim, and on and on, as well as having drills in the school after the snowflakes have gone home. LOE isn’t always on the scene but the teachers are. And let’s don’t forget, fellow veteran, that sometimes teachers are also fellow veterans. I’ll take a former service member who has prior experience handling firearms and knows weapons safety any day in a life-or-death emergency over waiting for LOE to show up. I vote for arming willing and qualified teachers. Today.

      • JoshO February 23, 2018, 12:11 pm

        Excellent response.

    • Joe Bojangles February 23, 2018, 10:04 am

      This is what happens when a POG thinks he’s Tier 1.

    • JoshO February 23, 2018, 12:07 pm

      You might want to look at your local PD and how infrequently some of the officers entrusted with the duty of protecting the public go to the range and discharge their firearms. Also, look at statistics showing how quickly most active shooters give up when they encounter resistance.

      These teachers don’t have to go to Ranger school, they need to be trained up on safety and how to engage a threat without causing collateral damage. In many, many parts of the country I guarantee that there are already teachers with CCW permits who would gladly be armed if not for the idiotic “gun free zone” bs.

    • Kenneth Garnto February 26, 2018, 10:46 pm

      Professional guardians? Surely you make a joke!

  • MP February 23, 2018, 5:16 am

    As a Vet and as the son of educators I gotta say – arming teachers is a ridiculous (and more importantly dangerous) notion.
    If you think that 1 out of every 4 teachers is going to get the training to bring them up to an actual combat standard, you’re out of your mind. We’re not talking about some b.s. CCW class. We’re not talking about shooting at sedentary paper silhouettes on a range under perfect conditions after a 3 hour class.
    We’re talking combat school- advanced training. Knowledge of what constitutes legal, justified use of deadly force- under all foreseeable circumstances (if the teachers are armed they won’t just be armed during school shootings- but all the time).
    Advanced training in both tactics and techniques- shooting moving targets, multiple moving targets, from multiple positions, using cover & concealment (and knowing the difference), in low and no light, clearances of all possible malfunctions under duress, loading and reloading, learning to do all of the above one handed, including with the weak hand… weapon retention, how to disarm an aggressor with both pistol and long arm… let me repeat again, under extreme stress, heart rate and respiration at double their resting rate, surrounded by panicked, terrified children who are under their charge…
    Sorry. No friggin’ way, bud.
    Maybe 1/10,000 teachers will be able to reach that standard for me to even think about it, but it seems to me that if you think arming teachers is a good idea, then you have an awfully low standard of training & proficiency, and little regard for your kids’ safety (or mine), and I have to suspect you have little personal knowledge of how chaotic combat is- and how persistently and continuously you have to train to build both the mental and muscle memory to be able to perform at even 50% of your best under that level of duress. It’s a perishable skill set that needs constant refreshing. The cost of consistent training alone (if it were to be at as high a standard as it should be) would be astronomical, not to mention the actual guns & ammo. Teachers aren’t exactly rollin’ in the dough, in case you haven’t noticed.
    Put cops in schools. Period. Ones that won’t freeze or fail to engage the shooter. Let the professional teachers teach. Let the professional guardians guard.

  • loupgarous February 23, 2018, 5:09 am

    NPR needs to be defunded, totally, along with PBS’s news operation. Both do more to distort public opinion and slant the news than all of Putin’s employees put together.

  • Leighton Cavendish February 23, 2018, 5:04 am

    I am not a Russian bot and I think training and arming teachers that want to do so is great…as would having armed guards or police at schools.
    The presidents have armed guards. Banks have them. Airports. Celebrities.
    Why not?
    Might help drop the unemployment rate, too. Win/win.

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