Spin Up to Violence; Escalating Self-Justification

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A few years ago a friend taught me something about escalating self-justification. My friend used to teach a crisis intervention course.  The gist was before most physical attacks we can behold escalation of insults, threats, or challenges.  Once he painted this picture in my head, I started to reflect on how this had played out to my or others advantage in many and various ways during my experiences in violence, and how this need could easily be exploited as a vulnerability to seize initiative and win the fight. Call to mind a playground fight that begins with one child insulting another, spinning up to insults about their mother – thereby self-justifying a punch in the face (at least in the child’s mind). We can extrapolate this to a couple guys in a bar posturing, insulting, or threatening one another, then take it farther to nations posturing warships, trading threats, or any form of saber-rattling. A social ambush predator is going to include some communication with their intended victim – that’s the social part. An asocial predator is not going to say a word but rather pull, point, and repeatedly shoot until you or yours are dead. Once you’re down and done they may add a few extra rounds in your dying body to ensure zero chance of recovery and testimony at trial. In this post I’m going to take a look at how some social ambush predators have a psychological need to feel self-justified as part of their spin up before using deadly force. Their psychological hesitation ought not be wasted as it presents a window of opportunity to a just defender. An opportunity to handle this deadly force encounter as a shooting juxtaposed to a gunfight. More on that later in this article.

In March of this year Metro Nashville, Tennessee Police Officer Josh Baker initiated a traffic stop on a black Camero. Long story short, the driver 31 year old Nika Nicole Holbert did not desire the officer to detain her in handcuffs as a result of Officer Baker finding suspected illegal drugs in her possession. She re-entered her vehicles driver seat. There Officer Baker attempted to taser her without any good effect. Ms. Holbert pulled first. Officer Baker demanded Ms. Holbert put her gun down and Holbert then shot Officer Baker first! Officer Baker then returned fire. Returned being the qualifying term. This had become a gunfight juxtaposed to a shooting. Duels are immoral and duels are dumb. Duels are exceedingly dumb at point blank range. Why? Each gunfighter need only raise their firearm and the torso of their adversary fills the entire backdrop of the end of their muzzle / sights. Gunfights at point-blank range often equal mutual destruction. Juxtaposed to a gunfight – shootings are smart because only one person (preferably the innocent defender) is doing all the shooting!

Those who have received proper instruction in a two-handed pistol grip and have acquired some marksmanship would benefit by pushing the fight out to greater distances. Criminal aggressors who shoot with a single-handed grip and no marksmanship skills are more vulnerable and at significant disadvantage at distances beyond point-blank ranges.

View the entire video of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department video news release.
Full Humilitas First Break Down of This Deadly Force Gunfight

Holbert is heard on the video saying “Help me, help! Help! Help! I didn’t do nothing.” Is this her sincere belief or is she prepping the legal battlefield for what she believes is (in her mind) a form of self-defense? Only she knew the answer. How have we come to a place socially where many believe we do not have to comply with legitimate authorities nor the rule of law?

The camera angle shows Holbert withdraw her hand to a place of concealment along her right side. I believe Ms. Holbert reaches down between drivers seat and center console filling her hand with a firearm then raising and brandishing that firearm. Officer Baker yells “Ma’am! Put the gun down! Put the gun down!” Holbert then shoots Officer Baker first, beginning the gunfight at point-blank range. Officer Baker is critically injured, though following surgery his status is determined to be stable and ultimately he does recover from his injuries. Ms. Holbert is not so fortunate and ultimately she dies of her gun shot wounds a short time later.

Self-justification and legal justification as defined by statutes and court precedents are radically distinct and often very different things. Legal justification is going to include legal concepts like innocence, imminence, proportionality, avoidance, and reasonableness (objective & subjective). Self-justification is one’s own unique sense of justice.  Self-justification may or may not properly line up with the above mentioned legal concepts. It will depend upon the disposition of the persons involved. Things like that persons upbringing, world view, ideology, education, training, experience, and other factors has been referred to as a persons filter. That filter through which we make decisions. The late Col. John Boyd gave the world the OODA Loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act). Boyd purportedly believed similar criteria had an impact on the orientation stage and the orientation stage was arguably the most important stage of OODA. It is my opinion a man or woman’s filter effects how we observe or perceive, understand, decide, and act or not act.

After promotion to the rank of Sergeant I had a grace to begin to understand my promotion was not about me, and my ego. Little by little I came to understand the authority given ultimately was a responsibility. A responsibility to strive to become a craftsman and grow in competence. Authentic leadership isn’t about you! Authentic leadership is for your people. As a result of that grace one area of responsibility I began taking seriously was striving to take good notes as it related to all quality training. Why? To gain great reference material for the benefit of the people I served. Having a hand written notebook is useless if you need the information quickly, so I learned the value of transferring my hand written notes into Word documents which could be searched digitally within each file or many files as a batch in mere seconds by searching out keywords. Great note taking regarding fundamentals and timeliness became even more important as I received the added responsibility of being a Field Training Sergeant. Field Training Sergeants are part of the Department’s Field Training Program which has the primary responsibility of supervising training new police recruits and ensuring recruits are capable of performing the duties of a patrol officer. Field Training Sergeants had opportunities to attend the best schools available, which was a great blessing for which I am grateful.

On May 12, 2008 I attended a department wide in-service training about basic active shooter. The following quotations were direct excerpts from the instructors manual; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training – Basic Active Shooter Course I.

“Action is Faster than Reaction – Training to respond to threats lets first responders act, not react. This is critical because there are inherent limitations on a person’s ability to assess and respond to perceived threats. An individual’s reaction is always slower than the action that prompted the response.i

And…

Officer must react to a threat before it manifest into an assault.ii

A window of opportunity opened wide at the precise moment Officer Baker see’s Ms Holbert display a firearm in her hand. A green colored timer counts up to .73 seconds. The color green is to convey this as the time for the officer to act decisively to stop this imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death. The timer resets and you see a yellow colored timer counting up to 3.07 seconds. The color yellow is to convey great caution is necessary as time is running out! The timer resets and you see a red timer counting up to 1.56 seconds. The color red is to convey the window of opportunity to engage in a shooting and avoid a gunfight has now closed! We’ve now entered a gunfight at point-blank range, which often means mutual destruction or at least mutual damage. Look at this short video showing this window of opportunity open and quickly close:

Humilitas First Commentary

Considering John Boyd’s OODA Loop, what was Officer Baker’s next Act?  Officer Baker see’s a gun, understands it is a gun, decides to warn, and then yells “Ma’am!” That was his next Act; “Ma’am…. put the gun down!” In law enforcement I recall being told an officer typically takes about 1.5 seconds to react to an action. Based upon my research and study reaction time (the whole OODA loop) is often closer to, perhaps even slightly faster than .75 of a second. For a person who’s already Observed, Oriented, and Decided, the Act part of drawing, pointing, and shooting is much quicker around .25 to just over .33 of a second. Understanding these action and reaction time frames we can know with a high degree of probability Officer Baker observed the gun being raised about .75 before he yelled “Ma’am!” If a person has received training (or experience), and they know what to look for we can keep response time down to around .75 of a second. Build in a trained response via role-playing scenarios and likewise we can keep reaction time down to the bare minimum. What does one look for in a hostile confrontation? Primacy of place goes to watching the persons hands. With experience you learn to simply ignore your adversaries mean mugging intimidation game face. Game face is often merely posturing. Game face doesn’t show me the strength of your will. We’ll find out soon enough what’s what, when your will gets tested in the combat. What I need to know is where your hands are, what they’re reaching for (Waistline? Pockets?), and what weapon is being pulled? Secondarily, presuming his hands are clearly visible and they remain visible, and empty, an adversaries eyes will often give hints to what’s next. Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) often catch folks stealing a quick glance to their right or left? Often that is where they will break and run. For an intended victim (non-police) unjust aggressors will often look to the logical location where a police officer or other witnesses would approach to intervene or witness what they’re about to do. Primacy of place or priority will always defer back to his hands. Where are his hands, are they reaching for concealed areas, and what are his hands touching, pulling, holding, raising, aligning, shooting, or otherwise using a dangerous weapon?

LEO’s learn quickly that unjust criminal aggressors lie and deceive both in their words and in their body language. I couldn’t care less what a suspected unjust aggressor is saying verbally or non-verbally (most of communication). I care about their actions. I learned early from experience body language ruses can absolutely purchase surprise. Compliance was a kind of test, as to whether force would be necessary. So long as we had compliance we had no errors, drips, or runs, as one Field Training Coach was fond of saying.

Presuming Officer Baker does not desire a gunfight at point-blank range what ought his next Act be? Officer Baker ought to draw, aim, and shoot repeatedly until the imminent threat of great bodily harm or death (initiated by Ms. Holbert) is eliminated. Whether Ms Holbert lives or dies depends, in part, upon what Ms. Holbert does in the following milliseconds or seconds. Ms. Holbert is free to do the next right thing at any point during this deadly force confrontation by immediately dropping the firearm and showing her hands. How is this no longer common sense?  I call that kind of full surrender a psychological stoppage.  It is the place where bad guys quit or give up. If Ms. Holbert see’s Officer Baker beginning to draw his firearm and instead she decides to maintain retention of, display of, and a brandishing of her firearm – well that is her choice! Officer Baker then would shoot Ms. Holbert until she relents suffering a psychological stoppage, or until she suffers a physiological stoppage.  A physiological stoppage means Officer Baker removes her will from the equation.  Ms. Holbert is shot repeatedly until a point of incapacitation; paralyzed, unconsciousness, dying, or dead. Seizing the initiative when the window of opportunity presents itself means gaining an advantage in timing. Going first when it cannot be avoided! Seizing the initiative with spin up means taking advantage of and exploiting a persons need to escalate via insults, threats, or challenges. Moving through that vulnerability to efficiently remove the imminent threat. While the social ambush predator is striving to get you to insult, threaten, or challenge (giving you their violent resume, as it were) you’re seizing initiative, achieving and maintaining relative superiority and then once they’ve suffered a psychological stoppage (clear & convincing full surrender) you are then throttling back. For those whose will omits of no change, you’re throttling forward swiftly dragging them out to that deep place of vulnerability; a physiological stoppage. I always have to clarify this last part as this cannot ever be about vengeance or revenge. When innocents permit uncontrolled anger to engage in vengeance or revenge then they have both a moral problem with God and a legal problem with the state. The dying and dead part is truly God’s business. It’s about stopping the threat – not murdering the threat, though they may still die! Once an Officer or any innocent person of good will see’s a clear and convincing sign of full surrender (psychological stoppage Eg; dropping the firearm), or upon observing the threat’s incapacitation (paralyzed, unconscious, dying, or dead), as soon as is humanly possible the innocent defender STOPS! If and when it is reasonable under totality of circumstances the defender further separates the unjust criminal aggressor from their firearm, and either renders aid, or facilitates paramedics response attempting to save the unjust criminal aggressors life. They remain on scene and contact legitimate authorities to report the criminal attack against them or theirs. This is how an innocent person of good will acts following a deadly force confrontation.

People endowed with free will make decisions. Those tasked with the responsibility to defend and protect (including your family) acknowledge or affirm the decision and then the consequences play out. This is common sense. Proposals to have innocent people of good will, stand down, and permit an unjust ambush predator time and opportunity to unjustly murder innocents is to engage in madness!

What happens after the deadly force confrontation, in part, (legally there’s a lot more) separates innocent persons of good will from an unjust social or asocial ambush predators. The violence part of the solution is going to look the same whether employed by the just or the unjust.   Violence is ugly, but as the famous quote by John Stuart Mill said; “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things…”

How does an unjust criminal aggressor respond after the violence?  In all probability a social or an asocial ambush predator will continue shooting even after clear and convincing signs of a psychological or a physiological stoppage. In all probability a social or asocial ambush predator will immediately flee the scene, destroy or hide their weapon, and they will not call for professional medical aid in effort to save the life of the person they just unjustly tried to murder.

At this point some will want to rip their garments and lament: What about giving a warning?!   At what cost?  Officer Baker did give a warning and Ms. Holbert shot him. It is a blessing he is still among the living.  A warning is often at best a gamble.  Why would a reasonable and sane person desire to gamble with their life or the lives of those they purport to love by betting upon the good will of an unjust criminal aggressor?  Does it make any sense to do that?  No – of course not! With what percentage are you willing to gamble betting against your family or your life in the interests and in the favor of a social or asocial ambush predator?  My answer is zero percent!  Why?  Because the actions of an ambush predator are unjust. Meaning the unjust man or woman covets something immoral, unethical, and illegal!  Who is so crazy, blind, or confused that they think someone acting by threat of force, or force, to gain what they immorally, unethically, and illegally covet has any rights to do such things? Am I going to truly love my family, my brothers or sisters in arms (when active), and my life – or am I going to have a false compassion, a false love for the unjust criminal aggressors? Think clearly!

In this present case Ms. Holbert is willing to present an imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death, towards an innocent officer whilst coveting an unjust freedom (freedom – has – limits).

Ms. Holbert’s act is immoral, unethical, and illegal.  In my old house warnings were only given if feasible. What considerations get weighed in determining whether a warning is feasible? First and foremost a question: Does the innocent person of good will (Officer or citizen) have time, distance, and cover? At point-blank range you have no time or distance. If you still have cover it’s about get removed via an imminent flanking movement as your unjust aggressor, closes with, or compresses in upon and around that cover. So no – a warning is not feasible!  Context is another consideration. Say the context was completely different. Hypothetically say a neighbor called to report Ms. Holbert was outside in her yard intoxicated and shooting at her garden gnomes. In this hypothetical, say Ms. Holbert lives in a municipality where you cannot go outside and shoot at your garden gnomes. That’s a radically different context than what we see here. Here Ms. Holbert’s problem is Officer Baker’s will to detain her in handcuffs. Ms. Holbert presents an imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death as the solution to her problem – NO A WARNING IS NOT FEASIBLE!

Think about these things.

iTexas State University San Marcos in partnership between Texas State University – San Marcos, Texas and the Hays County, Texas Sheriff’s Office.

iiTexas State University San Marcos in partnership between Texas State University – San Marcos, Texas and the Hays County, Texas Sheriff’s Office

New Targets In One Georgia Police Department!

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I read a story over at Police 1 with this headline: “Ga. PD launches ‘Shoot to Incapacitate’ program.1 If you read my last post you know I agree with shooting to incapacitate, stop the threat, or cause a physiological stoppage. However, things are not always what they seem. In this post I’m going to look at a few excerpts regarding this police training and touch on how bad ideas like this may affect all innocent people of good will.

“The course is the first of its kind in Georgia and could well be a first in the nation. It is teaching officers that in some instances where they are authorized to use deadly force, they have the option to aim for the pelvic region, abdomen, legs and arms of a person posing a threat. The idea is that a gunshot to these areas, while still potentially deadly, could stop the threat while increasing the chance that the wounds will not be fatal.2

Etymology (fancy way of saying origin) of the word incapacitate:

“1660s in general use, “deprive of natural power,” from incapacity3

When viewing several different definitions online for capacity it seems to me the plain meaning in our context has to do with physical ability. To incapacitate has to do with depriving of capacity or disabling – removing the bad guy’s physical ability to bring his will to bear. In Carl Von Clausewitz’s book On War, he defines war in part as having to do with the will.

War therefore is an act of violence to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.4

I recall a Catholic priest giving a talk refer to verbal engineering as weasel worded terminology or serpentine semantics. Any shots that fail to incapacitate could (as the article says) – could influence the bad guy to quit – to have a change in his will. Could also means his will may remain the same, permitting him to finish the threat killing innocent(s). I grow weary of seeing words redefined. Stop changing the meaning of words!

It seems to me this new targeting program would more appropriately be titled; shoot to influence. It is my opinion, this type of targeting increases risks to innocent officers and to all innocent citizens in the immediate area of these negligent tactics. Keep it simple and continue calling it; shoot to stop the threat. Those are perfectly good words. There is no reason to change those words!

Back to the article:

“The pelvic area, thighs, legs and arms were green or yellow — indicating desired spots to aim. The chest, upper torso, head and neck were shaded in red — indicating areas to try to avoid.5

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I’ll begin with the good; then I’ll move on to the bad, and the ugly. I do see some circumstances where targeting the pelvic area has some merit. Consider for instance a law enforcement special task force or perhaps a special military unit going after some high value target. The person would be of high value because they possess knowledge critical to mission completion. Say for instance an unjust criminal aggressor representing an imminent threat of great bodily harm or death is a member of a sex trafficking network, or they’ve kidnapped someone, and only they know where the victim(s) are being held. There is a difference between a threat and an assault. A simple way of explaining this is when the unjust criminal aggressor reaches for, puts his hand on, or pulls a firearm as a solution to his problem (you), that’s a threat. When the unjust criminal aggressor points or shoots his firearm at you – that is an assault. During the threat portion of an attack, officers may willingly volunteer to assume the higher risks associated with targeting the pelvic area to capture a high value target in hopes of acquiring the critical information necessary for completion of the mission. Good leaders would be upfront about these facts and considerations.

If that be the case, I’d prefer to deploy a rifle juxtaposed to a pistol. Also I’d want time, distance, and cover (think big tree). When I was a young police officer in the early 1990’s, a friend and Emergency Response Team (ERT) member, explained his thoughts on the Israeli method of targeting the pelvic area, IN ADDITION TO, and after, first targeting center mass, and the head. One could say; working the spinal column, as it were. The gist was the pelvic area was thought to be another way of possibly stopping an unjust aggressor’s forward movement. That may stop the bad guys compression of time, distance, and cover with you or yours. May – being a qualifying term. I placed my friends advice in my mental file cabinet should I ever have trouble stopping a deadly force threat with traditional center mass and head shot solutions.

Now the bad; targeting the legs or arms is bad primarily because it places a higher priority on the life of the unjust criminal aggressor than innocent lives like police or any person of good will. This is due to giving the unjust criminal aggressor the gift of initiative. Giving him opportunity to continue and finish what he’s started. This is a form of gambling with innocent lives. Why? Time is a precious commodity in a deadly force confrontation. Targeting the legs or arms also increases the probability of third party collateral damage due to an increased likelihood of misses and / or pass through. Targeting the legs and arms turns upside down giving priority of life to innocents.

Force Science back in 2006 did a great job explaining why innocents ought not shoot to wound. Below are a few bullet points from their article. I encourage you to read the whole article at the following link6. Anytime you see the word officers mentioned, you may instead substitute innocent person:

  • “When you impose a standard of strict necessity, you require officers to do a whole lot of thinking in a situation where the Supreme Court recognizes there’s not a whole lot of time to think in,” …“an officer faced with a suspect running at him with a jagged bottle is expected to think about getting target acquisition on an arm or a leg, while his own life is at risk.” The hesitation it is likely to create will only heighten his risk.7
  • “When the risk of failure is death, an officer needs the highest percentage chance of success he can get…8
  • “if your life is threatened you’re going to go for the surer thing first and worry about your assailant’s life being saved second. If a guy is running at me with a blade, the last thing I’m going to be thinking is ‘I’m going to shoot him in the arm.’” Hence, shooting for center mass may become a psychological default9.
  • “Successful” shots that don’t persuade an offender to quit leave the officer still in peril. When we know from street experience that even multiple center-mass hits don’t always stop determined, deranged or drugged attackers, “how many officers would be murdered by offenders who get shot in a limb and are still fully capable of shooting back?” Chudwin asks. Indeed, Avery believes that shooting an offender without incapacitating him “may just infuriate him, so he doubles his effort to kill you. There is no dependable correlation between wounding someone and making them stop.10

Note: Force Science has a correct usage of the word “incapacitating.” Can you look at a person and know with certainty the strength of their will? No – you – cannot! Shooting to wound is a gamble, and the stakes are innocent life or innocent death.

  • The experts we consulted agreed that advocates who push a shoot-to-wound agenda appear to understand little about human dynamics, ballistics, tactics, force legalities or the challenges officers face on the street. Chudwin has found that these critics of police practices can often be enlightened if they are invited to experience force decision-making scenarios on a firearms simulator. Avery has a more dramatic, if fanciful, idea. “Put them in a cage with a lion,” he suggests. “Then let’s see if they shoot to wound.11
Pixabay.com

Force Science provides outstanding content relating to the dynamics of deadly force encounters and I highly recommend their website @ https://www.forcescience.org/

Now the ugly; lies are ugly. The ugly is the sophistry that shooting in the abdomen, leg, or arm has the power to immediately incapacitate. That – is – a – lie. It has the potential to influence the will, which means it also has the potential to NOT INFLUENCE THE WILL! The truth is incapacitation is about rendering an unjust criminal aggressor paralyzed, unconscious, dying, or dead. This is a hard saying! Many cannot bear to hear such words. Whether you like it or not or believe it or not does not change the reality behind it. As always, the dead part is God’s business. Once that threat is stopped men and women of good will render aid (circumstances permitting) or intervene by summoning life saving assistance in the hopes that the paralyzed, unconscious, or dying status doesn’t end in the dead status. If the unjust man or woman stops at any point by their own free will that is called a psychological stoppage. If the criminal stops – those using just legitimate defense stop.

In conclusion, why should a concealed carry guy or gal who’s just looking to protect themselves or their family care about any of this? Sophistries or lies regardless whether they’re born out of incompetence, ignorance, bad ideology, cowardice, compromise, or even malice will not cease at the feet of law enforcement. These lies will begin to impact all people of good will who rightly and legitimately defend themselves and those they love. At the end of the day who has prosecutor discretion? The county prosecutor who is an elected official. For at least a few years we’ve seen super PACs (Political Action Committees) using large amounts of money to help elect activist progressive prosecutors into States Attorney’s Offices. We see examples of prosecutors showing bias, favor, and false compassion to unjust criminal aggressors. Is it your belief that these types of prosecutors will limit their false compassion for the unjust criminal aggressor only in cases involving innocent police officers? Do you honestly imagine that same activist prosecutor will have a change of heart and then reject their false compassion for the unjust criminal thereby exercising a just discretion because you’re an innocent citizen of good will? If you believe that, you error!

For these reasons there are a number of large cities in our country I will avoid except in rare circumstances. It’s not difficult to do a little vetting to see what kind of prosecutor holds office in counties near where you live – or travel. Did this, that, or the other prosecutor receive support from super PAC’s via advertisements? It’s not difficult to research looking for promises these folks made during their campaign and following. When they begin saying they’ll refuse to prosecute a number of crimes they feel are unfair, that is a big red flag! This isn’t rocket science. You will know them by their fruits. To be forewarned, is to be forearmed.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Saint Paul:

“I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air1

1https://www.police1.com/police-training/articles/ga-pd-launches-shoot-to-incapacitate-program-82YJIpU2MUoRvuqV/ By Brad Schrade The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

2https://www.police1.com/police-training/articles/ga-pd-launches-shoot-to-incapacitate-program-82YJIpU2MUoRvuqV/ By Brad Schrade The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

3https://www.etymonline.com/word/incapacitate

4Carl Von Clausewitz – On War

5https://www.police1.com/police-training/articles/ga-pd-launches-shoot-to-incapacitate-program-82YJIpU2MUoRvuqV/ By Brad Schrade The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

6https://www.forcescience.org/2006/03/why-shooting-to-wound-doesnt-make-sense-scientifically-legally-or-tactically/

7Why Shooting To Wound Doesn’t Make Sense Scientifically, Legally, Or Tactically By Chuck Remsberg

8Why Shooting To Wound Doesn’t Make Sense Scientifically, Legally, Or Tactically By Chuck Remsberg

9Why Shooting To Wound Doesn’t Make Sense Scientifically, Legally, Or Tactically By Chuck Remsberg

10Why Shooting To Wound Doesn’t Make Sense Scientifically, Legally, Or Tactically By Chuck Remsberg

11Why Shooting To Wound Doesn’t Make Sense Scientifically, Legally, Or Tactically By Chuck Remsberg

12Douay Rheims 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 26

Why Don’t Police Shoot for the Leg?

I read a story over at Fox News by David Rutz, about recent comments made involving the Ma’Khai Bryant police shooting in Columbus, Ohio. During my police career (1991-2017) officers received training to stop deadly force threats.  In this post I’ll take a look at some of the reasons protectors stop threats as efficiently as is possible. I’ll include a few excerpts from Rutz article along with some thoughts.

“The View” Joy Behar wondered why the officer who killed Bryant didn’t “…Shoot the gun in the air, warning, tase a person, shoot them in the leg, shoot them in the behind. Stop them somehow. But if the only solution is to kill a teenager, there’s something wrong with this.1

Warning shots were prohibited by Department policy. Police are responsible for every round they fire. That responsibility extends to unintended consequences and the potential for collateral damage. That is why protectors should not use warning shots under tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving violent confrontations. Are there any agencies in the United States that even allow warning shots in 2021?

Shooting someone in the leg or“behind,” juxtaposed to immediately stopping the threat, may still result in death via damage to major arteries (Eg; femoral artery), a bullet deflecting, shattering, or splintering bones, all of which could still end up damaging major arteries or a vital organ. But the real reason police don’t shoot to wound has to do with efficiently stopping the threat. If bullets need sent then the only direction to send them is into the person presenting an unjust imminent threat of great bodily harm (Illinois statute), or death. Unjust is a qualifying term. Words matter.

Men and women of good will who would take up arms to defend need to understand what Carl Von Clausewitz wrote in his book On War;

War therefore is an act of violence to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.2

How do you know the strength of a man’s will? In my professional experience I could make probable guesses on a man’s physical strength but occasionally I would be surprised. Once I physically locked up with a man, I knew immediately his strength, speed, and agility juxtaposed to my strength, speed, and agility. But the will is a different animal altogether. We come to know a man’s will as it is proven out in the combat.

Unjust criminal aggressors have no legitimate moral, ethical, or legal rights to threaten great bodily harm, or death, as a means of achieving their covetous desires for your material goods, your body (pleasure or ego), or your life. They have no moral or legal rights to rob, rape, or murder an innocent. Innocent is a qualifying term. Innocent police and innocent citizens absolutely have moral and legal rights to stop their unjust criminal aggressors from causing them great bodily harm, or death.

To understand something you often have to go back to the beginning. Humanity seems to have a problem with remembering her history. We ought to strive to see our Constitutional rights through our unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.3

As Americans, we have an unalienable right endowed by God to life. I would argue implicit in that right to life, is a right to the means of defending our life (think 2nd Amendment). The Declaration of Independence (1776) preceded the United States Constitution (1787). Throughout our history, had our nation remembered and used these truths to illumine decision making as it relates to Constitutional types of questions, we wouldn’t have made as many major errors. For instance, slavery could have been rightly eradicated earlier in our history, as the word liberty means freedom. Likewise, had our nation remembered these unalienable truths in the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe V Wade, we would not have the evil of abortion, an unjust law, in the land of the free and home of the brave.

As it relates to the things of God we could go back to the Psalms:

Psalm 82: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? [Selah] 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

There really is nothing new under the sun. In this republic based upon the rule of law – life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness have both moral and legal limits. A citizen can lose their right to pursue happiness, and liberty, by choosing the criminal life. This is why we rightly build prisons. Likewise, those who present an unjust imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death to an innocent can lose their right to life. God certainly recognizes legitimate defense of others and self. As a Catholic, the Church teaches in part: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.4” In the case of a police officer this includes all innocent citizens, brothers and sisters in arms, and a right to protect one’s own innocent life. For a husband and father or mother and wife that includes one’s spouse and children. Self-defense is a well established legal term. The laws of all fifty States recognize to one degree or another this legal concept of self-defense. In the state of Illinois you find statutory language covering these things under 720 ILCS 5/ Article 7 Justified Use of Force; Exoneration.

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+7&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=9900000

Less lethal options such as a taser or bean bag shotgun apply when the unjust criminal aggressor does not yet represent an imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death, to an innocent. Seeing and acting early provides the opportunity for less lethal options which ought not be wasted with a goofy loop (search this site to learn more about goofy loops).

If we’re going to look for solutions we have to reason back from the effect to the cause. I recall hearing Catholic Priest and exorcist Father Chad Ripperger recently say in an interview:

The effect is never greater than the cause. The cause is always greater than the effect that’s the first principle of metaphysics.5

What’s the effect?  Officers shoot an unjust criminal aggressor in defense of self or another innocent person. What’s the cause? The unjust threat of great bodily harm, or death is the cause for the immediate action required to stop that threat. Unjust desire alone isn’t enough! If a bad guy is killing me with his eyes that’s not an imminent deadly force threat. When his behaviors or actions reasonably add up to an imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death, that’s the underlying cause or problem that demands a decision and commensurate action. The unjust imminent deadly threat is the cause.

Police officers train to stop the threat. It is not mere semantics to say police seek to stop the threat, while paradoxically having a willingness to deliver lethal blow(s).  Police officers secure suspects, render aid, and facilitate life saving help via paramedics.  Police cease firing as soon as is humanly possible. In other words police stop as soon as they eliminate the threat. Stopping the threat is a radical distinction from how a soldier on a foreign battlefield might resolve the problem of a threat of great bodily harm, or death.

How are threats eliminated? The first and preferable way is through voluntarily compliance by the unjust aggressor. I call that a psychological stoppage. Police and all people of good will, should remain watchful for clear and convincing signs of surrender once an imminent deadly force threat exists. With a psychological stoppage we see a 180° turn or change in the unjust criminal aggressor’s will. He fully abandons his threat of great bodily harm, or death, towards the innocent officer, man, woman, or child. This is where the unjust aggressor drops the gun, knife, or bludgeon. He ceases advancing. He ceases compressing time, distance, and cover with his perceived innocent victim. He stops reaching for the gun and shows his hands. If he’s been shot he asks for medical assistance. In other words, he immediately, voluntarily, and fully withdraws the unjust imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death.

What priority of life would you suggest police adopt in a republic under the rule of law? If I were chief for a day, here’s how I would order priority of life:

  1. All innocents
  2. Self
  3. Unjust criminal aggressors (last)

As a Catholic my Faith teaches in part: “…it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.6” Are you willing to gamble with your people, or your own life? When time is of the essence, and the underlying cause is an unjust imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death, I would hope a good guy with a gun would not attempt to influence the unjust aggressor, but rather do their best to stop him, or her.

The difference between life and death in deadly force confrontations is often measured in milliseconds to just a few seconds. Therefore, a police officer or innocent citizen of good will defending must act as efficiently as is humanly possible in eliminating deadly force threats. How is this not common sense? The answer lay in Deuteronomy chapter 28 verses 15 and 28, which talks about madness, blindness, and confusion of mind. A part of the answer lay in a false compassion for the unjust criminal aggressors and increasingly a confusion between justice and vengeance. In part justice means:

“As a virtue, it is the constant and permanent determination to give everyone his or her rightful due.7

For the unjust aggressor who maintains an imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death, with no clear and convincing signs of a change in his will, we come to the second way of eliminating the threat. I call this second way a physiological stoppage.

In short a physiological stoppage involves delivering lethal blow(s) to efficiently stop the threat.  In Law Enforcement (L.E.) training we learned traditional means such as the failure drill. The failure drill was purportedly named the Mozambique Drill by the late Col. Jeff Cooper based upon the country from which this lesson originated8. For a single threat this drill consisted of targeting two rounds center mass with one round targeting the head. When dealing with multiple threats we were taught something different than the failure drill. In L.E. we were taught about the “T” intersection and expected physiological effects of sending a round into this area. In 2015, we learned a narrower and higher targeting called the thoracic area. This was a departure from the traditional targets of the bread box, as it were, which anatomically included the intestines.

Anatomically we know the thoracic area begins with the heart extending upwards including the spine, brain stem, and brain.  If you want more knowledge reach out via my email on the contact or training page and after a free consultation, I provide a custom tailored course for your specific needs.  I’m not giving away any great secrets as most unjust criminal aggressors already know what works as part of the criminal life and time spent in prison. Gang members have revealed through interviews what sources they look to in becoming more efficient killers and among those sources is the study of anatomy.

In general, a physiological stoppage efficiently stops the threat via incapacitation of the unjust criminal aggressor. Physiologically, a persons unjust will no longer matters when they’re paralyzed and unable to raise their arm and shoot, stab, or club you. Physiologically, a persons unjust will no longer matters when they’re unconscious, dying, or dead. When the heart, spine, or brain starts having a problem functioning properly a persons will doesn’t work so well.

Paraphrasing Clausewitz; all combat comes down to the will.  In a deadly force encounter, how do we target a man’s will? We seek to efficiently remove that unjust will. Ultimately, the outcome on whether the unjust man or woman live or die is God’s business. An unjust aggressor remains free to choose the psychological stoppage at any point in a deadly force confrontation. People of good will must not engage in vengeance or revenge. To engage in vengeance or revenge is to give uncontrolled anger primacy of place. In antiquity the word meekness meant controlled strength.  We must control our anger. God’s Word tells us vengeance is God’s business, not mans business. If we reject that truth and engage in vengeance we will have both a moral problem with God, and a legal problem with the state.

Why exactly must an unjust imminent threat of great bodily harm be stopped so efficiently? Time is a precious commodity in any deadly force confrontation. How long does it take an unjust criminal aggressor to pull, raise, and get to first shot with a firearm? At best, a quarter to a third of a second. How long at arms reach might an unjust aggressor deliver a lethal blunt or edged blow? At best, a quarter to a third of a second. A just defender who hesitates due to any number of legal, civil, or social fears (politics) or due to misguided deescalation training, abdicates his grave moral duty to protect innocent life and the initiative to win the fight over to the unjust criminal aggressor. Initiative is important to winning.

On my YouTube channel I breakdown deadly force encounters with first strikes often measured in milliseconds. The difference between winning and losing, living and dying, is often defined forever in just a few seconds. Windows of opportunity to win and live open and close quickly.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCluv2DStx7Y5PxEUiwzkO6Q/videos

Action beats reaction: A person reacting has to observe (stimulus), orient, decide, and act (John Boyd’s OODA Loop). That involves reaction time. Reaction time when breaking down videos is often around three-quarters of a second. Professionally, L.E. training estimated officer response times averaging 1.5 seconds. This is why officers respond to the unjust imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death. Waiting for the assault (Eg; pointing his firearm directly at you) means giving away initiative.

Deescalation is big buzzword these days. The time for deescalation comes before an imminent threat of great bodily harm, or death exists. Once that threat exists, the only choice is to stop the threat! This presumes a window of opportunity is open for the defender. It’s unwise to try draw on a drawn firearm. If a would-be robber is pointing a firearm at me I’m going to comply, hand him my wallet and be a good witness. If he remains an unjust deadly force threat and a window of opportunity opens, that opportunity may result in a different action for my part. Again, I’m not talking about vengeance I’m talking about rightly responding to an imminent deadly force threat.

Back to the article; Mr. Rutz writes:

Earlier in the week, a reporter asked Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods whether an officer could shoot a limb rather than to kill. “Can an officer shoot the leg, can they shoot somewhere that would not result in a fatal wound?” asked the unidentified reporter, noting that observers have asked the same question. “We don’t train to shoot the leg because that’s a small target,” Woods said. “We train to shoot center mass, what is available to stop that threat … There was a deadly force threat that was going on, so the officer is trained to shoot center mass.9

I would add, if anatomy showed the heart, brain, or brain stem located in the upper leg area police would begin aiming for the upper leg area. Why? To efficiently as is possible stop the unjust threat of great bodily harm, or death to an innocent.

In conclusion, I understand the political reasons those who sit in leadership seats would want to avoid hard sayings. Hard sayings in 2021, are inconvenient and very much out of season. We will never build any real trust or relationships so long as we continue avoiding truth. Men sitting in leadership seats who play stump the chump or suppress the truth with their people do no one any good service. We waste our time with feel good buzzwords (community policing, accountability, transparency, et al), and things continue to go from bad to worse. A spiritual principle applies here: the truth will make you free (John 8: 32). Jesus is Truth. All truth that truly is; subsists in He Who is Truth. Time is precious in deadly force confrontation. Things like initiative, timeliness, & efficiently stopping threats must be considered when we talk about tactics for all people of good will. Innocent citizens have a right to life in these United States that goes all the way back to the Declaration of Independence.

Think about these things.

1Columbus police shooting prompts media pundits to offer ‘TV-inspired nonsense’ on police tactics By David Rutz https://www.foxnews.com/media/columbus-shooting-media-repeating-discredited-officers-legs

2On War, Carl Von Clausewitz

3Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence

4Excerpt from #2265 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

5Fr Chad Ripperger and Dr Taylor Marshall Talk about Latin Mass, Latin, Exorcisms, Books, Prayer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUpsrW90uGQ

6Excerpt from #2264 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

7Justice – Modern Catholic Dictionary Fr. John A Hardon, S.J.

8https://www.shootingillustrated.com/articles/2017/5/18/the-mozambique-drill-a-history-and-how-to/

9Columbus police shooting prompts media pundits to offer ‘TV-inspired nonsense’ on police tactics By David Rutz https://www.foxnews.com/media/columbus-shooting-media-repeating-discredited-officers-legs

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

What do folks do who don’t desire to own or carry a firearm? Below are four public safety rules to help avoid violent confrontations. It is my opinion that a firearm is a great equalizer for smaller, weaker, slower, or outnumbered innocent persons. Pepper spray, edged or blunt tools, even hard surfaces are potential defensive weapons. Ultimately, your greatest weapon is your intellect and your will. A weak minded, or weak willed man gives away initiative, and perhaps loses his firearm to an unjust criminal aggressor. Please consider seeking out competent professional training for your self protection needs.

1. Avoid Dangerous Areas

Dangerous geographical areas are plagued by lawlessness. I prioritize the most dangerous areas as those with the highest illegal shots fired calls for service and unjust shootings. Why? Collateral damage. Regardless of a persons level of knowledge and skills, none of us can control where bullets go once they exit the muzzle of an unskilled and unjust criminal aggressor. Those crimes don’t occur in a vacuum. Included in those geographical areas will be a number of other violent, injurious, and deadly crimes.

Pro tip: Know your location. What street are you on? What is the nearest cross street and are you north, south, east, or west of that cross street? What address are you visiting? In recent years 911 county dispatch centers have made giant leaps in identifying a cellular callers location, though this still varies from one county to the next. Computers can and do go down. Know – your – location.

2. Avoid Dangerous Men

Trust your gut (if you’re Catholic trust your Guardian Angel; an angel is a messenger of God). Ignore all forms of political correctness that would urge you to let your guard down when your gut is telling you this, that, or the other person(s) are trying to isolate or corner you. Much like defensive driving tactics you have to observe farther down the road, that you might avoid and escape violent confrontations.

YouTube Grab

3. Avoid Dangerous Times

Avoid dangerous geographical areas from dusk ‘till dawn. Why? Generally there is an increase in party spirits, angry spirits, and lawless spirits. Folks having these types of dispositions have to sleep sometime, so it’s my preference to visit family or patronize businesses in these areas during early morning business hours.

4. Limit Time in Areas of Vulnerability

When driving into a dangerous geographical area realize proximity is king and time is a precious commodity. Efficiently organize and stage any items in your vehicle you are taking inside to family, work, or a business. This enables you to grab the item(s) and go. Sitting unaware in a parked vehicle gifts opportunities to unjust criminal aggressors to compress in, or to tactically stage, along your logical foot path. Strategies ought to limit or remove unjust criminal aggressor’s opportunities.

There are no guarantees, as vengeance and violence continue to ramp up, this scripture is sage advice:

Luke 21: 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.

Social Norms and Learning to be Unpredictable

Unjust criminal aggressors have no problem using social norms (folkways, mores, taboos, and even laws), to gain tactical advantages in positioning, timing, and over the will of their innocent victims. Unjust criminal aggressors understand the advantages of being unpredictable, and the gift of being underestimated. They understand the value of sandbagging or hiding their true intentions, skills, and weapons until there is nothing much you can do about it. The world today seems to be accommodating to criminals. In this post I’m going to talk about my introduction to rejecting the urge to comply with social norms.

I like simple definitions. In searching for what is a folkway, I strive to find the root meaning of words. In an article by Shanell Sanchez titled Social Norms: Folkways, Mores, Taboo, and Laws, I found what I was searching for. Folkways are normally perceived as rude. Mores are normally perceived as offensive. Taboos are normally perceived as something that will upset people.1 There are tactical advantages which can be gained in dealing with sketchy folks of the ambush predator type in being a bit rude, offensive, and upsetting. Primarily in ways that limit or remove opportunities for those sketchy folks to gain advantages in positioning, timing, or over our ‘will.’

In terms of law – think traffic laws. In Law Enforcement there are exemptions for emergency vehicles regarding traffic laws. We most certainly used those exemptions to our advantages. Now that I’m a retired LEO, am I willing to break a traffic law to keep my family safe from an unjust criminal predator? Yes! Officers have discretion and I’d be happy to explain why breaking a traffic law was necessary and the right thing to do. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll explain it to the judge. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll pay the ticket. Is a fine and mark against my driving record worth the rare instance where breaking a traffic law will protect my family or myself from an ambush predator? Yes, absolutely! In Law Enforcement when we broke traffic laws it was still with regard for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. At O’ dark thirty in any big city USA, there may be no other motorists on the road as far as we can see. However, there might be a male 15-50 tactically staged for a street robbery or vehicular hijacking at the next blind corner. There may be a male 15-50 compressing / closing in direct alignment or a near pass with my vehicle which is a common ruse to gain point blank range where you can be threatened and dominated. If disobeying a traffic law can be done with regard for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians, then it may well be the right thing to do.

In July of 1991, at 24 years old I was offered and accepted a job with the Springfield Police Department in Springfield, Illinois. I was sent to the Illinois State Police Academy, class 400-34. Our class motto was Honor, Pride, Esprit de Corps. Following graduation our class began the Field Training Program. Part of my experience included a brief opportunity with a Field Training Officer assigned to the Neighborhood Team Policing Unit (NTP). NTP was a small specialized unit. In 1991, NTP exclusively served the citizens of the John Hay Homes (public housing). NTP would later branch out to include working other violent hot spots in areas such as Evergreen Terrace and Brandon (public housing). NTP was the direct precursor to Springfield’s Gang Enforcement Mobile Unit (GEM). GEM was the precursor to Springfield’s modern day Street Crimes Unit (SCU).

Former John Hay Homes – YouTube grab

My introduction to tactically rejecting social norms came when a NTP-FTO said to me;

We’re going to get out with a suspect standing on the corner who has an active warrant for his arrest. I need you to grab hold of his arm, before you say anything. No talking. Do not say one word to him. If you say anything to him he will break, and he will run. Do you understand?

I acknowledged I understood. But did I? No. No, I did not! So guess what happened? As I approached the suspect, I said something authoritative like:

Put your hands on the car!

The suspect broke, and he ran. Thankfully, in those days I was fit enough to run him down, tackle him, and forcibly subdue him.

It did not feel right to grab hold of someone without saying something. Isn’t that rude, offensive, and perhaps upsetting? Because those authoritative words meant nothing to this young man, in reality, all I did was gift wrap initiative for him. The initiative to break, and run. The NTP-FTO was trying to teach me the difference between how a civilian thinks and how a police officer thinks. He was trying to teach me about a paradigm shift that I’d need to make if I desired to be competent as a police officer. At that time I had much to learn about social norms and initiative.

Had I listened, I would have gained an advantageous position (having hold of one of his arms). So long as I could hold on to that arm for a second or two, then the NTP-FTO could bring his intentions, skills, and weapons to bear. The deck would have been stacked against this wanted person with two innocents against one. Bad guys and galls have no problem using multiples to forcibly subdue innocent victims so why do we have a problem using multiple innocents to subdue an unjust criminal aggressor? Does it seem a bit unfair to our love for competition? I think the NTP-FTO was trying to teach me the difference between a competitive mindset and a winning mindset.

Why did I fail so horribly at such a simple task? Why couldn’t I just do what the NTP-FTO asked me to do? I still had a civilian mindset. The act of just grabbing a hold of this guys arm before saying anything felt odd, awkward, and outside all social norms – rude, offensive, and upsetting! When you grow up in tactics, as it were, you set aside the competitive mindset and adopt a winning mindset.

I still had a good amount of ‘buy in’ regarding a competitive mindset. The whole idea of tactics is to gain an advantage in positioning, timing, or over the will of an adversary. So why would I desire to intermix competition with winning? Part of the answer is ego. The good ego puts out in the service and sacrifice for others. The bad part of our ego is self-serving and the ugly part of our ego is how we feel due to the lies our ego’s tell us.

For my part, I couldn’t give what I did not have. There’s an awesome old Latin saying: Nemo dat quod non habet ~ No man gives what he does not have. Today I explain these things in a principle I call Throttle Control. There is absolute tactical gold in learning how to be odd, awkward, and unpredictable, and in doing that which is the least expected.

Ironically, several months later this same FTO was instrumental in bringing me into the NTP unit. At the conclusion of NTP, in 1994, he had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and went on to found and lead the Gang Enforcement Mobile Unit. Neighborhood Team Policing was where I cut my teeth, as it were. The experiences gained in this small six man unit taught me to be comfortable being odd, awkward, and unpredictable. NTP substantially served as my formation in Law Enforcement.

Me in the Neighborhood Team Policing Office – back in the day…

NTP targeted the most dangerous members of the community. Unit focus was on gang members, drug dealers, shooters, stolen firearms, firearms offenses, and drug interdiction. Our unit made hundreds of arrests. In the early 1990’s The Springfield Police Department published an annual top ten list for officers making the most arrests. In 1993, I had the second highest arrests on the department with a total of 246 (#1 top slot had 262). I had 196 misdemeanor, and 50 felony arrests. Two NTP teammates held the third (243), and fifth (214) top ten spots respectively. Both of these men had been hired on with me and we’re graduates of class 400-34. During our tenure team efforts resulted in the seizures of an abundance of crack cocaine, numerous firearms, and asset forfeitures of thousands of dollars in assets regarding both money and vehicles.

Former John Hay Homes – YouTube grab

What does all of this have to do with you the citizen just looking to protect your family and yourself? There are substantial advantages to be gained in learning how to become unpredictable. For instance stopping short at an intersection in a bad part of town, at night, when a male 15-50 is preparing to cross perpendicular to your vehicle, at the crosswalk. Stopping 70 feet short is odd, awkward, and least expected. That’s just one example.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add some context. This doesn’t mean being odd, awkward, and unpredictable in every circumstance, all the time. That would be really bad for both our social life and our relationships. Context matters. If we use Jeff Cooper’s color codes of situational awareness, we live and move, in condition yellow (aware). Depending on the environment we live and move in, it might be a very long time before we see a specific potential threat (color code orange). Some men make a statement to those around them through how they dress, adorn themselves, speak, and act that they’re a dangerous man not to be trifled with. So for that guy is it reasonable for me to maintain a six foot reactionary gap? Yes, that is reasonable. Maintaining a six foot reactionary gap could be deemed to be rude, offensive, and upsetting to some people. And I care why? If you choose to hold yourself out as a dangerous man why wouldn’t I believe you? Why wouldn’t I give you the respect and wide berth your demanding?

Political correctness (PC) is a curse and a pox upon the land – reject it in all of it’s various forms. PC may be deemed rude, offensive, and upsetting. Do you want to win or not? Winning can be as simple as avoiding dangerous men, dangerous places, at dangerous times, and by limiting time spent in areas of vulnerability.

Let’s imagine that I handled the arrest of the wanted man correctly, what might that have looked like? It would have looked a lot like a common ruse unjust ambush predators use. A disinterested near pass with a 90° cut at the critical apex point. Without a word spoken, I’d have grabbed hold of his arm and we’d go from there, based upon whatever he did next.

In general the same tactics and tools of violence can all be used for good or for evil. It comes down to the disposition and status of the one wielding the tactic or tool. What is the intention of the man or woman using the tactic or tool? Is the intention legitimate defense of self or others? Is the intention to rob, rape, or murder an innocent? Is the intention revenge or vengeance? Is the intention for a street reputation or gang initiation? Is the intention over some slight or offense given in response to entertaining the bad and ugly parts of a mans ego or is that man in actual jeopardy? Is the status of the person a mutual combatant, or are they an innocent man or woman justly using legitimate defense? These questions are a matter of spiritual life or death on the moral battlefield. As soon as the combat is finished (physical battlefield) presuming you win or survive, these questions are a matter of freedom or incarceration on that next legal battlefield. These questions may be a matter of financial stability or bankruptcy on the civil battlefield. And these questions may be a matter of gainful employment or beginning anew on the social battlefield. Choose – wisely.

Think about these things.

1Shanell Sanchez titled Social Norms: Folkways, Mores, Taboo, and Laws