NRA Refuse To Be A Victim program logo If you'll be joining is St. Louis in April for the 2012 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, there's a lot on the agenda besides walking the exhibit hall. Special seminars and training courses are held every day for attendees so they can learn about and participate in NRA's programs while at the Annual Meeting. One such program is NRA's popular Refuse To Be A Victim® program, dedicated to teaching personal safety strategies and techniques to reduce your chances of being victimized.  

During the Annual Meeting, two Refuse To Be A Victim® seminars will be offered - the first on Friday, April 13th from 1:00 - 5:00 and the second on Saturday, April 14th from 1:00 - 5:00. Both seminars are free an open to the public; you need not attend the Annual Meetings to take the course. Home, auto, technology, physical, and travel security will be covered in the course. Please note that the Refuse To Be A Victim® program does not incorporate firearms into the course and does not quality attendees for a conceal carry permit.


Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor Patrick Fuller going through crime prevention techniques on NRAblog

If you're in or around New York City then you need to make room on your calendar for Sunday. For inside the Westside Pistol Range on 20 West 20th Street, Patrick Fuller will be holding his final Refuse To Be A Victim® seminar inside the city. After this, he's packing his bags and heading for the open plains of Pennsylvania.

"It was time," said Fuller. "I wanted to teach one more class before making the move."

What can you learn at a Refuse seminar? Just the basics about increasing your general awareness, security in the home and standard criminal prevention methods. Single parent? College student? Relatively new to the Big Apple? Then there's no reason why you shouldn't attend.

In roughly three hours, Patrick will give you the tools to develop your own personal safety strategy, providing information on:


With Christmas just a few days away, many of us are so busy preparing for the holidays that we aren't focusing on personal safety and the safety of our home. As an Instructor for NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim® program, I've got several tips from our personal safety program to help keep you, your family, and your home safe this holiday season.  

    NRA Refuse To Be A Victim program logo
  • If you have last minute shopping to do, be vigilant both in stores and in the parking lot. The holidays have high occurrences of pickpocketing and theft, so be sure to keep an eye on your wallet and/or purse. Men should carry wallets in their front pocket or an inside coat pocket to help prevent theft, and women should carry their purses on their body rather than sitting them in shopping carts. Purses with zipper closures help prevent thieves from taking your wallet, and wearing your purse across your body will help prevent it from being snatched.
  • When walking to your car, try not to be overloaded with purchases. Carrying numerous items prevents your hands from being free to protect yourself and can make you a target while you load your car. Try to park in a well-lit area within plain sight of the public where you are less likely to be victimized. If you feel unsafe when leaving the store, ask to have a store employee help you to your vehicle with your purchases.

Pat Fuller and his Refuse to be a Victim class Ruthann warned me this would happen. Put up a few posts about a few of her instructor's Refuse To Be A Victim® classes and the others would start crawling out of the woodwork. Isn't it great when a plan comes together?

So who do we have here? That would be Patrick Fuller and students from one of his Refuse seminars. You might think this class is small, and some are, but there is great significance in what Patrick is doing. Not only is he spreading the ever valuable personal safety strategy word, but he's doing it in an important place — New York City.

In fact, Patrick's classes are the first of their kind to be taught in the Big Apple since 2005. Right there on 5th and 20th at the Westside Pistol and Rifle Range. Pretty significant, aye?

Another interesting piece of trivia about Patrick relates to HIS instructor. None other then Gun for Hire's Anthony Colandro. Anthony has long been an NRA instructor in a wide variety of NRA disciplines. He teaches, his wife Pilar teaches, his friends and family teaches at one of their four Gun for Hire locations. And in his spare time, Anthony has played host for Gun for Hire Radio and two record setting New Jersey Friends of NRA Banquets.

I'd say Patrick couldn't have made a better choice when choosing his instructor. So far, he's doing a bang up job with all that Anthony and the NRA has taught him.

Refuse To Be A Victim® Instructor Betty Ashby at ProShots Indoor Range & Training Center in Rural Hall, NC Almost a year ago today, the National Rifle Association’s Education & Training Division partnered with MetaMedia Training International to develop an online Refuse To Be A Victim® instructor course. That's where you can learn the same lessons that potential counselors learn in the classroom. To date, more than five hundred have successfully completed the online training.

"The Refuse To Be A Victim® Online Instructor Development Workshop provides a professionally delivered Seminar model for instructor candidates to mirror while ensuring NRA’s high standards of excellence and quality,” said Rosemary Herr, Manager of NRA's Women’s Programs Department.

One candidate who stepped up to the plate was Betty Ashby of North Carolina. Ashby studiously made her way through the online course and started holding her own seminars. Her most recent lessons took place at the ProShots Indoor Range & Training Center in Rural Hall, North Carolina.

Check out the Refuse To Be A Victim® Online Seminar's webpage and decide if you're up to joining Betty in the ranks of online workshop graduates.

Sgt. Damian Williams, Madison Police Dept. and his Refuse to be a Victim class Ruthann Sprague has had a heck of a year so far in 2011 running the NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim® program. For her, it's more than compiling the materials and sending it out to her instructors – there's also a good deal of follow up involved. That's why we get to hear great stories like this one.

"I just received these photos from Sgt. Damian Williams of the Madison Police Department in Madison, Alabama," said Sprague. "His seminar was on October first at the Madison Police Training Facility."

Learning about how to develop a security plan for the home or how criminals think are just a few of the lessons taught in these classes. Each providing something for attendees to consider in their lives.

In a review of the class, one participant wrote, “Sgt. Williams gave us an informative and well presented program. I left at the end of the seminar with several items I need to take action on, things I never thought of before.” That is the goal of the program. Refuse To Be A Victim® aims to build your awareness, intuition and knowledge so that you avoid dangerous situations and make yourself less attractive as a target.

Refuse To Be A Victim® is the NRA’s personal security and crime prevention program that covers home security, auto security, travel security, technology security, physical security, and personal protection devices. You should think about improving your awareness and building your knowledge by attending a Refuse To Be A Victim® Seminar. Find one near you at

Bonita Fraim at her first Refuse to be a Victim seminar at Hillsdale College in MichiganHillsdale, Michigan - The ladies upstairs in NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim® program are always looking for new people to run their programs and new places to run them. Last week at Hillsdale College, conveniently located in Hillsdale, Michigan, the program was lucky enough to accomplish both in one fell swoop.

"It's all because of Bonita," said Refuse Coordinator Ruthann Sprague. "Bonita was quite a find and has been great addition to our team thank you very much."

Bonita is Bonita Fraim. With 26 attendees to her first ever event as primary instructor. And to make it even satisfying on our part, Bonita is also one of those new Refuse instructors who received their certification through the Refuse To Be A Victim® Online Instructor Training Course.


Ruthann Sprague, NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim® Program Coordinator, sent up the following tips for keeping the little ones safe during their Halloween extravaganza:
Mom and son Trick or Treating at the NRA National Firearms Museum

Make your child's Halloween an unforgettable holiday memory that'll last a lifetime! Trick or Treating should be one of life's great adventures. Dressed up in scary costumes as they go door to door begging for treats from neighbors and friends. If they Trick-or-Treat safely then it's nothing but fun. Here's some preventative measures to make sure it stays that way.

  1. Children should always go trick or treating with a responsible adult. If there's a group of kids, two or three parents should go along to keep an eye on things.
  2. Have the older ones buddy up. Just make sure that they stay together as a group if you decide they're responsible enough to go without an adult.
  3. If they're on their own, give them a cell phone and plan a safe route so you know where they'll will be at all times. And set a time for their return home.
  4. Tell your children not to cut through back alleys or fields. Staying in populated, well lighted areas is always safer then going off the beaten track. Make sure to explain the dangers — if they're old enough to go it alone then they're old enough to know what can happen and how to prevent it from happening.


NRA Refuse To Be A Victim program logo Last week, NRA Headquarters here in Fairfax, Virginia was host to a group of women taking part in a Refuse To Be A Victim® (RTBAV) seminar. Taught by NRA Law Enforcement Division’s Jeff Overcash and RTBAV Program Coordinator Ruth Ann Sprague, the course focused on safety aspects for young women heading back to college or into the workforce for the first time.

“This time of year, many young women are heading back to college and this seminar focused on things they need to know including physical security, auto security, and security relating to technology,” said Sprague.

Although college campuses have security and/or university police forces, it’s important for all students, not just young women to have a personal security plan, especially in new and unfamiliar surroundings. Whether walking back to their dorm alone, spending late nights studying in a secluded part of the library, or sharing contact information with new friends and classmates, Refuse To Be A Victim® offers helpful tips and advice to help keep students safe and aware of dangers their environment might present.

Interested in attending a Refuse To Be A Victim® seminar in your area? Visit to find a seminar near you. You can also become a Refuse To Be A Victim® Instructor by participating in an online Instructor Development Workshop (IDW). Sprague tells us that after Labor Day, she’ll be opening registration for a November session. For more information about the Refuse To Be A Victim® program or how to get involved, contact Sprague at 703-267-1394 or

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