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Hey guys, we’ve got something awesome coming up this weekend and I need your help. You remember how everyone keeps arguing about whether allowing concealed carry in schools for students or teachers would make a difference in a school shooting? Well, we’re going to finally put that to the test . . .

If you’re in the Connecticut / New York / Rhode Island / Massachusetts area and can get to Southington, CT on Sunday (12/30), then I need your help.

We need people to participate in a simulated school shooting exercise. I’m looking for 25 participants that are willing to put themselves in an active shooter scenario to see how they would react as student, teacher, shooter and concealed carry holder in those situations. We’ll be running the simulations again and again, so you’ll get your chance to see what its like from all sides. We’ll be using Simunitions to try and get as close to a “real” scenario as possible.

Oh, and RF and myself will be there in the flesh. So if you actually want to meet us, we’ll be there!

Firearms training experience is not required, and food will be provided (I think — RF correct me if I’m wrong).

For those interested, please contact me directly — [email protected]

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  1. Nick, emotions and nerves are raw right now. If you do this thing make sure all the local authorities know whats going on. Hopefully you have a nice private and secluded place to run this exercise.

    • As a SoCal 5-0 guy, I’d love to help you all out. Unfortunately, I’ve spent too much money on guns, ammo, gear, and donations to the NRA and FPC to swing a ticket. I sure would enjoy gearing up with you guys.

      If you haven’t already planned it, please add a 5-10 minute police response time to one your scenarios. While we understand what can be done in that time, much of the general public does not. Video evidence is a great tool, especially if you can publish your results beyond TTAG’s extensive base.

      Gentlemen, I sincerely applaud your efforts in the advancement of freedom and responsible firearm ownership.

  2. I can’t afford the flight otherwise I will be there..

    Are you guys going to video it, and publish your statistics, so the NRA, SAF and others will have access. I mean good or bad, this could put to rest the whole it wouldn’t make a difference.

  3. Nick, I would love to help out, as ive trained with simunitions and I would be honored to be a part of a drill like this. but due to end of the year work this weekend combined with the snow that will be accumalating between me in NH and you guys in CT. I must wish you the best of luck! I will encourage all my friends who live south of me to contact you.

  4. I presume you will have the shooter wearing body armor? Although in reality that probably makes little difference because these cowards generally take their own lives as soon as the bullets start flying back at them.

  5. You guys should come to western Washington. Don’t be fooled by the fact it’s a blue state, everyone here loves guns or is indifferent to them!

  6. Great Idea! I believe 20/20 conducted a “Study” of this sorts a while ago. They didn’t approach it in the most scientific fashion. Every time, the shooter had foreknowledge of who was Conceal Carrying. There were a myriad of other issues to take up with the episode. IT was called “If Only I had a Gun”.

    Here is Campus’s debunk of it —>

    Hope you guys have a good time! I’ll be getting ready for the New Year!

    • I saw a clip of that on YouTube. The only thing I got out of it was it sucks to be ambushed and/or flanked.

      Call of Duty taught me that. Grand insight there.

    • This 20/20 segment was anti-gun propoganda couched as a an objective look at having a gun in an active shooter situation. If anyone thinks ABC would do otherwise, well, the AI knows better.

  7. Make sure you do one where only the first responders have the firearms like they would in a gunfree zone type situation. This would show all sides of the situation and the difference between waiting on the police and having a CCW in place and not waiting on the police. Just my $.02

  8. While I like the concept, doing this in Connecticut seems like a very bad idea. I wish you the best of luck

    • +1000

      Doing it so soon after the tragedy, is just a bad idea.
      Doing it so soon after the tragedy in CT, is just bad taste.

      This is part of the reason I get turned off by some of my fellow 2A brethren. Sympathy and decorum are always trumped by being “right”.

      And if this were to be done, AT LEAST work with the new NRA School Shield program for training. Just so we can see how effective their plan is opposed to randomly trained shooters.

      This could very easily back fire on us, and change a tide which IMO, is moving in our direction now.

      • Coyote and Casey,

        While I agree that CT is not necessarily the best of locations, I trust and respect TTAG to conduct themselves admirably. I find it pointless to allow the antis to control as much of the conversation and flow of information as they have.

        Law Enforcement has continued their Active Shooter training. If anything, the vigor and scope of said training will only continue to increase. I’ve enjoyed my Simunition training greatly, as it is both a humbling an educational experience. If LEOs can and will train on their end, their is no reason why CCW holders cannot.

        Even if the media got ahold of this, and did their best to spin it in a negative manner, I am confident that the raw video footage will show us the value of lawful concealed carry. That is, frankly, something the world needs to see.

        • I’m not suggesting letting the anti’s control anything and I share your support for the website. I just am afraid that the backlash is going to do more harm than the good that will come from the scenario. I hope I’m wrong because the concept is great, I just wish it were in any other state is all.

      • Just to make a quick note, this is at a training facility, so it isn’t like they are taking over a real school in down town or something.
        It will be done in good taste.

      • Due to the tragedy, why aren’t we all expecting such testing/training ALL OVER CT with several every weekend? Did everybody just say, “oh, well” and go back to what they were doing? The idea of avoiding such activity in CT makes no sense. It is where the knowledge was most recently needed and not found.

        • Larry, I don’t think it is ever “too soon” to start talking about what might be the best way to stop gun violence. After all, it was the NRA that initially said it was “too soon” to talk about regulating 15-round magazines. Both sides were incorrect when they state that the argument must wait a year.

          If we were to wait a year after the last school shooting, we would hardly ever be able to have the conversation at all.

          The objection I have to a demonstration shooting / defense is that it does not accomplish anything. A “simulation”, by definition, is going to produce a different result than a real shooting. In simulations, people are calm, strategic, and competitive. In actual shootings, people are unprepared, disorganized, and panicked.

          If the purpose of the simulation were to train teachers and law enforcement, then it would be a great idea, regardless of how long it had been since the last shooting. The simulation Leghorn and others put together back in 2012 was nothing of the sort. It was a publicity stunt designed to flaunt the fact that gun nuts think the solution to every problem is more guns.

          Instead of helping train teachers or law enforcement, it just provided a grim reminder that the gun community does’t understand what “responsible” gun use means.

    • I think this is poor timing in a poorer location. The antis, and possibly the general public, will rip this thing to shreds no matter what the outcomes in the scenario. I hope this is done on the DL-no press invited or allowed on site.

  9. I have to agree with some of the reservations expressed here already: Is doing this in Connecticut really a great idea right now?

  10. Interesting. It’s like an episode of Mythbusters to see just how effective CCW holder(s) or armed teacher(s) could’ve been against an active shooter incident at a school. The location of this exercise is an unfortunate choice though…

    I hope full statistics are posted soon after along with video proof to back up the stats. Just know that any video of the event will be used against you, regardless if the intent was to get to the bottom of the anti-gun protests regarding their “facts” that “more guns wouldn’t have helped”.

    Just my opinion, but this exercise shouldn’t be about gun control vs. pro-gun anything. It should simply be a fact-finding mission to see just how much more effective the presence of a lone (or several) CCW holders are vs. a spree shooter. Or armed teacher(s) vs. spree shooter.

    And I would be very careful of how you release any video of this test. I would encourage you to only release the statistics and any other findings and wait on the video until it is appropriate.

    I hope you’re all taking the necessary steps to create blind trials where the “shooter” and “guards” don’t know when a live scenario will occur to keep the reaction times as realistic as possible to prevent the naysayers claiming any “positive” results were staged.

    On another note, I hope firearm instructors start planning similar simulation courses like this for training civilians on how to engage active shooters in a public environment. Especially now that this sort of unfortunate event is susceptible to copycats.

  11. Sorry, but I’m with the other commenters who think this is an epically bad idea. It’s way too soon, and the outside world will indubitably take it as putting the ‘nut’ in gun nut. Six months from now — awesome. But I don’t think it will contribute enough to the current debate to be anywhere near worth the terrible ‘optics’.

  12. Damn, I would totally be up for this if it was a little further out on the schedule. I’m in central pa, but I head up that way frequently.


    • Damn, I would totally be up for this if it was a little further out on the schedule. I’m in central pa, but I head up that way frequently.

      This is a good idea. Everyone is talking theory and opinion, let’s do an experiment for once.


  13. Running actual simulations is awesome, and I wish you all the luck and good, valid data you can handle.

    Running them in CT seems like a PR stunt, like setting up some sort of sensational encounter with protestors or making some kind of grand statement. I’m skeptical the only facilities available and will to participate just happen to be located in Connecticutt. Maybe I’m wrong, though.

    If the intent is some kind of stunt in addition to the simulation, I dislike it. Do the cool Mythbusters-style science, then do the activism.

    */tin-foil hat*

  14. This will be taken and spun. Don’t expect the footage to be cut into anything more than clips of your simulated villain “practicing shooting children”.

    Emotions are way too high right now. I’d wait and find somewhere other than CT. And if you can, I’d find an agency who would be interested in the training or the simulations, even one officer officially supervising would take a lot of the potential heat off of this.

    As it stands right now, this seems like it would just add more heat to the boiling pot of anti-gun activism. We need to be letting things cool. There is a reason Anti’s only offer “discussion” in the wake of these shootings, they need people angry and unreasonable.

  15. Wish you could do this a week later and further south!! Been through a lot of urban combat style training and would love to participate!!
    As far as the right time, even though emotions are still running high over Sandy Hook the sim needs to be done soon before the media an government push it to the back burner with coverage of the upcoming push for the “New AWB” .
    If you were closer to Arkansas I would love to participate. Weather here won’t permit the travel for a day or two, got 12″ of snow Christmas evening from Winter Storm Euclid.
    Cover every angle/scenario you can think of. No prior info other than barest necessities to the participants. Good Luck and God Bless!!

  16. Poor timing.
    Poor choice of words, “we’ve got something awesome coming up.”
    Poor choice of locations.

    I see not much thought went into this.

  17. I just spent the weekend visiting relatives in Connecticut. My grandpa and I were the only ones on the pro-gun side of the fence. So many once pro-gun family members had “jumped the whole damn ship” as gramps put it. Emotions are high around the country but absolutely through the roof in that state. This isn’t a good idea, especially if it’s hosted in CT.

  18. Alright… My dad and I have both come to the same conclusion about this: People need to be retrained for something like this.

    If you find yourself in an active shooter situation and you don’t have a gun on you:


    If it isn’t nailed to the ground, pick it up, and throw it like your life depends on it.

    9 times out of 10 people don’t do jack shit but sit there and die like sheep! If that’s the average of humanity, then I’m embarrassed…

    That reaction has to stop.

    If you see a gun, THROW STUFF.
    If you see a gun, THROW STUFF.

    And yell for others to throw stuff too!

    Textbooks, laptops, ipads, backpacks, chairs, desks, jackets, purses, wallets, pencils, pens, ipods, iphones, shoes, sandals. Anything and everything, if it isn’t nailed down, send it towards the shooter, fast and hard.

    All of those things can be replaced. You can’t.

    You are literally surrounded by weapons every day, use them like your life depends on it!

    If you get them distracted enough, someone close should take their keys and jam them in their neck. The assailant’s blood will be hotter than hell and shooting out fast enough to paint the ceiling, but it’ll be worth it.

    When I was in college, I sat in the front of the class for that very reason.

    Have a scenario where an active shooter tries to take a shot, but have everyone else throw things their way, and see how many shots they get off, or how accurate they are.

    (That’s the sort of mentality of one who was raised by parents who met in martial arts class, and of someone who got to play around with their mother’s batons before they could walk, so I guess I’m something of an odd-ball in the grand scheme of things…)

    I don’t know what transpired in that classroom, but I’m willing to bet that the teacher(s) didn’t do anything like whatI described above.

      • That too!

        But unfortunately a lot of the people I live and work with both can’t and won’t carry concealed.

        Both my dad and I have been pulling our hair out over this…

        Take your standard-issue hardcover textbook, multiply it by 20-40 students, and have them throw them all at once at a singular target.

        If I wasn’t on the other side of the nation, I’d volunteer to be the opfor for just that situation!! I’ll walk in, brandish a gun, take aim, and see how many innocents I can take out in a classroom before people start throwing their stuff at me.

  19. Guys,

    I’m probably about three hours away and might consider helping, but doing a school shooting exercise in CT and filming it is an epically stupid idea.

    Let’s look at all the things that can go right: You demonstrate what those who are willing to listen already know – armed people can stop a bad guy in an active shooter situation. Problem is that anyone with half a brain and an open mind can already figure this one out without the need to see it on video.

    Okay, now all the things that can go wrong:
    1. You release video of the event and the news folks only show select clips showing how “gun nuts” are “training” for future school shootings and civil insurrections. You may think you can control the message, but once it gets out there, there is no control.

    2. Some nutjob studies your videos and then uses them as a training exercise for dealing with armed defenders when he perpetrates his little quest for glory. This comes out and you get branded “murder trainers” and if the footage is associated with TTAG, this website gets wiped out of existence. Believe me, if someone can spin that TTAG is even peripherally responsible for another school shooting, people will drop this site faster than an issue of RECOIL.

    3. Even without videos, the local news, which gets picked up on national news reports about how a bunch of gun nuts are participating in an exercise of immense poor taste and lack of empathy for the victims running simulations of a school shooting in CT of all places. Southington is only about 30 miles from Newtown, so expect some pretty pissed off people showing up at your doorstep. Unless your training facility has armed guards, things could get pretty ugly pretty quickly.

    Fact is that doing a school shooting exercise three weeks after an actual school shooting is bad judgement. Doing it in a CT town about a half hour from where the actual event took place is monumentally ill advised. I get what you are trying to accomplish, but you could get much of the same result by making it a different scenario with an active shooter. Ideally, you should also consider a different state.

    I know that you guys will probably move ahead with this anyway and all we can do is hope for the best, but do take a few moments and consider the heat this may bring down on TTAG. We have a few celebrity contributors here (Rob Pincus, etc) and if you want to keep them as contributors, you may want to consider whether they want their names associated with TTAG should things go south.

    • Or they just shot that CCW holders can take out an active shooter – which they will. If you mix competent shooters together, one person can’t take out more than a few people. The schools are already set up in a defenseless manner – a worst case scenario. If you don’t believe that armed good guys can make the situation better, you’re already missing the whole point of TTAG.

      • I think you’re missing the point of his post…

        He’s not saying that people need to know that an armed response is better regarding an active shooter — that is self-evident. He’s saying staging this exercise in CT is in very poor taste. And many would agree.

        His point is, why are you even doing it in CT to begin with? Staging this exercise in CT only a few weeks after the shooting has more negative connotations than positive. End of story. It also defeats the purpose of this exercise being a clean, non-bias look at a school shooting incident — everyone is going to concentrate on the fact it’s in poor taste before they look at any useful results the tests may conclude. Why muddy the waters of potentially useful information by picking an ill time and location for it?

        Granted, if the location and date of this evidence gathering wasn’t announced on TTAG, it would be a non-issue. Why not just work with other firearms community leaders and facilities to get this tested outside of CT?

        Make it as sterile and methodical an environment as possible so it’s not shooting itself in the foot from the onset with potentially bad press and politics from an already irrational and sensitive anti-gun community?

      • Dude, did you actually read my comment, or just skim it, looking for something to criticize? In the second paragraph, I acknowleged that this will demonstrate whatwe already know, that armed defenders can stop an active shooter.

        My point is that most people willing to listen are already willing to acknowlege that point. It’s like proving that rain is wet. It’s common sense. What I’m saying is that the anti-s are not going to let something like common sense and fact cloud their argument. They will instead focus on the worst possible way to view this exercise and run with it.

        On top of the standard anti-s, with the actual events still fresh in the minds of people, a lot of folks, who might otherwise be willing to reasonably consider the demonstrated findings will instead be horrified at the monumental bad taste of topic and location and it will have a deleterious effect on our argument.

        • Agreed, I think this will be a PR nightmare and hurt our cause.

          “Look at those gun nuts practicing for a school shooting in CT just days after Newtown!”

  20. I truly LOVE the idea. Really I do. If only it was valid, in a defensible way.

    But, as a man of science, one could drive a truck through the preexisting holes in this “test/study/whateva”. I hate to pee on the Wheaties, but I’d really hate for someone at least as smart as me to take this apart and make us look the fool(s).

    One underestimates one’s opponent at one’s own risk.

    From every “combat” shooting competition of any flavor anyone has ever been in, to every “combat real training survival by damn I’m an ex-blackops badazz” BS training course you’ve ever taken, there’s one variable that’s never controlled for…

    You KNOW it is coming. Period. Full effing stop. Just like EVERY security guard on planet Earth, 99.999999% of all days are rote non-events.

    Actual “real” training analysis is a result of what happens in a factual event vis-a-vis a scenario one trains for. Sure training helps, but it can’t analyze forward. That is a logical fallacy.

    Please, for the love of guns, this will not go well when analyzed by those with an (irrational) desire to spin this against us.

  21. I kinda agree with Jim above. About doing it in CT. The unique visitors numbers don’t lie. The AI here has done a great job (Robert, Nick, Dan, Tyler et al) not to mention many folks who post the articles elsewhere. Many folks have admitted to being both new to guns and new here. Hopefully, they are sending their fence sitting friends here to learn about the shooting community. That will allow us to continue the domino effect of more people bringing in more people.

    The set of circumstances around this seem like they could offend a bunch of folks. I’m not talking about RKBA folks, either. I mean the Fudds and true new comers.

  22. I think I understand all the concern about the timing and location being too close to the tragedy in Newtown. Realize that the fact remains that the day after the incident, police officers, school boards, school superintendents all sat down and started running through security threat scenarios in their heads and on paper. In between prayers for the victims, many people were thinking what would I do if in that situation.

    The head of the training facility is military. A really good guy who knows his stuff. I trust him to make sure that this is more of a scientific event to learn from and create doctrine for future training and response to active shooters.

    Yes I expect that some of the after action will be posted here on TTAG. Yes I expect that some anti’s and Brady bunch types may/will try and make jokes and use this as propaganda. While the anti’s are out there figuring out how to strip rights away from the law abiding citizens, shouldn’t someone be thinking how to defend against and stop this sort of thing from happening again?

  23. I am interested in how your scenarios will keep the teachers and students surprised and unaware of the experiment and how are you going to combat observer bias?
    To actually test the effectiveness you will need to keep the students and teachers unaware of the impending attack. Basically every time you run the test you would have to do it with a new group of students/teachers. You also have to run a control group for every type of test. Basically, you are going to need way more than 25 people.

  24. Instead of people complaining about how this might look bad, let’s look at what can be learned from this. Please highly document/videos of this and share with us so we may all learn and adapt.

  25. Make sure you run a version where all school employees are armed. My problem with NRA’s one cop per school proposal is that given the size of suburban schools, one person can’t possibly react quickly enough while if all the adults were trained and carrying, someone would be right there at the start who could stop it.

  26. Make sure that you run scenarios where there are multiple CCW holders that are UNAWARE of each other.

    A lot of people bring out the advice that you should take cover and be a good witness, because otherwise another CCW holder or the police will think you’re the bad guy and shoot you.

    I want to know how often that scenario actually plays out.

  27. A lot of folks are worrying about “too soon” and “too close”. We are in the age of the internet. It wouldn’t matter when this was run or where, the gun grabbers would motivate and do all the same things no matter what time or place.

  28. Yeah, I don’t see any reason why a simulation put on by a pro-gun website would be any different from a madman at an elementary school.

    Except maybe the hundreds of expert shooters in your reader base.

    And the fact that you announced it was a simulation, to let people know they won’t get killed.

    And the fact that the shooter will not have the element of surprise.

    And the students will be played by grown men, instead of actual unprepared children.

    So, gee, I wonder what the outcome will be?

    • Yeah, I just don’t see what will be gained here. Best case is you prove that armed resistance to an attack is better than unarmed passivity. Does anyone who has an even partly open mind on the subject really think otherwise? And the closed-minded won’t care what the results are, so who is this exercise for?

      As others have said, there are numerous ways this can go wrong and paint our side very poorly. What if your scenarios shake out such that the concealed carry victims don’t actually make much difference? Wouldn’t that be a nice late Christmas present for the antis? But no matter how it shakes out, the headline is going to be “Gun Nuts Stage Mock Shooting 15 Miles From Newtown” (sure, your facility is 30 miles away, but the media won’t get the facts right – be prepared for that). That’s a best case scenario. Worst case is some really upset people show up to protest your bad taste and things get really bad really fast.

      There’s really no scientific value to this, anyway. There’s absolutely no way to introduce a meaningful element of surprise for those involved, you’ll just have 20 guys sitting at desks, tensed up and waiting. They may not know the precise moment the shooting will start, but they’ll know it’s coming. That’s not even slightly realistic.

    • So when Low Budget Dave, and the like, are arguing against armed citizens in schools or theaters they claim that innocent bystanders will be shot by untrained, inexperienced vigilantes. But when someone puts together an experiment to test if they might be wrong, the participants are suddenly “hundreds of expert shooters”. So which am I?

      • Ridgeliner, I don’t know which you are. I haven’t met you. I am just saying that readers of this website know more about gun safety than the population in general.

        Even if he were putting the ad in a “liberal” newspaper, though, people who go to the trouble of showing up for a “simulated shooting” are more likely to be enthusiasts than casual gun owners.

        The idea that this is an “experiment”, though, is laughable. Is it going to be a double-blind evaluation? Will both parties have an equal chance of using live ammo? Because if not, then it isn’t an “experiment”, it is “play-acting”.

        From your earlier comments, I believe you know the difference. This means that you already know why the “experiment” is invalid.

        You are just pushing it because you think it might prove your point. Deep down inside, though, you know that it proves almost the opposite: Gun nuts are so desperate to come up with excuses to hold on to their weapons that they are willing to engage in macabre re-creations, and then trumpet obviously fake “test” data to support their lies.

        It isn’t productive, it’s disgusting. And you know it, too, don’t you?

  29. You may have already thought about this but I think that you should test the “if he only had ten” rounds myth

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