A Man of Faith makes the best Warrior

Why? Consider the mindset of a man who actually believes that to die, is to gain. Saint Paul believed this as we read in Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain. Our actions often prove out what we actually believe. We often lack faith. A friend in Law Enforcement who had served with me on the Neighborhood Team Police unit, and later became one of our Police Academy instructors, on occasion said: A man of Faith makes the best warrior. I reached out to my friend recently and asked him if he remembered his exact quote. He told me he wasn’t sure but he always believed if you knew where you were going, it freed your mind of fear and made it easier to focus on the task at hand.


In the early years I most assuredly to my shame was not a man of Faith. I have reflected on this idea many times since those young years. Here is what I’ve come to know. A major part of this comes down to belief. It’s not a coincidence that Jesus first public words of preaching were in part:

Repent, and believe the gospel. [Mark 1:15]

Recently I watched a cool time lapse video of a tattoo being applied bearing the words; Death Before Dishonor.

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This kind of image and adornment plays to our ego. The good ego (in service of others), the bad (needy insecure part that desires to posture for reassurance and face saving), and the ugly, how the ego makes us feel.

The ugly part of our ego tells us a lie. The lie is if we’re unprepared to physically defend against mere insult, offense, or verbal attacks on honor (reputation in this sense) then we – are – a – coward. The lie makes you feel like a coward.

New pilots learning to fly an airplane in low or no visibility have to first become instrument qualified. They learn that when they have no visibility they may feel like the airplane is in a steep dive but actually it is flying straight and level. They might feel like they’re flying straight and level and be in a steep dive. They learn they must have a kind of skepticism for their feelings and instead of trusting these feelings they direct their attention to checking and cross checking these feelings with a reliance upon their instruments. This is a very good analogy for dealing with the lie that we’re a coward if we don’t go to war over insults.

First of all, Jesus taught that we ought to turn the other cheek as it relates to insults or offense. I believe the generation of men when Jesus walked on the earth viewed a slap as an insult. Today we suffer a loss of authentic masculinity. Secondly, if you are a husband and father your actual mission is to provide for, protect, and to lead your wife and children. How are you going to do that if you get yourself killed or end up in prison over someone trash talking you or yours? If you don’t have a wife or children is it worth it to engage in a physical ‘competition’ with a stranger who may in fact be an a-social criminal predator? An a-social criminal predator will not ‘compete‘ with you, but instead will show you what a high level propensity for violence actually is? Are his disrespectful words worth dying for? Are his disrespectful words worth having to deal out lethal blows to stop him? No – they – are – not. Third and lastly, how can a man who has no honor take away your honor? He can’t. I once heard Jocko Willink of Echelon Front answer this type question on a podcast. Willink said:

“How can you be disrespected – you cannot be disrespected by someone that has no respect for themselves.” Jocko Willink

Avoid these situations until such time it’s clear the unjust aggressor is not going to permit you to avoid it, nor to escape it. Then act decisively and win the fight.

More than a few men have found their way to an early grave and into prison because of this lie. Humble yourself and complete your real mission which is to protect, lead, and provide for your family.

In Law Enforcement you had better show up on day one with a healthy dose of ego. The good, the bad, and the ugly parts of our ego can and do help police officers to accomplish their mission. What’s their mission? In part, it is to protect innocent citizens (including innocent brothers and sisters in arms), from the unjust criminal aggressors of this world. Unjust being the qualifying term. Now this is a lower way of accomplishing the mission but even the bad and ugly parts of our egos can and do serve to move us into those gaps between unjust criminals and innocents. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.

In the Law Enforcement culture peer pressure acts like a kind of force multiplier for our egos. Make a mistake like having a negligent discharge and you will never, and I do mean never, hear the end of it. This is as it ought to be. In a profession where life and death often hang in the balance good nature ribbing, and even ruthless reminders of errors serve to send clear messages to the brothers and sisters in arms: Become a craftsman or go do something else! The culture does not well suffer fools, nor does it suffer cowards. Get your act together, put out, and become a craftsman. I have known many craftsmen in the field of Law Enforcement.

In Law Enforcement you quickly come to believe whatever might happen down the road on the legal, civil, and social battlefields, those are future battles for another day. You end up with a mindset that says after this physical battle I will patiently paint the picture with a very thorough police report, providing a great many details viewed from multiple angles in preparation for those future battlefields.

There are other ways men learn to detach from fear. Good formation and building in a trained response helps. Well scripted role playing stress inoculation via force on force paint marking simunitions helps. Experience certainly helps.

Is there yet a more excellent way?

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was recently considered for Sainthood. Time will tell the tale on that question. Read what the Archbishop had to say about death in his book, Life of Christ. There is a lot of paradox in the spiritual realm.

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…We need a Christ Who will restore moral indignation. Who will make us hate evil with a passionate intensity, and love goodness to a point where we can drink death like water.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen

You have to be seriously detached from fear to even think about loving goodness to a point where you can drink death like water. The Word of God tells us perfect love casts out all fear. Isn’t that interesting. Some might expect perfect love to cast out all hate. Yet, perfect love casts out all fear.

1 John 4: 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.

So if perfect love casts out all fear, how pray tell do I attain perfect love? Obedience – to – God.

Acts 5: 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

John 14: 15 If you love me, keep my commandments.

John 3: 19 And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.

The Word of God reveals to me why I personally don’t have perfect love. Why at times I still have too much attachment and fear.

We all have a Cross we might occasionally look at laying over there on the ground collecting dust. Some men embrace their Cross, and pick it up. Some try to advance following Jesus up a steep hill. This is the first battle a warrior ought to concern himself with. The battle with our own selfish, illicit, and immoral desires. We first have to do violence to our own immoral desires if we seek to advance towards perfect love. We have to do this if we seek to advance towards a more perfect kind of detachment from fear.

Hebrews 12: For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin:

I have to acknowledge in this spiritual battle I have too often made of myself an amateur, outsider, and mere tourist when I look at the lives of the Saints.

However, there is still a more excellent way!

Perhaps another for instance: A Deacon and a Saint of the Catholic Church, St Lawrence was martyred during the persecution of Emperor Valerian in the year 258 by being slow roasted on an iron grill. St. Lawrence showed forth the loving capacity to as Archbishop Fulton Sheen said: drink death like water. At one point while his flesh was being cooked alive he had enough holy detachment to joke with his murderers “Turn me over, I’m done on this side!”

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The best warriors are men of Faith.”

Study violent videos and you’ll begin to notice some trends. When things get serious, and the chips are down those who acquiesce to a life of vice often seek to save themselves. As their bad guy buddy is getting shot they often make for the door. They get out of Dodge, as it were. They save themselves.

Many at the foot of the Cross using a worldly kind of wisdom looked to Him Who was lifted up on a Cross and began mocking Him saying:

Luke 23: 36 And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”

Luke 23: 37 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!

Why do you think they’d say something like that? Because that’s what they would do if they were in His position. That’s what makes sense to them.

Indeed, two ways are set before us my brothers and sisters. May God give us the grace to go the right Way.

Leadership is Both Steel and Velvet – Hard as a Rock and Soft as Drifting Fog

I read this morning on Father John Zuhlsdorf’s blog a tribute of sorts, regarding an old friend and mentor of Fr. Z, Father Reginald Foster, who died Christmas day 2020. Father “Z” went on to share some insight into what kind of a man and what kind of a Priest Father Foster had been in this life. Here are a few excerpts:

“He was a rara avis if ever there was one, simultaneously jovial and irascible… If he got on your case about something, holy angels help you. However, he was astonishingly kind… Fr. Foster could veer from curmudgeon to Samaritan in an instant, and he could both at the same time… Affable and gruff. Chipper and brusque.”

February 2, 1959 Poet Carl Sandburg gave a speech before the joint session of Congress, honoring Abraham Lincoln. Here is a pertinent excerpt from that speech:

“Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, who is hard as a rock and soft as drifting fog, who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect. Here and there across centuries come reports of men alleged to have these contrasts. And the incomparable Abraham Lincoln, born 150 years ago this day, is an approach if not a perfect realization of this character.”

Carl Sandburg

Authentic love is strong. Authentic love is willing to pick up a heavy Cross and carry that Cross up a steep hill. Authentic love is steel and hard as a rock! Likewise authentic love is velvet and soft as a drifting fog. Love is a decision – not merely some sentimental emotion! Passions rise and fall quickly. Decisions can be burnt in. Decisions can – endure. Love – is – a – decision. Love is in the “will.” Love is both strong (justice) and merciful. God is Love.

“And I saw the River over which every soul must pass to reach the Kingdom of Heaven, and the name of the River was SUFFERING… and I saw the Boat which carries souls across the River, and the name of that Boat was… LOVE.”

St John of the Cross

Abraham Lincoln’s leadership was but a dim intimation of He Who IS the perfect realization of this paradox – Jesus. In an infinite way Jesus is Leadership. He doesn’t merely have a finite share in good leadership like we might have through grace. He is Good Leadership – infinitely! Jesus Who’s birthday we celebrate today, has many titles. Two titles that illustrate this paradox are: Lamb of God and Lion of the tribe of Judah.

In my classes I begin with the principle of leadership. Why? Leadership is a matter of spiritual and physical life or death. It is a matter of freedom or incarceration. It is a matter of financial stability or bankruptcy. Leadership is a matter of employment or beginning anew. Today due to a crisis in leadership we often must make exchanges in risk between higher things and lower things.

Leadership is about doing right things, at the right time, for right reason, and in the right Way. Jesus is that Way. Knowing when to be steel and when to be velvet has much to do with timing. The word paradox as partially defined by an older Merriam Websters dictionary says: something with seemingly contradictory qualitiesSeemingly being the qualifying term.

Happy birthday Jesus.

Merry Christmas my brothers and sisters, may God give all of us the grace to go the right Way.

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.