I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Friday, October 15, 2004

A Doughnut Tale

The Problem with Doughnuts

Recently a friend asked me to buy some doughnuts from his daughter. Seems that her school group was trying to raise money for a trip,so I said yes.

He brought them by yesterday and not having any other convenient place to store them I put them on the kitchen counter. Now one thing you can be sure of with doughnuts out in plain sight is that every time you go by they all start yelling “Eat me, eat me!”

I managed to ignore them until breakfast this morning. I always felt that a good hot cup of coffee went hand and hand with a nice doughnut. The problem is that you run out of doughnut before you finish the coffee, so naturally you get another one to finish out the coffee. But then you have part of a doughnut and no coffee so you fill your cup again. I never could manage to make it come out so that the last bite of doughnut was washed down with the last sip of coffee.

To make a long story short, I got to thinking that as long as they were there I was going to have to listen to their constant yelling at me to eat them which does tend to get on one’s nerves after a while. The obvious solution would be to get rid of the doughnuts. Not being a wasteful type, I couldn’t see throwing them away and Sadie (my dog) who only likes the lemon filled ones wouldn’t touch them. I finally managed to come up with a simple solution that completely removed all temptation and didn’t waste them. I ate them all. Now as I waddle through the kitchen I don’t have to listen to all that silly yelling about “Eat me”.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Traffic Stops


For most police officers answering calls, making traffic stops, patrolling, and filling out reports comprise the majority of their daily activities. The number of traffic stops an officer makes depends on his department’s policy, what kind of mood he’s in, and the number of violations he observes.

Many departments do have a “quota”. An office is expected and required to make X number of stops and write X number of citations. Other departments leave it totally up to the officer to make whatever stops he/she finds necessary. I know of one department where the sergeant in charge of the shift has patrolled for over 10 years and has never written a citation for DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) while another officer on the same shift in the same area averages at least one DUI each night. Some departments restrict the number of stops and who you can stop. In many small towns there is a class of drivers called “The Untouchables”. These might include the mayor’s son, a councilman’s best buddy, the richest guy in town…I’m sure you get the picture. Stopping one of these even for a warning has gotten many officers terminated.

In Virginia an officer MUST have PC (probable cause) to initiate a stop. PC is a violation from the driver, a passenger, or something on the vehicle itself. It can be something as simple as a tag light out or an object dangling from the rear view mirror to something more severe such as swerving across the center line several times.

Officers are taught that “there is no such thing as a routine stop”. First and foremost in an officer’s mind is his safety. With that in mind here are a few things to think about if you get stopped. You DO have the right to get out of your vehicle but most officers would rather have you remain seated. If you do get out the officer will probably tell you to get back into the vehicle. If you decide to push the point and insist…that’s your right...but I’ve seen citations written where it would have been a verbal warning simply because the person was argumentative.

An officer does NOT have to tell you right away why he stopped you but he does at some point. Most officers will tell you why if asked but often you will run into a real butt-hole on a power trip pushing his badge around.

In Virginia you must show an officer your operator’s license, the vehicle registration, and/or proof of insurance on demand. Usually your license and registration will be validated. If the license and registration are OK, you will probably be told you’re free to go. But there is a hidden agenda here. The real reason you were stopped was to determine if you were DUI or DUID (driving under the influence of drugs). All the time the officer was interacting with you he was looking for indications that you are under the influence. If he doesn’t suspect you of DUI or DUID and releases you he now has a second hidden agenda.

In a casual and offhanded manner, he will ask if you have anything illegal in the vehicle and ask for your permission the search. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CONCENT TO A VEHICLE SEARCH. You do have to let him pat you down to check for weapons if he requests it. If you give consent to a vehicle search, you can limit it to certain areas and tell him he can’t search other areas. You can also stop the search at any time. HOWEVER if he finds anything illegal, then he can literally tear the vehicle apart looking for other illegal items. Also if the officer observes something illegal in the vehicle as he is interacting with you he doesn’t need your consent to search.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A State of Mind

Self-Defense…A State of Mind
The police can’t do it, the government can’t do it, your neighbor or your spouse can’t. The key word in self-defense is SELF. Only you can protect yourself. I’m not talking about the physical techniques that allow you to get away from or fight back against an assailant. I’m referring to how you feel, think, and react mentally to threats against your safety.

Even though the Police’s motto is “To Protect and Serve”, they can’t really. A full time bodyguard “might”, if they went everywhere with you 100% of the time. As a part time police officer, there has been only one time in 4 years of police work that we were in the right place at the right time to stop an assault and even then the assailant had already hurt the victim. Most of the time all the police can do is take a report and go look for the perpetrator “after the fact”.

Knowing what to do after you get into a dangerous situation is great as long as you are built like “The Rock”, or have had years of martial arts training. But having a mind set that will help keep you out of these situations is even better.

You must understand that you and you alone are ultimately responsible for your safety. That means learning how to stay out of situations, learning what to do if you should ever get into one but most of all be willing to do whatever is necessary to protect yourself.

In many of my self defense classes, I had people say “Oh, I could never do that to someone” or “that’s too much trouble to do all of that”. These are the ones who had better hope that the police are going by their house just as an assailant is breaking in.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Self-Defense for Women


A. Areas to Attack *= most vulnerable to attack
1. Eyes*
2. Nose
3. Throat*
4. Solar plexus
5. Joints
6. Groin*
B. Three Principles of Fighting
1. If you can't see, you can't fight.
2. If you can't breathe, you can't fight.
3. If you can't walk, you can't fight.
C. Ways to Attack
1. Punches...most effective to nose, throat, and groin.
2. Kicks...most effective to head and groin.
3. Strikes with an object to a vulnerable area.
D. Objects that can be used as weapons
1. Comb...especially one with a rat's tail.
2. Keys
3. Nail file
4. Pen or pencil
5. Any hard straight object.
A. Walking-Jogging
1. Self defense is a state of mind.
2. Be aware of your surroundings at all time.
3. Avoid dark areas.
4. Swing wide at corners and alleys.
5. Keep escape route in mind...run to lit areas or populated areas.
6. Avoid going alone.
7. Tell where you are going and what time to expect you back.
8. Carry possible weapon...walking stick, keys, etc.
B. Vehicles
1. Approaching your vehicle and getting into it...
a. Have keys ready. Don't waste time beside vehicle.
b. Look into back seat and floorboard.
c. Beware of vans parked beside you.
d. Lock doors ASAP.
e. If approached...get in fast, lock doors and DON'T roll down window.
2. While Driving...
a. Keep doors locked and windows rolled up.
b. You are most vulnerable at red lights and stop signs.
c. If bumped...DON'T get out, drive to a place with other people.
c. Pocketbooks and Hip pouches
1. If it has a shoulder strap... DON'T PUT IT OVER YOUR NECK.
2. If you are chased...throw it down to see if they want it or
you...everything in it can be replaced.
3. Wear hip pouches where they can't be unbuckled.
D. Restrooms
1. Use handicapped stall...door opens out and can't be jammed against
2. Don't set purse on floor...hang it up or hold it.
E. Home Alone
1. Don't open door to strangers...if they want to use phone, DON'T invite
them in, offer to make call for them.
2. If someone calls DON'T tell them you're alone.
3. If someone is breaking in...call 911 and either leave or hide.
F. Firearms
1. Use only if you are familiar with one.
2. If you aren't willing to shoot someone...don't have it out.
3. Don't let anyone get closer than 5 feet to you.
4. If you shoot...shoot to stop the threat... NOT to wound.*
5. You can't use deadly force to protect property.*
6. To use deadly force, your life or someone else's life must be in

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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Self-Defense for Kids




1. Safe Areas to run to...
a. nearest adult
b. nearest house
c. occupied vehicle

2. What to do after you get away...
a. call 911
b. give description of assailant and vehicle
c. WAIT for parents or police to come

B. Tricks to watch for...

1. fake stories...your Mom, Dad, etc, sent me to get you because...
2. asking for directions, looking for certain person or place...
3. wanting you to help them do something...
4. something that will get you within grabbing distance of their vehicle...

C. Areas to attack to help you get away...

1. groin (on males only)...use kick, knee, strike, or grab
2. eyes...fingers or hard objects (eyeglasses smash them against their face)
3. throat...fingers or hard objects

Defense situations

A. Walking

2. Beware of dark areas
3. Keep escape route in mind...run to lit areas with people
4. Swing wide at corners and alleys
5. Don't go alone
6. Tell someone where you are going and about when you will be back
7. If attacked DON"T SCREAM...YELL something like "Help he's trying to
hurt me!!"

B. Home alone

1. Don't open door to strangers
2. If they want to use the phone tell them NO
3. If someone calls...NEVER tell them you're alone
4. If they keep calling back, tell them you are expecting a call and don't want
the phone tied up.
5. If someone is breaking in call 911 and hide or go out a back way to a safe

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