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Here is an article from the “Well Armed Woman Blog”

I saw this post on Facebook this afternoon and I wanted you to read it as well.

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Personal and Family defense plan–Part 3

Chance favors a prepared mind

 

If you are still reading this series I can only hope that I have brought you to the point where you are seriously thinking about the need to have a Personal and Family defense plan.  In part two of this series, I underlined the importance of recognizing that a crisis can happen to you or your family, at any given time.

I used a movie clip from the movie Under Siege Dark Territory as an example of how trained mercenaries were making a bad assumption.  They were assuming that the cook (Steven Segal) was dead and no longer a threat.  One of our readers of this series reminded me of another excellent quote from this movie. 

Chance favors a prepared mind 

I would encourage you to read that statement a couple of times and really meditate on its meaning.  In the first article, I mentioned how we plan for all sorts of life long contingencies.  We make plans for the future.  We plan for financial wellbeing, our health, retirement, children’s college funds and savings.  The list goes on.  In every one of these instances, we identify a need in our life and we set goals and put plans into action so we can meet these goals. 

Let’s say you want to lose 50 lbs.  At some point, you came to the realization that your clothes were not fitting correctly or maybe a health issue has cropped up that got your attention.  In your mind, you realized there is a problem and you decided to deal with it.  At that point, you took control of the problem and formulated a plan to deal with it.  You educated yourself to the best of your ability and you used what you have at your disposal to make the plan work. 

By now I am hopeful that you have come to the realization that if you have not formulated a Personal and Family defense plan that you have placed yourself or your family at risk.  You are assuming nothing can ever happen and if something does happen you will not be prepared and you or your family will become a victim. 

My goal is to awaken you to the fact that there are real threats to your personal safety and to that of your family.  My goal is to encourage you to consider that fact and to plan for the eventuality of it happening.  Does being prepared, mean that you will never have to worry about being threatened?  Being prepared means that if something does happen that you will be better prepared to deal with it and you have increased your ability to survive the threat.

Now that you are thinking about real threats let’s examine some of them.  Threats generally come in two categories. 

Threats against people

·         Physical assault

·         Sexual assault

·         Robbery  

·         Kidnapping

·         Bullying

·         Car jacking

·         Home invasion

·         Terroristic threat

·         Fraud

·         Identity theft

Threats against property

·         Fire

·         flood

·         Inclement weather

·         Home invasion

·         Vandalism

·         Burglary

·         Credit card fraud  

 

These lists are very general in nature and their purpose is to get you to think about how you and your family, could possibly be threatened.  If you are having a hard time imagining any of these things happening, all you need to do is turn on your local news station and the crime reports can help you fill in the blanks.

Here is another general list of crimes that I know have happened. 

·         Bank robberies

·         Robberies of all types of businesses

·         Robberies of individuals in mall parking lots

·         Robberies of individuals at ATM machines

·         Robberies of delivery drivers

·         Sexual assault in parks

·         Kidnapping

·         Automobile theft

·         Domestic violence

·         Drug deals going bad and people getting shot or stabbed

·         Aggravated robberies of individuals using a deadly weapon

If you remember in my last article, I mentioned a dear friend of mine, and a question he posed to me.  He stated that his father had never owned a firearm for as long as he could remember.  He told me that he has never owned a firearm nor has he ever had the need for one.  After all this time, why would he need to purchase a firearm now? 

My friend made this comment right after he found out that I had taken a state required course, that would allow me to carry a concealed weapon.  The context of our conversation related to my personal choice to carry a concealed weapon.  My answer to his question is simple.  Violent crime against property and individuals has been on the rise for decades. I chose to be mentally prepared to protect myself, and my family.  I chose to do whatever it takes so that we will not become victims.   

I remember a time when you could leave the keys to your vehicle in the ignition and not worry about someone stealing it from you.  I remember a time when you could go to bed at night and leave your doors and windows open and unlocked.  You did not have to worry about someone coming into your house and stealing from you or harming your wife or children.  Sadly enough those times are long gone.  We can no longer afford to do these things and if we do we are opening up ourselves to becoming victims to those people who would perpetrate those types of crimes. 

Remember that our goal is to be safe as individuals and as families.  We want to know that in case of an emergency, where our safety is threatened, we can act in such a way as to escape the threat, or repel that threat. 

In the next article I will begin to dig in to the basics of being prepared and putting together a Personal and Family defense plan. 

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No Concealed Weapon signs means no business from me

I went to the Goodwill store on Rivers Avenue, just after Remount road on Sunday afternoon.  Katy and I were on our way back from church, and I wanted to see how the Goodwill Technology Center was doing.  I do volunteer work for a non profit in Charleston and I send a lot of folks that need low cost technology hardware to that location.

The parking lot was full for a Sunday afternoon, and I found a place to park near the front door.  Katy and I walked up to the front door and I was greeted by a “legal” No Concealed Carry sign on the front door.  That means that I , as a legal concealed carry permit holder have to disarm myself to go into this business.  Despite my urge to get in the car and wait on Katy to finish her shopping, I disarmed myself so I could complete my mission.

In South Carolina you can go to an 8 hour class , in which an NRA trained instructor, teaches you the state gun laws, and you spend time on the range proving your proficiency with a hand gun.  Basically you have to prove you can hit a paper target up to 50 feet away with both hands.  You shoot 50 rounds and do it with the gun range instructors guidance.  The 8 hour class is a bare minimum requirement from the state.  You also get yourself fingerprinted at the local Sherriff department on Leeds Avenue.  Those prints are then sent to the FBI where your prints are compared to their database to make sure you are not wanted or have a criminal background.  While you are at Leeds avenue you are in a locked room with the deputy who also searches their County database to see if you are currently wanted in their system.

Once the background check is done your concealed weapons permit application is sent to the same local Sherriff for their approval or disapproval of your permit.  Once he or she signs off on it. the application goes back to SLED for their approval. and to either send you the permit or deny it.  This process takes up to 90 days to happen.  Not everyone is able to get a concealed weapons permit.

More and more people are finding the need to be able to carry a concealed weapon on themselves, for their protection, and protection of a loved one.  In South Carolina you can carry a handgun in a container, that can be locked such as your glove box or center console, or trunk in your vehicle.  You do not have to have a CWP (concealed weapons permit)because of the Castle Doctrine that the state legislature enacted many moons ago, basically states that your vehicle is covered.  The Castle Doctrine basically states, that your home is your castle, and you have a right and privilege to defend it against intruders, and that you do not have to retreat in the face of an intrusion.

The Concealed Weapons Permit does not mean that you can carry a concealed weapon anywhere you please.  You can not carry your concealed weapon into a school or government building.  You can not carry it when you go vote or into government buildings, childcare facilities or medical facilities.  You also can not carry a concealed weapon into a restaurant or bar that sells alcohol for on site consumption.  You can not carry a concealed weapon into a business if they are displaying a legal sized sign with a handgun with a line drawn through it with a circle and says “No concealed weapons allowed”.

If you carry a concealed weapon in any of these places, and you are caught, you lose your CWP permit and you are fined and can go to jail.  That means that if I really want to go to King Street Grill on Wednesday for a half price burger I have to disarm myself.  If I want to go to the Goodwill Technology center to buy this or that I have to disarm myself.  When we went into Goodwill, as in most stores, there are no security measures in place to protect you.  No armed security officers, no police, no nothing.  That means that you are disarming yourself so that you can have the pleasure of obeying the law and spending your hard earned money in that establishment.

The only problem with this scenario is that criminals do NOT obey the law and they carry concealed weapons wherever they go.  When business owners display the no concealed weapons signs on their business that is advertising to criminals that everyone is disarmed, and that they can safely go in and rob the place.  They do not have to worry about being met with any type of resistance from a legally armed citizen.  I believe that the state laws need to be amended, so that folks who are legally able to carry a concealed weapon can do so in restaurants and businesses like Goodwill.

If you look at the state laws online you will see that restaurants that sell alcohol on the premises are NOT listed as one of the places you can not carry a concealed weapon.  That prohibition is listed in a completed different section of the state law.  You have to do some digging to find it, but it is there.  I believe that the law should stipulate that if you want to consume alcohol, then you can not legally carry a concealed weapon.  If you want to enter the establishment and have dinner with your family and you are NOT sitting at the bar, then you should be able to carry a concealed weapon with a state issued permit.

I also believe that businesses should be allowed to prohibit the ILLEGAL carrying of concealed weapons but also allow LEGALLY licensed permit holders to carry.  As it stands it is either you can or you can not. How can we change these laws?  By communicating with our state law makers in such a way that they will make changes to the language of existing laws or passing amendments.  That is why it is so important to educate yourself on what the law says.  You can do this by joining the NRA or local gun clubs or state organizations that can help us to effect these much needed changes.

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Colorado Concealed Carry – Refuse To Be A Victim – The Decision To Be An Armed Citizen

Colorado Concealed Carry – Refuse To Be A Victim – The Decision To Be An Armed Citizen.

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Finding balance between personal safety and paranoia

This year I have managed to work on three different goals.  The first goal was to continue my education by taking classes at Trident Technical College. I probably have one more year to go and then I will have gotten my first 2 year degree as a Telecommunications Systems Manager.  That degree program at Trident Technical College fits right in line with my current career path in I.T.  If truth be known I should have done this 20 years ago.  What can I say, I am a slow starter. 

My second goal is to continue working on my wellness program.  I started this in earnest back in June of this year when I joined Planet Fitness and made a commitment to myself to go work out a minimum of 3 days per week so I can lose weight.  I also made a commitment to myself to eat healthier and to eat less.  Thus far this is working out for me as I am finding some success in this area.  I am losing weight and my clothes are getting too big for me which is forcing me to pay to have them taken in. 

My third goal this year was to get my concealed weapons permit in South Carolina.  I guess some folks would consider my blogging about that as “over sharing”.  The reason I want to write about this is because I have met with some resistance from some of my friends with regards to my decision to do this.  I have been labeled as “Mr.Paranoia” by some of my  friends but that is ok.  As I have discussed the reasons for labeling me as paranoid I realize that those folks have either experienced or seen other folks experience accidents around guns because of their mishandling.  We have all heard the stories of how a child comes across a loaded gun that is laying around the house not secured.  Sometimes the gun is not just laying around the house and might even be put away.  The problem with that is the weapon should be put in a safe place where it is accessible to the responsible adult in case of emergency but secured in such a manner that a child can not accidentally discharge the weapon and hurt themselves or others. 

I have spent a decade in law enforcement and private security and I have been exposed to the victims of personal crime and property. I have seen the affects that crime can bring upon an individual and their families. It is said that crime is a crime of opportunity.  In other words crime is committed by people who intentionally plan on doing something that breaks the law and violates our safety and that of our loved ones. I have several friends who have said that they have never had the need for a gun nor have any of their loved ones.  Therefore they do not see a need to have one in the home much less to carry one concealed.  All I can say to that is they have been very very fortunate.  I would also state that if that is the reason that they feel they do not need to protect themselves or their families then that is not good.  Thinking that crime can not happen to you or your family and that you will never become a victim is that very thing that will get you into trouble. 

The title of my blog post today is “Finding Balance between personal safety and paranoia”.  There is a difference between self defense and personal safety.  When you find yourself engaging an attacker then you are engaged in self defense. Self defense is something that we do instinctively because our survivor instincts kick in and we do everything that we can to get ourselves and our loved ones out of danger.  Personal safety is a mind set and a willingness to explore the possibility that there is danger all around us and to be mentally, emotionally and physically able to repel whatever danger that we might encounter. Being prepared to defend yourself and loved ones by any means possible is a right and privilege that should be taken seriously. 

Personal safety experts tell us that we should be in a condition “yellow” mode at all times. What does that mean exactly?  It means that we should always be aware of our surroundings.  It means that we should pay attention to the environment that we are in and the people that we are going to encounter each day.  It means that we should understand that not everyone that we encounter is our friend and that they do have a potential to want to do you or your loved ones harm should you look like a victim to them.  What makes someone appear to be like a victim?  A victim is someone who appears to be physically weak and not paying attention to their surroundings.  If you are walking down a sidewalk texting your friends or talking on your cell phone and not paying attention to those around you then you might be placing yourself in a position of being a possible victim. 

Having a law enforcement background I understand that not everyone is going to be ready willing and able to use a firearm to take a life. One of the things that our instructor told us was this. If you are not willing to put a gun into the rib cage of an attacker and pull the trigger and possibly kill them then you need to take your training fee and go home.  There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being an armed citizen.  You have to count the cost and you have to educate yourself on what the local laws are with regards to gun ownership and concealed carry. If you decide not to carry a firearm that does not mean that you have to throw away personal safety.  There are plenty of non lethal weapons that can be used for self defense and personal safety. 

I can not stress this enough.  Personal safety is an individual right and privilege. Your well being and your life and the life of a loved one could depend on your ability to be smart, be aware of your surroundings and be able to thwart an attacker that is intent on doing you serious bodily injury for whatever reasons. Yes, you have to be wary and maybe even a little bit paranoid of potential threats in the community around you but that little bit of paranoia can also keep you and your loved ones alive. Whatever you do please do not take the attitude that crime can not happen to you and is something that only happens to other people. 

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