The Win Before the Fight

by Kellene Bishop

I’ve been reading a great book over the last couple of weeks, Molon Labe. In it the author reminds the reader several times that all fights are decided before the battle begins. The point being that it’s the level of preparation which takes place before a battle which determines the victor.  In the case of the self-defense of women, I advocate consistent, challenging practice which will ensure successful self-defense. While the attacker may have life-long experience as a bully or a law breaker, it doesn’t make him/her fully prepared for their battle with you directly. However, through consistent mental and physical rehearsal to apply to multiple “what if” scenarios, you are leagues ahead of any assailant. And thus your battles are already won before they even begin.

Even better, confidence, calm, presence of mind, necessary tools, and a clear conscience are the fruits of such preparation—even if you are ever called upon to defend yourself. There is simply no price of time or money that can be put upon such fruits, in my opinion.

This past Saturday I took a couple of my girlfriend’s children to the dollar theater to see “Shrek 4.” Both children were under 12, with the youngest being only 9 and who also has Asperger Syndrome. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to get into the theater for seating, there were very few options left for 3 people to sit together. Thankfully one of the theater employees escorted us to a side row of 4 seats, with the outside seat being occupied by a hefty man. The movie had just begun and so the employee quietly leaned down and requested the man allow us to scoot by him and be seated.  As if he had just been asked to relinquish control over his own private remote, and give up a years worth of beer, and run a 5K marathon, he responded quite put out.  His only “effort” to allow us to pass was to spread his overstuffed sausage legs further apart. Yes, it was so attractive,–not—and a bit creepy. Because of his size, it was still a bit difficult for the kids to get past him, let alone myself, who is also quite chubby. It would have been so much easier if he had simply got up from his seat, and stepped into the aisle a moment.  I suppose that I’m a bit spoiled nowadays with this expectation, as my husband certainly would have done the same thing for us and any stranger. Needless to say, it was irritating to have an example of such rudeness displayed to the kids.  Well, being the somewhat sassy person that I am, I just couldn’t hold it in and it had to be heard. I just had to say it. And say it I did. “Well, I guess chivalry is dead”, I quietly demurred.

I didn’t have any anger when I made this statement, nor did I shout. I suppose that a kinder person would have just kept quiet and tolerated his rudeness, but I guess I’m not very good at keeping some of my thoughts to myself. Having said my two cents, I realized that such an inconsiderate man would have been compelled to say something in return, but I suppose I had simply expected an apathetic “whatever” from the sweating, heavy breathing mammoth.  Not that I expected an apology in response to my comment, but I was a bit startled with what did come out of his mouth. “Why don’t you just shut your mouth or I’ll punch you in the face!”

Wait a minute.  Did you really just threaten to physically assault a woman with two kids simply because she called you out?  Really? This was your very first instinct, to threaten physical violence in a packed movie theater without a care in the world as to the consequences?  This was your knee jerk, comfortable, standard response?  Folks, that’s saying a whole heck of a lot right there!  Now ladies, understand what I’m about to share with you here.  I’m only 5’2 ½”—yes, you’ve got to count the ½ inch. *grin* And I’m just over 200 pounds. So no, I’m not an imposing person to deal with physically. In fact, I suspect that I’m looked at as an “easy mark” by some fools due to me being out of shape.  This man was approximately 6 feet and weighed probably about 300 pounds.  In spite of these physical factors, combined with his revealing physical threat right off the bat, , I was not frightened. In fact, it’s probably my lack of fear of any repercussions which I thought I could handle, that I uttered my initial sentence within earshot of him. I was calm and confident. In fact, my only concern at the time was that I didn’t want to cause the kids to feel uncomfortable—especially the youngest. So I simply replied, “I’m not trying to fight with you. You could have simply been nice and let us in. It was two kids for crying out loud.” His response, “Shut the hell up or else.” I must say, I was a bit shocked at his angry behavior in response to such a small incident and in spite of there being plenty of people surrounding him, he seemed to posses no shame, no modicum of morality, and certainly no care in the world about anyone else. It was easy to see that he was comfortable with his rage and his attitude against others who inconvenienced him. Since I would be sitting beside him during the course of the movie, I decided that I would make clear to him that I wasn’t quite who he thought I was. While it may seem overly dramatic, given his “first impression” I saw the faces of various women in my minds eye, who may have been the brunt of his societal standards. I’ll be honest. There was a point when I asked myself if the opportunity would present itself for me to use my Asp on this guy. I know. I know, just a titch warped. As such, I looked right at him and said very clearly “Sir. I’m definitely not the woman you want to mess with.” He turned his head to me for a moment as if to size me up.  He then sarcastically replied, “Oh. I’m really scared.”

“Good! That’s just where I like ‘em. Overconfident and unaware,” I said, still looking directly at him.

He then turned his head back to the movie and said “just shut up and watch the movie. That’s what you paid for.”

I decided that I had said enough at this point and ran the risk of upsetting the kids if our voices got any more elevated so that they could hear.

Now, there’s a reason I’m telling you all of this and it’s not for a purpose of self-aggrandizing. It’s because there are two important things for you to learn from this scenario. First of all, I was told by one of my friends that I should have said “Let’s see how scared you are with a forty caliber pointed at you.”  I suspect that my friend was just getting in to the mood of things in this comment, but if I had said something to that effect, I actually could have gotten myself in a whole lot of trouble. I would have easily been accused of inciting a riot, “brandishing a weapon”—even though I wasn’t literally showing my firearm, disturbing the peace, and lastly I’m creating a threat. More importantly, if a person ever truly does feel threatened in such a situation, you certainly would not want to show your cards like that. If you truly feel threatened, then do something about it. Act, not react.  In this case, I felt that for the time being this guy was just full of himself and didn’t like being called out by a girl.  If I had truly felt threatened, then it would have been within my legal right to have physically assaulted him with non-deadly force.  Yes, in such an instance I, being out manned in weight and height, would have been legally within my rights to have “thrown the first punch” so to speak. As women, it’s not necessary for us to get hit, shoved, beaten, etc. by a man first before we respond. I realize for some of you, that may be hard to conceptualize. But after Mr. Sausage made his first physical threat of punching me in the face, I would easily have been in the right with a solid punch to his wind pipes, or whatever other physical maneuver I would have felt necessary—enough to minimize the physical threat of this man. However, that’s only the case if it was me, short and chubby, against him.  Had a 6 year old boy said that to me, then I would not be permitted to proactively defend myself. It all boils down to the level of threat and the weight of advantages, vs. disadvantages. For example, if it had been my husband who was being talked to that way, he would not have gotten away with a first strike because of his training, physique, and the fact that he was armed. In order for a well-trained man to have responded to this threat, Mr. Sausage would have had to make a physical threat imminent.

So, did I just sit there and watch the cute movie and not give this anymore thought? No, that would have been foolish on my part. I was strategizing, actually, in the event that my leg bounced just the wrong way to make him mad, or one of the kids aggravated him if they had to squeeze out to go to the bathroom.  So, I made sure that my Asp was in my grasp, my pepper spray was ready to spray, and I discreetly removed my knife from my purse and put it in my pants pocket. I was ready if I had to defend myself.  But, I also recognized that the two kids were a liability to me if there was an altercation. So, I texted my husband and invited him to join me at the dollar theater. Through a series of texts he was brought up to par on the scenario, and secured a seat right behind Mr. Sausage in the theater.  I casually made it obvious to Mr. Sausage that I knew the man sitting right behind him. When the movie was getting ready to wrap up, Mr. Sausage decided to exit before all of the mushy, happily ever after took place in the film. All he left behind was the stench of his body odor and a lesson learned. No regrets. No fear. No rattled children. All was well.  As the children and I exited the movie theater, all they talked about was how cute the movie was. They were impervious to the problem, didn’t notice that my husband had joined us or that I had additional contents in my various pants pockets. We were able to keep everyone else safe without any stress or concern.

There’s one other thing that I want to share with you. While I was sitting there, enjoying the movie, I thought about you. Yes, you.  You; who may lack the sufficient confidence necessary to handle such a situation. You; who may be lacking in the appropriate tools of leverage necessary to handle such a situation.  While a firearm would not have been appropriate self-defense tool for this particular level of threat, nor was the environment appropriate; would you have been essentially unarmed otherwise? I decided that this man had obviously pushed around, without challenge, too many women in his life thus far. I want to do my best to ensure that you are not one of them in the future. So, I decided to share this little story with you. I hope it provides you with some food for thought and that you will see that occasions for vital mental and physical self-defense capabilities self-defense are not limited to robbery, rape, or a home invasion. And they are not all solved with one particular tool each time.  The great benefit of really internalizing and learning self-defense though, is that you can walk away from such circumstances without any regrets, and with your confidence still in tact.

Become a fan of WOC on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

Visit our website at: www.womenofcaliber.com

Click here to see our upcoming schedule

For any questions or comments on this article, please leave a comment on the blog site so that everyone can benefit!

Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

Advertisements

A True Best Friend

By Kellene Bishop

true-best-friend-jessie-abbate

A true best friend is always by my side. Photo c/o Accurate Shooter

Will Rogers once said that strangers were friends he hadn’t met yet. With this in mind, I can’t help but wonder why it is so foreign for women to handle a firearm. Mine is definitely one of my best friends. Why?

I can trust this best friend to be reliable—to never flake out on me.

I can trust this best friend to protect my children, myself, and my loved ones.

This best friend will dependably fight for freedom and liberty for me.

I can rely on this best friend to stand for right over might.

This best friend is always available and by my side. 

This best friend strengthens my physical weaknesses against enemies, foreign or domestic.

This best friend enables me to preserve life when others may desire to take it.

Other than my husband, I have a hard time finding any other friend that I can say these things about. So ladies, my I suggest that you introduce yourself to Mr. Glock, Mr. Smith and Wesson, or any other Mr. soon and make a new friend?

Copyright 2009 Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop.

What YOU Can Do To Protect Others

By Kellene Bishop

protect-others-thomas-paineThis week I’ve been impressed with the power of what an individual can accomplish. It only took 2 people to completely annihilate a corrupt organization of ACORN that even high powered politicians wouldn’t/couldn’t do. Thomas Paine was one person who changed the face of our nation forever with nothing more than his desire to share his opinion with whoever would read it. I could go on and on with great examples of individuals who have literally made our world a much better place. 

I was surprised to discover recently that some women simply feel like they can’t defend themselves, by themselves. As a result, they are less inclined to try and learn the skills necessary to defend themselves effectively. The fact of the matter is, lives are saved by individuals every single day. Sure you hear of policemen, firemen, and single soldiers saving a life, but everyday citizens have the same joy of doing so as well. 

There’s a saying “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I find that true in my life frequently. I think some people just figure that they will protect themselves when the time comes without having to do anything now to prepare for it. However, it’s simply not true in that millisecond of panic, chaos and action—that moment which manifests the need for a life-saving or protecting of your own or someone else’s life. The good news is that lives are successfully protected when there is the proper mindset and some skills put into place before the scenario presents itself. And in most instances, a horrific confrontation is eliminated altogether because an easy, vulnerable mark has been transformed into a more difficult target and thus eliminated from the view of the prey. Knowledge and skill is responsible for that transformation. So please! GET SOME!

Photo c/o F.O.P. Range Inc.

Are you an easy target? Photo c/o F.O.P. Range Inc.

Having the knowledge to protect yourself is not only realistic, it’s necessary—not so that you can successfully pull a gun and fire in the right moment, but so that you never have to. I may be under-tall, overweight, and out of shape, but in spite of portraying an otherwise “easy mark,” I can guarantee you that the confidence and skills I carry inside of me successfully deter uncommitted criminals on a regular basis. Let’s fact it. Criminals aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. They are lazy by nature. Unfortunately there are far too many “easy targets” for them that risking their life or their “freedom” is just not worth it when they can choose between an aware and confident mark and an oblivious, sluggish one.

The other night I had just finished up an errand at a pharmacy that I went to out of convenience. I wouldn’t have necessarily picked this location for its safety, etc. But my GPS said that it was the closest one and I was trying to save some time in a city that was unfamiliar to me. This particular area has experienced a rash of Oxycodone robberies at pharmacies lately. I was sitting in my car checking through my purchases and a man caught my eyes. He was in his late-20s, wearing dark clothes, head shaved, with dark glasses (at 8:30 at night) and was carrying a heavy-laden backpack. He didn’t appear to be “student age” to me and to be perfectly honest, he just plain looked creepy. As he walked in front of my car, I didn’t alter my view in an attempt to not let him know I was looking at him. Instead, I looked him dead on when he noticed me, calmly, my head following his path of travel every step of the way. He looked me right in the eyes and smirked– a creepy sly look. I watched him as he proceeded to the door of the pharmacy, paused, looked over his shoulder at me, and then proceeded to walk past the door. I then decided to pull my car out, and drive around the back of the building to see what he was doing on the other side. To be honest, I drew my firearm as I was coming around the back of the building, just in case, keeping it low and in my lap. The guy hovered around the other side of the pharmacy building for a moment, and then walked in an exaggerated zig-zag fashion away from the pharmacy. I continued to watch him from my vehicle. And yes, he saw me. I watched him until he was a block away. Satisfied that nothing was going to happen at this pharmacy at that moment, I proceeded with my own schedule.

Now, let’s be honest here. I have NO idea what that was all about. It may have been about absolutely nothing. But it did leave a marked impression on me. After all, my gut was telling me something wasn’t right and I rarely have to have my gun “handy” in such a fashion. (On my hip is usually sufficient.) But here’s what I do know. If something HAD happened at that pharmacy, I would have been devastated to know that I just ignored the preliminary signs. Now I can look back and know that “my hands are clean” because I didn’t helplessly ignore something.

Aware and mentally prepared citizens protect others in our society every day. Will you?

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Safety in Your Car

By Kellene Bishop
Car jacking photo c/o freedomsphoenix.com

Car jacking photo c/o freedomsphoenix.com

As a nation overall, we don’t walk much. Sure we walk to and from our cars, but usually we’re in the vehicles when we’re going somewhere. As a result, the poor criminals who would normally hold you up in the back alley are starving. So they’ve taken to the brazen act of holding people up in their cars, car jacking, and “bumping” cars in order to get someone out of their car for a more vulnerable attack. Some have even gone so far as to obtain red and blue flashing lights and make you think you’re being pulled over by law enforcement. As such, I feel it’s appropriate to give you some good advice to strengthen your safety in your car.

  • Safety in Your Car Rule #1: Always keep sufficient room between you and the car in front of you when you’re stopped at a light or a stop sign. This way, if you have trouble come up to your window, you have an escape route. We are in such a habit of getting right on someone’s tail at a stop light. This simply boxes us in with extreme vulnerability in the event of an attempted hijack or robbery while you’re in your car.
  • 9mm and 40 caliber bulletholes through a car door. Photo c/o gunfreezone.net/

    9mm and 40 caliber bulletholes through a car door. Photo c/o gunfreezone.net/

    Safety in Your Car Rule #2: Have the firearm handy. Having your firearm in your purse or glove box is not going to do you a lick of good in defending yourself against a would-be robber at your car door. The best place is on your body on your front or side. Others have been successful putting it in a Velcro type holder right behind their steering wheel or attached to the front of their seat as well.  If you’re going to have the tools to protect yourself, you might as well have the access to these tools. Also, don’t be afraid to shoot through the door so long as you’re shooting a 9mm or higher caliber. If you need to shoot you don’t need to roll down the window. That would be a precious waste of time. May I suggest however, that you try to go to a junk yard where there are cars and get permission to shoot a firearm from the drivers seat in the car? The sound and experience is a bit more rattling that what you experience at the range, so it’s good to at least have experienced it on some level. (By all means, use your hearing protection. It will still give you an idea of what to expect should you need to shoot from within your car.)

  • Safety in Your Car Rule #3: When you park your car, be aware of potential escape routes. I like to park my car where a simple jump on the pedal will take me to safety. If I’m parked facing the building I’m shopping at, that’s not possible. If you must park near the building, do so with the back of your car facing it, not your front.
  • Safety in Your Car Rule #4: If you insist on storing your firearm in your purse, then when you are asked for your wallet, reach into your purse calm and coolly and then grip your firearm. Shoot it from within your purse aimed at your friendly neighborhood robber. Play it dumb. Play it vulnerable. Play it freaked out. But be conscious of what your purpose is—to get out alive and to not be taken to another location. Shooting from within your purse is easier when you have a revolver, but if you have a semi-auto, you will be able to get off at least one round. So make it count. This means that you may need to rethink WHERE you are stowing your firearm in your purse. If it’s in the little outside zipper that you have to dig into in order to retrieve your firearm, then it’s in the WRONG spot. Shoot, then get the heck out of there.
  • Photo c/o ehow.com
    Photo c/o ehow.com

    Safety in Your Car Rule #5: When you’re pulled over, even by law enforcement, you have the right to feel and be safe. If you have any alarms going off in your head/gut, then you should NOT get out of the car, NOT roll down the window and NOT engage in a conversation until you have verified with a law enforcement source (via your telephone) that this person pulling you over is the real deal. Call 9-1-1 and verify that this person is who they say they are. Once you’ve dialed, tuck the phone under your chin and keep your hands visible on the wheel while you speak to the person on the phone, in order to show the officer that you are complying, you’re just being safe. Even while you’re dialing, keep the car in drive, and your foot on the brake, just in case this person is not who they are pretending to be. Just so you know, it’s HIGHLY unusual for a plain-clothes law enforcement officer to pull you over. You should always at least have the benefit of seeing a uniform. Just because you’re getting pulled over, doesn’t mean you should let down your guard.

  • Safety in Your Car Rule #6: In the event that you think you are being followed, take 3 right hand turns. Ideally you will want to take 4 right hand turns so that you’re back in the original direction you were going. But if a car follows you after 3 right hand turns, you have undoubtedly confirmed that you are being followed and you should call the police or drive to the nearest police station. There have actually been quite a few instances in which driving to a local police station have saved someone’s life.
  • Safety in Your Car Rule #7: Get in the habit of looking at your tires and your back seat each time you get into your car. You want to check for damage to your tires that may have been instigated in order to waylay you as perfect prey for a criminal and you want to make sure that you don’t have any hitchhikers in your vehicle. If you do see a tire problem or notice someone hiding in your car, go back to the safety of the building that you came out of and call the police or the towing company. Do I really need to tell you to always park in well-lit places too?

Hopefully these 7 points will get you thinking how you can be safer when traveling and using your car. I also hope that you may start looking around you in more circumstances and determine what you back-up self-defense plan is—just in case.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Warning to Home Invasion Criminals

By Kellene Bishop

Photo c/o guns-n-stuff.blogspot.com

Photo c/o guns-n-stuff.blogspot.com

I’m sure I won’t win any popularity points with the liberal media and its adoring admirers with this comment, but here’s a warning to home invasion criminals: if you come into my home uninvited, you better plan on having a current will drawn up and have repented of everything else in your life. (Sorry, you can’t repent of the breaking and entering just before you do it. It just doesn’t work that way.) I say this because chances are very high that you’re going to meet your Maker relatively soon after you pass through my homestead threshold.

Many would argue that punishing someone who breaks into your home with possible death is un-Christian, archaic, and even “murder.” To be perfectly blunt, such thinking is wrong. It’s not only wrong, but it’s dangerous to the safety and peace of all Americans as it perpetuates an invalid amount of doubt and hesitation which could cost someone their life. Here are some questions I would ask of those who would break into my home. A little something for the “other side” to consider.

1) What part of the U.S. Constitution do you not understand? Did you read the 2nd or the 4th Amendment? If not, I assure you that ignorance does not absolve you of a crime.

2) Did you expect me to give you a full interview first to determine whether or not your initial illegal action was intended to lead to other illegal acts?

3) If I did interview you, am I supposed to frisk you as well, or simply take your word for it?

4) A burglary isn’t just about “losing your stuff.” Sure, a lot of stuff can be replaced. But I’m 100% certain that peace of mind, virtue, and life cannot be replaced if it’s taken from me or my family. 

Bottom line, if you walk through my door uninvited, I am not under any obligation to read you your Miranda Rights. I am not under any obligation to read your mind or evaluate your motives. I have every legal right to defend my home and the persons and property therein. So home invasion criminals, consider yourselves warned.

Sign c/o guns-n-stuff.blogspot.com

Sign c/o guns-n-stuff.blogspot.com

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

My Wish – 100,000 Women Strong

By Kellene Bishop

Owning a handgun does not offer women any benefit for self-defense.  KNOWLEDGE, on the other hand, of how to use a firearm for self-defense is the ultimate equalizer.  And to me it’s the ultimate sign of freedom and liberty. 

There are a great many female gun owners in the U.S. at present.  Unfortunately the fact that these same women don’t actually use their firearm for self-defense merely gives fodder for the anti-gun crowd who claim, “See?  Firearms don’t help women prevent rape.”  Now that’s a shame. 

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

If I had my wish come true, it would be that an additional 100,000 women not only possess firearms in the U.S. this year, but also get expertly trained in handling them and carrying them on their person.  While my wish may sound a little far fetched, I firmly believe it’s a worthwhile one.  Imagine the hesitation in a violent criminal’s mind: “Geesh.  (Censored, of course)  Is THIS one of those 100,000 armed women who know how to use it against me?” or “Am I really ready to go up against a skillfully armed woman?”  I believe that the number 100,000 is sufficient to thwart millions of crimes all over the U.S. and make criminals think twice before assuming a woman is a vulnerable target.  I believe that that impact of 100,000 confidently armed women will alter the wrongfully perpetuated societal stigmas that many have about armed citizens.  And I believe that 100,000 armed women will make children more safe, not only against firearm accidents, but against perpetrators who target them.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have my wish granted and see 100,000 women competently quick-draw their weapon, shoot accurately, and reholster it.  It nearly gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!

Photo care of

Photo c/o northshorejournal.org

Can’t you just hear the beautiful symphony made by the sound of the action after the slide is released all over the nation?  Ch-chang!  (I LOVE that sound!)  The patriotic sight and sound of “the rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air” would be akin to the sound of double-taps all over the practice ranges in the U.S.  Can’t you just imagine the new level of confidence as women walk and talk strong and powerful knowing that they no longer will play the role of a helpless victim?  While my wish of 100,000 women is barely a dent in the number of the population of adult women in our nation, I believe that it’s sufficient to suitably rally against the crimes against women and their children and to accomplish what our law enforcement and government officials simply can’t or won’t do.

Independence isn’t just a benign word to be associated with our nation.  It should be a state of being that we women embrace every day.  We can be independent in our own effective protection and security and in doing so, literally impact the protection of women all over the nation.  This is my wish. 

Will you be one of the 100,000?

Will you be one of the 100,000?  

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

ASKing for the Ridiculous

By Kellene Bishop

ASK Campaign

ASK Campaign

In yet another ridiculous move by the anti-self-defense camp, a national “ASK” day was established about ten years ago.  Its purpose was to remind parents to be proactive about protecting their children from firearm accidents simply by asking their friends and neighbors about the use of guns in their respective homes.  Its intent was to remind parents to inquire of friends and neighbors that their children are associating with whether or not they have firearms in the home and whether or not they are stored “properly.”

Here’s the huge problem with this campaign.  It’s putting the majority of the safety of your child in the hands of someone else.  Just because you ask if there is a firearm and the answer is “no” doesn’t mean that will remain the case perpetually.  Another adult could enter the home with a firearm.  Another child could bring a firearm to the home as well.  Are you planning on asking your neighbor this series of questions every time your child goes to visit, or even on a monthly basis?  Are you prepared to track down and research every other child that may also come to visit the same home?  How does this line of questioning completely protect your child from a firearm accident?

Photo c/o iacop.org

Photo c/o iacop.org

What if a mother was sending her child over to a policeman’s house?  Would it be acceptable that a law enforcement officer have a gun in the home?  If not, then are you teaching your child that police officers are bad or that they should be avoided?  The same goes for a concealed carry permit holder.  Several of the books I’ve read by Ayoob and Lott Jr. over the last year point out that fewer accidents occur among concealed carry permit holders than do police officers.  (just a little sampling: http://www.ktvu.com/news/5441146/detail.html)  In fact, a police officer’s gun is used against them in significantly more incidences than a private owner’s firearm.  What does your questioning do to protect your child in these circumstances? 

Additionally, you are relying on your questions being answered truthfully.  Don’t you think there might be some hesitation on the part of your neighbor when you ask someone if they have a firearm in their home?  Do they want to publish its existence to the world?  I know I don’t go around telling people what kinds of firearms and how many I own, under any circumstances.  Frankly, if you don’t know someone well enough to know about their stance on firearms and firearm safety, your child shouldn’t be spending time over there anyway, in my opinion.

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

Ultimately, the only way to truly protect your children from a firearm accident is to educate them continually—not talk to them a little bit.  Every gun scene you see on television or in a movie is cause for education.  Every time you say “no” to particular video game, it’s an occasion to educate.  Ultimately your child’s education is their prime defense against any firearm accidents.  Properly educating your children on safety around firearms is not a one-time conversation.  It must be a consistent and congruent process of education.  Oh, and by the way.  Questioning your friends and neighbors about their beliefs in gun possession is no more effective in promoting the safety of your children than trying to do crowd control at a “Day After Thanksgiving Sale” at Wal-Mart.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.