Ten Deadly Little Mistakes

An Interview with John Farnam

by Gila HayesJFarnam

Instructors who teach shooting have become fairly common; mentors who inspire students to adopt security-conscious habits as integral to the armed life style remain rare. John Farnam, who with his wife Vicki Farnam, travels the nation teaching self-defense preparation, is one of the rare teachers who show by word and deed how to live more safely.

One of Farnam’s great talents is distilling life skills into manageable tidbits taught with such simplicity that we can take the advice to heart, improve day-to-day safety procedures, and thus either avoid danger altogether or if unable to get out of crime’s way, we are better prepared to fight back.

Toward the end of 2014, Farnam (pictured, right) outlined little mistakes that can cascade into lethal disaster, in one of his famous D.T.I. Quips published on his website at http://defense-training.com/dti/quips. (Be sure to include that URL in your “Favorites” list, members).

Pointed brevity is a strength of Farnam’s frequent Quips, so while listing these dangerous little mistakes, his online publishing format did not accommodate illuminating discussion of the various important points. Blessed with time to visit with Farnam and his wife Vicki at the 2015 SHOT Show in January, I asked him to elaborate on small mistakes that combine to create unrecoverably dangerous situations. Farnam graciously agreed and Vicki added a few observations, adding up to a great learning opportunity. Let’s switch now to a Q & A format to preserve the humor and clarity of these observations.

eJournal: John, when I read your recent Quip about “little mistakes,” I thought, that’s brilliant! Then I thought, but what are we missing? Well, you led the list with “#1: missing danger signs” (pre-assaultive behavior), so let me ask, what danger signs might we miss?

Farnam: Watch for things like hands on hips. That always indicates a challenge or a power struggle, if you would. Now does that mean that your life’s in mortal danger? Well, no, because people do that every day, but it’s a cue, especially when combined with other things like folded arms or playing with your face. [Mimes running a hand across cheek and chin] It is always a danger sign when people run a hand across their face. We call it a pre-assaultive cue. Not if it is your relative or something, but I am talking about a situation where it is someone you don’t know. That’s the time for you to get some distance!

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President’s Message

by Marty Hayes, J.D.Marty eJournal column pix

We lead off this month’s message with the story of Steffon Lamont Josey. Some of you may know about this, so I will write the following for those who do not. According to Steffon, he is a resident of New Jersey, and up until his arrest and conviction on an unlawful gun charge, he was an armored car driver and was testing to become a police officer. He lawfully owned a handgun for his job and normally transported the weapon secured in the truck of his car.

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Attorney Question of the Month

gavelThe question we are currently asking our Network Affiliated Attorneys arose when a member wanted more information from state law to determine if pointing a firearm without shooting is considered use of deadly force in the various states. Wanting more than just a “yes” or “no” response, we asked our Affiliated Attorneys the following—

What is the law in your state regarding defensive display of a firearm?

If the gun is not fired, is simply pointing it at an assailant considered deadly force in your state?

What are common charges stemming from pointing a gun at another and what are the defenses for the armed citizen who does so to ward off imminent attack?

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April 2015 Book Review

Low Light Combatives

Author: Ed SantosLLCombatBk
Published April, 2013
224 pages, paperback, photo illustrated
Buy from the author

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

In 2007, Ed Santos published his book Rule the Night Win the Fight, but later concluded that he had only scratched the surface, he writes in the introduction to his follow up book, Low Light Combatives. He spent the next five years in further research, gathering anecdotal reports about low light confrontations, and refining what he had already written. Is the subject complete now? Santos writes that he doubts it, because every time someone is involved in a low light use of force incident, there are new lessons to be learned.

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News from Our Affiliates

NetworkingCompiled by Gila Hayes

With spring officially “sprung,” our Network Affiliates are busily launching their 2015 training season with lots of new activities and continued programs. We’ve been in touch with a lot of our affiliates and they have so much going on that this will be a somewhat longer than usual report.

Our North Idaho Affiliated Instructor Robert Smith has announced a seminar entitled Defensive Use of Force Options scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Harding Center, 411 North 15th Street, Coeur d’ Alene, ID 83814.

Smith, who teaches this seminar, is an expert witness in use of force who has been teaching firearms and related topics for three decades and is director and guiding force behind the Fernan Rod & Gun Club in the National Forest outside of Coeur d’ Alene, ID.

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Editor’s Notebook

by Gila HayesGHayes

The Network is like a teenager, in yet another growth spurt. It’s a wonderful position to be in and with the Network now advertising on Tom Gresham’s GunTalk Radio program and in several gun magazines, we are reaching more and more gun owners who are only now realizing the importance of Network membership. I’ll admit sometimes questions from members who’ve come onboard in just the past few months set me back on my heels a bit and I am reminded that now and then a refresher course in Network membership benefits, how they work, and the rationale for how we structure member support is helpful.

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/our-journal Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

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