Gun shop owner equipping teachers with non-lethal way to defend classroom

A tactical flashlight in "strobe" mode.  Keokuk County gun shop owner Dan Glandon is...
A tactical flashlight in "strobe" mode. Keokuk County gun shop owner Dan Glandon is giving away these lights to local school districts as a last-ditch defense against an armed classroom intruder.(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 29, 2018 at 5:41 PM CDT
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A proposal by President Trump to arm teachers in the wake of that school shooting in Florida kicked up a lot of controversy. But one gun shop owner in southern Iowa is trying a different idea.

He’s equipping teachers in four small school districts, out of his own pocket, with a non-lethal way to confront a classroom intruder.

Dan Glandon, who owns Skunk River Arms in the tiny Keokuk County town of Hayesville, came up with the idea of supplying schools with tactical flashlights more than a year ago.

Those military-type flashlights have a strong “strobe” mode with a flashing light that could temporarily blind a classroom intruder.

“This little tactical light will save lives in the event something happens. It’s enough of a bright light to deter anybody. Anybody who sees it ends up turning their heads away from it,” Glandon said.

Glandon sells the tactical flashlights in his gun shop for about $40.

But he’s giving them away, one to a classroom, at four nearby school districts. He’s using the money he earns teaching concealed carry weapons classes to pay for more than 300 tactical flashlights to date.

Glandon also found a local sponsor for 35 tactical lights he dropped off on Thursday at the Tri-County Schools in Thornburg.

Clay Harrold, Tri-County principal, says Glandon approached the school more than a year ago to tell them he’d like to put them on the list for a tactical flashlight in every classroom.

“We haven’t had many discussions about arming teachers or anything like that. But this has gone over much better than asking someone to carry a firearm ever would,” Harrold said.

Glandon says he invites law enforcement officers along for demonstrations. It only takes about five to ten minutes to show teachers how to use the strobe flashlights to surprise or distract an intruder.

For the schools now equipped with the flashing lights in classrooms, the use has become part of the active shooter training.

Glandon says he’s hoping more people take an interest in his efforts so he can equip more schools.