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.

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Instructors with no muzzle discipline!

5 04 2012

Safety First

One of my pet peeves is seeing firearms instructors that put themselves out there via the internet (Youtube, Facebook, Websites, etc.) and show the world that they, themselves, do not abide by the safety rules that each and every instructor is supposed to do. It does not matter if you are a basic firearms instructor, military firearms instructor, tactical instructor, law enforcement instructor, SWAT instructor, or king 6-gun-ninja instructor, safety means safety and if you can’t show your students that you can be safety, why should they listen to you?

I have seen videos of instructors that claim to be the “best of the best” and they may absolutely be one of the best but then they ruin it by continuing on with their video and pointing their firearm at the audience. Even if the firearm in question is a “blue gun” or “shape” or “rubber gun”, whatever you want to call it, it is a firearm. I have had a couple of personal attempts towards me via personal attacks because I had mentioned this to the instructor. I am a “train how you fight and fight how you train” instructor and believe that safety should always be number one on the list of things to teach to my students. Regardless who that students are.

I had a law enforcement instructor tell me that he teaches his cadets about firearms and he uses a blue gun with them and “sweeps” (moves the barrel towards them and passed them) them because they know that “it is fake”? So now there are many newly appointed officers that do not have a clear concept regarding being truly safe with a firearm. But they won’t really know that now will they? Not so much.

I truly do not care how professional someone is or how much they boast that they are the best of the best, if I hear someone boast about how professional and expert they are and they sweep a barrel in my direction, I am leaving that area because that instructor, the “professional”, is going to end up “accidentally” shooting someone who they are trying to teach. Fact!

If you want a great example, try going to Youtube and type “DEA AGENT shoots self in the foot”. Find the best quality video that has the audio as well. I am sure this instructor lost his job because of this, but this is another example of what could go wrong, when you think it will never happen to you.

As always: be safe, take a class and shoot straight.

 





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.





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!





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.





Being safe with a firearm

26 03 2012
Trigger lock fitted to the trigger of a revolver

Trigger lock fitted to the trigger of a revolver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You would think that just the mere mention of firearms that people would naturally be safe, but that is not the case. Too many times in the news do we see stories of kids shooting other kids with their parents firearm. There are many things wrong with that situation because responsible people should educate their children about firearms, the safety steps to take with the firearms and how to be safe around firearms. Children are naturally curious and will seek out those firearms when the parent are not around. Why? Because firearms are cool and children tend to want to impress their friends.

In order to maintain safety inside the home where there are children present, the firearms should be locked away and the key(s) should not be anywhere that can be found. Children will snoop around in the underwear drawers, under pillows and mattresses and in desk drawers. Having an adequate lockable storage location is important for the safety of those inside the home but the container itself is just as important. If someone were to break into the home they could steal a small container if it is not bolted down or secured in some manner.

Trigger locks are another way to ensure safety. The trigger locks impede anyone from depressing the trigger of the pistol and keeps the firearm and those inside the home, safe. What if someone were to break into the home? This is why planning is important: have the home-defense pistol in a location that can be easily and quickly accessed. Planning now can save the occupants of the home if a threat were to invade the home. Being safe is vital all the way around. Never assume the firearm is cleared: always make sure the firearm is safe and any magazine is located away from the firearm. Double check and triple check to make sure the firearm is clear and safe and maintain directional discipline: don’t point the pistol at anyone and know where the barrel is pointed at all times.