The Many Benefits Of The Mediterranean Cuisine

Have you been looking into highly recommended diets? If you’ve been reading up on the best diets, you may have seen some people talking about the Mediterranean diet. This diet offers all kinds of amazing advantages. Read on if you would like to learn more about the various perks that it offers.

It’s Not A Fad Diet

A lot of trendy diets are focused on short-term success. While these diets may help you to lose a few pounds, you could wind up gaining back all of the weight that you lose.

In contrast, the Mediterranean diet isn’t a fad diet. Instead, it’s a lifestyle change that’s based on the way people eat in the Mediterranean. You’ll be able to lose plenty of weight if you follow this diet, and you will be able to keep that weight off. You’ll see real success from a diet like this.

You Won’t Have To Starve Yourself

Diets that are overly restrictive can be very difficult to follow. If you’re not taking in enough calories, you may not have enough energy to get through a long day. When you’re on the Mediterranean diet, you’ll never feel like you are starving yourself. You will always be able to consume the calories that you need.

The Mediterranean diet allows people to eat plenty of healthy and nutrient-rich foods. While you may not be able to binge eat when you’re following this diet, you’ll never feel like you’re not eating enough. This is a diet that allows you to take in plenty of high-quality foods.

You Won’t Have To Give Up Your Favorite Foods

One of the most difficult aspects of dieting is giving up foods that you love. If you follow the Mediterranean diet, you won’t have to say goodbye to a lot of the foods that you love. You’ll still be able to enjoy these treats on a regular basis!

When you’re on this diet, you’ll be able to use plenty of herbs and spices in your food. Nothing you eat will be lacking in flavor! You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy treats like cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruit. You won’t feel like you are giving up much at all.

This Diet Is Great For Your Health

While a lot of people diet because they want to lose weight, there are plenty of other reasons to diet. If you have health concerns, this diet will be able to address them.

Studies have shown that following the Mediterranean diet can improve your heart health. This diet can also help you to balance out your cholesterol levels. If you are looking to make positive changes in your life, following this diet is a very smart idea.

The Mediterranean diet doesn’t just offer a handful of benefits. It’s actually one of the most beneficial diets out there. If you are looking into different diets, this is one diet you’re going to want to look at more closely. You should be very impressed by the results this diet can provide.

BODY ARMOR -What do you need to know?


In the world of today, body armor is something that I feel ALL Security Officers, Bail Enforcement Agents, and LEO’s should be wearing on a regular basis. This world can be a very scary place for those of us in these professions. With the recent terror incidents – and the threats of many more – we need to be constantly vigilant for more threats from places where we might not have customarily expected them. Good body armor will offer you a degree of protection if the bad guy sees you before you see him, or if you just get caught in a bad situation.

Most body armor is worn in the form of a bullet-resistant vest. You will note that I do not call it a bullet-proof vest. Any item of body armor is designed to stop a given level of ballistic threat – a technical way of saying that it is meant to protect you from certain calibers and types of arms. Body armor that you can tolerate wearing every day will NOT protect you from everything out there.

There are several different LEVELS of body armor protection. Each level corresponds to the minimum ballistic threat that the armor will protect you from. Manufacturers are free to make their armor better, but it must meet the minimum standard for the level they claim it to meet.

The levels are defined by the NIJ [National Institute Of Justice], National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center [NLECTC].. You can access their Website via the link at the bottom of the page. At the time this article was written (2002), the current standard was called NIJ Standard STD-0101.04, Ballistic Resistance Of Personal Body Armor. It defined the levels of protection as follows…

Level 1 – Forget it. It is intended to protect against a .22LR fired from something like a Ruger MKII standard or a little .380 ACP, but that’s about it. Be aware that there are armored car companies that supply this for their people. It does little or nothing.

Level 2A – This is rated for protection against some 9mm and .40 S&W. Vests meeting this standard will protect you from a

9mm 124 gr. FMJ RN @ 1090 FPS

.40 S&W 180 gr. FMJ @ 1025 FPS

Level 2 – This is rated for 9mm and .357 Mag. Vests meeting this standard will protect you from a

9mm 124 gr. FMJ RN @ 1175 FPS

.357 Mag 158 gr. JSP @ 1400 FPS

Level 3A – This is the really good stuff, rated for high-power 9mm and .44 Mag. Vests meeting this standard will protect you from a

9mm 124 gr. FMJ RN @ 1400 FPS

.44 Mag 240 gr. SJHP @ 1400 FPS

Level 3A is considered to be the best you can get that is capable of being concealed under your clothing. In this case, concealment does NOT mean that it can not be detected, it just means that it is thin enough to allow a uniform shirt to be placed over it. If you have ever had interaction with a police officer wearing body armor, you know that it can be fairly easy to spot.


Levels 3 and beyond are in the world of tactical armor which must be worn over clothing.

Level 3 – This offers protection against

308 Winchester [7.62mm] 150 gr. FMJ @ 2750 FPS

Level 4 – This is really heavy stuff and offers protection against

30-06 166 gr. AP [Armor Piercing] @ 2850 FPS

Higher degrees of protection come at a price – they sacrifice comfort for that protection. In order to provide better protection, the vest becomes thicker and/or less flexible. Comfort comes at a reduced protection level. It also brings one other danger – rear surface deformation.

Armor that is thinner and more flexible will transmit more energy into your body. The bullet will be prevented from entering your body and doing the damage it was intended to – but it does cause a dent in the armor. The back of that dent hits your body. It causes blunt impact trauma.

That blunt impact trauma can cause things like broken ribs with possible internal bleeding, serious bruising, and getting the wind knocked out of you. Armor that is stiffer and less flexible will allow lesser amounts of such damage to your body.

Most armor also accepts something called a Trauma Plate. This is extra armor that can be inserted to protect the kill zone – the area in the center of your chest. Some trauma plates are hard steel or ceramic that can protect against rifles, others are just an insert with more of the same armor as the vest is made of.

Selecting a vest can be a little challenging since it is not usually easy to go try them on. You usually have to figure out what level of protection you need, and then find armor that suits your fancy and place an order. Depending on the manufacturer, delivery can be anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks. Start with the level of protection you want, and go from there.

Since the NIJ standards cover the MINIMUM protection for each level, many manufacturers vests will exceed the minimum. Some manufacturers also make different comfort levels in each level of armor. For example, a manufacturer will a given model of armor in 2A, 2, and 3A. They will also have two or more ballistic panel packages in each level – one thick and heavy, one thinner and more comfortable, and one as thin as possible to still provide the required protection but be as comfortable as possible. The higher the protection, the more expensive the armor. The thinner the armor in the higher threat level – and therefore more comfortable – the more expensive it will be. You can expect to spend $500 to $1500 for good body armor, depending on the discounts given by the retailer.

When considering the armor for you to wear, you will want to make a lot of comparisons and talk to some of the LEO’s in your community, or the police stores in your area [such as Skaggs] to see what officers are wearing in your area. The general recommendation you will usually hear is to buy a vest that will protect you from your own firearm, since many LEO’s are killed when their own gun is taken from them by a hostile individual.

However, you also need to take into account the kinds of duty you will be working. If your duty takes you to the streets or areas where the local gang bangers or dealers hang out, you need to take into account the firepower they are known to be packing.

If you are working an armored car detail with a lot of valuable and easily negotiable items, you may want to go for more protection since a determined individual will most likely be loaded for bear. You also need to take into account that most people think that ALL armored cars carry hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars at a time – even though reality is always much less. Dress accordingly.

Keep in mind that just because you may be an unarmed guard in a mall, that uniform and badge make you a target if the situation goes bad. Just because you may not carry a gun on duty, that doesn’t mean that the bad guys will spare you. He will usually see the badge and act accordingly.

Police in this area wear the entire range from 2A, 2, clear up to 3A. One local armored car company only provides level 2A for their people, but most of them get their own 2 or 3A armor. Remember that you are free to buy your own, and owning yours means that you can get whatever works best for you. You can also easily take it from job to job.

When you go to buy armor, your will find that you are actually looking at two different things – the CARRIER and the BALLISTIC PANELS. The ballistic panels are the actual bullet-resistant parts. They are often made of multiple layers of Kevlar, Spectra, and other bullet-resistant materials. You will find that you get two panels – front and rear. The sizing is usually based on your widest torso measurement for width. Petite, standard, and tall lengths are usually also available. You want to make sure that the armor covers all of the vital areas on your torso.

The ballistic panels are then placed into the carrier, which is what you wear. Carriers are available in different colors to work under whatever clothing you wear. Some carriers claim to offer a superior ability to hold the armor in place after you have been shot – to protect you equally as well from subsequent shots.

There are designs for both men and women – due to the obvious differences caused by the female anatomy [or differences in the male anatomy, depending on your point of view]. The front and back units are usually secured together with adjustable velcro straps. Ideally, you want to make sure that you get a vest large enough so that you can overlap the front and back panels at the sides. You don’t want any gap between the front and back, as that gap area would be unprotected. They usually come in even sizes.

Keep also in mind that wearing body armor might make you adjust how you shoot. The Weaver stance has one side more toward the threat. Stiffer body armor offers resistance to this stance. It also places the arm hole closer to the threat. You may find the isosceles stance to be a better option. It keeps the solid part of the armor toward the threat, and it offers less resistance to the required pose.


Personally, when I looked at vests some time ago I settled on Safariland ZERO-G Level 3A Gold. I liked the armor and the fit, and I feel that they make a really good product. Their level 3A Gold is rated to protect against the following…

9mm 124 gr. FMJ @ 1693 FPS [293 FPS faster than the minimum for level 3A]

.44 Mag 240 gr. SJHP @ 1616 [216 FPS faster than the minimum for level 3A]

Safariland offers several different ballistic packages in each NIJ armor level. The differences are in the materials and comfort of the vest – the thinner and lighter the materials, the more expensive the vest.

Safariland ZERO-G Level 3A Gold armor is .22″ thick, and has an areal weight of .93 lbs. The areal weight of a vest is the weight of 1 sq. ft. of the ballistic panel material. The MSRP for this armor is $1075.

In comparison, their ZERO-G Level 3A Silver is .34″ thick, has an areal weight of 1.31 lbs and carries an MSRP of $900. Their ZERO-G Level 3A Bronze is .41″ thick, has an areal weight of 1.56 lbs, and carries an MSRP of only $750.

Some of the reasons I like their ZERO-G Level 3A Gold armor so much are the reduced thickness while not being flimsy, the carrier is easy to put on and adjust, and the armor itself exceeds the minimum for level 3A protection. It is also lightweight for a big guy like me, and it is made by Safariland – a leader in the production of equipment for law enforcement and security.

I have never had to test it in actual use, but when this vest is due for a replacement – manufacturers generally recommend that you replace the armor after 5 years of wear – I think I will take it out and test it on the range. Don’t worry, it will be a wooden dummy wearing it.

In addition to protection from bullets, heavier armor can offer some protection from knife attacks, and even from shrapnel and debris from explosions. It can also help spread out the effects of other blunt impacts to your body such as impacts from pipes and baseball bats. It is also said that it can be helpful in automobile accidents. I have also tested my armor against stun guns, and Safariland ZERO-G Level 3A Gold offered complete protection from them – yet another advantage of wearing body armor.

You may be asking why I selected Level 3A armor. That’s a good question. The way I look at it is this.

I am good at what I do, and I am very careful. I follow proper procedures for cornering, building searches, and subject contact and interview. But no one is perfect. There are also some very bad people out there – something which really hit home when my cousin, the Police Chief in a relatively quiet, small town in Utah, was killed in the line of duty by a person who has given himself completely to the forces of darkness. This individual killed him cheerfully and did it knowing who he was killing. There are some people out there with no internal moral compass. I may run into someone like that someday.

I love my wife and I enjoy my family time. I want to go home to them at the end of my shift. If I am ever shot, I don’t want my wife to get a call to come identify my body at the morgue. I want to be able to call her and tell her everything is OK and that I will be home in a little while after I get an X-Ray of my ribcage. I accept that I may have some bruises, maybe even a broken rib or two. But I will be alive and will go home at the end of the day.

There is also another, practical way to look at it. What’s the cost to your enjoyment of life if you end up needing a liver, kidney, or heart transplant after being shot – versus the cost of a ballistic vest which would prevent that need if you were to be shot while on duty?

Think not only of the initial medical costs, but the costs of anti-rejection drugs, being tied to those anti-rejection drugs for the rest of your life, the recovery time, the limits on what you may be able to do in the future, the trauma to your loved ones both during and after your recovery, and the psychological effects on your own recovery. While it IS a big expense up front – especially to someone on a guard salary – it is WELL worth it.

You don’t just wear it for yourself, you wear it for your loved ones too. I encourage all of you to get good body armor, and wear it whenever you are on duty.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn About Gun Safety

There are two things that have been constantly most talked about throughout our history – God and Guns.

We will not talk about God as someone else is probably doing it already right now.

There is something about guns that we all should know even if we don’t own a gun. You might ask why?

Mainly because gathering knowledge has been the ultimate pursuit of mankind. Knowledge blended with precision has a tendency to catapult eloquent remedies for even the gravest of ailments.

I have come to the realization that a lot of gun safety rules should be common sense to most people; this is often not the case!

I will touch on some of the reasons due to which knowing gun safety rules is important and in no order.

By no means is this list meant to be all inclusive, and I encourage you to use this blog post as just one resource on your quest to becoming more aware and enlightened.

On this note I am giving you 10 reasons about why you should learn about gun safety, even if you do not own a gun

1. To protect your children/family from potential accidents

Having a gun can be more of a necessary evil but the precautions can never be sidelined when you have children at home who seeks the world with curiosity.

Young kids do not know the dangers that come with keeping a gun. They just see their heroes in the movies shooting bad people and restoring order in the world.

Your kid may not have handled a gun before and probably does not know the difference between a weapon that is loaded and one that is not. If you have a gun at home then educating your children can be a safer bet than refraining them to go to a particular area of the house.

2. You may see or come in contact with a firearm

Every third person in America owns a gun. Going by this ratio we can say that sooner or later you will likely cross paths with someone who either owns a gun or has knowledge about it. Why lose the opportunity to being the knowledgeable one?

3. Raise awareness for the people around you

There have been many instances where the damage is done without any actual intent and because of the sheer lack of awareness about handling a gun.

This makes raising the awareness about gun handling a frontrunner in this crusade.

4. Rules you learn can be implemented right away

When dealing with guns, there is a set of basic protocols that need to be followed and we would be more than okay if we just go by it every time we come in contact with a gun or someone in possession of a gun.

The best part is that whatever we learn can be implemented right away at the drop of a dime or in this case a bullet.

5. Education is important

Education is a weapon whose effect depends on the one who holds it, and towards whom it is aimed. These lines very aptly sum up the importance of an aware and enlightened society.

Every skill has a technique and shooting is no different.

It always comes down to the fundamentals, which can differentiate an expert from a novice.

6. You will learn the don’ts and the do’s as well

Knowing how to properly handle a gun is a double-edged sword.

By acquiring the knowledge, we have access to all the do’s and don’ts related to gun handling, which can really prove to be instrumental when faced with spontaneous situations.

For instance, you are strolling through your neighborhood and you see your neighbor pointing their gun towards a house or with their finger on the trigger before they’re ready to shoot. Your responsible instinct would be to show them the correct way.

In that way you have not only helped your neighbor but also the people around as it always boils down to minding the surroundings.

7. Easier to spot a handling error

Stance and posture play a role in handing of firearms. This also gives us the edge over a person who owns a piece but is unable to understand the tricks and nuances of weapon handling.

There are all kinds of people out there who like to give other advice on what to do and what not to do. This is a another good reason to know how to handle firearms.

8. The rising number of people with guns

This world can sometimes be a dangerous place so most people are looking at ways to stay safe. This is where insecurities of adversities creep in. Due to this halo effect there has been a considerable rise in the number of firearm buyers across the globe and in particular America.

9. Different guns operate differently

Like every lock has its key, every gun is different in operation. Handling a pistol is different from handling a rifle or shotgun. Even with these differences the general safety rules apply to all guns.

The more you learn, the more you are better equipped to handle wide variety of variables when the objects in discussion are firearms.

10. You want to always be in control when dealing with the firearms

Knowledge is power, period. If you have the basic info, dos, and don’ts all figured out then you will always be in control of your dealings with firearms.

Handling a weapon is no joke as there are always lives at stake that may or may not get affected by its usage.

Having a complete wits end is not the ideal condition to have when we talk about firearms.

A more aware mind, is a better equipped mind, and a better equipped mind is always the one which is in control.

These reasons are some of the prominent ones which make having gun awareness a must.

Final words…

Even though you may not own a gun, or might even be against them, you’ll need to think twice before you refuse to learn about gun safety.

Take a few lessons, learn some things, because gun safety will always come in handy.

Guest Post by George

Thoughts On Self Defense


Remember – PREVENTION before the fact is better than REACTING after the fact.

PRINCIPLES OF DEFENSE 1: SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

The biggest part of self defense is avoiding the need to actively, physically defend yourself. If it comes to where you need to actively defend yourself, you are in danger. You need to be able to spot trouble coming and make every effort to get out of the way before it gets to you.

I have a metal sign in my office with an old seafarers saying on it…

“A SUPERIOR SAILOR is one who uses his SUPERIOR JUDGEMENT to avoid situations requiring the use of his SUPERIOR SKILLS”

Self Defense begins with CONSTANT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. This will help you to “avoid situations requiring the use of YOUR SUPERIOR SKILLS”.

Situational Awareness is being KNOWLEDGEABLE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS AT ALL TIMES and IN ALL PLACES.

Your surroundings include all of the following…

  • Where you are. Ask yourself: “Where am I right now?”. Be familiar with the territory. This also includes making sure that you are mentally “where you are” and not somewhere else. Keep your mind on – and be aware of – your present surroundings.
  • What are your possible routes of escape if trouble starts?
  • Who is around you? [People, Animals, and Cars for example]
  • What are they doing?
    • Is there someone around you doing something that makes you nervous about your safety or the safety of those you have a responsibility to protect?
  • Is someone around you acting in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable? This may just be a “bad feeling”. Pay attention to those.
  • Should you be where you are now? If the situation looks bad and you don’t have a responsibility to be where you are – retreat.
  • Are you in a position to defend yourself if required?
    • This includes keeping a hand free to handle a weapon.

To some people this sounds like being paranoid. Guess what? There is nothing wrong with that. Some people call it being “functionally neurotic”.

The fact is that in today’s society, the police are there to investigate AFTER the crime has happened. They are NOT a crime PREVENTION organization.

It is up to YOU to prevent something from happening to you. A good way to never have to actively defend yourself is to practice CONSTANT situational awareness.

This is especially difficult if you are a woman herding one or more children while at the grocery store or when shopping, but it is also especially important in this situation because that is the sort of person that the bad guys are looking for – someone who may be too preoccupied to notice their surroundings, and who may not have a free hand when going to their car in the parking lot.

This last part is highly important. You need to keep a free hand to be able to employ a defensive tool in case you can not avoid that trouble.

If a situation feels wrong, feel free to leave it. Sometimes this is nothing more than a feeling that something isn’t right. Some people call it a 6th sense, some call it the Holy Ghost, some people call it “gut instinct”. Whatever you prefer to call it, it’s usually a good idea to pay attention to it.

Don’t just go like a sheep walking right into trouble because you feel stupid acting on a “feeling”. Look at the people that have avoided airline crashes because they had a bad feeling. If you feel that something isn’t right, get out of the situation.

That’s your best way to avoid the need to actively defend yourself. If it’s a bad situation and you have the opportunity to retreat – do it.

Ask yourself “Should I Be Where I Am Now?”

If you are herding those kids to your car and you see someone in the parking lot making you nervous – feel free to turn around and go back into the store. Don’t just walk into the potential trouble because you don’t feel you have any other option. Keep your mind active and seek other alternatives. Also, feel free to drop the groceries or ditch the cart.

People come first – get yourself and those you are responsible to protect to safety. Purchases should not be a part of the equation.

People who are looking for trouble often show it in body language. They shift their eyes, can be seen looking through the crowd for an easy mark, can be seen staring at target items – purses or briefcases. In general, they are acting in a way that says “I’m up to something” – you get the feeling when you look at them that something isn’t right.

I encountered this many years ago in Kennedy airport. I was checking in for an international flight and I noted a person who just seemed wrong. He was literally hiding behind a newspaper and was peering over the top of it at the people at the counter.

I was dressed in a very nice suit and overcoat and was carrying a nice bag. I noted that he kept looking at me.

As I left the counter and headed to the gate, I could see in the reflection in my eyeglasses [a skill I have practiced over the years] that he was following me. He was starting to move closer.

I switched hands with my bag, and switched which side of the hallway I was walking on. He stayed with me and was getting closer.

There were no police in sight, so I spun around and walked back the way I had come, skirting around him and staying out of arms reach in the process. He got very flustered when I did this.

I found out why. At the end of the corridor was a man with a radio. He was talking to another man at the other end of corridor. These were police, and the guy was a strongly suspected pickpocket/mugger. He had decided to tag me, and they were waiting for him to actually make a move so they could catch him in the act.

This was a rare situation, the police were actually waiting for this guy to make a move – but he was also in a very confined and security-heavy area where he had been reported to police that were stationed within the confines of the airport. He was also an idiot – working the same area for en extended period. If this had been on the street, the police never would have known about him.

They commended me on spotting him and responding the way I did. They were also a little bit ticked off – they had been watching him all day and they missed their best chance to catch him in the act.

Situational awareness can make the difference between going home on time or spending all night filling out police reports – or having your family ID your dead corpse. It is an essential skill in the world of today.

PRINCIPLES OF DEFENSE 2: THE PREPARED MINDSET

Along with being aware of your surroundings, you need to be PREPARED to ACT.

You need to have your mind made up that in a bad situation, you will take whatever actions are necessary to protect yourself and those you have a responsibility to protect. You may even want to run through those scenarios for any given situation – “What action would I take if x happened right now?” Those actions could include..

  • Retreat From The Situation – If it is possible to do so without putting yourself or others at additional risk of injury or death, this is the option you should employ first. If you are a LEO or a Security Officer, this option may not be available to you depending on the danger to those you are responsible to protect and depending on your training and experience.
  • Summon Assistance – If you can alert police without risking injury or death to yourself or others, this is the next best thing.
  • Use Defensive Arms Until Your Retreat Is Possible – This could be the use of pepper spray, a stun gun, taser, baton, or even a firearm depending on the situation. Employ the tool only until you have an opportunity to retreat. If this is a level you will go to, you need to get training on the defensive weapons you will carry.
  • Use Defensive Arms Until The Attacker Retreats/Stops – In your home, “castle doctrine” applies (depending on your state laws). In Utah you don’t have a duty to retreat from your own home. If someone tries a home invasion robbery, you can use whatever force required to make them retreat. If you – or someone you are responsible to protect – are in danger of serious physical injury or death – as you most likely are in this case – you can cause the attackers spirit to retreat from their body.
    • In other words, use deadly force to stop them from causing harm or death.

Note also, if you are defending your children in a public place – it may not be safely possible to gather them together to retreat while still covering the attacker. In this case as well, it is the attacker that will need to retreat first.

Also, don’t let your guard down in places that might seem totally safe.

Just because there is a sign on the door of your local sports arena saying that weapons are not permitted – a sign which would be obeyed by a law abiding citizen – doesn’t mean that a criminal – a person who breaks laws – didn’t bring a knife or a gun with them and is looking for the opportunity to mug someone who is not aware of their surroundings and is not prepared to defend themselves.

That’s the thing about criminals – they break laws and commit crimes. Thus, they are criminals. Just because a sign says there are no weapons permitted doesn’t mean that a criminal didn’t bring one. REMAIN AWARE AT ALL TIME AND IN ALL PLACES.

If you have your mind made up that you WILL ACT if required – and you get the proper training on any defensive tools you elect carry – you are already 75% of the way to being ready. .

PRINCIPLES OF DEFENSE 3: CONFIDENCE

Having your mind made up that you WILL act if necessary – and seeking training on the weapons you may elect to carry – gives you confidence. You are truly ready and prepared to act. This changes you.

If you are confident in the training you have, and in whatever defensive weapons you elect to carry, you will carry yourself with confidence. In corrections this is sometimes referred to a Command Presence.

Your walk with be determined, your eyes sharp and your mind aware. Those looking at you will see and feel this confidence you have. Those seeking trouble will look for easier marks who show signs that they lack confidence – their eyes watch the ground, they slouch and walk with little determination, and they are not concentrating on where they are and what they are doing.

If trouble is too intent on targeting you, or is too stupid to recognize your confidence, and you did not see it coming – you are prepared to actively defend yourself.

PRINCIPLES OF DEFENSE 4: SPHERE OF INFLUENCE:

If it comes to actively defending yourself against an attacker, you need to keep the SPHERE OF INFLUENCE principle in mind. This is how you will select the proper defensive tool.

The sphere of influence for a given weapon is the area contained within the maximum effective range for the weapon.

It is not only how far your weapon can reach out and touch your attacker

  • Knowing the maximum range of the weapon
  • and
  • The range in which your skills will allow you to effectively use it

It is also knowing how far an attackers weapon can reach out and touch you.

You need to know the sphere of influence for any weapons you carry – and for those that you are likely to encounter.

Examples:

My fist has a very limited sphere of influence. It is at the end of my reach – as far as I can lunge. It requires physical contact with the subject. If I can touch the subject, they can most likely touch me – leaving the possibility of harm to myself. I enter a more dangerous zone electing to use my fist – the attacker could pull a knife or other weapon.

A knife or stun gun has a slightly larger sphere of influence, by a foot or so at most. This is slightly safer than using my fist alone, but I am still in danger of the subject being able to touch – and therefore harm – me. There are two other factors that come into play here…

THE REACTION RULE: ACTION IS FASTER THAN REACTION.

If someone decides to take the action of attacking me, I will be REACTING to their ACTION. They have the advantage – that’s why constant situation awareness is so important.

A PERSON WITH A KNIFE OR OTHER WEAPON – EVEN THEIR HANDS FOR THAT MATTER – CAN EASILY START RUNNING TOWARDS YOU.

That means that their sphere of influence is moving with them. They can also lunge and dive.

A person with a knife – which by itself has a sphere of influence of their arms reach plus a few inches – can traverse 21 feet in just a few steps. Knowing this can change the equation for you. A knife is a deadly weapon – and you need to identify the distance at which you would feel comfortable dealing with that individual – how close do you want them to get?.

Most firearms instructors won’t let an individual with a knife get closer than 21′ to 25′ before drawing and firing if the individual continues to approach.

A baton – such as those carried by the police – extends the sphere out yet more – by 2 to 20 feet depending on the length of the baton, and if the baton is handheld in a defensive position, held offensively, or thrown. Throwing a baton is RARE and is generally ineffective unless the subject is totally motionless and blind. I have seen police do this before, it didn’t work out too well.

Most civilians won’t carry a baton for defense, but some do carry the collapsible type such as those from Monadnock and ASP. A baseball bat has a slightly larger sphere of influence, and as always, an attacker can run with a bat.

Pepper spray has a larger sphere of influence. A small can of O.C. can spray 5 to 10 feet, a larger 1-pound cannister can spray to about 30 feet.

The basic premise of the sphere of influence principle is that You don’t want to be inside of the sphere of influence of the attacker. You want to either use something with a larger sphere than his to keep the attacker at a safe distance – or retreat. Since retreat is not always safe or possible, you need to be prepared.

If the attacker has a knife, you don’t want to be inside of his sphere of influence. You want your sphere to be larger than that of the attacker. Pepper Spray widens it out a lot.

A firearm has a very large sphere of influence. Bullets can travel great distances – over a mile or more. This is good in that you can keep a much larger distance between you and the attacker, but you also need to be able to hit the attacker and nothing else unless there are multiple attackers.

This is also understood to be LETHAL force. You are not going to use this unless threatened with serious bodily harm or death. A knife does meet this classification in most circumstances. A baseball bat can also be a lethal weapon.

You need to compare the sphere of influence of your attacker with yours. Remember the idea is to defend yourself. Select a weapon with a greater sphere of influence than your attacker, and only employ it until the attacker has fled, you are able to flee, or help has arrived.

Keeping a REACTIONARY GAP between you and individuals you are interacting with gives you TIME to REACT to any ACTIONS they elect to make.

If you ever watch COPS on Fox TV, you will notice that the police rarely stand right next to an individual they are talking to. They keep a distance between them and the individual, and usually keep their strong side [the side their firearm is on] facing away from the individual. This gives them time to react. It helps compensate for the REACTION rule. You don’t want to allow a potential attacker – or someone you don’t feel right about – to get too close to you.

If you keep these basic things in mind and practice them daily, you should be able to avoid those situations where you may need to actively defend yourself by using Constant Situational Awareness.

Being prepared to act if necessary will give you confidence.

If you do enter a situation requiring that you actively defend yourself, keeping the SPHERE OF INFLUENCE principle in mind along with a good reactionary gap, will help you select the proper defensive tool to keep you safe.

It is our hope that you will seek local, hands-on, professional training on these topics to help keep yourself and your family safe. This article will reinforce some of the things you will hear in a good self-defense course, but it is no substitute for that hands-on training.

What Makes The Raw Food Diet Such A Good Choice?

Have you heard of the raw food diet? At first glance, it may seem like a fad diet that makes it almost impossible for you to follow. After all, you are used to eating cooked foods, and some of them you can’t really eat raw. Does that mean that meat is left out of this diet? You certainly have quite a few questions, and it is understandable that you might be a little hesitant. Yet you are looking for a good diet to help you reach your weight loss goals. Could the raw food diet be the one?

Are you supposed to follow this diet indefinitely, never eating cooked food again? Perhaps it is a dietary plan in which you just really watch what you eat and consume as many raw foods as possible. Consuming raw fruits and vegetables would no doubt help your body get more of the vitamins and nutrients. It would also seem like this type of diet would help your digestive system.

First of all, yes, the idea is a lifestyle change, so this raw food diet isn’t some fad to help you lose several pounds in a couple of weeks and then be done. As for keeping up with this diet, the idea is to eat raw foods as often as possible. You will be working on eating a balanced diet. The raw foods not only ensure you get the most vitamins and nutrients, but you also get to leave the additives out.

People don’t realize often enough just exactly what they are eating. Do you? Think about how one rule concerning eating raw foods more often could change the way you eat entirely. Think about some of the recipes you might make. If you are skeptical about trying out this diet, one of the things you probably need to do is look at recipes anyway. It would be a good idea to see what people are eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A few of the benefits of eating a raw diet have been mentioned, but what else can you expect? This type of diet can help with inflammation issues, liver function and it can help to eliminate constipation. You will also be working against any nutrient deficiencies that you might have as well. This type of diet isn’t just for people who need to lose weight. It is also for people who are looking to maintain a healthy weight.

A raw food diet is said to give you more energy, too. It will be important to make sure that you are getting enough fiber. You will also want to make sure that you aren’t creating any deficiencies. In other words, you have to know the diet well enough as you make food choices. Don’t just go with your cravings because that likely is going to mean you are leaving some foods out. You want to eat a healthy diet if you are going to make all of these changes, and that only makes sense, don’t you think?

Planning Your Home Defense:

Overall Home Defense needs be a comprehensive plan…

  • Good locks on all of your outside-leading doors and windows – a hard physical layer
  • A Home Alarm System that you use at ALL times – a good electronic layer
  • Good situational awareness and safety practices used at ALL times – good security practices
  • A good home defense firearm – training on how to use it – practice with it – and a plan to use it.

  • NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS COPYRIGHT 2010 BY JeepGunner.com
  • ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.

With the downturn in the economy, increasing drug abuse by many, and the increasing number of home invasion robberies (including robberies by people impersonating police), it’s a good idea to take some time to evaluate your own home security systems, plans, and practices. I recommend evaluating the following areas.

  • Your PHYSICAL SECURITY LAYER
    • Your outside-leading doors and windows
    • Perimeter fencing (if possible)
  • Your ELECTRONIC SECURITY LAYER
    • A good alarm system with the ability to have the outer layer armed while turning off interior motion sensors
    • Video Camera Systems – or at least a good doorphone/camera intercom at your front door
  • Your SECURITY PRACTICES
    • Using good situational awareness even in and around your home and in your neighborhood.
    • Practicing locking your doors behind you when you come home – keeping your home secure
    • Activating your alarm system in the HOME mode when you are home
  • Having a good HOME DEFENSIVE FIREARM
    • Picking the right firearm
    • Getting training on how and when to use it
    • Practicing frequently with that firearm
    • Having a plan on WHEN and HOW to use it

On the latter, I have been doing a lot of research and testing, and I feel quite confident in recommending the FNH USA PS90. They don’t come cheap, but with the right ammunition they can be a highly effective and ideally configured home defense firearm. We’ll have more information and complete details on a recommended configuration in the next two months.

In the meantime, let’s start by covering each of the first three areas…


Your PHYSICAL SECURITY LAYER

Do you have good, working locks on all of your outside-leading doors and windows? If you don’t, you are extending an invitation to any enterprising young meth head to check out your house, find a way in, and take what they can sell quickly to get more meth. And if you happen to be home at the time, well, a baseball bat (one of the preferred weapons of the average meth head), metal rod, a knife, or even a gun can be employed to make you less of a problem or take you out of the picture all together – except for the picture they use of you in the obituary section of the local newspaper.

If you don’t have good, working locks on ALL of your outside-leading doors and windows, then you need to get them in place now. These will stop a lot of less determined criminals.

Do you have a deadbolt on your front door? How about the door that goes from the interior of your home to your garage? I’d recommend a good dead bolt on both of these doors, preferrably keyed differently than the lock in the door knob. That will buy you some time even if someone decides to pick the locks – the same settings they find for one won’t help with the other.

Is your garage door locked? It should be. If not, you are allowing them to get in and take what they can. Heck, they can go in, close the garage door down behind them, and then take their time working on getting into your home – using the tools and other items you have provided in your garage. Make sure it’s secure too.

Use longer screws on the hinges and lock plates on your doors and the frame around them. This will make it much harder to kick it in. Keep in mind that there are outlets on the Internet that sell the same battering rams that police use in drug busts, and they don’t always make sure that they are selling them to real police. Criminals in various states have been known to use them, and to even impersonate the police during home invasions – even using cars with flashing red/blue lights, police uniforms, etc.

Don’t get involved in illegal activities, and you won’t be quite as worried about “Are these really the police?” If you don’t do things that might attract them, you won’t have much doubt that the guys breaking down your door aren’t the real thing.

Consider perimeter fencing as well. Having a fenced yard not only helps to keep the bad guys out, it also keeps out animals and other undesired visitors. If you have a fenced backyard you should keep good locks on any gates. This makes it harder for the bad guys to move around your home.

Another aspect of physical security is having good lighting around your home. If it’s easy to spot someone lurking around, the average criminal won’t want to stick around.

Keep in mind that many criminals are lazy. They are looking for an easy score. If your home isn’t easy for them, they will tend to pick on another.


Your ELECTRONIC SECURITY LAYER

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND A GOOD, HARDWIRED ALARM SYSTEM CONNECTED TO ALL OF YOUR OUTSIDE-LEADING DOORS AND WINDOWS. This will not only serve to help keep your home safe when you are not there, but it also gives you an immediate intruder warning when you are home if anyone breaches your physical security. Think of it as the intrusion detection system on a federation starship from the Star Trek series. If anyone attempts to come in unannounced, they are quickly detected and can be intercepted before they can do any harm.

We have a detailed article on our full recommendations for a home alarm system here. There are a lot of factors to consider, but this is one of the best things that you can do for your family. The Smart family had an alarm system – but they weren’t using it the night that Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped. They weren’t using their central air conditioning that night, so they left some windows open – necessitating the alarm being turned off. If they had used the AC and left the windows closed and the alarm turned on, she never would have been abducted. Consider this carefully in your own home defense plans.

I also strongly recommend having at the very least a two-way intercom at your front door – ideally having one with a video camera so that you can see and talk to any visitors before opening your door. Social engineering is one way that crooks get you to open your door. If you can talk to them and see them, you can quickly dismiss them if you are not interested or you feel funny about the situation. This gives you a BIG advantage. We are finalizing our reviews and recommendations on these – stay tuned for more.

A complete set of cameras that will allow you to watch your entire property is a good thing, but are generally too expensive for the average homeowner. It is something to consider, however, if you do have the means to do so. They can even be setup so that you can watch them from a remote location with Internet access. Just make sure that you use a good firewall and other computer security practices so that the bad guys can’t watch your cameras too.


Your SECURITY PRACTICES

When you drive up your street, do you look for anything out of place?

When you come home, do you look at the outside of your home to see if anything is wrong?

Do you close your garage door immediately behind you before exiting your car?

If you park in your driveway, do you look around you before exiting your car?

Do you immediately lock the door behind you when you enter your home?

Do you arm your alarm system in the HOME mode when you come inside?

Do you always check your door phone/intercom camera before opening your front door? Do you deal with salesmen that way rather than opening the door?

Do you keep your concealed firearm (or openly carried firearm) on your person at all times when you are home – or no farther away than arms reach distance?

Do you keep your gates to your backyard locked?

Do you keep the outside of your home well lit at all times?

Do you have your primary home defense firearm close at hand at night?

Look at the security practices that you use and think about them. You should also practice “what if” scenarios in your head. If you have a plan to know what you will do if “x” happens, you will be money ahead if it ever does happen. Doing so helps to compensate for the fact that action is faster than reaction – and you would be reacting to the actions of another.


Your HOME DEFENSE FIREARM

Many people buy into the Internet hype/crap about using a shotgun with bird shot for home defense. “It won’t go through my walls and hurt my kids, but it will really mess up a burglar”. Think about that for a moment.

If it won’t go through walls (which it will in a very dangerous way), it most likely doesn’t have the ability to stop the bad guy (unless he is right in front of the barrel at nearly contact range). There are a whole series of bad elements to this equation…

  • You are responsible for every projectile that leaves your firearm.
    • With a shotgun you are firing multiple projectiles. You just bought whatever each of those hit.
  • If the guy is a safe distance from you…
    • You do not want to get close enough to him to allow him to potentially hurt you.
    • Your bird shot to center mass will most likely cause him pain – but won’t stop him.
    • If you go for the eyes, you may indeed blind him
      • But you just bought whatever the pellets that miss his head do end up hitting.
  • What do people do when they are scared?
    • They tend to hide.
    • They also tend to try to look at the source (the door for example) to see if it is coming after them.
      • If you are confronting a bad guy, your kids may be doing just that.
      • Your bird shot may not penetrate drywall and have enough force left over to penetrate clothing and skin…
      • but it will have enough force to cause eye damage…
      • It’s not worth that risk.

You need to be able to identify that it really is a bad guy and then place directed, stopping-capable shots into the center-mass of the bad guy. A shotgun with bird shot will not do that for you.

And when you move up to stopping-capable rounds (buckshot or slugs) in a shotgun, you are then brought back to the first principle – YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY PROJECTILE THAT LEAVES YOUR FIREARM.

If you are awakened in the night by a home invasion…

  • You will be tired.
  • Your situational awareness will be limited
    • This means that anything that will assist your targeting will be of great value
  • Your motor skills won’t be up to par yet
    • This means that a supported firearm (shouldered or bipod supported) will be of greater value than a handgun
  • You will have a limited amount of time to engage and stop the aggressor(s)
    • You should know your home and what’s in it very well.
    • The aggressors will have limited knowlege, unless they have inside information.
  • If you have practiced everything we have previously talked about in this article…
    • You know that the aggressors were willing to take the time and risk to enter your home.
      • They have specific intent on your home.
      • If your alarm system has been triggered and the siren has not scared them away, they are demonstrating real aggression and serious intent.
      • If they have gone to that degree, you can figure that they are most likely armed, know you are home, and decided to enter anyway.
    • You can assume that they are not there for the mere purposes of a standard burglary.
      • They are most likely not there to shine your shoes or deliver cookies – and they are most likely larger than keebler elves.
      • They most likely do not care if you survive.
      • If they are smart, there are more than one or two of them.

I’m a firearms instructor. People know that I have guns. I figure that I’m a potential target already, and I have taken care of the areas of Physical and Electronic security. My family uses good safety and security practices at all times. I don’t break the law. There is no reason the real police would ever come breaking down my door. If I’m ever faced with this situation, my family has a plan and will put that plan into practice to the best of their ability.

To put it simply, the aggressors will be terminally stopped, as they will have demonstrated lethal intent in getting past everything else.

Traditionally, I leaned towards the AR15 platform (16″ M4gery/Mega lower with a Bushmaster Patrolmans Carbine upper) with a hollowpoint or frangible round for home defense. A 30-round magazine (plus one in the chamber), tactical light, Laser Devices AR-1A targeting assist laser, and some good electronic hearing protection rounded out the package. I was still a bit worried about over penetration, but I went to the trouble of figuring out safe firing zones to do my best to mitigate that. I still felt that it was not ideal, and have been on the lookout for something better.


FNH USA PS90 Triple Rail in OD Green with EOTech XPS3-0 and Streamlight TLR-1