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.