Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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My husband and I made the decision to buy our first gun for home defense. Do you advise that we buy a new gun or a used one? Which is better for first time buyers?

-From Jess H.

Answer: A new gun is always going to be more expensive, but a new gun is also going to be the safer option.

When you buy a used gun, you never know if there are any issues with the gun or even how it’s been cared for by the previous owner.

When I buy used guns, I usually buy them from guys I trust and I take them to the range and shoot them. If you are buying a used gun from a gun store with a range, I would ask them if you can shoot the gun before making the purchase.

Also, have a gunsmith inspect the used gun.


What should I do if a bad guy has a gun to my head and is only feet away? They already have the drop on me and I don’t know what I could do to save my life.

-From Ron T.

Answer: Two options. Give them what they want if they are trying to rob you. Or you need to disarm them. Disarming them is simple, if you have trained on it. But I would never tell someone to do a disarm who has never done the training.


I live in a major U.S. city. Unfortunately, my teenage children attend public schools that have a lot of violence. Do you have any suggestions for self-defense moves that I can teach my kids?

-From Lester M.

Answer: A few things I recommend for everyone is to remember to strike people in sensitive areas. It doesn’t matter if your attacker is 6’1 and 250 lbs, you can fight back by hurting them in certain areas where all humans feel pain.

For example, one of the things I recommend is striking your attacker in their eyes.

Another option is to punch your attacker in their throat as hard as you can. Again, this will cause pain no matter how big and strong the attacker is.

Lastly, hitting them in the groin will definitely make them think twice. So, remember, eyes, throat, groin. Even a child can learn to do this.


For my job I take clients out to dinner. Lately, I’ve noticed that if a criminal entered the restaurant that I would be trapped and would have no way out. Do you have any advice for restaurant safety?

-From Ethan C.

Answer: Most restaurants have an exit to the rear. If there isn’t one, then you should sit at a table close to the exit.

Don’t forget that there is always a back exit out the kitchen for staff. In an emergency, you could run out the back.

However, if some guy is shooting up the place and you have a gun, I hope you’d consider staying and stopping the attack.

So, try and be facing where you can see someone coming at you, so you give yourself as much time as possible to react.


In the past I’ve heard you mention that you don’t send text messages? I was curious as to why you don’t text?

-From Ashley G.

Answer: The main reason I don’t text is because it is an easy way to get hacked. What I mean is, most text messages are not encrypted unless you and the other person are both using a secure service such as Apple iMessage.

Plus, I use a flip phone because it is more secure than a smartphone. Texting on an old flip phone is not as convenient as a smartphone.

Another thing is that people don’t talk to each other enough. I would rather pick up the phone and talk to someone then spend hours texting back and forth.

The average teenager sends over 3,000 text messages a month. I don’t want to spend that much time on my phone.


What’s your opinion on AR-15 pistols?

-From Keith S.

Answer: The AR-15 rifle is one of my favorite guns and there has been growing popularity regarding AR pistols.

Essentially, the AR pistol was developed to get around the National Firearms Act, since tax stamp waiting times can be several months or more.

The AR pistol is a shorter AR-15, but with a different buffer tube and no stock. Pistol barrel sizes are usually seven inches or 10.5 inches, which gives the shooter a vast amount of flexibility in close-quarters shooting.

This is why the AR pistol is becoming popular for home defense.

However, the laws are changing on the legality of these, so make sure and stay on top of current laws.

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