Defending Pepper Spray Use – Pt. 2

PeprSpryAn Interview with Attorney Penny Dean

Interview by Gila Hayes

Readers may recall that our April 2018 edition of this online journal told the first half of a story about New Hampshire Attorney Penny Dean’s defense of a Network member charged with assault and battery after self defense with pepper spray to prevent being choked into unconsciousness. If you missed the first part of this instructive interview, read it at, then enjoy the conclusion here.

During our interview, Attorney Dean has been intensely interested in feedback from Network members who had unanswered questions remaining after reading this report. A reader question arising repeatedly last month indicated that members were more than willing to develop the personal résumé Dean said was needed to prepare for a bail hearing and craft the rest of the legal defense, but readers asked what data they should provide. Before delving into the second half of this story, let’s wrap up that piece of unfinished business with Penny Dean’s answer to that question.

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President’s Message

Marty eJournal column pix

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

I got a call yesterday from a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. He wanted to discuss with me the Open Letter to the NRA Board of Directors I wrote for the July 2017 eJournal. I don’t normally give interviews to news media, especially East Coast liberal media, but I have not seen a lot of slanted sensationalized reporting on the gun issue from the Wall Street Journal in the past, so figured I would go along.

It turns out my caller was reporting on NRA Carry Guard and what he perceived as a failure of the NRA to successfully launch the program. He was primarily interested in the training aspect of Carry Guard and why currently they are not offering any classes, at least none are offered on the website.

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Letters from Our Members

To the Editor:

In reading the March eJournal interview with Claude Werner and the attached article Keep Your Tape Loops Short, as usual, your journal spurred me to review my beliefs and practices toward my daily attempt to learn and implement skills to improve my “defense of self.”

In Mr. Werner’s article, what caught my attention really was its simplicity. I mean, I truly doubt that I am the only one who occasionally (sometimes often) finds oneself enveloped in all of the training, techniques, equipment, philosophies, etc. often getting caught up in the wealth and quantity of knowledge that is available, only to neglect the most important aspect, quality. Many of the key points to Werner’s article were nearly like, “duh, I know that” recommendations. Recommendations, which when taking an honest inventory of what I do on a regular basis, get convoluted by the mind saying, “Yah, but what about this, or what about that?” The fact is, we can’t constantly be on the range, or at a new class, or reading. But at all times in our busy lives, we can practice just the simple art of paying attention.

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Attorney Question of the Month

gavelThis month, we took a break from our usual discussion topics into a more general question, yet one on which every experienced armed citizen has an opinion. We thought it would be interesting to explore our affiliated attorneys’ opinion on the following:

The current political unrest regarding gun control is causing many people to purchase their first handgun. If you were to give one piece of advice to the brand new gun owner, what would that piece of advice be?

Lynne Torgerson, Esq.
222 South Ninth St., Ste. 1600, Minneapolis, MN 55402
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My recommendation is to obtain training and practice regularly.

Nabil Samaan
Law Office of Nabil Samaan
4324 “A” Illinois Ave., Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Get training.

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Book Review

The Gift of Fear

By Gavin de Becker
432 pages, paperback, 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8
ISBN-13: 978-0440226192
$6.39 to $14.90 at 

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

I have tried several times over the years to accomplish a complete reading of the much-celebrated book, The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, but De Becker’s reliance on hyperbole and on broad statements to elicit reader buy-in to assertions based on his personal beliefs stopped me every time. This time, however, I determined to put aside my complaints and push through to the end of the book. So much praise has been heaped on The Gift of Fear that I determined to read every page. After all, de Becker is the source of the axiom, “No is a complete sentence” and this book is often lauded by personal safety instructors.

There is another reason to read The Gift of Fear. As an unusually self-sufficient demographic, we sometimes fail to understand people who are victimized. For example, citing statements by crime victims, de Becker explains how often women are subjected to unwanted attention, being “checked out” for unknown purposes, suggesting that, “At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.” Most men cannot recall an incident within years in which they felt their safety was threatened, but this is not true for women, he explains.

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Editor's Notebook


Ancillary equipment

by Gila Hayes

I like tools. My family laughs at me because while I have friends who can transform quality ingredients into great meals with just a good chefs knife and a gas stove, I like food processors, electric mixers and all the gadgets to help clean up afterwards.

Like I said, I like tools, so it is natural that in addition to guns and ammo, I am not really at ease until I have a couple of knives clipped to pockets, some supplies to patch up punctures, along with some non-lethal options like a TuffWriter pen and/or a Kubaton and a flashlight for starters. What are pockets for if not to fill?

Still, a lady’s pockets should not bulge too much, especially pants pockets. For me, the cylindrical profile of even compact flashlights with a reasonable lumens output means that they’re often relegated to jacket pockets along with phones and other belongings that end up hanging with the jacket on a hook or chair back.

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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 Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

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