Threats getting craftier

30 08 2013

Threats get craftier

It is sad that one has to avoid certain situations because it could be a trap. There seems to be another “new” trick that threats are perpetrating now that includes elderly ladies. It seems that the threats threaten the elderly lady into being a part of their scheme, at least I hope that is the case because it would be seriously warped if the elderly person was a willing participant.

What happens is a vehicle with the elderly person inside either pulls up or is parked in a location and the elderly person asks young women for help. When the young lady comes to the vehicle to see what she can do to help and at that point in time the young lady gets assaulted by the threat(s). Then the young lady gets sexually assaulted/abused.

Whether this is a story traveling around or actually happening, the sad thing is threats are becoming more brazen and I believe that there are many reasons why. I believe that one of the reasons is because the “petty” criminals don’t spend any time in jail. Why? Because of over crowding. Since some criminals feel that being a criminal is a career, they know the system and how to get around it.

How sad is it that criminals get “3 hots and a cot”, which means they get 3 meals (hots) and a bed (cot), and we have many military members that are on food stamps. The military members risk their lives to serve their Country and the criminals prey on those that try to earn an honest living. What politician is trying put a stop to this? No one.

Threats are getting younger and younger and care less and less about the people that they hurt. This is why awareness must be increased on everyone’s behalf. Be cautious everywhere you go and do not let your guard down. Once you think nothing could happen to you, that would be the time something terrible is going to happen.

If you feel strange about someone that just entered the same location you are at or you feel uneasy about a group of individuals that are acting suspiciously, then a quick exit out of that location would be the safest decision. Some start to scream “racial profiling” only because they want an excuse to point the finger at someone else or refuse to admit what it truly is. It does not matter what color the threat is, if there is a group of individuals acting unruly or suspiciously it would be warranted to be suspicious.

Being aware does not mean paranoid, being aware means to be proactive about your own safety and take the necessary steps needed to ensure a safe and happy life. This entails knowing your home, knowing what you would/should do in the event someone breaks into your home, knowing what to do when you enter your vehicle, what you should do if you are being followed and what you could/should/would do in threatening situations.

As always, be safe, be aware and refuse to be a victim.





Conceal Carry or any other Firearms safety course…

8 06 2013

Getting adequate instruction for personal defense:

There are many “instructors” out there that promote their courses and some of them are actually good at what they do while others are trying to take your money and relying on your ignorance on the subject to get away with it. By ignorance, I do not mean that you lack education or common sense, just that you may not know too much about the subject of adequate firearms training.

With that, please think about something before committing to a dedicated course: if is broadcasts online, ask yourself “what if I have a question?”. Currently (and for the foreseeable future) the NRA does not have any online courses. With that, any NRA instructor that says it is an NRA course and they happen to put it online (for firearm courses that is) for you to register, pay for and “attend” (which usually means you watch a video or PowerPoint presentation) then expect your money to be wasted because the courthouse is probably going to kick it back. This means you will not get your money back AND you wasted your time AND you learned nothing about firearm safety.

When it comes to defensive information, such as conceal carry information, it is important to get out of the class what you need to and what your “need” would be is: what are the conceal carry laws? Where can I legally carry? How can I transport my firearm? What do I do/say if I get pulled over? What if I need to fly and want to carry/bring my firearm? What are the rules of the local area? What signs do I need to be aware of (to prohibit carrying)?

You cannot plead ignorance if you actually have a license to carry concealed. That license states that you attended some sort of firearms safety course and that you are aware that you need to stay “up” on the local/state laws in your specific area. By saying “I was not told that”, “I did not know that” or “how was I supposed to know that” you are already wrong. It is your responsibility to gain that knowledge.

How much money do you have and do you enjoy throwing it away? I ask this because if you attend an online course for your conceal carry permit and the state does not accept it, or you attend that course, the state does accept it but the NRA finds out that the instructor did it online and revokes their credentials, then you are liable now and you learned little about the “can and cannots”. The money? Well, now you have to attend another course, sit in the classroom and hope that THIS class is actually going to teach you something. Fingers crossed!

Point being, if you attend an online course (which most universities are now promoting big time) you may not understand certain information. This is not even speaking about the conceal part of the course, this is just speaking about the firearm safety part. So, if you do not understand a part of the safety when dealing with the firearm and you end up firing that firearm anywhere, you are now liable for where that bullet goes. You are guilty and negligent. So if that bullet were to strike someone, you are guilty. How would you feel if it struck a child?
The phrase (which unfortunately is used a lot) “I didn’t know it was loaded” will not hold water in court on any level. You are responsible for the condition of that firearm, all firearms in your possession, at all times and guess what? If your firearm gets stolen and you do not report it, then you are still liable for everything that occurs with that firearm. Hmmmm think maybe you should research qualified and competent instructors now? I would hope so.

Many people are trying to capitalize on the latest fad/phase and that is that most everyone wants to gain their conceal carry license. That means that there are people out there that will devise ways to convince the public that they have the course that they need. They may advertise it as a defensive course that satisfies the state’s requirements for their conceal carry license. They will devise these courses preying on the ignorance of society to make as much money as possible while trying to “skirt” the laws of morality and ethics. I take my responsibilities more seriously than that.

My main concern is that there are plenty of firearm owners that are out there that believe they are “safe” and that they already “know all that they need to know about firearms” and this worries me for everyone’s safety. Their ignorance of reality places everyone around them at risk, especially if something bad happens. There are many that “talk” a big game and when they are called up “to the majors” they fail miserably. I don’t want to be the end result of their failure (being shot because they thought that they were good to go/the hero/bulletproof/etc.).

It is important to research anyone that is teaching you a skill. Not only research them but ask around to see if anyone else has gone to their class to see how it was (was it informative, instructors available after the class for questions, information easy to follow and understand, etc.). There is nothing wrong with calling the instructors/business and ask them questions about their instructors, if they are legitimate then they would have no issues letting a client/customer know who is teaching, how long they have been teaching, their credentials, etc. If you are made to feel guilty for asking such questions then that should SCREAM at you that you have asked / looked towards the wrong business. In that case you should RUN, RUN AWAY from that business as fast as you can.

A business is out to make money, some people go into business because they love what they do, others just want to make money. The bottom line is a business must make money if it intends on doing more business and intends to stay in business. With that, a business can still make money while providing adequate information at an affordable price. That price should be competitive for the area. Want to find out? Call around and ask each location their cost for their class (NRA firearms class/Conceal carry class/defensive fire class, etc.). Compare the costs with each of them, compare their credentials and what others are saying about them and get your answer that way.

Let me give you another example: When a question is asked to the average person in this area on what they would do if someone were to break into their home and their common answer would be “I would shoot them dead”. My answer to them at that point is “You will then be arrested and thrown in jail, probably sued by the threat/threats parents or spouse and your firearm will be confiscated”. They usually, at that point, look at me and say “I don’t care, I did not invite them, they were there to do me harm”. I tell them that in VA there is no “make my day law” or “Castle doctrine” so there are rules and regulations.

Just by that example, people go on the defensive and say crazy things like “I will shoot them and drag them into the house” (what they don’t know is that they will still go to jail), “if they come into my yard I will shoot them” (jail time), “I will put a knife in their hand and say they tried to kill me” (jail once the police investigate and realize that your fingerprints are on the knife and the knife matches the same ones in your knife drawer…two rooms and one floor over). Yet, people will still give a disgusted look and think that they have rights or that they will be “in the right” because someone attempted to break into their home.

Bottom line: you MUST know the do’s and don’ts when it comes to your rights, the laws and proper training involved with carrying for defensive reasons (and concealed carry is for defensive reasons). It does take more than going to the range once and shooting at a paper target. Ask yourself this: when was the last time a paper target attacked you? Just saying. There are techniques that can be used to increase speed and accuracy and prepare someone for quick/defensive firing if the need came up. Remember, if you get into a situation where you have to shoot to defend yourself, you still OWN every one of those bullets, regardless the situation, you are responsible for every bullet that you fire and you will be tried for any innocent struck by your bullet (that also means property as well).

Research for your rights, for your sanity, for your protection and the protection of your friends and family. Ignorance of the laws and regulations in your area (or other areas) is not a viable defense. If you enjoy your freedom, I would suggest you research your instructors, your future firearms safety classes and the things that will ultimately keep you safe in a dangerous/deadly situation.

Please feel free to forward this, email this, copy and paste it, share on social media, etc. I only attempt to ensure everyone knows what would be needed for their safety and the safety of their loved ones, especially today. Please be safe and DEFINTELY attend a safety course.

Smart Tactics {www.smartweaponstactics.com}





The world we live in

19 04 2013

Mark LeClair
Smart Tactics
April 2013
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
It is a sad time indeed, for the United States: bills being voted on that go against our constitutional rights, people deliberately breaking the laws and cover-ups occurring (blatantly at that), media cannot be trusted due to their bias influence, public figures stating you “can’t” do one thing and get busted actually doing what they are trying to ban, a medical system that is failing miserably, lemmings that demand that someone be blamed for everything bad that is occurring instead of those that are truly guilty being brought up on charges and terrorists attacking one of the greatest cities of all times. Truly a sad time indeed.
One cannot look at someone that seems to be acting suspiciously and accuse them of being a terrorist because they are too afraid to:
1)Hurt their feelings
2)Be wrong and take the chance of being sued for racial profiling
3)Be called out for being a racist
It is not racist to look at someone that is making the hair on your neck go up and get suspicious. Usually, if you get a bad feeling about something or someone, there is usually a good reason for it. Would you rather take the chance of being wrong and ensure everyone around you is safe or sit back, do nothing and then become news at 5pm while they scrape parts of you off of the wall 30 feet from where you were standing? This country is slipping further and further into the abyss.
CROWDS
Especially in a crowded situation where there are many people closer together for whatever reason, more so than normal, it is important to be watchful, aware of your surroundings and the actions of those in your area. If there are many people around you that means it will be harder to get away from that area if something were to go wrong. Once something goes wrong, it becomes mass hysteria and mayhem and some people will get trampled on because others had no regard for others because they want to escape the area by any means necessary.
That’s right, some of the same people that like to post on social media sites that they would do “such and such” to the bad people, or they would “hunt down” the bad people and so forth, are the same ones that are grabbing the old ladies in front of them and throwing them into a wall just to be further away from the bad area or situation. Not all, but there are some and you can expect that sort of reaction from most people (running when bad things are happening-fight or flight usually turns into flight for most).
When in a crowd situation, such as on a train, on a bus, on the subway, at a concert, at a sports venue or large gathering such as the Boston Marathon, it is important to look at those around you. By looking at the others around you, you would be able to see those that stay around you because of location. Then, if someone were to walk up into your area and they were not there previously, then you would notice that and be able to key into specifics:
-Hair color
-Height
-Weight
-Facial features
-Identifying marks, scars or tattoos
-Language/voice
-Clothing
-Accessories (backpack/buttpack/Unusual jacket on warm day, etc)
If someone were to carry a backpack and that backpack seems “out of place” or “excessively packed” then you may want to exit the area. If the person carrying it seems out of place or nervous or very anxious, that is another great reason to leave the area and tell someone. It is very wise not to just pick up your phone and shove it into the face of a stranger and take a picture, so that is not advised at all. On the other hand, if you were to point your phone towards them and they get really nervous and try to run away, that may be an indicator as well that they did not belong there. I would advise against it especially today because of the possible bad things that have been happening.
There are some telltale signs that someone should not be in a location, all you have to do is look for those signs:
Marathon:
People are cheering others at the finish line as they are crossing the line, in this location, everyone is seemingly going to be watching the runners as they are coming by. Everyone that is watching is waiting for their loved one, friend or family member to cross the line so their focus is on the finish line. Very difficult to try and stay focused on anything else. Then someone walks up with a large bag while wearing a big heavy jacket and beat up shoes (not running shoes). Their attention is away from the finish line and there is no excitement in their expressions nor are they cheering anyone.
Little warning signs. Be watchful of your area.
It is a huge tragedy that people were killed by these terrorists and I cannot say that I would have been any more watchful or observant than these people that were immediately affected by the explosion were and that is sad because I pride myself in trying to stay watchful and teach safety throughout my lessons (firearms, home protection, etc.).
Why would I have not been so watchful? Because I too would have been focused on the finish line and would have been cheering on the runners, despite not knowing anyone in the race, because that is what the residents of Boston do: they have immense hometown pride and love for events and others. These terrorists took advantage of that and people died and suffered because of that. Sad events indeed.

When you are stuck on a subway car or train, it would be difficult to get yourself to a safe area if the train is crowded. This is why you find a safe location, one that does not lock you into a corner with no escape. Find a location where you are close to an exit but with rear security: a location where you would not have to worry about someone sneaking up towards your back or blindspot.
I know that we as society, tend to get complacent with our security and awareness but when we do bad things happen and will continue to happen because bad people are taking advantage of the horrible situation the US is in and it seems that they are getting away with it. This is why each and every person must be accountable for their safety and not be too scared to find law enforcement and call in someone that is acting suspicious. It used to be called your right to do so and also your duty.
KNOW YOUR EXITS
When you go to a concert or location where there are many, many people, it is advised that you know where the exits are. Wherever you go, ask yourself one thing: If the lights go out, could I find my way out….with the hundreds of people trying to trample over me crying and screaming? Know where the closest exits are located, know possible hiding places such as bathrooms or utility closets, etc. By knowing where they are located, you could possible get to that location in a bad situation and actually survive it.
Bad people are everywhere and they will continue to figure out ways to destroy happy way of life, or ways to crush any sort of happiness that exists because of their beliefs or because they are absolutely off of their rocker. IT happens. If your State allows it, look into firearms training and conceal carry licenses. Some people prefer not to be armed and that is their right and I respect their rights. On the other hand, some people should not CARRY a gun nevermind hold one (or even draw one on a piece of paper for that matter). Each person is different and each person will have their own comfort level with a firearm.
Being armed does not mean you will be bullet proof. Being armed does not mean you will survive a threatening encounter. Being armed does not mean you are a vigilante. Being armed does not mean you are a badass. Being armed does not mean you are the best shooter in the world. Being armed does not mean you know everything about guns. Being armed DOES mean you should have pursued as much information as humanly possible regarding safety, safe gun handling, fundamentals of marksmanship, storage and cleaning of firearms before carrying that firearm.
Many people believe that they already know about firearms because they grew up around them. I grew up watching medical documentaries but I cannot perform brain surgery. Some people believe that because they have watched a bunch of videos on the internet, that they have enough knowledge to survive a dangerous encounter. These people are the ones that end up shooting themselves with their own gun or end up hurting someone else because of mishandling of said firearm.
Bottom line: be responsible for your safety and be watchful. Even though you are on vacation and in a location where there is happiness and excitement around you, there may be evil people that want to destroy others because that is their “mission” or “purpose in life”. Whatever the reason, my only hope is that these idiots end up calling their own devices with their cell phone and explode inside their vehicle, away from innocent people, instead of hurting innocent people around them. Evil will always exist but if you are more proactive about your situation, watchful and aware of your surroundings, safety conscious everywhere you are/go, then you will be ahead of most and hopefully more apt to spot something “out of place”.
As always, be safe, be aware and get trained. Being trained is better than being stuck in a location, frozen, because you cannot think of what to do. Shoot straight!





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.