Women do not be fooled, gain the education before purchasing a firearm

31 03 2012

Shiny guns, pink handles, pink accessories and the combination it all. This is marketing at its finest. Marketing to who? Women. Men are usually the ones that are gun enthusiasts and for many, many years men were the ones using those guns for competition, pleasure firing, war or hunting. Currently, women are making it known that they are a force to be reckoned with on the competition front. Women are taking trophies and placing first in many categories and could hold their own against most men.

Since sports stores, gun shops and firing ranges were successful in customizing their shops and marketing to get the men into their stores and buying their items, their focus changed to women. What better way to make more money, sell more items and provide an avenue for husbands to purchase more firearms (if the wife gets a firearm, the husband could vie for a new one himself). This is not a bad idea as long as there are people behind those counters that can actually “do the right thing” for the customer and not go through the motions to make a sale.

With manufacturers making pink pistols and pink rifles, in hopes to draw more females into their financial web, these manufacturers are making money because women are purchasing these firearms. Maybe they think they are pretty, maybe they think the pink means it won’t make a loud noise because of its feminine look or maybe they truly like the firearm AND the color pink. The fear would be that because some females are purchasing these firearms, they may not necessarily seek the education needed to safely and sufficiently operate the firearms.

Some businesses will have their salesmen that try to sell to everyone and anyone, regardless what the item is or if that person needs it. Other businesses will actually put the customer ahead of a commission if the item is not right for the customer. The dangerous thought is of the business that will convince a woman that a firearm is perfect for her just because of the color.

Conversation that was witnessed:

#1 is the woman at a sports store
#2 is the salesman behind the counter
#3 is the woman’s husband

ST: Where I interject to try and better educate those, male and females, about dealing with this situation

#1: I am looking to purchase a firearm for myself
#2: Well, that is what I do, what caliber are you looking for?
#1: I dont know
#2: Well, I have this 357 revolver that most women can fire, it is small and silver and holds 6 bullets

ST: A salesman that cares would have asked: What do you want it for? Personal Safety, Conceal carry, to practice on the range? Home Protection? Have you ever fired a pistol before?

#1: I want to be able to protect myself
#2: Salesman Puts down the 357 and picks up the 44 magnum) If you want to make a bad person go away, this will do the job (looks at the husband) you know what I mean, right sir?

#3: I have no idea about firearms at all.

#2: Oh? Well, the perfect home protection weapon is the shotgun (Puts revolver away and takes a shotgun off of the wall and cycles the slide) You hear that? That sound will scare away any intruder from your home because they know that sound.

#1: I dont know.

Thankfully they walked away. The salesman tried to convince someone that they needed to have a shotgun because the sound of the slide being racked will scare away a threat, just by the sound alone. If that women and her husband purchased that shotgun and went home, what would they do with that shotgun? Would they purchase a cabinet to house the shotgun? Would they seek the education needed to safely handle the shotgun? Would they practice moving throughout their home to see how easy or difficult it would be to move throughout with a shotgun? Would they truly believe that the sound alone would be enough to scare away an intruder? Possibly.

When looking for a firearm, first decide what you want that firearm for: pleasure (ownership, practicing on the range, to hang above a fireplace), sport (hunting, competition) or protection (personal, family, home or travel). Once you decide what you want the firearm for, then seek the education about the firearms by doing some research:
-The internet does have great information (providing the information is not opinion and can quote sources, plus wikipedia is not a 100% reliable source)
-Bookstores have numerous books on the subjects of firearms and since most sell beverages, one could go to a bookstore, buy a coffee and sit down with a book and read up on the subject.
-Gun shops and ranges have knowledgeable people that work there and by approaching them with a starting phrase such as “I am not buying today, just looking for information to make a better decision or choice”. That may shift the person behind the counter from salesman to educator.
-Library: the library is still a location that provides a copious amount of information on subjects and is free to all that want to sit and read.

Read up on caliber, size, cost, use and recommendations for the firearm. If you happen to have someone that you know that is well versed in the subject of firearms, it would be wise to ask him/her to accompany you to the gun shops as added insurance. Having a knowledgeable friend that is willing to do most of the talking to a salesperson is invaluable to a first-time gun owner.

Once you have an idea of the caliber and price range you like, it would be time to shop around. Go to a gun store or sports store and ask to see the firearms that you like or are interested in. Pick the firearm up and grip it. Evaluate the weight, size, look, feel and price. If it is too big, too pricy, too heavy, etc. then put it down and move on. If it does not fit your criteria there then it won’t get any better once you get it home. Once you are done lifting and evaluating at that store, leave. Leave the store and do not make a purchase. This will help you in the long run.

You can think about the firearms that you held and go over the pros and cons of each. If you liked one, why did you like it? Once you narrow down your search to a couple of firearms, go to a firing range and rent one that you liked. Purchase a box of ammunition and fire the pistol that you liked. This will give you a better understanding of that firearm: recoil, weight when loaded and accuracy of shots fired. If you do not already have the knowledge regarding the fundamentals of marksmanship, please attend a firearm safety course first.

If you did not like the firearm for one reason or another, rent another one. Continue renting firearms until you feel you know which one you would like to purchase. If you are considering carrying the firearm for personal protection, you should research the laws in your State to ensure you do not break any laws, especially dealing with firearms. Some locations will teach conceal carry courses and those are usually great courses for information regarding the “do’s and don’ts” of firearms and carrying in that State. Ignorance is not a defense (But officer, I didn’t know”).

If you need to seek out the education, do research on the businesses that offer safety courses to ensure the instructors are legitimate and the cost of the course is reasonable. There are many great instructors that exist in every State and they are more than willing and able to teach someone the fundamentals with firearms and the safety that must accompany firearms as well. Please do not purchase a firearm because it is pretty because “pretty” can make you a victim quickly.

There are many students that I have taught that offered up “I bought a pistol and put it in my purse and have carried it there for many years”. Having a pistol does not make you bullet-proof, nor does it guarantee safety. One on hand if you carry a firearm in your purse and you do not have a conceal permit or license you would be breaking the law. On the other hand if you carry a firearm in your purse, the items, dust, dirt and lint inside that purse could cause the firearm to malfunction when you need that firearm to function.

There is nothing wrong with a pink pistol or rifle because the pistol and rifle will still fire a bullet out of it, as long as the person that buys said pistol seeks out the education to properly fire that pistol while remaining safe. It does not take much effort to seek out the education and that education could save your life, the lives of your family and/or the lives of those around you.

Be safe, remain aware and ask questions: just because you have seen someone else use a firearm on television, movies or at the range does not mean you know how to fire a firearm safely and accurately. Gain the education today to avoid a dangerous situation tomorrow.

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Home Invasion: Coming to a home near you?

31 03 2012

Every so often there are events that occur in the news that seem to continue and grow throughout the areas and end up looking like a “popular” trend of criminals. Well, home invasions seem to be the “flavor of the week” as it were. Home invasions were not a part of crime statistics because it would usually be labeled under burglary and there really was no cause to add a different category to the statistics. Now there is.

A burglary is where someone breaks into a home, steals items and leaves quickly. The burglar would attempt to be as quiet as possible (to not draw attention to their actions) and as quick as possible (to avoid being caught). A burglar would attempt to steal high-dollar items to sell or pawn for quick cash and would attempt to do so when they thought (or knew) no one was at home.

A home invasion is a more violent type of burglary and in some cases is not a burglary at all. Home invasions are more violent, louder without care of anyone hearing them and has an increased violence rate attached to them. Most home invasions end in assaults, rape and even death. The threat that accomplishes a home invasion is banking on the victims being immediately scared and “frozen” where they sit because of the rapid entrance, weapons in view and loud commands.

Some people have the misconception or mindset that since they are inside their home, then they are safe from any threats that may be on the outside. This is common, sad, but common. Others feel “When I am in my home I am safe because if I do not invite them inside my home, they have no business coming inside”. Someone may want to tell the threats that rule because I don’t think that they follow it, or any other rules at that.

There are many things that can be done inside the home to ensure the safety of those inside but one would have to be proactive about their own safety in order to have a safer life. This does not mean that someone should become paranoid about threats or crimes, it merely means becoming aware of what could happen and doing what is necessary to minimize the chance in your home.

Windows:
Newer windows have safety features such as locking tabs on the inside that stop the window from opening fully. These tabs only work when they are used, however, and just having them on the window will not minimize an illegal entry. Once the tabs are extended, the window can only be opened a couple of inches and if someone were to break those tabs by prying the window open, the noise would draw the attention of the occupants.

Older windows did not have the safety features of today and some of the older styles could be opened with a credit card or credit card-sized object by sliding it between the bottom and top window.

*Key thing to remember is: locks work when used and even if you use the locking tabs on the windows, a threat could easily break the window and enter the home. This would, however, create a large noise and hopefully that noise would be loud enough to wake or gain the attention of the neighbors.

Doors:
Locking the door as soon as you enter the home will greatly reduce the chances that a threat will just “walk right in” as the statistics state. Some people actually believe that they are safe as soon as they enter their home and if/when a threat were to enter the home rapidly, the homeowners or occupants are frozen with fear because of the instant drama.

The usually doorknob lock works as a minimum safety device but there are ways to get through that minimal security lock. One of the newer ways threats are entering through a door using only the doorknob lock is by using a device that “bumps” the lock into opening. This is called “bumping” and is a rapid way to unlock the door.

Bolt locks work great and there are many types of bolt locks:
-Key/Turn knob lock: has key entry slot on the outside and a knob to turn on the inside. Most homes use this style because it is easier to use and install and serves its purpose well
-Key initiated on both sides: this could be used but requires a key to unlock or lock the door from the inside. This could be dangerous if there are children in the home because of the difficulty posed in an emergency. Trying to manipulate a key into a lock while under duress would not be an easy task.

Other locks:
Chain hasps: some of the older locks include the chain hasp which was used many years ago. The door could be opened a little to see who was on the other side of the door but not open far enough to let the stranger inside. The unfortunate thing about this lock is someone could apply enough pressure to the lock and door and bust inside.

Bar style: this is quite common on hotel room doors and work great but as with most locks, these could also be manipulated by someone who knows what they are doing and still open the door. Using a zip-tie on this lock would impede the progress of anyone attempting to manipulate this lock.

Occupants:
It is important to practice certain events inside the home (not just home invasions but safety scenarios as well such as fire, flood, medical emergency, etc) to ensure the family or occupants would be able to successfully egress from the area and remain safe. By practicing common events, the occupants would be able to respond without much thought. Without much practice, the occupants may freeze in fear and that is what the threat would want. It makes their intention become fulfilled that much easier.

Safety courses:
Attend safety courses to become better educated about home safety, how to safeguard your home and outside of the home safety as well. By becoming better educated, you can minimize your chances of becoming the next victim and living a safer life.

The sad reality is that most people will not pursue safety courses because “this is a nice neighborhood” and “nothing ever happens around here” and because of this thought they are more likely to be unprepared if/when it occurs at their home. Once it does occur in their home, they will always be fearful that it will happen again and will live with that fear forever. You cannot drive the “victim” and “paranoid” experience out of someone who has experienced it. This is why it is important to be prepared.

Final thought:
Along with locks and locking tabs, alarms are a great way to ensure your safety inside your home and when you are away from home but….alarms only work when they are used. If you do not set your alarms then it will never work for you.

Alarms can be outfitted with motion sensors (and it does not matter if you have pets), broken glass sensors and other sensors that can be attached to doors and windows that will sound if the sensors become separated.

For any home, threats are becoming more bold and care less about human life. Their goals are to do as much damage, get into their gang, steal whatever they can and hurt whomever they like and get out without getting caught. Do not become their next target: be proactive about your home safety and personal safety and minimize your chances that you are next. Be safe





Am amazed

30 03 2012
Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch

I am absolutely amazed whenever I watch the news in the morning and see home invasions, burglaries and assaults occur…..and I am not amazed that those occur, I am amazed at the responses from the victims. I have seen victims that scream and yell about how the police are supposed to help them and keep them safe, some say it is the responsibility of the law to provide security for the public while they are at their home and many many more laughable excuses.

I have yet to see someone that has been interviewed about a crime that occurred to them where the victim says “it really was my fault, I was not aware of my surroundings and I left my front door unlocked and curtains wide open. No wonder someone walked in and took my stuff”. I don’t think we ever will hear that come out of someones mouth. Sad. So very sad.

There are so many ways to avoid becoming the victim and education is the leading cure of ImGonnaCryInsteadOfBeingProactive-itis. That is a deadly disease that is seemingly running wild in today’s society. Some people are proactive about their own safety and those people are less likely to be placed into a situation that they were not prepared for. We cannot think up every solution to every possibility without going insane but we sure can think about obvious situations and how we would avoid those contacts, areas or situations.

Something simple as understanding how everyone thinks:
-I’m in my home so I am safe
-I am in my home and no one has the right to enter uninvited
-I am home so I have a sense of security
-This is a nice neighborhood
-Nothing ever happens around here
-This neighborhood has a neighborhood watch, so we are good to go

If you are sitting in your home, night or day, you will have a sense of security and safety because it is your home and we (all of us) ASSUME that we are safe because it is our home. This is what threats prey on.

Here is something that is a great first step for anyone, in any home:
Shut/draw your curtains when the sun goes down. During the day, you could stand inside your living room and look out upon people walking by and chances are you will not be seen if those people were to look at your home. Why? Because it is bright outside and darker inside.

On the flip side: if you were inside the home with the lights on and it is dark outside, you would not be able to see out of the windows well or if at all because of the light inside. But on the outside, anyone walking by would be able to see inside quite well. If you have nice stuff or anything of value, well…they may think that they deserve it more than you.

This is a simple step that could help you out or…..continue to live thinking that something bad could not possibly happen to you and then be prepared to become scared and paranoid for the remainder of your life if you do become a victim of a crime. Once it happens you cannot erase that event.

Click here to open the Smart Tactics website: –>Be Safe





Gun ownership

28 03 2012

Gun Ownership 

Many will have their opinion about gun ownership and politicians will continually attempt to support or go against guns and gun ownership, there are reasons for both sides. Some could say that some opinions go “over the top” with their efforts. I would have to say, as my opinion, that I would consider an “over the top” opinion and effort to be sneaking gun bans into congressional bills expecting the bill to get passed without noticing some new change to our already confined ownership. That would be “over the top” in my eyes.

I agree with some that state “guns should not be owned by some”, absolutely, but those some are those that purchase firearms only to commit crimes or to do bad things. How do you stop that type of ownership? No one will know, ever! There will always be a way to purchase firearms no matter where you are. I believe that not everyone should own, carry or fire a gun. Not everyone can safely handle a firearm but I am sure that even the most ignorant of owners would be able to tell you how a gun works, even in the most basic of terms.

Many purchase firearms because of what they look like. We all want a good looking firearm but I am talking about the “bling”. Some purchase a firearm just because of the way it looks and not because it suits their needs. Then, when they get to the range to try that firearm (if they even go to that extent) they find out that it does not work out for them more often than not. That is a waste of a good firearm.

Some will own firearms but never take a safety course. Then, when something happens, they blame the firearm. Last time I checked a firearm cannot fire itself, especially if that firearm is unloaded. Firearm accidents happen, mistakes happen but common sense could stop a lot of the accidents. Safety courses can provide many tools and tips that could keep an owner and their family safe.

A third-generation 9mm Glock 17 with a cable lock.

A third-generation 9mm Glock 17 with a cable lock.

There exist people that believe that they have been shooting guns their entire lives so they do not need a firearm safety class. Once again, they have fired guns their whole life and never had a problem. Does that mean they have been doing everything correctly their whole life or that they have been lucky their whole life? Whatever the case, firearm safety and keeping the family safe along with being responsible could provide a safe and fun gun ownership.

 

A lot of the people that are taken to the range have been “scarred” previously because of past experiences:

Being forced to fire a large firearm
-Not being told what is going to happen
-Made to fear a firearm as a young child
-Made fun of when they fired a firearm they were not trained on and they dropped the firearm
-many, many more situations.

The anticipation of those people when they are on the range, getting ready to pull the trigger after a traumatic experience behind a firearm in the past, is large. Some almost get to the point where they start to shake or cry. It is up to the instructor at that moment in time to be there for their student! Coach them, be patient with them and be ready for anything in order to keep things safe on the range. The student may or may not pull the trigger on the first attempt, do not get frustrated at them because of this, have them stand next to you while you put a bullet into the target. The sound is the biggest deterrent to scared shooters.

It has been noticed on numerous occasions where there were two people on the range and there were pieces of that range (ceiling) shattering everywhere. A definite sign of bad things. Then, upon listening to the “helper” of that person explain things, it was realized that that person really had no idea how to fire safely either. Then the target system crashed to the ground in their lane because the shooter that knew not what they were doing managed to shoot the cable system   down and break it completely.

Having a gun does not make someone a shooter, shooting a gun does not make someone a marksman and owning and firing a gun does not make someone a tough guy or gal. Some people are more of a danger to themselves then they are to anyone else. Having that person in existence makes me worry about my own safety when out in town. I carry for self protection: to protect my family and myself. I would only use it as a last resort and in an imminent danger situation not just a dangerous situation.

Firearms may produce the same end result but each and every firearm is different in their own way and not every firearm can be used effectively by everyone. This is why it is recommended to search and research to find a firearm that fits your need and your budget and then to rent it out in town at an indoor/outdoor range. Renting it saves the person from buying a firearm that they cannot use. If it works well for them and meets all of the criteria then it could be a safe buy, if it does not, then that person knows right then and there.

Not everyone should own a firearm, not everyone should fire a firearm and not everyone own firearms that are legal. Criminals do not register their firearms. If, in fact, laws were passed that gun ownership was illegal, then the law abiding citizens would have to give up their firearms while the criminals would not (as I am sure they would not suddenly gain a conscience and turn theirs in). Making the right decisions, gaining the education and experience behind a firearm and being a responsible owner and user of firearms is a wonderful thing and can bring about many years of security, protection and fun times.

Being safe is always the number one concern of firearm ownership and not listening to others when they tell you “you should not carry a gun, it is dangerous”, “guns kill people every day, do you want that on your conscience?” or “You don’t know how to use a firearm and are going to hurt someone” is vital to be confident in your decision. There are many firearm safety courses that exist and many courses that also promote “women only” courses so the women become more comfortable without worrying about any men in the class. Research courses in your area, then research the bio of the instructors to ensure you are getting the best possible training and then commit to that training.

Once a safety course is accomplished, shooting lessons can follow as well. Shooting at a target at a set distance is fun and many people/gun owners have guns for just that reason. Others purchase firearms for home safety/protection reasons. Whatever the reason, shooting lessons are always a plus and can enhance the shooters knowledge, proficiency and confidence behind their own firearm. Search now and get to know your firearm today!





Home Defense

28 03 2012

Home Defense

There are some that believe that the sound of a shotgun cycling or chambering is enough to deter a threat inside one’s home. It is possible, but anything is possible: having your cat jump towards and hiss at a threat inside the home could deter a threat also but you are not going to rely on that, are you?

Being prepared means being ready and practicing what “could” happen, not what is going to happen because no one can predict what is going to happen day to day. Having an adequate defense device or plan, is important for the safety of those inside the home.

Some States make it Law that you would have to run away from someone breaking into your home. You are to run to a room, lock the door and call the police. I guess at that point, you should also hope the threat will not attempt to come to your location. The “Duty to Retreat Law” says just that. This is why having a safe room is vital for your safety and the safety of those you love.

Some States have the “Castle Doctrine” or versions of it, such as “Make my day Law”. These laws allow the homeowner/occupants to defend their home and allow them to defend it without fear of a civil trial if the threat (the one trying to break into your home and cause you harm) becomes injured while inside your home.

Let’s talk about that for a second: We have all heard about:

-Man falls through skylight of this couple’s home. The man was trying to break into the home to burglarize it. When the man fell he fell onto the couple’s kitchen counter/cutting board and landed on some knives. He cut himself. Police arrive, man gets taken to hospital, man sues couple for injuries sustained while on their property and …..that man won the case and the money!

Actually, the man in the above mentioned paragraph was a teenager. He was a teenager and the injury occurred at a school because of a skylight. The boy fell through a skylight: why? Because it was painted black and he did not recognize it as a skylight while walking across the roof. One explanation was that the teenager(s) were trying to steal the lights off of the roof and their explanation was that they were attempting to redirect the light so they could play basketball. The school got sued. {http://overlawyered.com/2006/09/the-burglar-and-the-skylight-another-debunking-that-isnt/}

-Man breaks into a home of a doctor and his wife, doctor gets his pistol and shoots burglar in the back. The burglar, who is in jail, decided to attempt to sue the doctor stating the doctor deliberately “tried to severe my spine”. The doctor fired once at the threat who refused to leave his home.

Some States have laws in place to take care of their citizens and other States seem to have Laws that take care of those that conduct the home invasions and burglaries. Confusing? Yes? How can a State not see that a home is someone’s safe haven, a place to raise a family safely? I am not sure but in VA the “Duty to Retreat” is a real thing. It is important to gain the information on the rules and regulations because the mindset of “If someone were to break into my home I will shoot them dead” could get you prison time.

Firearms: As mentioned above, the sound of a shotgun chambering a shell is not always going to “scare” away an intruder. As a matter of fact, it may give the threat/intruder the early indication that someone is in the home with them, awake and coming their direction. This could give a threat enough time to find a hiding spot to gain the advantage.

There are some that will purchase a shotgun specifically because they are told the sound will make the threat run away every time. Now, in their mind, they do not need to fire the shotgun, maybe not even purchase any shells for that shotgun thinking the pure “shock and awe” of producing a shotgun will cause a threat to fall to their knees and plead for their lives. This is sad.

If a shotgun is the defensive item of choice, ensure it is a well thought out choice. Ensure you choose ammunition that can be used adequately in a close quarter’s situation. You would not want any ammunition to travel through walls into a neighbor’s home or into anyone passing by. Having the correct ammunition for the situation is vital. Being able to handle it safely is paramount, especially if there are others that live in that home.

If a semi-automatic pistol is the choice, ammunition is still the main topic: ensure the ammunition is the type that will provide the end result desired without damaging anything else. Know where the bullet will go if it does not hit its intended target and ensure it does not go any further than your property. You own every bullet that comes out of your firearm, regardless of the reason for pulling the trigger.

Caliber is important. Some people go straight towards the bigger pistols thinking that the size alone will cause the threat to run away. A Desert Eagle is not the firearm for home security. The bullet will travel through most everything and nothing good can come from that. That would be excessive. Know the caliber that works for your location but also a caliber that you can shoot extremely well. Coming close will not save your life!

Revolvers: make sure caliber is taken into consideration but also ensure accuracy is top of the list. It does not matter what you fire or what you carry as long as you practice with that item and become proficient in firing it accurately every time. Stressful environments are very different from range shooting and can make the difference between a survivor and a memory.

Practice at home (without ammunition) from throughout your home to ensure movement is possible and 100% control can be acquired and achieved every time. It is your home; you must keep it your home! Practice also at the range: fine tune your accuracy with different courses of fire and different distances. It is worthless to place the target at the far end of the range and then shoot at it because you would not have that ability in a real life situation. Keep it close, keep it accurate and keep all firearms clean and ready!

There are too many people today that will purchase a firearm without learning how to use it. Then, if someone were to break into their home, someone gets hurt or killed because of a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is not a defense and will cause you to go to jail because of that. Seek the education on whichever defensive tools you try to use in your home in defense and protection of your family. A couple hours in a classroom could save you from a lifetime in jail. Be safe!





When to take it seriously

28 03 2012

When to take it seriously

Most of us, if not all of us, has at one time or another thought something was “not right” or “very wrong” dealing with an event that happened to someone or something else…but then did nothing to ensure that “something” did not happen to us. Some still live like that currently while others do the minimum to secure their safety.

Example: A neighbor of yours gets their home broken into. You may have empathy towards the situation and you may even say things such as “I told them to lock their doors” or “they always leave that garage door open, I bet they will learn this time” or even “thank goodness it was not us”. But do you install security lights? Better locks on your doors? Do a home assessment? Nope. Most just hope that it does not happen to them.

When do you take it seriously? When your door is being kicked in by 3 armed individuals that want to hurt you? When the front door is being beaten down while your back window is being shattered? How about when you are peeking out your window at 2AM and see 4 individuals sneaking up and around your home carrying bats, knives and firearms?

If that is when you take it seriously, then you have already lost and it is only a matter of time before it comes to your home!

Events happen around us constantly and we are forced to hear about those events from different venues: TV, newspapers, coworkers and the internet. Each time an event occurs that happens to kill individuals, hurt families and cause great loss of money and assets, people will watch and think “if that was me…..” or  “maybe I should….” But end up doing nothing. Why? Because it is NOT happening at their front door.

Stories on the news: Home Invasion, Burglaries, Robbery, Rape, Murder, Gang activity, Workplace Violence, Drunk driving and Assault. These stories occur every single day and most weeks it seems to be getting worse and occurring in the “better parts of the town”. Crime is not biased, it will happen everywhere and anywhere and criminals are opportunists. If you give them an opportunity, they will capitalize on it. They care nothing about you or your home, be aware of that first and foremost!

If your neighbor happened to get their car stolen, would you go out and get ONSTAR for your vehicle? If your cousin’s home burnt down, would you immediately purchase fire insurance? Should you? Hence the title of this article: When to take it seriously? The average person will listen, watch or talk about events but not take it seriously. Why? Because it was not happening to them.

We would all go broke if we tried to plan for everything that could happen to us in life, we also would go nuts if we had to think about all of the “what if’s” and “maybe’s” that exists, but can be proactive about our safety and the safety of our families while keeping costs to a minimum. Know what is happening around your home by using sites such as “spotcrime.com” which will give you a daily update on events occurring around your home and neighborhood.

Most safety items cost:
-Security cameras: initial cost to purchase, install and if it is monitored by outside source.
-Security lights: initial cost to purchase, can be installed by owners and come with different options for power sources
-Alarms: installation, monitoring are associated costs but most Home Depots and Lowes will sell “Do it yourself” kits for home alarms that will only cost to purchase and that is the end of the cost. The “Do it yourself” kits also allow you to customize what you sensor in your home and how many sensors you may need.
-Motion sensors: initial purchase cost, can alert homeowner to anyone crossing the beam and does not require monitoring by outside source/business
-Egress ladder: initial cost only

No one knows when criminals are going to attempt a burglary or home invasion at their home but no one wants to spend their days worrying about when or if it could happen to them. We can all be safer inside and around our homes by being proactive about our own safety. There are many things that can be accomplished that can better our chances of surviving a home invasion or burglary:

Motion activated security lights: may have an initial cost but it has been proven that homes with motion sensor lights deter crime and anyone from approaching their home in fear of being seen.

Dogs: Home with dogs specifically are less likely to be burglarized because of the noise the dogs make and that the dogs are there protecting the home in the first place.

Locks: Having adequate locks on the doors can impede the progress of someone attempting to kick in the door expecting the locks to give out first.

Doors: Having reinforced doors for main entry points (front door, back door and Safe room door)

Window locks: having window locks are another great deterrent that will impede the progress of a burglar. If it takes a long time to gain access, it is less likely the burglar will take the chance.

Safety courses: There are numerous courses that exist that can give a household a better understanding about what they could do inside their own home to make it more secure. Courses such as:
-NRA Refuse to be a victim
-NRA Personal Protection inside the Home
-Smart Tactics Home Invasion Protection
-Smart Tactics Personal Protection
-Smart Tactics Neighborhood/Home Safety Plus safety seminars that cover specific topics. Is it worth your safety to attend a 1-2 hour seminar or maybe a 3 hour seminar for your safety?

Safety is the main concern because there are too many people that will go out and purchase a shotgun or pistol because there was a break-in at someone’s home in the neighborhood. They may have never fired a pistol or shotgun before but may think that they will be a “natural” if they ever had to use it against an intruder. This is a scary thought for many reasons:

1)Depending on the situation, if the homeowner were to fire at an intruder, the homeowner may go to jail and be in the “wrong”
2)If the homeowner is that “wrapped around the axle” about home security and the use of a firearm that they know nothing about, they could end up using that firearm with bullets or shells that can penetrate through their walls and into yours…or your children’s bedroom.

3)If startled, that homeowner could very well fire without thinking and hurt others inside their own home

4)If the homeowner purchases a firearm and does not seek the education on how to fire that firearm, they also may not know how to store that firearm. This could lead to improper stowage and access from the children that are curious inside that home or visiting.

With the amount of firearm businesses and instructors that exist in every State, there is no reason not to become educated with whichever firearm the homeowner desires, to include shotguns and rifles. Knowing more about the safety device you choose will make it more of an asset to you and possibly keep you out of jail and hopefully out of the morgue.

When do we take it serious? Now is the time to take it serious. Our safety is on us, no one else is going to look out for us except for us and we need to think about it and take it seriously. No one worried about losing their children in the past until criminals started to snatch children up from the streets and into vehicles and then safety was put in place to avoid such events. If education was given prior to that event, it could have saved lives…but how could anyone know?

We know what exists, maybe not everything that could happen but enough to arm ourselves with knowledge to avoid it. Becoming complacent inside our own homes and thinking “no one has the right to enter my home without my permission” will only make you a statistic and a victim. Be proactive about your own safety and the safety of your family and fix deficiencies you see that would allow access by a threat.

What can we do?
-Attend a safety course
-Assess your home
-Have a professional assess your home
-Attend a firearms safety course
-Use locks
-Know your home
-Have a safe room
-Practice scenarios with your family
-Know exit routes
-Have a safe haven
-Know your neighbors
-Remain proactive
-Take it seriously!

If you can think it up, a criminal has already done it. As long as you can think about it, you may be able to counter the action by ensuring your home is prepared to deter a home invasion, burglary or any other threatening or dangerous act. Preparing your children will also allow you to concentrate on events and safety steps that need to be taken to get everyone to safety and away from the threats or dangerous situation.

A motto of Smart Tactics is “It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it”. Having the education and not needing it is better than having some threatening event occur at your front door and you wishing you had the information needed to keep you safe along with your family.

A couple hours out of your life now spent becoming educated could be the reason you have a healthy, happy, safe life and provide a safer existence to your family. Without that education and without being proactive about your safety, you may end up on the news…and not in a story with a happy ending. Be safe, remain aware and attend a safety course today…it could save your tomorrow!





Summer threats

28 03 2012

Summer Threats

 Being that Summer vacation is almost upon us, it would be wise to think about our home, our children and our neighborhood. There will be more activity going on throughout all of these locations, especially during the evening and it would be wise to be prepared mentally and physically.

Safety of the home:

Having lights on the outside of your home that have motion sensors would be a great idea. There are many on the market and are affordable for most. Having a light that has a motion sensor allows the homeowner an extra added level of safety: threats are less likely to approach your home if they are put into a spotlight each time they get close.

Motion sensor lights are not helpful during the day in keeping threats away, so ensuring your home is as safe as possible is important.

-Window locks: if/when you are not at home, ensure the locks on the windows are locked or activated.

-Shades/curtains: in the Summer, it would be wise to keep the curtains closed if you want to maintain the air conditioner and temperature inside the home. It would also impede the vision of a possible threat that may be passing by your home who may be trying to see what is on the inside, that they may be able to take.

-Sliding doors: ensure the sliding doors have adequate locks and that the door is a newer model that will not allow the glass panel opposite of the door to move. Some models have the glass panel that can be “shimmied” open without activating an alarm. Most use a dowel behind the sliding door (behind the door and inside the track) to stop anyone from sliding or prying the door open.

-Access from the roof: Move any vehicles such as a mobile home or camper away from the house. Having a mobile home next to the house could allow someone the ease of access onto the roof by climbing onto the camper and then onto the roof. The same goes for any ladders or items used primarily outside the home: lock them up when not in use. Avoid giving the burglars the tools they need to break into your home.

Remember that skylights can be broken and threats could enter through the skylight quickly with minimal visibility (depending on the location of the skylight).

 

Allowing strangers into the home: Avoid allowing anyone into the home that you do not know or trust. There has been many cases where someone comes into the home, whether they were workers that were hired by the homeowners or someone trying to sell something on a hot day and they use the “could I possibly use your bathroom real quick please?”. Once in, they could unlock the window in the bathroom and use it to enter the home in the middle of the night.

 

Brief the children: Inform the children about the safeties involved when home along and ensure they understand the importance and hazards involved with certain events:

-Talk through the door: inform the children that if someone were to knock on the door, they can talk through the door and be prepared to egress quickly into the safe room if need be. Even if the person on the other side looks like a delivery man/woman or UPS driver, mailman etc.

 

Threats come in all shapes and sizes and could easily try to talk their way into your home while you are at work: “Excuse me, I could get into trouble if I just left the package here, can you please just sign this real quick and I can get back to work please?”. Some may even use the “Your neighbor is not home, could you please sign for this package so it does not get stolen?”. There are many scenarios to look out for.

-Windows and doors: inform the children in the home to keep the doors locked and the windows shut or opened with the safety latches activated. This way if someone were to attempt to open or break the tabs, the children should have enough time to escape the home or make it into the safe room.

-Mace/Pepper spray: Depending on the age, teaching children how to use pepper spray may be appropriate. Ensure the children are trustworthy and mature enough to understand the hazards and its use and why they should not play around with it. Parents should use discretion when teaching their children about defensive devices.

 

Defensive devices inside the home: Ensure any and all defensive devices such as firearms and batons are in a safe location where “idle” hands won’t find them to play with them. Children are curious and teenagers may attempt to impress their friends with “my dad has guns” or “my mom carries a baton” etc. This is the start of stories that do not end well.

Activity during the Summer months increase because children (18 years and younger) are out of school and may not know how to entertain themselves or their form of entertainment is impressing their friends by breaking into a home. There are a lot of gangs around and there are some gang activities that require today’s youth to do illegal acts to show their commitment to that gang.

 

Have a record: Before it is too late, take pictures and catalog valuables inside your home. In the catalog include: cost, where you bought it, when and the name. Then include a picture with it. This way if it gets  stolen, you have an exact listing for that item. Pawn shops are very busy today and will continue to be the place that thieves go to for a quick sale.

Be safe and remain aware and remember: just because you are inside your home, your castle, your safe haven, does not mean someone else is not planning on busting down your door to take your things away from you. You just assume no one will do that because it is your home and not theirs. Be proactive today to ensure you are not the victim tomorrow.