Sunday, November 27, 2016

Basics 5

I’ve seen something I’ve never seen before.

predator and prey  criminal and victim  same thing!!!
Victim and Predator    Image from Jim Burns
A small hawk had found a pigeon separated from its flock and managed to crash it in traffic in front of my car.  The hawk took a second or two to regrasp the pigeon, look around and then drag the injured bird off the road and on to the glass berm, out of sight.

The hawk was lucky on several accounts.  Traffic was slow and I recognized what was happening while they were still a flying tangle of feathers heading to the pavement.  I could stop and wait the 10 seconds it took.

There is a tactical message in all of this.  Let’s ignore the implication the pigeon was unarmed and the hawk armed with sharp talons.

The hawk cruised around until it found an isolated pigeon, a victim of opportunity.  It struck with maximum force to disorientate the victim.  He then took a second to make sure a bigger hawk would not steal his victim, made sure he had control of his victim and then took the victim to a secondary, more private location.  Needless to say the pigeon lost more than his wallet and watch.

What do we get out of this?

Armed or not, it’s safer in a group.  Pay attention to the surroundings.  If that pigeon knew about the circling hawk, it would have taken cover with the rest of the flock.  A criminal attack will be violent and unexpected.  See your attacker approach and start your counter before he arrives.

No, I don’t mean drawing your gun.  That’s dependent on the circumstances and may be appropriate.  But opening your coat to make access to the fighting tools easier, emptying your hands, moving to cover, moving back to the store entrance, getting the family to safety, all start the process.  This sends a clear message to the predator that they have been seen and you are not surprised.

Final observation.  Never let yourself been taken to a secondary site.  There is a reason the criminal wants to take the time and risk exposure and possible capture to move you to a move private location. 

Remember that pigeon.

Any comments?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

More Lessons From The Damned

Ray Tensing is in a lot of trouble.  July 19, 2015 while working for the University of Cincinnati police he stopped Sam DuBose.  What should have been an ordinary traffic stop went bad.  Very Bad.  Tensing shot and killed DuBose while he attempted to drive away.

Those seem to be the facts.  There are some questions about exactly what happened, what Tensing thought and what Tensing feared would happen.  They are in trial now to determine the outcome.

Tensing’s body cam has been examined and an expert claims it doesn’t support Tensing’s claim.  Tensing claims his hand was caught in the car as DuBose drove away and he would have been dragged.  Such a dragging could result in serious injury and perhaps death.
Powerful stuff.

What’s the lead paragraph in the Akron Beacon Journal and others about this revelation?  Not that the cop cam doesn’t support his claim, but that Tensing was wearing a black shirt with a Confederate flag and the words “Great Smokey Mountains” printed on it.  Kind of paints him as a racist, doesn’t it?

I couldn’t believe that any police force would allow a uniformed officer to discard the uniform top and just wear a tee-shirt while on duty.  A little more digging revealed the department requires a black tee-shirt be worn under the uniform top during the summer.

The shirt was also described by others as the kind you might buy at a souvenir shop.  Also not mentioned in the ABJ article was the shirt also had the numbers 1 9 3 4, the year the Great Smokey Mountains became a national park on it.

Oh!  Doesn’t sound so racist anymore does it?

I’m not here to rag on the ABJ, or on Tensing’s actions.  I want to talk about perceptions.  The jury saw that shirt.  DuBose’s death happened more than a year ago and now it’s at trial.  The prosecutor had a year to work on the case, make connections, try out different fact interpretation and find experts who agreed with his theory. 

That shirt doesn’t help Tensing.  The tragedy of one man killing another isn’t enough.  The news media paints him as a racist, that sells papers.  It is also what the DuBose family wants.  Their father/son/husband/brother/buddy was killed because he’s black, so they claim.  Bigger rewards that way.  (Yeah, I’m that cynical.) 

I’ve said this before; don’t stack the deck against yourself.  Personal ornamentation meant to shock or point out the hypocrisy of society, the clothing statement that you’re a rebel and loose cannon can and will be used against you by the media and the justice system.  Don’t make your defense harder than it has to be.  Beside, do you want your neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, relatives thinking you were looking for trouble?

My firearms have descriptive names - the second model 66 revolver I bought, not the widow maker.  It’s a Glock 17 with a light, not Zombie Slayer.  I don’t have skulls on my guns, little tombstones, or crossed out stick figures.

Save the statement tee-shirts for the backyard cookout and if you do wear a gun shirt that make sure it says something like “Quality since 1911” or “Proud Sponsors of Make-A-Wish” and not “Mess with me and Die with the Rest.”
I had a Springfield Arms shirt that listed all the matches Team Springfield shot in.  That was enough of a statement for me.


Tensing’s trial is in the hands of the jury, that collective organism with a IQ over 1000, more than 500 years life experience and 12 separate BS detectors, some of which are always working.  I wonder what the outcome will be?

New Flash!
A deadlocked jury results in a formal mistrial for Ray.  But he's not off the block yet.  Prosecutor Deters plans to refile and take Ray back to trial.  Deters wants to move the trial to a new location, I'm assume somewhere he thinks he can get a better outcome.  

Also remember, not guilty is not the same as innocent.