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Posted by on in Stalking

verbalharassment

The Andover MA couples were once friendly neighbors, but then things took a terrible turn.   William and Gail Johnson lived near Jim and Bernadette Lyons. The Johnsons wanted to develop land they owned that lay behind Lyonses property.  The Lyonses objected, along with other neighbors.  Years of litigation did not resolve or improve the situatuion.

In 2008, the Johnsons began to harass the Lyones.  Here are some of the thihgs they did:

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Tagged in: Stalking Women
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Posted by on in Legal

bglogoDoes Jaime Caetano, a homeless woman, have the right to use a stun gun to protect herself from her ex-boyfriend, the violent man who is the father of her children?  She didn't even have to hit him with the stun gun.  According to a report in the Bostog Globe, all she had to do was show hm that she had it, and he left her alone.  If only the police could have done the same.

 The Globe reported, "The same stun gun, however, landed Caetano in the middle of a legal battle about the weapon and the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. She was convicted last year under a state law criminalizing the possession of stun guns by private citizens. Caetano is challenging the law in court, saying it violates her rights under the Second Amendment to defend herself."  See the full article here.

 She is now appealing her case, attempting to get her conviction overturned, based on two argements.  First, that the Second Amendment covers "arms" that are not firearms.  Second, that US Supreme Court decisions have implied a right to carry outside the home.  Also at issue is the question of whether a homeless person has the same rights for self-protection as a person who has a home.

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Tagged in: Personal Protection
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Posted by on in Legal

updown

With all the publicity regarding nearly every killing of one person by another, it is reasonable to ask, is this crime getting worse in our country, or better?  There are two national databases that collect relevant information on this.  Why two?  Do they agree with one another?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been collecting Uniform Crime Reports since 1930, so they have gotten very good at it.  The UCR data comes from voluntary police reports, so it attempts to collect all and only crimes that are known to police.  That data, for crimes that include murder, involve a lot of specifics: jurisdiction, circumstances (argument, robbery, gang-related), victim-offender relationship, and so on.  

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Posted by on in Women

heartgun

I no longer trust or believe this statistic. The FBI rpoduced an excellent, trustworthy analysis of mass shootings, called the "FBI Study of Active Shooter Incidents".  The anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety published a paper with a similar title, "Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings." Everytown did not explain how they got that 51% statistic.  They did not explain how many people were in that group, or how Everytown obtained information about them.  Thus this number must nto be trusted.  AWARE will continue to provide only information that is the best and most reliable.  The FBI has it; Everytown does not.

According to FBI statistics, only 13% of murder victims in a typical year are women.  According to the same statistics, 51% of victims of mass murders are female.  What is going on?  Why are women dying so frequently in mass murders?  The intersection of domestic violence and mass murder, that’s what is going on.  Hardly anyone knows that fact.  Everyone should know it.

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Posted by on in Concealed Carry

tapemeasure

Most shooters know of the Tueller Drill.  It established that 21' is the minumum distance that an attacker with a contact weapon an run while a defender can draw and fire.  "The 21-foot Rule" is widespread.  But your distance will vary, hence the concept of your PERSONAL Tueller distance.  We'll show you a simple method to find it.

The question Dennis Tueller, police firearms instructior, was trying to answer was "how close is too close with a contact weapon?"  At what distance should an officer be drawing his or her gun, in order to have enough time to shoot if the attacker came any closer?  Police, with quite a bit of training, can, on average, draw and shoot in about 1.5 sseconds.  So, what Tueller had to establish was how far someone can run in that time.  The results showed that 21 feet was typical.

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Tagged in: Personal Protection
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Posted by on in Women

womenontargetAre you new to shooting?  Do you have a friend, girlfriend, mother, sister, aunt or grandmother who has no experience with guns?  All women 16 and over are invited, regardless of skill level, ot a day of fun with guns alongside other women.


The Harvard Sportsmen’s Club will provide classroom safety instruction followed by hands-on range experience with rifle, shotgun, and handgun at the hands of friendly and experienced instructors.  Several AWARE instructors have volunteered to assist with this event.


This will be a great opportunity to try recreational shooting or to take the first step toward a firearms license.

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Tagged in: Women
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Posted by on in Guns

Flinching with a gunWhy is it we can't always shoot as evenly as this picture?  Sooner or later, someone will watch you shooting and say those  fatal words, "You're flinching!"  Or you feel yourself tense up when shooting and see the shots go low.  "I'm flinching" you think.  "Don't flinch," you tell yourslf, as you see your shots going lower and lower on the target.  "Dont' flinch!" echoes in your mind with each shot, and you curse afterward, "I flinched!"

 What is a flinch, anyway?  It is your body's reaction to an anticipated shock.  The shock can be the loud noise of a gun firing.  The shock can be the gun's recoil.  The shock can be pain you experience when you shoot.  Whatever has caused the shock in the past (that past can be in your current shooting ssession, or long, long ago) your body knows it is coming again, and tries to protect you by clenching many muscles involuntarily.  This usually results in your hands moving the barrel of your gun downwards and the shots go low.  It happens to handgun shooters and long gun shooters.

 As a teacher, I've seen it happen to many students.  The number one cause, in my experience, is sound, so the first thing I will suggest is maximizing hearing protection with both foam in-the-ear plugs and high quality, well-fitted muffs. 

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Tagged in: Other Women
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Posted by on in Guns

gunquestionmarkWhat do you think?  Do you believe that, in Massachusetts, where a firearms safety class is required for anyone applying for a firearms license, that that class should include firing a real gun on a real range, or is classroom-only training sufficient?

You don't have to be a shooter or a gun owner to have an opinion on this topic.  Think about this.  Someone in your family decides to obtain a firearm for personal protection.  They find a half-day course that covers gun safety, laws, the parts of various types of guns and ammunition.  They see and handle some guns here, but don't fire them.  They do fire a training aid that looks like a gun, but "fires" a laser, like a laser pointer.  How confident are you that they are now prepared and qualified to protect themsleves and anyone else who might need protection?

What if they took, instead, a full day class that included not just safety and legal issues but also some actual firing of actual guns on a real range.  Wouldn't they be better off?  Wouldn't you have more confidence in their abilites?

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Posted by on in Personal Protection

grandmawithgun

 Neither arthritis, nor a wheelchair, nor heart surgery, nor impaired mobility, nor gloom of night keeps chronologically gifted folk (senior citizens) from defending themselves.  If anyone tries to tell you that defense guns and seniors are incompatible, here's some proof that it isn't so. Age, even when accompanied by physical impairment, is generally no barrier to shooting a gun. That can't be said of most of the other methods of self-protection such as impact weapons, unarmed fighting, and running away.

 The Cleveland Ohio Plain Dealer published a story about senior citizens and guns. A 69-year old man was quoted as saying, "Having a concealed weapon today is more to my advantage than it perhaps would've been when I was 30 years old." About 12 percent of all concealed-carry licenses issued since 2005 in Cuyahoga County have been to people 60 and older. Seniors make up nearly 50% of students in one man's license certification class, "An 87-year-old woman with a gun is equal to anybody," he said. A 64-year old man said he carries a gun because, "I've had two heart surgeries. I literally can't run, can't fight." With headlines like "Granny Gets Her Gun", "Elderly Women Send Rapist Running", "80-yr old Woman Uses Shotgun On Intruder", "Go Grandma!", "Woman in Wheelchair Shoots Mugger," "Wife Uses Gun To Save Husband", "Woman Blasts Intruder Dead", "Armed Grandma Captures Two Escapees", and "Granny Bar Owner Chases Off Armed Robber", you can see that there are many amazing stories.

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Posted by on in Women

gungrab

This is a concern that has been felt at least briefly by any woman who has ever had the experience of having a stronger man take something out of her hands, no matter how hard she tried to hold on to it.

It becomes internalized, that understanding of the limits of your own strength when going up against someone much more physically powerful.  It is a concern that has stopped many women from getting a gun for defense.  Some men still use it as a “reason” for a woman not to get a handgun.  

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Posted by on in Women

awareness

You are walking to your car in a deserted parking area after working late one evening, and you hear someone behind you who fast approaching. You realize that person can reach you before you can get to your car. What would you do?

 

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Posted by on in Guns

cat-in-doorway2

Cats are smart, tactically aware animals.  Most cats love high places - the top of a bookshelf, the top of a door, a railing over a high balcony, the top of the highest cat furniture you have.  They have evolved to prefer heights, because from there they can more easily scan the ground for anything that might be edible prey, and they are more protected from things (wolves, foxes, and so on) that might want to eat them.

 I had a cat who would usually sleep in my bed with or without me, and would typically curl up with her head toward the door.  Was this another tactical position, tuned by generations, so that the cat's ears, eyes and nose remained pointed in the direction from which danger could come, while keeping her back to the side or corner from which no surprises would appear?  I always thought so, and marveled at her innate ability to use her surroundings for her safety.

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Posted by on in Stalking

stalking quiz

How much do you know about stalking?  In about 5 minutes, you can take this short (10 questions) Stalking Quiz.

 

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Posted by on in Legal

Dstun-gun-no-3oes it make sense to you that stun guns and tasers are not legal for private citizens in Massachusetts?  In a state where it IS legal to buy, own and use firearms, shouldn't everyone have the same access to these less lethal self-defense tools? Michael Rosman is trying to make that happen.

 

Who is Michael Rosman?  He is, a lawyer at a conservative/libertarian public interest law firm, the Center for Individual Rights in Washington DC.  He is working to bring a case in Massachusetts to challenge this law.

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Posted by on in Legal

 Gun being put in car trunk

 It is bound to happen at some point. You are carrying your handgun lawfully on a Class-A LTC on your daily errands when you have to go somewhere that you can’t take the handgun. Let’s say your child’s school calls – your son is throwing up and needs to be picked up within the hour. Massachusetts General Laws ch. 269, §10(j) clearly says that you can’t carry a firearm (or other dangerous weapon) on your person in a building or on the grounds of a school (including colleges) without the written authorization of certain school officials. In the wake of Newtown, it is not worth taking chances with this statute.
So what can you do? Unfortunately, the answer is not clear.
Chapter 140, § 131C concerns weapons in a motor vehicle. You can carry a loaded firearm on your person, under your direct control on a Class A permit. Someone with a Class B permit can transport a firearm unloaded and contained within the locked trunk or in a locked case or other secure container. Arguably, if you make a brief stop you are still transporting the firearm, and you could place it unloaded in the trunk (if you have one) or in a locked case or container. (The ammunition, apparently, does not need to be in its own locked container, but it must be separate from the firearm.) Trigger locks and cable locks do not count! A locked glove compartment might count, but the trunk or a locked case/container is a better option.
The other possibility is Chapter 140, § 131L which concerns weapons being stored by the owner. To comply with 131L, you need to secure the firearm in a locked container or equip it with a tamper resistant mechanical lock or other safety device. (§ 131L does not say the firearm has to be unloaded.) What is an appropriate locked container under this section – according to the Court, "the container must not merely be locked, but securely locked ... [i.e.,] maintained in [a] locked container[] in a way that will deter all but the most persistent from gaining access.” Com. v. Parzick, 64 Mass. App. Ct. 846, 850 (2005). Use something sturdy with a reasonable lock.
The only case interpreting this area, so far, is Com. v. Reyes, 464 Mass. 245 (2013). In Reyes, the defendant was a corrections officer who carried his firearm to work one day at the house of correction. When he asked for a key for a gun locker, he was told the lockers were all full. He put the handgun, including a loaded magazine, in the glove compartment of his car, parked in an employee lot directly in front of the entrance, and went to work. It is not clear whether the glove compartment was itself locked. Corrections officials asked to search his car and found the firearm. He was arrested, and convicted of violating both G. L. c. 140, § 131C (a) (carrying statute), and unlawfully storing a firearm (after leaving it in his motor vehicle) in violation of G. L. c. 140, § 131L (a) and (b) (storage statute). Reyes was granted a new trial after his appeal because the trial judge did not properly define “locked container” for the jury.
The Court said that leaving a firearm in an unattended vehicle while at work is storage under G.L. ch. 140 § 131L. A secured container “must be capable of being unlocked only by means of a key, combination, or other similar means.” The locked passenger compartment is NOT a secure container. The Court specifically mentions a locked vehicle trunk as a possible secured container.
As to the glove box, the Court says it might suffice under § 131L “depending on the particular factual circumstances including the nature of the locking mechanism, whether the motor vehicle was also locked and alarmed, and ultimately whether in the circumstances it was adequate to ‘deter all but the most persistent from gaining access.’”

The Court discusses § 131C, but does not explain whether § 131L applies to all instances of a firearm left unattended in a vehicle, or to only situations where the firearm has been left unattended for a long period. Reyes was convicted under both statutes, implying that both applied to him.

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Posted by on in Women
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Posted by on in Women

Safety Signs

 If you are being stalked, or if your life is being threatened, if someone who harmed or threatened you is being released from prison, or if you live or work in a highly dangerous environment, AWARE is available to help you find the resources and training you need to keep yourself alive. Some AWARE board members have first-hand experience with situations like these. We can help evaluate the danger you are in, and assist you in developing a personal protection plan that is suited to your specific situation. Don't ignore what might be real danger!

Are You In Danger?        Yes

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Posted by on in Women

 Czubek photo

Who is Cathryne Czubek, you might ask?  AWARE folk know, but this is to reach other folk who might be very interested in seeing A GIRL AND A GUN, a wonderful documentary film by this woman.

From the theatre’s website, “A Girl and a Gun shows the female perspective on an object whose history is deeply bound to men and masculinity.
The classic Hollywood portrayals of pistol packin' mamas, tomboy sharp shooters, sexually twisted femme fatales, and high-heeled, cold-blooded assassins are caricatures. In truth, the typical woman who hangs out at rifle ranges and keeps ammo in her purse is the girl-next-door, the single mom, a hard working sister or aunt. Maybe she's a realist or has learned tough lessons from life; either way, she cares about her personal safety and may even find salvation, comfort or something satisfying in possessing a gun. In a word, she is empowered.
Breaking through the caricatures, A Girl and a Gun reveals America's diverse and far-ranging female gun community. It depicts how this community is portrayed by the media and targeted by the gun industry; and shows, through personal stories, how guns change women's lives.”

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Tagged in: Women
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Posted by on in Legal

Mug shot of Sandra Layne

A 75-year old woman named Sandra Layne recently endured a jury trial because she shot her grandson.  The shooting was never in dispute, just her claim of self-defense.

Here is some background, gathered to support her defense.  Sandra Layne and her husband, Fred, had agreed to take into their Pontiac, Michigan home their 17- year old grandson, Jonathan Hoffman for his final year of high school.  Jonathan had been living with his parents in Arizona, but depending on which story you choose to believe, his parents were divorcing, or his sister developed a brain tumor and so his parents needed to devote most of their time to her.

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Posted by on in Stalking

Cover of Lasdun's book

 

The quick outline; James Lasdun (his real name) was a happily married college teacher of writing who had a promising student called Nasreen (not her real name).  After her graduation, they communicated by email, he trying to encourage her talent by reading her work, and helping her find an agent.  She developed the odd habit of sending him LOTS of email. such as copies of her correspondence with a lawyer she was consulting about a harassment case.  Eventually, Lasdun, family and professional obligations taking all of his time, started to distance himself from her by, without explanation, not responding to her email.  Possibly gradually descending into mental illness, she began to retaliate by sending email to his agent saying that he had stolen from her work.  An accusation of plagiarism is extremely serious for any person whose livelihood depends on their creative output.Accusations of misogyny and racism are awful when completely untrue.

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Tagged in: Stalking
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