Do you remember where you were when you heard about Sandy Hook? I do. I’ll never forget the sense of helplessness I felt as I watched the horror on the news unfold and thought of my own family’s safety that cold, December day. Americans are witness to these tragedies all too often. They happen in our universities, our high schools, and even our elementary schools. These disasters don’t take place in some far-off land, somewhere else. No, they happen in our own back yard: in Columbine High, Arapahoe High, and in the Aurora theater. One day the background noise of the 24-hour news cycle sounds a breaking news alert siren and the landscape of our country is forever changed. And we confront the uncomfortable reality that when we send our kids to school, we are making them vulnerable to the worst of humanity.
It’s a scary thought. But there are people who want to stop the bad guys in their tracks and, thankfully, they far outnumber the evil ones who will stop at nothing to kill. They happen to be the same people who stand between bullets and our kids when these tragedies occur. School staff members and administrators often give their lives while protecting our kids and it’s high time we give them a fighting chance.
Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, also known as FASTER, does just that. Coloradans for Civil Liberties (CCL) is partnering with the Independence Institute to bring this lifesaving training (which has already trained nearly 900 school staff members in Ohio) to Colorado where it is already legal for teachers and other school staff members to carry a concealed firearm on campus. Our school districts are eager to implement this world-class training in their schools. And I’m taking it upon myself to see that vision become reality.
You might remember me from the 2013 recall of State Senate President John Morse, or you might have heard my name during the 2014 “Udall Lied” campaign. I take on tough projects and I never put my name behind anything that doesn’t serve the people of Colorado. I’m teaming up with my friends at the Independence Institute because there is no group I trust more to get things done in Colorado. We’ve joined forces for FASTER because a project of such gravity and importance deserves the powerhouse duo of an action tank and an action-driven local leader to bring it to fruition.
Together, we’re asking you to join us in support of the FASTER project because we truly believe it is a matter of life and death. One thing we know about school shootings: they will happen again. An armed gunman will step inside a school intending to kill. This is a question of when, not if.
It’s our goal that no teacher or school employee in Colorado will have to face a financial hurdle to pay for this state-of-the-art, life-saving training. With your help, Coloradans for Civil Liberties will be one step closer to making that goal a reality. Our immediate goal is to raise $10,000. It takes $1,000 to train one teacher. Just $1,000 gives a teacher vital training that goes beyond using a firearm by equipping them with advanced medical training and the tools to administer life-saving support. This is the same trauma combat casualty care training we give our troops and it can save lives in the desperate moments that tick by while help is on the way. We must raise $10,000 by May 1st in order to get our first FASTER class of ten staff members underway. We know we can do it, but not without your help. In a crisis where every second counts, the police are usually minutes away.
We must do more.
Executive Director, Coloradans for Civil Liberties