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Self Defense

A pre-existing human right!!!

This Page Last Updated 10/30/2013

 

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"Any law-abiding citizen should avoid using deadly force to protect themselves, their families and their businesses, unless they have no other option to avoid death or risk of serious bodily injury.  Remember that you're firing only to stop an attack.  If the perpetrator dies as a result of you doing your best to stop his attack, that's his problem, not yours."
Marc Richardson Owner www.SaveTheGuns.com

 

"There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice; not by instruction but by natural intuition: I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right."
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC) Roman Orator and Statesman at the trial of T. Annius Milo in 52 BC


"Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers.  This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God.  As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature.  It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other."

John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist

 

"A man with a sword in his hand demands my purse in the high-way, when perhaps I have not twelve pence in my pocket: this man I may lawfully kill."
John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist. Considered the ideological progenitor of the American Revolution and who, by far, was the most often non-biblical writer quoted by the Founding Fathers of the USA.
Source: "An Essay Concerning the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government", Chapter 18 "Of Tyranny",  #207, originally published in England, 1690

 

"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe."
Jesus Christ the Savior, Messiah and Son of God in Luke 11:21

 

"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."
the Dalai Lama, May 15, 2001

 

"Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."
Aristotle  (384 BC - 322 BC)  Greek Philosopher and student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great

Bookmarked subjects on this page:

Thoughts On Self Defense

Massachusetts Home Defense

Ammunition Online

Avoiding Conflict

Good Safety Tips

At Home

At Night

Important Stuff

Religious Implications

Non Lethal Alternatives

Recommended Reading

Self Defense Links

 



"The right of self-defense never ceases.  It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals."
President James Monroe (November 16, 1818)

 

"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand."
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) American Civil Rights Leader for Women



Free E-Book

The Bible, Self-Defense and Gun Control.

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FACTS:  

1.)  85% of self defense shootings occur in the five to ten foot range.

2.)  12% to 17% of shootings by law enforcement during a handgun combat hit the assailant, even at these short distances.  That's why when a violent felonious thug is involved in firearm combat with law enforcement, there are many, many more rounds fired than actually bring the assailant to a halt.

3.)  One in thirty two (1 in 32) American adults is either in jail, in prison, on probation or out on parole.  We don't have a gun problem in America, we have a morality problem.

4.)  You are going to be about half as good or less in shooting accuracy in mortal combat, as you are on the firing range.

Are you ready and fully prepared for a self defense shooting in a public place, simply because you've taken a gun safety course and you can hit a paper target from fifteen yards?  Chances are good that you don't know as much about this subject as you should if you carry a concealed firearm in a public place.



 

 

Take a minute or two and look at this video on YouTube of Suzanna Gratia Hupp and her testimony before Congress on the Luby's Cafeteria mass shooting in Texas.



The protection of one's own life and the lives of his/her family is a basic right of human beings that far precedes any form of government or legislative body.

Sir William Blackstone said that self-defense is one of the "...absolute rights of individuals."

"Self-defence is Nature’s eldest law."
John Dryden
(1631–1700), English poet, dramatist, critic.



Thoughts On Self Defense

The response time for a call to the police can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  Depending upon manpower levels and the volume of calls to police already in progress it might take too long for them to arrive.

Most police officers will do their level best to respond to an emergency call within ten minutes.  They do a great job and perform an essential public service.  However, if you're being attacked by a drug-crazed social misfit who has no clue what planet he's on, ten minutes can seem like a very, very long time.

What if you're facing a prepared and experienced burglar who knows you're home and cuts your phone lines and your cell phone is not available?

Let me give you two quick points:

  1. You and only you are first and foremost responsible for your own safety and the safety of your family.

  2. There is nothing else that can level the playing field more effectively between a law abiding citizen and a violent thug filled up with narcotics, than a firearm in combination with a call to law enforcement.

In court case after court case it has been clearly demonstrated that law enforcement has no duty to protect an individual citizen and cannot be held liable for not arriving in a timely manner.

Defense of oneself and one's own family is indeed a human right.  However, in today's "civilized" society, we must tiptoe the fine line between our protective instincts while trying to obey the myriad of federal, state, county and local laws and ordinances regarding this most basic of human rights.

Because of the fact that there are literally thousands of laws, ordinances and case laws that govern how self defense can be applied, I cannot and will not accept any responsibility for the use, non-use or misuse of the following information on this page regarding the issue of self defense.  Please review the Disclaimer Page before you continue reading.

Self defense is generally justified ONLY when a reasonable person would find it necessary to avoid grievous or serious bodily injury or death that is otherwise unavoidable.

In some states the law requires you to make every reasonable attempt to retreat before you can use any self defense measure.  In some states, you must make every attempt to retreat from the assault, unless an attempt at retreat would be futile or would put you in harm's way.  For instance, if the assault is on the side of a highway and your only means of retreat is to cross the busy highway, you would not be required to put yourself in that situation.  If the assailant has a contact weapon such as a knife, the assailant must be within twenty one (21) feet of the defender in order for the defender to be availed the right of self defense.  You cannot shoot at someone who threatens you with a knife from 50 feet away.

Generally speaking, utilizing self defense measures lawfully requires the answering of two questions:

  • Did you feel threatened with great bodily harm or death before you utilized measures of self defense?

  • Secondly, was that fear reasonable and justified?

If you are involved in a defensive situation where you are protecting your home, family or business and the criminal begins to beat a hasty retreat, you should let them go.  If the criminal retreats, that ends their attack.  If you pursue them after they have begun to retreat, that begins a second attack with you as the aggressor.  This in turn could give the criminal the right to utilize self defense measures and attack you.

If you are ever involved in such a self defense situation, it is imperative that you be the first one to notify the authorities about the incident.  It would look better for you in court.  What you should say is a matter that you should discuss with a lawyer fully versed in self defense and firearm law.  Generally what I would advise the defender to say is that:

  1. I was scared to death.

  2. I thought he/she was going to kill me.

  3. I want to talk to my lawyer.

If you live in a state that is mostly controlled by liberal, feel-good, "politically correct" legislators, judges and Attorneys General, then you can expect to be prosecuted for your use of self defense.  Get a list of good attorneys that are well versed in firearm and self defense law and keep it safe somewhere. 

Only in certain situations can a defender fire a gun at a criminal during a robbery to retain material possessions.  Usually this ONLY pertains to business owners or security details.  I MUST say that if you intend to use a firearm in order to prevent the theft of material possessions you should most assuredly contact a lawyer and get the law clarified on this matter beforehand. 

The third party intervention arena is a largely gray area of law that is sometimes left up to the interpretation of the individual judge in the case.  For example, at night while exiting the movies, you find that an elderly couple is being violently assaulted by two large youths.  Can you intervene?  Don't bet on it!!!

In some states, you even have to leave your home in the face of a potential violent encounter.  It is the gun owner's responsibility to be familiar with their own state laws regarding self defense.

Neither the government or any of its agencies has an absolute duty to protect the individual citizen from crime or harm.  If a citizen is harmed by a criminal during the commission of a crime, he/she cannot hold the police or the courts responsible.  The individual free Citizen of the United States is responsible for his/her own safety and well-being.

"There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state (or Federal) against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: it tells the state (gov't) to let people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order" 
(Bowers v. DeVito, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 686F.2d 616 [1982]).



Here is an example of a home defense law from the state of  Massachusetts.

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS

Chapter 278: Section 8A. Killing or injuring a person unlawfully in a dwelling; defense.

Section 8A. In the prosecution of a person who is an occupant of a dwelling charged with killing or injuring one who was unlawfully in said dwelling, it shall be a defense that the occupant was in his dwelling at the time of the offense and that he acted in the reasonable belief that the person unlawfully in said dwelling was about to inflict great bodily injury or death upon said occupant or upon another person lawfully in said dwelling, and that said occupant used reasonable means to defend himself or such other person lawfully in said dwelling. There shall be no duty on said occupant to retreat from such person unlawfully in said dwelling.

It is important to note that this law is only available to occupants of dwellings.  An occupant is an individual who has some sort of possessory interest in the property in question, such as a tenant or an owner.  A dwelling is a place where an individual is temporarily or permanently residing and which is one's exclusive possession.  Generally this means that a dwelling has to be a permanent structure such as an apartment, a home, a summer cottage or, under some circumstances, a hotel or motel room.  A dwelling CANNOT be a motor home, a tent, or a boat because these structures are not permanent and stationary.

If an intruder enters a dwelling and is NOT threatening death or serious bodily injury, the occupants have no right to use deadly force.  If you are prosecuted for your use of deadly force in your home, the burden is on you to provide evidence that you acted in self defense.  If you CANNOT provide evidence that you acted in self defense, then the Court will not instruct the jury that you have acted in self defense.  And you may spend a very long time in prison for defending yourself.

Massachusetts law takes the position that if you are not within the walls of your home, you MUST make every attempt to escape or avoid all confrontation with an aggressor before your right of self defense arises.  The basic difference between self defense inside your home and outside your home is that inside your home, you have no duty to retreat.  Outside your home you must retreat if you can do so safely.

It is important to note that this is just for Massachusetts.  If you live in another State or country, it is your duty and responsibility to know your own state law on this important issue.

http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws.aspx  Use this link to find out what your own state gun laws are.

See my Government Links page to find your State's Home Page for more information.



There is no other tool available to the law-abiding American Citizen, that can even the field against the violent, unlawful and uncivilized actions of the career criminal than the firearm.

The gun is sometimes called "The Equalizer" for very good reason.  There is nothing else that can give a frail, ill or aged person, a fighting chance against a large and youthful assailant than the firearm.

While calling the police or 911 is indeed a necessity, the police cannot be everywhere at all times.  Most police departments try their level best to respond in ten (10) minutes or less.  But unfortunately a whole lot can happen in ten minutes.

From the police officers that I have heard from, they say that the most frustrating thing for them is that they can't be everywhere all the time.



What should you use, if you choose a firearm for self protection purposes?

This is a question that has been debated for many years.  Sometimes the advice is good, sometimes, not so good.

What you should buy, depends on quite a few factors and is not a decision that can be generalized for everyone.

  • Where do you live?  Someone who lives in highly populated area has to be concerned with neighbors.  With some firearms, the bullet can travel through many walls before coming to a stop.  Some hunting rifles can shoot through too many walls and should not be considered for most home defense purposes. 

  • What is your physical size and strength?  A woman of a slightly built stature may not be comfortable with a heavy 12 gauge shotgun with 3" magnum buckshot.  A more sensible 20 gauge may be in order here.

  • Are you more comfortable with a shotgun held with two hands? Or do you want one hand free for the call 911 call you must make? (The actual firing should of course be done with two hands if possible.  If you see yourself using one hand during a mortal attack in which someone might perish, you have been watching too many movies.)

  • If you choose a handgun, what caliber should you use?  What make and model?  The most commonly used caliber for self defense with a handgun is still the .38 Special.  Unless I can be proved wrong, I will stick with that.  The bottom of the barrel for caliber that I would suggest is the .380 ACP caliber.  The beginner should probably stay with a .38 Special, double action revolver.  Because it is simple to use.  It has no safeties, no decocking levers and no slide to use and has manageable recoil.  For the more experienced gun handler, I would suggest the .357 magnum double action revolver, the .40 S&W semi-auto pistol or the venerable .45 ACP.  The most effective cartridge in a handgun for self defense right now is the .357 magnum with a 125 grain jacketed hollow point bullet.  However, I think the .40 S&W with a 130 grain jacketed hollow point is a close second place.  Certainly the .45 ACP has its place near the top in the self defense arena too!!  The 9mm is certainly a viable choice, however, you must realize that the "one shot stop" ratio for many 9mm cartridges is 60% to 70%.  Don't be fooled by the greater magazine capacity of many 9mm handguns.  Government intrusions into public liberty have limited such firearms to 10 shot magazines anyway.

      (I know I will get feedback for these statements so I will make it easy for you and link to my Feedback Page.)

  • Reliability is the consideration that bears the most weight in this discussion.  You get what you pay for when it comes to a firearm purchase.  With a semi-automatic pistol, you should be able to put 10 boxes (500 rounds) through the pistol without a malfunction of any kind.  In order for you to trust your life to a handgun, it MUST have this level of reliability.  You will not get this level of reliability from a cheaply made firearm.  Expect to spend $325.00 to $1200.00 for a decent, well-made firearm for self-defense purposes.  



However, the firearm is NOT a beat-all, end-all panacea when it comes to self protection.  Like I have said elsewhere on SaveTheGuns.com, a gun is simply a device that is manufactured to store, aim, fire and eject ammunition.  Firearms can play a role in a total self-defense plan, but a gun is not a good luck talisman or charm that will ward off evil by itself.  Please keep firearm usage in proper perspective.

A gun CANNOT keep you safe in and of itself.  All a gun is capable of doing is launching a small piece of metal at very high speed.  That is all that a gun is.  A gun is not evil, nor is a gun a bad thing to have, nor do they have a will of their own.

Many studies show that self defense with a firearm occurs about 6800 times a day in the United States.  As much as  2.5 million times a year according to a renowned expert.  Probably a bit closer to 2 million, in my opinion.  Of course much of it goes unreported.

But in 93.3% of the self defense situations, the potential victim's gun is never even fired.  In only 6.7% of the incidents  will the assailant not retreat in the face of an armed and determined potential victim.  In these cases, the perpetrator is more than likely so strung out on narcotics that he does not fully realize his life is in danger.  The above statistics are pretty widely held among most experts in the field.  Approximately 9 out of 10 times, an assailant will retreat when confronted with an armed and determined potential victim.

Many studies have also shown conclusively and statistically that armed resistance to violent assault is much safer than full compliance with the demands of the criminal.

Many studies have shown that the criminal element fears the armed victim MUCH more than a law enforcement officer.  Mainly because the police officer has a duty to take the criminal in unharmed.  The potential victim has no such responsibility.

Please don't be misled into the notion that a criminal will always back down when confronted with an armed Citizen.

Today's experienced vicious thugs will smell your fear like an animal.  If they feel you would be reluctant to shoot them, they will attempt to overtake you, disarm you and kill you.  Don't think you can hold a shotgun on two (2) home invaders while making a phone call within their reach!!!

If you ever find yourself in the rare situation of holding an invader at bay, have him/her lay down on an open section of floor.  Have them lay face down, put their hands on the back of their head.  Have them cross their ankles.  And have their heads turned away from you so they can't see you.  Throughout the entire ordeal, make sure someone stays on the phone with 911 or emergency services.  It is important that the responding police officers are aware of precisely what is going on.

If you are ever forced to utilize deadly force, don't utilize deadly force, then flee the scene.  In the minds of most police officers and judges, flight indicates guilt.  Flight is only justified if the potential for danger still exists in the area.

However, use of non-lethal devices such as mace or pepper spray are merely a temporary fix to allow you time to get away.



Where to Shoot?

If you ever were to come to the very unhappy situation, in which you ABSOLUTELY MUST fire upon another human being to prevent them from continuing an attack which is likely to cause great bodily harm or death and a rational and sane person, put in your situation, would see no other way out of the situation, other than to use potentially deadly force to bring the attack to a halt, where do you attempt to shoot this person?

There are those who clearly do not know what they're talking about, who say out of total ignorance, that you shoot aim at the kneecaps.  Sadly, I have heard this terrible advice often repeated by those who have no experience or knowledge in these matters.  If someone is in the process of committing a potentially deadly attack upon you or the loved ones in your immediate care and you must utilize a firearm to stop this attack, the best place to shoot them is not in the legs.

There have been countless law enforcement to felon shootings that have failed because the assailant was hit multiple times, by multiple officers, but just not in the right place.  I recently read a story, that I will try to quickly relate to demonstrate my point.

A police officer in a large metropolitan city saw a man in a vehicle acting very suspiciously in a bad area notorious for illegal narcotics and gang activity.  The man was asked what he was up to and he faked an excuse that the officer immediately knew was a lie.  The officer decided to run the man's information through his computer to check for warrants after frisking him down.

To make a long story short, the man grabbed a hidden 9mm from the vehicle and shot at the officer, hitting him mid-chest, which stunned him, but was stopped by his ballistic vest.  Through the entire incident, the officer was shot four times.  Once in the chest, stopped by the vest, twice in the left arm and once in the leg.

The officer remarkably shot the assailant twenty two (22) times, with a Glock 17 .40 S&W, after a strategic reload, which likely saved his life.  Of the 22 rounds, 17 of them had hit the assailant's center of mass.  Yet the assailant kept fighting the officer more than four minutes after having been shot already twenty two times.  The lesson here is very important.  Much of the training received by ordinary Americans and even some in the law enforcement community is in grave error.

In the movies, most often the bad guy is shot once or twice, often once, and dies off, almost immediately, without continuing to fight.  That is almost never the case.  Some law enforcement firearm instructors teach their officers the ill-advised double-tap and re-holster crap.  That kind of stuff has gotten law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty unnecessarily.  You shoot until the assailant can no longer fight and that's it.

Even target manufacturers can give bad advice by making the coveted 'ten ring' outside of the optimum area to stop a human being's vicious attack on your person.  Perhaps, the officer in the story above, was a victim of the absolute center-of-mass focus, but I refuse to criticize his actions.  Seventeen center-of-mass rounds in the heat of a potentially mortal attack is remarkable indeed.

Here is a prime example of a couple of targets which puts the focus of the 'ten ring'  or highest scoring area in the wrong place or the target is no way near specific enough.

       

Both of these types of targets are in common use.  You've seen them everywhere.  For most intents and purposes, they are fine.  But the area which will pretty reliably end a deadly confrontation such as the one I mentioned above, is a very small area, which is above the 'ten ring' in the first target by at least five inches and not even depicted in the second target above.

Here is the truth about the absolute best point of aim.  Except of course for a direct brain shot into the medulla oblongata, thereby destroying it, which will stop all communication from the brain to the body pretty close to instantly.

Let me post the next image and then I'll discuss it below:

There are three common ways that the self defense community who really know their stuff, describe the proper point of aim.  I'll very briefly describe each one.

The red square is one description of the proper target box.  It is described as a square shape about nine inches on each side.  The top of this square is the collar bone, the bottom of this square is the bottom of the breast bone and the both sides are bounded by the nipples.

The blue triangle is often referred to by professionals as the Cardiac Triangle.  The cardiac triangle has a bottom that goes through the centerline of the nipples and reaches up to the Adam's Apple in the throat.

The last one is probably the best and most accurate.  I drew a green centerline from the chin to the belt line.  Then draw a crossing line that connects through the arm pits.  Where these two lines intersect is the point of aim.  A four inch (4") yellow circle extending around this intersection is your aiming point.

The four inch circle above contains the most important items in the human body, outside of the brain.  This is the area where oxygenated blood comes from the heart and gets divided up to the extremities, the lungs and the brain.  Your brain needs a regular and reliable supply of oxygenated blood to keep you conscious.  In this area, or perhaps a circle, just slightly bigger, you will find the aorta, the aortic arch and the superior vena cava, which are the largest blood bearing vessels.  You will also find the pulmonary artery, which supplies blood from the heart to the lungs.

A quick referral back to the two previously posted targets above, clearly shows that the coveted and long-sought 'ten ring' is not exactly the correct focus.  Even more fuzzy, is the supposed point of aim of some of the standard qualification targets such as the one on the right above, with a highest scoring ring that is shaped like a huge bowling pin, that reaches from below the belly button to the top of the head.

That is my two cents on the sometimes controversial and most often misleading discussion on the subject of where to shoot to stop someone who is trying to utilize deadly force to take your life.  I've said it elsewhere on this page and I'll say it again here:

The best place to shoot as I've described here is the best place to put a bullet to bring a potentially deadly attack to a stop as quickly and as effectively as possible.  Certainly a shot which is likely to bring the attack to a halt the fastest, is also more likely bring the lifespan of the assailant to an quick end as well.

Having to fire at another human being in self defense is something that should be avoided if at all possible.  However, if your attempt to bring a potentially deadly attack to an end as quickly as possible, happens to bring the assailant's life to an end as well, that is mostly his/her fault and not yours.  Remember that your sole focus should be upon ending the attack which otherwise would have caused your death or grave bodily harm and you saw no other alternative at the moment in question.

Thanks for reading!  But please remember that this is not legal advice in any way, shape or form.  Any questions on such matters should be directed toward lawyers and law enforcement professionals.  Please see my Disclaimer page.



More Thoughts

A firearm is only one part of a total self defense strategy.  What do you think the most important tool is that you will use in a self defense situation?

It is the tool you were born with... the one between your ears.

If you find yourself in a life threatening situation, the chances are good that your own body will tell you what to do.  Let me explain:

Each of us has two glands that sit on top of our kidneys called adrenal glands.  These glands secrete a substance called adrenaline.  There is also a hormone called Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH).  Adrenaline  and ACTH is a substance that when coursing through our body can give us extraordinary strength and temporary immunity to pain.  From this we hear the stories of mothers lifting cars off their trapped sons in driveways, and other such superhuman feats.

Have you been involved in a car accident?  Do you remember trying to write down the name, license number and insurance company of the other person?  Were you able to write well or did it come out looking like the handwriting of a small child?  This was a side affect of adrenaline and ACTH.  The shaking and tremors that result from adrenaline and ACTH are completely normal.

If you are involved in mortal combat, your body will shift into what is called "fight or flight reflex", this reflex is part of our physical makeup and can, to some degree decide for us, what we will do when encountering a combative situation.

This "fight or flight reflex" can take many forms and can affect us in many ways.  In the middle of a life threatening situation, the mind is your most potent weapon of self preservation.

The mind can make you see only what is important for the body to survive the conflict.  This is called "tunnel vision".  The mind can shut out everything that is unnecessary  to survival.  This type of reflex can be dangerous too.  It can make you totally unaware of additional family members, bystanders or assailants to your sides.  Some or all peripheral vision could be lost.

The mind can also shut out all unnecessary sound too!!  This is called "auditory exclusion".  Some people who have successfully defended themselves with a firearm, report that they never heard their firearm discharge.  The mind is a very powerful thing for it to shut out the sound of a discharged firearm in a small enclosed area.  This can also be dangerous, because you may not hear a family member calling out to you in the middle of the situation. 

The mind can also help you survive by making you retreat from a potentially deadly situation too.  This reflex can make you run faster than you have ever run before.  For more information on "fight or flight reflex" please see the self protection links below.



Avoiding Conflict

Of course the safest path to follow is not putting yourself in a situation where self defense is needed.  NO SANE LAW-ABIDING PERSON GOES LOOKING FOR TROUBLE.

Just because a law-abiding Citizen chooses to carry a concealed firearm in public, DOES NOT mean that he/she is looking for trouble.  In fact, most law-abiding citizens who carry a concealed firearm find themselves MORE willing to put up with verbal assault and obstinate behavior than if they had no gun with them at all.

If someone is acting violently or is a potentially violent person and begins to verbally assault you, do all you can to avoid the situation.  Appease them, walk away, avoid eye contact, avoid conversation and don't get involved if you can help it.  Faking being a coward is quite a bit better than having to take someone's life.  You would more than likely be prosecuted or at least initially charged with a crime, if you're forced to kill the person.  Believe me, unless you're being unavoidably assaulted, faking cowardice is a pretty good idea.

Be aware of signs that show that the person is about to do you harm.  Here are some things you should look for:

  • Penetrating Eye To Eye Contact

  • Clenched Fists

  • Tears

  • Heavy Breathing

  • Flushed Or Red Face And Neck

  • Sweating

  • An Inability To Speak Correctly (Stuttering or Slurring)

You might be able to diffuse the situation by:

  • Carefully Listening To Their Complaint Or Argument

  • Trying To See Things From Their Point Of View

  • Trying To Ask Them Pertinent Questions

  • Telling Them What You Think Their Position Is

  • Repeat Their Demands Back To Them Showing Them That You Are Listening

  • Speak in a calm voice with even tones

You might think that attempting to diffuse the situation before utilizing self defense measures seems like cowardice, but it's not cowardice, it's being smart and that's part of a total package of self defense.

 



Nine Good Safety Tips

Here are the most common mistakes people make that could result in them getting kidnapped, attacked, and/or raped.
 
1.)  Getting into the attacker's car when he pulls a gun and orders you to get into his vehicle is a mistake.

Many attackers, especially serial killers, will use the firearm only to get you into the car.  They may not have an intent to shoot you right away, their intent sometimes is just to get you under their control and take you to another location where they would have much more control over you.
NEVER GET INTO AN ASSAILANT'S VEHICLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVEN BEING HELD AT GUNPOINT.  COMPLIANCE WILL PROBABLY STILL GET YOU KILLED, AND DEAD IS DEAD.


 
2.)  If someone is pointing at your car and they are telling you that there is something wrong with your car, DO NOT pull over at that point.  Continue on to the nearest service station that is well-lit and populated and then look it over or have an attendant look it over.  The intent here might be just to get you to pull over and get out, so they can gain control of you.


 
3.)  Not locking your doors while driving is a mistake.
  I have heard of many cases where the criminal just walks up to the victim's car and just gets in at a traffic light.


 
4.)  Opening the front door to your home when you have not positively identified who is there could be deadly.  If you don't have a peep hole, get one.  I've seen countless cases where the attacker gains access to his victims simply by knocking on their door.
 
Don't let an attacker get into your home.  He then has a private, relatively soundproof place to attack you.  If you are certain you are under violent attack, you may attempt to break the assailant's arm by crushing it with the door, it's possible that he would withdraw it, giving you a chance to lock it and get to a defensive firearm and the telephone.


 
5.)  Not being alert in parking lots is a big mistake.  Being alert is paramount to your safety, especially if you are alone.
 
If you go to the grocery store at night, don't be shy about asking for an escort to your car.  Too many women are abducted from parking lots or even raped in the parking lot.
 
Look in your back seat before entering your car.  Cars and parking lots provide hiding places for attackers, both inside them and in between them.  Also, have your keys ready before you get to your car, for God's sake, don't stand there and fumble for your keys.  How can you pay attention to your surroundings when you're looking through your purse?
 
Be aware of your surroundings by looking to the left and right and behind you with your head up all the time.  You may appear paranoid and look funny to others, but an attacker will think twice about approaching someone who appears so aware of what's going on.  Look and act confident.  Don't act like a potential victim at anytime.

A rapist or robber is looking for someone who seems preoccupied, unaware and an easy target.  They are stupid, but they don't go looking for a hard time from a potential victim.


 
6.)  Trusting a clean cut, honest looking stranger is not smart.

Criminals do not look like monsters.  They often look like they could be your friendly grocer, bank teller, waiter, neighbor, clergy, doctor, etc.  They are every age between 10 and 90.  Only a portion of serial murderers and rapists actually look scary.

 


 7.)  Trusting people to be alone with your children.
 
This is a difficult one, because some child molesters end up being the LAST person the parents would believe is the molester.
 
Most of the child molesting cases I have heard about involve the stepfather, the uncle, the sister's boyfriend, the mother's boyfriend, the grandfather, the baby-sitter, the trusted neighbor, the family friend, the youth camp director, day care worker, etc.  Although relatively rare, even women can be molesters.
 
In most cases, the perpetrator looks like a nice guy, trusting, good with children, and the family is baffled or even in disbelief that the person could be abusing their child.
 
When it comes to your children and grandchildren, be suspicious of everyone, no matter who they are.  And pay attention to what your child says and how he/she reacts to the mention of different people in their lives.

For more great safety tips go to www.aware.org

 

8.)   Make sure your kids know that they are ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED  to get into a stranger's car, even if held at gun point.

It does not matter what the situation is.  Getting into a stranger's car may be the last decision they ever  make.  Make sure your children withhold their names and addresses from strangers too.

 

9.)  Be aware that there are many and varied things that the human predator will do to gain control of their victims.  They will devise schemes, lie and trick their potential victims in many, many ways.  If your initial feeling is one of dread, then go with it and leave the area.

 



At Home

A break-in while you are at home is certainly a valid concern, but it is important for you to realize that it is not something that is very common.  One should not be too paranoid and overly concerned about this.  However, there are many things you can do to lessen the possibility.

What can you do at home?  Like I previously mentioned, a firearm is only a small part of a total self protection plan.  A total self protection plan includes the following things.

  • Being familiar with your home and its weaknesses.  If you lock yourself out of your home by mistake and you can get back in to get your keys, how easy would it be for an experienced pro to get in?

  • What type of doors and windows do you have?  Since the home invader will not usually enter through a solid outside wall, what are the potential points of entry?  How secure are they?  Doors, windows, bulkheads, upper story windows, how are they?  Are your outside doors metal with solid wood core at least 1 3/4" thick?  How about door glass?  Do your doors have glass in them?  Does the glass make it easy to reach the locks if it is broken?  

 

  • Are any double-hung windows secured with key locks or with a sliding bolt or nail into the frame?

 

  • Locks are important, but they are useless if they are installed on a flimsy door.  A strong deadbolt, installed on an anemic hollow core door is useless.  Likewise, a simple eye hook on a good solid core door is also useless.

  • How about locks?  What kind do you have?  Do you have deadbolts?  Double cylinder or single?  A double cylinder deadbolt requires a key for you to exit the home.  Is this safe for you?  A double cylinder deadbolt should be considered if you have a lot of glass in and around the door/doorway. 

  • How about alarms?  Do you have an alarm?  Should you bother with the expense?  What kinds are there?  Seek professional advice here.  Check with several companies and decide what level of security you really need.  Learn how to use the system properly.  If you continually set off false alarms, your neighbors might ignore a real emergency and you could even be fined by some law enforcement agencies.

 

  • Sliding glass doors are a favorite of many house thieves.  They can be pried from their tracks.  Put a metal pin through the door frame and into the fixed frame to prevent the door from being lifted from the track.  Also put a broomstick, or metal rod in the track to jam the door in case someone tries to force it open.

 

  • Do not hide keys in mailboxes, planters or under doormats.  In case you didn't know, this is the first place a home invader will look.  You may think you have a great place for hiding a key outside, but the experienced burglar will look for a key first.

  • Do you have a dog?  Is he/she trained properly or is the dog just a burglar alarm with hair?  You should not rely too much on a dog for protection.  Most dogs that are not professionally trained should probably be viewed as a burglar alarm with hair.


  • If you have just moved into a new home or apartment, have the locks changed.

  • Your telephone... let's talk.  Your phone can be a vital link to help.  If the criminal does not have the foresight to cut the line first, that is.  How about a cell phone?  A cell phone in your safe room is a good idea.  If you have a break-in while you are home, call the police or 911 first and stay on the phone with them.  DO NOT call them and then hang up.  It is vital for you to know when the police arrive and it is vital for them to know where you are and precisely what the situation is upon entry.

  • Your safe room.  You should have a plan in case of a nighttime break-in.  This safe room should have a solid core door with a deadbolt and  a cell phone or second phone line.  This should be a place where everyone can get to in a hurry.  Having a plan and practicing it is central to this strategy.

  • Outside your home is a very important place to consider also.  Keep your trees and shrubbery trimmed so that it does not hide points of entry like street level windows.  Keep an eye on large tree limbs that might provide access to upper windows.  House breakers like to work under cover, or in the dark.

  • How about lighting?  Are all points of entry illuminated?  Remember, the home invader likes to work unseen.

  • Do not leave tools or ladders around in the yard.  Keep them locked up so that they cannot be used against you.

  • Clearly display your house number on the outside of your mailbox and your home.  This will ensure that emergency vehicles will find you quickly.  You really don't want the police to have to look for your home first, do you?  

  • By the way, DO NOT PUT YOUR LAST NAME ON THE MAILBOX.  This is an easy way for a criminal to walk up to your home, call your number with a cell phone and wait to see if you answer.  The postman only goes by your address anyway.

  • If you leave your home for a few days, put lights and radios on timers so that it appears that someone is home.  Always set the lights to go on and off a few minutes after the hour, it gives a more natural indication that someone is home.  Also you should leave shades and blinds in their normal positions.  A home with every shade drawn is a big neon sign that nobody is home.

  • Have a neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers too!!  A week's worth of newspapers on your doorstep is an invitation to trouble.  As is a full mailbox.

  • Make a list of your home inventory, model numbers and  serial numbers.  It might help you identify your household goods if they are recovered.  Taking photos is also a good idea.  Also think about engraving identification numbers on your valuables.  Your local police department usually has an engraver that you can rent or borrow.

 



At Night

This is a relatively rare occurrence but it does happen everyday.  So you think you have prepared well for just such an occasion, very good for you.

You have analyzed the weak points in your home, the points of entry and all the other aspects of home security.

Have you taken advantage of all the possible ways to prevent a night time break?  If you have, good for you!!!  IF NOT, LISTEN UP!!!

Who has the advantage?  If you have not taken most of the above precautions, the intruder most definitely has the advantage, here are my reasons:

  • The intruder has probably done this type of thing before.

  • The intruder is probably on narcotics, alcohol or is mentally disturbed.

  • The intruder has been in "fight or flight reflex" mode since the break in began and is pumped up with adrenaline long before you notice their presence.

  • The intruder has already decided what to do if he finds someone awake inside the house and is mentally prepared to take that action without hesitation.

  • The intruder more than likely has a deadly weapon with him, even if it is just a hammer or a screwdriver he used to break in with.


How About You?

  • You are awakened from a sound sleep by a noise.  At first you deny the possibility that it is an intruder, giving up precious seconds.

  • Your eyes and ears take a few moments to adjust so that you can see and hear what is going on around you after waking up.  Heck, you have not even had your coffee yet.  :-)

  •  Your balance and equilibrium are off because you have been laying down for a while.  You continue to be clumsy, disoriented and uncoordinated in your actions and movements for a few more moments.

    Have you called the locksmith and carpenter yet?



Important Stuff

  • It is essential that you know who is in your home and where they are at any given time.  Many unexpected and unannounced sleepovers have ended in tragedy.

 

  • It is essential that you positively identify a potential threat in your home first.  Did you hear me?  Excuse me??????  Did you hear me?????  POSITIVELY IDENTIFY WHAT YOU BELIEVE TO BE A THREAT IN YOUR HOME BEFORE YOU SHOOT AT IT.  IT COULD BE YOUR CHILD, YOUR WIFE, YOUR GIRLFRIEND, YOUR FIANCÉ, AN UNANNOUNCED SLEEPOVER, A DRUNK FRIEND OF YOUR TWENTY-SOMETHING CHILD.... ETC. ETC. ETC.  YOU ABSOLUTELY AND TENACIOUSLY MUST POSITIVELY IDENTIFY A POTENTIAL THREAT AS A REAL THREAT TO LIFE OR LIMB BEFORE YOU FIRE.  DID YOU HEAR ME YET?

 

  • Do not leave your safe room and go about the home looking for suspects unless you are well trained to do so.  Watching a lot of television dramas and movies is NOT proper training.

 

  • Never shoot an intruder to scare him or wound him.  If you are justified in shooting an intruder, you must ONLY shoot to stop the attack.  If the intruder dies as a result of you stopping the attack, that is his problem.

 

  • The best place to send a bullet to stop an attack is the center of the intruder's chest, nowhere else.  It is the biggest target area and contains the heart, aorta, pulmonary arteries and many other items important to proper bodily function.

 

  • Many people who don't know anything about self defense shooting, have said "...shoot them in the knee."  I have to laugh.  Not even the most well trained individual, during the heat of a mortal attack can properly aim a firearm at a knee cap.  More commonly, an entire firearm is emptied and the intruder may be hit once or twice.

 

  • This is a little known fact:  Between 20% and 25% of police shootings result in the death of the law breaker.  The person being shot has a 75% to 80% chance of survival with a single bullet wound to the chest area.  This is mostly because of the advanced medical techniques available today and the duty of the officer to give that help immediately.

 

  • Remember, that the estate of a dead intruder cannot sue for as much money as a wounded intruder can.  I got this tip from a lawyer fully versed in self defense and firearm law.  So take it as you will.

 

  • 14 out of 15 times, the criminal will retreat when confronted with an armed and determined homeowner.  In only 6.7% of self defense incidents is a shot even fired.  The conflict can be resolved 93.3% of the time simply with armed and determined resistance.

 

  • There are approximately 200 defensive firearm uses every hour of every day.  That works out to about three (3) defensive uses of firearms in the United States every minute.  This statistic is the result of intensive and comprehensive studies of experts in the field, such as Professors Wright and Rossi and many others, such as John R. Lott Jr. and David Mustard.  Some studies have shown even more defensive uses of firearms than that.

 

  • There are about two hundred sixty times (260X) more defensive uses of firearms than firearms used for murder.  There are about 9,700 firearm-related murders each year in the United States and about 6,800 instances of someone utilizing a firearm for defense of self, family, friends, pets or businesses each day.  Do the math.  Guns are used 260X more for defense than for murder.

 

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that 11% of gun owners and 13% of handgun owners have used their firearms in self defense at some point.

 

  • Between 1976 and 1999 only 14% of all homicides involved a stranger.  In the bulk of all homicides there is a single victim.

 

  • The number of homicides that involve more than one victim is low--less than 1%.  For example, in 1999, just 0.5% of all homicides involved three or more victims.  The number involving four victims is 0.2%  and the number involving five or more victims is just 0.1%.  However, because of a lot of media attention, multiple murders seem more common.

Annual criminal gun use: Less than 0.2% of firearms. Less than 0.4% of handguns.

About 99.8% of firearms and more than 99.6% of handguns will not be used to commit violent crimes in any given year. (Source: FBI data on gun-related crimes and survey research on gun ownership.)

 



Religious Implications

What does God think about self defense?  Thou shalt not kill, is of course one of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament of the Bible.  However if one was to translate that commandment correctly from the original Hebrew that it was written in, it translates more like, "Thou shalt not murder."  Self defense is not murder.  Please consider the following verses.

In Matthew 5:39 NIV, Jesus said "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. "

Webmasters Note:  The King James Version of Matthew 5:39 says: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  According to proper Hebrew translation, smiting on the cheek is equivalent to an insult, rather than a physical strike.  So the verse is intended to say, do not physically assault someone who is merely verbally insulting you.

Luke 11:21 NIV, Jesus said "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe."

Luke 22:36 NIV, Jesus says " He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

Exodus 22:2 NIV says "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;..."

Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV says "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." 

Zechariah 9:8 NIV says "But I will defend my house against marauding forces.  Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch."

Ezekiel 9:2 NIV says "And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.  With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side.  They came in and stood beside the bronze altar."

Some people think that if a criminal takes an innocent life in a violent assault, isn't that will of God?

Other people who have successfully defended themselves would say that God gave them the strength to fight back and overcome their assailant.  Wouldn't that too, be the will of God?

This issue is a very personal one and cannot be decided easily.  My feeling has always been that my life is a gift from God and that if I lay down and die in the midst of a violent assault and offer no resistance to the assailant, I am holding that gift of God in contempt.

In the Bible, resistance to a rapist is REQUIRED of the woman.  In Old Testament times, if a woman was raped and she did not scream for help, but suffered the rape tamely and without resistance, she was to be killed along with the rapist, because she did not resist.

Deuteronomy 22:23-27)  23. If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 
24. you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death--the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you. 
25. But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 
26. Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor, 
27. for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.


Remember when there wasn't anything morally wrong or evil about owning and using firearms?



Non Lethal Self Defense

 

Hmmm, where do I start with this topic?  OK, let me start by reiterating what I have already said about the most important weapon you have is your brain.  Most of the time, you can avoid a violent assault by being prepared beforehand.  And by using your head to avoid conflict. 

 But there are some circumstances where non-lethal tools can be used to your advantage.

What are some of the better options?

  • OC (Oleo Capisicum) Sprays  These sprays are made from the hottest part of the hot pepper.  The oils that are found in and around the seed pack of the pepper.  These oils are concentrated and then manufactured into an aerosol or pump dispenser.  There are many types, sizes, concentrations, sprays and foggers to consider.  Generally you get what you pay for.  If it is small, inexpensive, of low concentration and of poor construction, all you are going to do is make your assailant mad at you.  Not a very good idea.  Get sound, and professional training before deciding to carry such a device.  These should not be taken lightly.  They can blow back in your face and disable you instead of the assailant.  If used in a car, you will most certainly be without your vision for quite a while.  

    Try to find a quality device that is at least a 10% concentration of OC.   When using it, follow the instructions.  Most of them are dated, they will lose their qualities after a while.  If you actually are forced to use the device, aim at the assailant's chin.  The upward swing of your hand will carry the spray into the mouth and eyes.  If you aim toward the nose or eyes, you will give the assailant a good solid dose of highly concentrated OC spray in his hair.  What good would that do?

    Again, I must state that you should get proper training in the use of these devices.

  • Mace sprays can be used in the same manner but they usually are a bit less effective than the better OC sprays.  Mace is primarily designed to take away the sight of the assailant while a good OC spray can even affect breathing.

  • Stun guns are illegal in many States, as are Tazer type guns that fire darts connected to an electrical power source.  These devices can be more tricky to use than the OC sprays.  There are many disadvantages to this type of self defense measure.  First, you have to be in physical contact with your assailant and you must maintain contact with the assailant for a few seconds.  Secondly, these devices don't work well through heavy clothing.

    It is important for you to know that these types of non-lethal devices should ONLY be used to buy you a few precious seconds to retreat and get away from the situation.  DO NOT spray or zap your assailant and sit around in hopes that some police officer will show up to arrest him.  It usually doesn't work that way.



<<WARNING>>

I am not a certified instructor for self defense, nor am I a member of any law enforcement agency.  The above advice is just a few things I have picked up over the years.  I trust you have read my Disclaimer Page by now.

If you are really interested in self defense and want to learn more about it, see a lawyer that has loads of experience in this field or visit one of the major self defense training schools in this country.  I would also suggest that you take a course offered by the National Rifle Association.  The NRA offers courses on personal protection.  The NRA personal protection courses dictates that a lawyer and police officer, familiar with these topics be present to train and answer questions.  Because of the professionals involved, the course may be somewhat expensive.

 



Self Defense Links

          Com Tac Firearms Training Center

          Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

         Gun site Training Center

          Lethal Force Institute

          Defensive Handgun.com

          Marksman's Enterprise

          Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment

          Refuse to be a victim

          International Defensive Pistol Association

          http://bjj.org/editorials/19980102-flight/  

          http://www.selfdefenseproducts.com/

          http://www.buy-pepper-spray-today.com/types-of-pepper-spray/guns/

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