FASTER Training’s Laura Carno is with Lincoln Club of Colorado’s Dorothy Gotlieb, December’s ACRBC host.
BY FREDA MIKLIN
Lincoln Club of Colorado’s Dorothy Gotlieb stood in for the vacationing Myron Spanier at the Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club’s (ACRBC) Dec. 5 meeting at Maggiano’s DTC. The speaker for the meeting was Laura Carno, founder of Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER), which is part of the Independence Institute of Colorado. FASTER’s mission is to teach school personnel how to use firearms to stop school shooters.
Carno told fellow Republicans that charter school boards in Colorado, as well as public school boards can authorize the arming of any adult employee in their schools. She said rural schools have been early authorizers “because they know how stinking far away law enforcement is.” Carno carefully pointed out that arming employees does not remove schools’ need to adopt common sense well-recognized security measures like locking doors and addressing students’ mental health issues. She supports school resource officers, who she calls “a wonderful part of school security,” but, she says, “they can’t be everywhere.”
Carno told the smaller-than-usual ACRBC crowd, “In mass killing events, an average of one person is shot every 17 seconds.” She went on, “In schools that are gun-free zones, adults who are licensed to carry firearms cannot do so even to defend themselves.”
FASTER originated in Ohio, where 1,600 school staff, including janitors, have been trained in six years. All are volunteers. No school employee anywhere is required to learn to use a gun and carry it. Carno said all FASTER instructors are active duty law enforcement officers with SWAT training. She said the intense three-day course teaches two basic skills, how to stop an active shooter and how to keep victims from bleeding out.
Audience members questioned how parents would know if their children’s school participated in this program and whether they should be part of the decision to do so.
Bob Sweeney took the floor to say that Republicans need to talk about why they lost so many county and state offices in November. He went on, “We have to elect our senator (Cory Gardner). He is in grave danger. We are a political organization and we need to get to work.” Everyone in the room agreed.
Gotlieb said, “Republicans have the right values, but the Democrats’ ground game got them elected.” Rep. Sue Beckman explained that when she won HD38 by 347 votes last month after winning it by 9,000 votes two years ago. She found that Democratic precinct workers had identified and registered (as unaffiliated) thousands of new left-leaning voters in her district over the past 17 months. With a little encouragement, those new voters eventually supported every Democrat on the ballot.
Barb Piper, who delivers announcements on behalf of Gardner at ACRBC, announced a number of bills Gardner recently introduced, all on a bipartisan basis with Democratic senators, including two bills with Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett to protect the country’s energy grid from cyber-attacks. Piper also announced that Gardner had released a statement strongly criticizing “Russia’s illegal and unprovoked aggression toward Ukraine.”
Though the cadre of elected officials at the meeting was decidedly smaller than before November’s election losses, Arapahoe County Commissioner Jeff Baker, Lone Tree City Councilor Wynne Shaw, Beckman, Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko and council member Kathy Turley let ACRBC members know they were there and continuing to work hard for the citizens of Colorado.
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