Safeguarding your family is proactive. This is something you will create before there is an incident or tragedy. Meet with all the members of your “tribe”. A “tribe” for the blog is defined as the people living in your home. If you have roommates or multi-generations, they are members of your tribe. You will want to discuss your plan of action if you suspect there is an intruder in your home.
Create a safe room in your home. In most homes, the master bedroom is your safe room. This does not require metal doors and bars on the windows. Typically it is the furthest from the front door, has a bathroom and a large closet. Charge your cell phones in your bedroom (and those belonging to underage members as well). If you don’t sleep in something you are comfortable wearing on the sidewalk, you may want to keep a pair of yoga pants and tee shirt handy.
Establish a phrase that lets everyone know that there is threat. We would say, “The barn is on fire”. We did not have a barn and the word “fire” instills the need to move. You should practice this with your tribe. Once the phrase is said, everyone should go the safe room. With everyone in the safe room, shut the door and shove flip-flops or thin sandals under the door, filling the space between the door and the floor. This will make it very difficult to open the door. Slide furniture in front of the door, like a dresser or bed. You are wanting to make it as difficult as possible for the “threat” to breach the door. Don’t stand behind the door, move away from that space. Bullets will travel through the door. Call 911.
In the safe room, you must have a way to defend yourself and others. This can vary based on your personal preference and skill set. Anything can become a weapon, if necessary. I would suggest a bat, fire extinguisher, sword or firearm.
As soon as possible, have a duplicate key to your front door. Go to the dollar store and purchase a package of glow in the dark bracelets. If you are in your safe room, activate the glow stick and add the duplicate key. Open your window and throw it on the lawn. While on the phone with 911, advise the dispatcher that there is a key to the front door on the lawn attached to a glow stick. This will allow the police to get into your house faster and neutralize the threat to you and your family.
You have the right to protect your possessions but I say protect your family. Everything else is just things that can be replaced. Create a safe room and teach your family how to be safe.
As we move through our day, often with our children with us. We must be vigil in teaching them the following lifesaving skills. We live in a changing world and we must adapt in order to protect our children.
These are very simple and can be established in a few minutes. It will create lifelong habits that will safeguard them as children and their children when they are adults. I suggest you have a family meeting and discuss the following:
Check out my website for additional articles and videos on situation awareness and strategies on being safe in public, at home and in the workplace.
1) Put away your cell phone while shopping. Use an old fashioned pen and paper. Not only are you distracted but you hold in your hand a "magic box" worth hundreds of Benjamins!
2) Make sure you zip your purse completely shut before leaving your vehicle. If you carry a wallet, carry it in your front pocket.
3) Your car Fob is not your Friend..parking in crowded parking lots and leaving your vehicle for long periods of time, you can be at risk for theft. Thieves can capture the signal from your Fob to your vehicle and "shop" in your vehicle while you are shopping. Manually lock your car doors.
People often ask me to suggest the best "self-defense" item for them. This is a tough question, of course, because there is not just one right answer.
As I teach in my NYV classes, on a scale of 1-10, having no protection at all puts you at the low end of that scale. When we are trying to tell the bad folks in the world to "Move Along," because we are "not their victim today" its important that we walk the walk - not just talk the body language talk....which means being in the 0-1 zone is not okay.
Legally carrying a firearm puts you at a 10, but that choice is not right for everyone. That being said, there is a lot to consider when considering the best item for your self defense. I think we would look pretty silly if we were pulling around a cannon in a radio-flyer or carrying around a Katana (Samurai Sword) like our favorite female zombie killer.
For most people, hanging around in the middle zone is an instant confidence builder! For this, I recommend carrying a small canister of pepper spray with you at all times. Most can be hooked to a purse or key chain and provide enough stopping power to make your escape. For an investment of around $10, you can be one step closer to telling the world "I am not your victim today".
Because I believe in pepper spray so much, I always have them available for $10 each at my classes. Your safety is your responsibility. NYV teaches you how to stay safe.
Be safe out there,
Have you ever stood on the sidewalk outside of your home? In the dark? What you see is what "others" see. Others, being individuals that would enter your home uninvited and take your possessions, possibility your life. What does your house say to them, "Come in, no one is paying attention or move along, I am not your victim today".
There are three simple steps to making your home un-inviting to "others":
1) Make sure that all shrubs/bushes are no higher than the average waist. Why, someone could hide behind them and gain access to your home. Unfriendly shrubs/bushes would be even better. Roses, bougainvillea and cactus are perfect candidates for the job.
2) Purchase a security screen door. This is a metal door that attaches to your home in front of your regular front door. They are difficult to break/kick in to gain access. The doors are designed to allow the homeowner to see out but the person on the other side can not see in. The door has a dead bolt as well as a locking handle. These are available in a variety of styles and designs. Utilitarian doors are a thing of the past, these doors can reflect your personal style.
3) Walk around the front of your house (in the dark). Are there areas that are dimly lit? If so, install a solar motion detection flood light. These are available at hardware stores and require limited installation. No electricity or batteries required.
Look at your house in the dark and make sure that your house sends the message that those uninvited to "move along, I am not your victim today".
What can we learn from the TWO events in Orlando last weekend? One has rocked the headlines, the other just a mere mention. Both involved firearms and shooters that the motive, at this point, can not be identified. Both have important lessons that we can learn from, one negative and the other positive.
300 patrons and one shooter in a nightclub. No one defended themselves with a knife, pepper spray, bar stool or even a bottle of liquor. Every person in the club had on a pair of shoes. There were several times the shooter was vulnerable. The gun jammed, shooter talked on a cell phone and at point, he washed his hands. Why was he not rushed? Why didn't they take off their shoes and pelt him? Where there other opportunities to save their life?
120 fans, one singer and one shooter. The shooter did not count on the older brother of Christina Grimmie, Marcus. As he watched his baby sister, sign autographs, he was mindful. The shooter shot, Marcus immediately tackled him to the ground. In the struggle, the shooter shot and killed himself. Marcus Grimmie is a hero. He knew he was Christina's protector and did not hesitate. His actions saved 120 fans from the threat of injury or possible death. Why was he so quick at act in the face of death?
Two events in the same town, a little more than 24 hours apart. Different actions, different outcome. Why? We can learn an important and fundamental lesson from these events. In order to save your life, you must think about how and when to react. In the nightclub, it would appear that there was no thought given to "How would I react to a threat on my life?" prior to the shootings. In the case of Marcus Grimmie, he obviously had thought about what he would do if felt there was a threat of danger.
Your body can not do want your mind has never considered. When faced with life threatening events, you will fight, flight or freeze. If you have never considered what you would do, you will most likely freeze. Freezing can cost you precious moments that may save your life. In the middle of an event is not the time to decide what to do to defend yourself. You lose most of your fine motor skills with the adrenaline rush. Having a decisive plan is essential to defending your life and the life of others. So the final question is, "What would you do"? Now is the time to think about your plan of action.
I stand behind you in line at the store with a smile on my face...and a gun in my purse and you are none the wiser, yet you are safer for having me next to you. I won't shoot you. My gun won't pull it's own trigger. It is securely holstered with the trigger covered. It can't just go off. However, rest assured that if a lunatic walks into the grocery store and pulls out a rifle, I will draw my pistol and protect myself and my family and therefore protect you and your family. I may get shot before I can pull the trigger...but, I won't die in a helpless blubbering heap on the floor begging for my life. No, if I die it will be in a pile of spent casings. I won't be that victim. I choose not to be. As for you, I don't ask you to carry a gun. If you are not comfortable, then please don't. But I would like to keep my right to choose to not be a helpless victim. There is terrible evil in the world and if evil has a gun, I want to at least stand a chance.
I don't really care what your opinion is regarding the political aspect of this matter. I encourage you to brush up on your world history...this isn't the first time we will have to defend humanity from pure black-hearted hatred with zero value for life. Wake up...it is tapping on your door..
This is not my original post but I felt it was important to share as it reflects my thoughts and actions. You can see the original post at:
Let’s talk about “Constitutional Carry”. What does that actually mean? It means that anyone over the age of 21 can carry a firearm, open or concealed, with or without a permit. This natural right is specifically enumerated as the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Each state decides how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted within its borders. Arizona has what some may consider the most “open” policy.
Is that a good thing? The answer is yes in principle. I qualify this answer by stating that while everyone has the right, there are responsibilities that are attached to that right. If you are not willing to accept the responsibility, you should not exercise the right. Understanding that Arizona is a constitutional carry state, should eliminate the “fear” the media has created. When you go into a convenience store and there is a patron getting a fountain drink with a gun on their hip, you are not in danger from this patron. For two reasons, by wearing a firearm exposed, they have become the first target if there was an incident. Second, the gun carrying patron would more than likely defend your life as well as their own life. We have been trained to think that all guns are evil, so anyone carrying a gun is evil. It simply is not true.
What are your responsibilities with this constitutional right? With rights, come responsibilities. You cannot have one without the other. Citizens that carry a firearm should spend the time and money required to receive a permit from the state where they reside. Although it is not required in Arizona, I strongly encourage those that take my classes to protect themselves with that extra step. It is important to have an understanding of the laws and legal processes when dealing with firearms. It really is for the benefit of the firearm owner. The class is taught by certified instructors and requires submission of fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety. I keep my permit with my driver’s license, in the event I am pulled over, I would give both identifications to the officer. (So far, I have not been stopped for a traffic violation).
Understanding the law while knowing my rights and responsibilities as a firearm owner and as one who carries consistently, I appreciate the 2nd Amendment. I appreciate the state of Arizona allowing me to live by the dictates of my conscience.
As a certified firearms instructor, I take a very different approach when I have a student new to firearms or a student that has had a negative experience learning to shoot. My objective is not only to teach them how to discharge a firearm but I want them to understand why the bullet leaves the gun when they pull the trigger. I teach one or two students at a time. I want them to have my attention and to feel safe during the process.
I start training off the range. We discuss the not only the safety rules but how a firearm works, the components of the gun as well as the cartridge. Understanding the science behind the technology gives the student a clear idea of what to expect on the range and from the firearm. I use three targets and teach drills with each one for a specific set of skills. I explain the objective of each target and drill off range. This is for the benefit of the student, it is much easier to assimilate and understand without the sound of gunfire coming from the next lane.
Each target has its own purpose. The first target is intended to learn their firearm, how to use the front sight and shoot center mass. I love this target. When the student has completed this training, their increased skill level is evident. There is a great sense of satisfaction and fear is greatly diminished. Target #2 is designed for movement within a target and resetting the trigger. The last target is defensive pistol drill, working to build muscle memory and reflexes.
Students learn very quickly there is a difference between shooting and training. Shooting is getting a target and aim for the bulls eye. Training is getting a target and working with a new skill set and objectives to increase accuracy and speed. Most of my students are women and are pleased to learn there is more than just pointing and shooting.
Last week, I talked about how to effectively carry a firearm. Today, I want to give you the four non-negotiable features that are a MUST in a conceal carry purse.
First: The firearm MUST be carried in a separate pocket. A pocket that has nothing else in the compartment, just the holstered gun. Super important..not just because of the possibility of something becoming lodged in the muzzle or trigger guard but it will always be in the safe position in the pocket, always.
Second: The zippers to access the carry pocket should be ambidextrous and MUST have the ability to lock. The carry pocket is the length of the purse, you can unzip and access from either side. You decide, based on how you want to access the gun. Once you know which side you are using, lock the other side. Why? You never want to grab the gun by the muzzle. Having the ability to lock both sides comes into play when you are at a function where children at present, you may want to lock both sides. This locks out everyone (including yourself), so you decide when you need to do this.
Third: The firearm MUST be holstered and secured to the carry pocket. Placing a gun in a separate pocket is not safe or secure enough. It must be holstered and secured to the sides of the carry pocket, this eliminates the gun turning and due to the weight, it will be butt up in your purse. Because the holster is secured to both sides of the carry pocket, it will always be in the same position all the time.
Fourth: The holster MUST have back straps. These magnetic straps hold the the firearm in the holster. Most holsters are wedged shaped and the gun is "shoved" into the holster. The back straps are an essential component to keep the firearm in the holster. I don't know about you but I toss my purse in the passenger seat when I get in my car nine times out of ten. Being holstered with a back strap and secured to both sides of the compartment, it will not move. Your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones may depend on your firearm being in the same place every time.
These four components are absolutely necessary to carry your firearm in the safest and securest way. All of my purses have these features and the carry system design is the same in every purse. Remember, you're right to carry!