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}

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Personal Safety in an active shooter situation

15 12 2012

The horrific act that occurred in CT elementary school was a nightmare that has scarred many involved, if not all involved. This is another case of someone with a firearm (illegally at that) taking advantage of individuals who could not have possibly been armed. Had these teachers had the opportunity and training on how to respond in an active shooter situation, some may have survived this event.

An active shooter situation is when a person with a gun, who is shooting that gun at others, in the vicinity. That is an active shooter. It does not matter if the shooter is targeting one person in particular or a group of people, the person is dangerous to all around.

I have been seeing a lot of traffic going back and forth from some saying “we need stricter gun control laws” and “this is why we need to get rid of guns”. Hmmmmm lets look at that shall we?

If we were to get rid of all of the guns that are legally owned, then the only guns around would be the illegally owned guns by the criminals. Then, we would all have to rely on law enforcement to protect us. How many officers live in your area? How many follow you around on a daily basis? None? Well then, how are the officers going to protect you if they are not right next to you, watching out for danger? Thats right, they will not be able to.

Anyone with a clean record can buy a gun, yet not everyone is good. There is evil in this world and always has been. This evil will always remain and it is up to the honest, law abiding gun owner to continue owning/carrying that gun safely as they have done. The news very rarely tells you about the firearm owner that saved his family from attackers, or the woman that shoots a rapist or the elderly person that shoots an intruder that assaulted them. Why? You tell me.

It seems that there are those in high government offices that believe that firearm laws should be stricter and become harder and harder to legally own. Right now it is assault rifles, next will be semi-automatic pistols and then revolvers and finally shotguns. By why stop there, knives are next, crossbows, bows, arrows, forks, spoons, chopsticks, etc. are going to be banned. Why? Because someone, somewhere will call those weapons. What kind of government is that? That is not a constitutional government.

Back to personal safety and the victims of the school shooting in CT: If the teachers had been properly trained and practice that training once a week, they may have been prepared to act immediately. Everyone had to have been scared, which would be absolutely normal, but many of them (reports have said) acted quickly to save the children, which is awesome. Unfortunately some of those teachers died because of it. That is sad.

Active training means investing the time and energy into creating different scenarios for these schools to practice in order to fine tune reaction times and objectives. By watching a video every 6 months or reading a PDF notice on safety, no one is going to be prepared for an active shooter situation. What about the students, although very young, these poor children would not know what to do other than possibly hide (once they figure out what is happening-then it could be too late). If these children were forced to practice, once a week, different dangerous situations, their reactions could have been programmed into them in order to save some more lives.

Would have, could have, etc. I know, I know, it is in the past but I doubt anyone will forget about this for a very long time. I bet few people out there right now remember the church shooting on the sunday school students in that rural community. I bet the families involved still remember that nightmare.

I created a course specifically for teachers and personal protection and ememergency perparedness and sent out a proposal to all of the schools in the state of VA. I received one response and that response was “we are good, our security department will take care of any threats that come around”. Amazing. Another case of “we dont need any personal protection training because nothing ever happens here”. Yet, people will scream and yell and stomp their feet about “why cant we get more help” and “this should never have happened” etc. Now they would want training. Why does society want to wait until they are the victim before they try to seek out the education to keep them safe?

I offer free personal protection seminars, I offer free safety training on saturday mornings and guess how many showed up? None. I offer the location, student guides and training for free and no one shows up because they are too busy and “we live in a good neighborhood” and “nothing bad ever happens in our areas”. Once a victim, forever a victim. This is a fact. There are many, FREE, steps that can be taken by EVERYONE to gain education to remain safe and avoid having a home invasion, assault, burglary etc. happen to them but no one is taking those steps. Why? I have not a clue…… and I am saddened at that.





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





Why carry concealed

28 03 2012

WHY CARRY CONCEALED?

Scenario: You are having a great dinner with your husband/wife; you are laughing and having a great time. You finish with your dessert and put on your jackets and head out into the cold evening to enjoy the rest of the night together. As you are walking down the sidewalk, talking, laughing and barely paying attention to where you are going because of the conversation being so humorous and suddenly a man steps out of the shadows with a knife and demands your money!

Depending on the distance of this threat, it may be wise to just give him your money and hope he goes away…but then you do give him your money and he is NOT satisfied with that and wants to forcibly go after your wife. He has a knife and what do you have? Your cell phone? Jacket? Not your wallet because you already gave the threat your wallet.

Scenario: You are grabbing a quick bite for lunch with some coworkers and someone enters the restaurant with a pistol and starts shooting people inside the restaurant. The threat is picking out random people throughout the restaurant and executing them on the spot: women, children, elderly!

Scenario: You are driving into a location you are not familiar with and did not bother to do any research (because why would you) to see what the crime  has been like over the past month or so. You pull up to a light and a group of thugs armed with crowbars and pipes start to approach your vehicle. As you are aware of the group coming from one direction towards you, you do not seem to notice the two that have successfully snuck up around the other side of the vehicle…that is until they smash your window with their pipes and order you to open the door.

Scenario: You are filling your vehicle up with gas so you won’t have to worry about it tomorrow. You just finished with a play-date with your child, who is now in the backseat napping, unaware of what is about to happen. As you are paying attention to the two teenagers that are up towards the front of the store that seem to be up to something shady, you don’t seem to notice the threat that has come up behind you about to demand your keys! You plead with the threat but all that does is anger him further and pushes him to punch you across the face, knocking you to the ground. Now he has your keys and is heading to your driver’s side door to leave with your vehicle…and your child!

Scenario: You are coming out of a store and approaching your vehicle. You didn’t happen to notice that there was a vehicle parked next to your vehicle that had someone inside of it, waiting for you! You approach the vehicle and the person steps out of theirs and tells you to “get inside this car and don’t say a word or I will kill you”.

Scenario: You are working late in the office and everyone else is gone for the evening. The security guard is making his rounds and you are tired and do not feel like waiting for them to escort you to your vehicle (if that would even be an option in most places). You figure it would be okay since there are cameras around the building and the security is pretty good. You step outside and walk towards your vehicle, open the door and enter the driver’s side. Nothing out of the ordinary..until you hear a raspy voice from the backseat that is ordering you to drive behind the building.

Scenario: You are stepping off of the elevator onto a level of the parking garage where you parked, to attend a seminar. The parking garage is seemingly quiet with no traffic. There are plenty of vehicles parked inside and nothing seems out of the ordinary. Then, you smell what could be either a cigar or cigarette that seems to linger in the air. But there is no smoke around and no one present within view and there are no sounds such as footsteps or shuffling or even an engine running. The only sounds you hear are those of your footsteps and the pounding of your heart. You start to walk closer towards your vehicle and you see someone out of the corner of your eye hiding underneath the vehicle across from yours and they have a machete!

Scenario: You come home after spending time with a friend and enter your home and you do not notice anything out of the ordinary. You walk into the kitchen because the phone rings and notice the window over the sink is partially open…odd…you didn’t leave it open because the weather was going to be colder? You pick up the phone to see who is calling and you see a shadow pass across the hallway wall. The only light showing towards that direction had to have come from the living room and something had to have passed by the windows….but you live on the second floor!

The scenarios are endless and all point to a situation where the threats will use intimidation and fear to their advantage. Being able to carry concealed is an option that is available in most States and available to most people (there are regulations and laws against some people whom would not be eligible). Providing that person attends an approved firearms safety class, they would be eligible to put their application in to carry a concealed firearm. It does not stop there.

There is a copious amount of information that is available to everyone as long as they pursue it. It is not wise to get a permit to carry concealed, purchase a firearm and start carrying without truly knowing your firearms capabilities, your capabilities and limitations and different tactics associated with traumatic occurrences and immediate actions against a threat. If you are driven enough to protect yourself and your family, please be driven enough to pursue education that can hone your skills or teach you how to properly defend yourself in dangerous and sometimes deadly situations. Your life may depend on it!

Be Safe!





Safety Courses

28 03 2012

 

SAFETY COURSE

 

Looking at the statistics in my own area, I cannot understand why it is that no one is scrambling to find the closest personal safety class in the area. I am actually baffled. It is sad to say but most people really do not become concerned about personal safety until something is actually happening to them. Then, at that point, they become the victim and once that occurs they will always have that fear that it will occur again.

 

By attending a safety course, society would be able to hear other options that they may have never heard about in the past. Maybe, just maybe, someone else in the class has a story that everyone or even just someone could relate to and ideas could be exchanged. But, once again, most do not become concerned until something happens to them.

 

Let’s ask ourselves a question: How would I feel if I could get an education on how to properly safeguard my family and belongings but do not pursue it….and then something happens to my family because of a threat? Would I be able to look at myself in the mirror after that? The answer for me would be a NO! I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror without becoming sick to my stomach.

 

 

 

Typical Thought Process: When someone enters their home the reality of everything outside of that house becomes nonexistent. Not to say that the occupants are oblivious to the world, just that they are comforted by being inside their home, their safe haven and their property. The last thing on anyone’s mind is that someone, at any time, could kick in that door and threaten the occupants.

 

Because of the comforting thought of being inside the home, the occupants become vulnerable and susceptible to threats that decide that their house is next. If/when a threat or threats kick in the door and waves a weapon around, the occupants will most likely freeze in their spots. Threats gamble on it and usually win. Most will freeze in place while trying to process the immediate traumatic occurrence that just happened. That’s all the threat needs.

 

There are many, low cost/no cost ways to safeguard your home and family and seeking out this information could save the lives of those you hold dear. Research those in your area to find legitimate instructors of these courses that have the credentials to teach the information at an affordable cost. By thinking you are prepared for an event that you have not experienced before without properly being educated about it, only makes for an ignorant victim but a victim nonetheless.

 

Chain of events: Once someone experiences a home invasion or worse, the likely path that is taken is a knee-jerk reaction. One such reaction is the person would run out to a gun store or sports store and attempt to purchase a gun. Depending on the store and the person behind the counter, that person could very well leave that store with a gun that they would never be able to fire accurately, at anything. Unfortunately there are plenty of those stores in existence.

SHOTGUN: I have heard numerous people brag about their shotgun for home protection. The shotgun is an excellent gun to have for home protection: has an intimidating sound when the shell is chambered (one that most would be able to identify from a great distance) and has a short impact distance. This makes it great for close-in, close quarters situations. That does not mean that everyone would be confident in their abilities with that gun or able to hit anything with it when it is fired.

Remington 1100 Tactical Shotgun with 8 rounds ...

Remington 1100 Tactical Shotgun with 8 rounds in 12 gauge

 

 

 

REVOLVER: A revolver used to be “old faithful” next to most beds or under pillows in the event someone was to break into their home in the middle of the night. Once again, great design and easy to use, but not for everyone. The revolver is compact and comes in different calibers and sizes but has a limited amount of ammunition loaded into it. This is a downfall for the revolver. Then again, should you need more than 6 bullets against someone that just invaded your home? Maybe, maybe not.

Cylinder of a Colt Python Collection Paul Regn...

 

SEMI-AUTOMATIC: This is a popular choice because of the spare magazines and stopping power. Different calibers are available along with different sizes and different prices. Depending on where someone was to purchase their firearm would also depend on the prices and quality of guns.

 

Ammunition will cost and depending on the caliber, it may cost a lot! Some ammunition is expensive and some are not. You can achieve great practice with cheap ammunition and have the good ammunition saved for at home or carry options. Having expensive ammunition to practice with is throwing money away on the range. It is important to actually fire the ammunition you intend to carry a couple of times to see how the firearm operates with the ammunition. This will help overall confidence in the firearm/ammunition.

 

TRUST: Bring a trusted friend or coworker with you when you are looking at firearms. I was in a sports shop looking at holsters when I heard the person behind the desk trying to convince the woman he was speaking to that she needed a pink handled revolver. I was appalled at the fact that the man was trying to lure the female into purchasing a pink gun because she was a female.

As the conversation went on, the female was unsure of what she wanted and the man behind the counter turned to her husband and said “you know what I am talking about with this gun right?” and her husband said “I don’t know anything about guns at all”. Bad move. Then the shark started to circle the bodies. The salesman grabbed a shotgun off of the rack and was going on about how easy it was to fire, that “even his wife could handle it”, referring to the woman right in front of him. This was the point where my wife recognized that I was pretty angry and decided to pull me away from the area.

The woman did not purchase anything right then, thankfully and I “lingered” around the area because I wanted to give the woman and her husband my card to let them know that I would give them free consultation regarding firearms and home defense options.

The salesman was just that “someone that was JUST trying to make a sale”. He did not show any compassion towards what they were looking for or what they needed, nor was he concerned about price for them. They exist and sad to say, they exist everywhere.

Attend a firearms safety course that allows you to fire a pistol or two. Learn the safety aspects to the firearm and then rent a different firearm, one that you are interested in because of its size, weight or caliber. Shoot that firearm and decide if that is what you truly want.

Once you have found the firearm that fits you and you decide you can shoot it well, then it would be time to look for the firearm to purchase. There are many locations that firearms can be purchased: from the local range, pawn shops and online sites. Price shop and decide and purchase.

It does not matter whether you are man, woman, tall, short, fat or skinny, there are people out there that will exploit you for not knowing everything there is to know about whatever you are attempting to inquire about or purchase. If you bring someone along that knows about the item, you are less likely going to be taken for a ride.

Just like the ignorance in the past: a woman may get charged an extra amount for car repairs than a man because it is “assumed” that a woman would not know the difference. Those times are long gone but there are some that do not know enough to “not” get caught up in the scam. Be proactive about your safety and your protection items. Become educated, do your research and purchase what is right for you.