Statue of Liberty Anniversary

On this date in 1885, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to America, arrived in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic in 350 pieces.

We call her “Lady Liberty.

”She has represented hope to hundreds of thousands who gazed at her as they passed by in New York Harbor, arriving legally, purposefully, hopefully in this land of freedom and opportunity. All that she represents - freedom, opportunity, liberty, justice, the ability to pursue happiness - built us into a strong and proud nation of dedicated, hard-working, grateful people.

How we need to still appreciate all that our country offers because of our exceptional founding principles.

And now, we need to work hard to preserve this “more perfect union,” and stand strong against all the ideas and misconceptions that threaten to destroy her.


First Time Gun Buyer Phenomenon

We have seen a number of reports lately about significantly increased gun purchases, the majority by First-Time Gun Buyers (FTGB).  There were an estimated 3.7 million background checks nationwide (in March) according to the FBI and the NICS (National Instant Check System).  The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) deciphered that 2.5M of those background checks were for firearms and at least half of that number was by FTGB.

Fear and increased awareness of the need for protection in our homes and communities drives this because of the strange Covid-19 world in which we live. That desire to protect ourselves should threat or danger present itself is natural, understandable and appropriate. That is why we are so passionate about our mission and philosophy that Bullets Both Ways are better than one way from an unchallenged perpetrator!

We encourage all our supporters and partners in the firearms industry (those who have not yet joined the education campaign) to communicate and consistently relay the importance of proper gun etiquette, education and respect for FTGB and that it’s essential to learn the basics of firearms and how to not only handle them and store them safely, but also operate them safely and responsibly.  Otherwise FTGB have the potential to be a danger to themselves, their family and those around them.

We also realize the majority of these FTGB likely do not follow our gun community’s pages and platforms which makes it even more difficult to provide proper training and awareness.  It comes down to communication, conversing with anyone and everyone you know, directly or indirectly, to get the message out and provide resources for those new to gun ownership and use of these self-defense, sport and recreation tools.

Stand up | Represent | Prepare | Protect



Basics 4 rules of firearm safety:

  1. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded at all times (regardless of whether a magazine is inserted or not).
  2. Muzzle Discipline – ensure your gun is pointed in a safe direction and do not point it at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Finger discipline – keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you are ready to fire.
  4. Pass through potential – consider the background of your target.


Few good resources for FTGB’s:

“Guns 101” Devoted and designed for new gun owners.

Program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)

Free online training program for new gun owners by Farewell Firearms:


School & Church Staff with Guns: The Realities about Cost & Training

Arming and training teachers and school staff is an effort that is not taken lightly. The reality is that arming volunteer school staff can prevent school shootings.

It has become apparent that special door locks and security cameras are ineffective. In recent school active shooter confrontations, these safety measures have been shown to not prevent the shootings.

While training requirements vary in different states and districts, the training teachers are required to take is extensive and thorough.

When a school board decides to authorize staff to carry firearms, volunteers are requested. No district requires any school staffer carry a concealed firearm; it is always voluntary. But, once a school staffer volunteers and is vetted, they are provided with proper training. Safety is a critical aspect for anyone handling guns; it is especially true for school staff.

Districts that have armed staff require significant initial training, as well as ongoing continuous training.

One argument used by critics is how can schools be expected to afford this extensive training when school districts are already complaining of not being able to fund adequate supplies or extra curriculars?

Schools are already spending an enormous amount on school resource officers, specialized video systems and other high expense security measures. In comparison, training armed staff is a minor expense.

There are groups across the country like FASTERSavesLives in Ohio, FASTERColorado, and Bullets Both Ways in Colorado that raise private money or provide scholarships to help schools afford the very best in firearms and medical training.

Bullets Both Ways, for example, sponsors medical and firearms training for teachers and school staff and church security teams and is able to do this through merchandise sales. They provide scholarships for various training programs, including FASTERColorado. Their brand merchandise and apparel line was created as a resource not only to motivate and inspire others to Stand up, Represent, Prepare and Protect, but to generate revenue in order to contribute to the protection of schools and communities.

FASTERColorado, which stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, is able to offer the proper training at little to no cost to school employees. FASTER training enables teachers, administrators and other school employees to stop school violence quickly and administer medical aid immediately. FASTER trained teachers are not intended as a replacement for Police and EMTs. Instead, their training enables them to be on-site, immediate defenders, saving lives through prompt action.

Schools are realizing that they need to have an advance plan for how to protect lives until law enforcement arrives on the scene.  Because of this, the number of school staff that want to go through armed training programs has grown significantly.

"Even people who say, 'We don't want guns in our schools,' well, when an event happens, you're calling the police and you're hoping they bring guns," said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a pro-gun group that runs the Faster training in Ohio.

The value of a child's life is beyond measure. There are individuals and organizations across the country that realize this and are making it a mission to provide excellent firearms and medical response training for school and church staff to be thoroughly prepared for active shooter scenarios. By just doing their part, organizations like FASTER and Bullets Both Ways are impacting their communities in an incredibly positive way.

By Amalia White


Safety initiatives: Exploring Mental Health and Armed Staff Programs in Colorado Schools

School shootings are an unfortunate reality for some students across the fifty-states leaving Colorado not immune. The most recent shooting to plague the Centennial State occurred at a charter school, STEM School Highlands Ranch, where one student was killed and eight others sustained injuries. This May 2019 shooting garnished much attention and had many Colorado residents debating on future school safety tactics.

Chief of Safety for Denver Public Schools, Mike Eaton, told The Denver Post that there are still multiple districts which are not adopting the standard emergency protocol. He suggests that the protocol was put in place so that everyone involved would be using the same language, and this would lead to less confusion.

"Our current state of school safety, it's strong," he said. "But unfortunately, it's inconsistent."

Colorado School Safety Resource Center has a recommended five basic emergency actions for K-12 schools. These are reportedly used to help ensure safety for those on school sites in case of the following crises: lockdown, lockout, shelter-in-place, evacuation, and release and reunification of students to parents/caregivers after any listed situation.

Perhaps the two most significant inconsistencies seen currently are the differences in how much money districts allow for school resource officers and how much training they require. The ideal time that every officer would need to achieve is said to be a minimum of 40 hours of basic training and an additional 12 hours that centers around adolescent mental health.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser commented that he is not comfortable forcing districts to comply with particular safety recommendations because each district has a different budget and other things that make them unique. Weiser, however, says he is committed to providing awareness and tools to give each district safety plans.

One of the topics Weiser believes has been overlooked when it comes to the discussion of school safety is mental health.

"We need to talk about the mental health – recognizing that mental illness, just like physical illness, can be addressed," Weiser said. "All too often, people miss that one of the biggest threats to our kids is suicide – more people dying at their own hands than at the hands of a shooter."

There is an abundance of different suggestions, but two of the primary programs Colorado school districts are increasingly implementing to attempt to keep students safe involve mental health resources and arming staff.

The Denver Public School district encompasses 210 schools with almost 95,000 students. Michael Eaton is the chief of the department of safety for this district. He has been leading the security team for the past eight years, and one of his job positions requires home visits. In the past year, the security team did close to 500 home visits with kids who displayed concerning behavior. Along with physical security, the team believes school safety is something that begins at home and continues throughout the community.

A charter school in Douglas County is taking a different approach.They have implemented a security officer program that allows trained staff to carry firearms. Ascent Classical Academy's governing board approved of the plan, and it was met with massive support from parents. Each of the armed staff members had a concealed carry permit, volunteered to be participants, and were mandated to go through appropriate training and assessment.

"It makes me feel confident, dropping off my kids at school and being able to walk away and know that somebody is there that's trained, well trained," said the mother of one of the students.

While it seems to some that they have to choose a side of arming teachers versus supporting mental health services, the truth is both are important and coexist productively.

Bullets Both Ways is a leading example of this effort. The primary purpose of Bullets Both Ways' brand and clothing line is to promote, organize, and support enhanced protection and defense measures in our nation's schools, places of worship, and communities. Every purchase of their apparel and merchandise helps sponsor medical and firearm training scholarships for school and church staff who are willing and able to be the first layer of defense. Their motto: when an evil perpetrator shows up with the intent to destroy, we need Bullets Both Ways as opposed to one way from an unchallenged perpetrator!

This organization also puts focus and importance on mental health resources. The Bullets Both Ways Foundation, Angel Shield is a 501c3 Public Charity specifically created to raise funds to support and provide mental health resources in our schools, along with equipping school facilities and houses of worship with updated safety and physical security measures.

Inadequate school budgets have been a hindrance to providing necessary additional protection measures. Through Bullets Both Ways and Angel Shield, American citizens can contribute to further secure and protect our schools.

Instead of choosing between one or the other, Colorado school districts across the state have been increasingly embracing both the enhancement of physical and mental programs. There are at least 30 districts and charter schools in the state which allow teachers to be armed. In addition, many districts are embracing more ways to implement behavioral health resources in schools.

While there is a long way to go in helping to solve the issues related to school safety, it is encouraging to note that efforts are being made. In Colorado School districts, there is progress in the arena of identifying what schools should be prioritizing to help develop effective protocols to ensure identification of possible risks in advance of any tragedies. Progress is also being made in having well-trained armed defenders in the event of an active shooter situation.

By Amalia White