Showing posts with label jail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jail. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Walking Dead: Killer Within

Continuing our series on The Walking Dead.

The guy busting the chain securing the fence and baiting a bunch of Walkers into their little prison hidey hole is not boding well for this awkward roomie thing. I can't see myself accepting that sort of situation; one way or another somebody would have to go.

Rick's crew are getting settled into the prison which makes sense. One should strive to continually improve their situation in terms of security and comfort whenever possible. Seeing the prisoners out and about and potentially baiting them into a trap is not an indicator for good things to come. The group's discussion of what to do with these people is interesting. 

On the bright side Rick's crew learned from their experiences at the farm and are staging their vehicles and presumably supplies to leave in a hurry if need be. Still as Commander Zero noted the group would really benefit from a system of caches. Even a little bit of food, some clothes, blankets and tools plus weapons if they could let them survive in a less unpleasant fashion if they have to e and e to get away from a Zombie horde.

The open gate turned out to be really ugly. The crew have a whole lot of perimeter to man and not a lot of folks to do it. This is a good reminder that an obstacle will only serve to delay enemies and only really do that well if covered by folks with guns.

T Dog getting bit is bad. Not just rather obviously for him but for the group. They are losing a strong healthy guy which are in short supply these days. Hopefully everybody else makes it but still bad.

The Governor hitting golf balls from that barrier reminds me of guy's driving balls off HESCO walls into the desert in Afghanistan.

Those sirens going off at the prison point to somebody with inside knowledge AKA one of the prisoners setting this up. To top off all of the awesomeness that is going on at the prison Lori seems to be giving birth.

It turns out that the guy Rick left for dead in the prison yard full of zombies didn't actually die. Seriously if movies and TV have taught you nothing do not ever leave somebody to die and assume they are dead. Take the time and put a bullet in their head, slit their throat, bash their skull in with a rock or otherwise make absolutely sure they are dead. The other prisoner saving Rick's life then handing over that big shiny Colt should earn some serious good will from the group. Taking in new people, especially convict's is iffy but they are running pretty short on healthy folks who can work and fight.

The C Section without anestesia on a prison floor during the Zombie Apocalypse was pretty graphic and a bit much for my pregnant wife.

Offing 3 main characters (T Dog, Carol and Lori if I saw it right) in a single episode was pretty nuts. It made SOA killing off Opie out of the blue seem minor in comparison. That is a lot of holes to fill and people will step up to fill roles and relationships will adjust to the new situation.

Anyway I've got to get moving towards bed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why You Need All Sorts of Fighting Skills: Very Interesting Video

First of all I would like to credit FerFal and his blog Surviving in Argentina. I totally stole this video from his blog. I am doing so because I want the dozen people who read my blog and don't read his bigger, better blog to see this. Also it leads into something I have been meaning to write about. Anyway first watch the video.

The lessons which FerFal notes are meaningful and I do not intend to unnecessarily rehash them. Here are my additional thoughts.

1. Unfortunately sometimes bad people are big, strong and skilled at fighting. A relatively large (or I guess larger than you) Goblin with even a modest background in combatives, who has been in and out of the correctional system and generally lives a rough violent life is really not someone you want to fight. They know what they are doing and are almost surely used to taking some punishment. Unlike some kid who tinkers in a moderately effective martial art they will almost surely not reconsider their intentions with a broken nose or a loosen a tooth. You will likely have to physically incapacitate this sort of person to stop them. I'm talking beating them unconscious, choking them out, crippling or killing them.

2. As FerFal noted semi automatic handguns tend to jam a lot at contact range. I would guess the primary causes are clothing or whatever getting snagged up in the struggle when the slide moves and limp wristing due to firing quickly from awkward positions. Practice clearing your weapon quickly under pressure. TAP the magazine, RACK the slide, BANG (if applicable). It is not going to clear every single failure but will clear most and can be done without breaking eye contact with your opponent while moving backwards to create space. Practice and you can do it very fast.

As seen when the Goblin picks up the still jammed gun in close quarters you would do well to just assume all battlefield pickups of semi automatic pistols are jammed and immediately TAP, RACK before looking to BANG.

3. Mace doesn't stop people. Particularly people who are used to taking punishment and potentially have even been maced before. Those huge cans that shoot the big stream are probably better than the little convenient to carry cans but still don't expect the result to be like a home run swing with a baseball bat to the face. Use mace to create space and time to get the heck out of there and or employ a better weapon. Expecting more than that is probably asking for trouble.

The main point I want to talk about is that different types of fights (somebody smart once broke fights down into 4 ranges, projectile, kicking, punching, dirty boxing (elbows, knees, short punches, throws, etc,) and grappling) are not discrete events that happen in isolation. Some firearms schools like to make you think that you can become so aware and skilled because of their amazing training that there will always be time to employ precision pistol fire from a safe distance. That is a bunch of crap.

It is egotistical and stupid and dangerous. Part of the reason is that these schools like to present themselves as being able to solve all your problems in a weekend. The concept of shooting someone can be sanitized and packaged. The reality of hand to hand is up close, personal and nasty. It requires physical conditioning which doesn't fit well with a "we can magically solve all your problems for some money over a long weekend" package. Also it takes a long time to become proficient at. You're talking about months and years not hours or days.

Even if you have a gun and know how to use it if somebody gets near or into kicking or punching range you are in a hand to hand fight. A gun is not a magical cure all. As FerFal noted someone with a bit of specific training can often stop that pistol from coming into the equation at all. I remember a disturbingly accurate saying "what is the first thing somebody does after being shot with a pistol? continue whatever they were doing before". Unless you hit someone in the brain or spine (imagine a T with the horizontal part between the eyes and the long vertical part extending down the spine) they will almost surely not be stopped in their tracks. Remember your goal is to STOP THE THREAT.

There are a lot of shots that will kill someone but that doesn't matter. If somebody cuts your head off with a piece of junk gas station knife then dies later from injuries you inflicted as far as I am concerned you lost. For example a shot through the liver or lung is, without prompt surgical intervention, almost surely lethal. However before the goblin loses enough blood or whatever to pass out they could potentially kill you. Conversely if you accidentally shoot someone low and to the outside and shatter their hip (depending on if you hit the artery, how bones shatter, etc) they will probably live but aren't going to keep coming at you. Thus you successfully managed to STOP THE THREAT.  Shoot until you run out of ammo, can safely disengage or you STOP THE THREAT.

You've got to learn how to fight hand to hand. There just isn't a substitute for it. At a minimum you need to be able to get somebody off you and create enough space to break contact or employ a handgun. The cops use of his weak hand to create and maintain space was pretty effective in the video.

 If somebody grabs you in a crowd and you are struggling then get them off you comes you you've gone from a standing grappling to dirty boxing or striking range. If they pull out a knife you are in a knife fight. A lot of the fundamentals do not change. Stuff like sound footing and being in a good athletic position translates through all ranges and situations.

There are all kinds of implied tasks here. Weapons training, firearm retention, combatives, knife and counter knife stuff come to mind. You could probably spend your whole life trying and not master these things. Don't worry about obscure fancy stuff or lots of ways to do things. Instead of trying to learn a dozen ways to deal with someone rushing you or grabbing you, or whatever it's probably better to be well practiced and drilled in two of them. It's blocking and tackling not quarter back sneeks. Gabe Suarez writes about this topic here.

Think about this stuff. How would you fare in a similar situation? Maybe you're a hulk of a fellow who wrestled through college or have been doing Judo since childhood, maybe you divide your spare time between power lifting and cage fighting and are generally a bad dude to mess with. However if that isn't the case you would be well advised to do something to better your situation. This is a great example of a case where anything helps. Take a self defense class. Learn about weapons retention by taking a course or working with a knowledgeable friend or acquaintance. Work on drawing and presenting a weapon while moving backwards. Practice clearing jams by feel without looking. Conduct low/ moderate intensity force on force drills to work through scenarios which trouble you. Just do something to better your situation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Outraged Me

So I am sitting enjoying my favorite part of the work day, well my favorite part except driving home at the end, sitting in my chair drinking a cup of coffee between cleaning up from PT and heading back to work. I am watching CNN because AFN does this rotating news thing between all the full time news networks (donated so we can watch US news) and I heard something which outraged me. Some girl  (well a hippy dippy 20 something) was talking about the organization she works for. What they did really doesn't matter but when she was describing the kids they help she used a phrase, "court involved" which just stuck out to me.

She didn't say juvenile offenders or parolees or even felons. She used a vague phrase that is completely blameless, in fact it goes as far as to push away any sense of possible blame. Heck if I have to go down to the courthouse to fill out some paperwork I am in a sense court involved. This is at least as bad as "undocumented workers" if not worse.

My big issue with this is that when we take away blame for peoples actions we take away responsability. Responsability is the lynch pin to just about everything productive and good in society. I don't particularly look down on felons or parolees as a group. Some of them are total scumbags but then again some like say, Randy Weaver are probably decent folks albeit ones who made a mistake. As one guy on one of those prison investigative shows once said "You are all one messed up day from being right here" and he had a very good point.

My issue is that if people, particularly teens and those in their early 20's are told by people they value and respect (like the upper middle class hippy dippy 20 something working with them) tell them that their actions are not their fault they will internalize that and keep doing the same dumb stuff.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Prisons in SHTF

Our loyal correspondent Humongous sent me an email on this topic. He works in a Maximum Security Prison and wondered about my thoughts on what would happen if things went all SHTF. I do not have a ton of knowledge in this area but that hasn't stopped me from writing about all sorts of other topics so why should it be an issue for this one?

I think prisons fair more or less OK (I think some prisoners in Katrina had a rough time but not out of purportion to everyon else)  for short term and localized disasters. Just about everywhere has power outages and such so they have (at least I imagine) plans for that. As for local disasters I think bussing to somewhere else is pretty much the answer everywhere. That works if there is a flood in this region or the like.

For a slow slide sort of situation in general I think prisons would fair reasonably well. They are the kind of think that a government (at whatever level) would have to fund. When you are broke you stop eating out but keep buying toilet paper. The wildcard for this sort of situation is that political types could make radical changes is policies or early parole to drop their operational costs.

Me thinks a genuine full on TEOTWAWKI is what our correspondent was mostly thinking about. Broadly speaking I think there are 3 possible options: 1) The prisoners dehydrate/starve/freeze to death in their cells. 2) The prisoners leave the prison and are free. 3) The prisoners are intentionally killed by the guards. I will talk a bit more about each of these broad options a little bit.

1. In my opinion this is probably the least likely scenario. Unless all the prisoners are securely locked in old school small cement cells with heavy metal bars and all the guards decide simultaneously to just go home this would not happen. This would be somewhat probable for an individual or two in a small isolated local jail if the deputy who was on duty was for whatever reason unable to return.

2. This scenario is the most likely in the big picture though it would depend on some other factors. It is also the most likely because it is the most openly defined. In this scenario the prisoners could be freed or escape. I would not be supprised that if a lot of lower security facilities ended up turning the prisoners loose. As for the more dangerous prisoners in more secure facilities me thinks their large scale freedom would be the result of an escape. I think in the security area older prisons would face far better than newer ones as they tended to rely on lots of metal and big walls not security systems and electric fences which rely on power.

In a prison with lowered security because of less/ no power the odds of prisoner escape would be high. Also if prisoners had enough info about what was going on outside to come up with a plan and execute it knowing the guards could not hunker down and wait for help it could get ugly. Most likely I see a combination of those two factors leading to most of the prison breaks.

3. The guards intentionally kill the inmates. I do not see this happening at minimum security jail camps and such. This one would need a couple of conditions for it to come to pass. First of all the facility would need to have the capability to keep inmates controlled in their small cells for awhile regardless of their desperate attempts to free themselves. Second of all the person in charge (might not be the head guy but the one on the scene who is functionally in charge) would need to have a grasp of the true seriousness of the event they were involved in and the implications for letting these violent dangerous criminals loose in a world without law and order. This would take a combination of being pragmatic and a really cold hearted mother fucker. Third the guards who were left (some would not show up and some might abandon their posts with useful equipment and guns) would have to have the means to kill the inmates in a not up close and personal manner, basically guns and enough ammo to do the job. That shouldn't be a big issue unless someone has already cleared out the gun cabinet and or ammo storage on their way out for the last time. I think that in more conservative areas with more of a law and order type philosophy there would probably be more dead violent prisoners than escaped violent prisoners.

I could see the guards potentially separating the non total psycho inmates and putting them on their way then making sure the real nut jobs never get out.

As for what I think would go down by and large. Prisoners in minimum and medium security facilities would mostly go free be it by jumping over the fence or walking with their personal belongings through the front gate. For maximum security prisons I think it would be more likely to see a combination of escape attempts (large or small, peaceful or violent)  and mass executions. Also a few would probably have one botched by the other and darn near everybody ending up dead. Maybe the inmates make a go of it and a guard in a good position with a rifle takes a lot of them out or the guards try to make like it is the bloody days of the French Revolution and the inmates rush them and do some real damage.

I do know that JWR considers prisons in his regional/ local retreat advice and this makes a lot of sense to me. Do not make a mistake of underestimating them because they would be poorly equipped. Pretty darn quick these predators would arm themselves and most would start reaking havoc.

I would not want to live near a prison (I say prison intentionally there are jails all over the place) say within a 40 mile radius of one.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Law

It is the law. However laws are not static. People can and often do start campaigns which lead to a law being changed. If you don't like a law and enough other people agree with you it can be changed.

Less griping and more work to change laws.

The unpleasant point is when you really don't like a law and there isn't enough public support to change it. The best I can say then is to either ignore the law and be willing to face the penalties or deal with it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lying to the People

I have taken, as of late, an acute interest in Oregon criminal law. One of the interesting things about Oregon is that it has sentencing guidelines which are mandatory. While under federal law, there are sentencing guidelines, those are merely guidelines; in Oregon they are mandatory. Another interesting thing is that they only apply to felonies; misdemeanors are still left basically to the judges discretion, limited only by the maximum time possible for a misdemeanor, 365 days in jail.

There are some serious issues with the sentencing guidelines. For starters, under the guidelines, a crime category 1 or 2, is punishable by a maximum of 90 days. This is a felony which is punished much less harshly than a misdemeanor. Furthermore, there is a fraud being perpetrated on the people of Oregon. There is an administrative rule which states that all sentences under the guidelines are divided by 3. That means when the sentencing guidelines say 90 days, it really means 30 days. Why not change the guidelines to reflect this change? This allows the state to maintain its catch and release program while still looking like its tough on crime. Politics at its finest.

The reason the times are shorter for some felonies then they are for misdemeanors is that there is mandatory probation, time where the person is supervised, and if they screw up again, the maximum sentence can be imposed, which is normally up to about 5 years. At least that is how it used to work. Oregon passed House Bill 3805 this year, which makes the maximum possible jail sentence for a probation violation 60 days. That means, if you commit a crime category 1 or 2 felony the maximum jail sentences you can do, even if you screw up probation, is 70 days. Max. Compare that to Failure to Carry and Present a License (having a drivers license but not having it on your person) which is a C misdemeanor, the lowest form of misdemeanors. That crime is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. The insanity is apparent.

This post isn't about whether people should be spending more or less time in jail. What drives me crazy is when politicians play games like this; they pretend they are doing one thing, but actually do the other. If you are going to change the law, change it. Don't lie to the people, pretending to do one thing, while actually doing another.
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