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.

It's Obvious
December 2011

Oklahoma City PD Citizen Alert

Date:     11/18/2011
Subject: Robbery of Individual 
Incident #11-091425

On 11/15/2011, police were called to a robbery of an individual in the 4400 block of SE 44th.  The victim told officers that she was outside of the Family Dollar Store when two males walked up to her and knocked her wallet to the ground, which she had been carrying tucked under her arm.  The suspects grabbed the wallet and fled on foot.

The two suspects had been inside of the Family Dollar store just minutes before and surveillance cameras inside the store captured video of the two walking in.  View the video.

Anyone with information as to the identity of the two suspects should call Crime Stoppers at 405.235.7300.  Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

MSgt. Gary Knight

If isn't crystal clear to you why this woman was attacked and the several things she could have done to not be attacked, if you don't have a plan, if you aren't certain you can carry out a plan to NOT be a victim, please take the classes! Defensive Awareness is a great place to start. This does NOT have to happen! Stop relying on assumption that it won't!

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Don't Be Complacent
November 2011

Thieves steal car from daycare, raid family home

EDMOND, Okla. -- It's bad enough being a victim of crime, but imagine having your car stolen and your house burglarized within a few hours. That's exactly what happened to an Edmond family who began their terrible day at a daycare center Wednesday morning.

Jeff Taylor says as soon as he walked into The Goddard School For Early Childhood Development in north Edmond to drop off his young daughter, a criminal drove away in his car and headed toward his house.

"We walked in, it takes two minutes to walk her to her classroom, give her a kiss, turn around and walk out," he said. Since he wouldn't be long, Taylor left his car running in the parking lot. But when he walked out, he watched someone else drive away in his car. "Kind of disheartening," he said. "Disbelief that, really, this is happening to me now?"

To make matters worse, the crook found his address inside the car, drove to his home and used the front door key to get in. They locked the family dog in a room, then stole a laptop and a safe, which contained family medication and cash as well as their passports and social security cards.

So now Taylor is worried about being a victim of a third crime down the road, identity theft.

But he's remaining optimistic. "Times are hard and maybe it's a blessing for somebody else," Taylor said, "Or maybe God will use this experience to help them later on. I don't know."

The vehicle was abandoned a few miles away after they burglarized his home. They also took the keys. There is no suspect description.

The daycare owner told us they did not have security cameras pointing at the parking lot, but they will now.

Taylor had to spend about $1,000 on wrecker services and locksmiths.

Edmond Police say daycare centers are often targeted by crooks who know parents are going to leave their cars running or leave their purses in the car.

Call Edmond police if you have any information.

It seems common sense not to leave your keys in your car with it running, even for a few moments, and yet people still do it as demonstrated in this recent story. In Defensive Awareness class I tell students not to give mechanics their whole set of keys but instead take the ignition key off (or give them the key fob by itself) – example, you've taken your car to Wal-Mart for a quick oil change...well, there's a key maker right there on the counter, and your name and address is in the glovebox of your car on the registration. So all an unscrupulous individual (or outright criminal) has to do is make a copy of your house key, write down your address, and come whenever he chooses, whether you're there or not. Just exactly like the car thieves did in the story above.

It amazes me that this man seems surprised that his car was stolen, and even more surprised that the thieves then went and let themselves in the front door and robbed the house. His lack of alarm that the thieves still have his keys, and took his family's Social Security cards and passports, is nothing short of alarming to me. Now they have personal identity information, they've been in the house so they know who lives there (and apparently he has a wife and child)...I can't imagine not being terribly alarmed at that, and concerned about the safety of his wife and child.

It could be the way the story was written, or it could be he's still complacent. As with everything, please use this as an opportunity to make a note to yourself of what NOT to do!

Don't make it easy on criminals – this is one of the most difficult things about what I do, trying to convince women who don't think like bad guys to do just that.

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Get Real Training
October 2011

Recently I was forwarded an article entitled "Top Eight American Terror Targets" purported to be written by an Israeli security agent about where the next attacks will occur in America. While the attack methods mentioned in this article may very well be legitimate, I verified through Snopes.com that this article is false. This means it’s one of the scare Emails commonly sent around – this one started circulating in 2007, four years later it's still circulating.  These are the Emails someone starts and usually they have in the body “Warn everyone” or “tell every woman you know” or something like that which sounds urgent and then there’s some terrible story about how a woman smelled perfume and passed out and woke up kidnapped, or if you hear a baby crying on the porch don’t go out because that's how gang members are initiating new members and they'll grab you when you go outside. Often there’s some grain of truth, or it’s something that could happen, but they are completely made up.  These type Emails are created for the sole purpose of spreading fear. It’s what is commonly referred to as an urban legend.  

Anyone who's followed OPD for any length of time has heard me say that I do not use fear tactics in OPD. Yes, there are very frightening things going on, and very sadly I'm having more and more crime victims come to me for training...how I wish you all would get the training BEFORE YOU'RE ATTACKED!!! It just doesn't have to happen!

Nevertheless, I do not use fear tactics, and I don't judge someone for what happened to them. But I do speak the truth and teach realistic and practical techniques that women can actually use to save their lives. This is not, "I am woman hear me roar" ra, ra, ra, fake rally of womanhood and then we crawl back to our terrified little places, this is real training of actual women who just want to go about their daily lives without being attacked. I happen to think that's a very reasonable desire, and I happen to know it's doable.

So I encourage women to get real training that will actually save their lives, and everything I practice myself, and teach, and all tools I promote and use myself, are legitimate, legal self-defense tools any woman can use with the proper training to protect her freedom, her quality of life, and her very life.

Incidentally, the myth that wasp spray is just as good as pepper spray was started through this means in 2009 (Snopes found the Email to be a mixture of both true and false information). So those of you who think this is a terrific idea are basing your self-defense on an urban legend! Do you see why I encourage LEGITIMATE training!?! Don't just read something on the Internet, or in an Email, and assume it's true. Get hands on legitimate training and learn for yourself whether or not it works. Read my article on the subject here.

I encourage all women that when you receive such alarmist Emails, go to Snopes and find out if it's an urban legend before you forward it to a bunch of other women. If you're going to forward something to a bunch of women, let it be this newsletter with actual self-defense information they can use! And if you're going to do something for yourself regarding self-defense, get legitimate training, don't take the word of an urban legend! Now is that biased or what? Like I said, I speak the truth!

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Helpless to Act
September 2011

Not your friendly neighborhood Spiderman

Marika Lorraine Reporting
5:46 p.m. CDT, August 18, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A man disguised as Spiderman and the suspect's sidekick held up a convenience store in Northwest Oklahoma City. The two men entered Fred's Food Mart at 3123 N. Portland around 8:30 p.m. when there were no customers in the store.

The masked men the held the clerk at gunpoint demanding the money from the cash register.

The robbery was caught on the store's surveillance cameras.

Oklahoma City Police hope someone can identify the pair even though you can't see their faces.

Master Sergeant Gary Knight says, "You can see the clothing he wears, the way he's built, the way he moves, so we're hoping that somebody out there will recognize him based on that."

The manager of Fred's Food Mart says his clerk was not injured during the robbery.

Vickie Nix owns the beauty supply shop next door and says, "Seems like it happens all the time around here. Every time we turn around something is going on in the neighborhood. Shootings, robberies, murders. It's not a shock to me."

She hopes the men are arrested soon.

If you have any information about this crime please contact Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300.

I saw this on the news when it first aired and I was shocked by what I saw...in the video the clerk has his hand up in front of the gun as if to stop the bullet from hitting him should the gun "go off" – several times the barrel of the gun actually hits the clerk in the hand (watch). All I could think of was, "why on earth did he not grab it?" Does that sound outrageous to you? Then you need to take Between the Threat and the Bang, we do drills on how to take a gun away from someone. Here are photos from a BTB class of one of these drills.

And yes, you need to be prepared and trained to take a gun away from someone should they point it at you because guess what, criminals don't practice the Four Cardinal Rules of Safety so the whole while this robber is waving the gun at the clerk his finger is smack on that trigger. In the video there's a comment about the bullet hole in the neighboring business from "another incident." Criminals do not practice safe gun handling...unfortunately many law abiding citizens also do not because they're not properly trained! So you need to remember that while you're standing there letting someone point a gun at you (whether intentionally or unawares) that they are not practicing safety, and while they're waving that gun around with finger full on trigger it just takes one little hiccup to set it off in your face.

And no, your hand will not stop the bullet, it will go right on through and hit whatever area of the body the barrel is pointing at when the gun "goes off."

Please don't assume because you don't work in a convenience store that this won't happen to you, it could happen to you anywhere in OKC, in even some of the nicest places...in Defensive Awareness, I will show you some of those "nice" places.

Let me point out a couple of other things about this incident...

First, according to the OKC PD Citizen Alert posted August 18th, this actually happened on August 5th, yet was not reported to the public until August 18th, a full two weeks after the event...this is very typical of crimes in our area. There may be a reason for law enforcement not to report crimes when they happen, but you need to understand there are consistently criminals running free who committed crimes that you don't yet know about.

Second, when the neighboring store owner says she "hopes the men are arrested soon." you all need to understand this is an erroneous statement. You see, even if the criminals are arrested they may not stay in jail for long and further, much of the time these criminals are not arrested. If you have any doubts about that, I hope you'll come to the Defensive Awareness class – I'm going to show an actual record of a criminal who perpetuated a heinous crime in the metro and he was arrested and set free and is walking the streets today.

I am certain that law enforcement does the best it can...but their best is not going to save you from being killed or worse. You cannot save yourself by wishful thinking, or assuming it won't happen to you, the only way you can keep from being killed or worse is to be prepared. How do you prepare? Through training. And guess what ladies, you have your very own training specifically designed for YOU! Please make sure you're ready to deal with a threat should one ever come your way. You see, there's one of me and a whole lot of you...so I see a bigger picture of women in our area who have been attacked and are never the same. It doesn't have to happen, it should never happen, and the only way it won't happen is if you take care of it (and by "it" I mean the scum that attacks you).

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Why Do Bad Guys Attack?
Summer 2011

Elderly Couple Attacked In OKC Home Invasion

UPDATE: Police have arrested seven of the suspects, who are all teenagers, on complaints of robbery and aggravated assault and battery. They believe they have arrested all the suspects involved in this crime.

Xin Xin Liu, News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY – An elderly couple living in Oklahoma City was attacked during a home invasion on July 28, Oklahoma City police reported.

At 5:46 a.m., police received a call about a home invasion at the couple's house, located on Ranchwood Manor Dr. As police arrived, they found one of the victims lying in the front yard, and the other one inside the house.

According to the police report, at around 4 a.m. that day, the victims heard the doorbell rang so they answered the door. A man told them that he had gotten into a car accident and needed to use their phone. The man pushed his way inside the house when the victims opened the door, and put a black handgun in one of the victim's mouth.

The victims say six more men forced their way into the house and started asking for money. The men kicked both of the victims in their stomach, tied them up, and started searching the house for valuable items for about half an hour.

The men took the victims' 2004 Chevy Impala, a wallet that contains $70 in cash and some checks. After the suspects left, one of the victims crawled out of the house and yelled their neighbor's name for help. The neighbor later contacted the police.

Both of the victims were treated by EMSA at the scene for minor injuries.

Watch Video from KFOR

Another senseless vicious attack. Folks, if your doorbell rings in the middle of the night, it means something bad is about to happen. I don't even answer my door during the day unless it's someone I'm expecting and I know personally. Did you read the opening sentence? Seven TEENS...those of you who have taken my classes, especially Between the Threat and the Bang, know that I emphasize your attacker may look like a child (they are not children, they're hardened criminals) so you must be prepared. Ladies, the correct response does not come naturally...if it did, we wouldn't keep reading these home invasion stories of people answering the door!

Woman Sexually Assaulted In Parking Lot In The Village

Posted: Jul 29, 2011 11:02 AM
LaShauna Sewell, News9.com

THE VILLAGE, Oklahoma -- The Village Police Department is searching for a sexual assault suspect who attacked a woman in a store parking lot.

A woman says on July 18, she went to the Walgreen's at 2100 W. Britton Road. She says while she was in the parking lot, a man pulled up in an extended cab pickup truck. He motioned for the victim to approach the vehicle.

When the woman walked to the passenger's side, the man said something that she couldn't hear. She says when she walked to the driver's side to better hear him, the man opened the door and grabbed her. She says he pulled her into a tight hug and began rubbing his hands all over her body.

The woman says while the man groped her, he encouraged her to get in his truck. She says when she refused the man became angry, climbed back into his vehicle and drove away. The victim says the incident lasted about five minutes.

Surveillance cameras at Walgreen's captured video of the incident and of the suspect's vehicle. Police have released a photo of it. It's a 2003 to 2005 tan, Chevrolet extended cab pickup. It was pulling a concrete mixer.

The victim described the man as Hispanic, anywhere from 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, with short black or brown hair. He was clean shaven and wearing a dirty silver or brown shirt, brown work boots, and navy uniform pants. Police worked with the victim's description and have released a composite sketch of the suspect. Anyone with any information about the suspect is asked to call Det. Ron Morrow at (405) 751-9569.

The Village police originally thought the man in the sketch looked similar to the suspect sketch created after a rape at Lake Hefner on June 21. The suspect in that case raped a teenage girl at Stars and Stripes Park. The victim in the Walgreen's case looked at the composite drawing from the earlier assault and did not think it was the same man. The Village police conferred with Oklahoma City police and agreed it was not the same man.

I cannot express in words just how very frustrated reading something like this makes me. I very specifically teach about this exact scenario in Between the Threat and the Bang, I tell women in that and several other classes that this is what's called an "interview" – bad guy is either testing you to see if you're an easy target or attempting to lure you to his domain. Note that it took 11 days for this to be reported to the public. In June a Hispanic male, an illegal alien, sexually assaulted several mentally disabled young women at the thrift store where they work (read story). During the time of the assault in July there was a rape (noted in the article above) in a nearby park. I'm sure, though, as mentioned above, it wasn't the same person.

COME ON PEOPLE!!!!! Do you see the pattern here? If we get the news, it's so late that many other crimes have happened in the meantime and then we're told not to worry because the incidents aren't related.

Let me just make it very simple because there is, in fact, a very simple solution. Bad guy attacks you for whatever reason (grope, rape, burglary) in whatever manner (at work, on the streets, in your house) and you kill him dead right then and there. He won't do it again, now, will he?

And you know what, enough of that starts getting around and bad guys will start thinking twice before they attack an Oklahoman! I for one am sick of hearing about criminals running free in the streets to do what the hell ever they want to do while we sit idly by and let them do it. I'm not talking about vigilantism, I'm talking about self-defense. I don't have to go after anyone, but buddy if someone comes after me I will not hesitate to take care of myself.

But as is noted again and again ad nauseam even in the news reports we read and watch, self-defense does not come naturally, it is not instinctive, if it was nobody would be attacked!!! Get the training ladies, it's right here in your own town, NOBODY has to be a victim of another who thinks they're entitled to take what you have (your money, your life, your freedom), but the only way to stop them is for you to stop them when they do it. Learn how to do that.

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Could This Happen to You?
May 2011

Date: 4/29/2011                
Subject: Rape/Assault Suspects

Incident #11-30825

Date/Time: April 6, 2011/2:00pm
On the above date/time, female victim was driving in south OKC (somewhere on S. Meridian), when a man got into her vehicle.  He allegedly did so while she was stopped at a stoplight.  This man forced her (at gunpoint) to drive to a house (unknown location).  The house was described as a single story, pale yellow siding over pale yellow brick.  It had an attached 2 car white automatic garage door.  It sits on a corner with a residential street along the garage side of the house.
Once at the house, the victim was repeatedly assaulted and raped over a period of several days.  2 additional male suspects and 1 female suspect were present at this house.  Attached are composite sketches of all 4 suspects.  If you recognize them, or have any information on this case, contact Crime Stoppers 405-235-7300.  Callers can remain ANONYMOUS, and may be eligible for a cash reward.
**Victim’s vehicle is still outstanding.  2008 green Ford Focus, 4 door, 888 DOU (OKLA) with personalized tag on the front “LORI”** If you see this vehicle, contact 911 immediately.
Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow

Composite Sketches

Could this happen to you? Why not? I'm absolutely certain this woman never thought this could happen to her. Why did it happen? If you don't know the answer to that, if you aren't 100 percent positive it could never happen to you, please attend the upcoming Defensive Awareness class. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN TO ANYBODY!

There are worse things that happen to women than being killed – being held in a house for several days and raped is one such thing. Do you think they fed her? Let her go to the bathroom? Do you think she slept? Look at the composite pictures, do all of those people look like scary bad guys you would avoid while out and about? How about the female suspect? She even has a vanity plate on her car. Could a woman with a cute vanity plate hold another woman hostage for several days and do nothing, even participate, while said woman is being raped?

Do you think this woman will be able to drive anywhere again? Probably not. I have known, and do know, crime victims. Some, even after years of counseling, still cannot leave their houses alone.

I am called to teach women how to protect themselves from such horror as this. But I am merely the messenger, I cannot make women actually get the training. I know that, and yet it is so very frustrating to me when I know such things as happened to this woman can happen, and that the only reason it doesn't happen is because you are trained. And then I have six students show up for a class...or four....or two. And I hold the class for those few who want the training...knowing full well that there are still so many who leave their very freedom up to chance. It's so not worth it to assume nothing bad will happen to you.

Some of you don't realize what you have, there is no one else in this entire country doing what I'm doing, teaching average women practical self-defense that every woman can do. There are tons of self-defense classes out there, and most of them are geared toward men...or taught by men, and men are simply not women. A man would not get taken to someone's house and raped for days. We are prey, we will always be prey, and a man can never comprehend that. This is why what I do works, because I understand we are prey since I myself am prey. I also understand I'm not training law enforcement, I am training stay at home moms and grandmothers and nurses and secretaries and realtors and college students and computer programmers to keep themselves from becoming prey.

The classes are here in your own geographical area. They provide excellent training. They are very low cost (every training class I've ever taken has an average cost of $200-$600). They are taught by someone with 38 years experience, who is an average woman just like you. I hope more of you realize the blessing you have sitting in your own back yard and don't take it for granted.

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The Threats We Really Face
April 2011

Date: 4/5/2011                
Subject: In-Custody Death    

Incident #11-024472

Deceased: Johnson, Demetrius O. (B/M, DOB: 8/18/1972) of Oklahoma City

Involved Officers:
Officer Bradley Dunn (4 years of service)
Sgt. Scott Blankenship (12 years of service)
Sgt. Bryan Bartels (6 years of service)
Officer Joshua Minner (2 years of service)
Lt. Trevor Taylor (12 years of service)
Sgt. Matthew Morrison (12 years of service)

On 4/4/2011 at approximately 7:25 p.m., Officer Brad Dunn made a traffic stop near the intersection of NW 17th and St. Clair Ave. The driver/suspect, Demetrius Johnson, fled from the car on foot. Officer Dunn was able to catch up with Mr. Johnson, at which time he began fighting with the officer. Other officers arrived on the scene to assist as Mr. Johnson continued to fight. The officers were eventually able to gain control and take him into custody.

Shortly thereafter, they noticed he had lost consciousness. Officers called for EMSA and began efforts to resuscitate him. Mr. Johnson was transported to Baptist Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The State Medical Examiner’s Office will determine his cause of death.

Two of the six involved officers were transported to an area hospital for treatment related to taking the suspect into custody. Both were treated and released. All six officers have been placed on administrative leave.

MSgt. Gary Knight  

I want you to notice how many officers are listed above – six. This is how many men it took to subdue this one suspect. Keep that in mind as you read on...

I received the below from a student, I don't know the validity of the claim that it's the story (and pictures) of a law enforcement officer, but the point it makes is a very good one...

Remember the 21 foot rule?

You may have seen this before, but the message is important enough to get it again --- and to remember that in 1983 Sgt. Dennis Tueller showed that:

• most handgun shooters have experience shooting at targets at 21 ft or 7 meters;
• the experienced handgun shooter can draw his/her gun and put two shots in a man-sized target at 21 ft in 1.5 seconds;
• and conversely a bad guy with a knife or blunt weapon can cover the 21 ft in 1.5 seconds;
• which makes 21 ft the danger zone and anything inside 21 ft life threatening

Ever wonder why cops shoot people armed with knives, broken bottles, glass shards, etc??   
If an experienced (or drug crazed) knife fighter gets in close, you may not have the opportunity to use your handgun before he can do his damage.  Remember the 21 foot rule? Well, don't forget the "Ego Rule" Below are photos of an officer trained in hand-to-hand combat.   The officer figured that due to his size and fighting skills, he could disarm a knife wielding aggressor. He figured wrong!
Here is why I am forwarding these pictures.  To all the idiots out there who always say, "Why did the cops have to shoot him?  He only had a (insert your choice of weapons here, i.e. knife, bat, club, whatever).  He didn't have to be shot.  To that, I respond, "tough shit ... Shoot 'em".  If an officer tells you to drop your weapon, just drop it.  If you're a retard, stupid, on crack, mental or just "scared"... Too bad. No one deserves what this cop got for just doing his job. If you got a knife and are hell bent on using it, then you should die... Period.  This is vivid proof of how deadly people who are "only armed with a knife" can be.  Some of the public think that officers should try to disarm someone armed with a knife but anyone who has had training in knife fighting will tell you - even if you win you are going to get cut. Keep this in the back of your mind when confronting someone armed with an edged weapon.  


NOTE: These are very graphic photos, don't click the link to view the photos if you are squeamish. Photos

In Between the Threat and the Bang I work students on distance drills. I tell them they need to recognize a potential threat at 50 feet and start responding (telling that person to STOP!). I teach them how to turn on aggressive posturing and voice to start stopping a potential threat in this 50 foot range. As the distance closes, there's another warning, and if the person does not stop I teach students that at no closer than 25 feet it's time for action. I demonstrate in BTB, as I do in Airsoft and as you can see in the photos and videos (above) of the recent Airsoft class, that it takes me no time at all to get to them when running toward them...I'm not built for speed, and I'm not ON speed! Add even one of those factors (let alone two), and most people simply would not be able to get their gun out in time to stop an attack.

Understand, the law enforcement application is different than the civilian application. It's always best to go on the offensive (take control) as soon as possible, but the very nature of who we are means we must be on the defensive....we are not law enforcement, we do not engage, but this doesn't mean we have to be helpless in facing an attacker. For our application as civilians, especially women, it is quite valid to notice if someone is coming at you at a 50 foot distance and begin evasive maneuvers. This is not very workable for a LEO who may be stopping a suspect only to have that person turn on him or her.

In the Everything Else class, I work students on using various items to defend themselves when they're not able (or choose not) to carry a gun. We spend a fair amount of time with cane work, whacking the mannequin in various places to practice stopping someone. I've had students ask me well why would I carry a cane, I don't need one, I don't have difficulty walking, and it's embarrassing to carry a cane. Well, those of you who have taken Everything Else know that one of the drills I have you do is knocking a knife out of SD's hand...now apply that to a real life situation such as the man in the above photos faced. A hardwood cane or walking stick (rake, shovel, broom handle) which puts distance between you and a knife, with which you can (because you practiced it) knock said knife out of an attackers hand, what do you think? Would you opt for the training in the Everything Else class? Would you carry a walking stick or cane in your car, just in case?

If it took six trained male law enforcement officers to subdue one suspect, what do you think it will take you, a _____ pound five foot ___ inch tall woman? As I said above, I do not know if the forwarded story and photos are of an actual LEO (law enforcement officer) but I do know the photos are of a real person who was actually slashed with a knife. I have seen such photos before (as well as gunshot wounds), I have seen the devastation, I have read the reports and seen the parts that were once a human being, no longer recognizable. And the Citizen Alert from the OKC PD is real, six trained male officers versus one suspect. Somebody, somewhere will bellow out how unfair it was this poor person died. Well, I have to say I agree with the forward my student sent me. I tell my students that a weapon can be fists or body, it does not have to be an object...this is especially true for women because we lack the physical strength men have, but as you can see from the Citizen Alert, it can also apply to men. There is no mention of a weapon, yet two of the six officers were transported to the hospital so they were obviously injured.

Are you getting the picture here? You cannot assume that you, Jane Q. Public, will automatically know what to do if you're attacked. If six professional LEOs have that much difficulty taking down one suspect so that two of them are treated at the hospital, and a man (whether trained in hand to hand combat, LEO or not) can get slashed to pieces like that, what do you think is going to happen to you? This is precisely why I have developed layers of classes, to take you from one level to the next in training. Only through practice and learning techniques will you succeed in fighting off an attacker, it absolutely does not come automatically as too many of you assume....you assume now that you have your conceal carry license and carry a gun you're safe. The knifed man wasn't safe. Six OKC PD officers weren't safe. Why do you think you with so little training will be safe? Do you think standing flat footed shooting a still paper target will prepare you for such an attack? The answer is no, scenario based training is what prepares you, but you can't jump straight into that, you have to be able to do a few basic techniques well (which you learn in the basic level classes, GDO and BTB) in order to do scenario based training. I intend for Airsoft to have several levels of advancement, but if there are so few students going through the levels there's really no point in holding the next level Airsoft class. Women are really great at taking the first couple levels of classes, getting their SDA license, and then stopping there. This is where you're doing yourself a real disservice and taking an unnecessary risk with your own self-defense. You can't stop with the basics and have the ability to carry this stuff out should you get in a real life self-defense situation. Again, if professional LEOs have that much difficulty taking one man down, what chance do we have if we don't train? LEOs are required to train for their job. You're required to train for your life.

I didn't have the chance to talk to any of the students after the Airsoft class, but I had the strong sense just by watching their progress when we started the mock attack drills and they could not draw their weapon fast enough to shoot me before I was on top of them that they were beginning to understand just how much they need to train. Even by the end of this one class, they were already demonstrating great improvement in skill. This tells me it's not so difficult as to require some comic book hero abilities, but rather the commitment to do the deed...that is, take the classes, train level by level to defend yourself. It starts with stopping the false sense of security that you will automatically, miraculously, know what to do if you're attacked. Don't believe it, it's a dangerous lie.

Reference Links:

The below are from PoliceOne.com which is an online resource for the law enforcement community. Though a professional resource, there's a lot of really useful information on the site for civilians about products, news about law enforcement goings on around the country, articles and videos about tactics, a wide variety of topics regarding crime. For those of you with an iPhone, they have an app, search PoliceOne in the App Store.

Excellent video called Defending Yourself Against an Edged Weapon Attack. The trainer talks about using your body smartly (not brawn but brains) in a way that puts the most force where you need it – this is the principle of Krav Maga, a few tactics of which I teach in the Everything Else class.

See a whole herd of LEOs try to take down one crazed man with some kind of blade here. I don't know why they weren't using real bullets (you can hear a taser go off at least once), but you can see just how dangerous a LEOs job is. Always they (and we the people) should be allowed to use lethal force against an attacker hell bent on killing us. Thank God we live in Oklahoma where that's still allowed.

Article on the 21-foot rule. Remember, law enforcement's application is different than ours, but there are many good points for civilians in this article. None of us can set a hard and fast rule that in this situation I will do A, B, or C. And this, again, is why training is so important, you're not only training your body, you're training your mind to think under pressure.

A challenge for those of us who carry a blade as a backup weapon, Practice Getting to Your Knife Under Stress (article)

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Child Attackers
March 2011

Date: 2/25/2011                
Subject: Update #1 to Homicide #2 of 2011    


Incident # 11-012329
Arrested Person #2:  Thompson, Deandre Shavon (B/M, DOB: 10/19/1997) of Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City Police Homicide investigators recently obtained an arrest warrant for 13 year-old Deandre Thompson regarding the shooting death of Deangelo Jones on 2/18/2011.  The warrant was for the charge of Murder in the First Degree.  

This morning, members of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Warrant Team located Mr. Thompson at a residence in the 1800 block of NE Grand Blvd.  He was taken into custody and transported to the Oklahoma County Jail where he was booked.

Investigators believe that there were others involved in this homicide.  Anyone with information regarding this case should call the Homicide tip-line at 405.297.1200.

For more information, see the original news release

MSgt. Gary Knight  

In Between the Threat and the Bang I stress to students that their attacker may be a child. I'd say 13 qualifies as "child" where most of us are concerned. Would it surprise you to know that I've met a hardened criminal who was 7 years old at the time? It's hard to fathom that, especially for those of you who have children – whatever their current age, you probably picture your child and wonder how could anyone be a hardened criminal at such a young age?

Several years ago I did some mentoring work at a youth jail facility. This was a place where anyone under the age of 18 who was arrested for a serious crime (murder, rape, assault & battery) went to await their hearing. Placement for those who were still under 18 at the time of their trial typically meant a youth prison (not juvie, but prison). Those who turned 18 went straight to the state pen.

Most kids I met there were 14-15. None of them had parents – well, they had biological parents, but they were either absent from their lives (letting them run wild in the streets) or were in and out of jail themselves. A couple of times I took my band at the time in with me to try and give the kids something special in their week. Many of them responded positively, but there was the time I nearly started a riot because one of the 15 year old boys was being so utterly disrespectful and disruptive while we were singing, and when I finally had enough I abruptly stopped the music and said, "You need to shut up!"

Prior to bringing my band in, I explained to them that they couldn't have any pencils or paperclips in with their music and they had to hold the pages as we couldn't bring in any stands (such items could be used as weapons). I also had to convince them that even though they looked like kids, the teens they would encounter were actually hardened criminals. It was a 14 cell facility, and all the cells opened inward to a common room. Protocol was if something happened, all the cell doors would fly open and the "residents" (it was politically incorrect to call them prisoners or criminals) were to immediately go to their cells after which the doors would automatically shut for a lock-down. At the same time, any visors present were to grab everything they came in with and immediately go to the control room. The control room was three locked doors into the facility, so we'd still be a long way from the outside and safety, but it was the best they could do. The trick was, you had to get through the automatically opened control room door before it automatically closed again...you see, the few guards would be "corralling" the "residents" so they couldn't help the visitors.

There are those who would have told me I shouldn't have told this kid to "shut up," and no doubt no one had ever told him to shut up in his entire life. I have a very long fuse but once you cross that line with me, it's pretty much over, there's no more discussion, it's time for action. And I had had it with this kid, 13 kids were trying very hard to enjoy one little bit of good in their week and this kid was bent on destroying it. And, well, I'm not one to just stand there and let someone beat up on me, whether it's physical or verbal. (I really do practice what I teach!)

So when I abruptly stopped the music and told this kid to "shut up!" he
literally came across the table at me, lunging and trying to grab hold of me. Because of confidentiality laws, I never knew what crimes they were in for, but I do know murder when I see it in someone's eyes, and that kid wanted to kill me in the worst way.

All the cell doors flew open and 13 kids piled into their cells, the control room door flew open and me and my band members hurried into the room, the doors all automatically closed, and meanwhile all personnel except one in the control room were trying to restrain this one little (he was a short little guy) 15 year old boy.

We (me and the band) decided to not so gracefully make our exit (get us the hell out of here!), and the one operator left in the control room obliged us and let us out.

So when I say in classes that your attacker may be a child, and when I put you through drills where the mock attacker is a child, I'm doing it based on personal experience. This is a difficult thing to wrap our minds around, but those who perpetuate heinous crimes have no age limit. You must be prepared to protect yourself, to protect your family, and the only way to prepare is through training.

I've told students over and over again that in a crisis adrenaline will kick in, logical thought will cease to exist for some period of time, and the only thing that will cause you to act and act correctly is muscle memory from training. This is why I do adrenalized drills, which are intended to get a student's adrenaline going. This is usually exhibited in shaking, but students also notice they quickly lose their ability to think. I tell them to press through now when they're facing a mock attacker who isn't actually going to hurt them so they will have gone through the motions, building muscle memory for an actual situation. I also tell students without this muscle memory, they will freeze. You see it over and over again when a woman is attacked and she just freezes.

Again, I say this out of experience. Yes, I have had those times, I call them the "Oh shit" moment when you realize you either just made a mistake or something bad is about to happen and you very well might die. When that happens you have an immediate adrenaline hit and your knees start shaking, you start sweating (ever thought about your hands being too wet to hold your gun? It's another reason I don't like tiny guns, they're hard enough to hold onto let alone when my palms are wet with sweat), and your brain gets very foggy. If you haven't previously thought through, "What will I do if ____________" you will freeze, or your action will have little or no effect – I call this wildly flailing about, or beating the air.

At dinner this week I told a close friend about a dream I had. In the dream I was sitting in my living room at a card table doing some paperwork. This is something I do at times such as when I'm putting together class handouts, I'll get a card table out from behind the office door so I don't have to clear my dining table, do my work, and then put it back. So this was an actual scenario in my dream. In the dream the table was where I usually put it, and I was sitting with my left shoulder parallel to the kitchen doorway, only a few feet away from the door. On the opposite end of the kitchen is the door going into the garage, and in the garage is a door going outside that has a dog door which is open during my waking hours. In the dream I heard the door and I thought it was one of my dogs coming in the dog door so I didn't get up. Next thing I know, there's a great big man standing there between the kitchen doorway and the table I was sitting at. I felt an immediate surge (like a shock wave) of utter terror go through me (I think this is what actually woke me up) and I tried to yell – not a yell for help, I never teach women to do that, but if you've been in BTB you know the aggressive "STOP!" that I teach, and shotgun students will learn that I take that same aggression and yell, "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" as I'm pumping my 12 gauge and slapping the trigger. This was the yell I was going for in this scene.

But I was so paralyzed with fear that nothing but a squeak came out, and immediately the man screamed and lunged at me, and that's when I woke up.

When I told my friend about this, I told her that while I"m sure I would be terrified as I was in the dream, I knew that I would have instinctively overturned the table (making a barrier between me and he) which would have given me just enough time to get to Betty (my M&P .40) who stays close by where I was sitting in the dream, and we know what would have happened at that point...

She said, "You've thought this through." And I said, "Well yeah, I've thought through every scenario I can think of but no, I hadn't actually thought about that one. The reality is, unless someone killed all five of my dogs in the back yard (impossible since they're never all out there at once), and then crawled in the dog door (very unlikely a person could fit without making a whole bunch of noise and/or getting stuck), it would be impossible for someone to get in my house without the dogs alerting me or me hearing it. I keep my doors locked at all times (this was one of the things the "children" at the youth jail told me, they'd go around and try car and house doors and when they found one unlocked, they went on in and did what they wanted...remember, I said some of them were in for murder). So someone would have to kick my door in since I keep them all locked all the time, and I'd hear that and would be awaiting their appearance with something from "Tammy's House of Guns" – this was the nickname one of the Saturday SDA students gave my house after someone asked me how many guns I have.

But what I find very interesting is that even though I woke up before I saw what happened, when I told my friend about the dream I told her what I would have done (because even though I'd never thought of that actual scene, I've thought through what to do if someone is suddenly there) and her immediate response was "You've thought this through."

So what I'm saying is, I have gone through scenarios enough in my thought processes, and done so much training and practicing and familiarizing myself with my guns, so that even in my subconscious I'm doing the "right" thing. "Right" means bad guy is down, I'm still in tact.

I always tell my students any sane person would be terrified if they were attacked...the shock of terror I nearly physically felt, enough to wake me up from my dream was, in my opinion, very realistic. Which is to say yes, I believe I may very well be terrified in such a situation, BUT just like I tell my students to press through the adrenaline rush in the drills while it's someone they know won't really hurt them, I know muscle memory will kick in because I've trained my muscles what to do...and that includes my brain.

This is why I do what I do, to train as many women with as much self-defense skill as they are willing and committed to acquire. Nobody ever has to be victimized...my mission in life is convincing as many women of that as I possibly can.

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Hotel Restroom Rape
February 2011

Tammy, I just saw an article online about a woman being attacked/raped in a restroom in a hotel in downtown OKC.  Most of us would not walk out of a bathroom stall with our pepper spray and/or gun ready, and this woman scratched and screamed as he grabbed her and pulled her down.  What, if anything, could she have done differently? Thanks, Janet

Hi Janet,

No, none of us would walk out of the bathroom stall with gun or pepper spray in hand.  But as soon as I read the initial story I thought of several different methods of self-defense in this situation and yes, absolutely this rape could have been prevented.  

The victim told police when she finished using the bathroom and opened the door to the stall, she saw a man standing in the bathroom. She confronted him and told him to leave the women's restroom.
Let’s break this down in the sequence one should be thinking...

First of all, anytime I’m in a public place, in general I’m on a higher alert than if I’m at home or say the home of a personal friend.  I’m on an even higher level of alert in an isolated place, such as walking to my car. Recently a friend and I had dinner in Shawnee and it was dark when we came out – we parked on opposite sides of the restaurant so I walked her to her car and when I knew she was safely in, I walked to my own car.  Very small parking lot, I was walking by the main entrance to get to my car so I wasn’t isolated, and yet I was on high alert walking to my car.  Same as the other day during the afternoon when I walked out of the Health Food Center at 240 & Penn, I was on high alert until locked inside my car.

Following this line of thinking, I am on higher alert in a public restroom than I would be in the middle of a busy restaurant.  So when I am in a public restroom, I’m listening for people coming in.  I’m listening for the door and if I hear the door, I’m glancing under the stall to see the feet.  Certainly you can tell a man's feet from a woman’s.  So the first line of defense here is know what’s going on. If you’re in an isolated place like a public restroom and you hear the door open, look under the stall to see the feet.  Grant it, I don’t do this when I go to the symphony, but that's not an isolated public restroom, there are 20 other women in the restroom at the same time so it's not a place a predator will be lurking.  

So your first line of defense, always, is knowing he’s there.

When a man is in a place he should not be (your home, women’s restroom, private building, your personal space, ________ fill in the blank) you must immediately go on highest alert and take immediate action. Something is very wrong and this is not a time for discussion, this is a time for either a short command such as we practice in Between the Threat and the Bang (if there’s time) or immediate action (if there’s not).  The scenarios in that class assume you have enough distance to command, "STOP!!” and if the person does not stop, you follow through with an action.  However, if you are virtually trapped in a space (your home, your car, public restroom) this calls for immediate defensive or offensive ACTION, not words.

In both Between the Threat and the Bang and the Everything Else class I stress be unpredictable. What would have been more surprising to this man than the woman going back into the stall and locking the door?  Why does surprise matter?  Because he’s not expecting it – it’s like if you zig when someone else zags, even if he had responded and tried to yank the door open she would have had plenty of time to lock it before he did that.  
In BTB I introduce students to Krav Maga, which is the contact combat system of the Israeli Defense Forces. One of the tactics of Krav Maga is to throw your opponent off by continual movement. Going back into the stall when you see a potential threat is movement that throws your attacker off.

Again, the very best thing is to know he’s out there before you even open the door, but I’m addressing the what if you open the door and he’s standing there.

Now going back into the stall and locking the door would not make him go away, but that’s not the point, the point is it would have made a barrier between she and he that he would have had to come through to get her. This is when you draw your pepper spray or your gun in one hand while you take out your cell phone with the other and call 911.  When the dispatcher answers you say, “I’m in the downtown Renaissance bathroom and there’s a man in here, I’m locked in a stall and I’m armed, send the police.”  

It is a tactical advantage to buy yourself time, to make yourself a difficult target...he’s either going to get tired of it and leave or you’ll buy yourself enough time for the cops to get there.

If he doesn’t leave and he decides to yank the door open, or crawl underneath the stall, well, if it’s me he’s getting a 9mm or .40 caliber bullet to the face or chest (depending on what comes in the stall first). If it’s someone with pepper spray then you hose him down when he gets past the barrier. Yes, you’re going to be in there with it so you need to do the other thing I stress (and we work on) in both of those classes and MOVE quickly, walk right over top the guy laying on the floor and get out of there.  But what's the worst case scenario in that situation?  You are also gasping for air because you breathed in some of the pepper spray. It’s gonna hurt but it’ll wear off, and in the meantime he’s not in a position to do anything to you.

Did you catch the point that even if I'm armed with a gun I would go back into the stall? Having a gun doesn't make me invincible, nor does it mean I can turn off my brain, I'm still going to take defensive measures to put myself in the best offensive position with whatever tool I have!

But what about a completely unarmed woman?  Many public restrooms have a toilet tank on the back of the toilet – the ones with automatic flushers don't, but a place like a hotel probably would.  If I don't have a typical weapon and there’s a toilet tank, I’m taking that lid off and preparing to bash any part of him that comes into my stall.  This is AFTER I’ve called 911 as stated above. How do you do that while getting your tank lid weapon? Easy, you put the phone on speaker, dial 911 and lay it on the floor behind you, then you get your "weapon" and when the dispatcher comes on she can hear everything that's going on.

All of this has to be thought through ahead of time because you will not be able to come up with a plan while in the midst of a crisis. This is why I encourage students in BTB to start thinking through, "If this happened I would...." And then practice the things you need to, like taking out your pepper spray with one hand while getting your phone out with the other...and be sure you know HOW to put your phone on speaker!

If there’s no tank lid on the toilet, I’m getting whatever I can find in my purse that I can use as a weapon. Most of the time I don’t have pepper spray because I always end up giving away my personal supply, but I always have a tactical pen in my purse – if I had no other weapon, I’d get tactical pen in hand and have it ready to stab him in the face with it.  Again, this is after I’ve called 911 as stated above.  
The woman said the man walked around the corner and she heard the door open and close, but she could see in the bathroom mirror that he hadn't left the room. She started screaming and tried to run past the suspect, but he caught her. The victim said the man then forced her into a stall and raped her on the floor.
Here she’s given a second chance, the man moves farther away from her.  But instead of using this to her advantage, she puts herself within his grasp!

She actually had several opportunities to stop this attack...from another more detailed account:

It all started when the victim says she saw the suspect wandering around the hotel earlier that day.

In all my classes I stress being aware of your surroundings and taking action to protect yourself. If you see someone who is out of place, take notice and avoid being around that person. What I know from reading this is that her attacker "marked" her earlier in the day. He realized she was an easy target. He might have even "interviewed" her by asking her what time it is, or simply by following her around to see if she'd do anything about it. Do you think it was random that he went into the public restroom while she was in there alone? No, he did it intentionally because he had picked his prey and waited until the best moment to attack. All of this could have been prevented by thinking and acting accordingly. But if you have no point of reference, if you've had no training, if you've made no plan, you won't know how to think in a situation like this.

A valiant effort which is useless has absolutely no effect...think about the woman in the Florida school board meeting that hit the gunman with her purse.  Valiant effort, completely useless, almost got her killed.  In this situation the woman tried to run past him.  Now he’s already demonstrated he’s not confused, he’s there intentionally, and furthermore she saw him earlier in the day, so it should have registered when she saw him outside the bathroom stall that something was very wrong and it was time to act. The problem is, she had no plan so her action was wrong. A woman can never overpower a man so if we get within reach of him, he WILL be able to overpower us. Therefore, do NOT get within reach of him!  

So let’s put one of us in this same situation up to the point we aggressively yell, “GET OUT!” to him, we hear the door open but see in the mirror he does not leave.  

Well, if that’s one of my armed students who has their gun on their person, there's plenty of time at this point to draw the gun.  If you have pepper spray in your purse, you have plenty of time to get the pepper spray out.  My first thought as I read this and pictured myself at that moment was I would have drawn my gun at this point and brought it up to center mass position.  By now he’s made it clear he has ill intentions, there’s no more discussion, it’s time to act.  I would probably just hold my position with the gun at center mass and if he came around the corner, I would shoot him.  If you had pepper spray and he came around the corner, hose him down. Again, I'm calling 911 while I'm doing this – this is a valid reason for practicing acquiring your gun, and shooting it, one handed.

Again, if this was an unarmed woman, it would have been MUCH better to go back into a stall and lock herself in and call 911.  Again, yes, he can yank the door open, yes he can crawl underneath, but you’ve got the advantage being locked inside and he’s got to either get in a very vulnerable position on the floor to crawl under – if nothing else start stomping on his head when it comes under the door – or he’s got his hands on the top or bottom of the door trying to yank it open.  Do you have a pen in your purse?  Stab him in the hand with it when he grabs the door.  Is it lethal?  No, but he’s not gonna keep his hand there while you’re stabbing him with a pen, especially if it's a tactical pen (they do not break).

In the Everything Else class all of the students were very uncomfortable being close enough to the mannequin to inflict damage, but the drills were specifically intended to let students experience what that felt like and teach methods to use to defend yourself if you’re that close.

Screaming at this point is of no effect – you’re isolated, no one will hear you and even if they do chances are they will ignore it (because people don’t want to get involved). Screaming also tells your attacker that you're frightened. Would I be frightened? Well yes, any sane person would be, but it is more effective to scare the crap out of him by yelling an aggressive "NO!" or "GET BACK!" than yelling for help. Anyone who has practiced this in BTB (and heard me demonstrate it) knows the kind of effect it has. I tell the story about how a man came up to me in one of my advanced classes in which I was the only woman and said that I was scaring all the men. Stifling a giggle I replied, "Good!"

Running past him at this point is of no effect – he’s stronger than you, when you get within reach he will grab you and do what he wants with you.  Here is the entire purpose of training – if you train, your action will have effect, if you do not you will waste your energy on futile activity. Futile activity will get you raped and/or killed. Everything I mention above are things I’ve trained to do and/or thought through...what would I do if? This is what I stress in the Everything Else class, start thinking these things through, what would I do if?  I always ask myself that question when I read these stories. It’s not so I can feel superior, it’s so that if it ever happens to me, I will have thought through what to do if it happens.

So you see, I’ve already thought through what to do if I’m in a public restroom and someone tries to attack me. In the Girls Day Out class when I talk about “how do you go to the bathroom while wearing a gun?” I specifically say that I do not take my gun off and lay it on the toilet tank lid, nor do I hang my gun on the back of the bathroom door, and the reason is because if I’m sitting on the toilet and I hear gunfire, or something happens in the restroom, I want my gun right there where I can reach it.

Not that I want to be sitting on the toilet when I shoot somebody, but I tell you what, if I’m attacked and that’s the position I’m in, I will without hesitation shoot someone while I’ve got my pants around my knees.  Not a glamorous story, but I’ll still be alive...and I bet the bad guy will be very surprised right before he dies that a woman sitting on a toilet killed him.  Wow, what a way to go! (pun intended!)

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It Just Went Off
January 2011

OKC Man Faces Murder Charges in Wife's Shooting Death

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A probable cause affidavit reveals wild details in the death of an Oklahoma City woman whose husband said he accidentally shot her in the head.

In the affidavit released by the Oklahoma City Police Department, the affidavit notes the couple often engaged in sexual fantasies involving a gun.

The husband, Arthur Sedille, said he grabbed a gun off a shelf by the bed and racked the slide which caused the gun to cock. Sedille said not realizing it was loaded, he placed it next to his wife's head and it went off.

His wife, Rebecca Sedille, was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. Sedille is being held in the Oklahoma County Jail on a first-degree murder complaint

Students who have taken the SDA class from me have heard me say in class that I have a real problem with the phrase, "it went off." This suggests that somehow – though we don't know how – the gun miraculously fired itself. The answer to how "it went off" is very plain and simple – someone placed a finger on the trigger. This is how a gun "goes off." The above demonstrates it precisely, only it is blatantly obvious, not to mention incredibly ignorant, that "it went off" because he pulled the trigger.

Every one of what I call the Four Cardinal Rules of Safety
was violated in the above scenario and a woman lost her life. This is what you can expect when safety rules are violated. It is why I enforce safety without compromise in all of my classes. It is why I take such a hard stand on safety in the conceal carry class, and why I developed Girls Day Out, because the majority of students who come to SDA, both men and women, are very inexperienced with guns. I stress in my classes that muscle memory is what will save your life in an attack situation because adrenaline will kick in and you will not be able to think it through in that moment so you must rely on muscle memory...which is conspicuously missing if you've not trained yourself in what to do. This also applies to safe gun handling. You might read the above and think, "that could never happen to me!" Why not? Do you know enough about safe gun handling to not DO something that dumb? Most of you would immediately answer a resounding YES! What about when you're at the range? Do you know enough about safe gun handling, and are you aware enough of your surroundings, and can you operate your gun without looking directly at all the time it so that you can watch your surroundings. so that you will know when the guy two lanes down points the muzzle of his gun sideways as he racks the slide with his finger on the trigger and it happens to be pointed at your head? Impossible? I wish I had a nickel for every time I saw that happen (and called people down for it as a Range Safety Officer) while working at public gun ranges.

I teach my students, starting in Girls Day Out, that they can not control someone else doing something stupid, but they can
protect themselves when they know something stupid is going on by LEAVING! I get more and more reports from students who have walked out of public ranges because they observed others violating safety protocol.

My SDA students may also remember hearing me say that some of us are trained that when a gun is pointed at us the correct response is to shoot that person. That is what law enforcement's knee jerk reaction is, which is why I teach so clearly in SDA
the appropriate way to respond to law enforcement as a conceal carry holder (to keep you from getting shot). In addition to that response, those of us who have been through the kind of training I have to date have gone through drills on how to take a gun away from someone. Because of my training, I will have one of two responses to someone pointing a gun at me (barring Range Safety Officer duties where I bark a drill sergeant command of MUZZLE DOWN RANGE!!), I will either take the gun away from the person or I will shoot them.

The above tragedy did not occur in some third world country many years ago, it happened in Oklahoma City last week. I'm sure that man has enough intelligence to drive a car, I bet he had a job, he evidently had no criminal background as he was able to purchase a gun. But none of that kept him from doing something supremely stupid. I tell my students they must observe all four cardinal rules at all times in order to stay safe...he violated all four of them at once. The first report on this said first degree murder charges were filed against him – first degree is premeditated murder. Perhaps it was ignorance (very believable after what I've seen in SDA classes and at public ranges) or perhaps it was premeditated – regardless, he's being charged with first degree murder, which can carry the death penalty (as it should). Evidently the act of stupidity was blatant enough the DA never considered manslaughter charge but went straight for first degree murder.

Here's another unpleasant point I must make...too many women trust that their spouses know what they're doing with a gun. Obviously that woman did. Can you imagine getting shot in the head by your own husband in your own bed? It is more common than most of you realize because many of those "accidents" don't make the headlines. This is EXACTLY why you need your own education, because you can not depend on ANYONE else to keep you safe. Would you trust someone else with a game of roulette? One of my high school classmates did, he trusted his best friend, and he blew his brains out right in front of his friend. To think "it won't happen to me" is premeditated ignorance.

I don't assume it won't happen, that no one will get shot because of something dumb (whether intentional or unaware). So while you may have experienced me having great patience in any class, including private lessons and live fire classes, when it comes to SDA when I know the students are inexperienced and I know I've provided a class to get them safely through SDA (Girls Day Out), I will be the meanest person in the world when I kick you out of class on the spot for a safety violation. To date I've not made any enemies over that, but quite frankly I don't care. Ignorance will get me killed just as quickly as intentional negligence. I consider ignorance INTENTIONAL when women have classes available and they do not take advantage of those classes.

I'm not in this to make friends – I have all the friends I want and need – I'm in this to empower women to protect themselves, and that starts with safety. Everything builds on safety, which is why I always include a safety lecture up front in every class. It is why I require students to be on time to classes. Lately I've been lax about that as I've had students who were late to class, but if you're signed up for any upcoming SDA class with me you will see in the instructions that I state students who are late will not be permitted entry into class. SDA starts with the safety requirements as all my classes do – students who miss this portion have not been given the rules, and therefore I cannot assume they understand what is expected of them...but I can assume they might violate safety protocol and so I will not risk my safety, nor any of my student's safety.

It infuriates me to read an article as the above because it is so utterly unnecessary – he should have been trained enough with his gun to know if he racked the slide it WILL put a bullet in the chamber so when he pulls the trigger, YES, the gun WILL go off! But even if he really was that stupid, she should have cared enough about her own self to know how to be safe around her husband or anyone else.

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