Self-Defense Expert: ‘There's No Such Thing as Safe Places'

Instructor urges people to take proactive approach to their own safety in public

In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, a self-defense expert stressed that people need to adopt a more proactive approach to their own safety when they are out in public.

“I teach you how to spot trouble before trouble spots you,” Jeff McKissack notes on the website for his business, Defense by Design.

McKissack is a personal defense instructor with more than two decades of experience.

On Monday, McKissack met with NBC DFW inside a popular Dallas nightclub and he immediately pointed out a strategy he said many people fail to do.

“Of course the first thing in any form of an emergency, you want to make sure you not only know where you come in, but where you can leave,” McKissack said. “It can be an emergency exit. It may be a kitchen, or other types of outlets [through which] people make a quick exit.”

“Another thing is distinguishing what is concealment and what is cover in case something goes wrong,” McKissack said, referring to best practices if one attempts to shield themselves from gunfire.

“For instance, the walls [toward the back of the bar] were made of concrete,” McKissack said. “But several of the walls around us are made of drywall. And drywall won’t stop a bullet, but concrete will.”

McKissack also pointed to a philosophy of his as ringing true with the Orlando incident – there’s no such thing as safe places, only safe or unsafe people.

“Any time you walk into an environment we so often put emphasis on the place rather than the people. And the people change, especially in a nightclub environment. People come in, come out,” McKissack said.

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