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The gift of self-empowerment

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 26, 2012 12:34 AM

I shared an excerpt of an e-mail I received from Joe Cascarelli of Westcliffe, CO, in my syndicated column today (here), which is adapted from my recent blog post on things parents can do post-Newtown without relying on government. Cascarelli describes a community organizing effort that every liberty-loving parent can get behind. I’m reprinting more of the e-mail for you below. If you do something like this in your school district/neighborhood, speak up and let me know. I’d like to spotlight as many examples as possible.

In Custer County, We Protect Our Own

It was ten years ago that our Sheriff put an ad in the local paper to initiate the formation of the Sheriff’s Posse. About 40 of us volunteered; today we have about twenty active Posse members. Eight years ago, the Posse command staff offered to provide the local school district with daily security patrols when the school was in session, at school athletic events and during school dances including the annual prom. In the beginning, some teachers and at least one School Board member objected to having a uniformed, armed presence at the school…

…Using a grant, the Sheriff arranged to conduct an active shooter training event for full time deputies. Several months later, these deputies conducted an active shooter training event for the Posse over a weekend. It was intense and rigorous. Posse members who we unable to attend, were given the opportunity to participate in a one day make-up training event. Finally, our community emergency coordinator scheduled a joint drill involving all first responders-Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, Ambulance Corps and Posse members. Those of us who participated learned so much about what to do if the unthinkable happened. Even students and some teachers participated. One high school student who aspires to be a “Hollywood make-up artist” did a marvelous job of creating simulated wounds. Entry teams practiced with other responders. Yes, we entered with stretchers and carried victims out to waiting medical personnel. The Sheriff’s Department had professional observers who gave participants feedback on their performance. It was an event that none of us will ever forget.

The Posse has continued its patrols at school events and during the school day. Posse patrols have become a visible accepted part of our community. Anyone intent on harm would see armed uniformed personnel at the school daily. The Posse even has an Amber Alert at the local rodeo. When an atrocity like Columbine, Virginia Tech and most recently in Newtown CT happens, all we hear is carefully crafted words of grief, heart rending interviews with parents and TV’s talking heads with knee jerk “solutions.” Well, our little community has implemented a local solution. Trained, armed volunteers daily protect our children. What is matter with the rest of the country? Where are concerned parents and citizens willing carve out some time to provide similar security?

Communities all around the country could do something without changing or ignoring the US Constitution which has served us well for over 230 years. Policy makers must consider all options not just meaningless “feel good” steps geared more to getting votes rather [than] improving life in America.

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