Mental Preparation for Self Defense

An Interview with Tom GivensTomGivens

Interview by Gila Hayes

Uncertainty leads to hesitation and half measures and that’s bad indeed during self defense. We need to solidify the resolve to prevail. I wonder if the will to fight is largely an ideal in the minds of many, or, if decisive self defense is needed, will we jump in and take action?

Our Advisory Board member Tom Givens has taught defensive firearms for over four decades, and 66 of his graduates from the private sector have been involved in shootings with 63 prevailing. Clearly, Tom has a good handle on the self-defense mindset. We switch now to Q & A to share Givens’ lessons directly with members.

eJournal: Thank you for speaking with me today, Tom. I’d like to explore with you the mindset and the mental preparation that facilitates decisive action to stop criminal violence.

Givens: Several years ago, a psychologist went through several of my classes. After about the third class, he came up to me and said, “I think I know why your students do so well in a real fight. It’s because you give them permission to defend themselves.”

Students come to class with a large dose of cultural indoctrination that encourages them to be victims. It is hard to get rid of that cultural baggage. “Don’t fight back. Call 9-1-1 so somebody else makes the bad man go away…” all of which we know isn’t going to happen. We beat it into students’ heads that nobody is going to come and save you. It is up to you and you have a right to save yourself.

Read more ...

President’s Message

Marty eJournal column pix

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

Last month, I told you I would report on the NRA Annual Meeting. It was an interesting meeting for the non-profit organization known as the National Rifle Association, but if you were paying attention since then, there have been a lot of articles and social media commentaries regarding what has been happening with the leadership of the NRA. Lawsuits are being filed daily–well, that’s a joke, but there have been several–between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, its ad agency.

Read more ...

Book Review

Crime Signals
How to Spot a Criminal Before You Become a Victim

By David B. Givens, PhD
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprinted Nov. 19, 2013
237-page eBook $7.99
240 pages, paperback, $18.57
ISBN: 978-0312362195

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

“Crimes rarely go unannounced, without prior notice, clues, or warnings,” David Givens, an anthropologist and specialist in nonverbal communication, writes in Crime Signals. “Murderers, sexual predators, terrorists, and thieves all emit telling cues before their misdeeds.” These include poor eye contact called “gaze avoidance” and other cues. With terrorism and crime on the rise, citizens are warned to remain alert to suspicious behavior, but what they should notice instead “is really anomalous behavior,” he explains.

Read more ...

Attorney Question of the Month


Because the Network has a membership benefit of assisting innocent members in obtaining bail bond, members often express a wish to understand how posting bail works in their state. We asked our affiliated attorneys to help out by responding to the following questions.

Is bail bonding allowed in your state?

If not, what options exist for a defendant to be released from jail following self defense gun use?

Typically, what conditions, restrictions or allowances affect bail if the defendant has used a gun against another human? When you counsel clients and their families, what “reality checks” do you explain to dispel unrealistic expectations?

Read more ...

Editor’s Notebook


by Gila Hayes

Do you carry knives? Silly question, right? Who doesn’t?

Admittedly, the knives most of us carry are used most for such mundane functions as the simple utility of opening packages, slicing food for an impromptu lunch, or cleanly severing the stems of wild flowers impulsively gathered for a bouquet. In the background, however, is the idea that we consistently carry a knife or two as a backup to a gun or as a primary defense in locations where guns are prohibited.

Read more ...

About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

Read more ...