Starting in May 2016 the NRA had changed the format for the Basic Pistol Shooting/Permit course. The protocol consisted of a 5-6 hour Phase 1  Powerpoint presentation online, followed by an objective question test. The NRA charges $60 for the Phase 1 instruction.  After the student passed the test with at least a “90 percent”mark (5 attempts are allowed if necessary), a certificate is printed, retrieved by the student and brought to the local NRA certified pistol instructor for Phase 2. This phase consists of the “hands-on” training, including “dry fire”practice in my studio, and live fire instruction at Wolf’s Indoor Range on Middle St. in Bristol. Phase 2 takes 5-7 hours depending on class size and student performance. Tuition cost for Phase 2 is $100.

This format is still available. However in May 2017 the NRA has resurrected the “traditional” 8 hour, local Instructor only format that had existed before the 2-Phase program. Instruction includes everything listed above and the tuition cost is $125 total.

I try to keep  my schedule flexible to best accommodate my students’ schedules. With either format the price ($100 or $125) includes the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar at no additional charge! This personal safety, crime-prevention seminar helps the new firearm owner “keep their firearm in their holster!” Call 860.582.4388 to book an appointment or with any questions.

Better yet, register at for one of the listed seminars and I will contact you. I look forward to training with you!!!



Anatomy of Violent Crime

Anatomy of Violent Crime.

Anatomy of Violent Crime

Recently in my research I became familiar with the crime -prevention system of Marc MacYoung and his 5-Stages-of-Violent-Crime. This system checklists what criminals go through before performing a violent attack. What caught my eye are the labels for the five stages. I like labels; labels help objectify  what we should be looking for . Having an awareness of how criminals think and try to set up a potential victim usually by some type of distraction is crucial in avoiding  a confrontation and becoming a victim of violence.

This is on what the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar program is based. Early recognition of an evolving crime within the first 2 to 3 stages usually allows the target to divorce themself from the situation relatively easily and safely. In the later stages when the criminal has gotten “close” either physically and/or emotionally, or has initiated the actual crime it is more difficult to escape from the scene safely.

The book Gift of Fear by Gaven DeBecker was recommended by one of my teachers. In addition to discussing the gift of intuition and how we should “listen” to it, the author discusses 8 Pre-Incident Indicators. These are actually distractions which, if used on you by a stranger, should raise the red-flag that you’re possibly being set-up for a crime. And it would be during the first 2 to 3 Stages of a Violent Crime that the predator would use these strategies. Prudence would dictate that you leave the scene while there are still other people around and you can do this safely and expeditiously.

I invite you to learn more about Marc MacYoung’s 5 Stages of Violent Crime and the 8 common distraction strategies used by criminals in the commission of a crime at my next Refuse To Be A Victim seminar at the B H Wellness Center, 842 Clark Ave., Bristol, CT, on Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Tuition is $30 per student .  Please call  860.582.4388 to register or for more details.

Bronchitis: (Un)Usual Symptoms

Bronchitis: (Un)Usual Symptoms.

Bronchitis: (Un)Usual Symptoms

While speaking with a friend the other day he mentioned how his spouse had had some surgery and how she had come down with a bad case of bronchitis afterward. Although she has since gotten somewhat better, she now seems more susceptible to recurrent bronchitis attacks and other infections.

It’s been my experience that many bronchitis cases are undertreated. Specifically, medications to “open” the bronchial tubes (bronchodilators) are under-utilized and/or stopped prematurely. As a result it takes longer for a bronchitis episode to resolve and the chance for repeat attacks is increased.

I asked my friend whether his wife was on a bronchodilator and he said “no.” Because she wasn’t having any wheezing the doctors did not prescribe any ongoing treatment with a bronchodilator spray inhaler. Although he did say that she was treated with steroids. Steroids act against bronchial inflammation to improve symptoms but inhaled bronchodilators usually work much faster.

Having had bronchitis myself and having seen many patients with the illness, I mentioned that  often times bronchial inflammation is clinically underestimated and incompletely treated. It starts with recognizing the symptoms; everyone looks for the wheezing not realizing that cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath can be independent signs of the disease also. Sometimes people with frequent “clearing of the throat” from mucus do this because of low-grade bronchitis.

Although my friend’s wife was not a smoker, she was exposed fairly frequently to her brother who was a heavy smoker. She was therefore at risk for second-hand smoke-induced bronchitis, especially if exposed to an additional respiratory irritant trigger. Bronchitis can get better without bronchodilators, but the patient will get better faster and stay better longer with a somewhat prolonged prescription of the inhaled spray(albuterol is the most common one). I would tell my patients that when the symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, tight chest) got better, the serious healing was starting. But it takes 4-6 weeks on the average to “reline” the bronchial tubes. Side-effects  of the spray include possible palpitations and some insomnia if taken close to bedtime. However, if the inhaler indeed helps the breathing, the quality of sleep is improved and the insomnia is non-existent. The dose of medication can also be modified if the side-effects are bothersome.

A relatively simple test called spirometry is available in many physicians offices, or it can be obtained in a pulmonary (lung medicine) laboratory. This test may objectively make the diagnosis but sometime a bronchodilator trial when the patient has symptoms is necessary. My friend said he would share the information with his wife and they will discuss the issue with her physician. I hope she has as good a response as I have had with maintenance bronchodilators! Fewer attacks, less laryngitis and sore throats, less mucus production and secondary infections may result.

Criminals Are Always Looking…

“That there are no crimes occurring, is the biggest misconception,” I answered the reporter from the Observer (see 1/8/2015 copy).  Just because people do not read in the newspaper (or on the computer)about crime taking place, or do not hear about it on the radio, or do not see it reported on the TV news, they conclude that it’s just not happening!  They forget that news stories are publicized based on their news-worthiness (read: “ability to generate interest and sell ‘product'”). As a result they get a false sense of safety for themselves, their family, and their community. And this leads to complacency, “the mother of error” as described by  Lt. Col. David Grossman. Learn about the anatomy of a crime and the steps to avoid it at the next Refuse To Be A Victim seminar on Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Wolf’s Indoor Range. Call 860.582.4388 to register or for more details. Value $90.  Price $30. Discounts available; I hope to see you there!


Criminals are always looking for opportunities to commit crime. After all, this is what they are good at!
Successful crime boosts a criminal’s self-esteem! But it is bad for the victim who may be hurt, robbed, or
As alert citizens we can prevent crime by not providing the criminal with the opportunity.
Recognize the warning signs of a crime-in-evolution and you can leave the scene. What, when, how…?
Find out at Refuse To Be A Victim
Call 860.582.4388 to register and visit for more safety information!

Niceness Is a Weakness??!!

One characteristic of criminals is that they see niceness as a weakness which they should exploit to commit their crime successfully.  When you are “nice to a stranger,” and if they are a criminal, they may take that opportunity to commit their crime. As you become aware of this, you may realize that  assertiveness is appropriate. Like  a tool for self-defense, you should practice when to use assertiveness, how to use it, and be committed to use it when needed!

I’ll “rise to the occasion” if something happens.

Many people, when talking about safety and crime-prevention, say that they will “rise to the occasion” if confronted by a criminal. So they don’t plan their response in advance for various scenarios.

Defense experts report that when confronted by a criminal, the average citizen will not “rise to the occasion” but rather “default to their previous level of training,” and their response accuracy under the adrenaline surge will only be half-as-good as at their last practice.

Learn how you may minimize your “default response” and optimize your effective response by attending the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar. See blog site or call 860.582.4388 to register or for more information.

When to Answer the Door

You’re at home and really tied up in a chore, middle of the day, on a week day, when your doorbell rings.  Should you answer it, or just hope they walk away?

Safety statistics now recommend that all rings of the doorbell should be acknowledged.  True burglars, who don’t want to encounter people with their burglary, will ring the bell of a house they have “cased,” to be sure it’s empty before breaking in.

You don’t have to open the door; call through the door. And you’re never home “alone;” answer “We can’t come to the door right now!” The burglar will be only too happy to give you some lame excuse and leave the scene for another victim’s  unoccupied home.

Robbers, however, are different. To learn more on preventing crime from robbers and burglars, and on personal safety, attend the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar at Bristol Eastern H S on Mon. & Tues., April 7 & 8, 2014 from 6 to 8 PM. Call 860.584.7865 to register thru Bristol Adult Education.