By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Early in the morning this past Tuesday, March 13, Paul Jean Foreman, the writer of this column said goodbye to this life, and slipped away into the next. He never had any doubt where he was going, or who was going to take him there, and while he fought harder to stay than just about anyone I have ever known, Heaven is now his new address. I have no doubt that now he has taken his first breath on the other side, he has no regrets.

I remember clearly the first time I met Paul. He and his wife Joann were promoting his book, Bloodstains In Paradise at Athens State University’s Center for Lifelong Learning. While the book dealt with crime and was based on things he experienced as a law enforcement officer with decades of experience under his belt, I remember when Paul told me with a grin that, “It won’t make your pastor go over in a dead faint.”

I immediately liked this guy, and I liked his “Ladybug.” I came to really like the way his Ladybug stood by her man, in all that he did, down to the end. At the time we met, I had two writers who were handling the personal security column of Athens Now, as that particular subject had become a topic of great importance to me, especially after my time in Iraq. Business had become too good for the current columnists, and they had to vacate their spot in order to manage the boom in their business.

It took no time to figure out who I wanted to fill the slot. The day Paul came down to the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful office so I could take his head shot pic, he looked like a kid on Christmas morning, ready to tear into presents to see what was there. Turns out, the “presents” were all for us, and they came in the form of his articles. While Paul certainly had the creds, as far as being a NRA certified trainer, as well as someone with lots of time roaring in Florida as a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer), it was his faith and what his friend Tony Llewellen calls “plain-ol’-walkin’-around sense” that made him so endearing, and not just here in Athens.

It is the dream of every newspaper columnist to have someone “who is not from around here” follow and enjoy their column. I have a business associate and dear friend who hails from St. Louis, MO, and she and her husband, a retired Air Force intel officer are strong proponents of the 2nd Amendment. She so appreciated Paul’s measured wisdom and even approach to difficult topics, especially since they lived through the nightmare of the close-by meltdown of Ferguson a few years back. I’ll never forget one morning when she called me, having read the paper while having her morning tea, and her comment was, “I’m sitting here, drinking tea, and have read Athens Now from front to back. Bravo to you for your heart and to Paul Foreman for his common sense.”

As much as I appreciated that common sense, and the fact that he was so diligent when it came to crafting his columns, it was watching the warrior come out when he faced down the enemy we have come to call “the Big C,” better known as cancer. He would send out texts with prayer requests, or victory reports when the medical news was good, and he would always tag them with, “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”

But what got me the most was when he sent out a text that said, “Sometimes I am awake in the night and can’t sleep. Anyone on your prayer list that I can add to mine when I pray in the night?” I gave him the name of a struggling family member, and just knowing Paul Jean was praying for others, especially when he was in the fight of his life, will always inspire me. One of the very last texts he sent me, which was on the 24th of February sums it up: “Hospice got me [SIC] Hospital bed, a walker chair, a potty chair. Life is great!” Indeed, life is, dear bro, and I am so glad that your pain is gone and Life for you is now AWESOME! Just so you know, I am keeping your texts for whatever may be ahead, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the years of the Forum that shall forever be Foreman’s.
By: Ali ElizabethTurner

By: Paul Foreman
Predators size up their prey before attacking. This is true for alligators, wolves, sharks, and it is also true for violently predatory humans. Be aware of your surroundings and who is watching your movements. It is much better to stay out of trouble in the first place than to shoot your way out of a life or death situation.

You need to be totally aware of who and what is around you. This applies whether you are pulling into a parking lot, walking into a store, or eating lunch at your favorite burger joint. In cop circles, we have what we call the “Gun Fighter’s Chair.” This was made famous by the gambler and gun fighter, known as Wild Bill Hickok, who met his demise sitting at a poker table with his back to the door. The killer approached from behind and shot Wild Bill in the back of his head. The former Sheriff of Abilene, Texas turned gambler and vagrant, was buried in Deadwood South Dakota. His twin six shooters were sold to pay for the burial plot. In his earlier days, Wild Bill would have always sat so he could see who was approaching him.

Now, I am not advising my readers to live like Wild Bill. But please do be aware of your surroundings. Walking with your nose in your smart phone could lead to more serious problems than walking into a light pole, or stepping into an open man hole. Just last week, a local bank was robbed. I use that bank all the time. Due to the “gun-free” sign on the window, I always store my firearm in my locked console before dismounting from my truck. I can honestly say that makes me feel naked! Feeling naked, I look around to see if anybody is looking at my 67 year old body. Seriously, I do look around. Is a shady character sitting in his car with the engine running? As I approach the door, is there anything unusual going on inside?

The same procedure with “stop and robs.” I mean, convenience stores. Yes, I have actually backed out and left due to not so pleasant looking characters hanging around the outside of a store. Pay attention to your surroundings, and you will be able to avoid trouble. With proper situational awareness and conflict avoidance skills, you will be able to avoid situations which “less-aware” individuals might walk right into.

WHEN IN DOUBT, GET OUT!
Conflict avoidance means just that: avoiding conflict. If you feel that you might be in physical danger, you need to get out of there. If you feel like someone is following you, walk into the next open business ,or move to the opposite side of the street. If you are driving, make two or three right turns, and then check to see if you are still being followed. Drive to a well lighted area. Drive to a Police Station or Fire Department. If you are convinced that you are being followed, DO NOT DRIVE HOME! Call 911 and report what is going on, give them your location and direction of travel. If you can, give them a description of your vehicle and the vehicle following you. Do not get yourself into a high speed chase. If you see a police car, sound your horn and drive toward them! If you are walking, use the same tactics. If at night, use your flashlight to get the police’s attention. If needed, use it to blind the creep and run. You do carry a good flash light, don’t you? Today’s lights are a hundred times more powerful than just a few years ago, and the prices have come down dramatically. I just got one with 600 lumens from Amazon for less than $15.

If you are a CCW license holder, your gun is not a replacement for good common sense. Your gun is not magical, and your permit to carry doesn’t make you a superhero. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t go anywhere with your gun that you would not go without it.

I don’t carry a gun so I can go into bad places. I carry a gun because sometimes bad things happen to good people. In short, if you have plans to go somewhere, and you think you’re going to need a gun, cancel your plans. Watch out for who is watching you.
By: Paul Foreman

By Paul Foreman
I have heard, “Anti gun people who believe if there is a robbery by an armed criminal, a good guy with a gun will more likely hurt innocent people while trying to stop the bad guy.” I will accept that while that scenario is possible, BUT, in fact it rarely ever happens. I am totally convinced that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. Many Sheriffs and police chiefs are coming on news broadcasts and telling citizens to get armed and get trained.

For this article, I did some research. Now I am very pro NRA, but I wanted to seek out a fair and balanced set of statistics. So I “googled” the question: “How many innocent victims are killed by armed citizens while defending themselves?” I could not find any such cases documented. One report by the “Gun Owners of America” states: “Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self defense by law abiding citizens.” That is 6,800 times per day! Guns are used 80 times more often to defend lives of innocent citizens rather than criminals taking lives
(www.gunowners.org). The lame stream media will never report such facts because the facts do NOT support their anti-gun agenda. The United States is third in murders throughout the world. But if you take out just four cities (Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans), the United States is fourth from the bottom in the entire world for murders! Yet, these four cities also have the toughest gun control laws in the U.S. All four of these cities are controlled by anti-gun politicians. It would be absurd to draw any conclusions from this data – correct?

I spent a total of 23 years in Law Enforcement. Today’s officers get much better training than I did back in the 70’s. Today, I am a student of self defense. I am an NRA certified instructor. I read, study and practice self defense with a firearm every chance I get. I am a huge advocate of staying out of and away from trouble. As a Deputy Sheriff in Lee County Florida, I would often be dispatched to various locations which were known to be trouble spots. For instance, a small public beach was a nice place during the day. But, at night, it was known for heavy drinking and the resulting fights. For a guy to take his girl there, it just was just plain dumb, stupid, ignorant or all of the above. The point here is stay away from trouble!

There is the rare, but possible, case where you have done everything right, stayed away from trouble and evil presents itself anyway. Last issue we talked about the fact that you cannot be the aggressor. If you start the fight and then find yourself losing the fight, you cannot pull a gun and legally defend yourself with it when you started the trouble. You cannot go back an hour later and get even with a guy who insulted your wife or girlfriend. So, before evil presents itself, do what eighteen other good citizens in North Alabama have done recently and get trained to use your firearm, safely and properly.

Give your PIECE a chance! It will not do you any good sitting in a box hidden somewhere in your home. When I give a class, I keep the class size small (2-3) so I can give individual attention. Sixteen of my students have been as novice as can be. Almost ZERO experience. Two of my students were former career military, but wanted a refresher. My desire is for my students to be cautious, but familiar and safe when picking up their gun. If an armed citizen picks up a gun in self defense, but has to stop and think, “Is the safety on or off? Is this gun loaded? If not loaded, where did I put the ammo?” If you need to do all that, in a self defense situation, it’s probably too late. Get trained so whether you pick up a gun for target practice or self defense, you are totally familiar with it. It is a tool and should be NO different than picking up a hammer in your workshop or a skillet and spatula in the kitchen. I can teach you to use your gun safely and properly.
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
One of the problems I see most often in my firearms training classes is the student not using the proper grip on his or her handgun. Gripping improperly can cause missed targets, malfunctions and even injuries. The grip must be firm, but not so tight that your hand is trembling. A two handed grip on guns is a “love-hate” or push-pull arrangement. Actually the same applies also to rifles and shotguns.
Years ago when I was working in a “big box” sporting goods store, a father with his 10 year old son came in. The father told me his son already had his own 22 rifle. Now dad wanted his son to have a shotgun, but the slightly built boy had become fearful of the recoil from his dad’s 12 gauge pump. Dad asked me about getting a 20 gauge or 410 gauge in a “youth model.” I did recommend the youth model as the stock is shorter to fit the shorter arms. Popular gun manufacturers often have the exact same model as sold to adults; they just make the stock shorter. An adult sized stock can be installed in just a few more years.

Even more important is the “grip” the young man was using. I pulled a youth model down off the rack, opened the action, showed them it was empty and with dad’s permission, handed the young man the gun. Kneeling down next to him, I explained how to push forward with the hand holding the forearm, while pulling back on the grip with his other hand. I also instructed him to ALWAYS keep his finger OFF the trigger until ready to shoot. Pushing forward with the front will absorb a lot of the recoil. I also showed him how to hold the stock firmly against his shoulder, so the gun would not punch him when it fired. Dad bought the youth sized 12 gauge, and the boy’s smile lit up the store as they left. The next day, the father and son came back in. They were anxious and excited to tell me about shooting some doves the day before and now the young man was no longer fearful of the shotgun!

Gripping a handgun should be the same, only you have both hands wrapped around the grip and trigger guard. Especially on semi auto pistols, the grip must be high on the back strap but not so high that the slide comes back and hits your hand (I can demonstrate this much better in class!). Gripping your gun too low can cause all kinds of problems. Again, the grip is a push pull affair so that one hand does not absorb all the recoil. We cover proper handgun grip in my classes, along with tons of other information so my students can safely and properly use a firearm.

Have a plan. In my Home Defense Class, I teach you how to have a plan, in case of a home invasion. What would you do? Imagine awakening during the night to discover some demented, drug-crazed thug has broken into your home. Do you have a gun? Is it loaded? Is it locked up somewhere? Can you get to it in time? Do you know how to use it safely and properly? Yes, you need to call 911, but after all, when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.

Recently in North Carolina, an eleven year old girl retreated into an upstairs closet when she heard two men breaking into her home. She dialed 911, but when the two bad guys forced open the closet door, they found themselves staring down the bad end of a 12 gauge shotgun! The brave criminals fled the home and were arrested a short time later.

Out west, a 14 year old young man followed the plan his parents had taught him. When two thugs broke in the front door in broad daylight, the 14 year old took his 6 year old brother and retreated to a closet. In the closet were a 22 caliber rifle and a cell phone. Same as above, when the thugs opened the closet door and saw the rifle, they fled like scared rabbits.

These stories never seem to get published in the mainstream media. I find them at www.Gunsamerica.com
Paul Foreman is a retired Deputy Sheriff, and a NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. Paul can be reached through his web site, www.PaulForeman.com.
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
“Guns are only dangerous when handled by dangerous people.”

Some of you may have seen the YouTube video of the police officer giving a Gun Safety demonstration to a class of students. The officer is dressed like he is a member of a “Special Response Team” or SWAT. Usually, these officers are specially trained for very high risk situations and are also highly trained in gun safety, as I am sure this officer was.

BUT… he gets way to COMFORTABLE, COMPLACENT and CARELESS with his gun which he probably “thought” he had already unloaded.

There he is standing in front of a room full of students talking about of all things, GUN SAFETY.

He actually makes the statement, “I am the only one in this room, professional enough that I know of, who carries a Glock 40.” The gun is pointed up at the ceiling, but then he lowers the gun toward the floor and points it right at his upper leg. Then we hear the loud “BANG!” He has just shot himself. This incident could have been even worse, but, thank goodness, the officer is the only person injured. He clumsily explains that an “accident” like this could happen to anyone and that no one should ever play with guns. I have given hundreds of demonstrations of gun safety, but, thank goodness, NOT like the one in the video.

It’s imperative that we follow safety rules thoroughly, all the time. Yes, if you are wondering if you read that right, this man shot himself in the leg in front of a room full of students…while giving a gun-safety lecture. I don’t know what was going on in this gentleman’s mind when he passed the muzzle over his leg and pressed the trigger, but I do know that his actions demonstrate why we must follow gun safety rules all the time, always. Even better, use a red or blue plastic “TRAINING” gun, especially when demonstrating gun safety to a group of people.

Comfortable: The word comfortable can be helpful up to a point. It’s fantastic when someone can manipulate a firearm with the ease of skill, experience, and training. And it’s great when someone knows and understands firearms enough that he or she feels normal and secure. But the “comfortable” attitude we need to be aware of (and concerned with) is when the respect for firearms is gone or when the healthy fear of guns is no longer there. In my opinion, we should never be too comfortable around guns. When we are comfortable, we often get relaxed, and when we get too relaxed, we can become lazy. This poor guy was just way too comfortable with his gun.

I am sure he had probably spent years handing that gun and others, and that is the problem. He was so used to handling his gun that he became way too comfortable with it. A gun becomes DANGEROUS, only when used by someone who fails to always be aware of the gun and its potential for becoming dangerous when handled improperly. It’s great to be confident and familiar with your gun, but not comfortable.

Complacent: This, I believe occurs when people, such as police officers, think they know so much about guns (because they’ve worked with them for so long) that they don’t really feel they need to think about it very much anymore, or at all. This is a dangerous pride that can swell and spread, quickly smothering safety and caution. And for this reason, complacency needs to be addressed and extinguished as quickly as possible.

Careless: You would think that most people would probably consider “CARELESS” the worst sin of them all, since it’s a complete lack of concern that results in people doing really dumb stuff without even thinking to avoid harm or error. Perhaps some of these DEADLY SINS of gun handling may seem more extreme and dangerous than others, but they are all equally as intolerable. Safety should always be everyone’s priority, no matter your background, your training, the type of firearms you own, or the way you carry your gun.

1.Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
2.Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3.Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
(The exception to rule #3 would be if you use the gun for self-defense.)
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul ForemanMany of us make New Year’s resolutions about now. Some of us want to lose weight, some of us want to quit smoking. I want to be a better shooter. I hate to admit it, but I have NOT done much shooting this past year. Those of you who know me, know that I have had a heck of a battle with this horrible and evil cancer. Now, if you are going to make a New Year’s resolution to be a better shooter, make it good self-defense shooting. Do NOT practice being a “plinker.” I define “plinking” as walking around the woods, picking out a stump, and using an old tin can, anything, and then taking a few shots just to see if you can hit it. Plinking may be kinda fun. BUT: it doesn’t do much if anything to improve your self-defense abilities.

i am assuming you already have the basic fundamentals of gun safety totally ingrained into your mind. If you do not, then and I repeat, DO NOT go to the range until you have taken a “Basic Handgun Class” by a NRA Certified Firearms Instructor.

To be proficient, we all should shoot at least once a month. Practice drawing and shooting until you have locked in what I like to call “Muscle Memory.” Your hands will do exactly what they have done hundreds, or even thousands, of times before.

Most indoor gun ranges will NOT allow drawing and shooting from a holster. They believe it to be far safer to lay your gun on the table then pick it up to shoot.

You can always practice “dry fire” drawing and shooting from a holster at home. Dry fire is of course done with an EMPTY gun. TRIPLE CHECK to make absolutely sure your gun is empty. If somebody is with you, have them also check to make sure it is empty. First, just draw from your holster, slowly at first then picking up a little speed after a dozen or more times. Then, practice with your gun concealed, pulling your “cover” garment out of the way before drawing your gun several dozen times. If this is your first time practicing this way, do it with an UNLOADED gun, until you have mastered the skill of drawing your gun safely.

Now we get to finally do some shooting! Get some target ammo, at least one box of fifty. Every round fired should have a “training value” attached. So, forget about shooting nice, tight, three-, five-, and seven-yard groups. Let’s do some serious training. You’ve got 50 rounds; here is a great way to use them so you get training value from each round you fire.

Suggested one-box training protocol:
Two handed grip, from the holster, at 5 yards: Draw and fire one round as quickly as you can; safely and accurately hit the target. Repeat 10 times. Remember to establish the proper two-handed grip, acquiring the target and firing the shot. Get your finger off the trigger, re-engage the safety if your gun has one, re-holster. Total shots fired: 10
One-handed grip, from the holster, at 5 yards: Just like above, but fire with one hand, keeping your OFF hand away from your gun. Repeat 10 times. Total shots fired: 20
Transition to one-handed grip, other strong hand: Draw from the holster with your strong hand. Transition to your other hand and fire two rounds as quickly as you can; safely and accurately hit the target. Return the gun to your holster; repeat, drawing and firing three rounds. Do this twice. Total shots fired: 30
Drive the gun, fire from “low ready” position: Your instructor should have taught you high and low ready. I like low ready the best. Hold the gun in a two-handed grip with your elbows against your ribs. Make sure of your target, and fire at the target as fast as you can; safely and accurately hit the target. Fire two rounds. Then fire three rounds. Repeat four times.
Total shots now fired: 50

There you have it. You have fired a box of ammo, 50 rounds, with four easy drills that will build your self-defense shooting skills. As always, observe all firearms safety rules; never let your gun point at anything you are not willing to destroy, and keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and have made a conscious decision to shoot.

Paul Foreman is a retired deputy sheriff from Lee County Florida, now living in Athens. Paul is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. “As many of you may already know, due to my current battle with cancer, I am NOT doing firearms classes. Prayers are welcome. As for the classes, I have a gentleman whom I am referring people to, who is also an NRA certified Firearms Instructor.” E-Mail me at: Captureman@PaulForeman.com
Join the NRA, they protect your 2nd amendment rights. To join, go to [http://www.paulforeman.com%2C/] www.PaulForeman.com, Click on the NRA Eagle!
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
Just last week, the U.S. Congress approved a bill titled, “The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.” The bill now needs to be voted on by the Senate, then signed by President Trump before it becomes law. All of you need to contact your senators and urge them to vote YES and get the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act” (AKA HR 38) passed. Last I heard, there will be quite a battle in the Senate, to get this badly needed bill passed.

This proposed law, AKA HR 38, will require every state to recognize all other states’ concealed carry permits. This law is badly needed to prevent innocent law-abiding people from being arrested for exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Some who are against the law being passed, the anti-gunners, are claiming all kinds of myths and outright lies about HR 38. Here some of them:

Myth #1: Criminals will be able to have guns. Truth: Federal law prohibits criminals from possessing firearms.

Myth #2: Women will be less safe. Truth: Women will be safer when allowed to legally defend themselves and NOT be arrested for possessing a gun even though they have a permit from their home state.

Myth #3: Domestic abusers will be able to get a permit from another state. Truth: In all states, federal law prohibits domestic abusers from possessing firearms.

Myth #4: Gun crime rates will go up. Truth: Concealed carry permit holders, must go through a criminal background check, in order to have a concealed carry permit. They are also the most law-abiding section of society. Statistically they break laws less than law enforcement officers. Criminals get guns the illegal way, they steal them.

Myth #5: This bill will allow stalkers to carry guns. Truth: Anyone who has a restraining order against them is not permitted to possess any firearms in any state (see Myth #3). The people who this bill will help are the very people, the victims, who are being stalked. The law will allow them to carry a gun for their protection.

Myth #6: Even if a person is prohibited from having a gun, this bill will give them the right to carry one. Truth: Once again, this bill does not overturn any laws on prohibited people. If you are banned from possessing a gun by federal law, then you cannot own or possess a gun.

Myth # 7: This is a free pass to gun manufacturers and the NRA. Truth: As of 2017, according to Wikipedia, there are 16.3 million concealed weapon permits issued in the United States. This bill would empower every single one of those permit holders to be able to travel freely from state to state with their firearms. Law-abiding citizens are the people most affected by this law. Criminals will go right on being criminals. The NRA also represents the interest of firearms owners. The NRA is about protecting the Second Amendment rights of the people, and this is what this bill does.

The anti-gun left tried to use a lot of emotion to defeat this bill, and they will still do so as it moves to the Senate. The reason they use emotion is that the facts are not on their side. The people on the pro-gun side need to keep hitting them with factual arguments, aka the Truth, and not get drawn into an emotional battle. This law will make it legal for those who have a concealed carry permit issued in Alabama to also be recognized and legal in all 49 other states, including Washington, DC. Right now, there are a dozen or so states that will throw you in the slammer for entering their state with your firearm which is perfectly legal in your home state. How would you like it if those states did that with your driver’s license?
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
The recent terrorist attack in New York City, made me really stop and think. My son, Alan is here visiting from Texas. He was watching the news coverage of the event and asked me, “Dad, what should a legally armed citizen do when he or she suddenly witnesses such a horrible attack on innocent people taking place?”

There are a lot of things that go through a person’s mind when witnessing something tragic happen right before their eyes. Is the average person really that de-sensitized just because they see so much violence on TV and in the movies? Many people will be so shocked by what they see, they just freeze in place and literally do nothing. Their brain shuts down upon experiencing an event that is totally terrorizing. In one of my past articles, I told of how my brother, his wife and I along with my wife, witnessed a horrible motorcycle wreck. The victim was very seriously injured. They just kind of stood there staring while I climbed up the steep hillside and rendered first aid. I had the advantage of training and experience in such situations. At the time, with the experience of over twenty years as a deputy sheriff, my mind was not shocked by seeing the wreck. Instead, because of experience, I already knew what needed to be done.

In the New York City attack, hundreds of tourists either froze in place or ran for their lives. Upon seeing a pickup truck driven by a deranged coward, they had no training, or experience about what to do. But, a New York City Police officer already knew exactly what to do and he did it without hesitation. The bad guy was shot, by a good guy with a gun, as he fled the scene. He was stopped before he could hurt or kill more innocent citizens.

Now the million dollar question. As a legally armed citizen, what would or should you do? Under the laws of your local jurisdiction, what can a citizen legally do? The now popular phrase comes to my mind, “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.”

In an open public area, one of the first things an armed citizen needs to worry about is being mistaken for the bad guy! Think about that for a moment. There are dozens of people being critically injured and killed, and here you stand with a gun in your hand. Especially with the police in New York City, you do NOT need them to see you standing there with a gun.
The time to do something is immediate. Many firearms classes and local law enforcement training teaches one to act quickly and aggressively. You will have microseconds to decide. Is the driver a terrorist? Or, is this an elderly person having some sort of medical issue and has lost control of the truck? Once you have decided to take action, do it as aggressively as possible, and without hesitation.

The tactics you use will have a huge impact on the outcome. Remember, you are risking your life and the lives of other innocent citizens. Unless you have taken an oath like the U.S. President’s Secret Service, you must make your first priority your own life and that of your family. As a legally armed citizen, you are probably carrying a HANDGUN and NOT one of those mean, black killing machines like an AR15 or AK 47. If you were, the cops would probably already be there! And, I hope you are not depending on one of those little mouse guns that have become so popular. Oh, don’t get me wrong. In a close up, personal encounter with a bad guy trying to rob you, one of those little micro-pistols is definitely better than no gun. If the gun you have chosen to carry is so big and heavy, such as a full sized Glock 17 or a Colt 1911, you are probably going to find it gets left at home. If the gun is left at home, it is not going to do you, or anybody else you are trying to protect, much good.

As for tactics to use in such a scenario as that which happened in New York City, there is way more than I can or could teach in an article such as this. Find a good Firearms Instructor and take as many classes as you can afford.
By: Paul Foreman
Paul Foreman is a retired deputy sheriff from Lee County Florida, now living in Athens. Paul is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. “As many of you may already know, due to my current battle with cancer, I am NOT doing firearms classes. Prayers are welcome. As for the classes, I have a gentleman whom I am referring people to, who is also an NRA certified Firearms Instructor.” Email me at: Captureman@PaulForeman.com

Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
As any good preacher knows, sometimes you got to step on peoples’ toes. No offense is meant, and I hope none is taken. I have been told, “Paul, you are an EXHORTER.” I looked that up. Dictionary.com says exhort means “to urge, give advice, or caution earnestly, admonish urgently.” I exhort you who attend church, and especially Pastors, Priests, Rabbis and church administrators to take note: crimes can and do occur in churches. You can take actions to make your church safer.

Right here in Alabama, there have been crimes, even murders, committed in church on Sunday mornings. Some might say, “Paul, you are going to make people afraid to go to church!” I drove past the bank today, you know, the one which got robbed a couple of weeks ago. There were plenty of cars in the parking lot, people coming and going in and out of the bank. There sure did not seem to be any shortage of customers, even after the robbery.

I have had a number of experiences setting up church security ministries. Two different church administrations asked me to take on the task, and I commend them for their foresight and desire to maintain a safe church. We set schedules so that the volunteers would only need to serve once every 4- 5 weeks. We were given radios, and I held training classes so the volunteers would know what was expected of them, and especially what their limitations were.

I called it “The Prime Directive: Observe, Deter and Report.” I assigned men to watch over the children’s areas, entrances, and parking lots. They were instructed to keep a low profile. The security team was to look and act like a welcome team of greeters, not guards. Procedures were set in place to especially safeguard the nursery and pre-school age kids. There is not room here to cover the dozens of abduction cases I read about occurring across the country. I told the volunteer security team, “You might never know what dangerous event you prevented just by being there, standing by the entrance of the nursery area.”

In another state, a woman with obvious mental issues went into a church nursery saying she was there to pick up little Johnny. The staff refused to give up the child, and escorted the lady from the building. Local police were given a description of her, as well as her car’s tag number. A few minutes later, she tried at another church, but got the same reaction. At the third nursery, she walked right in, picked up a little one year old, and left. Minutes later, the real mother arrived, and they realized the horror of what had just happened. But, due to the well trained security teams at the two previous churches, the child was rescued fifteen minutes after the abduction occurred.

There was some opposition from a few church members. “Don’t you believe God will protect us?” There is a very “real to life” cautionary tale of a flood victim. Rescue personnel were sent to evacuate people as the flood waters rose. One man refused to leave his home, saying, “God will take care of me.” As the waters rose, he retreated to the roof. Rescue personnel came by in a boat trying to rescue him. Then a helicopter was sent. Each time he refused rescue, saying, “God will take care of me.” Well, the man drowned and went to Heaven. St Peter met him at the pearly gates. The man asked St Peter, “What happened? I thought God would save me from the flood!” St. Peter answered saying, “We did try to save you. We sent an evacuation team. We sent a boat and a helicopter. You refused our help each time!”

Just this month in Idaho, a pastor was shot. Pastors have been killed by ex-husbands and jealous boyfriends. Members of the choir have returned to the practice room to discover all the women’s purses missing. Deacons have been accosted as they took up the offering. Cars have been burglarized during church services. How long do we wait before some terrorist walks into a church service, here in America?

Should churches have an armed volunteer security team? If you do consider arming your security team, PLEASE, get them trained properly. I am a Certified Firearms Instructor.

I exhort you, Pastors and church administrators, lease take steps to make your members safe and secure.

By: Paul Foreman
There has been a lot in the news lately about the police “mistreating” people at traffic stops. Maybe I’m preaching to the choir here. Readers of Athens Now are most likely already well informed about how to behave around police officers. I hope the readers might pass this article on to their teens before they get behind the wheel for the first time.

Imagine if you were a police officer, and you spotted a car load of teenagers driving in heavy traffic on a Friday evening. The car was speeding up and slowing down, then it would get real close to the car in front, then all of a sudden swerve over and pass, only to do the same thing again to the next car it came up behind. You, as a police officer could see at least six occupants, they all seemed to be laughing and having a great time. Before you activate the blue lights, your mind flashes back to the two mangled bodies of teens that were thrown out of their Mercedes Benz as it left the road at over 100mph. You remember the look on the faces of the mom and dad when they came to the scene of the wreck. That was just last night. This is tonight, and maybe you can prevent such a terrible tragedy from being repeated.

When you “light them up” with the blues and hit the yelper and few times, the driver decides to pretend it’s not him you’re pulling over. He keeps on going but his driving behavior improves dramatically. You flip on the loud speaker and call out to him, “You in the red Mustang: pull over to the right, pull into that parking lot.” The driver looks over his left shoulder with a look on his face, “You don’t mean me, do you?” You want to shout over the loud speaker, “Yes you, pimple face,” but you maintain your professional demeanor, and instead repeat the first command, “Pull over to your right, pull into the parking lot.”

The driver complies and you call in on the radio, giving the dispatcher your location and description of the car as well as its tag number. You also inform the dispatcher that the vehicle is occupied six times. You have parked your patrol car about a car length behind the red Mustang, at about a 45 degree angle. This provides you cover behind your car’s fender, if needed. The driver is expecting you to come to his driver’s side. Instead you approach from the passenger side. All the kids are looking to their left. You are on their right, observing what they are doing. The teens all jump with surprise as you say, “Driver, I need to see your license, registration and proof of insurance”.

These teens look to be ok, they just came from a football game and they were all excited to have their school win. You don’t see any alcohol containers, you don’t smell any weed. Then it starts. One of the girls in the back seat, the one with the “Big Hair” starts in. “Hey officer, can I wear that cute hat?” Another girl chimes in with, “Have you ever shot anybody? You’re not going to shoot us, are you?” The driver is trying to find his license while the teen closest to you suddenly opens the door right into your legs. He jumps back into the car, saying he is sorry and then states, “This is my dad’s car, he is a lawyer; as a matter of fact, my dad is a judge in this county.” The judge’s kid pops open the glove box and starts sifting through a pile of papers and receipts. The driver still has not found his license.

OK, back to reality. Can you see all the times that you would have been in danger? From the beginning, they did not pull over right away. The overcrowded car where you couldn’t see what everybody was doing with their hands. The girls were acting silly with their questions, distracting you. The driver is still trying to find his license. The passenger suddenly opening the car door into your legs, then popping open the glove box. Could there be a gun in the glove box? Could this be a stolen car? Could these teens have acted differently?

When you see the blue lights come on, pull over when it’s safe to do so. Get out of traffic if possible, but do not keep driving! Even if you are sure you did nothing wrong, pull over!

Driver and passengers, stay in the car unless the officer tells you to get out. Everybody keep your hands in your lap and keep your mouth shut unless you are directly spoken to. Driver, if you need to get your papers out of the glove box or console, tell the officer what you are doing. If you are wrong, admit it! Just say something like, “Gee, we’re all taking and laughing, I should have been paying attention to my driving.” Now, I am sure a lawyer might tell you not to say anything, but that kind of honesty will more than likely get you off with a warning, as long as everything else is in order.
By: Paul Foreman