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April 2012

Kids & Guns

How many of you reading this newsletter have guns in your house? How many of you have kids in your house (your own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews)? How many of you have properly secured your guns so that your children cannot get to them while unsupervised? (that answer better be 100%!) Now, cyberspace show of hands, how many of you have taught your children what to do if they're at a friends house, or at school, or playing in the park....and another kid gets a gun out and wants to play with it, or points it at them cause the friend thinks it's cool and wants to play cops & robbers with a real gun? Let me assure you, it's not worth not knowing absolutely positively that your child knows what to do. I'm talking about ages 4-18! There is a way you can teach your children what to do to save their own lives should someone somewhere get a gun out when you're not there to protect your child. Please don't leave this to chance, we have a class for that. Be sure to read Mom's Corner below for more details.

Upcoming Classes:

I've got several classes scheduled for April and May, including Girls Day Out, Defensive Awareness, Firearms and Your Young Child, and both a mixed and women only SDA (conceal carry) class. Note: all classes have registration deadlines, but most of my classes fill up before that date. Once they're full I take them off the Schedule page of the website as I cannot take any more students for that class. I recommend if you're interested in a particular class that you not wait too long to register. See details below.

March 31st SDA class

Look out, another tie dye red head!
More photos here

Policy for All Live Fire Classes

It is a pre-requisite that in order to attend ANY OPD live fire class, including SDA (conceal carry), all students must take Girls Day Out or a private lesson from an OPD instructor. This is for the safety and comfort of students, range safety officers, and instructors. This policy is posted on the SDA page as well as the classes page of the website.

Financial Aid for Classes

No one will be turned away from Oklahoma Personal Defense training because they cannot afford a class. If you need assistance, please contact me.

If you'd like to help women who may not be able to afford a class, please go to the Payment page, look for the Donate button under Financial Aid near the bottom of the page. Click that button, simply input the amount of your choice and complete the transaction either through PayPal or with a credit card. Funds are kept in a separate account and used when help is needed. Contact me for more information.

Oklahoma Personal Defense (OPD) is a personal defense academy committed to the empowerment of women through their own personal defense education. OPD protects the dignity and comfort of women by providing a safe, secure environment in which they can learn without the stress of intimidation. Classes are developed specifically with the needs of average women in mind.  Focusing on firearms training, OPD tactics and techniques are practical and doable for all women. Class helpers are women who have been students of OPD, learned the techniques, and expressed a desire to help other women learn. OPD was formed in response to the tremendous volume of women seeking their own personal defense training.

Glossary of Acronyms

Below are a few terms you may encounter in these newsletters and other publications regarding firearms self-defense

BOLO – Be On the Lookout
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
VCA – Violent Criminal Actor
DRT – Dead Right There
ND – Negligent Discharge
FMJ – Full Metal Jacket (practice ammo)
JHP – Jacketed Hollow Point (defense ammo)
NQR – Not Quite Right
RSO – Range Safety Officer
SDA – Self-Defense Act
CCL– Conceal Carry License
CCW – Conceal Carry Weapon
BUG – Back Up Gun
GDO – Girls Day Out (class)
BTB – Between the Threat and the Bang (class)
OPD – Oklahoma Personal Defense

Seen an abbreviation you don't know? Send it to me and I'll post it here.

In March I held another Range Safety Officer class and I'm pleased to announce that OPD has added three new RSOs. The Academy now has a total of nine nationally certified Range Safety Officers. Congratulations to our newest team members!

Kim is a former physical education teacher and coach and enjoys helping people learn skills, personal defense being a very important set of skills for women to know.

d their full bios here.
Lynn finds great satisfaction in helping other women become empowered to protect themselves in this ever changing and sometimes frightening world.
Jessica's hope is simply to be able to take part in what OPD can do in the lives of the women who access its programs, helping to make the community, state, and nation, a safer place.

Defensive Awareness
April 17th from 6 pm to 9 pm

I teach this class from a couple hundred photos I took all over the OKC metro.  In Part One I discuss who is the bad guy and how do you spot him?  Part Two I begin to tell you where the bad guy is.  Part Three I teach you what to watch out for, where the danger zones are.  Part Four I teach you how to stay safe using your surroundings to your advantage.  This is a very eye opening class, it’s not at all what you think it’s going to be.

Dinner is not provided but I have the room reserved starting at 5 so that anyone who wants to come early and have dinner together, or just come shoot the breeze, can do so...this is a discussion based class (no drills) so students can eat while the class is going on if they don't get there early enough to eat between 5 and start of class at 6. Register

Firearms and Your Young Child
April 23rd from 6 pm to 9 pm

This class teaches moms how to keep their children safe around firearms. Whether you have guns in your own home, or are a mother or grandmother who wants to be sure your children stay safe even at a friend's house, this class is a must! Cherise Barsaloux is the writer and instructor of this class – as the mother of three young children 8 and under, and a firearms owner, she has developed the techniques and principles she'll teach in class to keep her own children safe.

Dinner is not provided but I have the room reserved starting at 5 so that anyone who wants to come early and have dinner together, or just come shoot the breeze, can do so. Register

Girls Day Out
May 5th, from 10 am to 4 pm
$45.00, includes lunch

This class helps you prepare for the conceal carry class and to become more comfortable with carrying your gun after you've taken the class. The class teaches you how to safely handle a gun, how to choose the right gun for you, and how to carry it once you have your gun.

Special speaker is Cherise Barsaloux who’s going to talk to the class about kids and gun safety, including what all went wrong in this story and why it never, ever needs to happen.   

A lot of women come to Girls Day Out in groups because it's a whole lot of fun to do together! I have lots of mother/daughter groups sign up for this class. Register

Oklahoma SDA (conceal carry) Mixed
May 19th from 9 am to 5 pm

This is the class to get the required certificate to apply for your Oklahoma conceal carry license. This is NOT a beginner level class, you MUST be able to handle your gun unassisted, and demonstrate 100% safety, in order to pass the class.


Girls Day Out or a private lesson from an OPD instructor is required to attend this class. I highly recommend Girls Day Out as it specifically helps prepare you for the SDA class.

Oklahoma SDA (conceal carry) Women Only
May 21st from 9 am to 5 pm

This is the class to get the required certificate to apply for your Oklahoma conceal carry license. This is NOT a beginner level class, you MUST be able to handle your gun unassisted, and demonstrate 100% safety, in order to pass the class.


Girls Day Out or a private lesson from an OPD instructor is required to attend this class. I highly recommend Girls Day Out as it specifically helps prepare you for the SDA class.

Firearms and Your Young Child

I didn’t grow up with guns.  To the best of my knowledge, the only guns of any type which we had in our home when I was a kid were the toy cowboy guns my brothers played with.  My husband had some long guns that we stored unloaded (there wasn’t even any ammunition in our house or garage) on a shelf twelve feet off of the ground, and I never worried about our then-very-small children gaining access to them because I could barely reach them myself using our little indoor ladder.

How to properly secure any firearm never occurred to me until I became interested in shooting.  Once I discovered a fondness for recreational shooting, I took Girls Day Out with Tammy and started thinking about a handgun as not just a hobby but as a personal defense tool.  Except… that I had three young children in my home all of the time and any number of other people’s children there on occasion, and I couldn’t risk having one of them injured by any firearm, much less one that I had brought into the house deliberately.  I knew a personal defense firearm needed to be kept close to me and loaded but had a lot of questions about how to accomplish that while keeping my babies safe from the dangers that a loaded gun present.

Where do I store a defense firearm and keep it out my children’s reach while having it readily accessible?  What types of locks are available, reliable, and easy to use?  Should I tell the children that I have a gun in the house, or even that I have one at all?  If so, should I tell them where it is?  What about recreational firearms?  Is storage for those items different?  But most importantly, how do I keep my children from becoming victims of their own curiosity?

At the time, OPD had not begun developing Safe Kids U and classes directed at moms and kids, so I consulted Tammy and read books and magazine articles by firearms and security experts and perused the internet in search of information and tools that would provide the best in protection for my children along with easy access to my weapons in a crisis.  As with many things gun-related, there’s certainly a lot of bad advice to be found, but there are also excellent options that met my criteria and allow me to be 100% confident having firearms in my home both for recreation and defense.  I’ve taken material precautions and am also teaching my children the things they know in order to stay safe when they aren’t with me.

I’d like to share this information with you!  If there are children in your life whom you help care for, if you have children in your own home, or even if you have children visit, there’s something in our new class, Firearms and Your Young Child:  Protection at Home and Away, for you!  Please join me for the class on Monday, April 23rd. The class will be held in Moore, the room will open for dinner at 5 pm, class goes from 6 – 9 pm.  Learn how you can protect those children at home and teach them to protect themselves when they aren’t.  I hope to see you there! Register

Let me hear from you if you have a topic you'd like to see addressed in Mom's corner.

Self-Defense Act

When Tammy asked if I wanted to chip in my two cents for the April newsletter, I couldn’t think of a single thing to comment on. It wasn’t until she asked me a question about the SDA, Carry Conceal law and told me of a particularly difficult student that I thought I may pitch you a few bones.

First off, let me say that I’ve instructed many folks, both in the Army and with the Patrol. There were some I couldn’t teach a thing to because they had it all learned up before I got a hold of them. Don’t be that student. As a professional instructor, we will sigh and move on when presented with that student, while in the back of our mind we feel discouraged because we want each student to come away better than when they came to us.

Now, the question Tammy posed to me was this, “Does a law enforcement officer know that you have a conceal carry license just by running your driver license?” Like I told Tammy, the answer is possibly yes and possibly no. Here’s why, when a LEO initiates a traffic stop, they ask for your driver license and you hand it over. That LEO goes back to their patrol car and either runs your information through their communications center or swipes your DL on their computer DL reader and gets a return instantly. Either way, the possibility that you are a registered licensee will be known within a matter of minutes or not at all.

Sometimes, we get the information just from running your DL and sometimes only a background check will reveal the information. But you want to do the right thing all the time so you give both your DL and your SDA CCL when stopped, even when you don’t have a weapon with you. The law states that you don’t have to tell us when you don’t have your weapon, but you’ll want to, here’s why…

Because you are a responsible, respectable and respectful card/pistol carrying individual, you will automatically produce and inform the LEO simultaneously. We (LEO’s) appreciate that and you when you do that. By handing over your carry conceal license, we know you’ve jumped through a few hoops and thrown down some cash to obtain your SDA CCL and we respect that. Sometimes, we even cut you some slack because we know that you are one of the, “good guys…or good gals!”

In closing, remember two things; Present both your DL and your SDA CCL when stopped by a LEO, even if you don’t have your firearm with you. Second, don’t be a know-it-all…anywhere and at any time to anyone.

Gnaw on those bones!


Tactical – of or pertaining to a maneuver or plan of action designed as an expedient toward gaining a desired end or temporary advantage; showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action. From the Greek word taktikós.

National Guardsman Robbed Of iPad At Gunpoint

By Steve Shaw, News 9
Posted: Mar 29, 2012 8:58 PM CDT

OKLAHOMA CITY - He spent nearly a year dodging bullets in Afghanistan, only to come home and have a gun stuck in his face at Penn Square Mall.

"Jake" is an Army National Guardsman from Midwest City, who just returned from a 9-month stint patrolling Afghanistan. But he says this Tuesday afternoon he was robbed at gunpoint in the lower level parking garage at the mall.

Jake says he had just entered his pickup truck with a new iPad he had just purchased, when a man stuck a gun to his face and demanded the iPad. Jake says he handed over the $600 dollar device and the suspect ran away.

A security guard was able to give police a partial tag number of the getaway car. Police say they're looking for three suspects.

The good news is the Penn Square Apple Store that sold Jake his iPad, replaced the stolen one for free.

Jake doesn't want his last name made public, because his assailants are still out there.

The above article says "Jake's" attacker stuck a gun to his face and demanded his new iPad. But when you watch the video you'll see "Jake" was inside his vehicle, windows rolled up, bad guy slams a gun up against the window, and he opened his door to give a thug his new iPad.

Excuse me?

I'm not sure exactly why the reporter sees the need to express that "Jake" (not his real name, as indicated above) spent nine months in Afghanistan dodging bullets...because if he had the moxie to dodge bullets, he surely wouldn't have OPENED HIS VEHICLE DOOR AND GIVEN HIS BELONGINGS TO SOMEONE DEMANDING IT!

No, such a brave person as depicted in the beginning of this article would have gunned his vehicle and driven away. In truck versus gun, truck has the better chance of winning.

But what if his vehicle wasn't running?

Well, there's laying on the horn, and it really doesn't take that long to start a vehicle and throw it in reverse. But in reality
and what I teach my students you need to know potential bad guy is there long before he suddenly "appears out of nowhere." They never appear out of nowhere, you always have a warning. In this case these thugs most likely followed "Jake" from the Apple store, which is a long ways away from where "Jake" parked. In BTB I focus on teaching women to spot a threat and stop it before it has a chance to become an attack. In Defensive Awareness I teach women how to spot the threat. These things, obviously, do not come naturally to anyone!

In the end of the video "Jake" says he wishes this happened two months from now when he turns 21 cause he'll be carrying a gun.

Really? And what is he going to do then? If he doesn't have the wherewithal to think to drive away, drive over, EVEN KNOW someone is there and about to attack him, what good is a gun going to do him?

In March I taught a private Defensive Awareness class, and one of the actual crimes I dissected was that of a woman walking out of the Shawnee Walmart on a nice, sunny afternoon with a young man following her right out of the store. When she got to the middle of the parking lot, totally unaware he was behind her, he grabbed her purse...and she held on. The surveillance video shows a picture of this woman laying on the pavement being dragged by this young man. He dragged her until her purse strap broke. She got pretty bruised and battered from being dragged across the parking lot. (article)

This is the question I then posed to that class, "Tell me why are the only two options we have to 1. comply and give the bad guy what he wants or 2. lay down and let him do what he wants?" Why is there no option in there to first of all, as I teach in BTB, SPOT THE THREAT BEFORE IT CAN BECOME AN ATTACK and should an attack begin, FIGHT!!!!!

That's correct, I said fight.

No, we as women cannot overpower a man, we don't have the physical strength. That's why I do not teach martial arts or other hand to hand combat fighting. I teach women to be smart, to watch their surroundings, to KNOW if someone is behind them long before that someone has a chance to close the gap so that they can be grabbed...and if they are grabbed I teach them breakaway techniques. But bad guy never comes out of nowhere! I teach them in BTB to aggressively face someone closing that gap and command them to stop (this is no meek & mild question, it is a command to STOP!). And if that command doesn't work, I teach them to draw a gun, SAFELY, following the Four Cardinal Rules, come on target (center of the bad guy), and shoot. That's right, shoot! Not hold the bad guy for the police, not comply, not let him do whatever he wants to do, but SHOOT!

Many would say you should just give them your property and they won't hurt you. Well, last year a woman had her iPhone so violently yanked out of her hand the bad guy tore her earring out tearing her earlobe and took a big chunk of her hair (article). She wasn't killed, but she was injured...and she could have been killed, attacks on women at Quail Springs and Penn Square are very common, it's just a matter of time before someone gets killed. So for women especially, a property crime very likely may be an assault & battery that leads to death. And according to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, we have a right to defend ourselves under those conditions. When will an assault & battery turn into a homicide? Unfortunately you won't know until the attack begins, so why even risk getting attacked in the first place?

Women frequently ask me if crime is getting worse or if it's just being reported more. I tell them it is getting worse, but the real issue is consequences there are none! You'll frequently hear it said after a perp is arrested, "I'm just glad he's off the streets." Why? He'll be out in the morning! And that's just the ones who get caught, start noticing how many of these criminals are said to be "still on the loose" when you hear of these attacks. So the only thing that will stop it is when the price is too high for the potential bad guy to pay. What is that price? Their life.

When the criminal starts to hesitate, when he or she stops to wonder, "Will this be the woman who kills me today?" then we will see crime start to diminish, and eventually, yes, we can stop it.

But we will never so much as slow it down when we simply open our car door, or the door to our homes, and let them in!

There are several steps to keeping yourself safe, it's not just about getting a gun. It's not just about getting your conceal carry license. I encourage everyone who hasn't taken the Defensive Awareness class to take it, this is an excellent first step to learning a lifestyle in which you are the VICTOR, not the VICTIM!


Contact me if there's a specific topic you'd like to see addressed in this section.

In every SDA class I tell students that a handgun round can travel up to 1.5 miles and a rifle round up to 5 miles if the round doesn't hit something that stops it, and that this is why it's so important to have an appropriate backstop. The best backstop outdoors is a thick enough, high enough dirt pile. A good backstop is not shooting into the trees if you live out in the country. In early March one of my students Emailed me the below photo with the message, "Look what landed at my back door Sunday." She lives off Choctaw Road, south of I-40, and tells me she hears shooting all the time out there. In looking at the bullet in the photo I can tell it's a rifle round, my guess is it's a 7.62 x 39. The lack of marring on the bullet suggests to me that it didn't hit anything, and that indicates to me that it probably did travel about 5 miles and then it just lost velocity and fell to the ground. I suggested she start walking in a straight line and in about 5 miles she'd find who dropped a bullet next to her back door.

Errant bullets injure, maim, and kill people – that's why I always drive home the fact that you are accountable for every bullet that leaves your gun! That's #4 in the Four Cardinal Rules. No matter what you do, whether target shooting or using a gun in self-defense, you can never get away from following ALL of the cardinal rules of safety!

I’ve heard the question asked many times. In fact, I’ve been the one asking it in many instances and, unfortunately, I have yet to hear an exhaustive, visual answer that lays my concerns to rest. Anyone who has tried to combine safe, on-the-belt holster carry with the fashion trends of the day knows that it can be difficult. ‘Fitted’ rarely mixes with ‘bulky’ like many of us have found our guns to be, and many ‘cute’ trends just don’t go well with having a sidearm securely attached to your waistline. Therein lies the challenge.

This is me. And I’m going to tell you what I learn about fashion.

I know, I know... Yes, I see the slack in my jeans. Yeah, you’re right, that belt is awfully skinny and obviously riding too high for the pants it is attached to. And my shirt is tucked in. The goofy expression is just to add to the effect. I am glad the photographer was gracious enough to at least cut off my feet so you couldn’t see those nasty leather clog things I hadn’t yet kicked off. Can you believe that it was during this stage in my life that my handsome husband fell for me! Obviously the old saying that “love is blind” is based on nothing but truth, and perhaps someone’s personal experience, similar to mine.

In my defense, a few years have gone by since this incriminating picture was taken and my wardrobe has undergone some change. Mind you, I’m still not a fashion plate or trend-setting model, but I do at least know the slimming effect of properly fitted clothes and the style of an un-tucked shirt!

As I grew up and entered the world I took note of the people around me and suddenly realized that there was such a thing as “cute” and “stylish” that didn’t totally betray my personality, country-girl lifestyle, or tendency to take a total of 5 minutes to wake up and get ready for the day. So slowly, over the years, as quickly as my thrift-store and garage sale budget could locate better clothing, I grew in taste and sense.

Eventually, that up there turned into this down here. I like this one a little better. Of course, give another ten years and I’ll think my hair is hideous and everything else totally out of style! Why can’t fads last a little longer than they do? I don’t know, maybe like eighty years would be good, then what you grew up with you could still be wearing on your death bed. I think that since more trends have been set since the turn of the century that would mean that I still wouldn’t be wearing deerskin leggings, right? Of course, being stuck in the 40’s is an interesting prospect as well... Ahhh well, it was a nice thought!

Alas, all those years of morphing into what I am now must change again, because an important article of clothing has been added to the picture. My .380 carry-gun, aka ‘Bruce’, has joined me and I must hide him to the best of my ability. Apparently the world doesn’t want to see him or know he exists. The easiest thing to do would be to go back in time to my baggy jeans and over-sized shirt, minus the tucked-in part. But as a woman whose husband’s job has tossed her under the public’s critical eye that simply isn’t an option. I’d hate to think of all the smear ads that could arise from a photo shoot from a wardrobe of my past! You haven’t even seen the polka-dot shorts and green cowboy boots.

No, somehow, I am going to have to wear ‘Bruce’ under my cute, fitted clothes. I’m going to have to find articles that hide him and his holster well when I am in business attire and find a good purse for those formal occasions that require even fancier get-up. Daily life will see me trying to find shirts that combine concealing shape with the desire of avoiding the “trying to hide a belly” look. And besides being cute and hidden, these elusive clothes must also be easily swept out of the way in the event of having to get ‘Bruce’ out.

In talking with other gun-toting women, the obvious fact of varying body-shape has also been brought into focus for me. Of course, I will only personally discover what works for my short frame. However I hope, in consulting with others who share your personal shape, to be able to pass along their discoveries and favorite finds. Whether you are blessed with a long torso or a short, if you have monkey arms or t-rex arms like me (my sister likes to call me “Rex” from Toy Story), whether you be an ‘apple’, ‘pear’ or an ‘orange’, help is on the way.

We at OPD are looking forward conferring with one another on the topic of good clothes to hide your on-body weapon. However, in the end, you must strap on your gun belt yourself and spend hours in the fitting room of your favorite store. When it comes down to it and you’re ready to carry, you are going to have to do a little exploring on your own!

So here’s to all of us girls out there searching for those sneaky, concealing fashion articles. May our hunt be successful and fun, and may the end see us all blending in wherever we go, never once raising an eyebrow or question from curious by-standers!

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