Home Forums Hunting Firearms Legislation Taking action on mass shooting prevention

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  • AvatarCRIA1576
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    For Immediate Release:
    Jefferson, IA

    Former TV Meteorologist McLaughlin Offers up to $1 Million Dollars in Firearms Training Value to Iowa School Staffers and Church Security Teams.

    Former KCCI Meteorologist John McLaughlin was forced from the airwaves in 2016 due to a battle with the auto immune disease Sarcoidosis, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still in the fight to protect his fellow Iowans. He’s offered to provide up to 1000 Iowans free training certificates to the nation’s largest firearms school near Las Vegas, Nevada to attend an intensive 40-hour handgun course. Here’s some background on why a well-known weather guy and pilot has entered the debate over guns and violence in a big way.

    “I’m sitting here and watching the violence sweeping our country. The massacre at the school in Parkland, Florida. Not long before that, the Sutherland Springs, Texas church murders. While the politicians try to figure out what to do, my good friends who are serving this nation as Air Marshals, SWAT team members, and top-level firearms instructors are all saying the same thing… John we have to get people trained to take care of themselves, and potentially intervene to stop a deadly threat, or at least slow down a would-be killer until the good guys show up,” says the retired weatherman, now residing near Jefferson, Iowa.

    McLaughlin adds, “There are a lot of folks in Iowa with a conceal carry permit, but they don’t have much training beyond firing 25 rounds in a simple class. Some have never practiced shooting from concealment or under stress, others have no training at all. If I can get these folks to attend a highly structured course which covers marksmanship fundamentals, along with basic tactics, the color code of mental awareness, and verbal skills to de-escalate conflict, then a real impact can be made.”

    So, what does a guy who studied Doppler radar and severe storms meteorology know about guns and survival under stressful encounters? “I get asked that a lot,” he responds. “People say, aren’t you a bit out of your lane? They are surprised to learn that I am a certified firearms instructor and have trained with some of the best in the country, like the late Pat Rogers of EAG Tactical. I’ve taught personal protection in and out of the home for many years before I got sick.” McLaughlin adds that his flying experience has lent value to teaching folks survival skills. “I have a decade of letting people try to kill me while doing helicopter check flights for the Federal Aviation Administration. That teaches you a lot about what happens when you’re less than a second from death unless you fix the problem. The same thing the cops say happens in gunfights is what I have experienced in a helicopter when there’s a crisis. Time slows down, you get auditory exclusion, fine motor skills degrade, and you totally revert to your base level of training and determination to fight and win.”

    Sarcoidosis has dramatically changed McLaughlin from his previous life of working 16 to 18 hours a day, to a guy who suffers exhaustion spells an hour or two after waking up. He can’t physically teach gun classes on a regular basis, so he came up with a solution to get as many people as possible a solid immersion in firearms training.

    “Seven years ago, I took my boys to the nation’s largest firearms training school, located in the desert 45 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s called Front Sight Firearms Institute. They train more than 1000 people a week in multiple disciplines. We took the intro 4-Day Defense Handgun course. My eyes were really opened that I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. There were cops, a lady from border patrol and an Air Force military policeman shooting with us. Almost nobody shot well enough or performed malfunction drills under stress to the level they could graduate to the next course. When a lifetime cop next to you says that was the hardest qualification he had ever shot, that told me the training here was pretty good.” McLaughlin has since been back ten times for gun courses, martial arts and tactical awareness. “There’s a reason people keep coming back to this course until presenting a firearm from concealment and rapidly delivering accurate fire is absolutely engrained into muscle memory. You have to learn to taxi before you can fly,” notes McLaughlin, jumping back to his pilot background.

    So, the 54-year is making it possible for as many as 1000 Iowans to take this same introductory 4-Day Defensive Handgun Class at Front Sight, especially those working in schools and churches. He says, “I don’t know if Iowa will ever follow the advice of our top mass violence researchers and allow highly-trained school staff members to be armed, but there is no sense in not training qualified adults in our school system about mental awareness, pre-attack indicators, basic tactical movement and how to be very competent with a firearm under duress.” McLaughlin has attending many hours of training about violence involving firearms. A recent lecture by author Lt. Col Dave Grossman, a former Army ranger and West Point Psychology Professor, hit McLaughlin hard. “Col. Grossman was talking about the heartbreaking reaction of the families after these horrible school and church massacres and how the families would have given anything and everything on this earth if just one good person could have been there and made just one accurate shot to take out the bad guy before their loved one was murdered. If that doesn’t make you stop and think, I’m not sure what will.”
    But McLaughlin points out that mass violence isn’t just a school problem. In 2017, there were 118 deaths on faith-based properties according to researcher Carl Chinn. Chinn has tracked these statistics on his website CarlChinn.com and was on the security team at New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007, where a female concealed weapon permit holder stopped a rifle wielding assassin with her pistol.

    “There’s a Sheepdog ministry popping up at churches all over the country,” says McLaughlin. “I quietly pitched the idea at my church four years ago and ended up forming a team, taking 18 people through a summer of Bible and Firearms training in Iowa, culminating with a fall retreat to Front Sight.” McLaughlin describes the Sheepdog as the person who has an immense love for their flock, as in fellow church members, but also has the heart of a warrior. “If the wolf comes in the door, most people will be momentarily frozen in a normalcy bias and do nothing. However, the Sheepdog will head toward the danger and stop it, relying not only on their faith, but a solid foundation of training and a heart full of love for one another.” Stephen Willeford, the Sutherland Springs, Texas resident who stopped the mass murder at the First Baptist Church with his .223 rifle is a good example of a sheepdog in McLaughlin’s book. “I got to meet a speaker from Texas, Jimmy Meeks a few months ago. He was a career cop and pastor and now Jimmy travels the country teaching in his powerful “Sheepdog Seminar,” that it’s ok for God’s children to use their protective instinct in defense of others, even if that means using a firearm to do so. As I sat listening to him talk last November, I heard a quiet voice inside say… John, you may be sick, but this is your ministry. Since then I have been thinking about how I can have an impact.” The Sheepdog Seminar will be in the Des Moines, Iowa area of March 19-20. The Pleasant Hill Police Department is sponsoring the training which will be held at the Berean Church in Pleasant Hill.

    For Iowans interest in taking John McLaughlin up on his offer for a free 4-Day Defensive Handgun class, there are some stipulations. McLaughlin says he will provide a free electronic certificate for the training which is valued at $1000. The classes run through the year, typically starting on Fridays and Mondays.
    He asks that the training be completed within one year of receiving his gift. Those taking the training will be responsible for travel to the Las Vegas area, 650 rounds of pistol ammunition, meals and lodging. Most people stay in nearby Pahrump, Nevada where hotels like the Saddle West Casino have rates as low as $50 a night for Front Sight Students along with free breakfast. “I figure if these folks are serious enough to take five days of vacation and spend sunrise to sunset on the range, then these are the men and women we want training to defend themselves,” McLaughlin says. “They already have started to take the matter of protection very seriously.”

    To get details on signing up for the free training, email John McLaughlin at [email protected] and he will respond with instructions on how to get started. Dozens of Iowans have already acted based off his recent social media posts.

    For information on Sheepdog Seminars:

    For information about classes at Front Sight Firearms: https://www.FrontSight.com


    Post count: 1066

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

    Post count: 584

    You’re welcome, and John and his brother have resources and are very well connected. His brother owns Scranton Manufacturing, New Way Ford, New Way Used Cars, etc… It is awesome to see locals putting money where their mouth is.

    Post count: 1709

    I am impressed, thanks to John and thanks for sharing to get the word out.

    Post count: 1362

    Sheepdog Seminars coming up next month in Des Moinse area, Pleasant Hill. We have been signed up for several months.
    March 19-20, $49 for both days.
    Colonel Grossman is a very good speaker. worth your time and money.

    “Second Amendment – Either you are helping pull the wagon, getting a free ride in the wagon, or trying to take away the wagon. Which one are you?” -- IAShooters

    Post count: 904

    Good to see this and color me interested

    Post count: 212

    I brought this up at my PTA meeting today. The principal was reluctant to talk about the subject (she attends our PTA meetings) but she assured me that teachers at our school have 3 options that they drill on 4 times a year: Run, Hide, Fight. I take the same training at work and think it’s better than shelter in place. I was about to bring up concealed carry for qualified teachers when two other board members joked about arming teachers being a ‘solution.’ I decided it wasn’t the right audience and so I bit my tongue. Until the 2nd amendment is repealed and all of the population is disarmed no gun control law will protect us. BTW, I’m not advocating that nor do I think it would work. They passed a law banning drugs and that worked, right? The alcohol ban worked pretty well too until they repealed it, or so I hear.

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