Monday, June 23, 2014

Do You Know What Gun Fire Sounds Like?

A couple of weeks ago Vancouver residents in the Yaletown/Science World area were startled by the sound of gun fire during the late morning hour.

Many residents didn’t even realize what they were hearing was actually the sound of gun fire.

So my question to you is would you know what gunfire sounds like?

Would you know what to do if you were in the same situation that some of these Vancouver residents found themselves in?

Here is a quick video and audio clip of the shooting

Here is another clip of an interview with a witness

Here are some quick tips so you know what to do when you hear gun fire…

First familiarize yourself with what gun fire sounds.

Train yourself to respond to the sound of gun fire by going low and getting to cover or concealment.

This can be done by playing actual loud gun fire audio at random intervals while you’re training.

When you hear the audio cue go low and search for cover and or concealment in your training environment.

As I mentioned in a previous post…

Concealment would be a place that you could hide in but wouldn’t stop a bullet.

Cover would be a location that could stop a bullet such as an engine block or thick tree trunk.

This type of training will ingrain in your muscle memory what to do when you hear the sound of gun shots.

The last thing you want to do is question what you are hearing or start running around like a chicken with its head cut off or be stuck on stupid and freeze up.

By using this simple training method you reduce the likelihood of getting hit by a stray bullet tenfold.

There`s no such thing as a dirty fighter only an educated one

Norm Bettencourt

Monday, June 16, 2014

What do these self defense weapons have in common?

What does a samurai sword stun gun, a remote controlled gun and a homemade spiked baseball bat all have in common?

Simple a criminal record and a lengthy jail sentence that’s what.

Don’t get me wrong I love homemade weapons but I would never think of making or using them for self defense purposes.

Here’s the reason why...

When I go to court to explain my actions all the jury is going to see is someone who has premeditated an assault or murder plain and simple.

If you’re going to use a self defense weapon make sure it’s legal to use.

If you are going to use an improvised weapon make sure it looks “clean” in the eyes of the court.

Use items such as a “hammer” or “wrench” and not a homemade war hammer.

A baseball bat which is next to a ball and glove instead of a baseball bat spiked with nails.

Legit items will do the job in stopping an S.O.B just like those cool homemade weapons… but will allow you to see and spend time with your loved ones because you didn’t break the law when protecting them.

Once again using legit items to protect yourself not only will protect you physically and mentally but legally as well.

You end up being the winner of the battle and the war all at the same time.

When it comes to self defense remember the self defense triangle.

Learn to protect yourself physically, mentally and legally…And don’t get caught up in the hype of the coolest new homemade self defense gadgets it will only land your ass in jail.

There’s no such thing as a dirty fighter only an educated one.

Norm Bettencourt

Sunday, June 01, 2014

How To Look Better In The Eye's Of The Law When Using Deadly Force

I would like to cover proportional use of force and the legalities of using deadly force. First proportional use of force means that you must use the same amount of force that your attacker is using on you. Now this can get complicated but in a nutshell it goes something like this.

If you absolutely CANNOT DISENGAGE from the situation and feel that your life is in jeopardy if you do not stop your attacker’s attack then generally you can use deadly force to stop him/her. Examples of these situations would be if you were against an armed attacker and he/she were trying to stab or shoot you, if you alone were up against multiple attackers or if someone was striking your head continuously against a concrete sidewalk then deadly force would be justified.

Now once you have killed your attacker or controlled the situation then you must stop your assault. An example of this would be you shoot a knife wielding attacker he drops to the ground and drops his knife and is alive but motionless on the ground the situation is now under control. If you stop your attack you’re in the clear pretty much.

If you were to continue to shoot him you could be charged with using excessive force/murder because there was no need to fatally injure your attacker because he was no threat to you after hitting the ground. Now rewind and if after the knife wielding attacker fell to the ground and still attempted to grab his knife while lying on the ground then you would be justified in using deadly force and killing him. Think of it in terms of a balanced scale both sides are even and fair, plain and simple that what proportional use of force is.

“When It Comes To Law The Color Of The Day Is Grey”

Whenever I begin my use of force classes and law classes I always begin with the above quote “When it comes to law the color of the day is grey”. Everyone wants black and white answers but when it comes to law but there are none. It all varies on how well your attorney can represent you and the loopholes that your attorney can wiggle through when pleading your case.

Another big factor when it comes to using deadly force is what you say to law enforcement after the incident has occurred. The answer is easy state that “You feared for your or your family’s life” and say NOTHING ELSE. Simply and politely state that you they will have your full corporation once your attorney is present.

Your attorney goes to law school for many years and knows the ins and outs of how the criminal justice system works and you don’t. Let him do his/her job and make their job easy for once you start making statements coming off an adrenaline dump you’re bound to say something stupid.

This in turn makes your attorney’s job harder and he/she now has to clean up after your verbal diarrhea. Law is not about right or wrong or about truth it’s about loopholes. Stop thinking in terms of “He attacked me first I had to protect myself”. It’s not as simple as that, I have seen innocent law abiding citizens thrown in jail for protecting themselves and at the same time scene guilty criminals get away with murder.

The best advice that I can give you is to take a use of force and basic law/criminal code course with a reputable instructor. That way you can have a good solid base on using force and your responsibilities as a law abiding citizen within your province, state or country.

Note: Call an ambulance and the police immediately after you have used deadly force. It makes you look cleaner in the eyes of the court because you sought medical aid to the person you just harmed.

Note #2: Only use weapons that are legal in your State, Province or Country. Also stay away from black humour signs that you post on your property. These would be signs stating phrases like “Trespasser’s will be shot, survivors will be shot twice”

This also goes with everyday objects used as weapons. Let’s say you keep a baseball bat inside your home an arm’s reach away from your front entrance. One day someone tries breaking into your home you reach for the bat and kill a man.

When the case goes to court the jury will wonder why you would keep a bat next to your front entrance doorway. The conclusion that they will come up with is that you’re out to defend yourself at any cost and without any regard for the law. This in turn can get you thrown in jail.

Instead when storing your bat near the front entrance doorway also have a ball and glove next to it. This will give the impression that the only reason that bat was there in the first place is because you play baseball.

Other weapons you can use could be items that you would find in a common tool box such as an axe, hammer or plumbers wrench. You can also use items found in a kitchen such as a cast iron fry pan or meat tenderizer/cleaver and butcher’s knife. So have a plan to go to these areas of the house when a threat is assessed so you can obtain your weapon.

Note: If you’re using a weapon for bludgeoning purposes the heavier the better but not to heavy that it makes it cumbersome for you to use. Also remember the concept of hit & stick when striking someone regardless of it’s with a body part or weapon. You want to hit the person but leave the item doing the striking on the target for a split second so all the velocity and power goes through the target causing maximum damage. Avoid hitting and retracting quickly for there will be no power or damage done by your strikes.

Bottom line it makes you look better in the eyes of the court and avoids juror’s looking at you as if you were a blood thirty killer that premeditated a murder.


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About Me

Norm Bettencourt is the Creator/President of Tactical Self Defense which specializes in personal protection tactics against modern day threats of violence. For more information visit