I thought about naming this article “I’m not as good as I once was.”

I am still six-foot and 200 lbs but I am just not the same man, at 68 years old, that I used to be. On top of that, as some of you know, I have been fighting cancer these past eleven months. After taking 24 weeks of chemo and two six-week sessions of two different kinds of radiation, my body just ain’t up to the standards and stamina it was just a short time ago. But, the Lord is on my side, so I am winning this battle!

Back when I was a Deputy Sheriff in Southwest Florida, I physically took on and prevailed with many miscreants that needed to go to jail, without resorting to the use of deadly force. Thank goodness, I am no longer in the business of taking people to jail who do not want to go!

There is a legal self-defense term called “Disparity of Force.” This means, if there is a great deal of difference in strength and stamina between individuals, it is not going to be a fair fight. For example: A muscle bound young man, six-foot tall and weighing in at 200 pounds, has a significant advantage over a 120 pound young woman. Or, an older gentleman who is six-foot tall and also weighs 200 pounds, but is 70 years old, has a huge disadvantage in strength and stamina to defend himself using only my limited physical abilities.

Now we must throw in another set of guidelines, before we rule in favor of the “little guy.” Disparity of force laws are different in some states, but let’s apply the “reasonable person” test for which the courts require the jury to answer the question, “What would a reasonable man do?” What if a 200 lb. man, standing 50 feet away threatened to kill you, a smaller weaker person, using only his bare hands? Can he cause great bodily harm or death standing fifty feet away? Would a reasonable man use deadly force to defend himself or another innocent person? What if you were sitting on a park bench and the same man, still fifty feet away, threatened you with a baseball bat? Would a reasonable man pull a gun and shoot him? Even if we ignore the “Stand Your Ground” law, would a reasonable man shoot him or just walk away? Now if he chases after you, and you cannot get away, that changes everything. Let’s add in the “disparity” factor. Let’s say you are in a wheelchair or use a walker, so you cannot get away from the threat. Now you, the weaker person, would be justified in defending yourself using more force than the attacker is using. A reasonable man would use “deadly force,” such as a firearm if he, the weaker person, is in fear of great bodily harm or death.

What would any “reasonable man” in your position do? Let’s say you and your wife are in the middle of a parking lot. Disparity covers many things, and when you combine them, it multiplies the threat. Superior size of the assailant(s), massive strength, age (20 versus 60 years old), number of assailants (five against one) and skill of the bad guy(s) are all factors.

Back to that parking lot. What are you going to do? My wife is my first concern. Am I going to tell her to run, get help and call 911, or keep her with me? Running away gets her out of the danger zone, and gets help coming. Or, would she be in greater danger being separated from me? I could try and run, but with them only 50 feet away, I wouldn’t get far in my weakened condition. I know trying to fight even one monster could get me killed or crippled. Five of them would only make my demise quicker. I’m left with no choice but to defend myself with my firearm. Isn’t that great how my Glock 9mm makes me equal to someone bigger and stronger than me?

What would you do? Have you thought of how disparity of force applies to your personal defense plans? If not, it’s time to take some training and do some research on the laws of your home state and the other states where you carry a gun for personal defense.

Remember, the BEST fight you will ever be in is the fight you avoided.
By: Paul Foreman

12-2-2016-9-51-50-amBeing a victim is real easy. All you have to do is look like a victim. Walk down almost any street after midnight and if you wait around long enough, you will be a victim! The NRA has a program titled “Refuse To Be a Victim.” I have a program which I have developed that I believe is even better. Mine is not so politically correct and is not lawyer proof.

Let’s use your favorite movie or TV hero and try to imagine him or her being a victim. First and foremost, the most important element that keeps heroes from becoming victims is the way they look. There is not one single high-energy action hero that looks like Pee Wee Herman. Now that guy is a victim in waiting! You can pick from any long list of heroes you may want to imitate. If you are over forty, you can probably name a dozen or so cowboy heroes. Can you try to imagine John Wayne, as Rooster Cogburn, getting mugged as he walks down the street? How about Crocodile Dundee? Now that’s a knife! How about the Lone Ranger or Tom Selleck or Sam Elliott? OK, in a politically correct article, I should mention, some heroines such as Roy Roger’s wife, Dale Evans, or Lara Croft played by Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raiders.

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You see, none of these heroes and heroines looked like victims. Dale Evans could shoot the gun right out of the bad guy’s hand. All of these stood tall and looked like they could whoop some serious backside, if the need presented itself. You never saw any of these guys or gals walking quietly along with their head bent down, hugging themselves. Heroes don’t put up a flashing neon sign that says, “I am weak and I want to be a victim.”

This is the way for you, man or woman, to at least look like you could whoop the backside of any miscreant who stumbled into your path.
1) Stand tall with shoulders back and your head held high.
2) Be alert to your surroundings. (more on this later)
3) Walk like you are going somewhere, even if you aren’t!
4) Men, lose the skinny jeans and the polka dot bow tie! Try not to look wimpy!
5) Ladies, don’t dress like you want to be a victim! If you’re walking down the street, don’t dress like a street walker! (I warned you this would not be politically correct!)

Now, find an instructor and learn how to defend yourself. Getting properly trained will keep you from “looking like a victim.” If you own a handgun, learn how to use it safely and properly. Learn how and when it is legal to use deadly force to defend yourself and your loved ones. I hear so many people tell me, “Oh, I know how to shoot. I went hunting once with my grandfather.” Now that kind of remark is what I call the stuff that comes out of the south end of a north bound mule! Find an NRA Certified Firearms instructor and do it yesterday!

12-2-2016-9-52-13-amI am offering Basic Pistol with Self Defense classes. I keep the class size small so I can provide individual attention if needed. I am also offering an Advanced Self Defense Shooting class. This is for those who have already taken my basic class, or those who can show me they have already mastered the basic stuff.

I mentioned above the need to “be aware of your surroundings.” While walking on a path or sidewalk, do you notice some guys that just seem to be hanging out? Everybody else on the jogging or walking path seem to be there for a reason. (Exercise!) How about the city sidewalk which leads you past some dark alleys? How about walking past that parked car that has several men sitting in it? One night you head to the nearest “Stop & Rob,” sorry, I mean convenience store, to get some milk. Do you really need to go by yourself? When you get there, do you see the two or three characters hanging out right next to the front door? Oh sure, it’s the Christmas season and they are collecting for the Salvation Army, right?

The best fight you will ever be in is the fight you avoided. Stay away from trouble. If you are heading somewhere and have to stop and think, “Maybe I should take my gun,” then don’t go there
By: Paul Foreman

11-18-2016-3-36-35-pmThis is no joke. But you should know the answer to “who’s there?” before you answer the door. Even in the daytime, thieves and B&E artists are likely to knock first to see if anyone is home. Home invaders will knock to see if you are stupid enough to open the door, making it easier for them than kicking it down. Is it just a salesman knocking at your door? Is it a neighbor who you do not recognize? Or, is it someone with nefarious intentions?

Most of us are taught to be polite and courteous to strangers. Children are taught about “stranger danger” in school. But, as we get older, we seem to let our good manners, “trump” what should be common sense. Is it really impolite to not open your door for a stranger? Is it impolite to ask them, from a position of safety, “who is it?” Why isn’t it more impolite to let your loved ones be victimized by a stranger?

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A fantastic system which has recently come on the market allows you to view who is at your door via the internet, even when you are not at home.
I am not saying you need to live in fear. Being vigilant around your home is really no different than driving safely when operating your car. I am probably speaking here to men and women who either already carry a firearm for self defense, or they are considering whether or not to start carrying one. Being vigilant while at home is no different.

You do lock your doors, don’t you? How about right now as you are sitting there reading this article? My doors are all locked right now and it’s one PM on a Sunday afternoon. No, I am not sneaking around the house, peering out windows with a gun in my hand, looking for attacking zombies. To me, it is just good common sense. Ok, maybe I am a little jaded by my experiences as a Deputy Sheriff for twenty three years, after taking reports and investigating so many residential burglaries.

It’s crazy how cops will give nicknames to bad guys. You know, like the “Valley Strangler” or the “Barefoot Rapist”. When I was a Deputy Sheriff in Lee County, Florida, we had a family of daytime burglars. Their country of origin was a certain part of Europe, and we gave them a name which went along with one of “Cher’s” songs. They even dressed in their ethnic garb while committing their crimes.

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Their MO or method of operation went like this: The thieves would drive into a wealthy looking neighborhood and pick their mark. They worked in teams of two or three. Usually the “lady” in the group would knock on a door, while her partner would wait a short distance away. When the unsuspecting homeowner would come to the door, the thief would act very distraught and tell a story about how she lost her little dog and ask permission to look in the back yard. She would ask to walk around to the backyard with the home owner or ask the homeowner to meet her there.

While the homeowner was helping the woman in the backyard, her partner in crime would go into the house through the now unlocked from door, grab a purse or wallet and be gone in just a few seconds. The homeowner might not even miss the stolen items until hours later.

After a dozen or more of these daytime crimes, we finally got a description and partial tag number of the car the thieves were driving. One Sunday afternoon, I spotted the car coming out of a residential community, and called it in. The car was a blue Chevy Malibu, but the tag came back registered to a Ford Pickup. With a backup deputy coming up behind me, I conducted the traffic stop. While approaching the car from the passenger side, I could see them moving things about, attempting to hide things in the back seat. While remaining cautious, I pretended the reason for pulling them over was the improper tag. Both thieves had outstanding warrants. We quickly discovered numerous ladies’ purses and a few men’s wallets lying on the back seat and laying on the floor. In addition to outstanding warrants, we arrested the couple and cleared fifteen home invasion burglaries.

The moral of the story here is, keep your doors locked, even in the day time. All of the victims in the above story left their front door unlocked while going to their backyard.
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11-4-2016-11-16-11-amMy wife and I were driving home one evening on the interstate. We were talking while we cruised along towards home, when I realized I was about to pass our exit. I glanced in the rear view mirror and just barely made it onto the exit ramp. Suddenly there was the sound of a blaring car horn. To my right another car was passing me on the off ramp. Then, he did what I would not have expected. He swerved his car over into mine, slamming into my right front fender. I slammed on my brakes to get away from him. He cut back across in front of me and accelerated on down the exit ramp.

My wife was on the phone calling 911. When she got the Sheriff’s Office on the line, she handed the phone to me. I told the 911 operator who I was. She remembered me from the fifteen years I spent as a Deputy Sheriff with Lee County Florida. I told her in detail what had just happened. I told her I was following the hit and run driver at a safe distance. At one point the driver slowed to turn left, at which point we were able to advise of his tag number. The driver took a few more turns and stopped. I was carrying a snub nose 38 Special, and I kept it low and out of sight as I rolled down my window about four inches. The other driver was getting out of his car and started walking towards us. I called out loudly to him, “Stop right there. I have the Sheriff’s Office on the phone. A deputy is on the way. Just wait right there. Don’t come any closer!” The other driver got back into his car and turned into a retirement mobile home park. I decided to wait near the entrance, for the deputy.

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Within a few minutes, a deputy arrived. I introduced myself as a retired deputy, and described to him what happened. I included the fact that I had most likely changed lanes a little too close. He got the name and address of the other driver from the tag number I had given him, and he drove into the park. After about twenty minutes, the deputy came back out. He grinned as he told me the guy denied everything. The guy claimed he had not used the car all day, yet his engine was still warm. The deputy wrote him several traffic tickets including “hit and run.”

Several months later, I got a subpoena to appear in traffic court. The guy was pleading “Not Guilty.” I called the prosecutor. I suggested that he inform the other driver’s attorney that I was a retired deputy. The prosecutor called me back about an hour later and told me the other driver decided to plead guilty!

I do not advise doing what I did in the above scenario. Following an offender might just enrage them even more.

1. Don’t get road rage yourself!
2. If they are following too close, speed up a little to increase the distance between you and the other driver.
3. Look for an area to turn off.
4. Always leave room in front of your car to pull away and escape!
5. If the other driver tries to confront you, dial 911 while you to drive away.
6. Give 911 your location, direction of travel, the description of your car and the other car and driver.
7. You really don’t know who you are dealing with. They could be a wanted felon for all you know.
9. If your car is disabled and you cannot escape, I hope you are armed and trained, in case the enraged driver attacks you.
9. Drawing a gun inside a car presents a whole new set of problems to overcome. Getting your gun out while seated, especially getting past your seat belt, shift knob and steering wheel, takes a lot of practice. Inside your car, practice drawing with an empty gun.
10.Remember: You cannot use deadly force, unless and until you are threatened with deadly force. You cannot threaten someone with deadly force, just because he looks angry.
11.Do what I did; shout loud and clear, “The Cops have been called and are on their way!” If he comes closer, yell loud and clear, “Back away! Do not come any closer!”
12. Do NOT show your gun unless you are actually threatened with deadly force.
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10-21-2016-3-18-06-pmAbout ten years ago, my wife and I were traveling out west. We left Utah and drove south into Arizona, and turned down a narrow gravel road that took us out into some ranch land. We watched in amazement at a huge herd of sheep being watched by two sheep dogs. It was late in the afternoon when the sheepdogs suddenly jumped up and began herding the sheep across the valley towards a rustic old corral. I stopped the car as we watched these amazing dogs run back and forth, herding the sheep across the road right in front of us. I never did see anyone telling the sheepdogs what to do. Maybe they just knew when the sun got lower in the sky, it was time to take the sheep back to the corral where they would be safe from whatever lurked in the darkness.

I have heard stories of how the sheepdogs will protect their flock against predators such as coyotes, wolves and even mountain lions. I have heard that the only thing sheep will do in times of danger is either try to run or bunch up in a group and stomp their hooves. They don’t seem to be capable of fighting back against predators.

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Not all people are warriors or sheep dogs. Today’s military and law enforcement communities often use the term “sheepdogs,” referring to themselves as the defenders of the flocks. Just recently, in the terrorist incident which occurred in a St Cloud, Minnesota shopping mall, the shoppers were almost all sheep. But, there was one sheepdog. Off-duty policeman Jason Falconer took the necessary action to stop the terrorist before he could stab or slash any additional victims. Jason Falconer is a sheepdog of the highest order. He was a firearms instructor and taught classes on Self Defense. He ran toward the danger, while everyone else was running away. I am sure he had hoped it would never happen. But, he was ready when it did happen right in front of him.

Should sheepish people, those of us who are a little shy and timid, take up arms to fight if ever needed? I am meeting new people almost every week, who come to me to be trained on how to use their gun. I am not talking about pointing and pulling the trigger. I am talking about those who used to be sheep, wanting to learn how to defend themselves and their family. I have had a few, two or maybe three out of several hundred, who wanted to give up. Oh, they could point the gun and shoot. During the shooting drills, they even hit the targets. Their problem was the fact that they would not, or could not get it into their minds that they needed to act aggressively and take the fight to the bad guy.

I probably tried to encourage them more than I should have. But, some people are not going to be sheep dogs. Some people are going to be sheep and need to be protected.

However, there is hope. There are numerous accounts of when things went from bad to worse, a shy timid person turned into a heroic sheep dog. We have all heard the stories of someone lifting a car off a victim who was pinned under it. There are stories of someone running into a burning building and dragging a victim to safety. We have heard of incidents where someone swam for miles after their boat sank. The human mind and body is amazing. We can overcome unbelievable odds and survive what should have been a fatal incident. Not everyone can be a Sheep Dog. But, I believe that even the most shy people can learn to defend themselves.

I hope shy, timid people will come to realize that they must not give up taking Pistol Training. If the gun you have doesn’t fit your hands or strength, trade it in for one that will. Build up the strength in your hands by using exercise devices that will improve your grip. Go back to the instructor and request additional Pistol Training. Defending yourself is not going to be pleasant. But, what is the alternative?
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10-7-2016-12-53-38-pmSeveral weeks ago was the 15th anniversary of 9-11, and many of us gave honor and remembrance to the brave passengers of Flight 93. “Let’s Roll” has become a battle cry for those of us who realized what was going on in the minds of the heroes of Flight 93 as they bravely, yet no doubt with fear, rushed the terrorists who had commandeered their plane.

One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard over an open line saying, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” Most people believe the heroes knew they were going to die, but took the action against the terrorists to prevent the plane from hitting another target like the US Capital.

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No matter what they did, death was an absolute. The pilots were already dead, their throats slashed. Can you imagine what it was like being in that plane commandeered by terrorists who, without hesitation, had already slashed the throats of anyone who got in their way? They had to be thinking, “There is no way out of this, except to die.” The in-flight Airfone operator says she prayed the Lord’s Prayer with Todd Beamer moments before he yelled, “Let’s Roll!”

Was Todd Beamer praying because he knew he was going to die? Even if he had won the fight and regained control of the plane, now what’s he going to do? I believe the heroes of Flight 93 knew they were going to die, but they were convinced that crashing the plane into a field was far better than letting the hijackers crash it into the Capital.

Are we as a nation in a “Flight 93” situation with the 2016 election? Are we as a nation going to curl up in a corner and just wait to die? Or, are we going to fight against almost insurmountable odds to win back our country from the certain path of destruction which we are currently on?

We actually have three choices this November 8th. No, I don’t mean we have a viable third candidate for president. As citizens of a country where the government is supposed to be “by and for the people,” we can stay home and do nothing. That’s like curling up in the previously mentioned corner, waiting for death to come. Or, we can get out and vote for one of the two choices.

It is my belief that Hillary Clinton is more morally corrupt and dishonest than any candidate for president we have ever seen. Donald Trump is also like no other candidate we have ever seen. Let’s face reality. We know that Clinton is going to continue to take this country into further debt, more moral corruption, do more destruction to our economy and more attacks on our 2nd Amendment rights. She will finish most of the policies President Obama started. She would appoint extremely liberal judges to the Supreme Court, resulting in another twenty to forty years of court decisions which would certainly destroy our US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Donald Trump is somewhat questionable. He has made numerous “off the cuff” statements that cause us to question his wisdom. But, he seems to be coming around to a more controlled way of thinking. Voting for Trump, to me, is like Flight 93, “Let’s Roll!” Voting for Hillary Clinton is like curling up in a corner and waiting to die. Staying home and not voting is also like curling up and waiting to die. Voting for a third party candidate is, to me, akin to the aforementioned “curling up in a corner and waiting to die.”
Could the heroes of Flight 93 have safely taken control of the plane, and lived? Outside of a miracle, it’s not likely. Except in the movies, there are NO records of an untrained passenger ever landing a plane like Flight 93, while taking instructions from a pilot on the ground.

Could Donald Trump take control of our country and fly it to a safe landing? Could some of his advisors tell him how to land our “plane” safely? IF Clinton takes over our “plane” I see nothing but a crashed and burning mess. One of the lines in the Lord’s Prayer, which Todd Beamer prayed just before he and the other heroes died says, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Maybe Todd Beamer and the others carried out God’s will and did win in the final moments on Flight 93. The terrorists did NOT crash the plane into our United States Capital. It kinda reminds me of another time, when a man gave up his life for ours.

John 15:13 says: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” King James Bible.
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9-16-2016-11-20-45-amThis question has come up several times in my Firearms Classes. It’s a very important question and no, it does not have an easy answer. The question is: “Should I get involved and try to stop a robbery, even though the victim is a stranger?”

Have you thought about what you would do if you walked in on a robbery in progress? Should we use deadly force to save a stranger? I believe that morally we should step in, where possible, and prevent an injury or death.

Many of us might stop when it comes to risking our own life to save a stranger. Before stepping into a situation with deadly force, we absolutely MUST know what is going on. Do we really know which one is the bad guy and which one is the innocent victim? One evening, shortly after retiring from twenty three years of Law Enforcement, I came across a situation, which turned out to be very embarrassing for me.

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We were out shopping. My wife had just walked into a grocery store, I decided to check out a hardware store next door. I was just stepping up onto the sidewalk in front of the store, when the door came flying open and a man ran out with another man chasing him, yelling, “Stop, bring that stuff back here and pay for it!”

I grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911. I identified myself along with the fact that I was now retired. I briefly described the shoplifting situation. By now the manager and the shoplifter had stopped near the entrance to another store. I handed the manager my phone and said, “I have 911 on the phone, tell them what is going on.” The store manager looked at me like I was a little green Martian. In an exasperated voice he said, “We don’t need 911, I am training a new man on how to handle a shoplifter!”

I am sure glad it was not an “armed robbery” training session! If the manager had been yelling, “Someone call 911, I have just been robbed!” I might have acted differently and even dangerously by “assuming” it was a real robbery. My advice: ONLY use deadly force if YOU, or another innocent person is in IMMEDIATE danger of death or great bodily harm. That does not include stopping fleeing suspects.

Back when I was a Deputy Sheriff in Florida, a domestic violence incident started late one afternoon right outside my apartment. The woman was trying to leave in her car and the man was standing in front of her yelling obscenities. I called 911 and requested an on-duty Deputy to respond.

Before the Deputy could arrive, the fight got worse. The man pulled the women out of her car and threw her car keys off toward a wooded area. She tried to get a second set of keys from her purse. He grabbed her purse and threw it away too. I called 911 back and asked them to expedite the call, as the situation had escalated and I was going to have to intervene. I grabbed a set of handcuffs, hung my badge on my collar, and went outside. My snub nose 38 was tucked into my back pocket. The man had the woman backed up against the trunk of the car. As I approached, I yelled, “Deputy Sheriff, back off now!” The man glanced over his shoulder at me with an enraged expression. He acted like he didn’t recognize me as a Deputy, even though my marked patrol car was parked ten feet away. He knew who I was.

He was cuffed before he knew what hit him, but at least now he knew for sure who I was. After stuffing the abuser in the back seat, I turned my attention to the victim. She insisted she was OK. Two days later, the “victim” came knocking on my door begging me to drop the charges against her boyfriend. Did I do the right thing? Sure I did. But what if that situation was really something different? Could she have been trying to steal his car? Could she have just stolen items from his apartment? Could he have been the victim?

Unless you are 100% positively sure of the facts, and you personally are in danger, think twice before getting into something you could very well regret later.
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9-2-2016 3-17-55 PMDiscovering a stranger in your home in the middle of the night, or anytime for that matter, can be one of the scariest life-threatening experiences you may ever encounter. You need to be trained for such a life altering event.

Were you trained how to type properly, or do you hunt and peck, like me? Typing is a skill which can be learned on your own. But, proper typing is not a life saving skill. In America, citizens who own firearms are using them to save an innocent life up to twenty five hundred times a day. Saving a life with a firearm happens a lot more than taking a life with a firearm. I bet you will not read that in the “Lame Stream” media. Learning to use a gun safely and properly is more than just pointing and pulling the trigger. As I said in a past issue of Athens Now, learning when to shoot is just as important as knowing when not to shoot, and can either save your life, or keep you out of jail.

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Home invasion burglaries in the daytime are actually more common than at night. The only thing good about these crimes occurring in the daylight hours is that hopefully, you would be fully awake and alert. Either way, it’s going to be a highly stressful event. Unless you are prepared and have been trained in tactical home defense, you could make a bad experience end up being even worse. You and your family should have a plan of action of action to follow in case of any emergency. Both you and your family should be taking gun training classes, which should include gun safety. All of us who hold the 2nd Amendment near and dear to our hearts take our right to self defense personally.

Last year, I was giving a talk at one of the local Senior Centers about self defense in the home. This one lady stood up in class and said, “If somebody comes into my house, I’ll just shoot em!” I was trying to tell her and the group, “The bad guy might not just stand there and let you shoot him. And,” I added, “what if he has a gun and wants to shoot you?” I was trying to convince her she should retreat to a defensible location like a doorway or behind heavy furniture, and then shoot him!

Remember, the best fight you will ever be in is the fight you avoided.

You also need to know your state’s laws concerning self defense. Alabama is a “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground” state. You are not required by law to retreat from danger if you are legally there in the first place. BUT, retreating might be the wisest thing to do. You need to know exactly when it is legal to shoot an intruder in your home. Overall, to use deadly force, you must be in fear for your life, or that of another innocent person. Your purpose is to stop the threat. You must be able to testify that you shot the bad guy to stop the threat. You would never want to say, “I was scared, so I used my gun to kill him.” As a matter of fact, you probably better say very little until you have a lawyer with you. In many states, to claim self defense, the bad guy must already be inside your home. Deadly force is not justified if the bad guy runs when he is confronted, and you are no longer in fear for your life. In most states, you cannot use deadly force to stop a property crime, such as if a bad guy is stealing something from your yard.

Most pistol training and concealed carry classes should include self defense laws. You should ask the instructor if self defense laws are included in the class before you sign up. If a bad guy had your loved one at gun point, using them as a hostage, what would you do? You could try begging the bad guy to turn them loose. Do you think that would work? If the bad guy was using your son or daughter as a shield, could you shoot without hitting the wrong person?

I am now offering Advanced Self Defense Handgun classes. I use various scenarios including “Shoot, Don’t Shoot” and “Hostage” targets to train my students to defend themselves or their loved ones. I will also be offering an introductory firearm safety class at the Center for Lifelong Learning on September 16th from 6:30-8pm. You can call the CLL at 256-233-8260 for more information, or to register for the September 16th class.
By: Paul Foreman

Paul Foreman is a retired Deputy Sheriff, from Lee County, Florida and NRA Certified Pistol Instructor.
For further information, Paul can be reached through e-Mail at Captureman@PaulForeman.com or his web site, www.PaulForeman.com or by phone at 256-431-6702.

8-19-2016 10-18-10 AMAlmost every day, I talk to people about getting properly trained in the use of their handgun for self-defense. Probably nine out of ten people give me the same answer, “Oh, I know how to shoot a gun.” I usually then ask, “But, have you ever had any training?” Then the typical answer is, “Oh, my grandfather took me hunting when I was ten years old.”

Sorry folks, that doesn’t count as proper gun training. Just because you know how to point the gun and pull the trigger, does NOT mean you know how to safely and properly use a gun for self-defense. There are very important things that each and every gun owner must know about using a gun in a self-defense situation. Laws vary from state to state and if you, heaven forbid, are ever confronted by evil, you must know your state’s self-defense laws. Knowing when to shoot and even more important, when not to shoot, can either save your life, or save you from a jail sentence.

I don’t know how many dozens of times I have heard the old myth, “If you shoot a burglar inside your home and he runs outside and dies, drag him back inside before you call the cops.” If you believe that one, I have a bridge in Alaska to sell you. Believe me when I say, “Do not ever alter the scene of a justified homicide, or you will more than likely make it look like you are trying to hide something which will make you look very guilty. The same goes for the old myth, “If the you shoot the bad guy as he is running away from your home, drag him inside.” Believing these old myths could land you in a world of trouble.

8-19-2016 10-18-43 AM

I am a retired Deputy Sheriff from Lee County Florida. I am an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. I am currently teaching “Basic Pistol and Self Defense” firearms classes which include live fire training at the range, three out of four weeks every month. Most of my classes are on weekends, but I can easily schedule a class for as few as two, almost any day of the week except Sunday. I keep the classes small, four or five students, maximum, so I can provide individual attention.

For my students and other experienced shooters, I also teach classes in “Advanced Self Defense Shooting.” For the advanced class, we use “Shoot, don’t shoot” targets. The students must decide very quickly which target is the threat. For the advanced class we also do dry fire shooting from inside your car to teach defensive tactics in a car-jacking situation.

This September and October, I will be giving classes at the Center For Lifelong Learning. Contact: Wanda Campbell, Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262.

On September 16th, the class will be “Introduction to Handgun Safety.” This is a basic 90-minute class for beginners who want to learn basic handgun safety and self-defense laws. Upon completing the class, students will understand how to safely handle a pistol or revolver. Students will be able to determine if a handgun is loaded and how to make it safe. Students will learn the basic laws of self-defense and when it is lawful to use a firearm in such situations. Attendees are instructed NOT to bring their own guns to this class. Any questions about this class, feel free to call and ask Paul, at 256-431-6702

On October 7th & 8th, I will be instructing a class in “Basic Handgun Shooting and Self Defense.” This class is designed to teach new handgun users how to safely and properly use their personal firearm. This class is also a great refresher for experienced gun owners who may not have had previous professional instruction. The classroom portion is approximately 5-6 hours, followed by time at a private shooting range. Students should transport their firearms unloaded to the class in a box, bag, or a gun case. Do NOT to BRING LIVE AMMO INTO THE CLASSROOM! You will not need your ammunition until we get out to the firing range. Participants must have in their possession their pistol permit as issued by your county Sheriff. Students are expected to provide their own handgun and 100 rounds of ammunition specified for their gun. Any questions about this class, your gun, or ammo, call and ask Paul at 256-431-6702.
8-19-2016 10-18-33 AM

8-5-2016 12-32-21 PMAs a firearms instructor, I require my students to look to each side after firing two or three shots. In a training scenario, this solves two important problems. The first problem is tunnel vision. My goal is to break the shooter’s tunnel vision from being focused only on the threat. The second problem is “seeing” what they are looking at. By looking to each side, it causes the shooter to check around for other bad guys. They are also looking for innocent citizens who might be about to walk into the line of fire. The shooter must also watch for law enforcement who might be arriving at the scene.

Seeing, instead of just looking, has a lot to do with self-defense. “Seeing” what you are looking at may save your life in a threatening situation. When I was a training officer for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, I was constantly instructing my rookies to “watch the hands” when confronting a suspect. I told them, “It’s the hands that will kill you.” With rookie Law Enforcement Officers, it is a whole new lifestyle of constantly being aware and really seeing what they are looking at around them.

8-5-2016 12-32-50 PM

There was certain training drill I would do with a new deputy. When they were driving the patrol car, I would instruct them to stop on a side road about halfway down the block. Then I would tell him, “You need to get on the radio and call for help. We are being shot at and our car is disabled. The suspects are shooting from the pickup truck which just drove past us.” Does the new deputy know where we are? Does he know the name of the street or highway we are on? Did he see how many suspects were in the truck before they started shooting at us? What color and make was the truck? This is all very important information which must be transmitted to the dispatcher, if she is going to be able to send help.

This training scenario was a wakeup call for the new deputies. When I confronted them with such a dangerous scenario, as I described in my fictional situation, they suddenly realized the importance of “seeing what they were looking at.” When they turned down the side street, did they see the street sign and know the name of the street they were on? This training scenario was for the new deputy so he or she would always remember to “see” the street sign, not just “look” at it when they drove past. I often used a similar training drill when looking for a suspect hiding from us in a building that had been burglarized. We would use a vacant building or an old abandoned house. The rookie was required to search each room or office. I had “planted” a mannequin in one of the closets. The rookie would go room to room, yelling “clear.” He knew it was a training drill so he didn’t expect to discover “someone” hiding in a closet.

8-5-2016 12-32-57 PMI wouldn’t expect most civilians to go to the extremes I mentioned above. But as concealed carry citizens, or “sheep dogs,” we take on more responsibility than the average citizen, or the sheep.
I hope you never experience a self-defense situation. Before, during, and after a shooting, a person is going to have a very narrow focus on the threat which they just encountered. When doing shooting drills, you need to practice seeing more than just the target. As you lower your gun after shooting, stop and look for additional threats. As a self-defense firearms instructor, I train using shooting drills with the students. When they lower their gun to re-assess the threat, I will hold out a hand and they must tell me how many fingers I am holding up. I might even set an item down, such as my hat or ear muffs, eight or ten yards to one side. I will ask them to tell me what they saw. After training, I want my students to feel confident and be a responsible gun owner.
As a firearms instructor, I stand right at the student’s shoulder. I am constantly watching their aim, grip, and trigger finger. I must make sure the student is following all the gun safety rules. When I teach firearms classes, I have a huge responsibility.
I cannot afford to just look at my students, I must see them!

Paul Foreman is a retired Deputy Sheriff from Lee County, Florida. He is also an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. For firearms training Paul can be reached through E-Mail at Captureman@PaulForeman.com or his web site, www.Paulforeman.com
By: Paul Foreman