Army vet with AR-15 stands guard outside high school

By WND Staff

Army veteran and Oath Keeper Mark Cowan says he's standing guard outside a local school until there's added security for students and teachers (Photo: screenshot)
Army veteran and Oath Keeper Mark Cowan says he’s standing guard outside a local school until there’s added security for students and teachers (Photo: screenshot)

Enough is enough, says an armed U.S. Army veteran in Indiana who has decided to take student and teacher protection into his own hands after the horrifying Florida school shooting and threats of school violence rocked his own town.

Mark Cowan says he is keeping watch outside North Side High School in Fort Wayne with his AR-15 and a handgun – at least until added security is in place. Cown told WANE-TV 15 that he’s standing guard to protect students and defend them against anyone who might threaten their safety while they’re in school. He has been in contact with local police and the school resource officer.

“I [decided] to get my butt off the couch and come out here and keep an eye on these kids and teachers. They deserve it,” Cowan told the news station. “They all deserve a right to go home every night without fear of what’s going to happen during the day.”

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In addition to being an Army veteran, Cowan is a member of Oath Keepers, an organization of former police officers, first responders and veterans.

“These kids mean a lot to me,” Cowan told WANE-TV 15. “These teachers mean a lot to me … this is my community, and they need protecting. And our law enforcement, as good as it is, can’t be everywhere. So it’s people like myself and the other Oath Keepers that say, ‘I’m gonna take up that slack.'”

However, the school district doesn’t appear to be thrilled by Cowan’s efforts to provide more security.

“We take the security of our schools very seriously,” Fort Wayne Community Schools spokeswoman Krista Stockman told WANE-TV 15. “We understand he has a right to be out there, but we do not believe it adds to the safety of our students. At North Side, as at all of our schools, we have security procedures in place. In addition. at North Side, we have armed police officers in the building every day.”

As WND has reported, the idea of having armed military veterans and law-enforcement officers act as guards to improve school safety is not new. Action star Chuck Norris, an Air Force veteran, has promoted the idea for several years in his exclusive weekly column.

“Which one of our fine law enforcement or military personnel (in any branch) wouldn’t consider it their greatest duty and honor to take a paid or volunteer shift as a guard infront of our schools protecting those precious souls?” Norris asked in his Feb. 19 column.

And in 2013, Norris pointed to Israel, arguing that it’s a “beacon of light for how to protect our children in public places.”

“Israel mandated armed guards at the entrances to all schools in 1995, and those guards are backed up by special police forces,” he wrote. “Despite that school defenses are primarily intended to thwart terrorists, they also deter any would-be psychos who would cause harm to their children.”

Norris continued: “Back at the home of the brave, the U.S. faces multiple mass shootings on academic campuses and the majority still refuses to post any type of armed guard or even unarmed security at schools to protect our children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 70 percent of public schools do not have a police officer, and more than half (57 percent) have no security staff. There is an old-fashioned term for that lack of security response in these times: stupid.”

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