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safety

John Arthur Greene (left) and his brother Kevin


A childhood game can go very wrong in the blink of an eye.

"You'll never get me!"

“Freeze! Put your hands up."

If you've ever played cops and robbers, you know how the game goes.


John Arthur Greene was 8 and he was playing that game with his older brother Kevin. Only the two brothers played with real guns. Living on a farm, they were both old hands at handling firearms by their ages.

The blast from the gun must have startled them both.

firearms, family, children

John Arthur Greene (left) and his brother Kevin.

Image from "American Idol"/YouTube.

“We were always extremely safe. They were never loaded," John said.

Except this time it was. And John's brother died in his arms while he watched.

It happens more often than you would ever want to imagine.

In federal data from 2007 to 2011, which is likely under-reported, an average of 62 children were accidentally killed by firearms per year.

Here's a chilling example from Everytown for Gun Safety:

"In Asheboro, North Carolina, a 26-year-old mother was cleaning her home when she heard a gunshot. Rushing into the living room, she discovered that her three-year-old son had accidentally shot her boyfriend's three-year-old daughter with a .22-caliber rifle the parents had left in the room, loaded and unlocked."

And the numbers may actually be getting worse.

With an increase in unfettered access to guns and philosophical opposition to gun regulations, the numbers seem to be on the rise. Here's how many accidental shootings happened at the hands of children in 2015 alone, by age:

gun safety, laws, research data on gun deaths

Unintentional Firearm Injuries & Deaths, 2015.

From January 19-26 of 2016 — just one week — at least seven kids were accidentally shot by another kid.

American Idol, guilt and sorrow, accidental shootings

Accidental shootings of kids in one week, January 2016.

If the pace holds up for the rest of the year, America would be looking at over 300 accidental shootings of children, in many cases by children, for the year. That's far too many cases of children either carrying the guilt and pain of having shot a loved one or hurting or killing themselves by accident.

John Arthur Greene has been able to manage his feelings of guilt and sorrow through music and by sharing his story for others to hear.

He told his story during an audition for the final season of "American Idol." He says music has helped him keep his brother's memory alive:

"Right now I lift him up every day and he holds me up. Music is how I coped with everything."

It's a powerful reminder. No matter how we each feel about gun safety laws, guns should always be locked away unloaded and kept separately from ammunition.

Our babies are too precious to leave it to chance.

Watch John Arthur Greene's audition for "American Idol" here:

This article originally appeared on 03.07.16

Health

Self-defense expert shares 'Ted Bundy rule' to protect women from men who appear harmless

"This is important because dangerous people use this tactic to lure victims into compromising situations."

Ted Bundy in a 1980 Florida Department of Corrections inmate ID photo and Self-checkouts in Lidl discount in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland.

Katie Ring, known on social media as The.Self.Defense.Girl, recently shared a success story on TikTok after a woman followed her “Ted Bundy Rule.” The big takeaway from the story is that even when people appear harmless, it could all be a clever rouse to put you in extreme danger.

Ring is a self-defense instructor, martial artist and former D1 athlete who started her TikTok and Instagram profiles (@the.self.defense.girl) after a man assaulted twenty women in San Francisco and had still not been arrested.

"One self-defense rule I want every woman and child to remember is what I call the Ted Bundy rule,” Ring shared on TikTok. “That is, if a grown man needs help, he's typically going to ask another man and not a woman or a child. So, if a grown man asks you for help, I want you to question why he's asking for your help in particular."


One of RIng’s followers heard her share the rule in the past and put it to good use after someone sketchy asked her for help at 10 p.m. in a grocery store. At the self-check-out, a man on crutches asked her to help him carry his groceries to his truck. She said no to the man because she thought it was "weird" he asked her instead of a male employee.

@the.self.defense.girl

One of the most important self-defense rules if you are a woman or a child, is if a grown man is asking for your help, always question why. Obviously not everyone has bad intentions, but your safety is more important than someone elses feelings! . #selfdefense #safety #safetytips #womensselfdefense #tiptok #tedbundy #fyp #foryou #viral #greenscreen

“Exactly like she said, the guy could have had no bad intentions, but as women and children, we just can't take that risk," Ring said. "This is the exact tactic that Ted Bundy used to lure his victims. He would have a cast or crutches and ask women to help him to his car, where he would proceed to knock them out, kidnap them and unalive them."

Ted Bundy was a serial killer in the mid-’70s who was known for hiding behind his good looks, intelligence and clean-cut image to murder at least 30 women. One of the tactics he used to lure women was to feign injury by using crutches, wearing casts or arm slings and asking women for help taking things to his car.

On one such occasion, after dropping books in front of Georgeann Hawkins at the University of Washington, Bundy convinced her to return them to his car. As she bent over to place the books in his seat, he hit her in the head with a crowbar.

The video was a great reminder for women everywhere to be cautious when a strange man asks them for help, especially when other men are around. Some people may feel uncomfortable saying no to someone asking for help. But the commenters shared why that should be the last of their worries. "The thing is, if he had no bad intentions and is a nice guy, he won't mind you saying no. If he gets angry, he wasn't a good guy," one commenter wrote.

Another commenter suggested if a woman finds herself in that position at a grocery store, they grab an employee to help the person bring the groceries to their car. “Smart move! Ima say, ‘sure thing! Let me grab an employee for ya!’” a commenter wrote.

Ultimately, being safe means being assertive and telling people no. But that’s a lot easier than following their wishes and winding up in extreme danger.

"So remember, your safety is more important than anyone else's feelings,” Ring concluded the video.

Kayla Berridge went above and beyond.

Kayla Berridge had been walking her normal 9-mile delivery route in Newmarket, a small town in New Hampshire, when she noticed something unusual.

The mail she had been delivering continued to pile up over a matter of days at one resident’s home. The resident was an elderly woman in her 80s, and would occasionally share a chat with Berridge, according to CNN.

Berridge told CNN that after noticing the unattended mail pile, she got “a little concerned.”

“I just had this gut feeling and wanted to make sure,” Berridge told WMUR 9 News, explaining that “most people put a hold in if they’re not there, so when people pick up their mail every day, you start to notice their habits.” Not to mention, the woman’s car was still in the driveway.

Berridge followed her instincts and called the local police department for a wellness check, and in the process saved the elderly woman’s life.


CNN reported that officers found the woman trapped on her bedroom floor under heavy artwork and frames. The theory is she tried to use her bed for support, and in the process these items on the bed fell onto her, pinning her down for three full days. Though she was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration, Police Lt. Wayne Stevens confirmed she was stable and recovering.

I can only imagine the agony and fear this poor woman was in, lying in the cold and not knowing if help would come. Luckily, help was on the way, and this story has a happy ending.

In this instance, the familiarity that comes from living in a small town really paid off. “Everyone has each other’s backs,” Berridge told CNN.

But Officer Stevens wanted to give credit where credit was due. He agreed that Berridge’s quick thinking was “part of being a letter carrier in a small town,” he added that her actions were “taking your job to the next level.”

While wellness or welfare checks have historically been associated with the elderly, they are seen as an equally “critical tool” for the safety of many young people as well, especially with the “rise of suicide rates among adolescents and young adults.”

An example of this is when "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson received a wellness check back in 2018. The comedian posted an alarming message to Instagram, saying “I really don’t want to be on this Earth anymore. I actually don’t know how much longer I can last.” This was after breaking off his engagement with Ariana Grande.

Though it certainly didn’t happen in a small town, the interconnectedness of social media helped raise some red flags and prompted authorities to make a visit.

If there’s anything to make you question someone’s well-being, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


This article originally appeared on 02.02.22

Joey Grundl, Milwaukee pizza guy.

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."


"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

domestic abuse, celebrity, community, kidnapped

The Dean Hoffmann mugshot.

via WITI Milwaukee

When Grundl got back to his delivery car, he called the police. When the police arrived at the home, Hoffmann tried to block the door, but eventually let the police into the woman's home.

After seeing the battered woman, Hoffmann was arrested and she was taken to the hospital for her wounds.

Earlier in the day, Hoffman arrived at the house without her permission and tried to convince her to get back into a relationship with him. He then punched her in the face and hog tied her with a vacuum power cord.

"If you love me, you will let me go," she pleaded, but he reportedly replied, "You know I can't do that." He also threatened to shoot both of them with a .22 caliber firearm he kept in his car. The woman later told authorities that she feared for her life.

An alert pizza delivery driver helped save a woman from her abusive ex-boyfriend, police say. A 55-year-old Grafton man now faces several counts of domestic ...

A day later, Grundl was seen on TV wearing a hoodie from Taylor Swift's "Reputation Tour" and her fans quickly jumped into action, tagging Swift in photos of the hero. Grundl already had tickets to go to an upcoming Swift concert in Arlington, Wisconsin, but when Swift learned of the story, she arranged to meet Grundl backstage.

"She … she knew who I was," Grundl jokingly tweeted after the concert. "I'm thoroughly convinced Taylor gave me a cold."

"This has been one of the most exciting weeks of my life," Grundl said. "I'm legitimately getting emotional and I almost never get like this. But as the likely most memorable week of my entire life comes to an end … I guess I can really say … I'm doing better than I ever was."


This story originally appeared on 10.4.18