By: Paul Foreman
In light of the news about the recent mass shooting in Vegas, I thought a rerun would be appropriate.
After reading advice from numerous sources. I have come up with my own more realistic steps to take. I know the last thing this old sheepdog is going to do is curl up in a corner and wait to die.

1. Escape if you can. Go! Get out of there, even if others are frozen in place. Leave all your belongings BEHIND! I saw a video of a shooter in a school board meeting in Northwest Florida. When the shooter came in waving his gun around and announced his intentions to open fire, people in the audience spent time gathering up their coats and purses before getting out! Help others escape if they will cooperate. Warning: some people will freeze in fear. There is not a whole lot you can do unless you start dragging or carrying them. That’s a negative, UNLESS they are family.

2. Once you are safe, stop others from unknowingly walking into a deadly situation.

3. Call 911 as soon as possible. While you are waiting for 911 to answer, take a deep breath and try to calm yourself. Most 911 operators will answer by saying, “911, what is your emergency, fire or police?” When stressed, most people will talk way too fast and too loud. Talk in short concise sentences, such as, “There is a shooting at University Plaza.” Take a breath. “I saw three of them at the main entrance.” Take a breath. “All are wearing black, with long guns.” Take a deep breath and wait patiently for the operator to ask questions. Waiting five or ten seconds, while she is typing, will feel like forever. If the 911 operator tells you to stay on the phone, cooperate with her if safe to do so. Yes, give your name. The last thing responding officers want to hear is, “The caller refused his name and hung up.”

4. If you cannot escape, try to hide out of the shooter’s view. Barricade the doors with anything heavy you can find. Get behind heavy furniture, such as desks or file cabinets. If possible, keep an escape route open. Use bathrooms as a last resort; you could get trapped. Lock the doors. Wrapping a belt or pants leg around the door closer might slow down someone trying to force their way in. Sometimes janitors will leave a wooden or rubber door stopper; jamb it under your side of the door. Many restrooms will have a janitor’s closet. Look for objects to barricade the door.

5. If none of the above will work due to time or situation, FIGHT! Attempt to disable the shooter. Get mad and defend yourself! What do you have to lose?

6. In a restroom, use toilet tank lids or toilet seats, metal trash cans or mirrors as improvised weapons. You might find good weapons stored in the janitor’s closet, such as mop handles or a heavy bucket. You might find cleaning chemicals to throw into the bad guy’s face. In office areas, use fire extinguishers, chairs, lamps, broken glass from a picture frame, or mirror, heavy vase, broken furniture, scissors or glass ashtray. Spray the bad guy with the fire extinguisher, and then hit him in the face with it. Use hot coffee, full soda cans, hair spray, bug spray, anything heavy; hit him and hit him hard. Don’t stop hitting him until he is unconscious. Your life depends on it.

7. If you have a gun, use it! If you don’t know how, get trained! Just in the last few days I have heard, on national news broadcasts, numerous sheriffs and police chiefs advising citizens to arm themselves. GET TRAINED, by me or some qualified trainer. Get trained beyond just knowing how to shoot a gun. Get trained on knowing when to shoot and when NOT to shoot.

8. If you are evacuating from a crowded theater, church or mall, get away from the center of the hallway. Get next to the wall. You do NOT want to get caught up in the rushing mob of terrified people who might care less if you get trampled. Next to a wall, you will be able to use the wall for support if you get shoved or knocked down. Walls have windows and doors. You might find an escape route. Malls have numerous stores, often with “back doors” that you can escape through. You do NOT want to get caught up in a mob of dozens or even hundreds of people all trying to escape out the same door. Grab hold of small children and carry them if possible. If children are too big to carry, grab the child’s belt rather than trying to hold onto their arm. The same with adults. Grab each of your family members by the belt and hold on for dear life.
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
“Do you feel lucky?” is the infamous line from the original “Dirty Harry” movie. The hero, Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood, has interrupted a bank robbery during his lunch break. One of the bank robbers is down, but still alive. The robber’s gun is lying next to him on the sidewalk and as Dirty Harry approaches, the robber glances toward his gun. During the shootout, Dirty Harry had fired his .44 Magnum, numerous times. He says to the robber, “In all the excitement did I fire five or six times?”

The bad guy is not sure and decides to back off and take his hand away from his gun. Dirty Harry lowers the hammer and is about to take the robber into custody when the robber says, “I need to know.” “Need to know what?” Dirty Harry asks. “Your gun, is it still loaded?” Dirty Harry points the .44 Magnum right at the guy’s head and pulls the trigger, “CLICK!” The gun was empty.

Yes, there was a gross display of firearms safety rules being violated, but this was Hollywood.

Is your gun loaded? I am constantly talking to people who say they do not feel safe with a gun in their home, let alone a loaded one. GET TRAINED on safe and proper gun handling! Guns do NOT go off by themselves. There is NO such thing as “Gun Violence.” You are a whole lot safer if you are professionally trained in the safe and proper use of a gun, than you are with an empty, unloaded gun.

The fake news along with the far left anti-gun crowd are constantly misquoting statistics about children being killed by guns. The truth is, a vast majority of children being injured or killed takes place in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, or Detroit where juvenile gangs rule the streets. If you take these three cities out of the equation, the statistics showing children being injured and dying from firearms, drops dramatically. Check on true firearms stats by going to the Center for Disease Control’s web site and other sites like the NRA.

If you have children in your home, yes, you do need to take some common sense security measures to make sure the children don’t have access to them. Are your children well trained in firearms safety? What about their friends who may be visiting in the home? In most states, you can be charged with a crime if a juvenile gets access to your firearm and uses it.

There are numerous very well engineered gun safes on the market that will keep unauthorized hands away, yet still allow fast and easy access when you or another trained person needs the firearm in a “self-defense” situation. Those big massive gun safes are great for safe storage of your “long guns” and other valuables. They are not so good for quick access when some thug is kicking in your back door.

You might also want to think about a product line of furniture known as “Hiding in Plain Sight.” This style of furniture can still provide quick and easy, locked access to your firearms. They have wall-mounted cabinets, shelves, bookcases, coffee tables, mantles, bed headboards, and just about anything else you can think of. They all have hidden compartments to hide both handguns and rifles. They have either built-in locks, RFID chips, or hidden latches so you can access your firearms quickly and still keep them safe from unauthorized people.

You really do NOT want to be like Dirty Harry or the bank robber and depend on “feeling lucky.” You need to feel safe and prepared when it comes to self-defense and security. Being prepared will make you feel safer, and being properly trained to safely and correctly use a firearm is a huge part of feeling safe instead of just feeling lucky.

As many of you may already know, due to my present battle with cancer, I am not currently doing firearms and self-defense classes. I really miss doing them and will certainly do my best to answer questions if you e-mail me at

As for the classes, I have a gentleman to whom I am referring people, who is also an NRA certified Firearms Instructor. Give me a call, I love to talk firearms and self-defense.

Paul Foreman is a retired deputy sheriff from Lee County Florida, now living in Athens. Paul is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. For questions about self-defense or firearms training. Paul can be reached at his web site,, or email at

To join the NRA and protect your 2nd Amendment rights, go to Paul’s web site and click on the NRA Eagle.

By: Paul Foreman
There is a friend of mine, a retired deputy sheriff named Gary Kamp, who just went to be with the Lord. He was one of the finest deputy sheriffs I ever had the sincere pleasure of knowing and working with. Sometimes, words on paper just don’t seem adequate to say what I really mean.
I just have to tell a true story about Gary. My intentions by telling this story is by no means meant to glorify what I did. I will be posting this story on Gary’s Facebook page, specifically honoring him.

Gary was a Christian man and it always showed in his demeanor and actions. Gary was diagnosed with cancer about the same time I was, in late 2015. He and his wife Marie had retired over near Knoxville. I did not know about Gary’s cancer until I saw a woman in the waiting room at The Cancer Center in Huntsville. She looked a lot like Gary’s wife Marie. I was rushing to another appointment, so I did not stop and say anything. As it turned out, it was not her. But, it lead me to contact them on Facebook, and later I found that Gary was indeed being treated for cancer at a Cancer Center in Knoxville.

I followed his posts and that of Marie for about a year. He seemed to be getting better.

Then, two weeks ago, I saw where his brother posted that Gary was in Hospice Care. That posting stunned me. Gary was a Warrior Fighter of the highest order. Gary lost his final battle with cancer on Friday, Sept. 1.

The story: One night about midnight I was on the way back to my assigned zone when I heard, via the patrol car radio, TEN TWENTY FOUR! This is radio code for trouble send help! It is not used lightly. The radio was then silent. I waited a bit then said, “Wasn’t that K-9 105 calling for help? Where is he?” “The dispatcher then came on with K-9 105, repeat your last.” Silence. I repeated my request for his location. “He is on Aldridge, right behind the Fire Station off Crystal Dr.”

I did not bother to wait for the Watch Commander to approve a Code 3 run. I hit the switches for the lights and siren, and took off like a banshee. Gary was a big guy, not fat, but big and muscular. If he called Ten Twenty Four on the radio, he really needed it! I blew through a few traffic light, and the engine on my Ford Crown Victoria patrol car was screaming. I turned onto the street, and at first, I could I could only see Gary’s patrol car. His K-9 was going berserk in the back. Then, I spotted Gary struggling with the suspect down on the ground under some orange trees. Gary had the bad guy in a death grip and wasn’t letting go. The bad guy had Gary in a death grip and wasn’t letting go either! I knew the bad guy. I had been to this house before. This bad guy just loved beating up his wife as often as he could.

I bailed out of my car and headed into the fray. I was a lot heavier in those days, about 235, not including the gun belt and gear. I hit that bad guy like a runaway freight train. Grabbing him around the neck, I rolled him away from Gary and with my 235 lbs. on his neck, I got him cuffed! It would be an understatement to say that Gary was very pleased to see me.

But, my praise goes to Gary. He had refused to give up! His radio had been knocked into some tall weeds. The remote door lock that would have released the K-9 was pinned between their bodies and Gary could not get to it. The bad guy went to jail after he visited the local Emergency Room for treatment of some unspecified injuries. If Gary had given up and let go, would the bad guy, have run off or attacked and tried to get Gary’s gun?

It’s the same way when civilians are defending themselves. DON’T EVER GIVE UP! Your life and the lives of your loved ones will depend on you NOT giving up. Here is a word of wisdom for wives and older children. This is controversial. Jump in and help your husband or father! Grab a baseball bat, hockey stick, or a lamp and use it on the bad guy when fighting for your life.

Rest in peace Gary Kamp. You are in the arms of the Lord Jesus. No more sorrow, no more pain. No more worries no more tears. You are TEN EIGHTY SEVEN. Your watch is over now. Your friends with take it from here.
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Forman
Gun control used to mean “two hands on the grips.” Today, gun control means more laws restricting law-abiding U.S. citizens from obtaining and owning guns for self-protection, or for the sport of target shooting or hunting. The 2nd amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly and in no uncertain terms states: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” So far, here in Alabama our 2nd Amendment rights are still intact.

The Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing on this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights. *Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Actually, these rights (of the people) were not given by the government, but these rights were endowed by our “Creator.” The amendments were written to emphasize our God-given rights, not simply allow them, as if the government could even do such thing.

Today, attacks on the 2nd Amendment are growing as the left tries to disarm law abiding U.S. citizens. The far left anti-gun crowd seems to think in their feeble, unreasoning minds, that making more laws will prevent crime from taking place! We have plenty of laws! We have laws against stealing. Therefore, there should be NO stolen guns out there in criminals’ hands for them to use in robberies. We already have laws against murder, so that should automatically mean we will never have any murders, right? We have laws against convicted criminals buying or owning guns. Criminals can’t possibly be committing crimes with guns. After all, it’s already against the law for them to be in possession of a gun to commit a crime, right?

How on earth can any reasonably thinking person think that making laws that prevent a law-abiding citizen from buying two guns on the same day, one for himself, one for his wife, prevent a crime from taking place? How can a law, recently passed in California, outlawing a law-abiding citizen from owning a “black assault rifle” prevent a crime, when he can buy the same rifle with a brown wood stock and it is perfectly legal?

Yet, in spite of what most of us would consider “common sense,” these ridiculous laws keep right on being proposed and passed, especially on the left coast.

I am a proud “Life Member” of the National Rifle Association. Some of these far left, anti-gun hate groups have gone so far as to label me and the NRA as a terrorist threat to the security of the United States! That’s right. The organization that teaches gun safety training. The same NRA that fought for the rights of freed slaves to be allowed to own guns. The group that certifies instructors, such as myself, on how to train others on the safe and proper use of firearms for self-defense and shooting sports, such as hunting. The NRA is the number one source for certifying instructors for training Law Enforcement Officers and Military.
It sickens me when our elected officials call for the eradication of the NRA because these elected officials choose to lie and call the NRA a ‘HATE GROUP” and a THREAT to our NATIONAL SECURITY. If the USA was ever invaded by a foreign enemy, I could easily imagine millions of law-abiding NRA members crouched down behind rock walls and dug-out trenches fighting for the preservation of our Republic, while the snowflake left-wing pansies cry like babies and wave white flags of surrender.

Why do the left-wing snowflakes want our guns confiscated? As one far-left-loony elected official recently stated, “I need armed guards because, after all, I am an elected official.” Do they really think confiscating guns or restricting the amount and kind of ammo we can use will reduce crime? If the far left was even close to being serious about reducing crime, they would call for vigorous enforcement of the laws already on the books. Or, is there a far more nefarious purpose that may not be so crazy after all?
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Forum
In several of my recent articles, I have used the term “defendable position.” Protecting yourself from harm in the home or out on the street is NOT military combat or even a football game. Maybe I should not admit this, especially in Alabama, but I am not much of a football fan. Oh, I do watch an important game or three during the season. I always try to watch when Alabama beats Auburn or Georgia because I love to rag on my brother when either of his teams lose. But I digress. In both football and the military, a certain number of casualties are expected.

In the self-defense world, casualties on your side are NOT acceptable! Another set of terms used in self-defense is “cover” and “concealment.” Cover can be a bulletproof area to hide behind, whereas concealment can be something as simple as a wall or bushes so the bad guy can’t see you. When I was first a cop in the early 70s, we had several damaged old U.S. Post Office mail boxes at the gun range. They were solid steel, welded and riveted and would stop most handgun bullets. These are still around, but you don’t seem to see as many as you once did. BUT, in a gunfight they make excellent cover. Big tree trunks, concrete or brick walls are a few other great “cover” areas.

Not many of us will have a solid steel U.S. Post Office mail box in our living room, but there are other areas in a home that are almost as good. Typical construction in this area is wood frame with brick for the outside walls. Corners are reinforced with extra lumber to support the doors and windows. I have even seen 22-caliber bullets cut right through today’s white pine building lumber. Yellow pine is a lot tougher, and I have seen bullets bounce off and even leave sparks when hitting yellow pine. Driving galvanized nails into yellow pine will break a few hammers.

When faced with defending yourself in your home, plan ahead and seek out corners that will have three or four 2x4s or even 2x6s built into the frame around doors. When retreating to a defendable position, crouch down as low as you can, exposing as little of your body as possible. Use what we call a “quick peek” if you hear the intruder coming closer.

Heavy furniture can also make excellent cover, such as a chest of drawers full of clothes. Beds, the bigger the better, are good cover. Again, crouch down low and gain an advantage. The bad guy is most likely looking at his own eye level for you, not down at his knees. Refrigerators are good for concealment, but today they are mostly plastic or very light weight sheet metal.

The top of a staircase is an excellent place to take cover. You have the “high ground” and the bad guy must enter a deadly area to get to you. If you are building or planning to build a new home, plan to have a “safe room” included at the time of construction. Adding a safe room later can sure mess up a good floor plan and be much more expensive. Many new homes today are including tornado-proof safe rooms which can certainly be used as an excellent defendable position.

Always have a spare cell phone plugged in and charged nearby, in your safe room, or defendable position. Have your address written out and taped on the back of your emergency cell phone. Sounds silly? Our brains can sometimes do strange things during stressful events.

Should you shout a warning? Yelling, “Stop! Police!” as usually required by our buddies in blue, may actually be dangerous for an innocent homeowner and would “give away” your defendable position. If you believe the bad guy already knows where you are, then that’s possibly a different situation. Yelling out, several times, “I have already called the police! They’re on the way!” Even better, “I have a gun, it’s loaded, and I know how to use it!” Now would be a good time to “rack” the shotgun. The sound of a shotgun slide racking back will strike fear into anyone but the most drug-crazed miscreant.

Plan and rehearse your self-defense plan. Actually walk through and practice shouting that warning.
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
Do you have a plan to go on vacation? You probably have a destination all planned out, or at the very least you have a date picked for when you plan to leave and get back home.

Do you have a plan to survive a tornado? Do you know where the nearest shelter is? Do you have a plan thought out if you were attacked while walking to your car after work? How about a plan of action if you suddenly awoke during the night and discovered a stranger had broken into your home?

Have you planned for what you would do after you shot the bad guy? Would you call 911 first, or after you got your gun and confronted the midnight thief? Would you go searching through the house to find the bad guy, or would you retreat to what I like to call, a “defensible position?”

I have asked a lot of questions here, and as usual, asking questions always seems to open up a can of worms with a dozen “new” questions.

We have all heard of the witness to an emergency or crime who just “froze,” unable to do anything and precious moments were wasted while someone was in pain or even bleeding to death. About ten years ago my wife and I, along with my brother and his wife, were vacationing in North Carolina. While out searching for waterfalls and hiking trails, we came across a very seriously injured motorcyclist. My family was frozen in place without a clue as to what to do. I had a plan! I do not mean to sound like I am bragging, but as a deputy sheriff on vacation, my brain automatically knew what to do and my body followed. The experience was not a “shock” to my system. Years of experience and training guided me to get help on the way, access the injuries, and render First Aid with the priority of stopping the bleeding.

Meanwhile, my brother was standing there, looking totally helpless with a cell phone in his hand. I yelled down to him from where I was applying pressure to a heavily bleeding arm wound, “Tell them we are seven miles west of Franklin on Wayah Bald Rd, just past Wayah Creek Cottages.”

My brother yelled back, “I have no cell phone signal!” He had never planned on how to get a better signal on his phone! I told him, “Drive back up the road, get out of the valley, and try again.” The rescue ambulance finally arrived, and the victim was rushed to the hospital in Franklin and then airlifted to Charlotte NC Trauma Center.

Do you have a plan on what to do if someone is kicking in your back door at 3:00 a.m.? What your plan might be depends on how many family members are in danger. If there are multiple family members in danger, you may want to get everyone alerted and aware of what is happening. If it is just you and your wife, the wisest thing to plan on doing is to have her call 911, while you arm yourself, and both of you retreat to a safe and defensible position.

I have heard and read about so many incidents where the victim got their gun and then went searching through the house only to discover an armed burglar, and a deadly shooting was the result. You may think the “bad guy” deserved what he got, but the resulting nightmare of prosecuting attorneys, courts and the expense of paying for a defense attorney to stay out of jail could end up being a nightmare that goes on for years. Can’t you just hear the prosecutor in court asking, “Why did you go looking for the young teenager? Were you looking forward to KILLING him?”

After the shooting you need a plan too. You have already dialed 911 and the cops are on the way. Are you prepared for all their questions? Do you know why you shot the intruder? Were you in great fear for your life or that of a loved one? Or, were you so mad at this intruder, you shot him because he deserved it?

Part of a good self-defense plan is having insurance coverage such as that offered by the National Rifle Association and others groups that will pay for your legal defense if you ever need it.
By: Paul Foreman

By: Paul Foreman
Last month I heard about just two of many news stories of young teens who listened to their parents and followed a carefully thought out plan in case of an emergency. Do you have a plan? Have you rehearsed a plan to follow in case of any disaster such as a home invasion, tornado, fire or medical emergency?

This past week in one of the senior centers, I was giving one of my programs about firearms safety. The discussion came up about what to do if you wake up during the night and found someone breaking into your home. One lady stated that she would just “shoot the guy.” I told her that might not turn out to be so easy to do! What if he has a gun? Are you just going to stand there in your living room and shoot him? What if he does not just stand there and let you shoot him? What if your gun is in the night stand down the hall in your bedroom? Is the gun loaded? Do you know how to load it? When is the last time you ever shot the gun? Is the ammunition so old that it might not even work anymore?

Now I could go on and on with a few dozen more “what if” questions. You need to be asking yourself at least the questions I have mentioned here and have the answers! Many of the answers will depend on the layout of your home, the strength of your doors. A very important part of your plan will depend on if there are other family members in your home. Have you thought about your shots missing? Where will missed bullets go? Is there be someone sleeping in another room, in your line of fire? There I go again, more “what if questions.” In a dangerous situation, these are some things which you need to plan for ahead of time. As the bad guy comes crashing through the sliding glass door is not the time to stop and think about it!

When I was a training officer for the Sheriff’s Department in Florida, the rookies had to ride with me for their 14-week training period after they finished the academy. When they completed the field training, they were turned loose on the world. Well, what if the whole time the rookie was in training with me, we never encountered a bank robbery in progress? The answer to that was to rehearse different scenarios during that training period. Numerous times we would make use of an old abandoned building, or even an abandoned house for more realistic training.

That is what YOU need to do too! In my firearms classes, we train with some targets that present various scenarios. For instance a target has a picture of a bad guy with a gun pointed right at you! Ok, that one is easy. How about you see the bad guy with a gun, BUT your children are in the bedroom right behind him? How about you are coming out of the shopping mall and a bad guy is coming at you with a knife, but behind him are dozens of other shoppers? These are just a few of the possible incidents that could happen to you. What would you do?

Several times, I have had students tell me they have a gun stored on the top shelf of a closet. I ask them, “Is it loaded?Are you ever going to be able to get to your gun, find the ammunition, load the gun and then confront the bad guy?” The first half of the class is all about SAFETY. I teach you how to check to see if it is loaded or not. I teach my students, using “dummy ammo” or fake plastic bullets before we ever get into using live ammo. I want my students to be able to be very familiar with their gun, before we go out to the range and shoot. When driving a car and someone pulls out in front of you, do you have time to stop and think, “Let’s see, that I think this is the brake, there’s the gas pedal, and I am pretty sure that’s the clutch.” Guess what, you just wrecked! It is the same with you handling a gun in an emergency. Everyone who owns a gun for self protection should be trained!
By: Paul Foreman

There are three techniques that criminals consistently use against their victims to subdue or incapacitate them so they can take what they want. Some bad guys might only need to use one technique, while the truly talented ones may use all three. I’m going to call them A.D.D., which stands for Ambush, Distract, and Disparity of force; be on the lookout for them. Hopefully if you are aware of them, you can avoid being a victim and having them used against you.

This means to lie in wait for, to attack by surprise, or to lay a trap for. The bad guys have the advantage of choosing the location of an attack. Just as a deer hunter carefully selects the location of his deer stand, experienced criminals do not randomly choose their victim, time, or location of attacks. A thug planning to rob you of your purse or wallet is not a random act of violence. These criminals have a reason when they chose a certain location, time, or victim. The reason is because doing so helps them in the commission of their crime.

For instance, just this past week I was sitting in my truck at a local bank waiting for my wife who was inside making a house payment. My truck has a huge red, white, and blue bald eagle on the doors with the words “Firearms Training” in big gold letters. While I was sitting there, a man came out of the bank with a smile on his face and said to me “I guess nobody is going to rob this place with you sitting here. No self-respecting criminal is going to pick this location to rob!”

A successful ambush is accomplished when one or more conditions tip in favor of the attacker. The most valuable of these conditions are the element of surprise and the physical condition of the victim. Simply put, the bad guy knows if you can’t see him coming and can’t run from him, he can take and do whatever he wants and leave. He doesn’t have to risk getting into a fight with you and getting caught.

Distract. Criminals will use this technique to divert your full attention from being aware of the danger, especially if you are just trying to be courteous. Not all thieves pretend to ask for the time or for directions. A typical distraction might be when the bad guy is asking for help, saying his car is broken down. The smart ones know how to pretend to be a good person just like you and me long enough to disguise their intentions and distract us from the dangerous situation we don’t even know we are facing.

Disparity of force. This is a decided physical or armed advantage over another. In self-defense, a violent aggressor’s power to kill or cripple an innocent person is commonly referred to as ability. All three elements—ability, opportunity and jeopardy—must be present in order to establish that use of deadly force to defend yourself is justified by law. A young child with a stick standing fifty yards away, does not meet the “deadly force” requirement needed to defend yourself with a firearm. But, if one or more attackers who are bigger, stronger and possibly armed confront you when you are smaller, and weaker, that shows a clear disparity of force. No matter what tools of defense an individual has for protecting themselves in the event of attack, it is the attacker who has the advantage and, therefore, the disparity of force.

This is true for at least two reasons. First, the criminal not only has the advantage of using whatever weapon he has, he aloso knows when and where the attack will occur. The bad guy will probably be able to get in the first blow. Second, no self-respecting thug will attack someone that can easily defend themselves. For a man to successfully overpower most women, he needs nothing more than his advantages of weight, speed, size, and strength.
If you are familiar with ambush and distraction strategies (which usually will happen before the element of disparity), you will be able to read warning signs that add up to danger. Knowing the signs, you can refuse to be the easy prey the bad guys are seeking. Just knowing how to shoot a gun will NOT make you attack proof. Get proper training in self defense techniques and how to safely and properly use your firearm.
By: Paul Foreman

Years ago I had these mud guards on my truck. The mud guards had an image of Yosemite Sam with bold letters saying, “BACK OFF.” In case you don’t know Yosemite Sam, he was a cartoon character who was short but mean looking and had a big red beard.

Now old Sam had two pistols and he looked like he was ready to start blasting. That could get you in big trouble if there is NO threat against your life. But yelling “BACK OFF” when someone enters your personal space in a suspicious way, may be all that is needed to “DISENGAGE” and avoid a bad situation.

Let’s say you are walking to your car in a parking garage or shopping center parking lot. You are aware of your surroundings and realize a stranger is flanking you, and closing in fast. Is he just in a hurry, walking towards his own car? Or, is he preparing to attack his next victim? You take a second look and here he comes. Can you pull your gun and threaten him? NOT if you want to remain on the “free side” of the jail bars! Granted this has got all the signs of impending attack, but no one has threatened you, yet. The possible threat is still twenty or so feet away. You are still a long way from the safety of your car. You are the polite and courteous type and always acknowledge strangers with a smile or a “Good evening,” but this one has the hairs on the back of your neck telling you “something’s NOT right.”

“Back off! Stop now! Do not come any closer!” Now that doesn’t seem like the polite thing to do does it? But, polite people do not walk quickly toward strangers in an aggressive manner. The stranger may be insulted, but so what? A criminal is looking for an easy victim, someone who is going to give up easily without a fight. You have just shown him that you are ready for him. If this guy is more persistent, he may try to soften you up by saying something like, “Oh, I was just looking for someone to help me. My battery is dead. I have jumper cables; can you please help me?” Don’t fall for any excuses! “My sick mother is at home and I need to get this medicine to her right away.” “My car is broke down, please help me?” The stories are endless!

Be ASSERTIVE! Your life may depend on it! If you are armed, do not draw and display your gun, not yet. With your “off hand” raised, palm open like a traffic cop, get him stopped. Your strong hand is “staged” and already on your firearm, BUT your gun is still out of his sight. Your body is angled slightly away from him so your weapon is NOT seen by this potential attacker. Repeat the order, “Stop now! Do not come any closer!” Say it loud and sound as mean as you can…you know, like when your kids are wrestling and about ready to break some furniture!

Only if and when this miscreant makes a threat or displays a weapon can you legally pull your gun. Microseconds count here and you cannot take time to think about it. You must have a plan of action. Your planning and training will pay off. Avoiding bad situations, before they ever happen is even better. Park in well-lit areas, not way out at the end of the parking lot. Have someone with you, if at all possible. If you are leaving work, have a coworker walk with you to your car. If you see some seedy, suspicious characters hanging out near your car, go back inside the building. Most malls have security officers; ask them for help. Don’t be afraid to call the police! So many people I talk to express their concern saying they don’t want to make a false alarm. Believe me, the police would rather respond and find that you are safe, than arrive later and find you injured or dead. “Safe” is a whole lot less paperwork.

  • Exit and enter your vehicle quickly. Have your keys already in hand. You can find what you’re looking for after you’re inside locked doors!
  • When you enter your car, lock all doors immediately and get the vehicle in motion ASAP. Don’t sit in a motionless vehicle any longer than you have to.
  • Stay safe. Get trained in safe and proper use of firearms and self-defense.

By: Paul Foreman

Three rifles walked into a saloon and took seats at the bar. They ordered drinks, but the bartender refused to serve them. Why did the bartender refuse service to the three rifles? They were already “loaded!” There is more where that one came from, but I’ll save them for another day.

Even before I started teaching firearms and self-defense classes, I witnessed unbelievably bad etiquette, or manners, displayed by way too many gun owners. This display of bad manners has been observed by myself to be the worst at public gun ranges. I have not visited the public range south of Athens for at least three years now. I certainly hope it has gotten better since I was last there.

During the seven or eight times I did go there to shoot, I found the place to be both dangerous and filthy. On one particular occasion, my buddy and I arrived early and found the fifty-yard range empty. There were two or three guys down at the long-range rifle area. (The short-, medium-, and long-range areas are separated by a high earthen berm.) We both walked downrange and were setting up our targets when a man drove up, got out of his truck, and began blasting away with his handgun at some unknown objects downrange. We both yelled at him to hold his fire until we got off the range. We hustled back to the shooting line. The man was reloading, allowing us a few moments of safety. He left as abruptly as he had arrived.

On several other occasions, I observed shooters walking back and forth setting up or checking targets while others were still shooting. There was one such time I had the audacity to shout out loud, “Hey everybody, let’s call the range ‘cold’ and everybody put their guns down while people are going downrange!” I continued, “Then, when everybody is safely back at the shooting line, we call the range ‘hot.’” Boy, did I get some strange stares. You would have thought I cursed out the pastor right during church! Two guys who were downrange came back to the shooting line; so I yelled, “OK, the range is HOT!” Some unidentified man down at the far end of the line yelled, “Who does that guy think he is?” My buddy and I left. We have not been back since.

Shooters should NEVER, EVER have a gun in their hand when someone is downrange. When the range is “cold,” all firearms should be on the table, with actions open. Shooters should keep all firearms pointed downrange at all times. Guns should be pointed downrange even when they are lying on the table.

Shooters should only use proper targets, not old cans and bottles. Shooters should clean up after themselves. Don’t leave empty ammo boxes and torn targets scattered across the range. Take your trash home with you. I have been to the range south of Athens when all the trash barrels were overflowing. The cans and broken bottles were a real eyesore.

Never ever pick up someone else’s gun. I would go so far as to say, “Don’t even ask!” When there is no Range Safety Officer on site, it can be a problem. If fellow shooters don’t like a “non-official” Range Officer, then my advice is to leave. Good manners off the range are also important in maintaining good relations, especially with non-shooters.
Keep your gun in its holster! Any public arena is NOT the place to be showing off your new gun to your buddy, such as in Wally World. I personally believe in “concealed carry.” It just does not seem wise to let everyone around you know you are armed. I really have nothing against “open carry.” It just needs to be done with some modesty and discretion. I have a good friend who carries his gun openly. He uses an inside-the-waistband type holster, and you need to look really close to notice the grips showing above his belt.

Last year we went to a popular restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. Outside, walking back and forth was a young man, maybe 21 years old wearing a large, full-size 1911 semi-auto 45. He had a fancy, black leather holster and really pretty wood grips. This is a huge handgun by anyone’s standard. It was just NOT good manners parading around showing his gun off to several dozen people who were waiting for their dinner.

By: Paul Foreman
Paul Foreman is a retired deputy sheriff from Lee County Florida. He is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. For self-defense firearms training, Paul can be reached through his web site,, or e-mail at
To join the NRA and protect your 2nd Amendment Rights, go to my web site and click on the NRA Eagle.