Interview with Jonathan T. Gilliam | Navy SEAL, FBI Agent, and Analyst

Jonathan T. Gilliam
Jonathan T. Gilliam

U.S.A.-( Jonathan Gilliam was born in the Ozarks mountains of Arkansas where he learned a sense of service. He went to the University of Arkansas earning a bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology. After college, he knew he wanted to serve his community.

Sheep No More by Jonathan T. Gilliam
Sheep No More by Jonathan T. Gilliam

Gilliam became a police officer in Arkansas before receiving a commission in the United States Navy. He attended BUD/S after graduating from OCS (Officer Candidate School). Not satisfied with just being a SEAL, Gilliam went onto graduate from Army Ranger school. He went onto being deployed as an Officer in Charge (OIC) for combined Exchange for training (JCET) missions, Foreign Internal Defense (FID) missions, and Counter-Narcotics missions.

After his time in the military was up Gilliam went onto become a Federal Air Marshal protecting the skies from terrorists. He then went onto become a security contractor for DHS performing an analysis of soft targets within the country. He developed the DHS Soft Target Awareness Training (STAT) course which looked at targets from an attacker’s perspective to find weaknesses.

Not yet satisfied, Gilliam served as a special agent for the FBI’s Criminal and Counterterrorism squad in New York. Using his experience in national security, he has been an analyst on Fox News, NewsMax, One American News Network, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, BBC, AP, and the Wall Street Journal Online as well as being a CNN contributor.

He has been a guest host on the David Webb Show and the Sean Hannity Show. He has also written a book called “Sheep No More: The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival.” The book teaches the everyday citizens the mindset to keep themselves safe. I had a chance to speak with Jonathan about the school shooting in Florida as well as the political fallout around the attack.

John Crump: What do you think of Trump’s idea of arming teachers?

Jonathan Gilliam: It is not the first solution I would implement. It is down the line. Having an armed teacher is the last line of defense. If somebody gets into the school, then you have already completely messed up.

You obviously haven’t done the proper threat assessment. You don’t have guards. Eliminating someone’s ability to access the school is where the concentration should be, and then the teacher should almost be the fallback if everything else breaks down.

That is the way it should be. Our bases and federal buildings are hardened and secured. The last line of defense is the armed officers inside. We don’t look at schools as we look at airports, and even airports haven’t been looked at properly. They don’t look at those as something that they want to harden or can be hardened, and that is absolutely not true. You can harden schools.

John Crump: What type of active shooter drills should be implemented in schools?

Jonathan Gilliam: You have to look at active shooter drills like fire drills. They are responsive in nature. I’m 48, and I have never heard of a school burning down in my lifetime. That is because policy and regulations were put in place to put fire retardant substances in schools. So schools don’t burn down because of regulations and policies like they used to burn down.

That is what needs to happen when it comes to any type of drills for active shooters. Those active shooters drills mean something, but they are completely responsive in nature. We need to set up policies that keep it from happening or keep people from getting in there.

One thing about these active shooters drills is that whoever is writing these policies on how to react is kind of ridiculous. They push them to the back of the room and lock the door. They don’t have any special beam they put in front of the door. They don’t have kevlar blankets they put on people, and the teachers are unarmed.

The active shooter response is inadequate. So even if they practice them all the time, there are still going to be people dying because it is not adequate the way they are doing it.

John Crump: Do you think it is because they have the wrong people writing the policies?

Jonathan Gilliam: That is absolutely the problem. First off, whenever they do threat assessments in the civilian world, they do them from the defensive standpoint. When we do them in the military, we do them from the attacker’s point of view. In other words, these are your vulnerabilities. I’ll exploit them this way, and most likely this is the type of attack I’ll carry out because I can exploit these vulnerabilities. This is the avenue that I will take. They don’t do that in the schools.

They say, “If we have an active shooter lets put everybody in the back of the room and lock the door. “

That is a completely defensive policy that is void of any thinking on how the attacker exploits those vulnerabilities. That is where we fall short in the civilian world. We don’t start from the attacker’s point of view.

The first starting point would be an adequate threat assessment done from the attacker's point of view. Not so you can determine where the best place to hide is, but so you can determine the type of attack that can be carried out, where it would be carried out when it would be carried, and finally how.
The first starting point would be an adequate threat assessment done from the attacker’s point of view.

John Crump: What is the best way to harden schools?

Jonathan Gilliam: The first starting point would be an adequate threat assessment done from the attacker’s point of view. Not so you can determine where the best place to hide is, but so you can determine the type of attack that can be carried out, where it would be carried out when it would be carried, and finally how.

The other thing the country is completely missing the ball on is if you look at Beslan, Russia there were 186 children killed, and in total there were over 300 people killed. That wasn’t a crazy guy. That was terrorists. They’re not even considering the weapons ban nonsense isn’t going to stop criminals who will get their weapons illegally or terrorists that don’t rely on weapon sales. They go get their own stuff.

It doesn’t take into account bombs, or where kids gather at certain times during the day, and you could run them over with a vehicle. None of this stuff is taken into consideration when they do their threat assessments, and when they build the policies.

John Crump: What do you say to people who say that new gun laws will prevent mass shootings?

Jonathan Gilliam: The Constitution is the last thing we should infringe upon. There are so many other solutions for this problem that could be quickly and very economically carried out that we don’t need to nor should we ever consider infringing on our Constitutional rights.

With that being said, if they want to make policies and they think that a policy could have stopped that shooter, it would have been a mental health policy, and the way they interact with law enforcement. The way they are putting it is if you make it tougher for that kid that kid to buy a gun then it wouldn’t have happened.

Well, you still didn’t solve the problem that he was psychotic, and he was hell-bent on attacking the school. He could have carried out an attack with a truck. He could have figured out how to manufacture a bomb and have killed three times as many people. The mental health issue and how law enforcement and schools interact with the people and they are reported and treated is something that needs to be looked at before we talk about taking the weapons away from people. That is not being talked about.

John Crump: What is your opinion on gun free zones?

Jonathan Gilliam: It doesn’t make any sense. That is just a sign. That sign does two things. It eliminates good people from being able to defend themselves and others. It also tells bad people, crazy people, and nefarious people this place is ripe. It’s yours. You own it if you have a weapon.

Bad people know when you put up a gun-free sign there is no force continuum and that there is no way for good people to defend against people who are going to carry out a violent attack. They don’t have guns themselves for the most part. When you put up a sign like that you are advertising you are vulnerable.

John Crump: It looks like some deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department waited outside the schools. Do you think that is a lack of training?

Jonathan Gilliam: Have you ever been a cop before?

John Crump: I have not.

Jonathan Gilliam: If you were standing outside a school and you were carrying concealed, and you heard shooting inside the school would you or would you not respond to stop what was happening.

John Crump: If I were a cop I would move in.

Jonathan Gilliam: What if you are a civilian and hear screaming and shooting coming from the school, and people running out saying we’re dying?

John Crump: I would probably do whatever was necessary to stop the shooting.

Jonathan Gilliam: Right, so this isn’t something that has to be trained into a cop. That was cowardice. I don’t care how they try to spin it. This is a direct correlation with the way that Scott Israel runs his department, and his mentality and policies. When you have wimpy policies, you will hire wimpy people. That is what happened.

John Crump: Scott Israel went on CNN and said he provided “amazing leadership.” What is your response to Sheriff Israel’s self-assessment?

Jonathan Gilliam: A wise man once said,”It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” That guy is a fool.

He definitely proved it. You don’t have to look at his words; you can look at the actions of the department. You can look at his actions. No remorse. No mourning. He came out the day after spouting stuff about gun control and firing politicals that don’t stand for gun control.

He never got into the fact that a proper threat assessment wasn’t done. He knew full well at that point that the officers didn’t go in. He bypassed all that stuff in his narcissistic mentality and laid the blame on the NRA and the Second Amendment. He is a fool. The guy is just an idiot.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, blames the NRA at CCN pretend town hall debate.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, blames the NRA at CCN pretend town hall debate.

John Crump: Do you think he was trying to lay the blame on the NRA to take the heat off himself and his department?

Jonathan Gilliam: This guy is an activist, and he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. He lives in a different world than you or I do. In his mind, bad people only do things as a result of conservative values. Our Constitution allows bad people to do bad things according to him.

I believe this guy is a narcissist and probably has some psychological issues himself. He just thinks he is literally a spectacular leader and that everything that happened was out of his control.

John Crump: What do you think about people politicizing the shooting?

Jonathan Gilliam: People have to realize that the politicization that you see going on of this shooting is organized. It is organized by these students activist that you see literally the day of the shooting happening already talking about the Second Amendment. You see an organization from the way that they speak, in the way they are working with other individuals to organize protests.

So you have the students, the sheriff, and you have politicians all working together with financiers. This is no different than Antifa, Black Lives Matter or any of these activist groups that do nothing for the country. They do nothing for the citizenry, and they capitalize off of division and tragedy. That is exactly what they are doing.

John Crump: What do you think about the companies dropping discounts for the NRA. To me I don’t think people join the NRA for discounts, but do you think that these companies actions are going to hurt the NRA?

Jonathan Gilliam: No, people don’t join the NRA for discounts. They join the NRA because the NRA is the lobbyist for the Second Amendment. People are joining because they are worried about the Second Amendment. If anything it shows you who not to shop with.

John Crump: Chubb, who is the underwriter for the NRA’s Carry Guard, said they are not going to underwrite any more policies due to a petition calling it “murder insurance.” What is your take on Chubb caving?

Jonathan Gilliam: That is an attorney for a bean counter making a decision, and that is why our country is in a shaky position. People will fold to activist and the mainstream media. That is a real problem because the mainstream media has too much power.

They are not doing the country any service, and they don’t want to do the country any service. They are a part of an activist family tree. The mainstream media are purposely working to put pressure on advertisers and this case underwriters to step away from conservatives and people that support the Second Amendment. To me, that is subversive in nature.

It is no different then these communists in the 1960s that were trying to change this country, and people better be very aware of it because if they get their hands on the Second Amendment, they are going to destroy it. You’ll have a pellet gun, and that will be all you would be allowed to have. Even that they would probably go after.

John Crump: What can people do to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of an active shooting?

Sheep No More: The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival
Sheep No More: The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival

Jonathan Gilliam: They can buy my book “Sheep No More: The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival.” I am not just saying that from a sales perspective. I am not going to get rich off this book. It will tell them to do exactly what I would tell them to do. It gets them to look at their lives from an attackers point of view.

Even if they don’t buy the book, they just need to divvy their life up into sectors. You have different areas you spend your life at during different times of the day. You have to look at that from the attacker’s point of view.

You need to come up with real defenses once you identify where the attacks might happen, the time the attacks might happen, how they will be carried out, who will be attacking, and why these attacks will happen. You can discover that all on your own. You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars.

Once you do that you can determine, “Do I need to be armed in this area?”

I live here in Manhattan. The laws here are terrible to get a concealed carry permit, but it is a relatively safe place. I wouldn’t be as worried not carrying concealed here than in other places where law enforcement will not show up for an hour. To be clear, I advocate everyone carries concealed if they can.

People need to look at every aspect of their lives to determine what type of defenses they can put in. How they can mitigate vulnerabilities. Can they determine the attacker’s approach so they can block it or avoid it?

Check out Jonathan T Gilliam at his website.

Buy his book on Amazon.

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at

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Roy D.

Sometime before I arrived at my assignment in Germany, late October 1973, an “elite” US Army unit allegedly did an “intrusion” into our Exclusion Area. Nothing was changed according to those that were there before that operation. However over the next two years there were a number of things done which would retard penetration of the bunkers. They wouldn’t prevent it just slow it down. Our response was one of containment which never made much sense to me. The bottom line is the old saying: “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Lenny M.

Where is my comment????

Lenny M.

The more people who realize that the mainstream media, large corporations, politicians (on both sides of the aisle), and funding from left winged Soros organizations are exploiting these events to condition the youth of this nation for a total gun ban one day in the future, the better off our nation will be. Funny how the majority of these “shooters” have all been on the radar of the FBI and/or local police, but they all have been allowed to slip through the cracks and kill! Makes you wonder if there are some or many that work in these organizations and… Read more »


Thank you for this interview, I hope more people read this.
We have shared on the Honor Defense facebook page.


@W. Bill I have written to the White House and it appears, at this point, our efforts are falling on deft ears. Whether the comments are not getting to him or not it does not feel very comfortable.
Another matter, he tweeted negatively about Sessions using the inspector general to investigate the FISA mess. Turns out Sessions was taking the only route available. He couldn’t use DOJ lawyers to do this, by law. Maybe he should check before he tweets. I don’t think Sessions is doing enough but it wouldn’t be easy with DJT publically running him down.

Wild Bill

Tcat, Well, we all make mistakes! About the letter and email campaign, think of it as a crappy weather hobby!


Awesome comments. Former threat analyst myself: this guys is spot on. I have been looking for a good book to waste some money on and he’s getting my cash. Can’t wait to read it!


I just finished watching the President’s meeting with the committee on school safety. It would appear they are going after the gun rather than the law enforcement people that screwed this whole thing up. DJT wants guns taken away from mentally ill. Just think if you get mad at someone you could report them and get their guns taken away. Another idea was to make us get a permit before we could purchase a gun from an individual and if we didn’t have a permit it would be against the law to sell to them. They are fast speed ahead… Read more »

Wild Bill

Tcat, I been sending the pres. letters and emails all week. To the effect: Blameing inanimate objects will not prevent shootings. Punishing law abiding citizens will not prevent shootings. Only addressing the great many federal, local, medical, and parental failures will prevent shootings. Burn the wires up, brother!

John Scheid

DHS is coming to the hospital I work at in March. The title of their presentation is Homeland Security for the Hospital Setting, I will be sure to ask them if they are going to do Soft target awareness Training. I work in the Comm center and we are sitting ducks. I know if I was attacking the Hospital it would be one of the places I would seize, if I wanted to hold on to the hospital. The airport here leaves a lot to be desired security wise. No sign of perimeter security. No security in cell hone parking… Read more »

Ethan Freeman

Insightful. Keep spreading truth. We the people are slowly waking up.

On gun free zones – When you put up a sign like that you are advertising you are vulnerable.


I have to join the crowd and say thank you for your service and the interview was great on both sides. It is a shame we do not have someone of this caliber to set up the hardening of schools, but all we have is politicians that would want to argue with him.


Carrying a concealed firearm is 90% of the needed preparation
People, ALWAYS carry your gun!
Reloads, tourniquets, knives, bug out bags and family contact plans are all nice to have
Having a gun, any caliber, is the most important thing to have to respond to a threat

Joye Hawk

Excellent & timely,truthful Q & A.


I wasnt expecting much since he speaks on MSNBC and CNN but that was a well reasoned approach, something I have not heard from anyone. Of course no one else will see it as it is buried on a pro gun site.


Doesnt Matter WHERE HE SPEAKS as long as its the TRUTH…and He does that Extremely Well !!! We have Politicians that ONLY get facetime and go on those Liberal networks so they can spread their lies and not have Hardball questions…


Gilliam no longer appears on CNN and rarely appears on any cable news program. He does a live show every weeknight usually starting between 8 and 9 PM EST on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. He also fills in for Hannity, David Webb on the Patriot channel and also co-hosts on Newsmax. All his past shows can be found on YouTube at or by searching YouTube for Jonathan T Gilliam. Anyone who agreed with what he said here should try and catch his show and read the book. #SheepNoMore
#TheExperts #CQRF @JGilliam_Seal


Well, maybe … maybe the SRO and others were cowards, maybe not. We need to look a lor more at their work and training environments. I’ll go with the Sheriff being a dip, ultimately responsible for the actions of his people, and looking for a hole to hide in by blaming external forces. I read in another report that the department has refused to release its policies covering training and response for this type of event. If true that says a lot, none of it good. In our topsy-turvey world “doing the right thing” is often penalized and can be… Read more »




Great and patriotic man, he should be the one who should be responsible for the new policies for schools, not someone who is just a politician, thank you for your service to our country!


Excellent interview and I rarely rate interviews that highly. He is one of the few I’d sit down with and, most likely, never have a single major disagreement with.

Matt in Oklahoma

Good article. We have a fight on our hands despite what we thought was going to be an easy few years in both 2A and removing the communist and socialist

Cydnee Allen

You guys covered a lot of ground in a ‘not too long’ article. Very informative, timely, practical & enjoyable interview. Mr. Gilliam I really appreciate your teachable examples and your outside in approach, I’m rethinking a few things and I sure will get the book. Planning on how to avoid/ escape situations is great but rethinking hardening for a possible inevitable is sure an appropriate idea too. I’ve been an NRA certified instructor (personal protection, home firearm safety and pistol, though I did let it lapse in 2005, life happens), but the knowledge is still there. Because of Mr. Gilliam’s… Read more »