Wirecutter shares with us a tale of people in Condition GREY…
The passengers on a San Francisco light rail line were so absorbed in their phones and their tablet computers that no one noticed when a madman pulled out a handgun and waved it around several times before opening fire and killing a random commuter, police have revealed.
Nikhom Thephakaysone is charged with murdering promising San Francisco State University student Justin Valdez, 20, in cold blood, without provocation on a Municipal Railway last month.
Police say the CCTV footage from the rail car show that neither Valdez nor any of his fellow passengers saw it coming – even though Thephakaysone pulled out a .45-caliber pistol several times – even rubbing his nose with it in his hand once.
I used to hang with a shooter who said average people walk around inattentive (Condition WHITE), but those whose faces are buried in newspapers or magazines (the cell phones and tablets of the day) are even WORSE. CONDITION GREY!
Don’t be GREY!
Good God, I hope not…
Professor Jacobson of Cornell Law School seems to think so. Here is part of his in-depth analysis of the potential survival of Jewish communities in Europe:
“Call it the yogurt’s-expiration-date syndrome”
There is no future left for Jewish communities in Europe.
That’s the inescapable conclusion of You Only Live Twice by Michel Gurfinkiel in Mosaic Magazine.
The lengthy article is a long trip down the death during World War II and then rebirth of Jewish communities in Europe, and how that rebirth is being snuffed out by renewed anti-Semitism from multiple directions, particularly leftist demonization of Israel and Islamist anti-Semitism.
This Leftist-Islamist coalition, centered around hatred of Israel, is a topic we’ve explored here many times in connection with anti-Semitism in Malmö, Sweden, on British campuses, in the BDS movement, in the academic boycott movement, among other places.
The fact is that while intellectually one can distinguish anti-Israeli fervor from anti-Semitism, in reality, on the streets of Malmö and Paris, and elsewhere in Europe, they are one and the same. ~
~It’s also no surprise that it is in Muslim communities in Europe that a Jew must be afraid to wear a yarmulke in public for fear of physical attack.
Here we go, again..
Add to the equation the demonization of Jewry in the United States, coupled with the politically-correct handling of Islamic folk, even radicalized Islamic folk, and the future doesn’t look good for Europe or the U.S.
I’ve said it before, political correctness will be the death of us. And many others. We (meaning American society) are so afraid of offending anyone that we bend over backwards to accommodate certain folks, while simultaneously minimizing others. Not a good idea, when all are created equal.
Last time I checked the text.
…the whole NSA reading everyone’s mail, email, telephone calls, computer use thing. You know, the one where some guy’s wife researched pressure cookers, and then some guy researched backpacks, then suddenly the whole freakin’ gov’t fell on their heads, because some auto-computer intel program thought they were terrorists!
Because they GOOGLED a couple ‘questionable’ things…
I have an idea…
IF, indeed, the almighty freakin’ government is data-mining us, all of us, under the guise of ‘protecting’ us, based on our accessing or using specific ‘questionable’ or ‘hot button’ terms in our communications, lets give it to them!
Lets pick a specific time to fill the Internet, cell phone calls, texts, ad infinitum – ad nauseum with certain terms, like gun, bomb, pressure cooker, backpack, wiretap, terrorism…
Give them the whole Cloward-Piven strategy back at ‘em! Overtask the system so they are forced to either drop it or dig deeper to determine that the subject of their investigation is just looking at buying a kitchen pot, not planning on using it for nefarious purposes.
Make them go old-school to work for their intel, as they should be already! That’ll show ‘em!
See you in the boxcars!
Walls of the City reminds us (by way of Sharp As A Marble) that while we continue to speak of ourselves as the Land of the Free, we certainly are no longer:
30 years ago, you’d just assume that anything that wasn’t obviously contrary to morality was legal. That is, you’d have a built-in default setting of assuming liberty. And that assumption of liberty would then propel you to take actions.
But now, you have to assume that many things that aren’t contrary to morality are illegal anyway. And so you now have — quel coincidence! — a built-in default setting of assuming prohibition. And that assumption that many of the things you’d like to do are illegal and criminal thereby reduces your desire to take any action at all.
Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are felonies? Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are misdemeanors? Have you ever uttered the words, “Is that legal?” without actually being able to intuitively guess whether it is or not?
Welcome to the club. And the problem.
You should go and read the whole thing. It’s well worth your time, and even has some Latin words in it!
The Country for whom I would have probably died (in Vietnam – had I not been a disabled 4-F) no longer exists. She does on paper (The Constitution), but that was long ago, and like Benghazi, is no longer relevant.
Did you know The United States has more prisoners per capita than any other Nation? How many of these folks zigged when they should have zagged? Or were caught with weed. Or carrying a gun for protection?
Lets stop electing people to legislatures to pass more incomprehensible laws. Lets elect them to remove laws. And hold those accountable who messed everything up. THEY are the people who should be afraid. And incarcerated!
(NOT the modern AR-15 rifle clone, you ninnies!)
The classic, later known as the Model 10 .38 Special revolver.
I’ve never owned one. I’ve shot a bazillion of ‘em, and carried some. With the exception of those without the strength to pull the trigger, I’ve recommended these (or similar models) for self protection, CCW, and general home/business carry for years.
Why? Not everyone likes the semiautomatic, even those with minimal levers and buttons (e.g. Glock). And the .38 Special cartridge is street-proven, but not so full of blast and flash to scare the new shooter more than the shootee! Good for a beginner.
Barrel length? That’s a matter of personal choice, although a 4″ barrel is fairly ubiquitous and inexpensive (used) at gun shows and pawn shops.
And they come with a fixed sight – nothing to hang up, break or misalign on a coat or in a purse. One could ‘bob’ the hammer and remove the single action function if one were moved to do so.
Disadvantages? Medium caliber and six rounds; slow to reload. Although I’ve known a few folks who could reload from belt loops two-rounds-at-a-time faster shot-to-shot than some folks using a pistol with a magazine!
And, I’m old-school, so there!
I used to hang with a nice married couple. They are good friends, but they moved away. Fortunately, this was after they became my shooting students, and went on to become teachers, themselves.
I remember them telling me back-in-the-day that years before we became acquainted, they’d gone to a gun show. And some vendor therein had a sales technique predicting an apocalypse. His sales spiel was:
When the s*** comes down, you will need ‘X’!
Tactical Intelligence addresses something that most who read this and similar blogs already know:
“The more you sweat in times of peace, the less you’ll bleed in times of war.”
If there’s one thing though that we rarely hear about in the prepper circles that I feel is equally as important, it’s building up our mental toughness.
Self-defense oriented folks already are familiar with such precepts: Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense is all about our attitude.
So what are some things that you can do to build mental toughness?
If you have a flight of stairs in your home, any time you walk down them, go on all fours (great shoulder and chest workout). Or when going up, hop up each step.
Do a number of pushups or pullups (install a pull-up bar in the doorway) before entering or leaving certain rooms of the house.
Go without food or water for 24 hours
When on errands, park your car further out so you have to walk farther.
When showering, finish the last portion of it with a blast of cold water.
When watching TV, do pushups/situps during the commercial breaks.
Try to do as many activities as possible with your non-dominant hand.
If you’re on the shy side, go out of your way to talk to 3 new people a day and learn something about each of them, or…
…try singing at the top of your lungs when someone is pulled up next to you at a stop light.
Wake up an hour earlier than you’re used to.
When getting your mail in the middle of winter, go out in some shorts and a t-shirt.
On those nights when you’re exhausted and just want to go to bed, force yourself to clean or do the dishes for 10 minutes.
Practicing a snap kick for 1000 repetitions, or a pistol presentation 1000 times may help you with you physical self – your muscle memory. But, readiness is not just about the physical.
You should go and read the whole article at the link above, and remember, prepping isn’t just how many guns or rounds-of-ammo or bandages or water filters you have. What you do with those tools is entirely dependent on your attitude.
For when the s*** comes down…
h/t Karmann & Stan
I wrote earlier this month regarding my two years of formal training in martial arts. Not much, I know. About 15 years later, I actively shot in I.P.S.C. – style competition for about a year. There is a similarity in these disciplines.
Most martial arts training (I’m speaking of Asian-based) begins with a set position. A formal stance from which one begins – either ‘sparring’ (usually play-acting as through striking one’s opponent), or kata (aka forms), going-through-the-motions as if encountering an opponent. Shadow boxing. Responding to an imaginary adversary.
And I.P.S.C. (and it’s later permutations) of active ‘combat’ shooting competition usual does the same thing. One starts in a particular place, with particular equipment, in a particular position. Then the whistle blows. (At least U.S.P.S.A. and I.D.P.A. have done some evolution!)
The problem in both these situations is muscle memory. We revert to that which we were trained to do. One responds to a fist to the face by an outward-extended block, trapping the arm and stepping in with a counter strike. One sees one’s adversary present a pistol in one’s direction, and the response is immediate – Grip, Clear, Click, Smack, Sight – or some variant, as one moves into Isosceles or Weaver – feet into the ‘correct’ position to respond.
WRONG. At least wrong in the real world.
Training is good. Dry practice, repetitive presentations, trigger control, sight alignment, the compressed-surprise break. Even practiced stances and grips. All good. Competition is good, especially active competition as opposed to just punching holes in paper, dueling-style. But, those are not enough, and can set in some dangerous muscle-memory habits!
Remember they used to say in malfunction clearance drills Tap, Rack, Bang? They changed it to Tap, Rack, Assess, because some folks had malfs, cleared their firearm and came out shooting. Reflexively.
The same thing applies in our training. If we train to respond with B follows A – bad things are happening, we must attain our proper stance and grip, and use both hands, and have our feet correct – we won’t have the time to find cover and respond appropriately. We will be dead.
The venerable Bruce Lee called kata vertical death – because it set a pattern of muscle memory and took unneeded time. Don’t just practice B follows A – try presenting and shooting weak handed, from prone and supine, and in a chair; and holding a heavy sack in your strong hand. If someone send a fist to your face, don’t automatically do a ‘standard’ response. Dodge the fist simultaneously doing a stop kick.
Think outside the box! Armed or unarmed.
On the street, no one will announce, “Shooter ready?!”
…in a lifetime far, far away…
I studied kenpo karate for a couple of years. This was after I’d done some self-teaching at home (books by Bruce Tegner and Bruce Lee, and others not Bruce). On at least one occasion, it did keep me alive.
Due to my leg disability, I focused mainly on hand and arm techniques, sticky and trapping hands, arm bars, hand strikes and such. I didn’t get very far belt-wise. My focus was initially philosophical, but then evolved into basics – what I could do to stay alive.
And, over the years, I’ve informally shared some knowledge with other folks who’d expressed an interest, mostly women I’ve dated and shooting students. More knowledge is better, right?
Now, my roommate (an ex-gf) has expressed an interest. We’re working on breaking holds, blocks and where and how to strike. She had been giving me grief, as we’ve known each other almost 10 years, and while I coached her on her shooting, I’ve never broached this subject. So, we started some training.
But, neither of us is a spring chicken, which makes for amusing training sessions. Lots of exclamations of ow from both teacher and student.
But, neither of us anticipate training to get to this level:
h/t Miss K
Many bloggers have been posting of late regarding the ongoing elimination of rights by the government. I’ve been one of the folks posting. And, with the exception of the occasional ‘troll’, I’m pretty much preaching to the choir.
And sometimes that’s appropriate. We need to support and reaffirm one another.
BUT, what does one do with the community outside the ‘church’? Friends, co-workers, family who are not gun owners, who don’t participate in the gun culture, who either are neutral about firearms or just a little uneasy with them?
We need them, as well.
Those people who don’t see that when some folks rights are taken away, all rights are on the table for removal.
I’ve one friend, a libertarian, who understands The Constitution and The Bill of Rights and all that. I’ve even taken him shooting. Just doesn’t interest him. He’s not anti, just not a supporter. A close relative who knows I’d be happy to bring her into the world of guns; to train her and help her to be more self-protective. But she fears her own temper, so she won’t consider it.
We need these folks, if not in our gun corner, in our political corner.
How do we do that?
Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
Having studied American History for some time, with certain foci (The American Revolution, progressivism, political intrigue and assassination, Constitutional government, libertarianism) something has been bothering me.
Like most civilizations, historically, we have (had) a code and at least made an effort to abide by it. A man’s word is his bond. A handshake means something, as does a signature. Being a gentlemen means holding to certain standards of behavior and deportment. Honor.
But, it appears all this is now a facade; it has all fallen away. Especially regarding men of influence and power. Lying, cheating, stealing, having an alternate code of whatever it takes to accomplish ‘x’, rules the day.
I remember my College Course ‘Introduction to Western Civilization’ wherein Dr. Smith taught us that The Roman Empire didn’t fall because of barbarian attack. It fell because of a decline in morals – in short, a loss of honorable men.
As author Brett states in Manly Honor VII…
But today in this final post I want to strip away many of those layers and try to get back down to the heart of manly honor – the basics of why it’s worth preserving and how we can, and must, revive elements of it in this anti-honor-honor world.
You should go and read, not only this chapter, but the previous six. Both men and women. We can restore civility, integrity and a code of behavior as it once was, if we agree to take a code upon ourselves to behave and act accordingly. And by doing so, perhaps we can reverse this trend wherein people protest by destroying and stealing property, and songs are written about killing civil authority and defiling women. By being an example for our youth. By doing what’s right for the American Culture and our own worth.