Showing posts with label violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label violence. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Realities of Defensive Conflicts

I have seen a couple good things recently and addressing them both at once seemed to make the most sense. The first is a post by Larry Correia “The Legalities of Shooting People"

The second is security camera footage of a real life defensive shooting in Brazil a few days ago. I will talk about them in order. This is intentional because legal realities affect our tactical options.
Larry Correia is not a lawyer. You should not consider his excellent post to be legal advice. I am definitely not a lawyer or in any way qualified to give legal advice. If you are making life and death decisions based on random crap you read on the internet from a guy who admits he is not a specialist in the area you are an idiot. 

That disclaimer aside Larry Correia’s post is excellent. Other people such as Massad Ayoob are probably more knowledgeable but the way this post explains the issue is clear and simple. If a normal person without a legal background were to read one document to understand the criteria for use of lethal force this may not be the absolute best document but they could certainly do a lot worse.
The Reasonable Man point is key. In the event of a shooting you will need to convince somewhere between a couple and a dozen plus people that your actions were in fact those of a reasonable man in order to not go to adult time out. 

The discussion of the breakdown on Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy needs little addition. The only real point I would make is that if you are a healthy normal sized adult man (being loose with all those terms) convincing people you were in legitimate fear of your life from another normal sized man; who does not show a weapon and isn’t stomping you while your on the ground or slamming your head into something is not a situation I would want to be in. 

Hell George Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him and he, though ultimately (legally at least) was vindicated had a heck of a time. 

The point there is unless you are elderly (I mean real old like 70+), a woman or an actual midget there are violent situations that can occur where you will not be able to justify going to guns.
The article then starts talking about police use of force and to be honest shifted out of my area of interest. The first half or so is gold though.

In closing a point that a girl I used to date brought up after her CCW course came to mind. Taking a handgun out in a dangerous situation is a bit complicated because as we have learned from South Narc stuff and Street Robberies and You it is a lot better to get your gun out earlier instead of later. At the same time you can't just be whippping out guns or  pointing guns at people all the time. There is some ambiguity in situations where you might draw a handgun. When it comes to situations where you would shoot someone it is a lot simpler. The situations where you should shoot another human being in self defense are usually pretty clear cut. If you are in doubt that you should be shooting another person the answer is no you should not.

Next we have a video of an off duty Brazilian cop who was the victim of an attempted robbery. I find stuff coming out of South America particularly interesting as the level of crime in some areas is high, verging on completely ridiculous. Where it is now is also where we are generally headed as our country slips down to whatever state of collapse it will end up at.

The breakdown on The Firearms Blog is very good. My thoughts.
The scenario of 2 or 3 goblins with guns is becoming fairly common. The old (3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds) conventional thoughts about self-defense are becoming less and less accurate. Since we want to prepare for violent conflicts today and TOMORROW, not a decade ago we need to consider this.

Also notice the bad guy’s waited until they were right on the cop to draw their guns. This is realistic. Bad guys aren’t going to take out weapons 50 yards away, or probably 10 yards away. They are going to get right on you. Like John Mosby said they will get close to you with some pretext like "Hey can I get a dollar" or "Can I borrow your phone?" to get close then the weapons will come out.

Coming back to the first point about legality. The time you are probably going to be justified in taking out your gun is probably (lots of scenarios and different thing can apply) when the bad guy takes theirs out so that means they will have the jump on you. Also they will probably be relatively close. 

This particular fight was close to but just outside contact range. Remember within a few feet the odds of a fight having a hand to hand component are high. As Tam says ‘You don’t have a gun, y’all have a gun.’

While partly a awareness/ mindset issue the time of getting your gun into action from the training side is based on your draw stroke to first shot. Faster is better. This is why you train for a reasonably fast draw.

The TFB post mentions the drill of 6 rounds at 6 feet in 6 seconds from the holster. Solid idea. It does not mention target size in the standard. My gut says that is a bit slow, especially for that distance.

Depending how far down this particular rabbit hole you want to go the case that a little .380 pocket pistol or ambiguous .38 snubby is not sufficient for this task can be made. This is certainly a complicated thing and I would prefer you carry a small gun to no gun but at least consider for some situations a small gun may not be enough. Filling one of the 2-3 armed men with bullets then running dry could leave them quite mad and you with an empty gun.

Certainly in a realistic violent encounter such as the one shown (as well as most potential scenarios) you need to be carrying a handgun where you can get it in a hurry. Basically this means on your waist or, while few if any serious instructors recommend them unless you are spending hours in the car, a readily accessible shoulder holster. This means that carry on ankles, in backpacks/ purses, fanny packs, in those under shirt holster things, etc are all no go’s. You aren’t going to be able to get to the damn gun in time. 

Reload, carry one. This is by far most important for lower capacity guns but depending on the level of risk a good idea in general. As my buddy Commander Zero put it a G19 is a snubby with 3 reloads. There is some truth to that statement. Still putting a reload in your pocket won't kill you. 

Anyway I think these are a couple things you should think about.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Scary Conversation... Potential Looters with Skills and Guns

I recently spent a fair bit of time with a career Army Special Forces soldier. Work and life kind of commingle and if you spend much time with a person eventually the topic inevitably moves from work. For the two of us it settled on gun stuff. I am pretty into guns and such and this guy is really into all that stuff. He has some really cool toys. Lots of very worthwhile discussion about guns, tactics, etc. Being able to bounce your ideas for a precision rifle build off a sniper qualified SOF soldier is pretty cool.

Anyway at some point he brought up the topic of 'preppers'. The overlap between the serious gun community and preppers is such it's not a surprise the topic came up. I just kept listening as he was clearly getting up on the proverbial soap box.

He said the whole thing was stupid and that if a disaster happens you should just leave. A very valid point. I agreed with him. Then he said storing food is stupid. I mentioned that most government advice (Fema, Red Cross, etc) says to have 2-4 weeks of food at your house and that if you looked at Katriana as an example 6 weeks might be more realistic.

Also that for about 2-3k he could have a years worth of bulk food for the family put away.

He said that is silly. He will just take what he needs and that having too much stuff means you can't be mobile. He then said people have been fighting for resources for ages so why change now.

That topic kind of closed out, I damn sure wasn't saying anything else. 

[It was clear to me that while this guy was not too worried about that sort of relatively unlikely scenario he had considered it enough to come up with a quick plan. At this point I regretted mentioning the stuff about food. An average 30 something guy probably can't accurately and quickly spit out costs of large quantities of bulk food. A thinking person (which he is) could make some assumptions from that and he has a pretty good idea where I live.

It shifted back to guns and the evening moved on.

The reason I am mentioning this is not to discuss the topic of using force to take what you need from other people. For all but the newest readers that topic has been covered sufficiently. To briefly recap.

Ethically of course it is no good. By any decent western value system killing people and taking their stuff is very wrong. Functionally it has a lot of issues. It would most likely lead to a short, hard life with a violent end. There are so many guns in the US. Even if a person is a total bad ass (which this guy is) eventually Cletus or one of his 5 buddies is going to put a load of buckshot in them. With no real medical care available even a relatively minor would would likely be a death sentence.

Most people (especially with kids) will do what they need to to survive, even at the expense of others. However for a person who sees potential bad times it is a morally flawed and functionally bad plan to rely on violence to meet your basic human needs.

The reason I mentioned this is the guy was not joking or blustering. I firmly believe he would do exactly what he said. He also isn't like that fat stupid white trash guy on Doomsday preppers who while probably serious is probably not much of a threat. This guy was serious and has the tools and skills/ experience to do it, at least for awhile, with a good level of success. The idea that everyone who would be a threat is a fat cammo clad buffoon, a gang banger punk with a high point 9mm or some starving refugee is not accurate. Some people with real skills and serious hardware would be a threat if they were in need. It would be great if I had a solution for this problem but at least identifying it has some value. Of course OPSEC, groups and geographic isolation are good ideas that would probably help.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

First White on Black "Knock Out Game"

HOUSTON (AP) — A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.

A hole cracker punching an old black person isn't any more or less acceptable than an 'urban youth' punching an elderly white person. I cannot condone random pointless violence, especially against the old, young and generally infirm. That being said people in a group reacting to violence against their group is a very natural reaction.  Reactions create counter reactions which can under some circumstances spiral into ethnic/ tribal violence beyond what anyone could envision. Without overreacting to this incident it could be a sign of bad things to come.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Arnold Schwartzenegger Kill Count

28 minutes 509 deaths. It is a self proclaimed compilation of all Arnold's movie and tv kills. May have missed one or two but it's pretty darn comprehensive all the same. Rated nothing but violence.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thomas Sowel: Early Skirmishes in a Race War

One of the reasons for being glad to be as old as I am is that I may be spared living to see a race war in America. Race wars are often wars in which nobody wins and everybody ends up much worse off than they were before.

Ryan here: Interesting reading for sure.

Ironically if justifiably unhappy with their life situation (but handling it poorly) gang banging thugs urban youths had sufficient education they might do some research. A good start would be to look at population percentages in the US. Then they could dig deeper to find statistics on gun ownership (particularly rifles) which tell a pretty startling tale. Then they could look at rates of military service particularly in combat arms jobs which tend to be much paler than service and support type jobs. If those young men looked at all that info they might well rethink the whole race war idea.

Edited to include:

My little google dashboard says this is the blog's 4,000th post. 4k posts and 1.6 million views, not too shabby if I do say so myself. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Real World Defensive Considerations

Spent some time with a career cop turned private investigator recently. Learned a few interesting things.

-Criminals choose targets for 3 reasons: High payoff, soft target and personal reasons.

High Payoff is pretty easy. Typically it means they know (or think they know) the target has drugs, jewelry, money, guns or other readily transferable compact high value items.

Soft targets are generally pretty simple also. The house where they do not have a fence, a big dog, an alarm system, etc is easier to break into than most. A staggering drunk is easy to rob. Some targets are almost too good to turn down.

Also soft targets sort of include the subset of "Targets of Opportunity." These are different from the soft target in that the situation is usually temporary and random thus unlikely to be observed and targeted as part of some criminal operational cycle. Wrong place, wrong time if you will. An example for this might be a woman who stayed in a local hotel and went running very early that happened to end up in a bad neighborhood then had the further bad luck to cross paths with a rapist. The odds of that situation occurring again are tiny but it happened.

Personal reasons are sort of nebulous. However I suspect that as a rule normal well adjusted people harm their acquaintances, friends and family at a much lower percentages than career criminals, gang members and (hard) drug users. While people of all lifestyles do in fact harm each other the odds of a crack party going bad are far higher than somebody ending up dead at a church banquet. Something to think about.

There was a very good reminder to lock your darn doors. Sparing the bad stories sometimes the reason house B and it's residents are attacked instead of house A is that A's door was locked and B's was open.

Hope this give you a few things to think about. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pic Post

I really hope this one ends badly for the folks of Westboro Baptist. Those hate mongering assholes have been screwing around at funerals asking to get stomped for years. If there is any ambiguity in my statement I really hope a mob of angry Slayer fans inflict seriously bodily harm to every member of this protest old enough to legally drive a car.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hybrid Threats and Modern Law Enforcement in the Border States

Hybrid Warfare is a strategy of warfare that blends some combination of conventional forces, unconventional/ guerrilla forces, terrorism and criminal elements as well as cyber and information warfare. Instead of dealing with one type of threat a force ends up dealing with  multiple threats. Potentially these threats are working together though some (typically criminals) may just be doing bad stuff in the same time and space. Basically it's a big mess.

Of particular concern to the border states is the overlap between gangs and guerrilla/ terrorist (in this context I do not find that term productive as, excluding the most violent and pointless atrocities, it often boils down to a value judgement of a group so I use guerrilla instead) organizations. To some degree large gangs are guerrilla organizations and guerrilla organizations are criminal. 

Mexican drug cartels cutting the heads off people and hanging them from bridges is certainly done to inspire fear which is by definition terrorism. On the other hand guerrilla groups inevitably resort to a variety of criminal acts for fund raising.  Selling drugs to fund guerrilla actions is boringly cliche. The IRA was big on smuggling and various forms of fraud. All those Aryan groups in the 80's and early 90's were big on robbing banks. You get the point. What it boils down to for me is the primary purpose of the organization. Mexican drug cartels exist to make money by selling drugs. A bunch of folks robbing banks to fund the revolution are their guerrilla goals.

In any case I was involved in an interesting discussion  that is worth talking about. Took me awhile to digest it so now we have story time with Ryan. Some thoughts in no particular order:

-The fusion between various federal agencies, state, county and local law enforcement is significant.  Information sharing and intelligence gathering, training, a variety of joint operations and such. They are far more connected than in years back. This is necessary to deal with a variety of threats that do not neatly fit into jurisdictional boundaries. On the other side of the coin I can certainly see how this fusion could concern some folks. Regardless of your value judgement on the matter this is here to stay.

-As to our southern border. It is a good reminder that barriers only stop people if they are guarded. Barriers without dudes carrying rifles watching them only serve to slow movement.

-Cell phones. I'm going to spot you the credit to assume the normal everyday cell phone most people carry is not around if you are doing something it would be a problem if ANYBODY knows about. If you did not know that I would recommend educating yourself. We are talking about semi anonymous disposable pre paid cell phones. These phones are also known as dirt phones, drug phones and my personal favorite hoe phones. Even still this just doesn't work. I've been talking about it for years. Like I said a long time ago.

The theory is that if someone on one anonymous cell phone calls someone on another one it is totally discrete. Easy wireless secure communications for prices any insurgent can afford. 

Here is reality. People are lazy and stupid and modern methods of tracking/ snooping on cell phones are very good. This is how laziness and modern snooping collide. Lets say a dozen insurgents all have anonymous pre paid cell phones. Someones gets lazy and uses theirs to call their Moms house or their buddy at the local Mosque to ask what time the potluck is. Being as the people who are looking for them have done a good job in targeting they were snooping on Momma and the Mosques phone lines. They electronically snoop on the pre paid cell  phone now, really recording and searching for key words (bomb, Allah, US, soldier, rifle, Israel, whatever). Pretty darn quickly they realize this phone is of interest. Lazy Insurgent calls one of his co conspirators to talk about the big soccer game or planting some IED's. Now they got Co Conspirators number from Lazy Insurgent. Of course being smart they wait awhile and Co Conspirator calls a couple more Insurgent buddies and so does Lazy Insurgent. More likely than not the whole network gets taken down.

 If I was doing something where shady where the only viable communications option was cell phones they would be collected then dumped regularly. Probably weekly on a normal basis then as needed before then after significant operations. Only 'work' calls (and maybe some completely random planned ones) would be made with a significant penalty for any inflactions.

- If you weren't tracking it  UAV technology has came to all levels of law enforcement. Maybe they own them or maybe they borrow them, the significance is negligible really. What matters is you can assume pretty much all but the most podunk PD's have UAV's.

- Again as noted before too many vehicles or people is a tip off. If a typically 4 person residence or agricultural operation always has 20 folks hanging out it is an indicator that something else is going on.

- Also too expensive of vehicles is another indicator of something illicit. This makes sense though is not something one might consider. A little farm or ranch that MAYBE brings in 25k a year should not  (unless obviously the owner has significant income from another legitimate source) have several fifty thousand dollar customized trucks or SUV's outside.

- Paper records are an interesting topic. They are hard to destroy, especially on short notice. Info on a micro SD card is a lot easier to destroy on short notice. Obviously one would want to use a dedicated laptop THAT NEVER GOES ONLINE for this. If you really want to go old school with ledgers and records some sort of a burn cabinet (a container that stores files with a method in place to immediately destroy them if need be) would be the order of the day.

- Being able to get your hands on a rotating supply of legitimately titled/ licensed vehicles is helpful if you wan to avoid prying eyes. A buddy with a used car lot would be a good friend to have.

- Compartmentalization. In terms of drug stuff (obviously the big border show) people who know how the drugs come in should not know where they go. Folks who know where the drugs are stored should not know where the cash is stored. None of those people should know where the drugs are delivered to. The same could be applied to a guerrilla force keeping direct action cells separated from support folks and everybody from each other on general principle.

- Information and intelligence gathering. Both sides run intel on each other. They study successes and failures to learn from them gathering as much info as possible along the way. The cartels know who the cops are and where they live. The cops know who the real players (south of the border) are and where they live. The cops cannot reach the bosses down in Mexico and the cartels largely do not bother (lethally) targeting cops. Cops are held at bay by moral constraints and the border. Cartels just don't bother to (as far as any legitimate systemic trends I have seen) target American cops. Some busts are just a cost of business and enough get through that it's not a huge deal anyway.

- Often guerrilla's have a criminal wing to support their operations. Sort of like we discussed earlier. As we have also mentioned drugs are a common financing source. Personally I find that rather distasteful. In places where the business is in growing/ refining or shipping drugs I can see it but in the US it's all use. At the end of the day, despite my legalize everything libertarian tendencies, drugs are a scourge to our communities that I would never be a part of. Smuggling is a good option especially in a restricted economically dysfunctional scenario. Decent cigarettes, booze, name brand candy, perfume, make- up and maybe guns/ ammo could bring a decent amount of cash in. Obviously for a G government money is free game, significant government supporters (media, key politicians, etc not some secretary) are also a fine option to either rob or extort.

- Border regions. This whole drug mess would not be what it is without a border that gives crooks a safe haven. Being able to have established logistics and homes in a secure place then operate, largely through illegal alien cut out's, over the border without significant risk of consequences is a large part of why cartels are successful, rich and powerful. Looking at history the same could be said of guerrilla organizations. Insurgencies that succeed without a border to rest and train behind are at best the exception to the rule.

Well that's about all I can think of on this topic. Hope it was interesting for somebody.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From Around The Web

Commander Zero tells a personal story about firearm registration. We need to fight any form of national gun registration or attempts to limit private party firearm purchases as vigorously as possible. If your state sucks and requires firearms to be registered I recommend voting with your feet.

Rural Mexicans form local security groups to protect their families and towns. The police and military either can not or will not protect them so these folks are doing it themselves. Note that lawful gun ownership in Mexico is seriously restricted. That combined with the abject poverty most rural Mexicans live in explains the single shot shotguns and other antiquated and less than ideal weapons.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Doug MacRay: I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people."

"James Coughlin: ...Whose car are we gonna' take?"

-The Town

Saturday, October 27, 2012

RE: Claire Wolfe's Preparedness Priorities 2

Claire Wolfe has continued her excellent Preparedness Priorities series.

In Part 3 Claire talks about how people need to prepare differently. To me this is pretty obvious but some folks miss it all the same. We could break these differences down into regional and personal. Regional differences are pretty obvious. Different areas have unique weather and disaster concerns. Folks who live in really cold places like Michigan need to worry a lot more about warm clothes and sleeping bags, etc than those in Arizona. Conversely people in Arizona should pay more attention to keeping plenty of water around and such. Preparing for a hurricane in Iowa or an ice storm in Florida would be foolish.

On the other hand personal factors vary well, person to person. Let's look at two potential examples, economic/ financial vulnerability and violent crime risk factors. We will meet Tim and Bob.

Tim is a hustler but not in the bad way. He has a pretty good full time job, always has a few side projects going and works with his Dad when the full time job is slow. Also his wife has a clerical job for the state. If Tim loses his full time job they would probably be down 40% income but he could make some of that up putting more effort into other areas. If Tim was seriously injured (he works with heavy machinery full time and does some logging so it could happen) they could eat and keep the lights on with his wife's income. The point is that their 3-4 income streams come from totally different places. It is very unlikely they would all fall apart at once.

Bob makes a very good living. He went to college and got a business degree and went to work in management at the local plant. His wife stays at home with the kids. If he loses favor at work or the plant closes or whatever they have absolutely no income. (I do not mean to say stay at home mom's are a bad thing. That is another discussion entirely.)

The point is that while Tim's income may vary a bit Bob is actually more vulnerable. If something happens they are hosed. Bob would have a heck of a time finding a similar job in the same area. They probably want more like a year worth of expenses put away because it will take awhile to figure things out. On the other hand Tim might be comfortable with 3-4 months to get them through winter until he is busy again.

Looking at violent crime risk factors for our two guys.

Tim does a lot of work for cash. He also pays helpers and subcontractors and suppliers in cash. He buys equipment with cash. Tim carrying around a couple thousand dollars in cash and having 10k at home is pretty common. More to the point due to all the people involved a pretty good amount of people know Tim deals in cash. In the nature of normal events and casual conversation lot's of folks know about this. Tim is often alone driving between job's or putting in bids or working in the middle of nowhere. Also let's be honest in and around his line of work there are some unsavory characters.

On the other hand Bob gets payed by direct deposit. He rarely makes large cash sales or purchases. They do not have any particularly unique or special valuables that would be easy to sell/ transfer. He keeps some cash at home and have some PM's but only Bob and his wife know about that stuff.

[Real world point. A buddy of mine had a SWAT team spend a week camped out in his living room once. There was a pretty nasty home invasion crew and intelligence said he was on their list. His work was very seasonal and a lot was in cash. In season he often had a lot of cash at home and the wrong people knew about it. Aside from random crackheads people usually get targeted because crooks know or think they know something particularly valuable is there.]

Tim has some risk factors. He would be prudent to do something to mitigate that risk.Maybe nothing will every come of them but then again it would only have to happen once. Bob on the other hand has considerably lower risk. Aside from general common sense stuff he probably doesn't need to go out of the way here.

The point I am getting at is that different people have different concerns based on their unique situation. Obviously there are a lot more variables like medical issues, family networks, etc.

Part IV has some really good points. Focusing on more likely scenarios (job loss, violent crime, inflation) over less likely (EMP, nuclear war, Zombies) ones just makes sense. Also when giving people advice I think it is important to tailor advice to their situation, finances and level of commitment. Giving unrealistic advice will leave them bummed if they want to do it but can't, turned off if they don't want to or dismissive of the whole thing.  The right advice for a family with a modest income and a lot of kids is different than for a working couple who make a lot of money.

I was talking about this with Wifey today. Often I find myself in the position of recommending things that I do not actually recommend if that makes any sense. The reason I do this is because it fit's their situation and makes them more prepared than they previously were. A few boxes of shells for the old .38 special and 12 gauge or a spam can for the Mosin Nagant you swapped for a case of beer, some batteries, a few gallons of water and some food in the pantry is a heck of a lot better than nothing.

Claire continues the series touching on risk assessments and water storage neither of which I feel like talking about. Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ethics in Everything and Target Selection in Fighting and War

This one has been brewing in my head for awhile ever since Mountain Guerrilla and then American Mercenary wrote about the topic. (Since they wrote so long ago I couldn't find their specific posts within the amount of time I was willing to put into the matter.) In any case the topic has sat sufficiently and either turned into fine wine or some rotten cabbage dish. Anyway here we go.

A few overarching principles:

1) We have free choice.

2) Actions have consequences.

As Kurt Sutter (the guy behind Sons of Anarchy) said about killing off Opie "Bad thing's don't happen in a vacuum." Sooner or later somehow bad things usually happen to people who do bad things.  Maybe it is about life choices or personality sets or social circles, call it what you want. It isn't always 1 to 1 or right away but things have a way of coming around. 

3) As momma said other peoples bad behavior does not excuse ours.

4) There are clear lines of right and wrong. Between the clear lines of right and wrong are varying degrees of both.

5) While it is not a get out of everything worthy excuse the circumstances surrounding an event matter.

6) If in doubt, do onto others as you would want them to do to you.

So here we go. I am responsible for myself and the minor children in my care. I cannot control if Bank of America and the global banking oligarchy are destroying our economy or whatever. I have read about folks who think that B of A and the global banking oligarchy destroying our economy justify all manner of financial shenanigans on their part. I personally do not feel this way. If I swipe my credit card for a tank of gas or to buy some cool kit online I am promising to pay them back within the 42 page customer agreement I didn't read. If in a year or two I buy some land or a home I am promising to pay them back.

Things happen in life that can affect our finances. If people have a life changing event like being seriously injured or disabled or a sudden unplanned job change and a hard time replacing the income they can fail on some things. This is sad but happens in life. Bankruptcy exists for a reason. That being said I have a hard time with people borrowing money they know they will not be able to pay back or 'strategic defaults'.

This does bring us back to point 5. Jingle mailing B of A when you can afford the payment is a bit different than getting owner financing from a neighbor, ceasing payment and making them go through a ton of effort to get you out. Sort of like stealing from Mom and Pop's corner store is a bit different than Walmart. It doesn't make these actions right, just that I can see how someone could feel a bit less bad about them.

Fundamentally lethal force should be used judiciously in defense of life, limb, eyesight and essential property.  The words most commonly used in legal circles are ability, opportunity and jeopardy. Ability is about a weapon or disparity of size that means they have the ability to harm me. Opportunity is about proximity; a  guy with a knife can't stab me from 50 yards away but somebody with a gun could shoot me. Jeopardy is that you reasonably believe to be in danger. Randy Coulture or Bass Rutten (both famous professional fighters and all around scary guys) would have a hard time justifying shooting an narmed 200 pound man while 5 ft 100 pound Sally could justify shooting that same 200 pound man.

Property is an interesting sticking point. I won't shoot somebody if they try to steal my TV (but will shoot someone trying to take food that will feed Wifey and Walker during an emergency). That is what insurance is for and to be honest popping off meth heads for stealing my TV just isn't worth the hassle.

In some states people have the legal right to use lethal force in defense of property. Even setting aside ethical considerations it probably just isn't worth the hassle of shooting a meth head trying to steal your TV. If you fix the window and get a TV things can be back to normal in a couple days while shooting Meth Head Bob could very well ruin your life.
Anyway that sums up my opinion on that. Onto the crazy Mad Max, Red Dawn times.

The idea of using lethal force a bit freely is a common theme in survivalist circles. A lot of this blustering is just BS, sometimes 6 pack deep BS. However even factoring that in some seriously warped beliefs still exist.

To paraphrase AM  "the concept of ethically justifying the profession of arms (or killing outside of the most narrow defensive scenario) is dubious at best."

There is how the world should be and how it actually is. People shouldn't fight and counties shouldn't have wars. Also people should date based on personalities and character not shallower things like boobs, butts, biceps and bank accounts. When they disagree adults fight and when countries (or tribes) disagree they go to war. Sometimes they do it for good reasons and other times for bad reasons but most of the time they are in between. If you want a job that is easy to always feel good about become a doctor and volunteer free medical services to disadvantaged children.

There is a definite need to respond with some proportion to events.  Shooting or choke slamming a hungry 10 year old kid who is trying to steal from your garden doesn't make sense. Having a variety of options like basic hand to hand skills, mace, tasers, rubber bullets, etc helps here.

I do not believe that you must wait for somebody to attack you to respond. If you know a fight is coming better to be attacking their camp at 3am than them doing the same to you. That being said this is a hard one to balance. Folks would have to be pretty bad (like the classic roving robbing raping gang) or I would have to be pretty darn confident they were going to hurt me or mine to go this way.

Outside of a direct self defense situation such as in a civil war or guerilla situation things get even more complicated. Somebody can be an active participant in a conflict without pulling triggers. Hitler didn't (to the best of my knowledge) personally kill anybody but he was obviously a participant. In my opinion active participants, leaders and such are fair targets.

Everyone who disagrees with your agenda is not a legitimate target. Also the friends and family of legitimate targets are not automatically legitimate targets. Just because someone else can justify burning down houses with women and children inside doesn't mean that I will stoop to the same levels.

It is worth noting that low level folks who work in support of an organization may not actually believe in it or even in some cases be working voluntarily. A secretary who worked for the county might just be trying to feed her kids or not have a choice of staying on when the Chinese invade. A guy who runs a coffee shop can't very effectively turn away a bunch of young guys with guns. Especially those who are able to trash the shop and hurt his family without reprisals if they want. The question of whether you can justify ethically kill someone is different from whether you should. 

I don't want to get into target selection too deeply because that is a different post that has been written by other people. Simply put you figure out the goal and the effect which you believe will lead to said goal and then look to achieve it by selecting appropriate targets. I would argue that low level support type employees of the regime who are not actively of your same broad regional/ cultural group are better targeted by recruiting, co opting, bribing or coercion than violence.

Example: Jill is a normal 40ish lady in one of those executive assistant/ admin type jobs. She is a key person in a fairly important office at the district/ county level of the regime. You could easily kill Jill or grab her for a quick interrogation then kill her. You would learn some of what she remembers off the top of her head and disrupt internal processes there for a week or so.

On the other hand if you do some analysis on Jill other opportunities may exist. It may be possible to have somebody (a recruiter or their cut out) approach her at the right place and time. If she is leaning toward the regime or apolitical (Despite what politically active and strong feeling people think a lot of folks don't really care and just want to live their lives.) there may be an easy button to push or threaten to push. Selecting, recruiting and running sources is like target selection a whole other topic and one I am not all that well qualified to write on. My point is that Jill might develop into (willingly or less so) a very valuable source. She could help you fill in who they players are, tell you what is coming down the pipe, push through or falsify paperwork that is convenient for you and lose or misfile stuff that would hurt you.

In fact if the best guerrilla campaign you can come up with is to kill the regime's low level soldiers and support folks it is advisable to do some self education and research instead of acting. It is not that they aren't valid targets just that it isn't a winning plan.

Let's touch on that low level soldier for a second to try and explain the difference between killing some poor bastard and killing that poor bastard for a purpose. Finding a nice place to waiting for the random PLA soldier to walk by and busting a cap in his dome is fine I guess. On the other hand if you were to kill that same PLA soldier today then a couple guys in the market tomorrow and kidnap another off chasing some skirt in a week you might well force the local PLA leadership to restrict movement to larger groups. This will restrict their movement because folks can't go out in onesies and twosies to do whatever. Also it will hurt their morale and force their presence to be more aggressive.

To put it another way let's say Billy Bob and his cousins happen to stop and blow up the ambiguous lone water truck. It is just the first enemy thing that came by. On the other hand Tom's group, in conjunction with other groups also decides to start blowing up (or whatever) water trucks. Their goal is first to hurt the morale of the PLA by killing their showers and forcing them to eat field rations instead of real food. The long game and primary purpose is to make them start guarding the water trucks. This will tie up resources that could be used for active combat and will generally stretch their already thin resources even further.

Make sense?

Precision in lethal targeting is desirable. Obviously you want to kill the folks you mean to kill, not the school bus full of kids in front of them. This runs all the way from training to actually hit what you aim at to choosing when, where and how to engage targets.

There is a trade off between collateral damage and payoff. Collateral damage alienates people from your cause, gives the enemy PR opportunities and generally complicates your life. The amount of collateral damage that is acceptable for an operation varies based on the payoff.  This is really complicated and I don't think there are easy answers. If the equivalent of Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Stalin and Kim Jong Ill are all in the same place at the same time you hit it and use resources and energy to mitigate the collateral damage. On the other hand killing a soldier or minor figure but killing 6 random civilians and injuring 30 with a bomb is a bad trade. While I wouldn't target them specifically if a low level regime employee could get caught in something it wouldn't bother me too much.

The topic of collateral damage in the context of urban operations, people in houses and such is complicated. Proportion is important here as is the tactical urgency of the situation. Leveling an apartment building because somebody took a pop shot from a window is not smart. On the other hand of you are being effectively engaged or taking casualties do what you must. If somebody is stupid enough to shoot at some folks walking by from their house they should expect hate to be brought down on them. Shooting an RPG at a room that has a machine gun which is effectively engaging your element is probably a decent choice. If that RPG collapses the whole place and kills some innocent folks I'm sorry but those are the breaks.

Prudent target selection is very important. Aside from worries about collateral damage we have to consider that resources including time, money and ammunition are finite. This is especially important because Guerrillas are historically vastly out numbered and fairly poorly supplied/ resourced. A guerrilla group cannot trade a dead soldier and a case of rifle ammunition for the same regime blood and ammo. They will run out of men and weapons first which means they will lose, period.

We have to look at payoff. Guerrillas need to find times when they can shoot 200 bullets, kill 2 or 3 PLA soldiers and get away clean with them shooting lots of ammo and dropping a bunch of bombs onto an empty wood line. Also coming back to our previous point (if this is that organized) this needs to be in support of a desired effect.

While it is true that killing every PLA soldier would result in winning that isn't plausible and doesn't pass the historic reality check. Remember, if your group was capable of meeting the enemy openly in large scale combat this would be a conventional war, not a guerrilla war. A more plausible goal is to make the cost in terms of money and blood of pacifying/ holding the area more than the regime is willing to pay and wait until they give up. Or maybe conducting enough violence via attainable goals like wiping out a small outpost to make PR points until you are able to gain enough political backing to win that way or put together an army able to fight openly. All 3 of these options (fight till they leave, win via politics or win via open conflict) have historical presidencies though there is some muddling between the first two.

 So in conclusion. I think it is ethical to kill people who are trying to kill you or directly and tangibly supporting them. However unless they are trying to kill you it is prudent to target specific groups in pursuit of your overall objectives. Don't do something just to do it, do it to achieve an effect. 

Anyway this post got really long and rambling. Hopefully it makes you think about some things. Input is welcome.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Read and Think

TEOTWAWKI Blog did a good post on 5 Tips for Avoiding Violence. My thoughts on it are as follows:

#1 Nothing good happens after 11 o'clock. We could debate exact times but the principle is sound.

#2 It is about choices. You can choose to pay a bit more in rent or have a slightly more modest place to live in a safer area. Maybe you can drive a bit further or in an extreme case choose to relocate to another city or region.

#5 In some situations harsh commands will let you separate a odd guy or somebody with mental problems/ whatever from a more probably threat. If you tell somebody to "Get the F back" and they keep coming, well at least you know there is a problem.

My bonus #6 would be to not be under heavy influence of drugs/ alcohol in public. I am not talking about a couple beers with dinner or a few drinks over the course of an evening. Being under heavy influence of anything makes you far more likely to miss the signs that a problem is coming or let yourself get into stupid situations. I am not judging as I enjoy some drinks myself. The point is that if you are going to tilt the bottle a little harder than usual keep it at home, or a buddy's place or whatever.

Anyway those are my thoughts on a great post.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Quote of the Day and Discussion

"A gun you can’t reach in an emergency is useless. When I read that book (Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, TOR) as a high school kid, it struck me that since I had long possessed guns in my bedroom including a loaded Colt .45 automatic, I would have had a lot more options than Clutter’s son did when the homicidal intruders entered his bedroom…and, knowing my dad, in Herb Clutter’s situation my old man’s regularly-carried Colt Cobra .38 revolver would have probably gone into action long before things got even that far.

In a lifetime among cops since, I’ve noted that investigators who piece together the aftermaths of home invasion murders tend to keep their guns on all the time after that, even when off duty in their own house, and keep them by the bed when they go to sleep.

They have learned from the helplessly-murdered dead"

-Massad Ayoob


I don't really have anything to say about the quote. It pretty much stands for itself.  The more worthwhile discussion is to the larger issue of deployment of defensive weapons at home.

If you think getting to the bedroom/ basement, turning the combo on the big ole gun safe left to 12 right to 6 and left again to 3, pulling out and loading a gun is going to work you are kidding yourself. For defensive purposes you might as well not own guns if you can't get to one very quickly. If somebody boots the door you need a gun right now, like almost immediately.

There are two basic options here. Carry a piece or have a bunch of them all over the place. There are some considerations which may affect your choice. The biggest consideration without a doubt is the occupants and regular visitors to your home. I won't tell you how to live your life. However if there are residents like young children (the age could be debated, some folks think a 4 year old having access to a gun is safe and others think it is closer to 25) or adults without the mental capacity to be responsible with firearms then having them lying around all over the place is stupid. Note that I didn't say everybody who is in your home needs to be an expert with guns or even know how to use them. Just that they have the mental capacity to be safe around them. Example, My 28 year old defacto sister in law hates guns and to the best of my knowledge has never touched one. She comes to visit. Her default reaction would be to leave a gun alone if she found it. She would either reach past it to grab something from the cabinet or whatever or ask one of us "could you grab the X from the cabinet with the handgun in it?" Even without the head knowledge she has the adult decision making to leave guns alone.

We could debate putting a gun outside of the physical reach of a kid, like on a high shelf or something. I know folks who have done it without incident. My buddy found out there was a 1911 in the cabinet above the kitchen stove when he was 13, it had been there his whole life. YMMV but personally I do not feel at all comfortable with this plan. Kids get into all sorts of stuff and tend to do it when they are in the dangerously curious accidentally shoot somebody age range.

Anyway to me when it comes to residents or very frequent visitors this is a GO/NO GO thing. Moving a few things around when your sister who has a pair of toddlers comes over for Christmas is easy but if there are regularly little kids or adults with diminished capacity due to mental health issues or drug use having unsecured guns all over the place is a NO GO.

If there are only adults in the home having guns all over the place is an option. Obviously this will only work if you have multiple viable guns to place around your residence.  If you have just one gun it would end up in a nightstand all the way in the bedroom which is a bad option. In Alabama I had a pistol and a shotgun by my seat in the living room, a pistol and a shotgun by the bed, and a handgun in the other rooms. At the furthest point I might have been 4 paces from a loaded gun and that was from an awkward point in the hallway.  This plan was sufficient to me and looking back I can't find fault in it. They were not locked up (which could be debated) but were concealed. With the exception of the steriotypical bedside none of them were in places you would look for a gun. As an option you could get a few of those convenient little quick opening hide a piece type safe's. Put one in the bedroom, one in the living room, etc. Slightly slower but it would be secure.

The other option is to just carry a handgun with you, physically attached to your person until you go to sleep at night. This is really probably the best option as a lethal option is on your person at all times. It covers everything. Working out in the garage, fiddling around on the deck or in the yard, etc. Just continuing to wear whatever setup you use out of the house is a very valid option if you will actually do it.

Regardless of your choice to carry or stash guns having a long gun quickly accessible is a good idea also. You probably won't carry one around the house all the time so it would need to be stashed, maybe in some sort of quick to open safe. Maybe something like this. Long guns are far more lethal than pistols. If memory serves me correctly the boring old 30-30 crushes the venerable .44 mag in terms of energy. Also probably more importantly most people shoot them a lot better. Folks shoot at each other at CQB ranges with pistols and miss all the time. The longer sight radius and multiple points of contact of a long gun make them much easier to shoot well.

Personally I will not do that, it is a fine idea but not something I will actually do. After getting off work and changing out of my stupid greyish monkey suit and boots I almost immediately change into comfortable clothes that are not carry friendly. Some sort of alternate carry method like a shoulder holster or one of the belt and pouch type holsters like the smart carry  or the belly band would be options worth looking at.  When we get back to the states my plan is a loose combination of both. Having weapons readily accessible but secured in a couple key places and one on me. Maybe it is a little belt and suspenders but nothing succeeds quite like excess.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life is What Happens When You Turn The News Off

I seem to go into a sort of cycle with the news. Right now I am about sick of it. I still check out the drudge daily and if things get boring cruise the BBC. Instead of listening to the news at work I have been using a comedy show as background. I keep up enough to have a clue what is going on but really am having a hard time pretending to care.

The issues of police abuses has been weighing pretty heavily on my mind lately. Over a short time (since my being able to pay attention to these things at a relatively adult level) the changes which have occured are widespread and universally negative. Right now I do not have any additional thoughts on this topic which I am willing to share in a public venue.

Gang/ Mob attacks seem to be on the rise. The perpetrators, victims and area demographics seem to be quite consistent. The only thing that concerns me more than this is the total ambivalence of law enforcement about these crimes. The widespread efforts of government and media to conceal these events does not weigh positively into the mix either. I am not personally concerned about this. I do not frequent the kind of areas where this sort of thing has been happening. Also my life patterns, like being home at 7 to put the kid to bed, drops the odds even further. In any case it is still troubling.

Greece getting out of the Euro may almost be a foregone conclusion at this point. The idea of Euro bonds is laughable. Like cosigning for a loan your deadbeat brother in law/ whatever to get a loan it would require Germany be on the hook for things in the end. Like cosigning in general it is just a terrible idea. Banks or private markets are far better judges of who is a worthwhile risk than friends and family. I get what is in it for everybody but Germany, who actually has their financial house in order.

Also to complicate things there is significant risk to the Euro itself. As Tam put it "So Greece's profligate habits are threatening to drag the Euro under. Germany, the only wino at the bar keeping a squinty eye on the tab, is urging some restraint on Greece's part, which makes the Jerries the no-fun bad guy of the story."

The biggest way this inconveniences me is that it means I am not going to Greece which sucks. It was definitely on our short list before the mess of the last few months. Now the risk of getting stuck somewhere with a toddler in tow makes it a no travel zone for us. I guess it is a significant global risk, blah blah blah but I don't care about that.

So what did I do today?

After getting off work I came home for some quiet family time. For no clear reason I decided to make home made pizza. I had never done this but with some help from Wifey utter disaster was averted. I learned to do something new and we had a pretty good dinner. It was a nice quiet evening and I got something out of it.

It is worth noting that Dave Duffy wrote an article that inspired this one but was much better.

Anyway I hope you all have a nice quiet evening.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pic Post

What you get sometimes when I have to work late.

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