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.

2012 Index of Articles

Don't Open Your Door to Strangers False Bravado
PREVENTION The Cost of Being Unprepared
Predictable Attacks Coming to the Aid of Another
Stalker at Barnes & Noble Could This Happen to You?
Defending Your Home The Correct Response
Ignorance in a Crisis Exercising Safely
Don't Leave Your Safety to Chance  

2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010

Don't Open Your Door to Strangers
December 2012

Suspect Accused Of Spraying Bleach In Elderly OKC Man's Face
By LaShauna Sewell
Posted: Nov 29, 2012 2:31 PM CST

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City Police say a 21-year-old woman sprayed bleach in the face of an 83-year-old man during an attempted robbery. The man said around 4 p.m. on November 18, someone knocked on his door in the 7700 block of Brookside Drive. When he opened the door, he saw a young man and a young woman standing on his porch. The victim said the two asked for money. He refused and began to pull his screen door closed. The victim said that's when the man grabbed the door and opened it.

The elderly victim said he couldn't let go of the door in time. He fell forward and hit his head on the door frame, fell to the ground and scraped his elbow on the concrete porch. The man said he began to yell loudly for help, hoping to make a big enough scene to scare of the suspects and alert his neighbors.

The victim said as he was trying to get up, the female – identified by police as 21-year-old Nicole Carroll – sprayed him in the eyes with bleach. The two then ran away. The victim got up and called 911. He was not seriously injured.

When police arrived, they found a backpack one of the suspects had dropped. Inside, they found a cell phone that they traced back to Carroll. Police were able to locate Carroll and arrest her, but they have not found her alleged accomplice. Carroll was booked into the Oklahoma County jail on a complaint of attempted robbery.

I tell my students over and over again, never open your door unless you personally know who's knocking, or it's a police officer or fireman (you can tell they're legit by the police cruiser or big red truck parked out front). And yet I frequently hear from students whose husbands throw open the door because someone knocked on it...men do that because they think they’re not in danger, but the reality is if it’s a home invasion the person at the door just shoots him and now he has an open door to walk in and do whatever he wants to the man’s wife and children.

There is a simple explanation as to why men do this – while not all men are predators, all women are prey. Men are hard wired to be predators and they simply cannot think like prey, they are unable to be the little white bunny trying to ward off the big black wolf. When I’m able to get men to realize this, they understand how they can so quickly put their wife and daughter in danger by doing something like opening the door. Also, they cannot comprehend what it’s like to have less physical strength. The way I explain this is by asking a woman, "What would your husband do if a man walked up to him in a parking lot and just punched him in the face?" They reply, "He'd punch him back." Then I ask, "What would YOU do if a man walked up to you in a parking lot and just punched you in the face?" Answer, "Fall down."

The above is a real life example of what happens when you just open your door. In this situation, the elderly man was easily overpowered. Men, don't assume because you're in your younger and stronger that you cannot be overpowered – the criminal at your door knows what he plans to do, you don't, and that element of surprise can disable you faster than you realize.

Ladies, never open your door unless you personally know who's there or it's a legitimate stranger (police officer, fireman, expected repairman). And men, don't endanger your family by giving criminals easy access to your house.

The above article is all the more shocking when you read in this article that the two who attacked this man were 15 years old! In the Defensive Awareness class I stress to students that an attacker can be any gender, any age, any race...do not ever assume because it's a "kid" at your door that they will not harm you...DON'T OPEN YOUR DOOR!

Victim, Suspect Fight Following Confrontation In SW OKC Garage
By LaShauna Sewell
Posted: Nov 29, 2012 11:30 AM CST

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City Police say a man opened the door to his garage and was attacked by a burglary suspect. The victim was at his home in the 1000 block of S.W. 52nd Street on the afternoon of November 24. He said he was in the kitchen when he heard a noise coming from the garage. The victim opened the door and found a man standing there. Another door leading from the garage to the outdoors had been forced open.

According to a police report, when the suspect – identified as 19-year-old Jonathan Wise -- saw the homeowner, he said, "I'm sorry. I'll pay for the damages." The victim told police as soon as Wise said that, he punched the homeowner in the face and pulled him into the garage. The two struggled and ended up in the driveway. The victim managed to get Wise on the ground and hold him down. He then yelled for help and asked for someone to call 911.

A neighbor called police, who arrived a few minutes later. Wise received some injuries during the fight and was taken to a hospital for treatment. After the hospital released Wise, officers arrested him and booked him into the Oklahoma County jail for first-degree burglary.

While this story doesn't say the age of the homeowner, we can conclude that he was at least strong enough to fight back (click the link to see what he did to the attacker's face). And you might immediately wonder what the homeowner could have done because after all, the guy was in his garage when he opened the door.

Well, here's what I would do, and in fact have done because there have been a few occasions when I heard a noise in the garage. My garage is attached and, like the above, my kitchen door opens into the garage. I've been sitting in the living room and heard a big crash, or a little bump, or one of the dog's growled and stared toward the kitchen. I never, not one time, simply went and flung open the kitchen door into the garage. The first thing I do when I hear an out of place noise is look at my dogs. Are any of them alerting? No, they're not trained guard dogs, but they live in my house with me and they know what are normal sounds for our household and likewise when something is out of place...they're like an external NQR (not quite right), if something is out of place I can see it in their body language.

So the first thing I do is look at the dogs. In all of the above cases at least one dog sat up or jumped or looked toward the kitchen.

The next thing I do is silence any external sounds, for example if I have the TV on I mute it...this is so I can tune in to any additional sounds.

Next I pick up one the nearest gun and flashlight. This is something I have practiced and thought through, and I have guns and flashlights in more than one location in the house, so it's a matter of seconds before I am armed.

At this point I walk into the kitchen, gun in low ready and tactical flashlight in my left hand. Tactical flashlights are small and intended to be turned on with one hand, so I can easily hold it with my outer two fingers while I use my inner two and thumb to grasp the doorknob. I pause and listen again for any sounds, and then in one swift movement I turn the doorknob, throw the door open, and bring the flashlight up, hitting the toggle switch to turn it on. If there is someone in my garage I have given myself a few seconds by temporarily blinding them. This is one of the benefits of a tactical flashlight versus a regular flashlight. I talk about tactical flashlights, and demonstrate how to hold and deploy one, in the Non-Gun Defense article I mentioned on the News page.

And no, I don't fly into the garage with my gun pointing forward just in case someone is in there, I keep my gun in a low ready position, obeying all four Cardinal Rules at all times...in fact, I don't even enter the garage until that first burst of light shows me no one is standing in the garage. I also take a step back as I fling the door open so that if someone is right there, they cannot physically grab me...you see, if they can't grab you, you still have time to do something. Unlike the above, the man was grabbed and dragged into the garage. For a woman by herself, this is not an option!

Once the door is open and I've sent that first burst of light in, I quickly asses everything in the garage – the first thing I look for is movement. Now I said I have dogs, but I'm not looking for movement below the five foot mark, I'm scanning the entire garage for a person. Because I have a small car I can immediately see if anyone is standing behind my car (even with an SUV you'll see a head). So I do a full sweep with the flashlight starting from right to left and then back again.

As I said, I've done this a few times when I heard something in the garage. Once I figured out that something had vibrated off a shelf when the dryer was running; another time something fell over without an apparent reason (maybe one of our mild earthquakes); other times I never did find the source...but it didn't matter if I found that the sound was not made by a person in my garage.

In every single situation when I've heard a crash or bump in the garage, there has not been anyone in my garage. But I am prepared in the event there is.

My entire point is exactly what I tell students in classes, and this goes hand in hand with the fact that I do not teach anything I do not practice myself...you must be prepared, you must have a plan, and you must have tools to use to protect yourself. If not, you will simply make a response like the man above and open your door into the face of a criminal in your garage and you will be attacked.

By the way, this subsequent article states the homeowner specifically trains in boxing, and in fact the article presents him as a hero because he beat up the burglar. Being a boxer further explains why he threw open his door without any thought – it never occurred to him he couldn't fight someone off...but what if that burglar had a gun or knife? This also drives home the point that the average person (let alone a woman) cannot do what a trained boxer can do!

The bottom line is it's just not worth the risk because A. it's not worth getting physically hurt by some scumbag, even if you live through it, and B. especially if you're a woman you will never forget that experience....even if you are not hurt badly or raped. I know women who had close encounters 20, 30, 40 years ago and they remember it like it happened yesterday. The experience has shaped their entire lives. Trust me, you don't want that.

This isn't rocket science, but it does require thinking, planning, and preparing.


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November 2012

Oklahoma City police warn shoppers to be aware during holidays
BY JULIANA KEEPING | Published: October 29, 2012

People soon will flock to malls for the holiday shopping, and that means even more targets for criminals looking for prey, Oklahoma City police say...

A woman chatting on her cellphone while walking to her car has the phone grabbed out of her hand by a robber at Quail Springs Mall. A knife-wielding robber confronts a man in the Crossroads Mall parking lot. An employee on her way to work at Penn Square Mall is groped in the mall’s parking garage. These crimes were among hundreds that occurred at Oklahoma City malls during the first eight months of the year, police department records revealed.

Mall officials were reluctant to discuss public safety plans. Asked for interviews, managers at two malls released statements instead...Quail Springs Mall has a customized public safety program...Penn Square also sent a written statement... It states the mall’s security tools include a security tower, 24-hour patrol and security personnel patrolling inside and outside the mall.

“Don’t become so overburdened with packages that you have to sit them down, fumble for keys. Make sure your keys are in your hand and you know where you’re going,” Knight said. It can’t hurt to ask a store or mall security if they will walk you to your car, he said. And if something or someone feels threatening or strange, call 911.

The above are just highlights from a lengthy article in the Oklahoman about staying safe while out & about. All of this is addressed in the Defensive Awareness class, right down to the "enhanced security measures" of both Penn Square and Quail Springs Mall (Mexican gangs have taken over Crossroads Mall, do not go there!). Penn Square mentions their "security tower" which I show a photo of to students in Defensive Awareness and explain to them that unless the thing can sprint across the parking lot and snatch up a bad guy, it's useless. I've heard from several people who lived in OKC in the 50s that Penn Square used to have snipers on the roof....now that's enhanced security! Hey, I'd be willing to volunteer for that duty, I won't even charge for the ammo or my time!

Quail Springs Mall "security" is still a joke, even after they were sued in federal court for gross negligence by Kathleen Grizzle (watch video). I was in the courtroom and I can tell you their security efforts are also useless. It was excruciating for me to hear Kathleen's 911 call the first time, and even more so now that I've come to know her...she has had to work very hard to recover her life, and part of that work has been OPD classes. Sadly, her life will never be the same. When I tell my students please, please get the training, it is so not worth being attacked, I'm thinking of Kathleen.

Many of my students assume they are aware of their surroundings, and yet throughout the Defensive Awareness class I hear such comments as, "I never thought of that." "Someone just did that to me, that's predatory behavior?" "I didn't know the bad guy could look like that." "You mean my two favorite malls are high crime areas?" "There are lots of places I go every week in these photos." "I didn't know that happened there." In the class description I state that there are no dark allies in the photos. Instead there are photos of grocery stores and malls and restaurants and one of my favorites, Starbucks. You see, it's not the place it's the opportunity. You can be attacked anywhere at any time a predator sees the opportunity to attack you. Therefore – and please hear me – YOUR BEST SECURITY OPTION IS PREVENTION.

How do you keep from being attacked? It's so much more than I can describe in an article, and that's precisely why I wrote a three hour class on the subject. Please, if you haven't come to Defensive Awareness, take the time to come. All of my classes are very reasonably priced (far below local and national average) but I have a policy that no one will ever be turned away from a class if they can't afford it. Do not let finances be your excuse! See the Classes tab for details.

In closing I want to add one more component to the potential prey factor and that is open carry. I am not at all against open carry, I'm pleased that it was passed and as I mentioned in my opening comments on the News page, there will be times I will open carry. But most of the time I will not because as a woman, it makes me more of a target. One of the greatest challenges we face as women who carry a gun is concealment, so now at least if you've got a bulge on one side, or your shirttail accidentally comes up and your gun shows, you will not be breaking the law. That is the greatest benefit I see for women.

But you also have to realize that if you have not had gun retention training, and especially if you have a kydex outside the waistband holster with no retention strap, it is extremely easy for someone to come up behind you and simply remove your gun. Hopefully they'll just run away with it and not kill you, but at this point they've got your weapon so they can do what they want. This past week I wore my M&P full size .40 in a kydex outside the waistband holster to my two group shotgun lessons, and most of the time I had my shirt tail tucked in so that my gun showed. The two reasons for this were, 1. I was at a private range on private property where no one else was except myself and my students and 2. I was carrying on my left side and that's the only left side holster I have (I'm ambidextrous but predominantly right handed). The shotgun method I teach rests the shotgun on your strong side hip, and I cannot demonstrate that on my right side while wearing a sidearm. But when I left the range I dropped my shirttail back over my side arm, leaving me with an unidentifiable bulge on the left side.

I wear Mitch Rosen leather IWB (inside waistband) holsters which hold my gun securely in the holster and tightly to my body. My holsters do not have retention straps because I do not want one more thing to do should I need my gun for self-defense. The tight hold of the Mitch Rosen holsters would make it very difficult for someone else to get my gun out, but I have also had gun retention training. Add to this the fact that potential bad guy doesn't know I have a gun because it is concealed. I'm also taking into account the defensive awareness I have at all times of my surroundings. All of these factors are important when carrying a gun.

I frequently tell students that while not all men are predators, all women are prey. This means you must act like prey while out and about. It does not mean you should be afraid, but rather that you need the skill to keep yourself safe as the little white bunny walking amongst wolves.

To drive the point home on the value of training, take a look at the shotgun class photos from this week (and all the OPD class photos for that matter)...I don't see any little white bunnies, do you?


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Predictable Attacks
October 2012

Oklahoma City PD Citizen Alert
Date: 9/21/2012
Subject: Subjects wanted for questioning in assault
Oklahoma City Police Assaults investigators are asking for the public’s help identifying/locating 2 individuals wanted for questioning in connection with a recent assault that left the victim with a broken jaw and several other injuries. 
This incident occurred Sept. 9th near SW 30/May.  As the victim was walking away from the store a vehicle pulled up…suspect got out…then the assault ensued.  The victim said he believes the suspect was with a female that he bumped into inside the store. 
Anyone who recognizes either of these individuals (photo 1, photo 2) should contact Crime Stoppers 405-235-7300.  Callers can remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow

I just taught the Defensive Awareness class to two different groups, and in those classes I stressed to students (among other things) to profile behavior, that an attacker will often "interview" you before the attack, that an attacker could be a male or female, never turn your back on a predator, and that you need to be able to spot a threat before it becomes an attack so as to avoid being attacked. In the above assault every one of those factors would have alerted the victim so he could have avoided the situation all together had he received the training offered in the Defensive Awareness class. Those of you who have taken Defensive Awareness should recognize these points, but I'm going to break them down one by one.

Profile behavior: I guarantee there was something suspicious and out of place about the behavior of these two, such as paying too much attention to their target (staring, following him).

Interview: we don't know what the circumstance was of the "bumping into" the female in the store, but this was the interview stage...his potential attacker came in contact with him.

Female: he obviously wasn't considering a woman as a potential attacker.

Never turn your back on a predator: because he had no clue he had been "interviewed" by a female attacker (or partner of an attacker), he turned his back on the predators who were about to attack him. Thus, he didn't see the attack coming.

Spot the threat: he either didn't notice, or wasn't concerned, that a vehicle pulled up beside him, stopped, and a man got out and came toward him, so he took no evasive action as his attacker got out of the car and subsequently attacked him.

Ladies, this just doesn't have to happen. Ever. Every single element of this assault was 100 percent predictable and avoidable. This is why I write and teach such classes as Defensive Awareness, to teach you how not to be attacked! I told the recent two classes that this information is not rocket science, it can be learned by anyone and everyone. But the problem is, women have for too long believed in myths and gimmicks, like look under your car, and hold your keys between your fingers, and wasp spray for self-defense (both illegal and useless, read why).

The Defensive Awareness class in particular is a message every woman should hear. That's why I was so pleased recently to bring the class to an Oklahoma City company at the request of their boss. This was a real gift from the boss, a man, for his female employees – he worked out a flat rate with me so that any who wanted to could attend at no charge.

me if you're interested in having me come to your church or business or organization and bring the Defensive Awareness class to your group. It is a full length class that takes three full hours to complete, but it is time well spent if you can so quickly predict (as I did simply from reading the above alert) everything that will prevent you from being attacked. Don't leave your safety to chance, it is so not worth it!


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Stalker at Barnes & Noble
September 2012

This past Tuesday I had lunch with a friend. We usually have lunch once a week, and often I have errands to run afterwards. Tuesday I didn’t have anything else I needed to do, and on Monday evening as I was thinking about the next day the thought crossed my mind to go to Barnes & Noble after lunch for one of my favorite pastimes – a pile of books and a Starbucks coffee. I quickly dismissed the idea because I am actually quite a homebody, I’d rather be at home in the back yard with my dogs and my pile of books while drinking a Starbucks. On my drive to lunch the next day, the thought came into my mind again and again I dismissed it. And it came to my mind during lunch but I was visiting with my friend so it left my brain when we started talking. But after lunch when I turned out of my friend’s workplace parking lot, I turned in the direction of Barnes & Noble, which was when I had the final thought as I realized I was heading that way anyway rather than in the direction of home.

I pulled into the parking lot and on the corner of the building closest to Starbucks there was a single parking space under the shade of a tree, just for me, I thought, so I parked there. As per usual, I scanned the parking lot before unlocking my door, and continued scanning as I walked the few feet to the door. I entered through the door going directly into Starbucks, and as usual I scanned the cafe as I walked on through to gather my pile of books. After a quick trip to the restroom, I collected books about guns and dogs and headed back to the cafe I always choose a place where I can put my back to a wall, but most of the walls in the cafe formed a small corridor which could easily become a trap should something happen in the cafe Several weeks ago on a weekday afternoon, a friend’s college age daughter was at this very B&N studying when a man ran through the cafe entrance door, and ran back to the bathrooms. Her mother has taught her awareness, and she's taken several OPD classes, so she knew immediately by his behavior that something was wrong, but she also noticed a gun sticking out of his pocket as he ran by. So she grabbed her belongings and immediately left, called 911 from the parking lot, and OKC PD arrived on scene almost immediately. We found out later it was because they were already in the areas as this man had just committed an armed robbery and was trying to hide at B&N. I don’t recall that incident ever making the news – at least I didn’t see it – so it could have been one of those many things that happen in a day which the general public doesn’t know about.  But I knew, and so I was on extra high alert as I decided where to sit in this Starbucks.

I chose a wall that the cream & sugar station was up against – there was a single table on the other side (opposite the counter) which meant I could sit at an angle and have my back covered while still being able to watch the door and the rest of the cafe

So I plopped my pile of books down and ordered a coffee at the counter. As I sat down, I again scanned the entire cafe to see if anything looked out of place. In fact, it did. Of the people present, most were in twos – either a man and woman, or two women, or two men, a couple of men sitting by themselves, me, and a young college age woman sitting by herself. What was out of place was there was a man sitting alone at a table staring directly at her. She had her head buried in a textbook and seemed to have no idea he was staring at her. She was at a table in the middle of the cafe, I was offset on the other side, he was at a table by the front glass windows directly across from her. He wasn’t trying to hide the fact that he was staring at her, and no one, including her, seemed to notice.

He got up and left, and I thought, “Oh good, he’s gone,” only to see him return shortly. This would continue to occur, leave, come back, leave come back – each time he would head in the direction of the bathrooms, be gone 3-4 minutes and return. Each time he would check as soon as he rounded the corner to see if she was still sitting there. Each time she never looked up. After about the 6th time he got up and went to the bathroom I went over to her and said, “Excuse me, are you aware that guy over there is stalking you?” She looked a little surprised but I immediately sensed that she had no resistance whatsoever to my comment. She replied, “No, I didn’t realize that.” So I recounted his behavior to her. On one of his trips to the bathroom I had walked by the table he was sitting at to see what was on it. It was a single magazine, opened to the photo of a scantily clad model. This furthered my suspicion that he was up to no good. I explained all of this to her, I handed her a business card and said, “This is what I do, I teach women how to watch out for potential attackers, and this man’s behavior is totally textbook, he has targeted you.” She said, “Should I leave?” And I said, “Not unless you want to, but when you do, be very alert going to your car, and maybe you should have someone walk out with you. If I’m still here when you leave, holler at me and I’ll walk out with you.”

So he came back, yet again, but this time it was clear he was getting impatient. He started to fidget, tapping his foot, moving in his chair, and he kept looking at her, but now he realizes that I’m watching him. As I teach my students, I am glaring him down, staring directly at him with a cold stare (I call it the, “you do NOT want a piece of this” stare…also known as the Mom face), letting him know I know he’s there. At this point he tried to hide from me by moving one table over, positioning a display in the center of the cafe between me and him. So I moved to the other side of my table where I could continue watching him. He got up and went to the bathroom again, probably about the 8th time but I had stopped counting, and when he came back he first looked at her and then at me and I glared at him with the same aggressive look, and he walked over to the counter and acted like he was going to order something. He continued to stare at her, and I had moved in my chair so that I could continue to stare at him…

He started to squirm as if my gaze was burning a hole in him, but then he began to stroke his chin and shift from foot to foot.

Oh crap. I know this body language.

This is exactly what happens, I have been told (by several highly trained operators who have studied criminal behavior), just before a man attacks. Now I’m totally glued to him because I think he’s about to attack her right there in the cafe, but I glance quickly over to her and see that she’s packing up her belongings, immediately after which she comes over to me and asks me if I would walk with her to her car. I don’t carry a purse so all I had to pick up was my iPhone which was in my hand (I was actually texting Betsy about this incident as it was happening), I just dropped it in my pocket and got up behind her and followed her through Barnes & Noble to the main entry door. The entire time I was walking and continuing to watch behind and around us to see if he was following us. He wasn’t. This is what I teach my students, watch 360 as you’re walking.

We got out to the parking lot, he wasn’t following. Got to her car, he didn’t follow. She turned her back to me to begin opening her car door and I’m basically standing there, standing guard over this complete stranger, I’m facing the doors to B&N and the cafe and suddenly, out he comes. He comes out the Starbucks door, looks in our direction, and walks around the corner where my car was parked. Again, I thought he was leaving, but I kept watching and seconds later he came back around the corner and began walking towards us.

I must have told her he came out because she stopped what she was doing and stood up, now just behind me over my left shoulder. I watched as he walked between cars, trying to hide. I saw him, saw his head – just exactly as I tell students in BTB and the Defensive Awareness class, a man cannot hide between or behind cars, you will see his head sticking up if you’re watching. I saw him, and I saw him coming straight at us. She saw it too.

In BTB I teach students to start stopping someone at about 30 feet. I also teach students the perp may be on them very quickly. He was quickly closing that gap, so quickly that there wasn’t gonna be time for me to vocalize anything. I suddenly felt fear and panic in the young woman standing behind me, she saw him too and saw how quickly he was coming upon us. I was rather surprised that he had that much boldness after I had made it very clear in the cafe I was onto him. Any of you who have seen me demonstrate this in class know that I can put on quite an aggressive demeanor, so much so that I’ve seen it turn unsavory people coming toward me totally away without me saying a word. But now with him coming straight at us, though still trying to hide between cars, I was pretty sure I was gonna have to shoot him. I had watched him for 30 minutes in the cafe, NQRs and alarms going off like crazy, I knew without a doubt this man planned to do us harm…and he was very deliberately walking right at us.

Without taking my gaze off him, I said to the young woman, “Don’t be alarmed but I am armed and trained to deal with this.” Thinking back, I realize I said this because I didn’t know her, and I didn’t know what she might do in her panic, and I wanted to be sure that whatever that was, it wasn’t running in front of me.

I was already in my aggressive stance, which is the same as my gun stance, I was already moving my hand toward the grip of my M&P in its holster on my right hip, and right then he turned off…

And he went over to a car parked on the row directly across from her, two cars to the right of her car. At first I thought it was a ruse to try to throw me off, but he actually got in the car. Now I have changed my position because I moved with him so that I was always facing him (never, ever turn your back on a predator) and I saw him sitting in the car, door open as if he was ready to jump out of the car. He sat there for a few moments and he lit up a cigarette.

At this point I do what I tell my students to do – because, you see, I don’t teach what I don’t practice myself. I get my iPhone out of my left pocket with my left hand (right hand still available should I need to draw my gun, I step out at the side of her car just enough to clearly take a photo of him sitting in the car, yet keeping the hood of her car between me and him to provide myself a barrier. The volume was on on my phone and I’m sure he heard the shutter sound of the camera going off as I took another photo. He immediately shut the car door and started the car and drove straight through, turning away from us which gave me a full view of the back of his car as I took the final picture of his car tag. I watched him drive out of the parking lot, and then I looked at my new young friend who was quite pale. She was still standing there and she started asking me questions. Should we call the police? Should she leave? Can she leave or is he sitting out there somewhere waiting for her? Why did he pick her? “I can’t believe he would think of attacking me in broad daylight in a busy parking lot,” she said.

I talked to her for a few minutes, and I explained to her that everything about his behavior was absolutely textbook, exactly what I teach my students an attacker will do. He had tagged her, but no, I didn’t think he followed her there, nor did I think he was waiting for her. He was looking for an easy target, and she was an extremely easy target because she acted like she didn’t know he was there, and even as we went to her car once I had alerted her, she turned her back to me – had she walked out to her car like that, he would have been right behind her and would have shoved her into her car before she even knew what had happened.

But once she became aware of him, once she took me up on my offer to walk out with her, the tables were turned. Evidently he still thought he could get her – I think he thought I would just go away, but I was so onto him there was no way I was going anywhere until I knew that young woman could drive away safely. Had there been time, I would have called 911, but as it so often does, it all happened so quickly (seconds) and there just wasn’t time. After the fact he was gone so I didn't feel there was much point in calling them.

I told her my theory, which was that he woke up that morning and decided he was gonna find a woman to rape (and probably subsequently kill). I came to that conclusion because he was sitting there staring at her, photo of a scantily clad model in front of him, and then going back to the bathroom multiple times (what do you think he was doing in the bathroom?). He probably drove to B&N because the cafe is a place where college girls go to study and he figured he could find an easy target in a public place where he'd be relatively unnoticed (he blended in rather than stuck out). I surmised that he was sitting in his car in the parking lot and she pulled up and parked close to him…either that or he saw her, targeted her, and moved his car closer. And then he followed her in. She knew he was there, and she admitted when I asked her that she did in fact have a funny feeling (NQR) in her stomach, but she thought it was because he might try to steal her laptop. “No,” I told her, “he never once looked at your laptop, it was only you he was interested in.”

She was really freaked out still so I told her some of the things I teach in classes about how to be aware of her surroundings, and how to turn on aggression to ward someone off – she had seen this first hand when he only came so close to us and then turned off because from his view I probably looked like I was gonna tear his face off…and the moment I started taking pictures of him I heard her say, “Oh my gosh, I cannot believe that worked, he’s driving away.”

She wondered if he was just a panhandler who might try to rob her. I told her no, he wasn’t there to rob someone. He drove in his own car (didn’t walk or ride the bus) and he lit up a smoke (cigarettes are expensive) once in his car….he wasn’t there after money.

I told her how to watch for someone following her, and what to do if she thought she was being followed, but I was pretty sure he was gone. We'd been standing there for a few minutes after he drove off and I was thoroughly scanning the entire area as we talked (those of you who have ever carried on a conversation with me in a parking lot know what I’m talking about) and I never saw another hint of him. I told her I believed he was long gone, but just to be safe be sure to watch as she drove home. And I encouraged her to come to classes, especially the upcoming Defensive Awareness class – I told her she would probably be shocked to see similar scenarios to hers throughout that class. 

I’m not a LEO, I don’t go around trying to save people who might be in trouble…every time I go out in public I see women doing things that make her an easy target. I say a prayer and move on because I can’t save the world, I can only teach those who want to learn how to defend themselves. But this was an obvious appointment to save a young woman’s life.

I’ve warded off potential threats many times in my lifetime by using exactly what I teach in classes – it works. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so textbook play out before my eyes. The man picked a target, and he was going to attack her right there in the parking lot in broad daylight with cars driving by on May Avenue and all kinds of people just on the other side of the glass in Barnes & Noble. He chose that location because he could blend in...predators try to blend into their environment so they go unnoticed. He was probably in his 40s, if you saw him on a college campus he'd look quite out of place, but he was just another person in the Starbucks cafe (or at the mall or grocery store...). He was bold enough to take the chance that someone might see but probably wouldn’t do anything. He was wrong.

I’ve said this before and I’m gonna keep saying it. What will stop crime in the OKC metro is when the criminal says, “I wonder if this will be the woman who kills me if I attack her?” That man may not have formed those words in his tiny little brain, but he knew enough to go away. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. It works, but it only works if you first of all are trained enough to realize something is wrong and secondly are trained enough to do something to stop it. Almost always aggressive posturing stops the potential threat, just exactly as I did in the parking lot. But I was also prepared to shoot him if he escalated. I read his body language, and he read mine.

The defensive awareness mindset must go with you everywhere, and you must be prepared with a plan of action. Colonel Jeff Cooper developed a system of awareness based on colors, and Colonel John Boyd developed a system of action called O.O.D.A. LOOP. These two methods combined are a system of thinking that gives you an advantage against an attacker. This article by Sgt. John Marrs of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department in California explains how these two systems work, and how they can be used to first spot a potential threat and second deal with it.

Please, ladies, don’t leave your safety to chance. Learn this stuff, it’s really not hard, but it does not come naturally, especially to women. The Defensive Awareness class is all about spotting a potential threat while out & about, and using your surroundings to your advantage. If you’ve not yet taken the class, please sign up for it today!  Never let cost be an issue, I know these are hard times but we have financial aid at OPD and no one will ever be turned away who wants training (see the Helps tab for more info).

The young woman said twice, “I am so lucky you were here.” And both times I told her it was not luck, it was Divine intervention. I knew what she didn’t, that I had been prompted four specific times to go to B&N that afternoon.

I never did look at a single one of the books I had piled on my table…but that’s okay, I had more important work to do.


Below are some of the photos I took – click the photo for larger view as you can see greater detail. From left to right: the first photo shows him sitting in the car with the door open, second photo he has closed the door – the car windshield and hood in the bottom right is her car which I'm staying behind to provide myself a barrier. In the third photo he's driving away – notice how his car is heading straight for the sidewalk and front of B&N, he was so rattled and in such a hurry to get away he doesn't have control of his car at first. The final picture shows a clear view of his tag – this is why I tell my students if you think someone is a threat, they're hanging around your neighborhood or you, safely (from behind cover) take photos of their vehicle, it will help law enforcement identify the exact person, especially if you get a readable picture of their tag.

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Exercising Safely
August 2012

A second jogger attacked

Posted on: 5:02 pm, July 16, 2012
by Lance West KFOR

OKLAHOMA CITY – OSU engineering student Alyssa Avery is still recovering from a late-night ambush.

The 21 year old was attacked last week while jogging along the I-35 frontage Road between 15th St. and 2nd St. Her brother Nathan said, “Probably trying to rob her or something worse. We don’t know. Luckily she was able to get away. We’re thankful for that.”

But a 15-year-old Oklahoma City jogger was not so lucky. She was almost home when an unknown assailant grabbed her near N.W. 56th St. & Tulsa Ave.

Investigators said there are too many parallels to ignore.

Sgt. Gary Knight said, “That’s something fairly common on sexual assault cases. We check to see it any cases fit that M.O. to see if we’re dealing with something of a serial nature of one time event.”

In both cases, the young ladies were jogging, alone at night. Neither one saw the attacker because they were ambushed from behind. Alyssa Avery was able to break free by biting the assailant’s hand. But the 15year old victim was knocked unconscious. Knight said, “When she woke up, she believes she was sexually assaulted. Her clothes were different. It appears she had been sexually assaulted.”

Detectives are investigating two attacks within about a week of each other. Edmond and Oklahoma City police are working in tandem to find the person or persons responsible.
If you have any helpful information, contact Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300.
There were so many things in the news since the last newsletter that need to be addressed....situations that absolutely could have been prevented if the victim had a little training (if not a little common sense), attacks barely thwarted even in the face of the potential victim doing something utterly stupid, and unfortunately many that didn't survive. I had a hard time picking which incident to write about, but I decided to write about this one because I know many of us (myself included) exercise on a regular basis. So the question remains, how do you stay safe while doing so?

First of all, what happened to these two young ladies is called a blitz attack...this is a sudden surprise attack that comes from behind. I wrote about it extensively in a previous article here. Being tactically prepared includes being prepared for such an attack. I cover this in pretty much all of my classeslook around you, know what's around you, and that includes BEHIND you! Scan and keep scanning. I tell the class in Defensive Awareness as I'm going through the tactics section that before I walk out of any building, say a mall, I take a big 360 degree look, including behind me. If there's someone suspicious loitering behind me, I'm not going to choose that moment to exit the building, making myself more vulnerable to an attack. So how do you do this when you're jogging?

Well, it's pretty difficult because when you add the speed of running (versus walking) you're more at risk of falling down or running into something if you look around all the time.

But I'll tell you two things that increased the risk about 250 times for these two women: 1. wearing headphones and 2. being out alone at night.

I've had an iPod s
ince they first came out and being a music person anyway, I love listening to my iPod. I probably have as many CDs and records (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's like a big CD made of vinyl...boy I feel old!) as I do books, and that's a LOT! So when the MP3 player came along, I was in heaven because I could fill my iPod to the max (and I did) and have 5,000 songs from which to choose! I also like being outdoors, and on a cool fall evening there's nothing I enjoy more than taking my dogs for a walk around the neighborhood...and naturally I took along the ole iPod.

But I quickly felt uncomfortable about it because I realized that even though I was walking with three large dogs, I couldn't hear what was going on around me. Even if the dogs would warn me of an approaching threat, I couldn't hear cars. With some of the earbuds and headphones you can still hear a little outside noise, but I had the Apple inside the ear noise canceling earbuds and they block out everything externally. So I pulled one earbud out on the street side so I could at least hear cars approaching. But that still made me nervous, so after that I just left the iPod at home while I walked the dogs. It's too important to be able to hear as I teach in Defensive Awareness, this is one of the things you use as a tactical tool.

Next is the isolation and time of day. No woman should be walking or jogging alone at night after dark, and especially not in the locations those women were. The I-35 frontage road is extremely easy access as a passer by on the interstate could get off and right back on...had her attacker succeeded in getting her in his vehicle, she could have been in another state before anyone new she was missing. Don't do this ladies, ever. Having a jogging buddy helps, but it doesn't improve the risk much...bad guy may opt to take both women, or he may opt to grab one and leave the other. Regardless of how many of you there are, if someone isn't prepared to 1. spot a potential threat (as learned in Between the Threat and the Bang and Defensive Awareness), 2. stop a threat before it can become an attack (as learned in Between the Threat and the Bang), and 3. deal with a attack if it escalates (as learned in Between the Threat and the Bang, Everything Else, Airsoft) you're leaving to chance what will happen to you.

In the first article about the 20 year old, the news played up the fact that, "luckily she had just completed a self-defense course...she bit her attackers finger and shouted a lot and he let go." This sounds great, doesn't it? But then it goes on to say the young woman is in the hospital in critical condition with severe head trauma.

Yes, thank God she did get away. BUT is that good enough for you if that's you? What if it's your daughter? Or your wife? Is it good enough to get away with severe head trauma when you could have avoided it altogether?

I'm not blaming the victim for being attacked, I'm trying to stress to all of you reading (as I do in all of my classes) that you simply don't have to get attacked in the first place. Yes, there may come a time that you have to fight for your life and there was next to no prior warning...but that is extremely rare. Most attacks happen because the victim was not aware, prepared, nor trained. It's good she had a self-defense class. It would have been better if she had learned in that class NOT TO GO OUT AT NIGHT JOGGING ALONE LISTENING TO MUSIC!

A woman cannot overpower a man physically. This is why I do not teach martial arts with the exception of Krav Maga break away techniques. So don't count on getting in a close quarter hand to hand fight with a man and coming out of it okay. Reference the 20 year old with severe head trauma. Again, is it worth it?

So how do we solve this problem, because I'm sure there are many of you reading who like to exercise. Do you have to stop exercising? No, not at all, it's just another adjustment in your armed lifestyle you'll need to make. A part of my weekly routine is jogging, and I jog at night (usually sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight), and I'm usually listening to music...but I do it indoors, and not just indoors, but in the security of my own living room! No, my house isn't that big, LOL, but I do have a full size elliptical machine in my living room. So I can jog when I want to on my own schedule, and I'm inside my own secure perimeter...which has several layers of security, so I'm not concerned about being distracted because I'm concentrating on my workout and listening to music to get through it.

But what if you like to exercise outdoors? Well, I like to do that too...which is why I dragged my recumbent bike out on the back deck. I like to exercise, again at night (I'm a night person) on my bike, listening to my iPod, under the starlight. Grant it, I am outdoors, but again I've still got a few layers of security which is my mote (fenced yard with locked gates) filled with giant dogs rather than alligators, my back to the secured house (blitz side covered), a tactical flashlight and gun sitting on the table beside me.

Sure, the equipment is costs money, but it is well worth it to be able to do something you like to do in your life (exercise) but do it wisely and safely. And yes, you can go to the gym, if that's an option for you be sure to do that smartly as well (don't go late at night by yourself). For me being a night person, the gym didn't work so well, so the investment was worth it. I basically have a gym in my house, and over the years I've added an elliptical, recumbent bike, weight stack machine, Total Gym, and mini trampoline. All but the Total Gym (given to me by a friend) I got at Academy...they've got some decent pricing on good equipment, so check them out when you're planning a safe environment in which to exercise.

As for being "armed" my tool of choice is a firearm. When I do walk my dogs, I carry my M&P in a fanny pack holster. But if you don't have a gun, or are too young to own a handgun (as both those ladies were), Fox 5.3 pepper spray is a very potent non lethal weapon. Fox 5.3 two ounce cone fog is the only pepper spray I use and recommend (learn why in OPD's Pepper Spray class) the key chain sizes do not have enough volume to affect much of a result, and all other pepper sprays are a mixture of various chemicals, which makes them less potent. Fox 5.3 is 5.3 million Scoville Heat Units of pure food grade oleoresin capsicum (the heat of peppers), giving it the highest nozzle heat available to civilians. You can even purchase a jogger strap to carry it while running.

As with everything, your own safety is your own responsibility, and it requires pre-planning, constant thinking, and investing some money. All of this is worth it to save your life, and to keep from having traumatic injuries to your body and mind should you survive an attack.


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The Correct Response
July 2012

Four suspects arrested in chase, burglary

Posted on: 7:25 am, June 25, 2012
by Ali Meyer, KFOR

OKLAHOMA CITY — An early morning burglary ends in a police chase and four suspects behind bars. Those suspects, 23-year-old Daniel Foster, 22-year-old Kasey Wells, 17-year-old Courtney Emerson and 15-year-old Roy Parkerson, have been arrested.

Police say the home they broke in to was not empty. The homeowner was there, heard them and then called police.

Things at Gary Massad’s house are much cleaner now than they were early Monday morning. Although, if you look around you can still see the signs someone was there. Massad says, “The TV’s on the floor, the big screen TV. The remote was in the front yard.”

It was around 2:30 Monday morning Gary awoke to a noise. He saw a light coming in under his bedroom door. He says, “I asked who’s there and then I heard voices and the breakage of things.” When the noise stopped he came out to find his home ransacked. His front doors wide open. Massad says, “I stood in the door and saw a black, old truck that had a loud exhaust.” As he called 911 the truck took off. Within minutes police were not only at his house, but another group of officers had found the truck thanks to the description Gary gave.

The suspects refused to pull over and a pursuit began. It eventually ended at Northwest 19th and St Clair. The suspects ran, but K9s and Air One were able to track them down. Four suspects, two juveniles and two adults, were arrested.

As NewsChannel Four covered the story, Mike Childers got a call from police telling him to turn on his TV. Childers says, “She said it was pretty big. There were four involved. It (his truck) was involved in a burglary.” His truck had been stolen over the weekend.

Massad says, “They took all sorts of things. I’m trying to figure out what’s still missing.”
Back at Massad’s house the cleanup continues, and so does the investigation into how the suspects got in to this house.

Massad says, “Someone had a key because they looked at the door real close and said it wasn’t forced entry.” Gary says his house has been under construction recently. He says numerous people had access to the key during that time. His locks have now been changed.
As for the suspects, they are facing felony charges of first degree burglary along with several other charges.
Where do I start?

Well, it's not the beginning of the article, but it's the beginning of the situation. "Someone had a key...his house has been under construction and numerous people had access to the key during that time."

In Defensive Awareness, Everything Else, and speaking engagements (it's in my speaking handout) I specifically discuss guarding your keys. For example, if you take your car in for an oil change, don't leave your whole set of keys with the clerk any number of people will have their hands on your keys while you're shopping at Walmart waiting for your oil to be changed, your address is in the glove box on your registration and there's a key maker right there on the counter. Anyone with half a brain could simply just make a copy of your house key, write down your address, go to your house and help themselves. This happened last November when a man left his car running while he ran his child into daycare. Someone took the opportunity for a "free car" and not only that, they drove to his house and walked right in the front door using his key. Read about it in the 2011 Tactical Ponderings archives here. Guarding your keys should be one of your layers of protection, as well as guarding who has access to your home. Read Dara Doak's article on how to deal with service providers in your home to learn more about to to that.

So his first mistake was not guarding his keys and not guarding (being aware) of who had access to his home. Here's the thing, the more people who know what's in your home, the more likely it is you'll be burglarized. But, you say, I only talk about things to people I know. Well, who do they talk to? Who overhears you at the office talking about your new big screen TV? Who saw the boxes on the curb from your new stereo system? The only thing I talk about that's in my home are my five giant dogs (the biggest one is 95 pounds, the others average 75 pounds). They are the first things anyone coming into my house will see...the second things are the targets with the centers blown out hanging on outside doors and inside walls as an advertisement to whomever may come into my house what they have to look forward to.

Another thing I'd like to point out about this situation are the ages and genders of the perpetrators. Two girls and two boys. I use those terms purposely because two of them were juveniles. In Between the Threat and the Bang I tell students to understand that their attackers may be male or female, adult or child...and I do mean child. I spent two years doing volunteer work at a youth jail facility in my town, the kids I met averaged 15 years old and they were already hardened criminals (they were there for serious crimes like rape and murder). The youngest kid I met was seven years old. All you have to do is read recent news to find teens who have murdered people. So you cannot assume because someone is a "kid" they are not dangerous. Criminals are dangerous. They don't obey the law. They don't think rationally like most people do. Some will kill just to see what it feels like, others to avoid capture, and yet others because they're waiving a gun around with their finger on the trigger and it "goes off."

What's most disturbing to me about this story is that when the man woke up because he heard voices and saw a light coming under his bedroom door at 2:30 a.m. his response was to say, "Who's there?" and when he heard voices and things breaking, he simply waited it out. Then he went out of his bedroom, stood in the front door and looked out to see them driving away. THAT's when he called 911. Do you get it? He let them ransack his home, go through his belongings, when they were done and out the front door, driving away, then he called 911.

This could have easily been a murder had this been a group of criminals who wanted to see what it was like to kill somebody. They had plenty of opportunity, like while he slept before he knew they were there, while he waited it out, when he stood in the door. Don't think they won't kill someone because they didn't kill him, or that they won't do it again because they have been caught. As students learn in Defensive Awareness when I show photos of murderers and rapists, most of them are repeat offenders who go in and out of prison. They just keep doing what they're doing, and they escalate because there are no real consequences. So maybe they didn't kill that guy, but how about the next house they break into?

So what is the correct response if you hear voices outside your bedroom door at 2:30 a.m. and hear things breaking (an obvious sign it's not someone who's supposed to be there, ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE ALONE!). Many of you reading this who have taken OPD classes will know; for those of you yet to take the classes, I have recorded it here.

As in the recording, I do teach vocalizing should the need arise to shoot someone in self-defense, and there are a few very simple reasons for that. One, if you're out in public, are attacked and need to draw a handgun, barking the order, "STOP!" at the top of your lungs (as students learn in BTB) lets everyone within hearing distance know you told him to stop before you shot him. If you end up going to court (because you shot the poor guy who had a bad childhood so he had to attack you and his family sues you), and you tell the judge and jury that you feared for your life, witnesses can honestly testify that you told him to stop before you shot him. Secondly, I'm always telling students to keep breathing because in an attack you will have an adrenaline rush and if you're used to holding your breath, adrenaline will work against you (you could freeze or even pass out). Vocalizing assures you're breathing. This becomes very clear in the Airsoft class as students are asked to bark an order at their attacker before they draw and fire...they all have an adrenaline rush and they all comment that vocalizing helped them keep breathing and feel more empowered. Third, in the case of a home invasion what I teach in classes is to call 911, tell the dispatcher there's a home invasion in progress (don't say burglary as it's a low priority call whereas home invasion is a high priority call) and lay the phone down. The 911 call is being recorded and it will record what's occurring, including that you're telling someone to "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" This, again, will work in your favor in court, backing up the fact you feared for your life.

Let me make it very clear, I do not say, "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" because I think they might go away...if someone is in my house at 2:30 a.m. (or 4 p.m., or 10 a.m.), as my friend Betsy says, "they're bought and paid for." The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act TITLE 21 § 1289.25, better known as the "Make My Day" law, gives Oklahomans "the right to expect absolute safety within their own homes." If someone has made an illegal entry into your home, whether they used a key or not, I tell my students to go into action. There are several steps to this process (which are taught in the classes) but it should should involve a firearm. Betsy stated in her article that no one should be without a firearm, and told how her friend was frozen in terror when faced with a potential home invasion and she was unarmed; in last month's newsletter Dara wrote about a police helicopter circling above her house and the steps she took in the end of the article she said before getting firearms and training to use them, she faced a similar situation and was scared (look for Teaching Moments here); in this month's Teaching Moments (below) you'll read a similar story. To be sure, simply having a gun will make you feel better, but It isn't the gun itself that eliminates fear, it's the training! Knowing what to do when something terrifying happens, training so that you can think through the adrenaline rush, and having a tool with which you actually can defend yourself is the winning combination.

The man in the above article didn't mention being afraid, and chances are he wasn't afraid I see this over and over again when a woman's husband does something like throw the door open when someone knocks. It is because men are not prey while they are not all predators, they all have the mindset of a predator and therefore they generally do not feel fear. A woman on the other hand feels the fear, and it's not just fear, it's gut wrenching, frozen in place, terror. And what I've seen countless times with innumerable women is the training i.e. the true ability to actually protect themselves with their tool of choice replaces the fear with confidence. Will you still be afraid should you wake up at 2:30 a.m. and hear voices outside your bedroom door? I should say so, any sane person would be! But with the training and the tools, you will go into action and you can protect yourself and your loved ones (even if those loved ones are 4-legged!).

BTW, for those who didn't recognize the firearm in my above recording, it was the universal sound of a shotgun being pumped....and that is exactly why I like the pump shotgun, everyone knows that sound! The shotgun is my favorite home defense weapon because of its effectiveness and ease of use...and if you think, ladies, it's hard to use because of it's massive recoil, be sure and take OPD's Defensive Shotgun class the next time it comes around and you'll see just how easy it really is to use!

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Coming to the Aid of Another
June 2012

Police On The Lookout For Man Who Shot Up OKC Restaurant

Posted: June 06, 2012 6:26 PM CDT
By Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City police are asking for help tracking down a man who assaulted a woman inside a Denny's restaurant and then shot up the store after he was forced to leave. Police have released the surveillance video from inside the Denny's in Midwest City, hoping it will help identify the man they are looking for.

The video is a little grainy, but you can see the man and woman walking out. She then sits down, and he then lunges at her, knocks off her glasses, and pushes her down.

While she's struggling a worker and customer step in and pull him off of her. He fights back, but is finally forced to leave. Witnesses say he then went to his car, grabbed a gun and started shooting.

"Obviously there is a crowd of people sitting near the window at the side of the restaurant where he is actually shooting. They get up and run away very quickly. Fortunately, nobody was injured in this incident, but again this is a very dangerous man and we want to get him identified and get him taken off the streets," said Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow.

Police say they did question the woman in the video, but they say she would not give them the man's real name. If you recognize the man, call Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300.

One of my close friends told me about this shortly after it happened a friend of hers was there and she and her husband ran for their lives after the shooting began.

I have mentioned several times before in the newsletter that many violent crimes that happen in the metro are not reported until days, sometimes weeks, after the event. MSgt. Gary Knight addressed this in the October, 2011 newsletter.

This is one such incident. Though first reported to the public on June 6th, it actually happened on May 23rd as you can see in this report by KOCO. If you watch the video, the anchor starts by saying good Samaritans stepped in, but ended up putting everyone at risk. This is something I address in each conceal carry class in the legal section under the heading, "Coming to the aid of another." The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act (SDA) states that, "A citizen’s use of deadly force to protect another is strictly limited under Oklahoma law. You can only legally defend a spouse, parent, child, employer or employee." I simply use the term "loved one" to explain to students whom they may legally defend.

I often have women say they'd have a hard time not coming to the aid of a woman being beaten by a man...I always have this comment by a man in the mixed classes, as was the case in my mixed SDA class of May 19th. As I always do when the comment comes up, I explained that in domestic violence (DV) situations, there are two main factors. First, this is a pattern in which the woman being beaten has most likely been beaten for years, the police have been called out for years, and for years she has not pressed charges. So if you shoot and kill the man beating her, do you really think she's going to thank you? No, she's going to tell the police that you shot her poor husband/boyfriend and you're probably going to prison. In all the reports on the above incident, it is stated that the woman being beaten at Denny's is not cooperating and refuses to give law enforcement her boyfriend's real name. Case in point.

Secondly, a man who would beat a woman in public will not stop his violence with her, so if you attempt to stop him, he will turn his actions upon you. In the May 19th class the gentleman who made the comment said that he would probably just honk his horn, or yell at the man, and maintain a distance. I replied that the attacking man would very likely just turn in his direction and begin firing, thus putting his wife and family sitting in the car in the direct line of fire. You cannot outrun nor outdrive a bullet!

This is exactly what happened on May 23rd at Denny's. My friend told me her friend said the man slipped out of the grip of those who were trying to restrain him, went to his car, retrieved a gun, and began firing into the restaurant. Her friend told her that many customers and employees ran into the freezer to hide. My first thought was the Sirloin Stockade murders which happened in South OKC (74th & 240) in 1978 going into the freezer is the worst thing you can do! The best option, and what I constantly tell my students (I specifically cover this in Defensive Awareness) is go AWAY from the attack! If you're in a restaurant and the shooter comes in the front door (very likely), get up and go out the back door. Most restaurants have a back door off the kitchen, just get up, go through the kitchen, and out the back door. This is what my friend said her friends did. They were still terrified and had virtually no place to go, but at least they had gotten away from the gunfire...and they bought themselves enough time for police to arrive.

I have found that those of us who train will automatically go away from the raucous whereas those who don't train will go toward it. Going toward it will get you killed. You may think while you're sitting safely in your house that you wouldn't go toward danger, but in every SDA class when I get to the section, "Coming to the aid of another," I have intelligent, caring, thoughtful people (both men and women) who comment that they would in deed go toward the danger to help a woman being attacked. Do you see what I'm saying? Unless you train otherwise, going toward the danger is instinctive!

And again, that's why I've written the classes I have, the things I teach do not come naturally to any of us, but with training you can instinctively protect both yourself and your loved ones.

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The Cost of Being Unprepared
May 2012

Woman Sexually Assaulted In Parking Lot At Penn Square Mall

Posted: Apr 11, 2012 1:49 PM CDT
By LaShauna Sewell, News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY - A woman was attacked and groped by a man as she walked to her car at Penn Square Mall; now Oklahoma City police are hoping a sketch will lead them to the attacker.

The woman told police she noticed the man was following her when she left the mall on March 28. She said as she unlocked her car door, the man sprinted up behind her, put his hand up the back of her dress and groped her.

The woman said the man then ran off, laughing. She chased him for a short distance before giving up and contacting mall security.

Oklahoma City police have released a sketch of the groper. He's described as Hispanic, in his 40s, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing around 175 pounds. The woman said he had dark, leathery skin, brown eyes, short black hair and crooked teeth.

The man was wearing a gray T-shirt that had a picture of four men fishing on the back of it. Anyone with information about the case should call Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

There is no greater case for attending Between the Threat and the Bang than this. This type situation is exactly why I wrote the class three years ago, and everything in BTB is precisely what should be used in a situation such as this. In the Defensive Awareness class I teach how to watch out for dangerous areas and predators, but it's not until BTB that students actually start working through scenario drills and learning how to respond, first by spotting a potential threat LONG before it's close enough to grab you, then by taking the aggressive posture and issuing a "STOP!" command, and finally if the person doesn't stop, draw your gun (SAFELY), come on target and shoot your target. I've heard over the years from a few students who took BTB and told their husbands about this aggressive posturing (or practiced it in front of them) that their husbands think you should just go ahead and shoot and forget the aggressive "STOP!" command. There are several reasons I teach this aggressive "STOP" command, one is that nearly always this will make the potential threat go away, another is that should you need to use lethal force you've made it very clear to the bad guy and everyone within ear shot that you told him to stop and he didn't.

While the laws in Oklahoma are very supportive of self-defense, you're still going to have to prove you needed to use deadly force, and that's why you're making it clear you want whomever is approaching you to stop. I explain to students in BTB and SDA that if a drunk hobo scares you, but is otherwise harmless, you can't shoot him! It's a decision you have to make, and the process I teach in BTB teaches women this decision process. Still, I always tell the students that I never want anyone to hesitate should they need to use deadly force to protect themselves. I'm just trying to teach you respond to any situation within the laws of our land...it's as I frequently say about Christianity, it is not synonymous with stupidity - neither is self-defense. You still need to be smart about whatever you do!

Anyone who's taken Defensive Awareness and especially BTB will recognize what this woman did wrong. First, if she knew he was following her why did she go out to her car? Second, why on earth when she knew he was behind her did she unlock her car? And here's the question I posed to the last several Defensive Awareness classes, why would you just stand there and let somebody do something to you? Why are the only options to comply or get hurt? If it's property, sure, it's better to give them the property rather than get hurt, but if it's your person why would you allow that? And what good do useless things do? For example, what did this woman accomplish by running after him for awhile? And what would she have done if she caught him? Wouldn't her energy have been better spent stopping him BEFORE HE COULD ATTACK HER?

For the life of me I can't figure out why women go through life hoping nothing bad will happen, and then are surprised when it does. Sometimes they even know something is wrong, like this woman, but what good does that do if you haven't trained and have no clue how to respond to it? It didn't do her any good, did it?

And of course the man ran off laughing, why wouldn't he? There was no consequence for what he did, but he knew there wouldn't be because he followed this woman and he understood she was going to do nothing. That is, again, why I practice and teach what I do in Defensive Awareness and BTB - bad guy knows the body language, he will likewise know you're going to put up a fight, and he will pick an easier target.

My goal is for there to be no more "easier targets." It's really not that hard, but it does require some effort. Get the training!

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False Bravado
April 2012

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!

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Don't Leave Your Safety to Chance
March 2012

Another burglar killed breaking into home

Submitted by KFOR-TV, KFOR-TV
Thursday, March 1st, 2012, 5:40pm

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Police have identified an Oklahoma City man who was fatally shot Wednesday night by a woman who said he was trying to break into her house. Jose Hernandez, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene in the 600 block of SW 51st St. just after 10 p.m. Thursday.

James Arnette lives across the street and heard the gun shots. "So I run back outside and she's on the porch and she said 'I just shot somebody, James.' I said, 'What?' I said, 'Well call 9-1-1.' She said, 'I am, I am," he said.

Police say the homeowner who shot Hernandez was 66-year-old Dianne Stracener.

"She was very nervous," Arnette said. "I said, 'Are you OK?' And she was just shaking and trembling. I said, 'It's going to be OK.'"

Police say Stracener was investigating noises she heard around her home when she encountered Hernandez near her front door.

They say he made his way inside her house, became involved in a physical struggle with her and was shot by Stracener out of self-defense. His body was found on the front porch.

"Obviously if she felt threatened, if she felt that she had the risk of some type of bodily harm or even death, she did have the right to defend herself there on her property," OKC Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said.

Thursday morning, James says he found a bullet next to his garage that police told him came from across the street.

"If it would've happened to me, I would've done the same thing," Arnette said. "At that time, you want to do the best thing you can to stop something like that and that 'Make My Day' law, that's what it's all about."

The Make My Day law is why police did not arrest the Stracener. It protects the use of deadly force in self-defense situations.

At first glance this seems like a cut & dry woman shoots home invader. And let me preface this by saying that I am not in any way opposed to the fact that she shot and killed this man. I frequently hear the comment, "Crime is getting worse." My reply is always, "And it will continue to get worse until those being attacked start killing their attackers." This man will not attack this woman again, nor will he attack someone else.

But I can tell by reading the above article and by what I saw on the news that he gained entry to her home because she let him in! This wasn't the case of a knock at the door in the middle of the night – if I had a nickel for every time a woman has told me about her husband answering a knock at the door in the middle of the night....or a woman who threw the door open simply because the doorbell rang...well, I could buy a whole lotta ammo and a few more guns!

But that's not what happened here. She heard noises and she went to investigate. Now this is not an unusual thing to do, and in fact probably most of us have done this. And no, we shouldn't grab a gun and go all Rambo style clearing out our houses every time we hear a noise. But her huge mistake, that I heard in one of the interviews, is that she opened her door and went out onto the front porch investigating noises. That's when she encountered him and that's when he forced his way into her home. A struggle ensued. Now she's 66, he's 24, no doubt she was injured in this struggle physically and that's not even considering the mental trauma she'll have as a result. To her credit, she must have had a gun close enough by that she was able to get to it and shoot and kill him. Good for her.

But do you think it would have been better for her overall if she had not gotten into a physical fight with a man three times younger than she?

And this is exactly what I constantly talk about in classes. A woman does not have the physical strength to overpower a man, and this is why we must first of all be smart about defending ourselves, which means we spot a threat before it has a chance to become an attack. This is precisely what I teach, and what students work on through scenario drills, in BTB. It also means that we need a tool which enables us to overpower a man should that need arise. Thus the need for a firearm.

I teach students they need barriers of protection. When you're away from your home, your car is a barrier – this is why you should lock the doors the second you get into your car, to keep a potential attacker out. When you're at home, you have several layers of barriers. Cherise spoke to a metro community last Friday morning about how to stay safe at home and she talked about the outer perimeter – what I call my moat. She said she doesn't have any dragons in her moat, but that is her first outer perimeter. My moat has dogs in it. My "moat" is a fence all the way around my yard with locked gates. Can someone get into my yard? Sure, just hop over the fence. I saw it happen once by the meter reader shortly after I moved in. He hopped over my fence and immediately there were five dogs from 70 to 100 pounds at a dead run flying toward him. I had no idea a human could move that fast or jump that high! No one ever hopped in my yard again. Not all of my dogs would eat someone's face off if they came in my yard, but at least one of them will....if you come in my yard and you're not invited you'll have to guess which one.

The next barrier at home are the outer walls of your house. You lock your windows and your doors and you are inside that barrier. Can someone get in? Sure. They can kick the door in. They can break a window. But many times they don't need to go to that much trouble because people give them easy access by leaving their doors and windows unlocked, or opening the door when the doorbell rings or there's a knock, or one of the most common things I see – leave your garage door open while you're inside or in the back yard. Bad guy can not only assess what you have inside your garage that he wants, but he can come on in. He can wait for you if he wants to, or maybe he'll just kill you when you surprise him by walking in on him.

Your last barrier at home are inside rooms where you can barricade yourself. I discuss this in several classes, including Defensive Shotgun, Everything Else, and Defensive Awareness.

So it is very foolish to go outside your protective perimeter at vulnerable times, such as nighttime or if you hear a noise outside. Again, yes, someone can kick in your door, but if they do the correct response is to greet them with a firearm...preferably a 12 gauge shotgun, but really any defense caliber will do.

You should never go outside to investigate noises you hear. Bad guy may be counting on that and he may ambush you – this is why, gentlemen, going outside with a baseball bat in hand puts your wife's life in danger....if there's someone outside with a gun, knife, or brick and you're caught off guard, you just left your house wide open to this criminal. Stay inside your house, call 911 and let the police come and investigate the noises outside. And you focus on what's going on inside your house. If bad guy crosses into your perimeter, kill him. It's the only correct answer because otherwise he will just do it again and again, possibly even to you.

One more thing I want to note about this story is the fact that the neighbor across the street found a bullet next to his garage that police said came from across the street during the shooting. I stress over and over and over again in SDA and private lessons and all live fire classes that you must be accountable for every bullet that leaves your gun. If you miss, if you wildly shoot and bullets are flying, if your bullet goes through the attacker, that bullet is going somewhere. This is why training is so very important, because yes, you will be terrified and shaking in the middle of an attack but guess what, you still have to obey the Four Cardinal Rules because if you don't you can easily shoot yourself or an innocent bystander (like your child) and you still have to have enough skill that you can get your gun out of wherever it is, come on target, purposely shoot the bad guy, and put your gun away before the police arrive (for safety purposes, you do not want to greet law enforcement with gun in hand). This ability does not miraculously fall out of the sky into your head in the middle of an attack, it's there because you've practiced it so that muscle memory takes over and you do those things which you have practiced. If you haven't practiced, it's anybody's guess what you'll do. Do you really want to leave something this important to chance?

OPD has classes that take women level by level, advancing them in their skill to the point they can very efficiently protect themselves, so get the training!

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Ignorance in a Crisis
February 2012

Man shoots self chasing would-be intruder

Submitted by KFOR-TV, KFOR-TV
Friday, January 20th, 2012, 12:33pm

MOORE, Okla. -- Scary moments for a family in Moore overnight. On Wednesday night around 11p.m., a crook tried to force his way into their home. The homeowner opened fire but wound up hurting himself. The man shot himself in the foot chasing the would-be thief.

The victim says he simply wanted to protect himself and his family.

It all started with a bang at the back door, then another.

"He banged on the door again, even louder. I greeted him with a gun," Waylon Fosters said.

The suspect quickly took off through the backyard; Waylon ran after him.

"I was just chasing him trying to get him. I stumbled and my gun goes off," Foster said.

His foot still in a wrap, Waylon broke two bones shooting himself in the foot.

The suspect got away.

"I would've loved to have shot him for trying to break into my house," Foster said.

"It's not a good idea to chase someone away from your house," Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said.

Moore police say homeowners should never pursue criminals into the open.

"The best thing is to contact us. Get a good description and stay in your house. Protect your family and property," Lewis said.

"I'm not real happy with the way police are handling their job," Foster said.

Waylon says a series of crimes in his neighborhood have put his family on edge and police haven't cracked down.

That's why Waylon took the law into his own hands.

"I just want peace. I want to feel my home is safe," Foster said.

As his wounds heal, Waylon admits if he had to do the whole thing over, there would've been a different result.

"I regret opening the door. I wish I let him come in. I would've had reasonable cause," Foster said. "If he would've entered and I killed him, I wouldn't have felt bad.”

Unfortunately in this incident, the would-be crook got away.

Police don't have any information to give out on that suspect.

I just taught an SDA class two weeks ago, and in that class as in all SDA classes, I taught about two hours on the laws of the state of Oklahoma. I told students that the laws in this state are very supportive of self-defense, BUT every time someone breaks the law, or does something stupid, it jeopardizes all of our future potential to carry a gun. I also told them that just because a crisis occurs does not mean safety, or the law, goes out the window! I've said it over and over again in classes, articles, speaking engagements, every chance I get: if you don't train, you'll just flail wildly about...or worse yet, you'll shoot yourself or someone else whom you don't want to shoot. This story is a perfect example!

First of all this man did an incredibly stupid thing by opening his door. It really doesn't matter that he opened the door gun in hand, if bad guy had just shot as soon as the door opened he could have come in and had his way with the man's family. To all those husbands who open the door when there's a knock, did it ever occur to you that if the person knocking blows you away he's then free to come inside and ravage your wife? DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!!! I stress this over and over in my classes. Bark an order, just like I teach you in BTB, and no it doesn't come naturally. Half the time when I demonstrate barking an order the women in the class jump out of their seats. It doesn't come naturally to any of us, especially women, but the correct thing to do is bark an order, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" "GO AWAY!" "I CAN'T HELP YOU!" All said in a commanding voice, not timidly but with force and command...you're in control, not whomever is at the door.

If the person persists as in this case, ready your weapon and call 911. THIS IS THE SMART AND LAWFUL THING TO DO!! As I teach in SDA, which incidentally stands for Self Defense Act, we are neither trained nor commissioned to PURSUE bad guys, we only have the right to DEFEND ourselves! So his second incredibly stupid thing was that he ran out the door after this man. He indicates in the article that he would have felt bad if he had shot him while he was running away. Of course the media doesn't report, because they don't know, that had he pursued the guy and shot him HE would have been arrested, and he most likely would have gone to prison. And that's as it should be. That's one reason why the pharmacist went to prison, he ran out the door chasing bad guys and shooting while innocent bystanders dove for cover. If it had been your daughter or mother who was dodging bullets would you be signing a petition for his release from prison? I didn't think so. You see, it's of utmost importance to get all the facts, and that includes the facts about the law.

Finally, in the above he says, and I quote, "I stumbled and my gun goes off..." ARGH!!!!! That has got to be my number one pet peeve (besides people who drive slow in the passing lane on the interstate!). People, guns do NOT JUST GO OFF!! They go off because a finger is on the trigger. So yes, if you run around, as they do on TV, as most people do who have not had formal training in safety protocol, with your finger on the trigger, you WILL SHOOT YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE! Fact, guaranteed, over and out, period.

You know, it's really not that hard. I have told the story of waking up at 3:00 a.m. a fraction of a second before the dog alerted that something was wrong and hearing a man's voice outside my bedroom window. I got up, opened the compartment where I keep one of my M&Ps, picked up the M&P in my right hand and my Surefire flashlight in my left, and I walked down the hall. My finger was in register, my M&P was laying flat against my chest barrel down, my flashlight was in my left fist which was resting underneath my left cheekbone...by the time I got to the living room I realized the neighbor had come home, apparently drunk, and was very loud as he got out of his car (hopefully the passenger side) and since his driveway is on the same side of my house as my bedroom window, I heard him loud & clear. I walked back to my bedroom, my M&P flat on my chest, finger in register, flashlight tucked under my left cheek, I opened the compartment where my gun stays, placed the M&P back in its spot and laid the flashlight down beside it...and then I got back into bed and went back to sleep.

At no time did I throw my finger on the trigger, and at no time did I turn on any light! I know my house and that's my tactical advantage because I can walk through my house in the dark and know where I'm going. So I didn't turn on a light, though I was ready if I heard someone inside my house to first light them up with my Surefire and once I identified them (Cardinal Rule #4) to next light them up with the flash of my muzzle...and then MOVE, always MOVE!

But not one time did I bump the trigger or come anywhere near it, not once did I point my gun at any part of my own body, not once did I stumble, and for heaven's sake not ONCE did I SHOOT MYSELF!!!!

People, guns don't just go off, it takes a finger on the trigger. I tell my students that any time you break even one of the Four Cardinal Rules you risk an accident...break two or more and you WILL have an accident. In this situation this man broke all four rules. To say his gun went off, as if he didn't know why it went off, just shows his ignorance. To say the police aren't doing their job so he feels he has to do it for them is arrogance. The combination of ignorance and arrogance is deadly. At least this time he only shot himself, and not an innocent bystander....like one of you or someone you love.

Law enforcement really and truly does the best they can...but they cannot be everywhere at once and their job is to enforce the law, not prevent crime. I tell my students that what will really stop crime is not more laws, or more LEOs, or more prisons....it is when the bad guy says, "I wonder if this woman will be the one who shoots and kills me?" or "I wonder if I kick in this door if I'll be met with the blast of a shotgun?"

This story emphasizes what I work so hard to express to women what you practice is what you will do in a crisis...and if you don't practice safe handling so much that it's engrained in you so that in the middle of the night in the dark you can do what I describe above and never risk your own (or a loved one's) safety, you'll have no frame of reference no muscle memory and you will do something stupid like plant your finger on the trigger because you think it should be there because you're chasing a bad guy...and maybe you'll just shoot yourself in the foot and not shoot someone else...not even the bad guy. Notice in the entire rigmarole above the bad guy got away and has never been caught. What exactly did this guy accomplish besides shooting himself?

Perhaps the above story doesn't convince you that you need training because you think you'd never do something like that...so how about this one where a man was attacked, beaten and robbed in his home by two men and he shot at the car as it drove away. That sounds reasonable, right? Well, apparently the jury felt some aspect of it was reasonable as they convicted him of shooting with intent to kill rather than second-degree murder for the one year old he shot who was buckled into her car seat in the back seat of the car.

You see, criminals are stupid, they have no scruples, they're sociopaths, drug addicts, do you think they'll leave their child at home when they go to commit a home invasion so she's not hurt? Nope, they left her in the car, buckled into her car seat, and a 22 year old man after being beaten and robbed shot and killed her. Seven bullets struck the car when he fired upon it as they fled, and one of them killed her. He pleaded self-defense, but really, how good would you feel about claiming self-defense if you shot and killed a baby? What if that was your 22 year old son or daughter who shot an innocent child? Do you think you wouldn't shoot at a fleeing car or suspect after you were brutalized? It's the natural response UNLESS YOU'VE TRAINED! Unless you know the law! Unless you understand in your muscle memory that you are accountable for EVERY bullet that leaves your gun, and unless your muscle memory causes you to obey ALL FOUR cardinal rules even in a crisis, this is the expected result!

It's really quite absurd to take chances, to assume you'll automatically know what to do, when the solution to this potential problem is the training that's readily available to you. There's no excuse whatsoever to not get training, so just do it!

And then maybe one of these days we'll hear a story like the above that will say the woman barked an order for the home invader to GO AWAY! and when he ignored her and kicked in her door, she shot him center mass and he was DRT....and "no charges are expected to be filed against the homeowner..." because she LAWFULLY AND SMARTLY DEFENDED HERSELF!

Ladies, we are smart, we don't have to be pushed down to ignorance...the only reason for ignorance is lack of knowledge. So get the knowledge you need to truly defend yourself. And flush arrogance down the toilet where it belongs because talking big won't keep you safe. Those who seriously train and are well prepared need very few words...only a command just before the gun "goes off," which incidentally happens because you intentionally place your finger on the trigger after you've identified the threat!

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Defending Your Home
January 2012

Blanchard Mother Shoots, Kills Suspect In Home Invasion

Posted: Dec 31, 2011 2:38 PM CST
Updated: Jan 1, 2012 8:41 AM CST
BLANCHARD, Oklahoma --  One man is dead and second suspect is in custody following a home invasion near Blanchard Saturday afternoon.

Police say two men attempted to break into a woman's home at 2227 County Road 1280.  The woman was able to barricade the door with a couch, but the suspects gained entry.  One of the suspects was armed with a knife.

Police say the woman, a mother with a three-month-old baby, shot the knife-wielding suspect dead with a shotgun.  The second suspect fled and called his parents who turned him over to police.

Blanchard police have asked the OSBI to assist with the investigation, but say it appears the woman was trying to protect her baby and herself.

Police have not yet released the identities of the suspects or the woman.

Home invasions have become commonplace right here in our communities. Search of any of the OKC news sites and you'll find an alarming number of them this past year. And this is not a crime reserved for the ghettos or "bad part of town. There was this one in NW OKC: "'It was a really scary experience for the kids. They were crying,' said the homeowner." Really? It upset the children when two armed men kicked in their door? Or the seven Midwest City residents who were attacked (including a small child) in this one. "Fortunately they were not hospitalized and no one was injured very seriously." said the police chief. Just reading that, to me, is insulting. Of course they were seriously injured! They will never be the same! And on Christmas Eve an 88 year old Stillwell woman was murdered in her home by a 20 year old woman in a home invasion. (store here).

It is my observation that way too many women assume this won't happen to them, and yet you hear about it in the news with growing frequency. Naively thinking, "it won't happen to me" may give you a false sense of security, but it won't keep you from getting your front door kicked in, and being tortured and murdered by the scum who do it. And if you have children for whom you're responsible, well, you simply can't afford to not be prepared to protect them.

It's not just home invasions, the news is full of women getting attacked while out and about. It's so frustrating to me to read over and over again about another woman getting attacked, and how surprised she is, and every time she has left herself wide open for the attack. Over Christmas I watched a surveillance video of an attacker who stood at the end of the check out counter watching the woman he would soon attack. She stated in this article that she felt uneasy about him, and yet you see her walk right by him in the video, her two-year old walking beside her, and he actually holds the door as she's walking out and you can see him putting his hand in his pocket to get out the gun that he holds her up with.

I never understand why people are so surprised when they get the exact results their actions call for. When your action is to assume you won't get attacked, and to put yourself directly in harms way, it is no surprise that you're attacked. When you opt not get training and therefore prepare yourself to deal with an attack, you're assuming that something which is not natural to women will just come to you when you need it. And if you don't know how to spot, and stop, a threat before it ever becomes an attack, well the result is utterly predictable!

Let me be clear, no one deserves to be attacked. My point is, no one NEEDS to be attacked and it's so simple to keep yourself from being attacked...I teach exactly how in classes! The training is right here in your back yard, and yet so few women take advantage of it.

What stops scumbag criminals from attacking women is not more laws, or more law enforcement, they stop attacking when the people they attack kill them. The true deterrent is when bad guy, before attacking someone, stops to ponder, "I wonder if this woman is armed and prepared to kill me?" That, my friends, is a deterrent!

And so while I was in no way happy on New Year's Eve to read about another woman who had her door kicked in, I am extremely happy to see the end result of the above posted story. A woman finally fought back and she didn't shoot him in the foot, or hold him for police, she killed the man who came into her home with a knife, she protected her child without hesitation...she was prepared! This story on KFOR states the woman was only 18 years old. That's still a teenager ya'll! I don't know this young woman, but I can tell from her actions described in the articles that she kept a cool enough head to do what she needed to defend herself and the life of her child. She first tried to barricade herself by pushing a couch in front of the door. When the knife-wielding scum busted his way through, she shot him dead with a shotgun. A shotgun is the very best home defense weapon there is, a center mass shot (which she obviously delivered) means suspect is DRT! (see acronyms above).

Thank God somebody taught her to defend herself. Someone trained her how to use a shotgun. Someone trained her how to prepare herself mentally for an attack, and to defend her life with deadly force. She did not hesitate, else she and her baby would probably be dead. Yes, bad guys kill babies and attack children. This is all the more reason women in particular need to be prepared to defend themselves without hesitation.

This is one criminal that won't do it again to someone else. He won't do it again to her. She won't live in fear wondering if he'll come back with his gang buddies. And the one who got away and called mommy & daddy to come pick him up...well, all I can say about that is kudos to mom & dad for turning him in. Plenty of parents wouldn't have done that.

Students hear me say all the time that there's nothing like a shotgun for home defense, and women need not wonder if they can't handle one with the point shooting method I teach. Thank God this young woman had one and knew how to use it! I hope this story encourages some of you to sign up for the women's shotgun class in February.

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Could This Happen to You?

Click photo to watch video

This is from a parking lot security camera. When the video begins, notice the time in the top right – at 12:36 the car jacker begins his "work" and completes it in 13 seconds. He then lies in wait for 30 minutes for his victim.

Have you ever thought of this potential scenario? What would you do right now if it happened? The natural instinct is exactly what this woman did, she heard a noise behind her car and she got out to see what the noise was. Notice in the video when she walks up to her car she has a purse on her shoulder...which she leaves in the car when she exits it. Now her purse, house keys, and address are in the vehicle as this man drives away with it. He knows where she lives. He has a car to get there. He has her house keys to get in.

But what if she had a child in there as well? What if there is a child waiting at home and this man is on his way there?

This is why I ask students to consider ahead of time, "If this happened then I would ____________" (fill in the blank) so that when it happens is not the first time you've considered what to do about it. This type of thinking should not make you afraid but instead should empower you because after all, YOU are the one who is prepared!

On the video you see the car jacker running from behind the car parked next to her, he does it so quickly that he is within about three feet of her when they pass each other. His quickness suggests to me he was standing at the back of the car parked next to her, else he wouldn't have been able to move so quickly. He gets in her car, you see the brake lights as he puts it in drive, and she's still at the back as she moves around to look at the passenger side and she still doesn't know he's gotten in her car until the car starts moving.

Notice this man doesn't look particularly scary. This is probably intentional. If someone sees him tying cans to the back of a car he can just say he's playing a prank on his friend. He doesn't look scary, why would anyone question him?

My answer to the question "If this happened then I would" – If I heard a noise outside my car when I start driving the first thing I'm going to be is suspicious (because I am naturally suspicious due to many years of personal defense training and mindset) and my first instinct is going to be to look around FROM WITHIN MY LOCKED CAR. Since I am looking around I would see the man standing at the back of the car next to me and I would absolutely not open my door, I would assume he's done something to my car to distract me and I would pull away from the parking spot to a highly visible area, such as directly in front of an entry to a store with the driver's door facing the store entry (not facing the parking lot)...i.e. I would parallel park on the curb directly in front of the store. Only then would I get out of my car to see what the noise was.

Watch the timer in the top right, it only took him eight seconds from the time she stopped her car and opened the door until he drove away in her car. Still think you can wait to figure it out when it happens?

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