Friday, February 2, 2007

Home Defense and a Camera Flash...

...may seem like two things that have no connection, but a camera flash can be a very effective home defense tool and I am not talking about taking a bad guys picture for evidence.

What I am talking about is the use of a camera flash to virtually blind an intruder even if only momentarily so as to give you the edge you need to get away, or to defend yourself in another manner. Please note, before I go on, the technique of which I am about to write is not an end all self defense tactic, nor is it guaranteed to save your life, but it is something you may want to consider as a possible advantage giver in a life or death situation, before you use deadly force. Therefore what I am about to write should be understood to be geared toward the person who is already familiar with, and ready to use, some form of deadly force to protect his or her own life, or the lives of family members within their own home from a potentially deadly intruder. Again I am not saying it will work or not, the decision to use this technique is totally up to you as a responsible adult.

The technique itself is simple, and the list of items required to carry it out also fairly simple. Go out an buy yourself a fairly inexpensive camera flash for a 35mm camera. You can probably get a decent new one for under $50, maybe even under $25. Make sure the flash can be fired while off camera, they usually have a button on the back that can be pushed to fire the flash. Then put in some fresh alkaline (or fully charged rechargeable batteries) . Familiarize yourself with how to use it, to make it go flash, wile pointing it away from you. Practice over and over again, picking it up, turning it on, counting until it is ready to fire (usually takes a couple to a few seconds), then close your eyes and fire it in the direction of your threat (imaginary threat while practicing). Then leave the flash gun where ever you usually sleep at night, right close to your self defense weapon.

If you are ever awakened, and you believe an unlawful intruder is inside your home, or trying to gain entry, turn on the flash gun so it will be ready. Do whatever else you would do to be ready to defend yourself and loved ones. Arm yourself if you reasonably believe it to be necessary, and remember to exercise safe weapons handling. Call 911 if at all possible while remaining safe. If you actually see an intruder, fire the flash directly at him, making sure to close your eyes as you do so, but as soon as it has been fired open your eyes, drop the flash, pick up a flashlight and illuminate the person, then take appropriate action. The flash will in all likelihood effectively ruin the night vision of someone for a split second, giving you that much of an advantage. If dark enough, and if the flash is strong enough, it will effect the bad guy's vision for up to a few seconds. Of course if the bad guy blinked just as you fired the flash gun, well then no to very little advantage to you.

In the time of your advantage, you can take appropriate action dependent upon the situation before you. Turning on your flashlight, after firing the camera flash, may illuminate a bad guy with a gun, or it may illuminate your 16 year old daughter who just sneaked into the house at 0400 (4AM) because she had sneaked out earlier to be out late with a boyfriend, or you may see a policeman in full uniform coming up you hallway searching for a burglar. Whomever it is is very likely not going to be able to see you very well at that moment. The advantage is yours.

Of course, in some cases there may be no time to pick up a camera flash, turn it on, and set it off, before you need to take other appropriate action to defend yourself. You need to take action based on the situation as it unfolds, and those decisions are up to you. I recommend taking a good home defense course.

All the best,
Glenn B.

A Nation of Budding Girly-Men...

...could be in the making, most likely in homes wherein there are products containing lavendar and or tea oils, and those products are used by the boys. I am guilty of sometimes using lavendar shampoo myself. What can I say, I use what the wife buys. I am not using it any longer, nor will my son be using this stuff. It is going to be Old Spice or nothing for me from now on since I have read Debbie Schlussel's blog for February 1, 2007. See it yourself at Click on the link, then page down to the blog for 01/01/07.

All the best,
Glenn B

Today is One of My Favorite Days...

...of each and every year. It is a day that signifies hope springs eternal that Spring will soon be sprung upon us, otherwise we will get satuck with 6 more weeks of winter. Heck even that is not too bad, only 6 weeks of winter left to go, then spring with the opening of trout season, some spring turkey hunting, the shad run up the Deleware, late spring bass fishing, hikes in the woods in upstate NY and other nice outdoors things in warmer weather.

All of that kind of makes me like those little fur balls that supposedly give us our next 6 weeks of weather predictions all on one morning in February. I hope they treat them nice after taking them out of their warn hibernariums to face the cold of ther 2nd day of february just to have a lot of whackos yell scream and take their pictures. Oh well, as I said they give us hope that winter will end, and of course that there will be some ground hogs around for hunting in the spring (heck I don't love em that much)! I think Ground Hogs' Day should be a national holiday, one that is purely an American holiday at that. I just love it.

Happy Ground Hogs' Day to all of you,
Glenn B

A Living Hell...

...can be something you bring onto yourself, something with which you have to live the rest of your life, and something that you can never get over because of the guilt you will feel for having done what it was that put you into your own living hell.

So it will probably be for the two police officers who ignored the cries and pleas of the woman they arrested, who while being arrested told them she was pregnant and she was bleeding from her vagina. The officers chose not to listen. Sure they heard her, they heard her time and time again as she begged them to help her, but they were intent on arresting her and nothing else. They arrested her, put her in jail, and the next day she had a miscarriage.

I have been in law enforcement for over 27 years. I have heard a lot of bull from prisoners about why I should not arrest them, about why I should feel sorry for them, about how they really are good people and not bad criminals - I have just about heard it all. You grow kind of callous to all the whining that you hear and you tend to lump it all together in one big stinking pile of bull manure (BS). Yet, there have been times in my career when I have stopped to listen more intently, this especially when a prisoner has told me they are injured or ill. I have on occasion called for para-medics to come to examine patients, and have brought a few to the doctor's office and the hospital ER. Now I am not talking about ones that were injured during the arrest where it was obvious that they required medical assistance, I am talking about the ones I figured were full of bull manure, but well maybe, just maybe, they needed a doctor. As it turned out, in most cases they were full of fertilizer and that was all, but in a good deal of them, they did need medical care. Sometimes you have to take the time to listen, the time to stop and bring yourself out of your protective cocoon (for that is what which we in law enforcement shield ourselves from the manure), and we have to think - hey maybe this person is not full of it.

A call like that is a judgment call; and as logic would have it, it requires one using one's judgment in a thought out manner. To me, it seems obvious, that the police officers who arrested this woman used no to very little thinking while arresting her as she complained of her bleeding and being pregnant. I heard the tape. I sure seems to me they just thought it all a story so that they would pity the woman, but that is just my guess. It also sure sounds as if the officers did not want to be bothered with this woman’s problems, and that is not as much of a guess since one of the officers basically said just that according to the article: Woman: Cops Ignored Pleas for Help at Arrest, Baby Died Next Day @,2933,249044,00.html. As a matter of fact, according to the article, woman told the officers she was bleeding, pregnant, and needed to go to a hospital not only once or twice but nine times, and then after the ninth time, one of the officers replied with these words: "How is that my problem?" At the very least, the officer should have, in my opinion, had medical help brought into the police station or jail to examine the woman for her complaints. I don't know whether or not that happened, but I do not believe it did, as Fox New TV reported that only after the woman passed a blood clot, several hours later in jail, was she then brought for medical help. One at a medical facility, she had a miscarriage, the baby living one minute after that. That will, I think, cost her and her partner dearly; it may even lead to some sort of homicide charges - after all the baby was born alive.

I think the officers will soon come to learn just how it was, is and will remain their problem for the rest of their lives. No matter how much they spin it, the cocoon will not be enough protection for them from the hell they have placed themselves into because of what happened to this woman and her child. This is a guilt trip that probably will last with them until the grave if either has any conscience at all. Yet the guilt trip will only be a part of the hell for them. They may well loose their jobs, and should loose their jobs as I see it, that is if the allegations are upheld. They may also wind up in jail if there is a criminal offense here, and there may well be various charges that the DA can drop on them, possibly to include manslaughter or negilgent homicide. There could be a jail sentence for each of them as a result. They will also likely be the target of a civil suit. Most of all though will be the guilt trip that these officers will face just for staying wrapped in their protective cocoon, using that 'them against us kind of mentality' with those whom they were quite possibly sworn to protect, or at least had a moral obligation to protect. It is all a crying shame, one that was quite possibly avoidable, and hopefully other officers will learn from this experience accordingly, and things like it will be prevented in the future.

All the best,

Glenn B