Tahlequah Daily Press

October 16, 2013

Self-defense experts explain tactics

Staff Writer

HULBERT — In recent years, the state of Oklahoma has expanded its self-defense statues to include “stand your ground” language, allowing a potential victim to meet force with force. But the law doesn’t view a life and personal property through the same lens.

Chris Bond and Anthony Margarit, of Trigger Happy Tactics in Tahlequah, understand the distinction, and they shared their knowledge with the Cherokee County Republican Women during a meeting Tuesday morning at Go Ye Village.

Bond and Margarit demonstrated elements of handgun safety; explained “make my day,” “stand your ground” and firearm carry laws, and offered a short primer on Krav Maga tactics employed by the Israeli Defense Forces.

Bond fielded many questions and sought to clear up confusion about some of Oklahoma’s self-defense regulations

“The ‘make my day’ law involves any forced entry into your home,” Bond said. “The owner or occupant of the home may use any force deemed necessary to stop the intruder. If you decide you can scare them out, or use deadly force, you are not liable for civil or criminal action.”

In Oklahoma, an unlawful entry is required for the use of deadly force. Bond said the law cannot be applied to defend property.

“You can’t even fire a warning shot if only property is at risk,” he said. “In fact, firing a weapon can open you up to charges such as discharging a firearm.”

The state’s enhanced “stand your ground” law permits a person to meet force with force – including deadly force – if not engaged in unlawful activity. The victim must also believe his death, great bodily harm or a forcible felony is about to occur.

Bond explained there are also restrictions to applications of deadly force under stand-your-ground statues of the Oklahoma self-defense act.

“For example, you can’t shoot someone in the back,” he said. “If someone is in retreat, you have to let them leave, and call the police.”

Bond, who is a certified firearms instructor, said it’s important that a self-defense weapon is suited to its buyer.

“Semiautomatics are popular, but it depends,” he said. “Revolvers are simple to operate. The rounds are already chambered in the cylinder. Semiautomatics are more complicated. When racking the slide, it may fail to chamber a round or double-feed, which requires removal of the magazine and racking until the obstruction is cleared.”

Margarit demonstrated some self-defense moves used in Krav Maga. When confrontation cannot be avoided, that technique relies on tactics designed to swiftly end a fight. Vulnerable parts of the body are attacked, and severe injuries are common.

Using Bond for the demonstrations, Margarit showed that to disarm an assailant armed with a pistol, the hands should not be held above the head, but to the sides of the face.

Using the right hand against a right-handed attacker, Margarit pushed Bond’s toy pistol to the left, out of his hand, and took it into his own.

Margarit also demonstrated tactics for breaking a chokehold, or escaping from an arm being held.

In dangerous situations that don’t involve hand-to-hand combat, Margarit explained that a firearm shouldn’t be drawn unless the decision has been made to use deadly force.

“You can’t draw your weapon to scare somebody,” he said. “If there is any hesitation before you fire, you’ll be asked why you thought your life was in danger. If you decide it’s gun time, then it’s trigger time.”