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Postby Bill Glasheen » Tue May 18, 1999 3:08 pm

I have yet to read this book by DeBecker. However I was so impressed with The Gift of Fear that I decided to post this note I received from DeBecker's organization. It touches on subjects that are worthy of discussion in any kid's martial arts program. I'll let you know what I think after I read it.

-- Bill


Recalling the support and encouragement you gave to The Gift of Fear, we are glad to advise you that Gavin de Becker's new book is now available through, or in any bookstore.
PROTECTING THE GIFT: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (And Parents Sane) is written to help parents enhance their children's safety, while reducing unwarranted fear and worry.
The book has two chapters that specifically address school shootings, like that which occurred at Littleton. In fact, the book sets forth the specific pre-incident indicators and warning signs for that case, even though the book went to press weeks before the tragedy. That terrible event may have reminded many people of the state of youth in this country, but the news media's attention did little to accurately inform Americans. For example, 14 children died at Littleton, but that is the precise number of children that die by gunfire every day. In sad fact, gunfire is now the leading cause of death for teenage boys, surpassing car accidents. Why? Cars got safer; guns got more dangerous - and more available.
The book also addresses the selection processes for babysitters, nannies, childcare services, and schools. It explores the special risks facing teenage girls, family violence, why some human beings kill their children, and steps parents can take to reduce fear. The book discusses how animals of several species protect their offspring, how our species does it, and how Western society can get closer to the natural course of parenting.
The challenges are many: We have more step-fathers than at any time in world history, and step-fathers are 100 times more likely to kill a child than are biological fathers. We have 16,000 new guns manufactured every day, each with a shelf-life of hundreds of years, so the problem of child access becomes more complex each day.
On the hopeful side, children are far more likely to survive childhood today than when most of us grew up. Car accidents and disease claim far fewer victims, and many aspects of society are safer today than twenty years ago.
However, the leading hazard to children -sexual abuse- has not improved, and PROTECTING THE GIFT offers many strategies that can dramatically reduce the likelihood of that victimization. The book also squarely faces the fear parents place at the top position on their lists: kidnapping by a stranger. Thankfully, though the media has much-trumpeted that fear, kidnapping by strangers is actually very rare. It just isn't one of the things human beings do very often. In fact, a child is more likely to die of a heart attack, and that is so rare that few parents ever even consider it. A child is 250 times more likely to be shot than to be kidnapped by a stranger.
The book discusses the strategies of predators, and leaves readers with a near-assurance that they can stop worrying about kidnapping by strangers. If they do, they'll be more able to see what actually is happening in favor of what might happen.
Let us hear your comments on the book, and look for Mr. de Becker on ABC News 20/20 on Wednesday, May 19th, the Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday, May 21, and Good Morning America for three days running, starting on Monday, May 24th.
Order PROTECTING THE GIFT discounted on If you like the book, please post a review on
Thanks for your support,
Michael LaFever
President & Partner
Gavin de Becker Incorporated
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Bill Glasheen
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Postby Kevin Mackie » Tue May 18, 1999 7:24 pm

I ordered the book last month from It's due out today in hardcover. I'll write up a short review when I've read it.

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