Develop a defensive mind-set

Guy Masterson, a Grand Valley resident, teaches a class titled “Refuse To Be A Victim” on Saturday at the Blue Star building in Grand Junction. He and his wife, Suzanne, have been presenting the National Rifle Association seminar for the past three years.



QUICKREAD

HOW TO AVOID PROBLEMS

The NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim course offers numerous tips:

• Install effective door and window locks on your home.

• Install bright lights outside the home that have motion detectors.

• Use lamp timers inside the home when away for several days.

• Learn as much as possible about places you vacation to know where to go when arriving.

• Photocopy important items in your wallet.

• If confronted by a mugger, consider dropping your purse or wallet and running away.

• Use more complicated computer passwords.

HOW TO AVOID PROBLEMS

The NRA’s “Refuse To Be A Victim” course offers numerous tips:

■ Install effective door and window locks on your home.

■ Install bright lights outside the home that have motion detectors.

■ Use lamp timers inside the home when away for several days.

■ Learn as much as possible about places you vacation to know where to go when arriving.

■ Photocopy important items in your wallet.

■ If confronted by a mugger, consider dropping your purse or wallet and running away.

■ Use more complicated computer passwords.



Don’t be paranoid that everyone out there is determined to victimize you, just be aware that some will if you aren’t paying attention.

That’s the underlying lesson that Guy and Suzanne Masterson try to teach.

The Grand Valley couple of 13 years have been teaching the National Rifle Association’s “Refuse To Be A Victim” seminar for the past three years.

The couple also are certified instructors for other courses, including for concealed and carry permits, but this one is helpful even for people who don’t own firearms.

“We address in every class we do that it’s important to have a healthy defensive mind-set, so you’re safe but not paranoid,” said Guy Masterson, a regional counselor of the program and a volunteer firefighter. “We don’t increase fear, we minimize fear through the training that we do. We get people who are very terrified to people who are 23-year Marines. Sometimes they just want to know how to help a loved one, and sometimes they just want to refresh their own insight to have a safe level of awareness.”

The couple said criminals are more likely to target easy victims, so putting as many deterrents in their way helps minimize you as a target.

The two offer common-sense tips on how to avoid becoming a victim — everything from remembering to secure your house before leaving on trips to being careful to whom you give personal information.

Isabel Menapace, 15, took the course at the behest of her family, which wanted her to become more aware of how to avoid bad situations.

“I learned that by just taking a couple of extra steps, you can prevent a lot of bad things from happening,” she said after taking the course Saturday. “That can be from buying a better lock for your door or buying a better door. I never thought that someone would take advantage of newspapers piling up or snow being around the house. It now occurs to me that it makes sense.”

The three-hour course, which doesn’t emphasize the use of guns but doesn’t dismiss them either, is offered monthly for free.

The Mastersons also give a defensive pistol refresher course that is acknowledged by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department as qualifying for concealed weapons permits.

For information about the course, contact Suzanne Masterson at 270-3203 or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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