CLEVELAND - They're gruesome shootings in unsuspecting places: a Colorado movie theater , Chardon High School and a Cracker Barrel restaurant . They're happening across the country, even across town, leaving many to question how safe it is to go out in public anymore.
"Be aware and prepared and not scared," said Ken Trump, a Cleveland-area security expert, who wants people to go about their daily routines, but minimize the distractions.
That means putting away cell phones in public. He also advises people become more familiar with building exits and notice odd behaviors in others.
"See something, say something. Be more observant," Trump said.
Cynthia Campbell advocates for more public awareness too, but takes self-defense one step further.
"If the confrontation is brought to you and you have no other way, you have to protect yourself and your family," said Campbell, owner of Commence Firearms in Cleveland.
Campbell teaches gun safety and concealed-carry permit courses, and each week, she said her classes are full.
"The first step is wanting to learn," she said. The next step is at least six hour of training with frequent follow-up classes. For a concealed carry permit, 12 hours of training is mandated by state law.
"It's not about killing that person, it's about stopping them. We're stopping that threat so that deadly force doesn't enter our lives," Campbell said.
If you decide to arm yourself, remember safety is paramount. Know how to operate the gun properly, keep it unloaded until it's ready, and most importantly, Campbell said, is to keep your finger outside the gun's trigger guard unless you must use it to defend yourself.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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