School Shootings – Plastic Signs and Synthetic Emotions

No Guns Sign
No Guns Sign

U.S.A. –-( Two armed murderers entered a school south of Denver yesterday.  I’m sure that a number of special interests will place the blame for these attacks. They never let an atrocity go to waste. I’ve seen everything from global warming to the political party in office used as a scapegoat to promote assorted causes. I want to be careful about what we know, what is probably true, and what we should expect. One thing we know is that this attack doesn’t come as a surprise.

One of the murderers was a trans-sexual female who preferred to be called a boy. The other murderer was an 18 year old male. Preliminary reports indicate the male student felt bullied. Both murderers used handguns to attack students and staff.

We can speculate about their motive. If they were at all like the vast majority of mass murderers in recent years, these murderers counted on the mass media to turn them into instant celebrities. If our media treats these murders as they treated earlier murderers, then the attackers will receive a billion dollars of free publicity. Time after time, that media promotional campaign pays for the next narcissistic murderer who wants to see his name in the news.

That isn’t speculation; it is a conclusion reached by both psychological research and by investigating previous mass murderers. This media campaign earns the news organization big bucks by delivering new viewers. It is paid for with the blood of our children.

We know that the police response at this Highlands Ranch school was extraordinary. The police arrived in a few minutes. In those two minutes, these murderers shot eight people and one of then died. Some of the victims remain at risk. The usual response time is more than 5 minutes.

That brings us to the reality that most parents want to evade. Even two minutes is too long to wait for help. Any armed individual can shoot many people if the murderer is unopposed for several minutes.

That isn’t because of the particular characteristics of the weapon that makes the attack so deadly, but the fact that the murderers were attacking victims who could neither run to safety nor fight back. As we’ve seen before, the murderers carefully chose their victims and the location of the attack. The murderers wanted easy victims and that is what we delivered. We consciously chose to protect our children with plastic signs that said no-guns allowed.

Gun Free Zone
Gun Free Zone


I’ve trained with school staff who volunteered to be armed first responders. They trained to stop an armed threat and to stop the bleeding until EMTs arrive. I took this training in central Colorado alongside teachers from Colorado. As far as I know, none of my classmates were from the Highlands School District where the attack occurred. The teachers I met were passionate about saving lives. I suspect that there are many school staff in the Highlands district who feel the same way as the teachers I saw.

Like many other school districts, the school staff with whom I trained were there because their school board and school superintendents decided to protect their students. These volunteer school staff were not willing to wait as their students were murdered. They were not willing to blame someone else, when instead, they could protect their students and save lives until police and EMTs arrived.

Every mass murder is unique, but each ones follows a general pattern. We have never seen a plastic “no-gun sign” stop a mass murderer. In contrast, we have yet to see a murderer attack a school where armed school staff were present. Earlier I’d claimed that plastic signs are ineffective, but the plastic sign that says “armed staff” seems to work so far. We have accumulated millions of school days with armed staff on campus. So far they have been both safe and effective.

A more effective sign.
A more effective sign.

That shouldn’t surprise anyone. We wouldn’t turn off the fire alarms, remove fire extinguishers and first aid boxes at our schools, and replace them with a plastic sign that says “No Fire Allowed”. That would be ridiculous, yet we did that when it came to protecting our children from violence on campus.

We expect adults at the scene to be first responders until professionals arrive. We expect adults to stop small fires and treat injuries if they can.. even if it doesn’t say that in their union contract. In my experience, teachers are protectors who want to take care of “their kids.”

Our luck won’t last. At some point, an attacker will choose a school with armed staff. You and I pray that never happens. Thank god there are a few teachers who pray they are there in time to stop the murderer. I thank them every day. More school staff wish they could be defenders. I know this because I’ve met many of them and they told me so.

I’ve listened to law enforcement officials from across the country who want school staff to be trained and armed. Law enforcement officers see violence every day. I suspect that makes many of us uncomfortable. Rather than take the advice of professionals who deal with violence, we want to pretend that violence doesn’t exist. We want to pretend that a sign will keep us safe and keep our children safe.

It wasn’t the plastic “no-guns” sign that failed in Highland, but the adults who believed it. We can fix that tomorrow.. and we should.

About Rob MorseSlow Facts

The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.


  • 11 thoughts on “School Shootings – Plastic Signs and Synthetic Emotions

    1. These murderous, my feelings got hurt, I’m more important than you, I don’t care if it’s wrong, kids were aided and afforded their evil by politicians who ignore their oath to protect, preserve and defend the GOD given, constitutionally protected rights and freedoms laid down by GOD ALMIGHTY and our founding fathers. Time and time again it is proven that the ONLY way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Gun free zone signs only empower evil to do what evil does. These two murderers walked through classroom doors, thus blocking the exits, and started trying to murder kids and staff like fish in a barrel. This is the kind of thing that happens all too often in gun free zones. Any politician, lawyer, enforcement operative, school cadre etc. who enacted or enforced the “gun free zone” is just as guilty of murder and attempted murder as the two kids that actually did the shooting. Guilt by association.
      Not to mention their treason.

      It has come to the point that being armed 24/7 is just a fact of life if one is to have even a chance of stopping evil, protecting one’s loved ones, friends, neighbors or saving one’s own life. I don’t know how long it took for L.E. to arrive and deal with the situation. My understanding is, like the vast majority of this type of premeditated murder, the shooters were stopped and detained long before L.E. even arrived on site. L.E. was very close to the school when the shooting started. Not trying to degrade L.E. but the fact remains: When seconds count, the police are min. away. The average mass shooting takes only 4 min. The average response time for the police to roll up on site is 9 min. That is not the time to engage the threat, that is the time to arrive on location. Something else to think on is, at least here in Az., there is no law that demands the police protect the people! There is no rule that compels the police to actually do the job that almost everyone has come to expect they do: To protect and serve. So, we are literally on our own, we are responsible for our own safety. We are responsible for the lives and safety of our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors and the helpless person in need. Therefore, to be armed is just common sense even if one has to be civilly disobedient to do so. My family, friends and neighbors all know that I am armed and you can bet your bottom dollar they would be happy and even grateful for, at least, the chance of safety and life should there be a “situation”. Life gets very precious when one is faced with loosing it.

      If you are not armed, get that way. If you have not been trained as to how, when to and when to not deploy and engage with a firearm, get trained. If you cannot hit an “A” zone sized target at 25 yds. at the rate of one second per shot, you NEED to practice. You might want to join an IDPA league. Maybe try to compete in “three gun” types of competition. Maybe even try a S.A.S.S. type of shoot. Cowboy action shooting. There is a peace that comes after one becomes aware of one’s ability to successfully deal with a desperate situation.

      Back when we got pushed into WW-2, Yamamoto was asked why he did not try to invade the United States. His response was “There would be a gun behind every blade of grass”. You can bet being armed has kept America free of invasion for centuries. Maybe that is why politicians are trying so hard to disarm the public. Ten years ago, Venezuela elected a socialist president–Chavez. Among the first things he did was disarm the public. Does D. Feinstein’s quote of “Mr. and Mrs. American citizen–turn them in” ring ominous and just plain evil to you now? What has followed is what ALWAYS follows when the people are disarmed. Poverty, starvation, no hope of getting anything better for the average man or his children. Venezuela was the richest nation in South America just ten years ago. Now, the only hope they have is an outside nation using force–military force to set things right. Should you surrender your guns, ammo, magazines etc, you WILL find yourself in dire straights with little hope of anything getting better. Ben Franklin once said something to the effect If one would trade their freedom for a little more security one winds up with and one deserves neither!

      Carry every day, all the time, wherever you are even if the law says otherwise. A law that violates the constitution is actually against the law–ask a lawyer. When a government becomes destructive to the lives, liberty, rights and freedoms of the citizens, it is in the right of the people to alter or abolish it and create new government. You will find those words and many more akin to them in the declaration of independence. They were written after many years of government “overreach” and tyranny. Years of more and more restrictions on the rights and freedoms of the people. When did they write the declaration of independence? 1776 or 2019? Just something to think on.
      Arm up, carry on.

    2. 98% of Public Mass Shootings occur in “GUN-FREE ZONES”. The other 2% occur in areas that were immediately Adjacent To “GUN-FREE Zones” (such as Parking Lots just outside the building). These Killers target locations where Guns are Not Allowed because they feel safe. The conclusion is obvious, and undeniable.

      911 Response Time = Minutes. Response Time 9mm = 1100 feet per second

    3. As long as the media keeps on giving the names of the people who commit the shootings they will continue to happen. They get their 15 minutes of fame. We get to know more about the people who commit the shootings with in the first 15 minutes after the press get to the site of the shooting than we know about the people who got shot/killed, and that’s not right.
      Think about it, we knew the name of the killer in Chardon, in Sandy Hook, all the way down to here and they are treated like celebrities. While the people who died with the exception of the people who were there are forgotten. Can anyone name the kids who died at Chardon? Can anyone even remember Chardon? It is always over looked…

    4. My grandchildren attend high school where they chain the gates closed as their security measures and place gun free signs out front. Who are these morons in charge?
      Sue the the people ultimately responsible for creating this mess and hold them personally responsible for each death, it’s time they were blamed for failing to protect our children and for laws that didn’t work.

    5. No wonder the story hasn’t got much air time. The shooters weren’t armed with ‘assault weapons’ and they were too young to be in possession of hand guns. Doesn’t fit the narrative, so just ignore it.

    6. This is a return to the times before Joe Biden’s’ incredibly stupid “no gun zone” law that was passed in 1990. Old Joe’s law replaced the real “possibility” that the teachers were armed with signs “guaranteeing” the shooters that they were not armed. Joe enabled these lunatics to shoot as many of our children as possible! Of course, when Joe saw the carnage, he never once asked for the repeal of the law. As you might guess, Joe Biden doesn’t belong in any public office!

    7. How come this never happened back in the 1950’s or 1960’s? School kids often brought their deer rifle or shotgun to school, gave it to the teacher to keep safe until after school when they would go hunting. Here’s something i don’t see in the news, where are these kids parents ( who shoot up schools)? Is this the way they raised their kids to do whatever they want and feel like doing? Have they ever taken their kids to church? Want to stop school shootings, arrest the shooters parents and put them in jail for these crimes!! Its the same as if one has a vicious dog who gets loose and attacks people mauling and even killing them ( have heard of several cases). The dogs owner is charged with the crime, now do the same with these school shooters and you’ll see shootings come to a stop. Also a lot of areas now have police officers at schools too.

    8. Never going to happen. School districts are much more concerned about a negligent discharge from the firearm of a teacher wounding a student (and the resulting lawsuit) than they are a school shooting involving a student shooting other students. The odds are the former is much more likely to occur than the latter. Don’t get me wrong; I support armed teachers but in 2019 that will never happen on a widespread basis.

      1. yo superman, many school districts, mostly in red states/areas, already allow staff to protect students with firearms, and no student has been shot. the odds that a staff member shoots a student is 0.00%. how much better odds do you need than that? if you truly supported arming staff members to protect school children you would be contacting your school board as I keep on doing, and I don’t have children in school anymore. I am forwarding this article to the Miami-Dade school district because after Gov de Santis signed SB7030, the school district said they would not let staff help protect students. oh, and don’t hide behind a pseudonym if you want to be taken seriously.

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