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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Pepper Spray and other options

1 04 2012
Fox OC pepper spray "Five Point Three"

Fox OC pepper spray

Pepper spray or mace has been the “go to” for instructors when teaching about personal protection, especially towards women. It has been greatly assumed that if someone were to become sprayed with the average pepper spray device, then that threat would drop to their knees and scream and cry that their eyes were burning. This gives those that carry the pepper spray a sort of power thought that is not true. In some pepper sprays, it can take up to 45 seconds before it take effect. What do you do in that 45 seconds? Have you planned on it taking that long? Didn’t think so. What to do now?

Pepper spray is a great step 1 as long as you remember a few key things:
– Ensure the wind is at your back. I know it sounds silly but you can become affected by the spray as well as those around you
– Know the distance or limitations of the spray:
   *Little batons that fit on the key chains can spray accurately 3-5 feet and in some cases 7 feet
   *Larger batons can spray up to 7 to 10 feet
   *Large canisters can reach 12-15 feet in some cases
– Know the expiration date and replace the container when the date has reached it date
  *For those that think “I never used it so it should still be good”, prepare to be let down. It is safer to replace the container than to hold onto the hope that you may still have a decent charge left in it.

Time limit:
So you end up spraying someone in the face, and lets say that someone was NOT high on drugs, how much damage do you think they could accomplish in 45 seconds? You need to think about that because they are not going to stand there and wait for it to take action against them.

It is important to have a PLAN B every time you are placed into a dangerous position. This would be the follow up plan upon initiation of the spray.
Example: You spray the mace/pepper spray into the face of the intruder:
– Immediate movement out of the area while calling 911 is an action
– Movement to the side to avoid a straight-on ambush
– Defensive posture is needed for proper defense

For those that think: What? Pepper spray does not work? That’s not what I am saying, what I am saying is: there may be such a delay that you could still become the victim and harmed if you spray and “pray” (hoping the threat drops and cries for mercy because of the burn). What options exist? What about wasp spray?
(Merely as a suggestion) Wasp Spray:
– Reaches up to 25 feet (to reach high areas where you would not want to be close to when spraying the wasps)
– Takes IMMEDIATE action/impact onto the threat
– Threat MUST be brought to the hospital to have it removed from the eyes
– Cheap to purchase and replace
– Could work in a Workplace Violence situation as well without looking suspicious
– Stops the threat where they become effected

Wasp spray can be purchased at most DIY stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, etc.) and can be a great, low-cost way to stay safe at home. It is highly suggested to avoid keeping compressed cans of any type or style in your vehicles because of extremely hot temperatures and cold temperatures could create a high enough pressure to cause the can to explode and damage/injure someone inside that vehicle. Always be safe and use sensible actions for personal safety.





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!