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June 2010

I apologize again for being so late in getting my newsletter out – my being swamped has not let up!

In the last newsletter I was considering possibly holding a class on June 19th or 26th – however, when I called in May the meeting room at Earl's was completely booked for June. As it turns out I wouldn't have had time to teach anyway. So, no public classes in June, but I think ya'll probably already figured that out!

Summer Schedule

The month of July will be taken up with some much needed vacation time as well as training opportunities I'll be participating in to further my own training. Regular classes will resume in August, and I'll post that info on the Schedule page of my website and in the July newsletter...which, by the way, will also be late!

Women in the Outdoors July 17th

The one event I will be teaching at in July will be the Women in the Outdoor Event on July 17th. I taught at this last year and it was a whole lot of fun. It runs from 8 am to 4 pm and participants can choose from four different classes they'd like to attend, including the two I'll be teaching! See Upcoming Classes below for more details.

Gun Names?

Last month I asked for stories about guns you've named...I got some great responses (see below). Be sure to send me your story if you've named your gun!

New Class
in the Works

In May I traveled to Texas for instructor training and certification in shotgun. I spent an additional day getting private instruction from a wonderful trainer in tactics which will work exceptionally well for women...I know because they worked exceptionally well for me! I am finishing up the developing of a women only defensive shotgun class, which I hope to be ready to hold early fall. Stay tuned for updates on this class.

Women in the Outdoors Event
July 17th from 8 am to 4 pm
Choctaw Creek Park, Choctaw
$45.00, includes lunch

I will be teaching two classes at this year's Women in the Outdoors event in Choctaw. This is a cool day long event for women who enjoy the outdoors. I was teaching last year so I didn't get to participate in other classes, but they all looked interesting and the women I saw were having a great time. The cost includes lunch and your choice of four different classes so it's a great deal!

The classes I'll be teaching are abbreviated versions (hour and a half long) of the full length classes Girls Night Out and Defensive Awareness. Many of you have already attended Girls Day/Night Out, but if you'd like a refresher or want to get a friend into shooting, this is a terrific opportunity. I have not yet taught Defensive Awareness so this is new. It focuses on learning how to be situationally aware and non-lethal tactics...because there will be times you can't carry a gun, but that does not mean you can't defend yourself. Here are the class descriptions:

Hand Gun Safety and Self Defense

This class covers handgun safety, the practical application of a woman carrying a handgun for self-defense, and touches on situational awareness. (Abbreviated Girls Night Out)

Defensive Awareness and Tactics

This class covers non-lethal self-defense options such as pepper spray, kubotan (key chain mini-baton), and focuses on how to effectively stay aware of your surroundings. (Abbreviated Defensive Awareness)

Details on the event, all the classes, and registration is here.

Q: How long after taking the concealed weapon class do I have before I must get my license? Is there an "expiration" on the certificate? I know you addressed this in class, but I cannot remember what the answer was...

A: I get this question a lot because people don't always mail their certificate in right away. Some people need to spread it out over time due to budget. Others feel intimidated and put it off. Still others actually forget. I've had students come to me as many as three years after they took their class wanting to know if they can still send it in. Here is the official answer, directly from the OSBI:

"There is no time period as to when an applicant is allowed to apply for the concealed carry license from the date they complete their training. As long as they turn in the original certificate with the original instructor's signature, they may apply at any time."

Send me your questions

Since I travel a lot I of course have a TomTom GPS unit. And since I travel a lot I carry my .40cal Beretta with me. So the only logical thing to name my weapon is Jerry. Now I tell my friends I take Tom and Jerry with me everywhere I go!

Pam Pollard

I have a SIG P250, it’s my very first gun.  My friend was teasing me and asking if I had a name for my gun, because I always name my cars.  Well, my cars have all been girls and right now I have a Ford Edge that I have named Betty (get it? Betty Ford. :)  Anyways, I felt like a gun should have an intimidating name.  So, I have named my gun Scarface.  Who better to name a gun after than a tough, gangster mobster that everyone respected and feared?  (other than the coke head part, my gun isn’t a coke head) I think I’m going to continue the tradition of intimidating names when I get my next one and possibly go with Rambo….just a thought.

Sara Ryan

I’m a lifelong musician and singer, so music and songs are a part of everything for me. My main carry is a full size M&P 9mm, and I had been wanting an M&P .40 for a long time so when I came across an excellent deal on one at King's Pawnshop, I didn't hesitate. When I first got her I thought, “she’s just like my M&P 9 with a little more umph” and then what went through my mind next was, “whoa Black Betty, bam-A-lam” from the ZZ Top song that was a hit in the 80s. So her full name is Black Betty, cause she is all black and has a little more umph (bam-A-lam!) but I call her Betty...and now I call my M&P 9 Betty Junior.

Tammy Pinkston

If you have a story of how you named your gun, send to me and I'll post them in the next newsletter.

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.

I watch very little television (I don't have time!), and what I do watch consists of shows like Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, etc. I watch them as a means of training, so that I can see where a victim made mistakes that led up to them becoming a victim, and then I take that information and use it as a teaching tool. I want to share some teaching points that I picked up from a couple of recent Cold Case Files.

Case #1: A woman was found murdered in a hotel room in Tennessee. It was a very nice hotel in a nice part of town, so in other words not an obvious security risk. There was no sign of forced entry indicating she knew her attacker or he convinced her to let him in, there were signs of sexual assault, the room was trashed as if there was a burglary attempt yet nothing was stolen. When the detectives first began to investigate, they questioned the hotel staff, one of which was a maid who told them she let a man into this woman's room because he said she was his wife and he had lost his key. The maid, a Hispanic woman who spoke very little English, let him in.

Teaching Point: When I stay at a hotel, I make sure I don't stay on the first floor (no one can climb the side of the building to get in a window that way), I lock the deadbolts, and I use a door jammer, which is a pole that you can jam under the door knob that keeps the door from being opened. Locally you can purchase these at Ace Hardware, the brand is Mace and they're called Door Jammer – at Ace they're in the section that has window bolts and alarms. They cost about $20 at Ace, but I found them on for $11.95 – I have never seen this at Walmart so you'd have to order them but you can see what I'm talking about here. The thing is, you can not assume another person (even if you know the person, but especially a complete stranger) will have any sense at all about personal defense. The above was an actual case and that actually happened, a completely unaware staff member allowed a killer to enter a woman's room. Don't leave your personal protection in someone else's hands, we must learn to be proactive about our own personal protection.

Case #2: A young woman who worked in a jewelry store in a quiet little town in Texas was shot to death during a robbery. The first detective on the scene knew the woman personally and couldn't imagine why anyone would shoot such a nice person. He noted that she had one shot through the palm of her hand, indicating she put her hand up as if to ward off the shot (it's called a defensive wound), and the remaining shots were in her back, so obviously she was running away.

Teaching Point: No matter how nice you are, how small and quiet the town you live in is, the fact that you're a woman, if you're in the way of a criminal with a gun he'd just as soon shoot you in the back as spare your life. Frankly, it makes me angry to hear of someone getting killed all with shots in the back because she was running away – sadly, this woman clearly had no plan and in the moment of crisis thought putting her hand up would somehow help her and when it didn't, she turned and ran, giving the bad guy a perfect target. We must, must, MUST fight for our lives! The scumbags out there with guns and knives are not going to spare us because we plead for our lives or run away, they're going to mow us down and our only chance is 1) avoid the situation when at all possible, 2) get away SMARTLY which means taking cover (dive under a table or behind a door), or 3) take them down before they take you down. Does this mean you might get shot? Yes, it does. It took four shots to kill that woman. What if she had gotten the gun away from the guy on the first shot? If I'm gonna get shot in the hand, it'll be while I'm taking a gun away from somebody, and yeah, it's gonna hurt, but not as bad as he's gonna hurt for pointing a gun at me...this is another reason it's good to know the operation of many guns, not just your own (in case you have to use the gun that's just been pointed at you). And this is another reason learning self-defense tactics with things other than guns is good. Blasting someone with pepper spray could buy you some time to get a gun away from someone or get away. Those of you who have taken Between the Threat and the Bang have seen me demonstrate using a broom to hit an attacker. We've got to learn to think on our feet and above all else, NEVER give up!

Hand Safes

I have a lot of students ask me about hand safes so I'm excited to have found an excellent source for a really great hand safe. The brand is GunVault and they are known for their patented No-Eyes® keypad technology. What I like about this concept is it uses gross motor skills, you do not have to remember a number to dial or find a key in the dark, you simply place your hand in this rubber hand mold on the top and push the buttons, or in the case of the biometric safe it reads your specific fingerprint. GunVault has two models of No-Eyes® portable hand safes, the MicroVault and the MicroVault Biometric. The MSRP on the MicroVault is $140, MicroVault Biometric is $215, but I found a source that sells the MicroVault for $89.95, and the MicroVault Biometric for $195.95 with no shipping fees. I ordered and just received the MicroVault and I love it! It's about the size of a small laptop (it's actually smaller than my Mac iBook) and it is big enough inside to hold both my full size M&Ps plus one spare full size magazine, or an M&P and my Kahr and two full size magazines. It comes with a steal cable so you can secure it to something fixed, such as in your car you can connect the cable to the seat frame which is bolted to the frame of the car. It's completely padded inside to keep your guns unharmed while inside. The lock operates on four AA batteries, and it has a key lock as a backup. It fits easily in my backpack and it will be traveling with me in July so that I can secure my weapons when they're not on my person.

The source I've found for these is and they have a great selection of firearms related gear, including hand safes. Their customer service is exceptional, and they very promptly shipped my safe – I got it two days (via UPS at no additional cost!) after I purchased it. They carry both of these safes in stock on a regular basis. These are high quality, very portable safes, great for travel, securing your firearm in your car, or on a nightstand at home. I definitely recommend the GunVault MicroVault and!

Also of note is the GunVault Nano Vault – this little guy will hold one full size gun and magazine and is perfect for keeping under the seat of your car so that you can secure your firearm for those times you cannot carry. The Nano MSRP is $40, but has it for as low as $25.99 (depending on the type of lock you choose).

Here are the direct links to the above safes on

Nano (Key Lock)
Nano (Combination Lock)

My GunVault will be a fixture in classes such as Girls Day Out and SDA so that I can show students first hand how it works...I will have it at Women in the Outdoors.

You know you're a gun safety fanatic when...

Anyone who's ever taken a class with me knows that I constantly drill safety...that carries over to my assistants as well, not only have I drilled safety in them as my students but as those who now assist me with classes. Dara Doak, one of my assistants, sent me the following Email recently which so perfectly illustrates that she's got it – ya'll should feel very good about safety in OPD classes, not only from me as the instructor but my assistants as well!! (shared by permission)

"You know you are a gun safety fanatic when…
…while dressing for the day, you lean over to pull your pants on and are startled to see a gun laying on the floor pointed at your feet…and you have to laugh at yourself because it’s a picture of a Kimber on the back of the American Rifleman magazine that fell on the floor last night.
I had to move the magazine.  I wasn’t even comfortable having a picture of a gun pointed at me!  LOL"

Dara Doak

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