Beating The Bystander Effect

When there is an emergency, the more bystanders there are, the less likely it is that any of them will actually help.   This is a phenomenon called Bystander Effect.  Pluralistic ignorance is where they assume nothing is wrong because nobody else looks concerned.

The Psychological definition reads as follows:   The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders.

bystander

I wanted to post about this issue as we discuss it in CWP classes when we go over ways to be a Good Samaritan.  Yesterday, I experienced a situation where no one stepped in and I decided to go ahead and put it out here to get you thinking and working to be better than one of the crowd.

I was in a local Chick-fil-A restaurant at lunch time that was extremely busy with families and children.  I was sitting between the counter and the door, facing the play area.  A little girl around 2-3 was standing in the middle of the room looking around confused and crying.  She started asking for her “mama” and getting more upset.  I glanced around to see if her mom was near or looking and saw a room full of people just staring at her and doing nothing.  She could have easily been snatched up and taken out that door.  I jumped up and scooped her up and asked if she was lost.  She said yes so I told her we would find her mom and to point her out to me when she saw her.  She was barefooted so I assumed she had been in the play area.  We walked in and we immediately ran into mom who was looking for her.  She slipped right past her at the play place and was lost in the crowd just that quickly.  When I sat back down I just reviewed the crowd and could not get over how all these adults just stood or sat there and kept away from her as if it was not their problem.

The crowd responds as if “someone else will do something so I won’t”.  There are reasons people in a crowd respond this way and it can be overcome.   Bystanders go through a five-step process, during each of which they can decide to do nothing.

1: Notice the event (or in a hurry and not notice).
2: Realize the emergency (or assume that as others are not acting, it is not an emergency).
3: Assume responsibility (or assume that others will do this).
4: Know what to do (or not)
5: Act (or worry about danger, legislation, embarrassment, etc.)

This is different than situational paralysis as this is not a personal response to something that has placed you in fear or sudden shock, such as seeing a spider.  This is a failure to react that, if alone, may not have happened.  The influence of the crowd causes the overwhelming shut down of willingness to help and causes diffusion of responsibility.

If you have ever seen the show What Would You Do? then you have seen people fail to respond or assist others in need of help.  I personally stopped watching that show when they showed a street full of adults, in separate opportunities, allow a child to be kidnapped right in front of them.  One man went as far as to move over to get out of the way of the man dragging the little girl off the street.  Only after two college students rushed in to help, was she assisted in any way by anyone on a busy street.  I could no longer handle the stresses of watching people fail to protect others when able and tuned-out of that series forever.  See if your nerves can handle this video.    What Would You Do?

A famous case of Bystander Effect was in 1964, where Kitty Genovese was attacked and brutally stabbed to death over a 45 minute period in the presence of a crowd of 38 people who did nothing to help during the attack.  In 2015, the movie Witness depicted her murder.   The study of this case began the label of Bystander Effect, also referred to as the “Genovese Effect”.

Bystander

The failure to respond was caused partially by social proof, whereby when people are uncertain, they look to other people as to what to do.  It can also be caused by people losing themselves in the crowd and assuming a smaller share of the responsibility, expecting others to help instead of themselves intervening.

In South Carolina, we have a law referred to as Alter Ego.  We are allowed to step in and defend the life or safety of another person who would have been able to have defended themselves the same way, if able.  We are allowed to equally use lethal force if it is necessary in a justifiable situation.  You know you can do this, but will you?

While attending advanced psychological studies, we did research on this as well as other response behaviors.  One of the ways to better learn the behavior was to learn how to “snap out of it”.  Military, law enforcement and other training groups also stress tactics to move past this behavior as well as situational paralysis.  One group I worked with used “Key Words”.  If you ever felt yourself freezing or not reacting, you would call yourself out by using your personal  Key Word or phrase you learned to snap you out and get moving.  It takes practice and repetition for this to be successful.

If you are failing to respond because you are not sure, think!  If you want someone to do something, ask them specifically by name or make sure they cannot assume that somebody else will do it.  Make eye-contact and make your voice heard.  You can also set an example and ask for alliance.  When you start acting, others will act.

If you think someone else should be doing what you have been asked to do, question the motives of the person asking you (even ask why they are not doing it themselves).  Many people stand around expecting others to respond and when questioned, they will either respond or give you the clarification you need to know what to do, even from their inaction.

Do Something!

In 2008, I drove passed a crowd of people at a busy park.  I noticed a man lying on the ground so I turned and went back.  There must have been 20 people standing around asking each other what was going on.  I immediately asked the crowd what they saw, rolled the man over, noticed he was not responding and started CPR.  I also firmly asked for a woman to call 911.  That was when the first call was made.  The CPR went on for more than 10 minutes, until first responders arrived.  When I began CPR, suddenly two others decided to assist me.  I remember hearing a woman say she would have helped if she had not let her “CPR certification expire”.  I cannot tell you how furious I was when I finally was able to get off the ground and face her.  I kept quiet as the response would not have been pleasant.  I remember discussing the event with an officer who asked for details.  One witness stated I arrived a few minutes after he collapsed.  So what were you all doing before I got there?  It took one person doing something to get a few more to get involved.

You do not have to assist anyone in any way if you do not feel motivated to do so.  As a part of a community that should look out for each other, we would ask you at least call 911.  In almost all of the Bystander Effect cases documented and studied today, nothing was done, not even a plea for help or call to police.  Don’t be that sheep, step up and make it happen.  Be their Alter Ego.

Your Gun Ban Sign Is Dangerous!

We need to start thinking like criminals, after all, they are the ones outsmarting us.  The first mistake we make is assuming they think like us.  Drop the assumption the other guy has compassion and humanity and see how much safer you become.

One of the biggest arguments in the gun world is the Right To Carry and the blocking of carry in business establishments.  In most states, there is some form of signage disallowing a properly licensed or permitted carrier to bring their firearms inside their premises or on their property.  In South Carolina, I rightfully refer to this sign as Diablo.  On both sides of that posted door are people bickering that it either makes complete sense and it makes it a Safe Zone or those proclaiming their safety is being jeopardized because their carry is being infringed and denied.   The bottom line is, one of you is right.  Let’s take a look at how the backwards thought process creates Safe Zones.

Let’s first discuss how this sign will prevent a good guy from entering the business.  Law abiding citizens (that’s what they are when they disarm or refuse to enter because your sign is up) have to decide if they will do as taught by the law and leave their self-defense tool in their car or at home so they can patron your business.  They would not want to break the law, because that’s not what good guys do.  They would disarm and enter empty handed and unprotected.  Well, the first thing you can do is guess again!  No law abiding citizen that truly believes they carry as a means of self-preservation will EVER disarm to write you a check.  They will leave and take their business and their firearm elsewhere. Gun FreeJob well done Safe Zone!  You have now prevented the law abiding citizen that took the time and money to become legally educated about firearms and proper carry from patronizing your business.  This includes military and law enforcement and their families that carry.  This same citizen has had the same background check as your local, state and federal law enforcement officials.  They have never committed a felony or act of domestic violence.  They are usually hobbyists and enthusiasts with their firearms and spend more time practicing, shooting and training than law enforcement as a whole.  They are a minimal threat to anyone in your business or your community and they are banned by Safe Zone Gate Keepers.

Let’s now take a look at the other job the Safe Zone has done for themselves.  They have already spoken to CWP holders and only CWP holders.  The law abiding citizen is the only one that will respect your legal request.  How often do criminals obey laws, like signs and legal carry?   Wait, what?  You think the convict that has a stolen gun is going to see that sign and say, “Damn!  I guess I cannot go in there.  I will have to leave my gun in the car.”  The fact you argue that this sign makes it safe, means you ultimately believe this.  Your faith in convicts is far greater than the average citizen with a lawfully owned firearm.

Ok, Safe Zone maker, let’s now look at who does come in your business.  The guy that cannot buy a gun legally and carries anyway will come right in.  The woman that is borrowing her boyfriend’s piece because she cannot pass the background check is sitting at your bar.  The gang member that got his firearm off a fellow thug for $100 knows the sign cannot stop him.  The dude that beats his wife up and finds her in your business and proceeds to come on in armed to get her did not see your sign, and if he did do you think he cared?  Did I mention he has previous CDV convictions so he is not legally allowed to have a gun?  He is the one over tipping your waitress with a grin.Warning

What you have also accomplished was letting all the convicts know the good guys are somewhere else.  That bulls-eye on your door says a lot about your customers.  Don’t be foolish enough to think criminals do not take advantage of posted places.  They can count on law abiding citizens doing the right thing and have reduced the chances of armed resistance in their attack.  I have started a process to list the places that are carry friendly and those that label themselves as Safe Zones.  www.facebook.com/cwpchick  Be sure and watch for updates.

Unfortunately, the people with these bad raps do not have the same signs and warning labels as your Diablo does.  They don’t wear shirts that announce they are convicts and have a gun anyway.  The “Wanted” posters are not tattooed on their foreheads.  They look like everyone else, so you think everyone is disarmed and your business is a Safe Zone because you said so!  No one can shoot anyone, or stab, or choke, or beat, or….you get the picture.  Well, guess again.  The only fool in the room is you.

What do you do when your Safe Zone becomes a Crime Zone (same thing)?  Who is there to defend you?  Are you going to pray there is a police officer inside because he has a GUN?  No one else does so in case that officer is not there, and you have called 911, how many people will die while you wait?

Those who do not even give a thought to what the sign means or brings do not deserve your business.  Many will read things like this or have a chat with you and it gives them something to research and think about.  Those that even give it a second thought that there may be something to that sign being gone are rare.  Most people who are anti-gun know absolutely nothing about them or their function in society.  Those that do take the opportunity to become educated are a minority.

Most people that think the sign is an armed force that makes them bulletproof will never open their mind to the consequences of their uninformed beliefs.  These are the minions that do not deserve your body guard services free of charge or your hard earned money.  Next time you see a Safe Zone, be sure and ask the owner if they provide seeds to feed the unicorns while you wait.

Rules Of A Gunfight

In a gunfight, the most important rule is HAVE A GUN!

These are shooting tips from various Concealed Carry Instructors.  Please read and learn to follow.  If you own a gun, you will appreciate these rules.  If not, you should get one, learn how to use it and learn the rules.

RULES

A:  Guns have only two enemies; rust and politicians.

B:  It is always better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

C:  Cops carry guns to protect themselves, not you.

D:  Never let someone or something that threatens you get inside twenty feet.

E:  Never say, “I’ve got a gun.”  If you need to use deadly force, the first sound they should hear is the safety clicking off or the hammer cocking.  In a situation with a more experienced carrier, there is nothing to hear.

F:  The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes; the response time of a .357 is 1,400 feet per second.

G:  The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always Win – there is no such thing as a fair fight.  Always Win – cheat if necessary.  Always Win – 2nd place doesn’t count.

H:  Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets.  You may get killed with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it because it will be empty.

I:  If you are in a gun fight:
(a) If you’re not shooting, you should be loading.
(b) If you’re not loading, you should be moving.
(c) If you’re not moving, you’re dead.

J:  In a life or death situation, do something.  It may be wrong, but do something!

K:  If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid.  Nonsense, If you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?

L:  You can say, “stop” or any other word, but a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much a universal language; and, you won’t have to press 1 for Spanish, 2 for Chinese or 3 for Arabic.

M:  Never leave an enemy behind.  If you have to shoot, shoot to kill.  In court, yours will be the only testimony.

N:  You cannot save the planet, but you may be able to save yourself and your family.

If you believe in the 2nd Amendment and common sense, none of this is new to you. Congratulations!  You may win a gun fight.

What Is An Assault Rifle Anyway?


Does “AR” stand for Assault Rifle?  Maybe it means Automatic Rifle. Actually, they are both wrong.  AR is the name of the ArmaLite manufacturer that developed the rifle style in the 1950’s. https://armalite.com. They embraced the AR name no differently that Glock (G-26, G-19) embraces their name.  It is a brand name turned style that has caused much controversy over the years.  People under the narrow illusion these are battle weapons only, refer to them as military style or assault rifles.

AR 15Rifles developed with similar styles and kind features after the AR are often referred to as “AR Style”.  Those two little initials have become demonized and turned into a bad word, based on misconceptions.  AR-15 refers to any of several rifles to include ArmaLite AR-15 and it’s predecessor of the US Military M-16 rifle. The Colt AR-15 is a line of semi-automatic rifles manufactured by Colt. It is designed based on the US Military M-16 rifle.  Colt has since bought the ArmaLite AR.

Keep in mind there is a huge distinction between the M-16 and the AR-15.  The M-16 is an automatic rifle as to where the AR-15 is semi-automatic.  This is a civilian style rifle as to where the automatic is truly a military designed rifle for military defense (machine gun). Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Assault Rifle as: any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.  The keywords here are “designed for military use.”

M16
AR Style Rifles come is a variety of caliber/size. Ask someone what they feel about the hunting rifle vs the AR.  It is amazing how many will say the Assault Rifle is unnecessary.  It’s the same thing, it just looks different.  If we wrapped the .223 in a plain wrapper, there would be no unrest.  Hand a person a .22 pistol and ask how easy it was to fire then hand them your 10/22 AR style rifle and watch the shift in understanding.  It all stems from fear mongering by media and uninformed coffee talk.  It spreads like a brush fire.

Ban

It is a ridiculous argument that gun control activists have against the AR simply because they are under the impression it means Assault Rifle.  It casts fear to the ignorant.  If we can educate one person to drop the vernacular and learn the difference in the actual firearms, maybe some will back off.  Until then,  I will simply refer to my rifle as That Big Black Gun.

Is Following The Law Worth Your Life?

Law versus Morality.  Seems easy enough, or is it?  Is following the law worth your life?  That is a decision you have to make as a concealed carrier (or any type carrier for that matter).  Gun ownership allows you the comfort of safety but never guarantees self-preservation.

There are laws and opinions that are designed to prevent you from having possession of your firearm for personal protection.  In South Carolina, we have sign restrictions that are optional for business owners and corporations to disallow your carry.  You see this hideous and satanic symbolism often.  I have given this sign the appropriate name of “Diablo”.  Not sure if you picked up on my view of this sign yet, but if not, keep reading.  It will come to you.

Make sure you understand the laws around the sign and know what to look for in your travels.  A full description of the requirements for the sign can be quickly viewed here http://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2012/title-23/chapter-31/section-23-31-235  Keep in mind, the circle is not required to be RED.  That is an added courtesy to make it more visible.

Diablo

When a freshly unleashed concealed carrier hits the streets, they start to tune-in to things that were previously not their concern.  The sign means nothing to an unarmed individual.  It also means nothing to a criminal.  You, however, are now confronted with this rude and loud sign telling you that YOU are not allowed in unless YOU disarm and enter with no means of self-defense.  Will you disarm and enter?  Will you enter armed?

There are a few things you need to consider before becoming either the outlaw or the pragmatist.  First thing is first; why would you want to give free bodyguard services to a business that does not want you there?  You are entering to patron a place that would rather you die than shop there.  You do realize this, right?  They expect you to unleash yourself from your safety net and enter to give them money, and some will!  Many people will enter because they say it is their right and they would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.  Who really wants either?  Go elsewhere and you do not have to choose.  You also do not have to risk being the unlawful thug that we, as gun owners, are accused of being.  Why stand on such a pedestal to give support to a place that expects you to risk your freedom?  I never understood that philosophy.

Gun Free

When you are given the option to disarm or enter unlawfully, you have to decide which is more important to you, your safety or your morals?  I refuse to choose.  I will take my business elsewhere.  I strongly support businesses that welcome my carry and my desire for public safety and self-preservation.  I also cannot give in to a business that is so foolish to believe that Gun Free Zones are SAFE.  They are not bullet proof zones.  We are the law abiding that deserve the right to carry and defend, yet they take it by posting and forcing boycotts and corporate give-ins.  When the creeps that shout about us being animals and blood thirsty killers hear about a carrier being caught for carrying anyway, they have just received praise and confirmation for their theory.  Stop giving them that ammo!

Take the time to give your hard earned income, time, safety net, attention and commitment to a business that, not only wants you there, deserves you there.  Watch for Diablo and spread the word.  There is always another business that offers the same services and/or products that you can patron instead.  I always love to see Diablo sightings on Facebook.  It saves me gas by not even wasting my time driving out there.
Welcome

The Election: Political or Hypocritical?

The hottest topics these last few months are directly related to one common dialect, politics.  As offensive as that word is to most, it is an aphrodisiac for others.  Many words come to mind when asked what my political stance is or from what chair I want to view the circus.  I refuse to buy tickets.

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Some stabbing questions come to mind for us all when we have to sit and embrace our views.  Remove the opinion of others.  Derail the direction you have been led by the media.  Shut off the sounds in your head of your peers and spiritual figures.  Forget, for one minute, you have seen a negative campaign or misleading ad anywhere out there.  Is your mind clear yet?

We have a responsibility to vote our conscious and that is nearly an impossible feat.   Personally, I have to forget to have a conscience when I enter that polling booth anymore.  There are so many issues at hand and so many opinions cradling each of them.  They never seem to balance.  What the population of gun owners fears the most is seeing their rights infringed in some or any way.  This has been a massive topic throughout every election, and the fear mongering and pollution of your senses will not change.  What do we really need to fear when it comes to political power in the White House?

On the Right, we hear that Hillary Clinton should be feared, she wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment and if anyone but Trump gets in, the Constitution will be repealed and we will lose our guns.  You hear the other side claiming they don’t want our rights taken, just our firearms.  The bickering and preaching is nonstop and there is a reason it is so loud and in your face.  The gun lobby makes a great deal of money off of fear and ignorance.  The government also makes tons of money when we bum rush gun stores for guns and ammo.  The parties see it working and use it to their benefit as well.  Think about that.  How many people do you know that will only vote for Trump because he will not take our guns?  No President will be able to solely abolish the Second Amendment, but they want you to think he or she will.

No branch of the government can change the Constitution on their own. The executive branch could lobby for a change to the Constitution, but that is all. The legislative branch can propose a change, but that is all. The judicial branch can interpret the words and meaning of the Constitution, but that is all.

A President cannot abolish part of the Constitution just because they disagree with any part of it.  Congress cannot pass a law that is at odds with it and the judicial branch cannot strike down parts of it because they do not like it.  You don’t hear this, however, do you?

There is a way that we, as Americans, can get rid of the Second Amendment.  We, The People, would have to change the Constitution.  Do you know how difficult this would be?  It is insanely infeasible.  Of the 27 times in our history that Amendments were made, only one was an attempt to repeal a previous Amendment.  The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, and that was to allow expansion of rights, not restriction.

21st Amendment

Demand your state and country follow the Constitution and allow you to enjoy the freedoms of such, but do not allow the hocus pocus of political propaganda to put you in fear of losing absolute right when it comes to the Constitution itself.  Experiencing a government meltdown or suffering Marshal Law is a whole new topic on our rights and why we refuse to be infringed and another point of why we will remain protective of our rights, but don’t be fooled thinking a simple election will eliminate your powers of carry and ownership based on the Second Amendment alone.

We have a separate fight on our hands over limitations and restrictions.  There are more gun owners in support of smart gun control, just not infringement.  Most of us have no issue with background checks in general.  If anyone in our government thinks there are loopholes, address that issue individually.  Law abiding citizens should not have to endure additional setbacks and walls that aren’t directed toward, or a result of, them in the first place.

We already have laws and restrictions in place that are being questioned but not enforced.  Try enforcing existing laws before adding or changing new ones.  Our leadership seems to think if something is not working the way they think it should work, it is not the system’s fault.  Get real!  They want to believe the gun is to blame, not the mental state of the gunman.  They want to think a revolver would have been less potent because you have 5-6 rounds and not 10-15.  They want you to believe that a gun with certain attributes fires differently than a plane wrapped one.  Again, we are misguided by hearing what they want us to hear and so many are allowing the rhetoric to stick instead of doing their own research and calling BS.

Gun Control Debate

We have a duty in our state to keep the right people handing our laws and making legal decisions.  Remember, we have to control the reign here over our local laws and opinions.  It starts at the top but it lands in your lap.

I have come to the conclusion that this election will be a Battle of The Bobble Heads.  We are voting simply for the lesser of two evils, and that alone is still not a refreshing thought.  We will one day look back and wonder what it would have been like to have had the losing party as our leader, after the existing one screws us up.  It will happen, no matter which way you lean this term.  Scary isn’t it?

We as Americans have a Right and a Duty to vote.  Take your time and really think about who you are electing and why.  Balance the good and bad of each and once you stop crying, pick one.  Welcome to America!  Where the entire World can’t wait to see how our Circus will begin.

A Woman Instructor; of All Things!

That Chick, that woman, that female, that firearms trainer; she was my instructor.  As I reflect back on starting this whole teaching thing, I did not go in wondering if I would be treated differently because I was a girl.  I can honestly say I did not worry about it and never feared having resistance or limits in the industry.  Someone brought it to my attention this week, asking if anyone ever had a problem with me being a female instructor.

I enjoyed shooting as a teenager.  My parents had no clue how often I would sneak around in the country with friends and get some trigger time in behind the scenes.  I ended up with an injured hand in my twenties and had to make-due with the strangest grip on the planet.  I could not use my “trigger” finger.  I sometimes avoided ranges where people could see me because I knew they would think, “look at that girl over there.  She can’t even grip the gun right”.  Once I had wrist surgery years later, I was back on squeeze patrol.  I started hitting the range more and more, usually outdoors with a few buddies, kicking up as much hillside dirt as ballistically possible and usually allowed by law.  What a rush.  I started helping other friends that were new to the idea of shooting, or were resistant out of fear.  It was so easy for me to talk and train them through that process, I was often asked why I did not teach on a more professional scale.  It was always the guy friends that asked.  Heck, if I were able to convince their mom or girlfriend to learn to shoot, I could convince anyone, right?    So it began.

I found a team to get me the proper certification and training required to begin teaching in South Carolina.  It only took me about two months to go through the entire process from beginning to certified.  One on my Chief training team was a woman, and she had taught many women before me.  Being a female instructor still never surfaced as a topic of discussion.  It’s funny how I was not the only one that didn’t think it made a difference.

Once I got rolling and teaching, I had full classes, always booked in advance.  I never wanted for more enrollment or experienced a miss in headcount.  I continued my own advanced training and skill improvement by other professional teams (all men) that never asked why.  The first year of teaching, the majority of my classes were predominantly male, if not all at times.  I never had one person assume I was the assistant or the secretary, which is a good thing for their sake.  I got respect and was approached as “The Instructor” and person in charge of those classes and their training.  I have looked back and tried to remember one time I got push back or resistance for being a woman and I cannot recall one incident.  I am often asked what got me into this and how I got started, but never has my gender been a topic.  I am not surprised, but some might be.  Some may have thought it was a male driven sport, hobby and industry and I was an exception to the rule.  No way.  I was the one in the dark not realizing that more and more women were not only getting into shooting sports but were professionals and world class athletes.  I figured that part out later.

Desert Eagle 50

Today I am a trademarked “Chick”.  My card passed out, the website reviewed, calls made, name heard and info shared everywhere, and not once has anyone been shocked or hesitant because they found out I was a woman.  Now that more and more women are getting on the range, my classes are split many times, often weighing heavier to the female side of the headcount.  Men don’t mind.  They seem to forget we are women, and that too is a good thing.  The women new to the concept of conceal carry and firearms training are starting to clue in that more and more of us are out there.  Many are encouraged by their male counterparts and use the idea of a female instructor to coax them into giving it a try.  We (existing gun folk and me) still use that to our advantage as much as we can.

Even my logo and apparel are popular with the guys.  It is a Brand and a statement to a group of common thinking people.  I have to tip my hat to any man that thinks it is cool to wear a shirt that says “Chick” on it.  It is not a who but a what.  A student and fan asked me recently with a grin, “how in the world did you come up with such a tagline?”.  I hated to disappoint him, but it wasn’t some awesome story about branding and nicknames.  I simply wanted a catchy name for my website.  Now, that got me resistance.  As I asked friends to help me choose one of the names I thought would be catchy but not kitchy, a few were not amused.  No sooner did I launch www.CWPchick.com did a woman who had resentment toward my success make a comment that anyone that would accept being referred to a “chick” is allowing disrespect.  Not so my friend, not so.  Not only did it create a great trend, it proved a point.  It proved Chicks Rule!  I am asked all the time by people who see my logo on me or my car, or recognize me from Facebook or media,  “Are you CWPchick?”.  No disrespect anywhere in that.

CWPchick Decal

Oh, there was that “one time” on Facebook that a dude in a gun forum asked about a very low-rated firearm.  I answered, along with many others that agreed with my take, and he was extremely defiant to a woman having the nerve to reply.  This would later be known as the infamous, “Soccer Mom Incident” of 2015.  He learned a hard lesson that I am sure he uses on a daily basis even today.  I do not expect him to wear a CWPchick shirt any time soon.

If there is a prejudice out there with me being a female instructor, it has been well hidden in my tenure.  Thanks to modern times and the open mind of the average gun owner, being a Chick is no longer a big deal.  I thank you for that.

Home Invasion Quick Fix



I speak a great deal about home invasion. It is up close and undeniably personal. We can not control a violator’s desire to do us harm but we can put up resistance and protect ourselves with prevention and awareness.

Home invasion is called that because you are home. Did you know that most invasions happen when they KNOW you are home? They know you will more than likely not have your alarm set, doors locked and you surely are not prepared to respond.

Have a second set of eyes go through your home and make sure you have not missed a safety step. You will be surprised how someone looking in will see more than you do looking out. There is even a local provider that will come and inspect your home to point out what safety improvements you should consider and even provide the improvements.   The service is affordable and the results are priceless. http://www.bluelinecrimesolutions.com.

Check your window locks. Make sure they keep your windows secure and unable to be forced up. You can add a simple, removable screw/nail above the window that prevents it from being forced up. There are also many cheap window sensors that alert you to window movement.

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Reinforce your door with 3″ wood screws. A simple addition can be the difference in easily kicking the door off the frame and leaving them bouncing on the porch with a tingling foot. Not only is it an inexpensive solution but it should take 10 minutes to install. 

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Lock all doors and deadbolts, even when you are home. Invasion is easy when they can walk, push or force their way in with less resistance. Most perps expect you to be unprepared. The efforts they take to get in a home that is locked down will allow you an opportunity to hear, see, register and respond to what is happening.

Leave lights on around the outside of the house so creeping around doors and windows at night won’t go unseen. This also allows you to see what’s outside without exiting and investigating. You never want to exit your home into darkness. Motion sensors can be purchased for a few dollars and can be added to any light fixture.

Lights should be left on in the home to allow you to see and to make the home appear occupied. Set timers throughout the house for some to come on at different times. A spare bedroom can have a light on for 30 minutes to an hour on and off throughout an evening without any effort. Set the rooms at different times. They do not have to be on for long and a low watt lightbulb will allow your costs to go unnoticed.

Do not place spare keys in boxes or garden figurines. They know what they are and look for those first. If you need to secure a key, intrust a neighbor or find a place that can not be found easily in your yard or picked up with a metal detector.

Set your alarm! What better way to anticipate a free ride than to kick your door in at 2pm? They know you are home and it is a good bet you do not have the alarm set. Most people set it when they are settled for the evening or gone. Get used to setting it anytime you walk away from that door. It takes no effort. When that door is kicked in or forced open and the alarm is going off, the chances they will turn and run increase by 75%! If they do not run, you are alerted to enable a response and help is on the way. There are camera services and apps to watch your home away from home as well.

There are several alarm systems and vendors available. Many can work with any budget and offer free systems and even discounts and special offers. For more information on how you can get your system contact Shirley Town at 803-447-4244,  http://www.homeandfiresecurity.com, Shirleytowne@hotmail.com.  Let her know you heard about her through CWPchick for special pricing offers.

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Know your neighbors! They need to know when something is off. They should know when you are home and away. I am fortunate enough to have a great look-out system in my community. If an unknown vehicle pulls in my driveway my neighbor will not only check them out but will contact me asking if they belong there. This is the watch dog comradary that protects your neighborhood, property and your families.

When you are steps ahead of the criminal, you are less likely to be a victim. Start paying attention to your home and surroundings, the violators have been.

Children First

I sit here today contemplating my first entry to The Legal Tidbit Blog.  Do I discuss a law?  What hot topic in the political ring would be good?  There is so much information and discussion in the wind that I just reached out and snatched the last entry someone posed in question to me on Facebook.  “What do I do to protect my child from guns?”.  It is not a delightful or easily answered topic by any means, but it is a valuable discussion that should be had with everyone, whether you have children or not.

We see in the news daily that another child has had their life snuffed out because someone had inappropriate access to a firearm, the latest a 3 year old in Gaston, SC.  That is far too close to home and is felt personally by anyone within range of the story.  It is tragic and completely avoidable.  I am not completely informed on how this baby gained access to this gun or the circumstances around his death, but  I do know that a 3 year old should never be able to put their hands on a firearm.

We keep guns in our home for protection and they should remain within reach and be accessible or it is pointless.  We also have to keep little hands off, so how do you do both?  There are procedures, lessons, steps, devices, routines and habits that should be put in place in every home.  Whether you have children, visitors or have youth that can visit someone else that may have a gun, teach your children and know where they are going.

The first step is to make sure you are properly securing the guns you are not utilizing.  Gun safes allow you to lock your firearms away from anyone you do not wish to give access.  This also allows you to protect your guns and valuables from theft and fire.  Use the safes and follow the “Safe” safe rules with guns and ammo.

There are small safes that can be used for the gun that is being utilized for protection.  They are also good for the single gun owner that does not have use or the budget for a large floor safe.  Hornady makes safes in several sizes and security levels for any budget.  If you can afford the gun you can afford the safe, period.  They are easily locking children out while giving you remote, key fob, key, bracelet or code access.  These are great for the bedroom and nightstands.  You can wear a wrist band that allows you to lay your wrist over the detector and it swiftly opens and releases the firearm for your personal use.  This allows you to keep your gun loaded and ready but out of the wrong hands.  This is mountable and available online and at local gun stores.  http://www.hornady.com/store/rapid-safe-accessories

If you have a gun that needs to be put in a small place, out of use, or stored, use your gun lock.  They come with all firearms now and your local police departments will provide you with one free if you do not have one.  It prevents the gun from being loaded, blocks slide or cylinder action and it becomes unable to fire if handled.

I have guns throughout my home.  When I get visitors I remove the guns that a person can access.  If there is a child that will be present all guns are locked away and no one can have access to any of them outside of the one I carry continuously as my EDC.  Children of all ages are curious and will detour from bathroom visits.  When they explore, they get crafty.  I do not unarm with company in the home.  My personal carry stays on my person and is not accessible to anyone in my presence.

If you carry in your purse, lock it up when you have visitors or you are in a place where it can be accessed by others.  If this means putting it on you, locking it in a car or putting in a safe, do it.  Do not leave your firearm in buggies, open on your shoulder, car floors and seats or anywhere a child can reach in.

When your firearm is in your car, keep them away from children.  If that means locking the glove box, removing from under seats or out of seat pockets, do it.  Children reach into open and closed areas of cars easily and swiftly.  We often like to slide a handgun into the back pouch behind our seats for backseat placement.  You are not the only one that can reach in there.  Even a child in a car seat can lean forward or reach into those areas and harm you, themselves or someone else easily.

These are the first steps to securing your firearms.  This does not even touch on the topic of teaching children what to do when they see a gun in their house or somewhere else.  We will have to delve into that topic very soon.  Please remember, what is normal and routine for you, is not for everyone, especially children.  You need to know that not all families teach their children what you will.  Protect and secure – for your children and theirs.

-CWPchick