About Your Instructor

Thanks for taking the time to visit OurSafeHome.net! On this page I hope to answer a few of the questions you may have about our training program and its creator. Let me start out by saying that I am a Husband, Father and "Dad" and I love my wife and children. I know that you love your family, too and want the ability to protect them from the predators that are in this fallen world of ours. You can learn how to safely and effectively defend yourself and your loved ones by learning the lessons taught here.
I hope this doesn't take the tone of a typical "I love me" page that many instructors or authors like to publish about themselves. So, here goes:
In the late 1980's, after fulfilling my obligation to the Marines, a number of the husbands in my Sunday School class thought it would be a good idea to teach their wives how to shoot a pistol for defensive purposes. This method produced very poor results. The men were not at all able to teach their wives how to shoot pistols and the wives ended up sad, angry and frustrated. All of this occurred even before we went out to the shooting range!
I knew that there had to be a better way. In the Marines, I had been a shooting coach and instructor, and had successfully taught hundreds of men and women how to shoot guns with great success. While much of what was taught in the military system was irrelevant to civilians, one of the things that the Marines had gotten right was separating the men from the women and using slightly different approaches to teaching and developing these skills for each group. The difference turned out not to be "what" was taught, but "how" it was presented. Here was the "breakthrough realization": Men and women are different!
Standing on the shoulders of the Titans of the shooting instructors who had come before me, I developed teaching techniques and a self-defense doctrine "targeted" towards women who wanted to learn how to safely use a firearm for self-defense in a safe, non-threatening environment. The women who participated in the class had a reading list to go through; later, at our class meeting, they would take a written quiz and use that as a review session. After I was sure that the group was ready, we would then spend a few hours at the shooting range and learn the basics of how to shoot a revolver for defensive purposes. The program was very successful. Virtually all of the women who participated came home with the skills and confidence necessary to use a handgun to protect themselves and their families. Some of the women actually purchased their own weapons at the end of the class and ended up becoming avid shooters themselves.
Prefixing a "hands-on" session at the shooting range with some "required readings" and a quiz really made for an effective training system. The students could go through the academic materials at their own pace. This was (and still is) in contrast to other classes that require everyone to sit in a classroom for hours upon hours, listening (at best) to lectures or (at worst) rambling anecdotes. The actual "live-fire" session only took one or two hours, so rather than consuming an entire weekend, the shooting part of the class could be completed in on early evening session, after working hours. This made it possible for working mothers (and all other busy women) to achieve proficiency without having to make the huge commitment of time required by more traditional "shooting academies".

The big surprise

It came as a bit of a shock to me, that, after a few dozen women had taken my "Self-Defense Fundamentals" class that their husbands and brothers wanted to take my class, too. The guys were asking to enroll in my class designed for teaching women to shoot! The reason these men were (quietly) asking to take the class was that most of them had no formal marksmanship training! They had fallen into the trap that they thought they were expected to know how to shoot, just because they were males!
I had the benefit of having been enrolled in a formal training and competitive program from the age of six. My parents took me to the "Junior 29'ers" shooting club several afternoons a week and every Saturday for years! My instructor was named "Mr. Cole", and he carefully and competently schooled me in the art and science of marksmanship. As an aside, my father was good at enforcing discipline in the household, but Mr. Cole showed me how to extend that into "self-discipline". I had to learn how to conduct myself, not as a "kid hanging out at the range", but as a responsible young man; Eventually, I earned the privilege of being trusted to properly use lethal weapons on the shooting range, with minimal supervision. (This was at about age 7 or 8!)
Getting back to the husbands, fathers and brothers of my Women's Shooting School Graduates: They had not ever been under any formal instruction and really had no adequate base of knowledge to build upon when it came to shooting. They were asking to join my classes that I was putting on for women. Now, I don't know much about women, but I did know better than to let that happen. What I ended up doing was putting on separate classes for men. These classes emphasize different things that men needed to know and attitudes that they needed to develop (or restrain!).
As time went by, there was always a steady stream of men and women who enrolled in my classes, especially when they learned that I had been on the Rifle and Pistol teams in the Marine Corps, not to mention the good reports they had heard back from their friends.
The problem was that this method of teaching a small group was not what "computer guys" call "scaleable". I couldn't grow large enough to meet the needs of everyone who needed entry-level self-defense training. (Though a quick look in the mirror reveals that I actually am growing larger...) In the fall of 2008, I decided to leverage the success that my other company, Scuba-Training.net had found with "distance learning" and apply that to teaching people to protect themselves with their own weapons. Thus was born OurSafeHome.net.
Rather than clutter up the bookshelves with another tome that teaches "sight-alignment and sight-picture", we developed an interactive, mastery based system for teaching the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to defend yourself and your family. As described elsewhere, there are videos, animations, lots of text and most importantly: quizzes and exams that are designed with the goal of getting you "up to speed" quickly, safely, yet on your own schedule.
With the liberalization of the State of Florida's issuance of licenses to carry concealed weapons (and most of the nation following Florida's lead): I now have the opportunity of certifying you as being eligible to apply for the license. You can take the "classroom" portion of the program online; then we meet for about a 90 minute long "live-fire" class at a local shooting range to complete the physical skills necessary for you to apply for your license. Click on the "Florida Carry Concealed Weapon License" link on the menu for more details.
Ok, no more tap-dancing around it, here it comes: "The I Love Me" part of this page.
My qualifications are: Trained and competed in NRA sanctioned rifle club activities and matches from age 6 onwards. When I joined the United States Marine Corps, at Boot Camp, I was honored as my training unit's "High Shooter". When in "The Fleet", I made the Battalion, Regiment and Division rifle and pistol teams and competed around the world. That was not enough shooting for me, on my own time, I competed in the "early days" of IPSC matches and what are now called "3-gun Matches". (These are the "combat style" competitions, that the military did not participate in at that time.) I had the privilege of attending Camp Lejuene's Scout-Sniper School and graduated at the top of my class. (I graduated "Top Gun" on a Friday and was ordered to report for duty as an instructor...on Monday!)
While in the Marines, I actually was forced to use a weapon in a self-defense situation, so unlike many "PX Rangers", "Mall Ninjas" and "Internet Special Forces Operators", I have actually "seen the elephant". (Everything turned out fine, take one of my classes to hear the story and learn the lesson that I learned in the time span of about 3 seconds...)
After finishing up with the Marines, I took a position with an ammunition manufacturer as the company's designated marksman for doing demonstrations at trade shows. Yes, I was, quite literally a "hired gun"!
Having earned a living as a flight instructor and scuba instructor (both are much more dangerous than teaching beginners to shoot guns, I might add!) I've learned a thing or two about teaching people how to do "interesting" things. Now I would like to teach you how to protect your family and yourself. I hope to see you on the range, soon!