Staying safe and secure with self defense

As violence continues to threaten the safety of citizens, the need for self-defense continues. Self-defense is the practice of using available tools to defend a person's physical body or interests. Self-defense is an inalienable right given to U.S. citizens through the second amendment of the Constitution. A variety of forms exist and some may use legal weapons to defend their person or property, or physical skills learned to ward off an attack. It is the act of using legalized force to counter the threat of violence or harm. In certain legal situations, self-defense may be used to justify violence directed towards a perpetrator for the protection of someone else, such as a family member or friend.

Physical Self-Defense

Physical self-defense may include the use of weapons (armed), or consist of a person using martial arts or other physical techniques to ward off an attack. Armed self-defense includes the use of legally-obtained firearms. Weapons are controlled under state and federal rules and a person who intends to carry a weapon must adhere to these regulations. In times of threat, a person may use common household items as weapons. Some items are sold specifically for self-defense. These include mace, pepper spray, and even stun guns. Physical self-defense includes various martial art forms and utilizing certain techniques that can help a person break free from a perpetrator during times of conflict.

Other Forms of Self-Defense

While armed and unarmed styles of physical self-defense are popular choices, other forms may be used to divert a conflict. Avoiding conflict or anticipating a perceived threat and countering it by removing yourself from the situation is often a viable solution. Recognizing the signs of a dangerous situation can help a person devise a strategy that avoids conflict entirely. Avoidance is a better solution than engaging in physical self-defense.

Another form of self-defense involves speaking to a perpetrator in a manner that deflates or de-escalates the situation. De-escalation requires a person to recognize the signs of a threat, and then utilize verbal skills to calm the perpetrator down. This is seen when negotiators speak to perpetrators in an attempt to convince them to change their behaviors. De-escalation is also known as conflict management. Body language, vocal tone, and choice of words are used to connect with the perpetrator and have him or her change their behavior before they inflict violence upon others.

Self-Defense Education and Systems

Many children and teens first learn about self-defense through sports-based systems. Martial arts, such as karate, Taekwondo and Jiu-Jitsu are sports-based systems that effectively teach self-defense skills. There are self-defense educational classes that are offered to the public. These classes are highly effective and can help citizens gain the skills needed to ward off violent attacks. Law enforcement organizations and college campuses regularly offer classes in the Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD) that teaches self-defense and rape prevention.

Right of Self Defense

All United States citizens have the legal right to employ self-defense. The law allows citizens the right to defend their physical person, family members and property from harm and threat. Force is justified during self-defense, even if it results in the death of the perpetrator. Legally, the use of self-defense is justified when it is deemed reasonable. This also indicates that the person who utilized self-defense had no other option available and access to state authorities (such as police presence) was limited. It would not be reasonable to shoot and kill a perpetrator while an arresting officer is handcuffing him or her. Self-defense is justified when it is the only means necessary to protect one's physical self, family and/or property.

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