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.

2013 Index of Articles

For the Men Superman Pokes Bad Guy's Eye Out
Don't Endanger Your Children Mindset Change
Men, Don't Endanger Your Family Putting Your Family at Risk by Helping Another
Little Tiny Guns Never Let Your Guard Down
Car Jack by Blitz Attack Protecting Your Children
Yet Another Blitz Attack The Dangerous Gimmick of Stun Guns

2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010

For the Men
December 2013

Man robbed while helping change tire
By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Dec. 2, 2013
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is searching for two vehicles involved in a reported armed robbery north of Enid before 9:15 a.m. Monday.

One vehicle is a red compact car with a doughnut tire on the left rear wheel and damage or complete loss to its rear bumper. It is being driven by a white woman in her 40s, about 5 feet, 2 inches with blonde hair.

The second vehicle is described as a white Chevy flat-bed dually pickup with a winch or vehicle crane mounted to the rear edge of the bed. It is being driven by a white male in his 50s, about 6 feet, 3 inches, weighing about 200 pounds and with a bushy beard.

Sheriff Jerry Niles said a man stopped to change a tire on the red vehicle in about the 12,000 block of U.S. 81 when the white pickup pulled up from behind.

The driver of the white vehicle ordered the man into the bar ditch at gunpoint with a semi-automatic pistol and the man and woman ransacked his vehicle, Niles said. The man had to walk about a mile and a half before he reached a business so he could report the robbery.

Niles said both of the man’s cell phones were taken in the robbery. The two vehicles fled the scene, first to the south and then to the east, Niles said. “We’re following up on some leads,” the sheriff said.

This one's for the men who read the OPD newsletter...and for the women who have men in their life, this would be a good one to print and give him.

Sigh. Is nothing sacred? These days it's a breath of fresh air to find a chivalrous male. I for one appreciate a man holding open a door for me, a young man working behind a counter being polite (even though "thank you, ma'am" makes me feel old), and I have had a couple tires changed over the years by decent, chivalrous men. I'm sure it won't surprise anyone who knows me, but I can change a tire (and my brakes, oil, and this summer a starter, valve cover gasket, and engine coolant temperature sensor) all by myself. I'm very good about maintaining my car so a flat tire on the road is rare. The last time I had a flat tire on the road was several years ago. I was on my way to do music for a Sunday afternoon service and I had a blowout on State Highway 177 between Shawnee and Tecumseh. It was very hot outside, I was fairly dressed up, and my spare tire was under my guitar and other sound equipment in the trunk. I was really not looking forward to changing a tire, but I pulled safely off the road and got out to get down to business.

Very shortly after I got out of my car a pickup truck pulled in behind me. I could see in the cab a man and a woman, both dressed as though they'd been to church. The woman stayed in the car and the man got out and asked if I'd like some help. I assessed the entire situation from the time I saw the truck pulling off (how they acted, how they were dressed, the lack of any NQR or bad feeling, that it was daylight with lots of cars going by) and I responded, "Yes, thank you very much." He set about changing my tire, and his only words to me were that I should stand in the grass away from traffic when I stepped up to try and help. So I stood did, and I took that time to appreciate the fact that there was a decent man who had stopped to help a woman who clearly needed help. He finished changing my tire, I thanked him, and I made it to my music engagement on time.

Obviously the man in the above article was a chivalrous man. An article on KOCO calls him a "good Samaritan." In the video on KOCO, the reporter says at the end that law enforcement recommend men not stop to help a stranded motorist but they should instead call law enforcement. That is certainly the easiest option and remember if you're on an Oklahoma highway the best way to reach law enforcement is *55 as this will route you to the nearest OHP dispatch center. Many states will have an option like this, but if you're unsure just call 911.

But I'm going to give you another option. I always tell my female students they should not have to drastically change their lives, and certainly not their personalities, to be proactive about self-defense. So if you're a chivalrous man who, if you see a woman along the side of the road with a flat tire you truly want to stop and help, then keep being who you are. Don't change your personality, change your perception and most certainly your proactiveness.

One of the things I try to explain to my female students is that all women are prey, and while not all men are predators, all men are hard wired to be predators. This explains why men don't have the natural fear women have when out in the world. I work to train women to watch for things that are out of place (notice the man who keeps popping up everywhere you go in the mall) so that they can effectively spot a potential threat and have time to stop it (preferably by avoiding it) before it has a chance to become an attack. This is what lies between the threat and the bang. Unfortunately, most people approach self-defense from the point of attack. But why do that when you can avoid an attack all together? Most people men and women alike would rather not get in a physical fight with someone, or be held at gunpoint and robbed, and yet most people aren't proactive ahead of time so they can prevent an attack.

You see, up to the point an attack begins you are in complete control. And the objective once an attack begins is to quickly regain control. That's not my focus in this article, and it's too detailed to go into in an article (it is addressed in various OPD classes), so I'm not going to talk about that right now. But suffice it to say, you have a tremendous advantage any time you can spot a potential threat and avoid it before it can become an attack.

So how would you do that in such a case as the above? Well, it's going to involve layers of proactiveness on your part. I mentioned above that I assessed the entire situation as soon as I saw the truck pulling off when I had a flat tire. I didn't stop assessing after I decided I wasn't in danger the initial assessment was to determine whether I should quickly get in my car and lock the doors or whether I should allow the man to approach me. Once I decided to let him approach (based on the factors that I've already mentioned) I continued to assess by, 1. scanning my surroundings (Was the woman staying in the pickup truck? Was anyone else stopping?), 2. observing his behavior (Was he looking around or focused on changing the tire? Was he asking me questions?), 3. continually listening to my gut (watching for the NQR, the feeling that something is "not quite right"). The answers during my assessment were, 1. She was staying in the pickup, no one else was stopping. 2. He was simply focusing on changing the tire, not looking around, not making small talk. 3. I never had any gut feeling that anything was wrong. And remember I said I took the time I was waiting to appreciate his good deed? That doesn't mean I let my guard down, it means I shifted some of my thoughts and energy to an attitude of gratitude. If you're a person who exercises your brain (i.e. a thinking person) you can do two things at once, such as proactively scan your surroundings and be thankful!

Both men and women can use their instincts to detect trouble, and as I always tell students (and Gavin de Becker points out so well in The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift) you will always have a warning. It's important to note that the warning doesn't stop just because you've ignored it, you'll continue to receive warnings that something is not quite right. If you haven't read the two aforementioned books, I highly recommend them as he explains this in detail. The key to self-defense is listening to the first warning and responding accordingly. However, if you ignore the first warning, you still have a chance to pay attention to other warnings. For example, in my tire changing scenario if the man had started paying too much attention to me, or the woman done something suspicious like get out of the truck or slide over to the driver's side, and/or I started to get a funny feeling that something wasn't right, I could have easily gotten in my car and locked the door. Is that 100 percent protection? No, he could break the window, but it was very doubtful that would have occurred with so many cars driving by (this was a very visible location, not at all isolated). And of course I had other means of defending myself should he break the window.

Do you see what I'm saying here? I'm not telling you there's a cookie cutter answer and you should never, ever stop and help a woman again if that's something you feel led to do on occasion. I'm saying use layers of defense.

Start with your gut feeling. Men have it too, you're just not as sensitive to it as we women because you're not prey. For a woman that gut feeling often translates to fear she feels afraid and she's not sure why. For a man, you're not likely to have fear but you may very well have something in your head saying "something's not right here." Listen to that something, it's a warning. Never, ever blow it off. Women second guess themselves when they have that nagging feeling something's wrong. Men are more likely to just not notice it. This skill will become more and more sensitive as you practice using it, so practice often. You'll be amazed at what you notice in the world around you. Remember that even if you miss the first warning you may still have time to listen to others.

Continue assessing even after you've made the decision to lend a hand. Have you stopped to help some woman and you see a man stopping? Now that's way out of place. Why would a man stop to help when another man is already there?

Get yourself out of harm's way. I'll give you men permission just like I do my female students you don't know these people so if you run away no one will ever know! So don't be macho about it and think you shouldn't run away like a girl (when you tell your wife the story later you can make yourself out to be as macho as you'd like!).

Be prepared to draw your weapon. There are any number of techniques you can employ, but if you can't get something between you and the person stopping, or get back into your own vehicle, then you may need to draw your weapon. You can't legally draw it if there's no determined threat, but you also don't want to wait until someone puts a gun in your face to determine there's a threat.

Now, the perp in the above story didn't jump out of the pickup truck with a gun in his hand (they never do, there's always a point they draw their weapon). In the KOCO article the undersheriff says, “When he got through changing her tire, a second vehicle pulled up behind his vehicle and a male subject got out of that vehicle, came up and started visiting with him." You see, this victim had time to figure out something was wrong long before he had a gun in his face. Here's where common sense comes in. It's one thing to help out a woman who needs help, but why would you stand on the side of the road and "visit" with someone you don't even know?

Most importantly, stay in control of the situation. Men can deploy the aggressive "STOP!!" command I teach women when you spot a potential threat you bring your gun hand down to your grip while bringing up your non-gun hand in a stopping motion and bark the order loud & clear, "STOP!" This usually causes the person to stop and go away. Well, you say, this perp had a gun. Yeah, but he wasn't planning on his prey having a weapon now, was he? Most perps are cowards and when faced with real live bullets they tend to go away. That's why the aggressive "STOP!" command is so important, you need to communicate by your word, tone of voice, and body language that you know exactly what you're doing and you've got what it takes to carry it through. Notice I said "word" not "words" don't get in a shouting match, remember you're in control, and this is not a discussion, it's a command!

So men, I hope you will continue to be chivalrous when you feel led to do so...but I hope you will do so smartly. Think of yourself and your family first obviously if your wife is with you you don't want to put her in danger by stopping, but then if you're the husband of some of my students you're in luck cause she's a really great shot and she's had training on how to watch for a threat! She'll get out Victoria or Bob or Big Molly and take care of it for you! But even if your family isn't with you, if something happens to you it affects your family so you must think of yourself and your family first...even if that means leaving a woman you don't know on the side of the road. (Call law enforcement and let them handle it).

Never let your guard down, never stop thinking, and never disregard your NQR. Be prepared to take evasive action, and likewise be prepared to deploy your weapon should you find yourself in a position where you must stand your ground and defend yourself. Don't assume anything a pretty, petite blonde may be harmless but she may have an accomplice who's watching from somewhere nearby (as the above subject obviously was since he pulled up just as the job was finished).

We do live in Oklahoma and people are accustomed to helping one another...and that doesn't have to change. We just have to be smarter than the criminals...and that's not really too difficult because, well, they're actually pretty dumb!

Merry Christmas,


Back to Top

Mother Robbed In NW OKC Speaks Out
Posted: Oct 23, 2013 8:20 PM CDT
By Evan Anderson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - Two suspects accused of robbing a mother at gunpoint with her two small children are caught on tape. That mother shared the scary ordeal with News 9 as investigators ask for help identifying the bold criminals. Lerhonda Jessop stopped at Gordmans to pick up a gift for her father with her 1-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son Thursday evening. On her way out, she was approached by two men.

"My son is still having nightmares," said Jessop. "It messed with him pretty bad. Jessop's son was right behind her as she ran to try and get her cell phone back. "He was screaming at them to stop," said Jessop.

Her Galaxy 3S was snatched out of her hand as she walked out of Gordmans in broad daylight. It was about 4 p.m. on Thursday. Lerhonda says the two guys, captured on store surveillance cameras, had their eye on her and her children the entire time she was in the store.

"My kids and I were in the shoe aisle and I noticed two men walked on the left hand side of me, and they stopped and they were doing something," said Jessop. "And then they walked on the other side and they stopped."

As soon as she walks out the store, the thieves make their move, running on each side of her snatching the phone out of her hand. Lerhonda chased them to their car.

The men jumped inside a gold 4-door Chevy Impala, also caught on store surveillance cameras leaving the store parking lot. Lerhonda makes it around to the passenger's side of the car and continues to demand her phone be given back.

"He pulled a gun out and he cocked it. He pointed it, cocked it back and he told me to move or he would shoot," said Jessop. That's when Lerhonda backed away and called police. She was holding her 1-year-old daughter during the confrontation.

"With my kids, I don't know what I would have done if something would have happened," said Jessop.

I've addressed this very thing so many times in this column that I'm not going to spend much time on discussing that this was so utterly preventable it borders on the ridiculous. The victim herself admits to knowing she was being followed when she says, "My kids and I were in the shoe aisle and I noticed two men walked on the left hand side of me, and they stopped and they were doing something, and then they walked on the other side and they stopped." This is absolutely textbook. I frequently recommend The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker; I would also highly recommend the sequel Protecting the Gift (available in both print and Kindle on Amazon). In these books he brings out the fact that we always have a warning (often multiple warnings) but unfortunately most people ignore the warnings...and I constantly tell women, "DO NOT IGNORE THE WARNINGS!" That she walked out of the store with her phone in her hand, not paying attention, after realizing two men were suspiciously in her vicinity is absurd.

What I want to focus on in this article is how much this woman endangered her children by her actions. It's one thing to endanger yourself because you're not paying attention, you don't bother to get training, you don't take the steps to defend yourself....it's quite another thing to put the lives of your children at risk when you could so easily prevent it. Yes, another woman lucked out and her children weren't physically harmed. But you can see it right there in black & white, her son is still having nightmares. How do you think a three year old would react to having a gun pointed at him and his mother and sister? Of course he's having nightmares, this is a trauma which will probably affect him the rest of his life. Children are so much more impressionable to traumas because their minds are still forming, and therefore, an emotional trauma such as an attack can be just as harmful as a physical trauma.

To put yourself at risk when you've got your children with you is inexcusable. To chase down someone who stole your property (a phone) is stupid. To confront two men when your children are right there with you is incomprehensible.

"With my kids, I don't know what I would have done if something would have happened." Obviously she didn't know what to do BEFORE something happened, nor any clue how to prevent it from happening.

Another article states that she plans to get a gun and get her carry license. I was called by a reporter for an interview about this but I didn't call them back in time so they moved on to someone else to interview. That's probably for the better because I would have said that this woman should absolutely NOT get a gun, nor a license to carry, until she's had some awareness training and can comprehend what it means to not endanger her own children.

You may think that's blunt, downright rude, and (gasp) not politically correct. I have no interest in getting as many people as possible a gun and license to carry; nor do I blindly believe that just because you have a gun you'll be able to protect yourself. Do I want everyone who so chooses to have a gun and carry it? Absolutely. But a gun or pepper spray or a rock will do you no good at all IF YOU'VE GOT YOUR HEAD IN YOUR REAR WHILE OUT AND ABOUT!

Does what Cherise did when she took her daughter out to a movie sound complicated? Not at all. Self-defense is really easy, and that includes when you have your children with you. It does, however, require thinking, planning, and training. And you see, being prepared, trained, and using your brain does not equate to being worried, afraid, and powerless. To the contrary, it actually it means the total opposite. Just ask Cherise, Denise, and Missy Moo!


Back to Top

Protecting Your Children
October 2013

UPDATE: Homeless man suspected of attacking child in gas station bathroom
Posted: 12:13 pm, September 16, 2013
By Jesse Wells

OKLAHOMA CITY — An 8-year-old girl was attacked and strangled inside a convenience store in the metro. Oklahoma City police say the suspect tried to strangle the little girl inside a gas station bathroom near I-40 and Meridian.

Driving through Oklahoma City, a family stopped at a Circle K for gas. An 8-year-old girl goes inside to use the restroom, when a mostly naked man suddenly locks the door behind her.

“This male was not related to her and did not know her, but he was in the bathroom when she walked in. He got between her and the door and wrapped a brown coat around her neck and began choking her,” said Oklahoma City police MSgt. Gary Knight.

The victim’s family got a key and unlocked the door. The suspect, 40-year-old Christopher Gard, came out armed with a BB gun. Gard tried to flee the scene before being caught by witnesses and held down until police arrived.

“I mean no one could anticipate that when you go to the restroom. It’s pretty scary,” said Amber Goolsby. Amber doesn’t know the victim or the suspect, but does have a girl close to the same age as the victim. She says the crime makes her think twice about letting her daughter use public restrooms alone. “I have a 10-year-old girl and a boy I won’t let them go to the bathroom by themselves anymore. It’s very scary,” said Goolsby.

Some witnesses say Gard stayed in a small homeless camp set up right behind the store.
Police say during the attack the 40-year-old man had on nothing more than a pair of women’s panties. “He was described by officers on scene as wearing women’s underwear. That was all he had on. Obviously it was a very frightening thing for the little girl,” said Knight.

Gard faces a number of charges, including assault, kidnapping and indecent exposure.
He remains behind bars at the Oklahoma County jail.

The victim escaped without serious injury.

My first gut reaction, having never been a parent, is that eight years old is too young to send into a public bathroom alone (see Cherise's comments on this below). I’ve seen women bring boys who look to be all of seven or eight into the women’s restroom, open the stall door and let him in, and then stand outside the door. I never thought that was excessive but rather proactive. Boys and girls are equally at risk. Still, sending your child into a public restroom alone is going to be an adult decision you'll have to make based on your child, the location, and always, your NQR – as we stress in many OPD classes, always pay attention to your NQR because it is always telling you something you're not yet aware of. I frequently recommend The Gift of Fear by Gaven de Becker as he talks in detail about the NQR (not quite right). For parents I would also recommend Gavin de Becker's book Protecting the Gift. It is just as important to prepare and train your children as it is to prepare and train yourself. And let me tell you, they not only get it, but they're really good at it!

Now this does not mean you bring fear upon your children. I don't believe in fear tactics for adults or children. But with both adults and children, education can literally replace fear. That is, when you know what to do, you no longer have to be afraid. Once educated, you can use any fear you feel to your advantage as a warning system.

A woman in the above article says, "...no one could anticipate that when you go into a restroom." The fact is, you should always be anticipating such a possibility. That's not being paranoid, it's being prepared! In early 2011 a woman was attacked and raped in the public bathroom at the downtown OKC Renaissance Hotel. I wrote in detail about how it could have been prevented in the February 2011 Tactical Ponderings, and I specifically address the incident in the Defensive Awareness class.

So how could the above attack have been prevented? As with any situation: 1. do your best at all times to go places that are low risk, 2. always anticipate (watch for warning sings of danger, pay attention to your NQR), and 3. never permit yourself to be distracted (by texting, other people, or looking at things when shopping), especially when you've got children with you.

It sounds like this family was traveling through OKC, so they may have had no way of knowing a homeless camp was right behind this convenience store (I didn't know that and I'm very familiar with OKC). I prefer to go places I'm either familiar with, or that I can tell by looking at the surroundings it's in a fairly safe area. For example, I had lunch with a friend in Ft. Smith, Arkansas this week and afterwards I stopped for gas. It's been over a decade since I lived in Ft. Smith and the particular gas station I stopped at used to be in a safe area. So I pulled up to a pump but as I looked around I noticed the following: 1. there were steel bars on the windows and doors, 2. there were a lot of people loitering around the building, 3. there were more people than cars present, 4. there were also people walking from up the street to the building, and 5. it was a busy intersection where someone could easily make a get away or blend in after committing a crime. All of this, plus a slight NQR, made me pull back out and go to another gas station. The one I went to was in a completely different part of town, but absolutely none of the five factors I just mentioned existed.

Since you can't always count on knowing the area, you must count on your training, instincts, and above all, your NQR. The NQR never lies and is always present. I recently finished a book called Trooper Down!: Life and Death on the Highway Patrol about the North Carolina Highway Patrol from the perspective of the troopers and their families. Highway Patrol troopers are highly trained, and highly professional, and yet some of them are still bested by nearly mindless criminals. It was remarkable to me to see that in every situation mentioned in the book of a trooper being shot, there was some kind of NQR by the trooper himself, another trooper, and/or sometimes a family member. The beginning of the book talks about a trooper who stopped a vehicle and as he approached it, he "felt a sudden stab of fear" – seconds later the driver opened fire on him. Thankfully he survived. Another story tells of a trooper joking to his friend and fellow trooper as he went on duty, "Don't forget to wear your bullet proof vest." Sadly, he did forget and was shot and killed an hour later. Gavin de Becker calls these "survival signals" – they are warning signs something is about to happen, they give us a chance to take evasive action before it happens. This is anticipating potential danger.

I constantly tell women to pay attention to their NQR because you will always have a warning something is about to happen. In Protecting the Gift (Chapter Four, Survival Signals), Gavin de Becker says the following:

Think of violence as a process in which the early, subtle events are as telling as the dramatic events. A traffic signal does not turn red randomly; it is preceded by a yellow light, which is preceded by a green. Safety while driving requires that we know this sequence. Similarly, when predicting violence, there are pre-incident indicators. When we know the sequence, they can be as telling as the yellow light.

He talks in both books about telling signs that all predators and attackers exhibit, and he also talks about that gut feeling we all get that something is not quite right. In all my direct interviews with victims and reading about attacks, every victim had a warning, oftentimes more than one, which they ignored. Part of the skill of defending yourself is learning to pay attention to the warning signs. This is especially important when you don't see the attacker ahead of time, as in the above attack on the little girl.

According to KOCO's article, an adult stood outside the door when the girl went in, so distraction doesn't appear to be a factor here. However, especially if you are at a place you are unfamiliar with, you go into the restroom first and make sure no one is in it. This simple step would have prevented the entire attack.

The article also says the child screamed when the man inside the bathroom started choking her, and that gas station employees unlocked the door. In talking with Cherise about it I said, "If that were my kid and I heard a scream there's no way I would wait for a key, I would kick the door in and then God help the man inside trying to harm my child!" I always tell my students you will do what you've practiced so if you've practiced nothing, you will do nothing. The first picture that went through my mind was kicking in the door (and then shooting the SOB)...ladies, an action may not occur if you've not first thought it. That's why training is so important.

Don't leave anything to chance, train yourself and train your children in every way possible, make sure you and your children know what to do.


The business of when to send a child to the restroom in a public place alone is a complicated one, and it's made based on instinct alone, really. It involves so many questions, not just of the child's age, but of where you are and the general feel of the place, as well as who is around and who isn't. I send my six- and ten-year-old girls to the restroom alone together a lot, and am beginning to allow my nearly nine-year-old son to go to the restroom alone more often, but that's almost always in a smallish restaurant where I've been often and know where the restrooms are and whether there are any ways in and out of it that I can't monitor (i.e. is there are hallway that leads either outside or to the kitchen instead of just back out into the restroom?). At Walmart, all three of them are allowed to go into the restroom alone together while I'm in the check-out line. In a gas station, though? No. Too many people coming and going. My son is still dragged into the women's bathroom with the girls and me fairly frequently, and though he's a good-sized kid for his age, no one has expressed concern about it to me yet. I think the majority of moms get it. We worry about our daughters, but sending a boy into a men's room alone is far more concerning. On those occasions when he must go into a men's room for one reason or another, I'm not at all above asking him to check if anyone is in there first, and then upon verifying that no one else is there, standing at the open door waiting while he's back in the stall. So far, I've never had a man approach the door while I was standing there even in a multi-stall bathroom. While I'd like to think it's the "just try to come in here" look on my face, it's almost certain either that that's just been my luck, or that men aren't terribly interested in doing their business while an unknown woman stands watch.

As for the key? I'm with you. My kid is struggling in a bathroom with a stranger, I'm not waiting for a key.


Back to Top

Men, Don't Endanger Your Family
September 2013

Police: Suspect Threatens OKC Man With 'Finger Gun'
Posted: Aug 21, 2013 10:41 AM CDT
By LaShauna Sewell, News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City man says he wasn't fooled when a man positioned his hand in the shape of a gun and tried to threaten him with it. Around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 20, a man opened his garage door at his home northeast of NW Expressway and May Avenue so he could let his dog out and grab his newspaper. The man, who's in his late 60s, said as he walked back inside and opened the door from his garage to his kitchen, he turned around and saw a man standing right behind him.

Police said that man was 26-year-old Kirt Lloyd. The victim told police Lloyd was wearing a white T-shirt, and had his hand positioned in the shape of a gun under the shirt.

The victim said Lloyd demanded the keys to his pickup truck, but the victim refused because he could tell Lloyd didn't have a real gun. The victim said Lloyd hit him in the face with his fist but the victim retaliated, hitting Lloyd and knocking him to his knees.

The victim said he ran into the kitchen to grab a skillet so he could hit Lloyd again, and that's when the suspect grabbed the victim's keys from a key holder on the wall just inside the door. Police said Lloyd then ran to the truck, jumped inside and drove away.

The victim was not seriously hurt.

Police later found and arrested Lloyd for robbery, kidnapping, assault and battery, and receiving/concealing stolen property.

I frequently ask my students, "If a man hits your husband in the face, what happens?" "He hits back," they all reply. Then I ask, "Okay, if a man hits you in the face what happens?" Without fail, every woman who's ever answered replies, "I'll fall down."

This above story perfectly expresses what I'm trying to get across to women by that question – men have a natural instinct to hit back, AND they're stronger and tougher. The above "victim" knocked the attacker on his knees. His problem was, he didn't continue...he should have kept punching the guy until he was either unconscious, dead, or had run away. Yeah, I said dead. Why, you ask, if he just wanted to steal the guy's truck?

Well, we can assume the victim had a wife who was asleep in bed when this occurred. What if the attacker got the best of him? Knocked him unconscious, or injured him badly, or worse yet killed him? Don't you think someone who is that desperate to continue attacking someone to steal his truck would take the opportunity to check out an open house?

And here's the problem, there are those murderers who kill because they plan to kill. And then there are those who are opportunity murderers. They kill someone because they're surprised, because they don't want to leave a witness, or because the victim ticks them off.

So the real issue here is the victim endangered his sleeping wife by his actions. This is another thing I desperately try to get across to men regarding the women who live with them – don't endanger them by opening the door in the middle of the night, or anytime, to someone you don't know. For heaven's sake, don't throw open your entire garage door!

This victim, no doubt, had chutzpah, as he was going for a skillet to bonk the attacker on the head (I picture one of those big cast iron pans). His intentions were noble, but said intentions won't save your life! This is why it's so important to have a plan, to have a pattern, to have thought out and practiced what you would do if...

It's probably not a good idea to open your garage door at 4:30 in the morning. But if you're going to, you simply must be very aware of your surroundings. As I teach in BTB, you should spot a threat before it can become an attack. In Defensive Awareness I teach students how to use their surroundings to their benefit, such as barriers and blocks. In the Everything Else class I teach that you should never permit a stranger to get close enough to touch you. Most certainly don't permit a stranger to follow you into your "safe" zone of your house or car. These are all things many women, and far too often their husbands, take for granted. That's why it's so important to get the training!


Back to Top

Yet Another Blitz Attack
August 2013

Police Release Sketch Of Suspect In Rape Of OKC Mother
Posted: July 30, 2013 5:25 PM CDT
By Lisa Monahan, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - Police are searching for a man who raped a mother in her own front yard. The attack happened near Reno and Czech Hall in west Oklahoma City a couple of weeks ago. The suspect is still on the streets.The victim in this case got a good look at her attacker. Now Oklahoma City Police are releasing a sketch of the man they say raped a mother until her young son caught him in the act.

The attack happened in the Woodrun neighborhood near Reno and Czech Hall. "I thought my quiet little neighborhood has just gone to heck," Vicky Norris said. Norris said she was surprised to hear about the attack on one of her neighbors.

Oklahoma City Police warned the neighbors an Indian or Hispanic man matching a composite sketch raped a mother when she took out the trash on the evening of July 16.

The victim told police her attacker likely came out of a wooded area between her house and the neighbors. The suspect hit her in the back of the head, forced her to the ground, and raped her until the victim's son walked out holding a pellet gun. The child yelled "mom!" and the suspect ran away.

Neighbors are now looking for the suspect lurking around their home. They are also adding extra securities to their homes. Norris is keeping her doors locked and added more light around her house. "I put my big light in over here and I've got big watt light bulbs to brighten up my whole front yard cause I don't want anyone to be hiding behind something I can't see," Norris said.

Oklahoma City Police say if you have any information in this case, call crime stoppers at (405)-235-7300.

This is, once again, a classic blitz attack. I have written about it extensively over the years because it is a common tactic used by criminals. In this 2010 Tactical Ponderings article, I defined a blitz attack as follows...

Blitz Attack – a quick, sudden, violent, typically from behind (surprise) attack intended to throw the victim off guard and subdue her quickly. This kind of attack in particular no woman will be able to overcome or overpower the man carrying out the blitz. He is on her and she is subdued before she knows what hit her, and the attacker then does as he pleases. Therefore, you MUST see a blitz attack coming and prevent it BEFORE it happens, or go on the offensive before he can carry it through.

This is why is it absolutely crucial that you scan your surroundings 360 degrees whenever you are in a vulnerable area. "Vulnerable" is any place outside of a locked car, or locked house...in other words, any time you are outside in public, even if that's in your own front yard, you are vulnerable. This is why even when I'm in my own front yard mowing the lawn, I have a gun on my person.

In watching the video, the neighborhood and the house itself look very similar to mine. And in fact, I do on occasion take my trash out to the polycart at night. But there are tremendous differences in how I do so versus how the above woman did. First, I have an infrared camera over my front door through which I can see my front yard. So before I open my front door, I look at the camera monitor for anything out of place. Next, when I open my solid wood inside door my heavy glass storm door is locked. So if I've missed something, I still have time to see it before unlocking that door and stepping outside. Then I take a dog with me out the door, and I have a gun on my person. Even with these added securities, I scan left all the way to right and then 360 degrees the entire time I am outside.

As seen in the video for this story, my polycart is also on the side of my house. However, that side of my house is a dead end, which is to say it backs up to my locked gate on my fenced yard which contains the rest of my dogs (who didn't go out the front door with me) and the neighbor's house and fenced yard. In other words, if someone were to "hide" there they'd pretty much have to be perched on the polycart itself. Or be trapped in that dead end, which is a very bad place...in deed a "dead" end for someone who comes face to face with an armed and trained woman!

One dog in particular, JJ (who looks much scarier than he actually is), has always accompanied me out to the polycart and he always stands guard at the side of the house as I go around the corner to deposit trash in the cart. I have even trained my Golden Retrievers to notice and bark (and likewise not bark when I need stealth) at anything that's out of place. They may be the Will Rogers of dogs, but they're large with a big bark and they can be quite intimidating. Ladies, you can train yourself, your children, and even your dogs to know what to do if something is out of place.

It is, however, much more difficult to train your husband!

Coming back to my front door I follow the same routine of scanning constantly. My street has lots of street lights so I can see at a distance, and of course I always have a tactical flashlight in my hand so I'm throwing 200 lumens of light through my entire scans as well. It takes me probably two minutes total to get to the polycart and back inside my locked house. This is a key factor, don't linger during a vulnerable time, do what you need to do and get back into your secure area.

If there are areas around your home which are particularly vulnerable, you should change those areas. For example, if there are shrubs or other things blocking your view on your own property, you need to cut them back so you can see. If there are darkened areas, you need to light up those areas. In this situation it looks like there was an old building and heavy trees behind the houses that this woman had no control over. This is one of those extra vulnerable areas that she should have been wary of. If you have areas that you can't change such as this, create a barrier that's difficult and/or noisy to get through/around. For example, a strand of barbed wire either shin or face height would be a terrific way to slow down someone running from a wooded area to your house. You could also place a few rubber tubs half full of empty cans – someone running toward you in the dark is not going to see this but it will most certainly alert you someone's coming.

You may prefer not to ever take the trash out at night, and that's another way of providing additional security. My preference is that I choose not to drastically change my lifestyle in order to accommodate criminals – that doesn't mean I do risky things, or go scary places, it means that if I want to take my trash out after dark I will do so, but I will do so with the means and ability to defend myself should the need arise. However, if I had a situation as this woman does, I would not take my trash out at night because there are too many risk factors I can't control.

The biggest issue this woman had was awareness. She was aware enough of what happened to describe her attacker, and tell police she thought he came from the wooded area behind her house and where he went afterwards. But she was not aware nor prepared BEFORE the attack. I teach women in BTB to spot a potential threat before it can become an attack so that they have time to respond to save their life. Had this woman scanned her surroundings, she may have seen him in time to get back inside the house. Had she been trained and armed, she could have shot him before he attacked her...and this is the only way to deal with criminals because "getting them off the streets" (assuming they ever catch him) is useless. If you don't believe me, attend the next Defensive Awareness class.

Clearly, she was completely unprepared. She probably assumed her neighborhood was safe – in the videos/articles the neighbors express shock that their quiet neighborhood experienced such an incident. And yet, the prepared mindset is never surprised. Think about that. I tell women over and over again that they will do in a crisis exactly what they've practiced, so if you've practiced nothing you will do nothing. There is no mystery here.

On the video, the neighbor says she's put up lights and is adding security, and an alarm company truck can be seen in the background. These things are definitely part of your layers of defense, but if you are unaware of your surroundings (as unfortunately the woman was) it will do you no good if you walk right into a blitz attack.

You may be thinking, "How can you stop a blitz attack when it comes from behind?" That's why you scan your surroundings so carefully! I teach about this in Defensive Awareness and BTB, you cannot simply look ahead, or look to the left and right once, you have to constantly scan all the way around yourself and where you are. You cannot see everything at once, but as I teach in both of the aforementioned classes, you look for movement and what's out of place. Certainly a man running at you in the dark from the woods is movement and out of place.

Obviously these skills do not come naturally to women, or all women would automatically do it, and we wouldn't read about another attack like this.

I tell my students we need to be knowledgeable and capable to defend ourselves because worse things happen to women than death. Rape is one of those things. OSBI just released Oklahoma's crime stats for 2012 and rape increased 15% statewide (article).

Rape is not "normal" sex, rape is a violent act, and often women are permanently injured as a result. Then there's the potential of pregnancy, HIV or other diseases. Mentally, a great deal of counseling and hard work is required on the part of the victim to overcome a lifetime of fear. And yet I have known attack victims who have gone to counseling and worked very hard to overcome what happened to them, but years (even decades) after the attack they are still fearful. This woman is only 32 years old, and it seems I read somewhere her son is eight. Obviously if he came to the door with a pellet gun in his hand, he knew what was going on. How long had he watched? What did he see? In addition to her own issues, she will also have to deal with the mental anguish of his emotional difficulties from the incident. Worse yet, he is a child, still developing mentally. He will never get that scene out of his head. Neither will she.

Please don't misunderstand me and think I'm blaming the victim – no one ever deserves to be attacked, but ladies, I write these articles to try and convince you that you must prepare and train so that this does not happen to you!

One more thing I want to stress, according to the police report the woman said she tried to fight off her attacker but he was too strong. This is what OPD is all about, women specific self-defense that actually works for women (i.e. women can do it and bad guy is stopped). Martial arts isn't going to help you in a situation like this because we – women – will never be able to physically overpower a man. That's why we teach the use of various layers of tools. The Everything Else class works on weapons of opportunity, among other things, a tactical pen. Ask any OPD instructor or helper and most likely she's got one of these somewhere on her person (along with her gun). The best defense is always stopping a potential threat before it can become an attack. But if you're caught in a blitz attack and your gun side is pinned and you can get to your tactical pen (carry it on the opposite side in your hand for this reason), or if all you have is a tactical pen, and some scumbag is on top of you, jam that thing into his eye socket and I guarantee you he will stop what he's doing! If you don't have a pen, jam your thumbs into his eyeball – it worked for a Purcell man who was attacked last February (article). I know, it's gross, but wouldn't you rather have that image in your head than that of a scumbag raping you?

Finally, the neighbor says in the video, "And now I have to change my whole lifestyle." Ladies, don't wait until an attack happens to you, your neighbor, someone you know, before you change your lifestyle. And understand that "change" doesn't mean you have to stay locked up and never go anywhere or do anything! The whole point of OPD training is to give you the empowerment to live your life while at the same time having the ability to protect yourself. It's not a magic formula, nor one size fits all weapon, nor useless gimmick, it's practical training with a few tools that really work for women.

I realize I am preaching to the choir with so many of you who are reading this because you get it and have been taking the classes and learning, and many of you carry a gun and other weapons (Fox OC, tactical pen, etc.) every day. Keep training because it keeps your skills active, and besides there's always something more to learn even from a class you've already taken.

For those of you who haven't taken all the classes, make it a goal and a promise to yourself because our world isn't getting any safer. As I tell my students, crime will only decrease when the bad guy says to himself, "Will this be the woman who kills me today if I attack her?" Bad guy will say that when enough women do stand up for themselves and take them out.

Own your own empowerment ladies. You are worth it!


Back to Top

Putting Your Family at Risk by Helping Another
July 2013

Man opens fire on family when Good Samaritan tries to stop mugging
Posted on: 2:58 pm, June 27, 2013, by Ted Malave

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA A 2-year-old boy was shot outside a Kroger supermarket in Stone Mountain, Georgia Wednesday afternoon after his father intervened to stop a mugging and then fought with the robber. The child is in stable condition at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, according to DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander. The gunman is on the run.

Here’s what led up to the shooting, according to witnesses and Chief Alexander. At about 1:00 p.m., a man saw someone getting mugged in the parking lot of the Hairston Village Shopping Center at Memorial Drive and North Hairston Road in Houston. The man intervened and stopped the mugging, but the man and the mugger ended up fighting each other.

The mugger pulled out a gun and started shooting. He fired several rounds. He shot in the direction of the man’s car, which was parked next to the entrance. The man’s wife and 2-year-old son were in the car, and their son was shot at least once in the stomach.

Someone carried the boy into the Kroger and placed him on top of one of the check-out counters. A pharmacist gave first aid while the ambulance was on the way. The boy was taken to the hospital.

There is a section in the curriculum of the SDA (Oklahoma Carry) class that specifically addresses coming to the aid of another, and each time I come to that part of the class I stress to my students (as does the law) that they should only intervene when a loved one is being attacked. Yes, call 911. Yes, get out your iPhone and start videoing what's going on, but do NOT physically get involved. Particularly in the mixed classes there's usually a man who will say he would have a hard time not helping a woman who was being attacked. I have said over and over again that by him intervening he could put his own family at risk. The above story is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. You simply cannot control what an idiot with a gun does, such as wildly firing in the direction of your car with your family sitting inside. Be smart about self-defense, directly protect yourself and your loved ones and only indirectly come to the aid of another while staying at a safe distance.


Back to Top

Never Let Your Guard Down
July 2013

Machete Murder Suspect Jailed on Two Counts of Capital Murder
Posted on: 1:27 am, June 27, 2013, by Daniela Montgomery and Katie Kormann,

Two men are dead after being attacked by a man armed with a machete at a Fort Smith home, according to police. Police said Nathan Young, 32, and Brandon Prince, 39, were stabbed to death, near the intersection of North 16th and North D Street in Fort Smith, before 10 p.m. Wednesday (June 26). When Police arrived they said they found Prince’s body on the front porch and Young’s body in the grass on the west side of the home.

Police arrested Gregory Aaron Kinsey, 20, in connection to the murders.

An eyewitness said he was on the front porch of the duplex having a beer with the two victims when Kinsey was seen walking in the alley next to the home with grocery bags in his hands. According to court documents, Kinsey said he was walking back from the Dollar Store when he thought he saw a person who used to date his mother. While looking through a backyard, Kinsey said he was confronted by three people who wanted to know why he was there. Kinsey and the victims exchanged words and Kinsey pulled out a machete to warn them, the documents state. Kinsey told police he didn’t think the men would let him go so he started swinging the machete, striking two of them. The men backed away, but Kinsey told police he pursued them and hit one of them in the alley, according to court documents.

The eyewitness told police he struck Kinsey on the head with a wood board and Kinsey then fled from the scene.

Kinsey told police he had a “clear mind” and once the fight started “it was like he was watching a movie,” the affidavit for probable cause states.

Prince’s two children, 15, and 2, were inside the home at the time. A witness described the horror of seeing them scream for their father after the murders. The children were temporarily taken into DHS custody until their mother or another relative can be located.

The gruesome scene was described by police as something “out of a horror movie.”

Sgt. Daniel Grubbs with the Fort Smith Police Department said another witness said he knew Kinsey’s mother and eventually led officers to South 17th street where he was found in his mother’s garage-style apartment. Police say they also seized the machete believed to be used in the attack from that home. When asked what caused the altercation to escalate into such a brutal attack Grubbs said, “You can’t explain evil behavior like that.”

In the Defensive Awareness class I tell students to stereotype because it just might save their life. Go to the above link and look at the mug shot of the perpetrator. It's pretty obvious that there's something wrong with the guy. The three men who confronted him should have stereotyped him, thought to themselves, "He looks like someone who's not quite right," and at the very least been cautious of him when they confronted him. I always tell my students, do NOT let someone get within reaching of you. The third man (eye witness) who was visiting with two who were attacked and killed apparently was a part of the confrontation, but also apparently did not let the attacker get within reach. The article states he hit the attacker on the head with a board. This is why we work on drills with a wooden cane in the Everything Else class – a board (stick, shovel, cane) that can keep someone from reaching you can also be used against that someone. And if that's all you have, then you must use it – it's better than standing there and getting killed.

Another lesson in this horrifying story is three men versus one and two ended up dead. For the men reading this, do not assume you can outfight someone, even if there are more of you (if you've got friends with you) than the person you're confronting. And don't assume you'll see an attack coming. The two who were hacked to death were obviously caught completely off guard, I doubt they ever saw what was coming before the first blows landed. By that time it was too late. In the video you'll hear that one of the victims was found dead in the yard, the other on the porch – they were running away! This is another thing I tell students over and over again, NEVER turn your back on a predator. In the video you'll also see the Fort Smith Fire Department spraying blood off the outside of the house...a knife attack is very bloody, being hacked to death with a machete is downright gruesome. The worst part of this was one victim's two sons witnessed the attack.

Finally, whether you are a man or a woman, don't confront someone even on your own property (even if there are more than one of you) unless you are prepared and trained to fight...and if you do confront them, do it wisely! Don't be stupid and put yourself at risk. And men, remember, every time you throw open a door to your house because there's a knock and you think you're tough enough to handle whatever is out there, if someone perpetuates a blitz (surprise) attack on you as happened to the above two men and you get killed, your door is now wide open so that someone can walk right in your house and do whatever he wants to your wife and kids inside. Don't do it!

So do you confront a person on your property or not? This is one of those adult decisions I'm always talking about in class. We don't know the entire story, but we do know the children of one of the victims were inside the house. Perhaps he felt he had to confront the man to protect his children. Still, he would have been better off to go inside, lock the doors to keep his children safe, arm himself, and call 911. Law enforcement are armed and trained to deal with suspicious characters, and they have armed and trained backup!

If someone looking like that appeared on my property, the bead of a firearm would be trained upon him...I, like most women, would probably opt to do so from behind a barrier like my locked front door. In other words, if I were sitting on my porch and I saw that walking through my yard or toward me I would go inside my house and lock the door! But if I were caught outside I would most certainly want to have a firearm on me, especially if I couldn't get to the protection of my locked house.

I can see the skepticism on the faces of some women when I tell them in Girls Day Out that I keep a loaded pistol in my pocket when I'm in the front yard of my quiet neighborhood mowing my lawn. I also tell students that I am armed at all times and all places where it is legal. This is precisely why. You cannot predict what a crazy person will do...or as Sgt. Grubbs put it, “You can’t explain evil behavior like that.”


Back to Top

Car Jack by Blitz Attack
May 2013

One killed, another injured in carjacking turned murder
April 25, 2013, by Chellie Mills

UPDATE: Officials said 40-year-old Laura Stenner was killed in Thursday’s carjacking. Dannell Rivers, 34, is in good condition at the hospital.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Police have made an arrest after one woman was killed and another critically injured in an attack in southwest Oklahoma City Thursday. Oklahoma City police said the bloody attack started as a carjacking in a motel parking lot on the city’s southwest side.

Court records show the suspect in custody was just recently released from jail. Oklahoma City Police swarmed the motel near I-240 and Western around 6 a.m. “The two women had been staying there,” OKC Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said. “When they came out, they were confronted by a man who wanted their car. It’s unclear what led to the struggle next.”

When police arrived one woman was dead another was critically injured. Brothers Patrick and Justin Ford were leaving from the other side of the motel when they noticed blood all over their car. Patrick said, “We came out this morning and there was a bunch of stuff in the seats, car wouldn’t start because the ignition’s messed up.” Justin said, “It’s all over the doors and all over the dash and everything.”

Police would not discuss the connection between this car and the crime scene at the same motel. “We don’t know at this point,” Knight said. “It’s possible the person was trying to take another vehicle.”

As the scene unfolded, scanner traffic reported a man with blood on his hands found nearby. Police later identified the man as 20-year-old Jeffrey Tate and he was arrested Thursday afternoon.

Court records show Tate has a lengthy criminal history including charges for larceny of a vehicle and possession of drugs. Tate is being held on counts of first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

This is exactly what I describe in the Defensive Awareness class, a career criminal (at 20) who just got out of jail again came upon two women not paying attention to their surroundings, and having no clue what to do, told them he wanted their car and they said no so he attacked them with a knife. One died from the attack, the other is expected to live.

Here is a still from the video of their car...it has the paper dealer tag, and is obviously a brand new high dollar car.

This should have been the first awareness clue – a brand new car is a target for a carjacker! Does this mean you shouldn't get a brand new Nissan Z Coupe? Certainly not! But if you're going to spend over $30,000 on a car, you most certainly should be on heightened awareness when getting into/out of that car in a public place....you should be anyway, but what I'm saying is driving an expensive new car (like wearing expensive jewelry) makes you all the more a target so you should be all the more aware.

These women were obviously caught by surprise from behind. This is what's called a blitz attack, and I wrote about it in detail in the August 2010 Tactical Ponderings article Learning From Cold Case Files, Part II. This is a proven tactic that criminals use – that's why it is SO important to watch 360 when out in public, especially at vulnerable times such as getting in your car. How do I know it was a blitz attack? Because the car door is open and the woman's belongings are all over the ground beside the car. From this picture I can tell that she had her back to the outside and was facing the car. In Defensive Awareness and BTB I teach students that you must avoid turning your back to the outside when getting in your car. An attacker never "comes out of nowhere" and those ladies would have been able to spot the potential threat before it became an attack had they any awareness and training.

The fact the women were taken by surprise is strikingly evident in the belongings strewn about just outside of the car.

In the below closeup you can see the contents of one woman's purse – since the tennis shoe is tied I would speculate that it was knocked off of her in the violence of the attack (most people don't take their shoes off without untying them, so this shoe was on her foot). You can see blood on the tennis shoe and makeup bag, and all over the pavement – not just in a pool beside the shoe but splattered both above and below the belongings. Ladies, a knife attack is violent and bloody. Most attackers who use a knife end up getting cut themselves, which is how they found this guy – they followed the blood trail to a nearby apartment where they found the man with blood all over his hands. What a horrendous way to die, by being sliced and slashed with a knife. The woman who survived will never be the same – ever. There are worse things that happen to women than death. That is why it is SO important to stop a threat before it can become an attack, which is what we focus on in BTB.

I constantly tell women to never let a man (or any person unknown to you) get close enough to lay hands on you. When someone is that close, they can do you harm. In this situation, a 20 year old man murdered a 40 year old woman and seriously injured a 34 year old woman with a knife. That cannot happen if you do not allow a person unknown to you to get within reach. This is another reason why stun guns are a dangerous gimmick – in order to use one, you have to hold it against your attacker (a stun gun would have been useless in this situation). Women do not have upper body strength, so no matter your age or fitness level you will never overpower a man in a hand-to-hand fight. A large percentage of you reading this are in your 30s and 40s and I doubt you consider yourself feeble and helpless....but you would be in a blitz attack by a 20 year old man with a knife. It is absolutely crucial to spot a potential threat before he can get close enough to lay hands on you.

Early reports on this story stated that the hotel had very good surveillance videos and the entire attack was recorded (that's the other way they caught the perpetrator). As I say in Defensive Awareness, all that does is record the woman being murdered. My entire purpose and goal with OPD classes is that instead of recording a murder, a surveillance system like that would record a woman defending herself by sending a scumbag to eternity!

To sum up what happened in this very sad story: two women with a high dollar new car stayed in a nice hotel in what looked like a good area so when they came out to their car at 6:00 a.m. it didn't occur to them to watch their surroundings...they allowed a man to get close enough to them put his hands on them, he demanded their car, they said no, so he started slashing, murdering one woman and leaving the other damaged for life. It's sad that one woman lost her life in such a horrific manner, and another woman was injured beyond repair mentally...but what's most sad is that it didn't have to happen. Training is what saves your lives ladies because you know what to do.

Lessons to be learned:

I teach these things in Defensive Awareness class and BTB so if you haven't taken those classes, I urge you to take them to get some training in this area.

Keep your head up and do 360 scans at all times. If you see someone approaching, aggressively use what women learn in BTB. 1. you spot the threat at no less than 30 feet, 2. bark the order, "STOP!" and 3. if they don't stop, safely and properly draw your weapon. The most effective weapon is a gun, but if you don't have a gun you should at the very least have a can of Fox pepper spray in your hand – I do not carry nor recommend any other brand because it's the only one available to civilians with enough potency and volume to actually work. Hosing a bad guy down with Fox pepper spray will most certainly stop him, he will be too incapacitated to lay his hands on you in any way! In the Everything Else class women do drills beating the lifelike mannequin, SD, with a cane...there's a whole lot you can do with a hardwood stick (I get them at Atwood's in the equine section), including knock a knife out of someone's hand, beat them in the head, yank their leg out from under them (yes, it's possible, see page 2 of SD's story). So if you can't carry a gun, you can carry Fox and a hardwood cane almost everywhere. It's always best to carry a gun whenever possible.

These women were staying at a nice hotel in what looked to be a good area. However, the area surrounding the hotel is a know crime area (nearby apartments). Therefore, it's very important when you're traveling to plan ahead, know where you're staying and check out the area. You can do this by calling or Emailing the police department that covers the area where the hotel is. I did this when traveling to south Texas for training...the trainer, a man, had sent a list of hotels to stay in and recommended a particular one. I looked up the PD for the town, Emailed the chief and a couple others who had Email addresses, said I was a woman traveling alone, and asked which of these hotels would he feel comfortable for his wife to stay at? And I specifically asked about the hotel the trainer had mentioned as being a great price and clean. The chief responded (he's the only one who did, so that's why it's good to Email more than one person) and said, "Do not stay at that hotel." And he recommended a brand new La Quinta (not even on the trainer's list) and explained that his department regularly patrolled that hotel all night long because it's big and therefore he considered it the safest. I took his advice and that particular hotel was quite secure just as he said (I've stayed there now several times). As for the one the trainer recommended – when I drove by it I thought it reminded me of the Bates Motel (right down to the ice machine out front)!

I also called the Tulsa PD non-emergency number (they all have one) one time and got a female dispatcher – I told her I was meeting some people from Kansas to pick up a dog and I named three parks and asked her which one she personally felt safest at. She had a very definitive answer, and said the park she chose was very busy with lots of families and would be very safe. She was exactly correct.

These are things you can do to find out about an area you'll be in because if you don't live there, you don't know the crime in a given location. I keep up with crime news so I know the 240 & Western area (where the women stayed) is a high crime area, but I bet those women didn't know that because obviously they were traveling. Also remember that hotels will, of course, make their property attractive, and this particular hotel is on a side street off the 240 eastbound access road that looks quite nice. So you can't always tell by how the hotel looks what might be in the surrounding neighborhood....unless of course it's the BATES Motel!!! (I can't believe that trainer recommended that place!)  

For those of you who have an iPhone (it may also be available on Android), I highly recommend the 5-0 Radio Pro app There is a "light" version that's free if you want to try it out first, but the full pro version is only $2.99 and is well worth the cost. It's a police scanner feed for your iPhone. I frequently listen to the PD scanner in my town to hear what's going on around me. There are several OKC metro police, fire and emergency scanner feeds on the pro version. A whole lot of what happens never makes the news, and when it does the crime is days and even weeks old. Listening to your area police scanner will keep you informed of what's going on right then – often when I hear sirens I will turn on the scanner to see what's going on...I've heard everything from dead bodies being found to attacks being reported to major car pile ups – all as it's happening! (it's both interesting and informative). When traveling across the country a few years ago, I listened to the state police and local city PD scanners in the states and cities I was traveling through – this kept me informed of potential problem areas I wanted to avoid.

Finally, always remember that God does not give us a spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7) and very literally part of that power and sound mind is preparation – just exactly as I say at the end of Defensive Awareness. Get prepared through classes, and always remember your preparation – keep your tools at the ready every time you leave your house, constantly scan 360 and choose the tool you may need for the occasion. Awareness is your first level of security and you should spot a potential threat at 20-30 feet and begin to stop it. If the potential threat doesn't stop, deploy a weapon. If you have a firearm and the situation calls for lethal defense, draw your weapon and come on target (training is essential to be able to do this safely and properly, students learn this in BTB). If you can't or don't carry a gun, Fox is a good first layer tool because you can deploy at 10-15 feet. A hardwood cane is good second layer tool as you can keep someone from laying their hands on you and beat them. A tactical pen/penlight is a third layer tool, what I call a "breakaway" weapon to get someone off you. A tactical flashlight enables you to see clearly in any low light areas and in the dark temporarily blind an attacker. See my article Non-Gun Defense for details on non-gun layers of weapons, and The Myth of Wasp Spray to learn why Fox is the best pepper spray available on the market – both articles are at the top of the More page of the OPD website.

Yes, I carry a gun everywhere it is legal, and I have several layers of weapons on me all the time. Ladies, none of us go scary places, but sometimes the places we go turn scary...and you never know when an attack may occur, so you must always be prepared to deal with one.



Back to Top

The Dangerous Gimmick of Stun Guns
April 2013

Two suspects use stun gun to rob multiple victims overnight
Posted on: 5:29 pm, March 21, 2013
by Jesse Wells

OKLAHOMA CITY – Two people are arrested following a string of robberies in the metro. The suspects used a taser to attack an unsuspecting victim. The series of crimes took place in less than an hour Wednesday night.

One victim said the attack has left her in pain even the day after. “When I was trying to open my car, she followed me and attacked me,” the victim said.

The victim didn’t want to be identified but said she can’t forget the feeling of being stunned with the taser from behind in the parking lot of Quail Springs Mall. “Just a very strong shock, you know when you have electricity, and I just fell down,” the victim said.

Just minutes before at a Sonic on N. May Ave., police said two suspects, Derrick and Khayla Wadlington, tried to ambush another victim. The string of robberies ended at a Sonic on N. Western Ave. “They were obviously on quite a crime spree pulling robbery after robbery after robbery,” Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.

Police said at the Sonic on Western, the pair forced the carhop into their car, shocking her nearly 10 times in the head and torso. “The female was armed with a stun gun or taser and used it numerous times on the victim, eventually taking the cash she had on her,” Knight said.
The carhop at the Sonic on May Ave. escaped without being tased but the victim at the mall did have her purse snatched.

Luckily, Oklahoma City police spotted the suspects car and arrested the pair outside a home near Penn. Ave. and N.W. 159th St. “All my body is painful today,” the victim said. “I’m very glad the police found them and took them to the jail.”

The suspects were booked into jail on numerous counts of robbery and assault. They’re being held on $200,000 bond each.

I tell my students when they ask about using a stun gun for self-defense that they are a dangerous gimmick. Bad guys aren't very smart, but they do have self-preservation instinct. You see, to use a stun gun you have to hold it against the person you're shocking. A stun gun isn't a taser – the latter shoots out two barbs which must make good contact into the skin so that the person receives a good shock. If only one barb makes contact, it doesn't work. These are one time devices, meaning you cannot use them over and over again within minutes as the above attackers did. I've asked a few LEO friends and as far as we know, tasers are not legal for civilians to own – LEOs receive special training to use them, such as how to make the barbs stick even through clothing.

Women do not have the same upper body strength as men, so a woman who thinks she will defend herself with a stun gun will more likely have that stun gun taken away from her and used on her. As you read in the above article, this is an extremely painful experience.

This is why I label stun guns as a dangerous gimmick – those who sell them claim they make great self-defense tools for a woman but they don't tell the woman she will have to have the physical strength to hold it against the bad guy long enough to actually shock him. If you think this through, ladies, you'll realize this is not a good option for self-defense. We don't do a lot of close quarter drills in OPD because our focus is on stopping the bad guy at a distance, but when we do all women are extremely uncomfortable getting close enough to make physical contact with the mock attacker.

I constantly tell women to NEVER let someone get close enough to put their hands on you. To accomplish this, you must be very aware of your surroundings at all times. This is not looking under your car, this is a 360 view at all times out in public. Self-defense is a multi-layered function, and first of all you must be able to spot a potential threat (you have to know what IS a potential threat to do that)....this is what I teach in the Defensive Awareness class. Secondly, you must know what to do when you spot a potential threat (go away or the aggressive STOP! command students learn in BTB). And last but not least, you must be able to do something about it (actually stop the threat by safely drawing your gun as students practice in BTB) should the first two layers fail. These things do not come naturally to any human, especially women! That's why OPD exists, because no one ever has to be attacked...because 98% of all threats can be stopped before they can become an attack...because if an attack should occur, EVERY woman can defend herself!

Women are different in how we process thought and in our physical strength. That's why self-defense mindset and tools must be workable for WOMEN!

A stun gun would have been useless as a self-defense tool in the above situation. Had the women who were attacked used steps 1 and 2 in the above paragraph they could have avoided it all together. Had they been trained and armed – as so many of you reading this are – with a handgun, the two bad guys wouldn't have made it through. And that would be their problem for bringing a stun gun to a gun fight.


Back to Top

Superman Pokes Bad Guy's Eye Out
March 2013

Superman fan fights off car wash caper
Posted on: 4:46 pm, February 27, 2013
by Lance West

PURCELL, Okla. – One look around Chris Hensley’s Nissan Frontier and it’s clear he is fascinated with Superman. The stickers, seat covers and floor mats are a dead giveaway. “I’m just a big comic book fan,” he said. “I have Superman everything.”

Little did Chris know, he’d need his own “super powers” to fend off a mysterious mugger at a self-serve car wash in Purcell. Hensley said. “It went so fast I didn’t have time to get scared.”

It was around 6:30 p.m. when a stranger approached Chris, asking for money. When Chris said “no” the man pulled out a six-inch knife and went after Hensley. Chris fought back.

“I put him against the wall in the bay, poked his eye out and broke his throat, that’s it, he dropped,” Chris said.

The knife-wielding robber got up and ran away. Police said, based on all the blood they found here at the car wash, he is in desperate need of medical attention.

Purcell police said they are checking for the injured suspect the local hospital and minor emergency clinics but haven’t found him yet.

Chris’s reaction may have saved his life but he takes no pleasure in injuring the bad guy.
“I don’t feel like a hero, I feel sorry for the guy; he’s pretty hurt,” he said.

Purcell police describe the suspect as a black male, about 6 feet tall with short hair. He’ll likely turn up at a hospital for treatment of his injured left eye.

Folks I have to tell you I am still laughing about this one...the way this man casually says, "I put him against the wall in the bay, poked his eye out and broke his throat, that's it, he dropped." is just funny. (be sure to watch the video)

And let me tell you, that's the way to stop an attack. It's a pretty horrifying thing to have your eye poked out because it doesn't just fall out, it dangles (I've read reports and seen photos). That's why it's such an effective self-defense move, who's gonna keep attacking you with his eye hanging out on his cheek? I always wondered the person could still see, big bad attacker dude running away with his eye hanging down, watching the ground as it goes by...

And you know, it doesn't take much to pop an eye out...I once heard a hand-to-hand combat instructor say, "When you poke something else in there, there's no room for the eye, so poke your thumb right in the eye socket." I know it sounds gross, and I myself prefer a nice clean shoot from 20 feet away, but if you're caught off guard without a weapon in your hand, use what you've got...God blessed us with opposable thumbs for more than one reason!

Hey, it worked for Superman!

Thursday night in the Defensive Awareness class, I told students about a pregnant woman arriving for work at Arby's who was confronted by a man with a knife as she got out of her car. He tried to force her back into her car but she took the knife away from him and ran into the store. He ran after her and tried to open the door to the restaurant.  She describes it this way,

"We were playing tug-of-war with the door and he was pulling and I was pulling and I realized that I had the knife still in my hands and he was still hollering, 'Give me your purse, give me your purse,' and as I was trying to hold the door with one hand and he kept sticking his arm out and I was cutting him with that knife," she said.

So he left and went to a nearby Family Dollar store where he robbed another person.  Police found him collapsed from loss of blood outside the Walgreen.

Another news article I shared with the Defensive Awareness class was when a would be robber armed with a handgun burst into the Asian Buffet in Norman...he demanded money and the young woman at the cash register said, "No." And then she called out to her friends.

The original surveillance video shows several (I counted at least seven) folks coming out of the kitchen – one locks the front door so he can't escape, a few others hold him down, a couple more pull out their own shoelaces and hog-tie him...in the end three of them carry him out the front door, upside down and hog-tied! You can see a portion of the video from the KOCO report here – notice how he's begging them to let him go. In the end you'll see them carry him out, and at the very end you'll hear, "Get on the ground!" That's the Norman PD who had arrived on scene and were utterly amazed to see four Asian 20 somethings carry a hog-tied man out and lay him at their feet.

You see, just because someone pulls a knife or a gun on you doesn't mean it's over. DO something! Poke his eye out (put your trigger finger to good use)! Ball up your fist and punch him as hard as you can in the Adam's apple – it doesn't take much to crush the windpipe (Superman did this when he "broke his throat"). Take the knife away from him and cut him up with it (how embarrassing for the bad guy). And if you've got a group of friends around, ya'll all gang up on Mr. Big Scary Dude and see how tough he is with a bunch of women balled up on his face.

I'm not telling you to do something dangerous, but then you're already in danger if Scumbag is trying to attack you! I'm telling you to be unpredictable and do SOMETHING to save your life! I'm telling you to not just stand there and let him do whatever he's gonna do. Most criminals are bullies, and when you stand up to a bully he starts crying and runs away (especially when you poke his eye out)!


Back to Top

Little Tiny Guns
February 2013

Norman Police investigate home invasion
Posted on: 7:29 am, January 30, 2013, by Sara Celi

NORMAN, Okla. – Woodsboro Drive in Norman is your average street where joggers don’t hesitate to get out an exercise. But the past few days, runners and their neighbors have hit the pavement with questions in their heads about what happened at 3315 Woodsboro Drive on Friday night. “Well, of course, it’s a surprise because almost nothing really happens here,” said Jerrod Sahlasteen, a jogger in the area.

Police say a man approached the house, knocked, and told the person inside he had car problems. When the homeowner came outside to help, two other men showed up and forced the victim back into the house.

“At that point the shooting ensues and our victim was hit multiple times by what we believe is a small caliber handgun,” said Captain Easley with the Norman police department. Police are treating the case as a home invasion robbery. While authorities search for suspects, they are issuing a warning.

“If someone knocks on your door at ten o clock at night and you are not expecting anyone, you better talk to them through the door, until you are satisfied that they are who they say they are,” said Easley.

If you haven't already taken the Defensive Awareness class, PLEASE sign up for the upcoming class...you will learn that the above is 100% preventable, it NEVER has to happen! Quite frankly, I'm getting sick of hearing over and over again how some homeowner answers a knock at their door and ends up getting shot or otherwise brutalized.

But that's not what I want to focus on here, I want to focus on the little teeny tiny guns that women are told are great guns for self-defense. Let me just express it in plain & simple language: The teeny tiny guns are expert guns and even the experts don't like them!

Teeny guns for women are another gimmick, designed to cause you to buy one because it's just so cute. And until you take Girls Day Out, you may think you could only carry a teeny little gun. Not so!

Even before they take Girls Day Out, most women figure out on their own that these guns are extremely difficult to operate. In the last two GDO classes, after racking the slide on my full size M&P, I heard several women say, "Now why couldn't I do that with my gun?" Knowing the women who made the comment had one of the teeny tiny little .380s I said, "because the tiny guns are too small to get a proper grasp of the slide, and the spring is extremely tight because it is so tiny." It is amazing how having a properly sized gun one that actually fits your hand makes these things doable!

And then there's the most unpleasant pain of the teeny tiny guns as the full punch of the recoil slams you in the hand. Men will tell you this doesn't hurt, but we're women, our hands are softer, yes it does hurt! Any woman who has fired one can relate to what I'm saying.

As I explain in GDO, .380 is a marginal self-defense caliber. You need to be closer to your attacker and place your shots precisely for it to have a stopping power effect. The above article doesn't say what the caliber was, only that it was a "small caliber handgun," but the video (click the link to watch) says though the homeowner was shot multiple times he's expected to be okay.

Okay? Well, this is no surprise to me because I've read countless stories of attackers being shot with a .380 or below and it having little effect. I even watched a surveillance video of a legally armed citizen shoot an assailant multiple times with a .380 and the bad guy ran out the door. If your purpose of shooting said bad guy is to make him go away, then a .380 may do the job...and hopefully he will be too scared to come back and try to take revenge on you for shooting him...because "getting him off the streets" is actually only temporary (come to Defensive Awareness to learn why).

For those of you who think you only need five little bullets in a teeny tiny gun, just how comfortable are you with THREE people bursting in your house, hell-bent on murdering you and your family? You better be an expert marksman and have nerves of steel to put a single shot in the heart or brain of each individual. That still may not be enough...a few years ago I spoke with a fire department medic, he told me of several cases he'd been called to over the years where a person had been shot in the head with a small caliber and it had little to no effect. In one case a woman had been shot in the temple with a .32 caliber, the bullet lodged in her head (didn't even have enough force to go all the way through the softest part of the skull) and left her very much alive but permanently blind.

Like I said, expert guns.

These little teeny guns originated as backup guns. In fact, the brand name of my little .380 is AMT Backup. Now their proper use is a pocket pistol. I know several men who carry them in a holster (looks like a wallet) in their pocket as a backup gun. When I carry mine, I carry it as a backup in a holster in my pocket. This is the proper function of a teeny tiny little gun in today's world, a backup gun, not a main carry gun.

Ladies, don't let yourself be stereotyped, don't let a salesman or your husband put a teeny tiny gun in your hands that's going to be extremely difficult to operate and probably won't be enough to stop an attacker. If you don't know what I'm talking about take Girls Day Out as the class specifically addresses this issue...and you, like so many I saw recently (and over the last several years) will find yourself saying, "now why couldn't I do that with MY gun?"


PS: The appropriate response from behind your locked & closed door at ten o'clock at night is, "GET AWAY FROM MY DOOR!!!" [ch-ch] [<-----shotgun racking]

Back to Top

Mindset Change
January 2013

Date: 12/28/2012
Subject: Homicide #99 of 2012
Incident #12-108344
Deceased:  Hall, Michael Todd  (W/M, DOB: 1/18/72) of Oklahoma City  
Involved Party:  Trueblood, Timothy  (W/M, DOB: 9/4/58) of Oklahoma City
On 12/27/12 at 6:55 p.m., police were summoned to 1625 N. Fordson Dr. regarding a shooting. Officers arrived and learned that Mr. Hall and Mr. Trueblood are brothers, and that Mr. Trueblood had shot Mr. Hall.
The investigation revealed that shortly before police were called, Mr. Hall showed up at his mother’s residence on Fordson Dr. Mr. Hall was armed with a knife and confronted his mother in the garage, demanding money. Mr. Hall’s mother refused his request and retreated into the house. Mr. Hall forced his way into the home and attacked his mother. During the attack, Mr. Hall was shot by his brother, Mr. Trueblood, in defense of their mother. Mr. Hall later died at a local hospital. Mr. Trueblood was released after being interviewed.
MSgt. Gary Knight

It's probably very difficult for most to imagine this scenario...a man attacks his mother with a knife, another man – his brother – shoots and kills him to save their mother's life. This is one of those situations where many people might say, "well surely something else could have been done!" And this is because you cannot imagine the horror of such a situation. It's the same thing that causes people to say after a loved one has been murdered, "I don't know why he killed her, she was so nice."

It is true that people can put themselves in danger by not being aware, by not being prepared, by not having a tool with which they can defend themselves...that's why OPD exists, to train people – especially women – to protect their lives and the lives of their children. But the fact is, no one deserves to be attacked, brutalized, murdered.

But it's not the mindset of the victim that is the problem...except when it comes to being aware, prepared, and having a tool with which to defend themselves. If you simply leave it to chance that A. you won't ever be attacked or B. if you are attacked you'll automatically know what to do or C. that you as a woman will somehow magically be able to overpower a man with your physical strength...then yes, mindset is the problem. To borrow a quote from Betsy Randolph (which she uses regarding drunk driving), "this is 100% preventable." The training is available through OPD so yes, that mindset is 100% preventable.

But to think because someone is nice, or an upstanding member of their community, or a mother of two young children, or "wouldn't hurt a fly" will prevent that someone from being murdered is ridiculous – it's the criminal that's attacking them, it's their mindset that is the problem and they don't care how nice you are!

In this article it says that, "According to court records, Hall had a violent criminal history that included multiple assault and battery convictions, strangulation and drug charges." It goes on to say:

David Swope, L.P.C, said, “The holidays can be a really difficult time,”. Swope says when dealing with family members who quickly become aggressive, compliance may be the safest option. He said, “It’s best to think about personal family safety and to be compliant then talk reasonably and calmly to them. Call the police afterwards if you need to but you don’t want to upset that person any more than they are already upset.”
Listen, as difficult as that whole situation was (a mother having to endure being attacked by her son, a brother having to kill his own brother), this man had a history of violence, and that history included drugs! This is not a person you reason with. You do not calmly talk this kind of person out of an attack, especially if they're out of their mind on drugs! Why else would a man attack his own mother?

For just a moment, turn on your common sense...

Do you think you can reason with a man who would threaten his own mother with a knife? And then when she didn't give him what he wanted, force his way into her home and attack her? Really? Comply and talk reasonably and calmly to such a person?

Let me spell it out...N-O! You don't reason and talk calmly to that kind of person, and compliance will get you killed! And if you wait for the police to arrive, you'll be long dead before they can get there. The brother did what he had to do, he did the right thing, he defended his own life and that of his mother.

In the legal portion of the SDA class there's a whole section on when you may legally come to the aid of another with lethal force. This clearly was a legal defense of another.

In today's world you must be prepared. You must have the right tools and know how to use them. You must never turn off common sense...what the licensed practical counselor says above is ridiculous, not to mention bad advice! It is vitally important that you know the laws of your state so you don't fall prey to media hype and bad advice.


Back to Top

© 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without prior written permission.