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Report: Officials Wanted Stoneman High Shooter Committed Under the Baker Act in 2016

Report: Officials Wanted Stoneman High Shooter Committed Under the Baker Act in 2016

Disgraced sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson among those who recommended involuntary psychiatric evaluation

Last month, Kemberlee asked, What in the world is going on with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department?, and this week we learn that Broward Country school officials and at least one sheriff’s deputy recommended in September 2016 that the Stoneman Douglas High School shooter be involuntarily committed.

In an almost unbelievable twist, the sheriff’s deputy who recommended Nikolas Cruz be committed for psychological evaluation under the Baker Act is none other than school safety officer Scot Peterson.  That’s right, the same Scot Peterson who was forced to resign after reports surfaced that he hid outside the school while Cruz carried out his bloody rampage unhindered.

It’s not clear from the reports why no action was taken to commit Cruz under the Baker Act.

Fox News reports:

Some school counselors and officials were so concerned about the mental stability of Nikolas Cruz, accused in last month’s Florida school massacre that they decided to have him forcibly committed more than a year before the shooting.

However, the recommendation was never acted upon.

Documents in the criminal case against Cruz show that school officials at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a sheriff’s deputy recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be involuntarily committed for mental evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act for at least three days, according to the Associated Press.

The documents, which are part of Cruz’s criminal case in the shooting, show that he had written the word “kill” in a notebook, told a classmate that he wanted to buy a gun and use it, and had cut his arm supposedly in anger because he had broken up with a girlfriend. He also told another student he had drunk gasoline and was throwing up. Calls had even been made to the FBI about the possibility of Cruz using a gun at school.

. . . . There is no evidence Cruz was ever committed. Coincidentally, the school resource officer who recommended that Cruz be “Baker Acted” was Scot Peterson — the same Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who resigned amid accusations he failed to respond to the shooting by staying outside the building where the killings occurred.

Unbelievable.  And it gets worse, the school and Peterson were so worried about Cruz in 2016 that they established a “school safety plan” for him that included his being banned from practicing shooting with the JROTC and his not being permitted to carry a backpack on the school campus.

It has also been learned that psychiatrists recommended that Cruz be admitted to residential treatment back in 2013.

The Sun Sentinel reports:

Eighteen months before Nikolas Cruz shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, staff were so worried about his fascination with guns that they banned him from practicing shooting skills with the JROTC, according to mental health records obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

A safety plan created by the school for Cruz in September 2016 also prohibited him from carrying a backpack on campus.

. . . . The mental health records show counselors were sent to Cruz’s home multiple times in September 2016, the same month the Department of Children and Families conducted its own investigation following up on concerns from the school and from his family.

Other documents show that psychiatrists recommended placing Cruz in a residential treatment facility as early as 2013, the same year he and his brother learned they were adopted. He was 14 years old.

The details related about Cruz’s clearly disturbed (and disturbing) behavior are alarming, and it’s unclear why no action was taken when he talked about “having a gun and thinking about using it,” threatened to harm others, and wrote the word “kill” in a notebook after his mother refused to take him to get the state-issued id he needed to buy a gun.

The Sun Sentinel continues:

A psychiatric memo dated 2014 from the alternative Cross Creek School that Cruz attended in eighth grade describes him as “moody, impulsive, angry, attention seeking, annoys others on purpose and threatens to hurt others.” It describes him as having a strained relationship with his brother and indicates problems with Cruz’s behavior began in 2004, when he watched his father, Roger, die from a heart attack.

But the bulk of the documents focus on a one-week period in September 2016, when the Sheriff’s Office, DCF and mental health officials were investigating claims that Cruz posed, at least, a threat to himself.

Despite the repeated visits, neither the Broward Sheriff’s Office nor Henderson Behavioral Health, a mental health clinic in Davie that treated him for two years, ordered Cruz hospitalized for observation under the state’s Baker Act, which allows intervention when a person is deemed to be a danger to himself or others.

. . . . Five days later, the resource officer at Stoneman Douglas and two school counselors relayed an allegation that Cruz drank gasoline in a suicide attempt, cut himself and “that he had a gun at home and was thinking of using it.”

. . . . The school resource officer, a Broward sheriff’s deputy, promised to search Cruz’s home for a gun, according to the mental status assessment on Sept. 28, 2016. A sheriff’s report from the same date mentions no search for a gun, indicating only that Cruz wanted to buy one.

. . . . The next day, Jacobs, the first social worker, filed a report expressing school officials’ concern about Cruz’s desire to purchase a gun now that he was 18, and outlining the school’s decision to implement a “safety plan.” It was also noted that the JROTC program had banned Cruz from firing guns with the group during shooting practice.

The same day, a mental health counselor visited Cruz at his Parkland home because a guidance counselor was troubled that he wrote the word “kill” in a notebook because he was upset with his mother.

“I was angry then,” he told the counselor, Anna Del Barrio. “But I wouldn’t hurt my mom.”

Cruz told a school therapist that his argument with his mother was over her refusal to take him to get a state issued ID, which he would have needed to buy a gun.

But Lynda Cruz told Del Barrio that she had no worries about her son as a gun owner.

“I’m not concerned and I’m not afraid,” she said, according to Del Barrio’s report. “My son has pellet guns and he’s always respected the rules of where they can and can’t be used.”

This is on top of the many tips called in to (and ignored by) both the Broward Country Sheriff’s office and the FBI about Cruz’s desire to carry out a school shooting, his desire to kill people, and his reported affinity for ISIS.

Had all of this been followed-up on and Cruz involuntarily committed under the Baker Act, he would have found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to legally purchase a firearm under Florida law.

Fox 4 reported last month:

While the law was tightened in 2013 to restrict the mentally ill from purchasing guns, there are still a number of exceptions that ultimately give people with documented histories of mental health issues the right to purchase guns.

According to state law, while people institutionalized against their will, commonly known as the Baker Act, are prohibited from purchasing firearms, those who voluntarily commit themselves and stay on a voluntary status can obtain guns. In addition, if a doctor determines a person’s “dangerousness” is not imminent, Florida laws says they can buy guns.

Given Cruz’s history of erratic, violent behavior and threats of harm to himself and others, it seems unlikely he’d have been given the green light to buy a gun had he been involuntarily committed in 2016.  But we’ll never know because existing federal, state, and local law and procedures were neither enforced nor followed, and 17 people paid for these institutional failures with their lives.


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casualobserver | March 19, 2018 at 9:30 am

This situation is odd to me mostly because school culture is so overwhelmingly progressive in its rules everywhere in the nation. And the rights of the individual are almost always subordinated to the collective. This case is oddly the reverse where individual rights were protected at all costs and for some unknown reasons.

    Iowa history web site “Iowa Pathways” writes: “In 1965, five students from Des Moines wore black arm bands to school to protest America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Those strips of cloth became the subject of a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Because of those Iowa students, the right of all American students to express their political opinions was strengthened.”

    Wow. “Strengthened.” !!???

    That’s not natural law speaking in that ruling, that’s the evil forces of cultural chaos which ruled.

    In a classroom, the TEACHER is King. In a School, the Principal is King. THAT’s the natural law.

    The same law of “A Man’s home is his castle”. Or in nautical terms makes a mutiny a crime against humanity. For it is.

    Sure, there is some right of review, but in such cases the greatest of reverence must be awarded the master of the place and his (or her) duty and responsibility to make decisions of all sorts. The court previously erred in Tinker v Des Moines.

      Milhouse in reply to bvw. | March 21, 2018 at 4:49 am

      In a classroom, the TEACHER is King. In a School, the Principal is King. THAT’s the natural law.

      In a private school, sure, and Tinker doesn’t apply. But in a state school the US constitution applies and there is no King. Both principal and teacher act under the state’s authority and may do nothing that the state itself may not do.

“It’s not clear from the reports why no action was taken to commit Cruz under the Baker Act.”

Anything involving behavioral or mental health, especially for youth, in this country is a series of disasters (past, present and future) for the youths’ families. Sending them to residential treatment centers, one after another, with no results, getting bounced from one psychiatrist (or therapist) to the next, dealing with one state agency after another, is exhausting. Then there’s the police, the courts,…

Dante’s Inferno? Kafka? I don’t know… how about much worse than them?

“for some unknown reasons”

My understanding is they were trying to game statistics. Same reason Trayvon Martin’s locker full of stolen jewelry didn’t result in earlier immediate actions. I think they were in danger of losing some ranking or some federal funding if they had too many student arrests.

So, instead of the more exhausting methods of teaching values and mentoring troubled kids to turn them around they simply gamed the system and avoided reporting suspicious and possibly criminal activity.

I doubt with a similar warped attitude after I got out of the Marine Corps and apply to the University of Texas. They rejected my application. Stunned, I made an appointment with the school president to argue my case. In the meeting with him I discovered he was worried since I had been out of school so long that I would lower the graduation ranking in some magazines top # university rankings report. He wanted me to do 2 years at a Community College instead.

I made my case (I needed to re-enter academic life immersed in the culture of highly motivated students, not strippers and trust fund brats) but it angered me he was more concerned about his rankings and Newsweek then the education and essentially the future of so many young men and women. Reminded me of the Wall Street assholes in the movies hey we’re willing to toss 100 Working Families into the streets so their stock go up 0.5%

I landed a job on the student newspaper. I should have written about it but to my shame I was too cowardly to challenge the school president and risk my situation.

In fewer words:

Everybody knew that he was going to do it, but nobody moved a finger to prevent it.

CaliforniaJimbo | March 19, 2018 at 10:02 am

This example shows to reasonable people that the school shooting tragedies are not one dimensional. The left would tell us that banning guns will solve the issue. It is going to take a lot of changes to keep violent and mentally ill people from having the tools to commit mass murder.
Had the rules been followed, this monster would have had a record which would preclude him from legally purchasing firearms.
Other schools in Broward County are at risk due to the negligence of the BCSD. We need meaningful changes in the BCSD to ensure public safety. If Florida wants to monkey with their gun laws, that is their prerogative. My concern is that banning rifles (pistols are already banned) from those 18-20 years old flies in the face of the 2A. At 18, you are a legal adult. While there is not a right to drink in the Constitution, there is a right to keep and bear arms. Restricting all firearms from otherwise law abiding adults (18-20) is something that is ripe for a court case.
Maybe if we got back to teaching right from wrong and that actions have consequences in schools the violent outbursts will subside. In today’s everyone is right, there are more than 2 genders, and you can feel whatever you want will only produce a generation of people who lack the fundamentals of citizenship. That is the victim in this mess. (and the innocent who are slain due to no fault of their own)

Connivin Caniff | March 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

The guy in the picture is even more disgraced.

This further substantiates my “conspiracy theory” that someone or some group wanted a school shooting to occur.

Let me explain how involuntary psychiatric commitment works in Florida.

First of all, the person has to be demonstrably an immediate threat to himself or others due to a suspected psychiatric problem, not merely a potential threat. Also, there is a clause in the law which allows the person so afflicted to choose voluntary commitment and, if the person has a support system who can exercise control over that person then a LEO can not forcibly detain and transport the person for involuntary psychiatric evaluation.

Second, once the person is delivered to the screening facility, he has to be examined as soon as possible and court ordered commitment has to be obtained within 72 hours. Otherwise he has to be released.

Third, there are simply no institutions in Florida where a person can be forcibly committed and held for long-term residency except for a criminal commitment. People like Cruz are generally examined, given a handful of pills, a prescription and and a follow-up appointment with a psychiatrist and kicked out the back door at the end of the 72 hours.

In this case, Cruz was apparently seen by several mental health professionals as well as Deputy Peterson. If Peterson felt that Cruz was a viable candidate for involuntary commitment under the Baker Act, he could have done so on his own. The mental health professionals may not have had statutory authority to order Cruz detained, but they could certainly have obtained a Baker Act order from a physician, which the Sheriff’s Office would have executed.

Now reality check time. Being involuntarily committed would not have precluded Cruz from buying a firearm. It might have precluded him passing a NICS background check for a commercial purchase, but no such check would have been required for a casual private sale. People are trying to find the silver bullet which would have prevented this shooting. People immediately blamed the tool used, as if that would prevent future incidents. They are looking at finding fault with LE and mental health professionals and mental health laws, now. But, no one seems to be the least bit concerned that the school was largely unguarded. There was no effective access control and no effective armed security to prevent Cruz, or anyone else, from entering the facility and killing people. Why is that? Businesses and residences all across the country use things like door buzzers and simple locks to control access and people do not get their knickers in a twist about it. But, let someone suggest that similar access control and heightened security be implemented at a school and people put their fingers in their ears and started going la-la-la-la-la or react violently to the suggestion. Perhaps mental illness is more widespread than we think.

    Immolate in reply to Mac45. | March 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Because of my advanced cognitive function of adjusting my expectations according to reality, what I think of the likelihood of the presence of mental illness is usually within +/- 5% of accurate.

    tom_swift in reply to Mac45. | March 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    In order to show up in NICS a court has to send him for observation. Nobody else will do. He doesn’t have to stay there, and it doesn’t matter if he’s treated, it doesn’t matter if he stops taking his meds. He’ll be listed as a prohibited person until another court takes him off the list.

    Whether NICS will do the job is another question. But if he’s not on the list of prohibited persons there’s no chance that it can work.

    bvw in reply to Mac45. | March 19, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Very thoughtful reply. When dealing with the insane and dangerous it is better to act before they cause harm, but for society to ALLOW such action prior to harm is always exploited by some against the innocent and sane, yet who happen to fall into a position — as a child, as a poor person, as an elderly, person, or a person with some known health problem — that prevents them from stopping the malevolent abuse of a procedure allowed for safety.

    There’s no good answer. There is also the case of James Otis, the Boston lawyer and early patriot, whose great writings informed our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. However he was subject to dangerous fits of mania. In those days and weeks his family and fellows had to chain him to a bed in a locked room. Would society allow that today?

This is an example of everything that the gun control nuts have ever wanted was available and NONE of them were used! My God! How many bells did this sick monster have to ring before someone did something? There have to be at least ten different agencies and events that should have alerted the proper authorities to take action. None did but who gets the blame? The AR 15 and the NRA!

    You are assuming that Cruz met the criteria for involuntary commitment and that, if committed, he would never have been able to purchase a firearm, or obtain another instrument to cause as much, or more damage. That may not be accurate.

    In this case, even though no one ever Baker Acted or committed or even arrested Cruz, he could still have been stopped by effective access control and armed security at the point of attack, the school. You can try to set up a continual cloud nerve gas, all around your house, to keep rodents from getting in. Or you can place screens over the holes where rodents may enter and get a cat. Which seems like the most efficient means of control?

      inspectorudy in reply to Mac45. | March 19, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      I am not following your rat and poison gas meme but if any one agency had stepped into this guys life the outcome may have been entirely different. That’s what these agencies are there for. It looks like everyone is so PC and afraid of condemning a teen that they refuse to do anything about him even though it was their job to do so.

        The point is that you, and most of the rest of society, seem to want to change the world to stop a few people from committing these kind of acts of violence, when the remedy is so very simple and cause specific. Rather than poison the the entire country or try to find and cage every rodent in the world, isn’t it so much easier and more effective to simply make it impossible for rodents to get into your house and, if they do, have a cat available to kill them? Then you do not have to depend upon anyone else to keep the rodents out of your house.

        20/20 hindsight is always crystal clear. But, suppose tyhe police come to your house and you are angrily screaming that you are going to kill your neighbor because he has driven across you law for the 12th time, leaving ruts in it. The LEO, based upon his 2 hours of training in how to recognize a psychopath, involuntarily commits you and confiscates all of your firearms, because you might be a potential danger to society. A psychiatrist, after interviewing you and reading the police report learns that you are a gun collector and decides to err on the side of caution and files paperwork to have you involuntarily committed due to uncontrollable rage issues. Now, maybe you beat that, at the cost of an incredible amount of money. But, maybe you do not. So, you get committed and lose your gun collection as well as being denied the right to possess another firearm. But, at least society is safe from your future predations, right?

        Or, my favorite, the domestic violence arrest. Why should an arrest for simple battery result in suspension of your Constitutional rights simply because the other party is a member of your family? Does that make any sense. When you add in the fact that many states now require that a person be arrested, charged and tried for a domestic battery the chances of an innocent man [yep it is almost always the man who gets arrested] being convicted and stripped of his right to possess a firearm increases significantly.

        As for Cruz not shooting up a school if he had been committed or arrested for domestic battery, there is no guarantee of that. He could have obtained a firearm from any number of sources, other than a licensed dealer [juvenile gang bangers with felony records manage to get them in Chicago without difficulty and some of the strongest gun laws in the US exist there.

Florida ‘Baker Acts’ quite a lot of children under the age of 18, to the point where there’s starting to be pushback that it’s too easy, or too readily done. There was a middle school student from my school district Baker Acted just recently, and it blew up on social media because if witnesses are to be believed (medical, law enforcement and education professionals aren’t allowed to give “their side of the story”), it really was over something fairly minor.

Here are some numbers:

”Between summer 2015 and 2016, kids under the age of 18 in Florida were subjected to an involuntary psychiatric exam 32,000 times – almost a 50 percent increase over five years.

Under The Florida Mental Health Act, a person can be held and accessed if there’s reason to believe that person has a mental illness or because of their mental illness. This law is also known by its nickname the Baker Act.

Two years ago, more than 700 cases began at public, private or charter schools in Miami-Dade County, according to The Miami Herald. More than 600 were initiated at schools in Broward County.”

So I’m just saying, it’s not like it’s a super-rare thing to Baker Act students here. And yes, being Baker Acted will get you on the NICS “prohibited persons” list. And though, as someone pointed out above, even as a prohibited person he could lie to a private seller and get one that way, how many private sellers REALLY are going to sell an AR-15 to an 18 year old kid?

Just because it’s a private sale doesn’t mean there are no limits. You still have to complete a bill of sale which includes witnessed buyer’s and seller’s declarations (including the buyer attesting that s/he is not prohibited from possessing a firearm legally). A lot of sellers want to see a CCL, even for something that’s obviously not going to be concealed (like a rifle) because it reassures them that the buyer has basically been pre-vetted. And I don’t know anyone who’d sell to someone under 21 tbh. I think an 18 year old high school kid who isn’t very mobile (no car, needs Mom or Uber to get anywhere) would have had a hard time finding a private seller willing to sell him an AR-15.

So in short, it’s not that unusual an event for a student to be Baker Acted; if he had been Baker Acted he would have become a prohibited person; and being unable to purchase from an FFL he’d have to turn to the private market where he’d lie on his declaration and have to find someone within Uber distance willing to sell an AR to an 18-year-old kid they don’t know from Adam.

Sure, the shooting still “could” have happened. But it’d be a lot less likely to have.

    I-TEAM: Number of children held under Baker Act growing
    Rising number of orders originating at area schools without parents’ say

    Mac45 in reply to Amy in FL. | March 19, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    There is NO paperwork required for a casual private sale in Florida. NONE. No bill of sale, not ATF forms, nothing. As to seeing a DL, that proves nothing but the person’s identity, maybe. Then you have the criminal firearms market. You can find black market firearms dealers almost as easily as you can find drug dealers. And, of course, there is the path of simply stealing a firearm. Then, of course, he could have walked in with a homemade bomb or a bunch of mason jars filled with a flammable liquid and done as much, or more, damage.

    The point being, there is no way to assure that any person will walk in and shoot up a school, unless that person is stopped as he is attempting to commit the act. People conveniently ignore the distinct possibility that there will be no warning before an attack occurs.

    If only we arrested everyone who exhibited any violent tendencies, or got mad, or made any threats and incarcerated them for life, we would all be safe from attack. Or if we totally eliminated every item in the world which could be used as a weapon, we would be safe from attack. Or if we passed laws against attacking us we would be safe from attack. Oh wait, we already tried that last one, didn’t we? See the problem here?

    The world is a dangerous place filled with people who have no compunction against harming you. Laws will not stop them. If they did then we would not have any police. So, what is left?

But, but, BUT NRA, NRA, NRA russia?

This whole finger-pointing exercise re: the Parkland florida schools shooting makes me crazy. First it is the failure of the Sheriff’s Office. Then it is fault of the weapon used and the NRA. Then it is back to being the fault of all kinds of government agencies because they were not strict enough with children who misbehave. Then it was back to a failure of the Sheriff;s Office. Now it is a failure of a whole bunch of people who did not involuntarily commit Cruz. But, people simply REFUSE to acknowledge that the biggest failure was that the security at the school was so inadequate as to be non-existent. Why? Will somebody PLEASE explain why no one seems to care if there is any security at schools in this country? We keep having these incidents and we hear the calls for gun control, for strengthening background checks, for expanding involuntary commitments far beyond reasonable parameters. But NOBODY is screaming, demanding or even whispering about increasing the physical security of schools. Why? The abhorrence for increasing security is almost psychotic. The arguments against strengthening security run the gamut from it can’t be done [but we know that it can be done], to it will make the schools look like a prison [whoop-dee-doo] to it will emotionally scar the children [as if being mildly traumatized is somehow worse than being DEAD]. Please, tell me why we can not pursue the most effective means of protecting our children while they are in school.

No, I’ll tell you why. Because all of these people KNOW that if there had been effective access control and an effective armed security force in place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, we would not be discussing this at all. They know it and they do not want to admit to themselves that they did nothing to prevent this. It is diversion.

Can we just have an honest discussion of the BEST way to protect children while they are in school? Or are we going to keep jumping around ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room?

“Makes me crazy”

Well FWIW, I agree with your line of reasoning about intervening on the basis of mental illness.

Sounds simple in hindsight but in reality there would be way too many false positives. Even worse imagine being one of those false positives

    Mac45 in reply to Fen. | March 20, 2018 at 11:20 am

    THAT is all you took away from my post?

    Should we, or should we no, harden the security at our public schools? And, if not, why not? Want to weigh in on that point?

      Fen in reply to Mac45. | March 21, 2018 at 5:17 am


      1. That’s not all that I took away from your post. But I only spotlighted my agreement on your part about screening for mental illness because it appeared there was some actual debate here on the subject, dispute that you appeared to find frustrating. So I focused on that portion to back you up.

      2. as for hardening security in schools, I would direct you toward Larry Correra’s excellent article – An Opinion on Gun Control. I know firearms, but he is a subject matter expert. I agree with everything and his article 100%. But in particular, his ideas about arming school teachers:

      The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started.

      The teachers are there already. The school staff is there already. Their reaction time is measured in seconds, not minutes. They can serve as your immediate violent response. Best case scenario, they engage and stop the attacker, or it bursts his fantasy bubble and he commits suicide. Worst case scenario, the armed staff provides a distraction, and while he’s concentrating on killing them, he’s not killing more children.

      But teachers aren’t as trained as police officers! True, yet totally irrelevant. The teacher doesn’t need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps.

      But this leads to the inevitable shrieking and straw man arguments about guns in the classroom, and then the pacifistic minded who simply can’t comprehend themselves being mandated to carry a gun, or those that believe teachers are all too incompetent and can’t be trusted. Let me address both at one time.

      Don’t make it mandatory. In my experience, the only people who are worth a darn with a gun are the ones who wish to take responsibility and carry a gun. Make it voluntary. It is rather simple. Just make it so that your state’s concealed weapons laws trump the Federal Gun Free School Zones act. All that means is that teachers who voluntarily decide to get a concealed weapons permit are capable of carrying their guns at work. Easy. Simple. Cheap. Available now.

      Then they’ll say that this is impossible, and give me all sorts of terrible worst case scenarios about all of the horrors that will happen with a gun in the classroom… No problem, because this has happened before. In fact, my state laws allow for somebody with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a school right now. Yes. Utah has armed teachers. We have for several years now.

      When I was a CCW instructor, I decided that I wanted more teachers with skin in the game, so I started a program where I would teach anybody who worked at a school for free. No charge. Zip. They still had to pay the state for their background check and fingerprints, but all the instruction was free. I wanted more armed teachers in my state.

      I personally taught several hundred teachers. I quickly discovered that pretty much every single school in my state had at least one competent, capable, smart, willing individual. Some schools had more. I had one high school where the principal, three teachers, and a janitor showed up for class. They had just had an event where there had been a threat against the school and their resource officer had turned up AWOL. This had been a wake up call for this principal that they were on their own, and he had taken it upon himself to talk to his teachers to find the willing and capable. Good for them.”