Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Is there a tactical message in either the religious or the commercial message of Christmas?  Perhaps.

The shepherds, we are told, were watching their flock…  Sounds like being in condition yellow to me.  The wise men went home another way to avoid Herod, a clear example of not going where you’re not wanted and OODA loop in action.  I’m sure you can draw more conclusions on your own.  I’d be interested in seeing them.

I’m interested in the commercial side.

In the northern hemisphere Christmas occurs in winter.  Long nights, people rushing about with deadlines on their minds (You try telling children their Christmas is postponed 2 days ‘cause Santa’s pooped!) from both at home and work.
Do you have any idea of how long it takes to find and then replace a burnt out bulb?
Relatives arrive, sometimes with friends in tow, meals needs to be special, perfect and plentiful, and the dog just stole the Christmas ham! 

Wait! We forgot the turkey!

It is hard to ignore the impact of rampant commercialism and not feel guilty because you can’t achieve the levels of luxury described as normal by our manufacturers and retailers.

What could I say?
Despite the unseasonably warm December weather I’m experiencing, winter means snow and ice, complicated driving, parking, walking and visibility 

Snow, it's properties make life possible and impossible all at the same time.
issues not to mention the bulky, sensory restrictive cold weather wardrobe.  And we will not even talk about total darkness by 5:30 pm and how 7 pm feels like 11 pm.

Packages arrive and sit on porches, under apartment mailboxes waiting for rightful owners while attracting thieves and other highwaymen.  The possibilities, unfortunately, for crime abound. 

The same applies to New Year’s celebrations, much more of an adult holiday.  We try to put aside the problems of the previous year and establish a good start, hoping the year takes a hint from the first day.

Neither day is intrinsically unique, but the celebrations we associate with them are.  The symbolic nature of these days makes them targets for disruption.  Do not forget we are at war.  Just because we haven’t declared war doesn’t mean were not.  

The tactical side?

Keep your wits about you.  Stay in condition yellow, watchful awareness.  Accept there will be imperfections, but they will not spoil the day unless you let them.  Watch for what doesn’t belong, looks out of place or isn’t typical.  Reduce your alcohol consumption, stay armed and prepared.  Keep your cell phone charged and your everyday kit on you.  Make a tourniquet, small flashlight, a reload and edged tool part of that kit.  Know where you are, the closest street junction or highway marker.  Know where the exits are in the store, mall, restaurant and theater.  Remind family and guests that sometimes everyone must take their cue from you without question. 

Expect some to balk, not everyone sees the world as you do.  If they are not immediate family, leave ‘em.  Your obligation is to yourself (so you can be there to protect them), spouse, children, and parents.  Cool Uncle Ted, who can’t imagine that the shouting at one end of the mall and security moving in that direction could have anything to do with him, is on his own.

This isn’t meant to ruin your holiday, or to have you on your roof with a sniper rifle or patrolling your neighborhood in alpine camo.  I’m just suggesting the normal rules you live by, the normal precautions, the normal concerns you have need to remain in place over the holidays.  Crime doesn’t take a holiday.

You may find that staying in condition yellow actually enriches your holiday.  See if you can’t notice those special moments that happen between people.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to you all.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Should You...?

Should You….

There are articles that make me want to slap my face, cartoon style, and think “Why didn’t I write that?”  Following the vicious Paris and San Bernandino attack Matthew wrote the following article.  Let me recommend it to you.

Should you….
December 6 2015
By Matthew at http://straightforwardinacrookedworld.blogspot.com/

In his book "Never Give In!" Winston S. Churchill, the grandson to, well...Churchill related a story in the preface. Here he describes that his mother was just twenty years old and about six months pregnant with him in the early summer of 1940. The British had fallen back from Dunkirk, retreating across the English Channel, France was falling to German occupation and Hitler was preparing for Operation "Sealion", which was his codeword for the invasion of England.

One evening, before the air raid sirens would begin, sending the family to the basement they sat at dinner and Churchill's daughter related how he was brooding at the dinner table. Buried in thought. At some point he ended his silence and said:

"If the Hun comes, I am counting on each one of you to take one with you before you go!", "But Papa" his daughter exclaimed, "I don't have a gun and, even if I did, I would not know how to use it." "But, my dear," Churchill said, his voice increasing in power and fist held high, "You can go to the kitchen and grab a carving knife!"

This was Churchill at the core.

In the aftermath of the ISIS attack on San Bernandino there is much being said about a lot of things from the politicos...and most everyone else. Like everyone else I have my feelings on each bit of it.

Contrary to what you may think, if you have read me here for any matter of time, I am at my core a sincere man of peace. I believe in the right of the individual to live their life as they see fit and to believe as they choose as long as they bring no harm to another. It's my belief that violence is an answer best saved as an absolute last resort. If for no other reason, violence has the inherent issue of affecting the lives of people not directly involved.

Yet, as much as I believe in living peaceable I do not by contrast believe that anyone should live under willful naivety.

We, the world, are in a war with the Huns, just as Europe was with Germany. Only our enemy is far more opaque. There is no uniform, no central power, no "one man" as it was with Hitler. And while we live in a post 1945 world where we know that outcome, once upon a time, such was not the case.

Much like the politicos are weighing in, so are many in the defense community. And they do so with understandable reasons, my inbox is well flooded at this point with so many questions from enough people that it would be time consuming to respond to them all.

So here is my advice.

Should you meet with a person bent on a campaign of terror, intending to murder their fellow men and women, to leave behind a swath of widows, widowers and orphans, to grieve families and nations alike. Do the reasonable thing.

Kill them.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bottom Lines (part 2)

You decided you need some options.  Terrorist assaults will happen and most like occur at large activities filled with innocent people.  It’s not likely anyone will attack Camp Perry during the middle of the National Pistol Matches, at least more than once.

You have decided that if you must dance with the devil, you’re going to lead!

Do you have a self-rescue first aid kit?  How about a gun and a reload?  Do you know how to use other weapons, either pistol, shotgun or rifle if you are able to retrieve one?  I’m not suggesting you wrestle one away from an active shooter, but dead security officer, dropped jammed weapon, your buddy’s back-up weapon, could find their way into your hands.

Got a flashlight?  What about an edged tool, ID and licenses (driver and CCW), cash, credit card, cell phone?  You do pre-plan a meeting place if separated from family and friends?  Would pepper spray do any good?  Do you know where you are and have a mental map of the surroundings?  Do your children understand that sometime they must listen and obey without argument?  Does the oldest know they have to take care of the youngest while following instructions from you or your spouse?

Do you keep your cell phone charged? 

Are you wearing shoes you that will help or hinder you to climb over broken glass or concrete?  Do your clothes make you stand out?  If you lost your prescription glasses how well can you see? 
Got a pad of paper and pen so you can write down details of the assailants?  How many?  Men, women or both?  Where did they come from, where did they leave from?  Did you notice them when they came in?  What were they carrying?  Did they talk to anyone?  What was the color of their car? Did you get a license plate number?  Who was driving?  What direction did they go?  Did you notice anything else?  Did you notice anyone act differently or oddly just before the attack?  Those notes could make the difference in capturing the entire group.

Remember the ODA that took a school room of Amish girls hostage and started murdering them in 2006?  Two of the slightly older girls pleaded with him to be killed first to buy time for the younger girls to be rescued.  Where do 13 and 11 year olds find that bravery? 

Aristotle thought we became brave by doing brave deeds. 

Start with little things.  Don’t give your word just out of peer pressure.  Do the hard things. Go shovel snow when everyone else is inside hiding from the cold.  Tell someone politely it’s a bad idea when it is a bad idea.  Make plans to protect your family if something happens to you.  Take that overnight back pack trip by yourself.  Take a firearms course and expect that you will not be the best.  Accept and then incorporate the corrections from the training.  Volunteer to take charge of some activity and make it happen the way you want it to and if it doesn’t learn from your mistakes.

Decide in advance if you can shoot a person.  Then decide if you can shoot them in the back or from an unseen position.  Decide if you are shot, injured or trapped you’ll focus on stopping them right here, right now.  Remind yourself why you made these decisions.  Speak out loud the reasons you’re not giving up.  They may be your children, spouse, parents, family or friends.  Maybe it’s just the principle of it all.  Say it out loud every day before you need it.

Do things that make you uncomfortable.  Make a speech to your club or activity.  Do a reading at church if it’s allowed.  Ask to make a presentation at work.  Collect signatures at a mall to support legislation on behalf of organizations you believe in.   Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

Get yourself square with God.  Does your theology permit killing?  Does it permit self-sacrifice in defense of others?  Does your religion honor those who sacrificed themselves for others? 
Decide if you can do it.  Somewhere I read Ian Fleming was considered for action behind German lines as a Special Operation Executive (SOE).  He did well in training as did the others, but one final test was needed.  Each student had to kill a stranger in cold blood. 

It seems the British had a man who had the ability to throw himself out of the line of fire for one gun shot.  Fleming was given a revolver and a story justifying the man’s death.  What Fleming didn’t know until later, the man would throw himself out of the way behind a heavy wooden desk while a person Fleming absolutely trusted would rush out from behind a screen and stop the second shot.

Fleming opened the door and found he couldn’t do it.  It was one thing to kill in combat, but cold blooded killing was beyond Fleming.  His literary creation, James Bond, passed the test that Fleming failed.

Decide if you can do it to save yourself and others. If not, change your plans


I’m sorry I can’t tell you if you carry a Glock 9mm with the newest hot ammo, an Always Brite tactical light powered by atomic batteries, a 12-inch fixed blade knife, a level three chest plate under your tee-shirt and Ninja gloves for repelling down high strength, super-Kevlar thread stored in your shoe heel that everything will be alright.

It would be easier if I could and if it was true.  Most of us aren’t in a position we can join the military or police and work our way into an elite unit with all the skill sets and training you might need.  It isn’t always the blue wire that needs to be cut, no matter who tells you it is.

If you get the opportunity to disrupt, retard, report, worry and even foil some ODA, I’d consider it a job well done.