In lieu of #wheelgunwednesday, an interesting and sad case study came up on Facebook. It is a personal experience and something I have never forgotten.
While I was still living in Chicargo, I often took public transit, especially the Elevated trains. One Sunday morning, I was going to play a softball game. However, the POlice had closed the Elevated station. A woman had been raped and murdered and a would-be rescuer stabbed within an inch of his life at 10AM on an otherwise beautiful Sunday morning on the platform.
A rare second cup of coffee kept me out of that situation. I never have a second cup. To this day, I still wonder if I could have done a hip throw (a Hand to Gland Combat technique) on the criminal onto the third rail. Or maybe I would have ended up like the would be rescuer. He was a runner; the paper said if he hadn’t been in such great shape he would have died too.
My Guardian Angel was looking out for me, as is often the case.
The circumstances of the incident were as follows:
People labor under the illusion that a two year old can’t pull a trigger. What a toddler does is put the gun on the floor, where the kid spends most of its time. Eventually, the gun ends up with the butt down, the muzzle up, both of the kid’s thumbs on the trigger, with the kid pushing down on the trigger as hard as it can. Any toddler weighs more than the trigger pull so it has the mechanical advantage to press the trigger all the way through, even on a double action revolver.
A head shot is almost the inevitable result. That’s why so many of these are fatalities and not just wounded casualties.
This popped up as popular in my stats today. I don’t know why but it’s certainly worth repeating.
The attacks in Paris by Radical Islamists have captured the attention of the world and obviously people in the United States. Over 100 people were killed and several hundred more were wounded. Along with many people, I mourn for the casualties of these horrific and barbaric events.
In the aftermath, numerous articles are being written about surviving active shooter events, etc. In addition, some folks are saying they’re going to make some massive changes in the way they socialize. It’s always good to examine our vulnerabilities. However, let’s look at things in perspective.
In 2014, the estimated number of murders in the [United States] was 14,249.
In 2014, there were an estimated 741,291 aggravated assaults in the [United States].
There were an estimated 84,041 rapes (legacy definition) reported to law enforcement in 2014.
The FBI definition of Aggravated assault is:
An unlawful attack by one…
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‘Until I actually saw the video of him running up to my house and getting in my vehicle, it was just extremely unsettling,’ said a woman whose Land Rover was stolen from her driveway. She said she had accidentally left the keys in the vehicle.
… Besides her surveillance video, her neighbors’ cameras caught what could be the same suspect trying their car doors and rifling through vehicles for valuables.
An exchange I had yesterday with a POlice Use of Force Instructor reminded me of a quip by a JAG prosecutor I knew years ago.
Some people have 22 years of experience and some people have one year of experience 22 times.
One of my professors in college had taught the exact same math class for 10 years. She used the same overhead transparencies all 10 years. They were scuffed up and she had to write over parts of them to make them readable during our class. That’s the style some subjects are taught in many fields. Concepts are frequently not updated with fresh information. While mathematics doesn’t change much, social sciences and the law can and do change rapidly.
In the exchange with the instructor, I mentioned a recent case that seemed to invalidate his opinion. I even gave him the search string to bring up the case. Rather than doing one minute of research on the case, he trotted out an appeal to authority meme. “I’ve been a cop for 22 years and I teach Use of Force.” I’m afraid to even find out what he teaches his clientele.
In any field, staying up to date is an excellent idea for anyone. For instructors, it’s absolutely mandatory. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with a stated opinion but there needs to be some fact finding and analysis to support the disagreeing opinion.
Thirty-five years ago, at approximately 6:30 pm on May 25, 1983, Lieutenant Commander Albert Schaufelberger, USN, was assassinated by Communist insurgents in El Salvador. He was the Deputy Commander of the US Military Assistance Group there.
Lieutenant Commander Schaufelberger was picking up his girlfriend and had established a predictable pattern. Although his vehicle was armored, the air-conditioning was not functional, and he had removed the driver’s side window. There was speculation that the A/C had been sabotaged. As he waited in his car for his girlfriend, three men exited a Volkswagen Microbus and approached his car. One stopped his girlfriend from approaching, one established security for the ambush, and one ran to the driver’s side window. He then shot Schaufelberger in the head four times with a revolver, killing him instantly. The assassination team then got back in their VW and left.
Complacency kills. RIP Lieutenant Commander Schaufelberger.
A further analysis of the assassination is here. http://jko.jten.mil/courses/atl1/courseFiles/resources/Albert_Schaufelberger.pdf
“This is the first year since I have been tracking that 100% of vehicle thefts occurred in unlocked vehicles. Not a single car window was broken to steal anything.”
I learned my lesson about this when I was 17 in Chicargo. It only took one occurrence for me to get the message. One response to Greg’s post on Facebook was:
In that 3 month period my next door neighbor had his UNLOCKED car broken into IIRC 4 times.
Locking your doors is part of what’s called Defense in Depth. Sure, some criminals could still get in but the harder you make it, the more of them will just go somewhere else.
And please don’t leave firearms in your car, either, even if it’s locked. Your car is not a holster, as Pat Rogers put it. If you sometimes have to go into places where you aren’t allowed to have your firearm on your person, get a lockbox or safe for your vehicle. The ‘truck gun’ concept is a load of Horse Hockey.
Bringing worthwhile content like this to its members is yet another reason I’m a member and fan of the Network.
This email arrived from a friend today. Things like this are why I do what I do.
Yesterday I was filling my vehicle with gas at my neighborhood Shell station and out of the corner of my eye I saw an unkempt person lurking around the building and heading to the gas pumps. I lost sight of him for a moment due to vehicles entering and exiting the station. Suddenly, he was on the other side of my pump, headed in my direction.
My first visual image was Claude Werner, hand up, saying I can’t help you, followed by me doing the same thing, as I moved around the corner of my car to get an object and distance between the fellow and me. He did not even finish his opening line, he turned and looked for someone else to approach.
Claude, you taught me well! Thank you very much!
Note that this was a decision made in advance (to be aggressively uncooperative) and then chosen as a response in the moment. That’s the best way.
One word is best.
As much as I like the:
You look familiar. You got any warrants?
method, last night I defaulted to ‘No’ when I was approached last night by a female panhandler in the Publix parking lot. Because I keep my head up, I saw the encounter coming.
“Something, something, car, homeless.”
“Okay.” She then walked away.
I didn’t say it in an ugly way, just very firmly. The power of a firm ‘No’ is very strong.
I also had my pepper spray in hand in case things went any further.