Ruses – Detours Part II

The late Col John Boyd has been called “Forty Second Boyd.” Boyd purportedly had a standing offer to pay any fighter pilot $40.00 who could beat him in less than 40 seconds in simulated air combat. It was said no man ever collected that $40.00. Boyd would start out downrange, as it were, in a position of disadvantage. Boyd used a maneuver he called “flat-plating the bird.” It was said Boyd had the skill to flip the plane 90° using the underside of the plane and wings like a massive brake. The plane would slow radically down and Boyd would quickly exchange positions with his adversary thereby placing them downrange. Boyd would then take his simulated shots destroying his adversary in simulated air combat.

Check out the source article by Robert Coram providing this information and more at:

You might be thinking: So? So what! What does that have to with me? Ambush predators seek to use ruses to compress time, distance, and cover with their prey. They use lies, disinterested ruses, 90° cuts at the apex points, diversions or distractions, and even detours to gain point blank range.

The term self-defense has a legal meaning. Self-defense is a legal term. I’m not an attorney and this is not legal advice. However, I was a Police Lieutenant so I’ll share my thoughts good, bad, and ugly. If a prosecutor takes an interest in prosecuting you there will be legal tests and challenges as to whether you maintained the legal status of an “innocent.” In the unfortunate event of being charged with a crime for lawfully defending yourself, innocence is just one of five legal challenges on the legal battlefield. How might we lose our legal status as an innocent? Say a guy wants to ‘step outside and settle this like men’ if we willingly acquiesce by stepping outside direct or tacit agreement will likely be defined as mutual combat. If you lose “innocence,” then you lose the legal ability to claim self-defense. In other words you get convicted. It’s my opinion wherever we reasonably might avoid and escape that’s what we ought to do. It’s not always reasonable to our physical safety or the safety of those we have a grave moral duty to protect and defend.

To my knowledge in the state of Illinois no citizen is required to retreat to a more dangerous location. The example I’ve read as purportedly being applicable in all of the United States is; you don’t have to retreat onto a busy highway. In my opinion that’s too cautious of an example and probably not helpful for 99.9% of cases where we might have to use legitimate self-defense or defense of another. Flight may be limited by slower members of your family like children, elderly, or members with physical or mental disabilities. You are only as fast as your slowest member. If alone what are your physical limitations? What are the subject factors of your unjust aggressor(s)? Are they bigger, faster, and stronger?

Ambush predator’s have the same gifts of reason that innocent victims have. Experienced ambush predators will have done the math considering factors like will you have time to make it back to any kind of safety or make it forward to your perceived destination of safety. So what’s the option? Boyd gave us the answer. He used his adversaries desires to pursue him, to maneuver to a position of advantage.

Think ninety degree sharp cuts to a position of cover, concealment, or an obstacle. If I’m being threatened I want to be able to show jeopardy, pursuit, and thereby remove ambiguity for the legal, civil, and social battlefields. I want to be sure before I have to legitimately defend myself or another. Now I know – sometimes these things just are not possible. But where they are possible why wouldn’t I try to use these tactics? These tactics may actually discourage the unjust criminal aggressor and he may turn away. The qualifying term there is “may.” Therefore, to retreat beyond a good piece of cover, concealment, or obstacle is to retreat to a more dangerous position.

Whatever the facts are at the time of a use of less than lethal force, a display of your firearm, or the lethal use of a firearm are quite literally the difference of life or death, freedom or incarceration, and financial stability or bankruptcy. The following ought not be considered training as there are no options for those who might misunderstand to ask clarifying questions and receive clarifying answers. The five areas of primary concern on a legal battlefield are 1) Did you maintain innocence or were your actions found to be part of mutual combat. 2) Was the threat of force against you imminent? 3) Was your use of force proportional to the threat of force against you? 4) Were you able to attempt to avoid the violent confrontation? 5) Was your use of force both objectively and subjectively reasonable? These things weigh heavy.

After retirement I was challenged by an acquaintance whether I was going to invest in concealed carry insurance? Initially I sort of arrogantly scoffed at the idea. After all I’d been in Law Enforcement for over a quarter of a century. As part of what I desired to teach others I systematically read, highlighted, and studied about three dozen Illinois criminal cases involving a claim of self-defense. I also was blessed in finding a book called The Law of Self-defense, by Andrew F. Branca. The lessons I learned in studying Illinois cases were affirmed and elaborated upon in Branca’s book. I had a change of mind and ultimately invested in concealed carry insurance.

Let me reiterate if you can escape, do so. This is a judgment call. Gaining or losing an advantage in positioning or timing must be factored into your judgment. If defending is the only option then I’d seek to do so with something between me and my adversary. Preferably cover. Preferably from higher ground. Sometimes that’s just not an option and sometimes it makes sense to make sacrifices in positioning to gain an advantage in timing. Time is a precious commodity in any kind of violent confrontation.

We’re only as fast as the slowest member of our group and sometimes we have to delay our exits to buy time for our wife and children to avoid and escape.

Some coaches will argue and say the kind of example I provide: is not realistic! I say – it depends. For instance in a parking lot providing you see early this is realistic. The problem is most people don’t look out far enough. Many people fail to use much of any kind of situational awareness. Many folks permit distractions to dominate their attention. It is absolutely realistic to take an indirect route (a detour) to avoid folks you’re not comfortable with. Is it going to be realistic everywhere you go in life? Of course not! Of course – not. Is it realistic in a dangerous neighborhood? Yes. Are you willing to humble yourself and look like an odd, awkward, freak to avoid a violent confrontation. I’m willing to do that. Why? Because it works. Awkward or odd social behaviors exude uncertainty and unpredictability. Under the more rare dangerous circumstances those kinds of things strike at the will of an unjust criminal aggressor. An unjust criminal planning on hijacking your car at gunpoint will experience doubts if he see’s you stop exceedingly short at a stop light on a blind corner in the wee hours of the morning. Doubts will tempt him to consider his odds of going to prison, getting seriously hurt, or worse. He may think: There will be another car soon enough. Better to let this one go.

In spite of my best intentions say through some unfortunate series of events I find myself in a high crime area on foot. Maybe my car breaks down while transiting through, my phone dies, or I drop my phone and now it don’t work so well. Am willing to look like an awkward, odd, freak in an attempt to avoid a near pass with someone holding themselves out as dangerous? Yes, I can do that. That is realistic. Not every single person holds themselves out as a dangerous man. This ought to be a fairly rare incident unless I happen to live in that area. There are strategies for that as well. The ambush predator might think you are the police. Why would he think that? Good police officers learn to become very comfortable in ignoring social constructs to keep themselves and their brothers and sisters in arms safe. Effective con artists and unjust violent criminals use social constructs to gain advantages in positioning, timing, and over the will of both their adversaries (police) and their victims. Am I willing to look odd to gain an advantage in positioning, timing, and over the will of my adversary. Um….yes. I have no desire to engage in violent street confrontations.

What are we willing to do – to win? Are we willing to humble ourselves? Humbling oneself is probably the hardest thing we could do by our nature due to the remaining effects of original sin. For a man or woman who’s been downrange, as it were, in Law Enforcement or the Military ego is a very good thing in the service of our brothers and sisters in arms. In the service of your wife and children ego is a good thing! In the service of others is where the ego shines. When in the interest of vanity, insecurity, or fantasy then ego becomes a bad thing. Humbling oneself can feel very ugly at times. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

So lets get to an example:

High Crime Area

Imagine the blue figure is an innocent man. He observes someone he perceives to be a dangerous man illustrated as the red figure. The innocent man crosses the street to avoid a near pass. Having free will the dangerous man decides to quickly readjust so that again he’ll intersect with the innocent man. Ambiguity is being tested and replaced by jeopardy. Still not wanting to intersect and now closer than before, the innocent man takes another sharp cut moving off directly towards the rear corner of a nearby home. That’s the story his alignment is telling his adversary. The innocent man has done the math and his adversary appears to be taller, more athletic, younger, and he understands running to escape will not work. His real destination is a decent sized tree where he’s planning to seek refuge – cover. If the dangerous man continues to pursue him rather than moving along down the sidewalk then it’s going to be time for a loud rebuke. Consistently checking his six or looking over his shoulder tells the innocent if his problem is getting worse. That rebuke might sound something like: “I don’t want any trouble! Get back!” Perhaps: “Don’t come any closer, you’re scaring me! Stop right there!” At the 90° apex point the innocent man sharply turns cutting in behind that cover – recalling cover stops bullets. If the threat is non-lethal then non-lethal means (personally I like pepper spray), would be my choice. If instead the threat being presented is that of great bodily harm (Illinois Law), or death then lethal means (firearm) would be my choice. You have to know the laws within your own home state or the state you’re currently experiencing a violent confrontation.

In the drawing above the innocent man moved to and achieved cover. In my opinion to move beyond that cover would be to move to a more dangerous location. Might that carry more risk on the legal, civil, or social battlefields? Yes, it might. None of this is without risk. There are no guarantees in violent confrontations. Not for you and not for me. Often times it comes down to bad and worse decisions forced upon us by the unjust criminal aggression. Every tactical and legal question in the world can be rightly answered with it depends. That’s not an easy out – that’s reality. Change one, two, or three facts and this violent confrontation is a matter of life or death, freedom or incarceration, financial stability or bankruptcy. That is why leadership is the first principle that I teach. Doing right things, at the right time, for the right reason, and in the right way. Even among these considerations sometimes we have to make exchanges to do that next right thing. If my family is with me then it’s not about me, and I must be willing to assume the highest of all of these risks so that my family might avoid and escape.

Once behind a big old tree an innocent man can simply lean out revealing nothing more than a slice of his head (his dominant eye), and the business end of his pepper spray, or if the threat he faces is deadly force, the end of his barrel.

Cover Stops Bullets

Understand the innocent man has reached cover. The unjust aggressor in part through his compression of time, distance, and cover places the innocent man in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery has not reached cover. The unjust aggressor let his illegal, immoral, and illicit desires lead him to a place of disadvantage. He was led out to the deep, as it were. The deep is a tactical place of vulnerability. If we consider this from the perspective of an analogy of a tactical tree, then the innocent man here is not low hanging fruit, ripe for the picking. This innocent man has climbed high up into the analogous tactical tree and made his way far out on the thinnest of branches. The unjust aggressor ought to see this as high fruit which is outside of his reach and he ought to turn back. However, the unjust still get a vote.

What’s motivating him? Is it the bad or the ugly part of a man’s ego? Is it simply his desire to rob, rape, or murder an innocent? Does it really matter? I’d be more concerned with his actions than his motivations.

If you want to compete in combat then join a professional sporting organization that offers rules, judges, referees, and doctors ringside. These things help you fulfill a need to compete and also keep you financially stable, free, and alive. The street is 100% no place for competing or competitions. Reject the fantasies you see on your television set. Humble yourself and seek to avoid and escape wherever possible. When the unjust criminal aggressors exercise their free will to visit war upon you – embrace a winning mindset. Forget about fair fights. In part I Joshua wasn’t looking for a fair fight. Joshua was looking to win. He took Ai on a little detour and you can read about the results in Joshua chapter 8.

Think about these things.

Ruses – Detours Part I

Joshua Chapter 8: 15 And Joshua and all Israel made a pretense of being beaten before them, and fled in the direction of the wilderness. 16 So all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and as they pursued Joshua they were drawn away from the city. 17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, who did not go out after Israel; they left the city open, and pursued Israel. 18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai; for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19 And the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and took it; and they made haste to set the city on fire. 20 So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven; and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned back and smote the men of Ai. 22 And the others came forth from the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side; and Israel smote them, until there was left none that survived or escaped…

Reading the whole chapter we learn back in verse 2 the Lord tells Joshua to lay an ambush against the city of Ai, behind it.

This post is an introduction to a kind of a ruse, a kind of a detour1. It could be called a lure2, a being drawn out from defenses, via your own desires. It is the kind of ruse I worried most about during foot pursuits as a young police officer. A criminal flees knowing the officer will pursue and then using that pursuit the criminal sets an ambush. As a young police officer pursuing criminals around dark blind corners of houses, sheds, and privacy fences in the wee hours of the morning my thoughts may have sounded something like: Has he had enough time to sink a hasty ambush around this corner? I better go a little wider. I better ready up and shine some light into those dark narrow cuts. A detour uses a man’s desires, to lead him by that will to a position of disadvantage. A man’s will might be righteous as in the case of a police officer faithfully carrying out his duties, or his will might be unjust as in the case of a criminal aggressor looking to impose his desires on an innocent by threatening or using deadly force to rob, rape, murder, and burn.

Karl Von Clausewitz in part defined war as coming down the will of men. I need to draw a distinction here involving intent. To lure means in part to desire an adversary follows, chases, or pursues. Luring is a sort of tempting of one’s adversary. Luring means to attract, entice, or invite. It is a tactic in war. So here’s the distinction: For an innocent person having recourse to legitimate self-defense in civilized society, there is no desire to be followed, chased, or pursued. I’m not looking for war. I’m looking to avoid it. The changing landscape of the legal, civil, and social battlefields are more than enough reason in these confusing days to avoid violent confrontations in as much as is tactically reasonable, and possible.

“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” ― Leon Trotsky

History records Trotsky was a “communist theorist and agitator, a leader in Russia’s October Revolution in 1917.3” As a Catholic Christian, Trotsky’s identifying as a Communist theorist places Trotsky in an ideological adversarial position. In other words, this quote comes forth from the mouth of an enemy. War – is – interested – in you! So we pray for peace, and prepare for war.

To maneuver off line or away from unjust aggression is intended quite literally to avoid even a near pass with dangerous men. The innocent man or woman using a detour type of a ruse desires to avoid and escape the unjust aggression. The difference is in the will. If you seek glory then you may confuse competing with winning. Competing in combat situations is a good way to get sent to prison or worse to the morgue. However, if avoidance or escape cannot be achieved it is then that the unjust criminal is led, as it were, to a place of disadvantage and vulnerability. In other words, if as a part of legitimate self defense we must make a stand – to defend ourselves – lets do it over there behind cover, lets do it over there behind concealment, let’s do it over there behind an obstacle.

Using a detour type of a ruse is to lead one’s enemy out to the deep, as it were. It is the unjust criminal aggressor’s own immoral, illegal, and illicit desires that compels or leads him forward as he strives to close the gap with you or yours. For the innocent the intention is to avoid and escape, up to the point of reaching the safest reasonable position possible under current bad circumstances. There is an old adage: Is this the hill you want to die upon? Well sometimes – yes, it is as good a hill as any. The alternative is to continue fleeing until you’re tackled, raped, stabbed in the back, clubbed over the head, or shot repeatedly from behind by an unjust criminal aggressor. We ought not do those things! Once a better position is achieved why would I then choose to flee to a worse position? That’s a big part of military and combat history. Many folks have died fleeing in a panic. Choose your hill wisely my brothers and sisters. As with any use of legitimate force the unjust criminal aggressor is free at any time to just stop his unjust criminal aggression! Nobody is forcing him to threaten grave bodily harm, or death, in an attempt to rob, rape, or murder you. Stopping may be referred to as a psychological stoppage. He is physically free to stop pursuing you at any point. He is physically free to stop compressing time, distance, and cover with your position. Proximity is king. Proximity is king. It is his choice. Every one of us has the gift of free will. He doesn’t have a valid moral or legal choice to do evil and crime, but he is physically free to do those things. Deescalation ultimately comes down to the unjust aggressors choice. He decides to stop or to continue. The unjust aggressor who pursues decides if and how much force must be used to stop him. The question to that mystery lay within his will. We’ll all find out what’s in his will based upon what he does next. If he chooses to stop then all ends well.

God revealed to man in His Holy Word:

“Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 15: 16 He has placed before you fire and water: stretch out your hand for whichever you wish. 17 Before a man are life and death, and whichever he chooses will be given to him.”

Let us pray the unjust have a change the will and cease their unjust pursuits. Let us prepare should the unjust choose to insist upon their own ways.

So Ai pursued Israel and Joshua fled. Joshua and his people’s flight drew his enemies away from their defenses. Once Ai saw their city in flames they likely experienced a psychological kind of discouragement, perhaps even a despondency (a loss of hope). Joshua began taking away Ai’s hope. Scripture records this worked exceedingly well. Then Joshua and his people turned back to fight Ai, as did more of Israel coming forth from the burning city, placing Ai in ever worsening positions. A despair or a panic seized hold of Ai. Ai may have initially perceived Israel as low hanging fruit (analogous tactical tree) as Israel seemingly fled for their lives. Ai climbed too high up and too far out on the thin limbs of that tactical tree. The branches gave way, as it were, and a short – fast – fall dropped Ai to their sad sorry state. Ai was demoralized. In the end Ai was smote, meaning none survived or escaped.

Let go of your ego, humble yourself, and adopt a winning mindset. Forget about competing with an unjust criminal aggressor. Avoid the fight in as much as is humanly possible but if it cannot be avoided stack advantages in your favor and adopt the tactics that set aside fantasies of a fair fight. It ain’t about competing, it’s about winning. That is precisely why you must – avoid – the fight if possible. You cannot know whether your enemy will show you any mercy so you cannot compete with any man threatening grave bodily harm or death. Competition is for organized combative sporting events with judges, referee’s, and doctors sitting ringside. Competitions are most definitely not for the streets. Avoid, escape, and if those are not an option – win! Win my brothers and sisters – win! Winning mindsets seek to stack advantages in positioning, timing, and over the will of ones adversary.

In the process of avoiding unjust aggression an innocent may have opportunities to stack or combine other ruses. For instance we may pick a line of departure using a disinterested near pass with a 90° cut at the apex point, to a position of cover, concealment, or obstacle, thereby putting something between us and our adversary. Cover is first in order because it stops little projectiles (bullets) traveling between roughly 800-3,000 feet per second. Concealment is next in right order because it has the capacity to conceal a surreptitious draw of whatever proportional self-defense tool is reasonable under the circumstances. Third in right order of desirable positions is an obstacle, as an obstacle buys a bit of time as well as removes ambiguity for the unjust aggressor maneuvering around it. Pursuit around an obstacle shows forth jeopardy. Ambiguity is a big part of ruses. Concealment of weapons, abilities, and intentions until the ambush can be sunk in deeply.

If we have to use legitimate self-defense against another human being, the probability of experiencing some degree of the legal, civil, or social battlefield is rising exponentially in these dark and confusing days. Unless your exceedingly wealthy consider investing in some kind of concealed carry insurance. After doing the work of researching the issues involved from various angles, I did purchase concealed carry insurance.

Take a look at this video where an unjust criminal aggressor uses a police officer’s will to detour, lure, and pull the string of the officers will to a position of disadvantage. Once in a position of disadvantage the unjust criminal aggressor pulls a firearm from his coat pocket his coat pocket and attempts to murder the innocent officer. The usual procedure (meaning probable) in my experience is for the armed criminal to either immediately break and run upon seeing the officer align with him, or break an run at some point as a detention is sought. Law Enforcement must be ready for the unexpected. That being said experienced officers do observe patterns or probabilities. The danger with that is complacency – perhaps a talk for another post. Sometimes part of what is usual (probable) involves a criminal temporarily stopping and complying up to the point where the officer desires to pat him down for weapons. It is then law enforcement sees the fight or flight responses begin.

Unjust Criminal Aggressor Example

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A detour led the officer to a very bad and vulnerable position. The detour led the officer to what’s called point blank range with an unjust aggressor who was willing to draw and repeatedly shoot the innocent officer. Point blank range is more often than not mutual destruction at best. Shootings are always preferable to gunfights. This was a shooting but the bad news was the bad guy was doing all the shooting.

1Detour: a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure Merriam Webster

2Lure: to tempt with a promise of pleasure or gain : ALLURE, ATTRACT, ENTICE, INVITE


Ruses – Diversions & Distractions

Merriam-Webster partially defines a diversion as – the act or instance of drawing the attention… Merriam-Webster defines distract as – to draw (the sight, mind, or attention) to a different object or compellingly and confusingly attract in divergent directions at once. In this post I’m going to touch on a few different kinds of diversions and distraction devices used by both good guys and bad guys.

As a young police officer in the early 1990’s I was introduced to a technique called the break and rake. What that looked like was me and another officer standing on the back side of a public housing unit with an aluminum baseball bat. The Emergency Response Team (ERT) was stacking up, on the front side of the public housing unit. When advised via the radio our job was to smash a rear residence window followed up by running the baseball bat violently along the four sides of the window frame. All those smaller jagged edges of glass that remained along that window frame made a loud, unnerving, and alarming noise at the rear of the residence. The ‘rake,’ greatly extended the alarm, as it were. Any folks inside would have their full attention focused on whatever problem was unfolding at that back window. As that drama was holding sway the Emergency Response Team used that distraction as an opportunity to breach, enter, and clear by means of the front door. Sometimes an Emergency Response Team chooses to deploy a flash bang which according to Merriam-Webster is – an explosive device that produces a blinding flash of light and a sudden, loud noise intended to temporarily stun, distract, and disperse people. A flash bang is designed to draw one’s attention in a compellingly and confusing way distract and even potentially disorient a person. Think of it like inserting some controlled chaos in order to achieve and maintain order. Causing high levels of stress to physiologically speed up time for the suspected criminal(s) inside the residence so that afterwards he thinks and says something we’ve heard accident and crime victims frequently say: It happened so fast I didn’t have time to do anything. That’s a good goal.

On the other side of the justice fence, unjust ambush predators use a variety of diversions and distractions. Sometimes criminals work in pairs or small groups to distract and then overwhelm an innocent victim. It may be something as simple as having one of the criminals do something odd or do something to cause some anxiety or fear to draw your attention which creates an opportunity for another criminal to approach you from behind (ambush position), and pick your pocket or smack you upside your big dumb head with his pistol then dominate you. Making you do or give him whatever it is he desires. Sometimes ambush predators working together combine other ruses. For instance having a female ask you for the time while her cohort male friend approaches you from your rear (ambush position) – and surprise, speed, and violence of action!

Lone unjust criminal aggressor’s may use some odd type of body language designed to draw your attention to figuring out what the heck you’re seeing. What am I seeing? In hopes of providing concealment for their slight of hand. Their hand slips into their waistline, pocket, or any other concealed area to retrieve their weapon.

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Where there is one, there are two (sometimes more):

I’ll share a personal story that is a little humbling. It’s been my experience that we have the greatest opportunity to learn far more from our mistakes, from our humiliations, than ten times the number of our successful ‘war’ stories.

When my eldest son was still a little guy, probably five or younger I took him with me to pick up a pizza. It was a cold, dark, evening likely in the fall. The little foyer for pizza pick-up was really small, guessing 20 by 15 feet. During that time of the year at our police department the Armed Robbery Suppression Program was initiated. Twas the season. It was the time of year we’d see an uptick in commercial armed robberies. But what are the odds of that happening to me? So I’m standing off to the side with my son, waiting for my pizza. In walks a white male who begins asking some odd questions about getting some kind of a check cashed. The employee’s tell him no way will that happen. I start getting that feeling, that hunch, that this may be about to spin up into a robbery, and a shooting. I’m off duty carrying a pistol in the 5-6 O’ clock position (backside). My hand creeps back behind me while still trying to look casual (probably failing). Being a young police officer I had not yet learned how and more importantly why I liked my firearm in the 1-2 O’ clock positions. Oh yeah, and because it was the early 1990’s I think it was a snub nose .38, making things a little more awkward. So this odd guy turns and looks directly at me looking me, sizing me up. Like he’s thinking about what comes next. I’m annoyed at myself for having brought my son, and afraid this is going to spin up into a shooting and I don’t want my son anywhere near this small room and these current circumstances. This incident changed how I did things in the future. If I had to up some carryout during armed robbery suppression season – from that point forward I did it alone. Back to this sketchy guy; he turns and walks outside and stops right in front of the door. I’m watching him. Within a second or two, a second white male that I’d never seen steps into the light from around the corner of the building.

  • Was he a look out?
  • Was he waiting for the first guy’s assessment?
  • We’re they still going to rob this business?
  • Had I missed an opportunity to see this second guy with all my attention on the first guy?
  • Why was this second guy staying just out of sight?

What if I’d had to shoot the first guy and spent all five revolver rounds on him? Would I have even known to look towards the front door for a second guy? No, I would not have known before experiencing that.

Far more questions than answers. They have a short friendly conversation. They throw a look back inside towards me and then, they both walk off together. I think I still had my strong side hand behind my back trying to look casual (probably still failing). I’m absolutely relieved that this didn’t spin up into a shooting. At that time our police department had a specific set of dates for the start and end of the Armed Robbery Suppression Program. Later the initiation and conclusion dates were left up to the discretion of bosses based upon what was happening in our community. In general that season – that program – was initiated sometime in October and ran through and into the beginning of the next year. So as a civilian pay closer attention to things like the police beat section of your local newspaper or local television news reporting. When you observe an uptick in commercial armed robberies, begin counter measures. What might those look like? These are common sense suggestions:

  • Transition to delivery October, November, and December
  • If you have to pick up carry out don’t bring along children
  • Spend less time on the “X” – meaning don’t stand around inside go in when you expect it will be ready even if it means arriving a little later to ensure it’s ready to pay, grab, and go
  • Pick up your carry out before the sun sets
  • Patronize businesses with a pick up window
  • Avoid patronizing food places in high crime areas
  • Patronize businesses in smaller towns with lower crime rates for a few months

Think about these things.

Ruses – Disinterested Near Pass

YouTube Capture

Unjust criminal aggressors sometimes act like story tellers. As if we we’re a little child, they tell us a story. Of course the story is a half truth, a lie. They show no interest in you at all, and they adopt a line that appears as if it will come close to you and yours, but not actually intersect. So we’ll call it a near pass.

A convicted felon was recently arrested and charged with the attempted murder, in the ambush shooting of two Los Angeles deputies in Compton. Check out my YouTube channel where I made a video explaining this ambush. Here is a link if you’d like to check out that video.

Following the ambush the Sheriff’s Office held a press conference. LA Sheriff’s Homicide Captain Kent Wegener said this:

“Two deputies from our transit services bureau were parked adjacent to 101 east Palmer in the city of Compton… The suspect approached them from behind as the deputies were facing southbound in their patrol vehicle. The suspect came from the north. He walked along the passenger side of the car. He acted as if he were going to walk past the car. And then he made a left turn directly toward the car, raised a pistol and fired several rounds inside of the vehicle striking both of the sheriff’s deputies. The suspect then fled on foot northbound from the shooting scene and out of view.”

Captain Kent Wegener said the ambush predator “acted as if he were going to walk past the car.” What might that look like? It might look exactly like this:

The ambush predator does not dare glance at his intended target. He seems thoroughly disinterested. Things are not always what they seem. The line he adopts is designed to appear as if he’s passing by with nothing more than a near pass. Think of how we view meteorites passing by the earth. Unlike a meteorite an ambush predator has free will to change directions radically. The ambush predator patiently maintains his course until he reaches that apex point. The apex point is that sweet spot where he has the best tactical opportunity to turn 90° and be within milliseconds or perhaps just two seconds of simultaneously drawing and dominating his intended victim(s), by threat of force or actual force.

The angle of approach isn’t that important. It’s the disinterested near pass that facilitates the opportunity. Those viewing the potential problem might be a little lazy thinking things will probably work out. Until – they – don’t.

What’s a counter ambush tactic to this? Especially for a citizen the best tactic is to just put the car in gear and take a little roll around the parking lot, neighborhood, or wherever you find yourself. ‘But I don’t want to lose this spot!’ Okay, that’s your free will decision. In my opinion it does matter where you are. Probabilities do matter. In a high crime area I’m giving up that spot and taking a little Sunday cruise, as it were.

Another counter ambush tactic for those who may have a responsibility to be parked there monitoring something (like a police officer), is to get out of the vehicle. Vehicles can be like a tomb. We have no real mobility seated in that vehicle. As a police officer I was taught to get out of the vehicle and meet your potential problem on your feet. Why? Mobility gives you the capacity to move – to strafe left or right in relation to any potential threats you may be facing. As seen in the image below the officers could exit and face their potential ambush predator’s left flank. The officers can orient in a kind of a line as seen below or an “L,” shaped positioning, ensuring neither officer is in front of the other as they face the potential threat. This will require a little reconfiguration on the officers part, as the potential threat passes by. That reconfiguration is as easy as walking up to maintain the integrity of that line.

Think about these things.

Ruses – Deception

Ambush predators use deceptions to gain advantages in positioning, timing, and over the will of their enemies. The best working definition for the word ‘tactics’ that I’ve ever heard, came from an Army ranger, John Lovell. John Lovell founded a business called the Warrior Poet Society. On one of his YouTube videos, Lovell explained his definition for tactics as; gaining an advantage in timing, positioning, or psychology. If what he meant by psychology is to gain an advantage over the will of your adversary, then that is an excellent working definition for the word ‘tactics.’ In this post I’m sharing a ruse ambush predators use which includes deception or lies. It is a lie expressed as a plea for some type of help. Relying upon a person’s good will, virtue, or social constructs, the unjust aggressor calls out to a prospective victim asking something like:

Can I holler at you for a second?”

“Do you have the time?”

Can I get dollar?”

Can I get a smoke?”

Can I get a light?”

In other words: Hey man, could you stand still so I can get close enough to rob, rape, or murder you? I’ll be right there, just hold up. Thanks.

I have to make a distinction here. I’m not saying every beggar, panhandler, or person in need of assistance is a robber, rapist, or murderer. That is absolutely not the case and that is not what I’m saying. I have personally experienced many panhandlers and other folks in need of some assistance, without having any need to exercise a legitimate self-defense. Neither is this statement any kind of false compassion on my part. It is my personal experience that most panhandlers (not all – some are more aggressive than others) even when told “no,” accept it and move on to the next person. In my professional experience victims sometimes report suspects having used one of these type ruses as part of the crime of robbery. As the world grows darker with the darkness of sin these things may change, so you have to pay attention to the circumstances on the ground wherever you live. As things change, and as probabilities increase towards violent encounters, then we ought to commensurately adjust and adapt our tactics to keep ourselves and those we’re responsible for safe and protected.

What I am saying, is where people are robbed, raped, or murdered this type of a ruse is sometimes used. So you have to look to the totality of the circumstances. Where are you? Are you in a high crime area where robberies, rapes, and murders are consistent year to year? Relatively larger police departments often have dedicated websites and provide statistical mapping data showing where homicides and more importantly shootings occur. Why is it more important regarding the shootings? 1) Shootings provide more data points better defining a geographical area as anecdotally there are around ten times the number of shootings as homicides, and 2) shooting related crimes don’t occur in a vacuum. Where you have a lot of illegal shootings and homicides you’ll have robberies, rapes, and other crimes of violence. Is it nighttime? Are you alone? Are you broken down on the side of the road? Are you isolated or is there the potential for cooperating witnesses? Is there an availability of help or assistance? What other factors indicate to you this man approaching is a dangerous man? Does he hold himself out through how he dresses, adorns himself, speaks, or generally comports himself as a dangerous man? Does he have a party spirit? Does he have an angry spirit? Does he have a profane spirit? Does he have a lawless spirit? Does he have as the Bible says an unclean spirit? Have you offered any ambiguity testing by moving in a direction off line with his pathway, and does he readjust to a line intersecting, or a near pass, with you and yours? When you tell him; STOP – GET BACK! Does he obey or disobey that request? Does he continue compressing time, distance, and cover (concealment or obstacle) with you or yours? Context matters.

What purpose does this type of a ruse serve? The lie is used to gain an advantage in positioning. Specifically what position? Point blank range. Why does an ambush predator desire point blank range? The short answer is they need to close the gap in proximity to feign, display, draw, point and/or dominate their victims with whatever weapon they’ve brought to compel compliance of their will. It might be an edged or a blunt weapon. You have to be really close to be able to stab me or hit me on top of the head with a club. It might be a firearm.

Why would an ambush predator need point blank range with a firearm? Prior to having a full year of solo patrol as a young rookie police officer, I was blessed to be assigned into a small specialized unit called NTP (Neighborhood Team Policing). I continued cutting my teeth, as it were, in this unit. In 1991, NTP primarily served the people of the John Hay Homes public housing units in Springfield, Illinois (later torn down). Work consisted primarily in seeking and recovering drugs, guns, and making solid felony and misdemeanor arrests targeting local drug dealers, gang members, and shooters. The onset of crack cocaine and the violence surrounding this was raging in the early 1990’s. Later our team was assigned additional responsibilities of responding to and dealing with other hot spots like Evergreen Terrace and the Brandon public housing units due to upticks in shootings and murders. NTP was later disbanded briefly only to be restarted as GEM (Gang Enforcement Mobile Unit). Later GEM was disbanded only to start up again as SCU (Street Crimes Unit). The responsibilities of targeting and dealing with the worst most dangerous members and most dangerous areas of a community remained the same.

One of my best friends who had also served in NTP just prior to my tenure, told me of an occasion where a drug dealer had cockily asked him if he’d heard about another drug dealer getting shot, as if he [the drug dealer] may have been the shooter. At the time there had been several shootings among drug dealers. My friend told the drug dealer; Yeah you guys need to take some target practice before you try on the role of gunslinger. This was a kind of dig on the accuracy or marksmanship of a drug dealer. This drug dealer told my friend: There ain’t no place to shoot and no extra ammo. You get what you get. Meaning if you steal, or buy, a stolen firearm from a burglary, and that firearm only has (4) rounds of live ammunition in it, then that’s all you get. If you’re living the lifestyle of a drug dealer, gang member, or shooter, you catch things like felony cases and convictions. As a result you are not eligible to purchase firearms nor additional ammunition. What this drug dealer was saying to my friend in it’s essence was;

There are no square ranges in high crime areas, welcoming convicted criminals. There are no professional certified firearms instructors teaching violent criminals and convicted felons how to get better at marksmanship, much less how to get better at combat shooting. It wasn’t worth it to chance going out to some remote location in attempt to learn to shoot – police would likely show up and then they’d have a new problem – a new criminal case. Target practice inside of a high crime area would likewise result in calls to the local police which again increases the probability of catching a new criminal case. Opportunities – were – lacking to get better.

Why does this matter? Because folks who live the lifestyle of a drug dealer, a gang banger, or other dangerous and potentially violent criminal need point blank range, to do what criminals do. They need point blank range to have the composure, confidence, and wherewithal to initiate and dominate you and yours.

To gain point blank range the unjust criminal has to compress time, distance, and cover with you. He has to close the gap in distance. “Can I holler at you for a second?” This type of ruse is one way for an unjust criminal aggressor to close that gap. In essence he uses the voluntary compliance of his targeted victim. That voluntary compliance may be born of an irrational fear of giving offense to another. It would seem things like fraternal corrections have become great secular sins. As if being ‘nice,’ were some kind of virtue. It is not. Being kind – which has to do with a ‘concern for’ an individual is a part of authentic love. Kindness includes things like loud rebukes and when appropriate fraternal corrections. Perhaps this voluntary compliance is born of an irrational fear of being perceived as politically incorrect. Perhaps it is simply born out of ignorance. Regardless, by closing the gap the unjust aggressor is provided with an opportunity to feign, display, point, or use any kind of weapon (edged, blunt, or a firearm) to intimidate or force you to give him whatever he desires. Pointing a firearm at point blank range [say 1-3 yards] gives an ambush predator a shooting platform where it is difficult to miss. The target fills the background of the aimed firearm. The ambush predator often has the element of surprise which also gives him composure. While it’s beyond the scope of this particular post we ought to seek to remove the ambush predator’s opportunity to gain this kind of a shooting platform. We ought to seek to remove his composure by climbing higher up in the proverbial tactical tree where he may see: This person is not low hanging fruit. Where he finds himself exceedingly high and out on the thin limbs that cannot and will not support his weight, as it were.

As Clausewitz partially defined war; coming down to the ‘will’ of men. What does a man desire? Your money, car, body, or your life? It is the threat of great bodily harm or death for which we fight. Sometimes we have to wait our turn, as it were. It’s really hard to draw from the drop. Meaning, if an unjust ambush predator gets the drop on you and is pointing a firearm at you that’s not the time to draw unless he begins shooting – then you’re going to want to simultaneously move strafing left or right, drawing, and shooting. From the drop the prudent play is to wait until he gives us a deep flank or an ambush position – a blind spot. Legitimate self-defense and defense of another with a firearm can never be about vengeance. Vengeance is God’s business, not man’s business. Legitimate self-defense and defense of another with a firearm must remain about responding to an imminent threat (in Illinois) of great bodily harm, or death to you or another. In my opinion it is money well spent to seek out professional training in the statutory language and application of justified uses of force for the state you reside. Consider these things.