The Greatest Equalizer…

This is a little long, but read the whole thing. It is another example of “Why I Carry.”

I received a text from a relative the other night… this is what it said:So, I’m busy at the time at a business open house and on my way home I give the relative a call.

Background:

Barron For Scale…

Before I get into the details of the story, let me relate the following. This relative is 74 years old, under 5 foot, and has silver-gray hair and is a breast cancer survivor. From now on we will just refer to her as: “Short Lady with the Gray Hair” or SLwtGH for short.  She drives a retired police car we picked up used for a decent price after her previous car finally began to die after 23 years of use.

Story:

I call the SLwtGH and she informs me of the events from her day.  For whatever reason that morning she decided that she needed to carry Tweety, her revolver with her.  She headed into Tacoma to play bridge with some friends.  For those who aren’t familiar with the People’s Republic of Puget Sound, Tacoma isn’t exactly the friendliest depending on where you are, but this was going to be mid day and she would be traveling home by 1500 so it’s not like the animals would be prowling right?

She leaves her friend’s house and at about 1440 she turns left off of E 38th street and heads North on East Portland Ave.

The full frame of the incident. The distance from E38th to Fairbanks is .4 miles.

At the time she turned left she checked her rear view mirror and saw no one behind her, blind spot clear she moved from the left lane to the right lane.

At East Fairbanks she noticed two dark color vehicles approaching from the rear. She maintained speed at 40 thinking  this is nothing significant, other than traffic.

One vehicle rapidly speeds past, immediately pulls in front, rapidly stops forcing the SLwtGH to slam on her brakes. The second car blocks the drivers side preventing immediate egress from the area. The only exit is backwards or through the vehicles.

Three men get out of the vehicles. Two out of the vehicle directly in front. The third got out of the vehicle blocking the driver side. One has a revolver at his side, another has a knife, the third has a semi-automatic pistol. At this point the SLwtGH is dialing 911 and drawing her firearm. She places it in a retention position on her chest.  About midway through their approach of the vehicle the men stop their approach. They begin conversing, the words said are unknown.  At this same time the SLwtGH is relaying her location to dispatch.

Suddenly there is a siren and lights approaching from the east. The officers pull in front of the two black cars blocking any attempted egress and the officers exit the vehicle weapons drawn.  The officer and his partner in the first car immediately took control of the situation and put the individuals in custody. Two other cars arrived shortly after.

After the officers had placed the individuals in custody they approached the SLwtGH , asked to see her weapon and carry permit.  She was then informed they were well acquainted with subjects, she was absolutely justified and had nothing to worry about. They would be going away for an extended period on multiple warrants. She was thanked for maintaining poise and thoughtfulness.

She let the officers clear the scene and then she did so.

Major notes, the criminals were traveling in packs, attempted to attack what they thought they was a soft target. This event happened in broad daylight on a thoroughfare.

AAR and my takes:

Most likely this was an attempted car jacking. As the SLwtGH was driving a retired police car it is both hardened, as well as useful if you want to imitate being an officer to rob people.  Overall the event happened quickly, it was lucky there were officers in the immediate vicinity. The SLwtGH kept her cool and remained calm event though she was under stress.

In this incident all three elements for deadly force existed:

  1. Ability: They were armed and there was no question about them being so.
  2. Opportunity: Two of the individuals were armed with ranged weapons capable of piercing the windshield.
  3. Jeopardy: The men out numbered an elderly, short, woman, blocked her vehicle, were approaching it armed, with no legal reason to be doing so.

Alternative Weapons:

While giving a debrief she noted that even if she attempted to back up, she would have still had difficulty fleeing because of the distance required to get around them. I reminded her of two things.

  1. She was in a hardened vehicle that gives her an advantage others don’t have. She could have backed up enough to wedge through the two vehicles.
  2. Her vehicle has enough power and is reinforced on the front that she could have pushed that front car out-of-the-way.

Remember your vehicle is a weapon, don’t be afraid to use it as such.

It happens fast, remain calm:

This kicked off fairly fast, I’m impressed SLwtGH was able to get 911 on the horn and have her firearm ready to rock.

This was most likely because she did not sit in denial of the events happening in front of her. Many people when confronted will deny what’s going on, trying to rationalize that this isn’t really happening or that they’re being hyper critical and the danger they’re seeing isn’t really there.  Process your input and act on it, don’t deny what you’re seeing, don’t down play it. Let the data and events speak for itself. If new data says it’s not as dangerous, great, but don’t trying and play the hypotheticals as it is happening.

Her firearm made the difference.

The presence of her firearm interrupted their game plan. This was a defensive gun use, however statistically this wouldn’t be counted.  As a side note this makes for 5 defensive gun uses in my family, in all 5 instances there wasn’t a shot fired. They had their own preconceived notion of how this was going to go down. They figured it was a soft target and would need little effort other than intimidation. When they approached the vehicle, the firearm caused them to suddenly need to start working on a new game plan. I’ve seen this happen personally in another incident where the individual was armed.

If you find yourself in a similar situation that is the moment you need to capitalize on. What has happened is the initiative has flipped, they no longer have the edge of their plan. This is when you can either talk the person down, I did in one case, wait and see if they’re going to decide discretion is the better part of valor, as the SLwtGH did here.

Additional side note, if they are already committed to performing an act of violence in their plan such as shooting you, they will likely not freeze or stop. I suspect this is because mentally that haven’t counted on the escalation path and the probability of them not surviving the encounter. Someone already committed to the violent act will most likely not waver.

Final thoughts:

Sean’s notes on this are spot on. We’ve got yet another crap gun control initiative in this state being funded by Bloomberg and company. In two weeks time there were two defensive gun uses within my family.

The issue isn’t with firearms, it isn’t with law-abiding gun owners, it’s with the tolerant behavior surrounding violent crime. We’re restricting the rights of the innocent under the guise of stopping criminals, and then acting surprised criminals are becoming bolder, because they don’t care. In the end, criminals prey on the weak. Why are we wanting the people who’ve contributed to society and continue to do so turned into prey?

Final though, don’t tell me you want to ban firearms or otherwise disarm innocent people, I am sick of playing that game. The only way the SLGH had any chance there was a firearm. Even if they had just had clubs, she’s old, small, and out numbered. You’re a sick horrible person and honestly, the body count of innocent people being dead isn’t on us. We carry every day to protect ourselves and those we love. Just look at the pastor who stopped a car jacker when he was taking his 6th car after previously shooting numerous people.

So don’t you dare tell me blood is on our hands for supporting gun owners and law-abiding citizens. 5 defensive gun uses, not a single shot fired in any of them, and in the last one:

The Short Lady with the Grey Hair stared down a bunch of armed thugs to the point where they’re now sitting in jail.

How ready are you for when violence shows up unexpectedly? Remember it doesn’t call ahead, you’re not really going to get a warning until it happens. Are you ready to be like the Short Lady with the Gray Hair?

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

I always thought this was a bad idea…

So I had previously seen a lot of different coverage in different places about the “festival of colors“. For a quick background see this.

I always thought it intriguing yet weird because well my fascination with fire and explosives has taught me the dangers of such things as dust, especially in large quantities. Well my apprehension was evidently well founded.

An article on the incident had this to say,

Explosions and blasts continued to take or put human lives in danger across the globe over the past week as fun and frolic turned into tragedy in the space of minutes. In the Formosa Water Park in the Bali district in Taiwan, over 200 people suffered severe burns after a dust explosion engulfed an area where people were merrily dancing.

I learned about the wonders of dust explosions back in scouts and the ripe age of 13. Non-dairy creamer, flour, really anything in a powdered form that is combustable will produce fantastic results. The MSDS for white chalk further provides data that while it may be chalk, danger is a serious concern for fire and explosion.

So remember, trust your gut and just because a bunch of people are doing it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day – Dec 15, 2014 (PDB)

What would truly deter the next attack is to have it end without the glamour. Getting unceremoniously shot in the face by barista Cindi (“I’m really an actress!”) after she pulls her J-frame from under her apron before you can even take hostages is a lot less glamorous than meeting your end against a dozen of Sydney’s finest. Sadly, this is not an option in Australia, but where it is legal? Carry your damn guns, folks.

PDB – Facebook Status Update
December 15, 2015


[I have nothing else to add. -B]

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

On Lists… (Alt Title: In which I make some people hate me…)

So currently there are a large number of people screaming about a list that someone compiled of all the politicians in Connecticut that voted for the assault weapons ban.  Predictably the other side promptly held up the list as an indicator as we’re out of control and attempting to “chill debate”.

A bunch of people on our side started screaming about how that not helping, stating that we must perceiver and rely upon the ballot box and the jury box.  I originally wrote this as a reply to someone on Facebook but figured it would be better placed here.

The problem here is we’re all forgetting the scope of the game we’re playing.  Not only that we’re ceding moves and pieces for a perceived moral stature increase that doesn’t actually count much at all in this game.  One side of this is already threatening force.  It however won’t be the politician who kicks in someone’s door at 3am, endangering everyone from law enforcement, to children, to the parents.  Honestly it should be the politician who pays, he’s the one that wrote the check that he’s making everyone else cash.

At the same time many also started screaming “well pack up and move.”  I’d like to point out packing up and moving only works for so long.  Believe me, my family knows quite well, we basically were chased across the US as we kept moving west to stay on the frontier.  The same will keep happening legislatively, and even worse when enough states have fallen, they can be used as examples to infringe on your rights from the federal level.  Think how concealed carry was finally forced upon Illinois.  If everyone had just packed up and moved, would that have changed there?  If everyone just packed up and left for “greener pastures” would concealed carry have been won in the states who didn’t have it?  Plus you end up ceding ground which they then use against you later as an example of what is “allowable”.  Think in the inverse, what if only one state had a CCW law and an attempt at a federal ban on carry was attempted?  49 other states might make SCOTUS go yeah that’s reasonable.

No, you must fight.  Retreat when you must, but do not do so hastily and you must have a plan for coming back.

Frankly inviting all these people from other states that are crashing eventually backfires because many of the same people start voting for the same crap that got them in trouble to begin with.  Believe me, Washington is being overrun with people from California and I’m watching it happen.  Ask people in Texas about the California invasion as well.

But back to the list, politicians, and the game.  I could give two shits about the list.  Doesn’t really matter other than it plays better as a political tool by the opposition than for the friendlies.  So do I wish it had not been published, yeah.  But at the same time it serves are a reminder to the politicians exactly the ballgame they’re playing.  If the card has been dealt in the open you might as well play with the damn thing.

But Barron, we must exercise the soap box, ballot box, and jury box.  We had successes in Colorado with the recall, we don’t need force yet.

Well what am I doing here, and you doing there, and what was he doing by publishing the list?  Last I checked, that all falls in the realm of soap box.  But to think that all states will be OK because one successfully recalled, and was lucky enough to have a recall process, is also naïve.  Not all states have a recall process.

Seriously, the game we’re playing the time periods are much shorter than election cycles and many are acting knowing they will loose their jobs.  They don’t care, they’re being bought by our enemies.  But why would that be?

The first rule of any game is to realize you’re in one.  Their goal is to do the damage with no way to hit “undo”.  Tell me, what is the punishment for passing an unconstitutional law?  What is the punishment for enforcing an unconstitutional law?  Who really pays to right the wrongs and who actually gets the reparations in the end?  Just look at New Orléans and the Katrina fiasco for those answers.

But Barron, I just don’t think the time is right yet…

That is your opinion and you have every right to it.  But, everyone has their own lines in the sand.  If them kicking in the doors to people’s homes and taking them by force, and let’s not bullshit here this is what’s being discussed,  good for you.  Not everyone however views this in the same light and for many that is the line in the sand of no going back.

The enforcement of any laws–local,state or federal–that through the action or inaction of the courts makes nugatory the individual means of resisting tyranny, justifies resistance.

Don’t like it? Get the police to say screw off regarding enforcement.  Currently though there are two sides of this coin, one side is the state wanting, and willing, to use force.  The other side is preparing to strike back, not strike first, at those truly responsible should it happen.

But Barron we should fully exhaust the political route before fighting back.

The British rolled up one April 19th, should we have continued to wait hoping our pleas to the king for a political solution panned out?

No we fought while also trying to achieve a peaceful political solution.   War is an ugly nasty business.  However to dismiss the violence they will bring against you by saying “ballot box” while laying down your arms is already admitting defeat.  Your enemy is willing to use force while you are not.  By default he wins.  You have lost the game.

And that folks is the problem.  Welcome to the pot of boiling water.  The heat was cranked up quite quickly and we very rapidly found ourselves in the very predicament we are in today.  Does it suck?  You bet your ass it does.  Do I  wish it was different?  Yup.  Do I want to have another civil war?  Hell no, but that isn’t really up to me now is it?

In the words of Malcolm Reynolds,

If someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back.

The answer to this problem is quite simple, “don’t start nothin’, won’t be nothin’.”  If this side was as truly blood hungry as the opposition thinks, crap would have already gone down.  At the same time, trying to make us all pacifists by screaming about the Soap, Ballot, and Jury boxes, implies that when a criminal is robbing us we should only every rely on those tools.  Why bother with the firearms at all if we can’t defend ourselves and then go after the person who tried to kill us by proxy?

The ball is truthfully in the state’s court.  All they have to do is respect the rights of their citizens and nothing will happen.  Trample those rights, and well some may fight back.  Some may go after the very people who passed the laws.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Citizens take law into own hands

Not only did the Sheriff’s Office narrow its scope to “life-threatening” situations, but it even encouraged people who felt unsafe to relocate. “… the Sheriff’s Office regretfully advises that, if you know you are in a potentially volatile situation (for example, you are a protected person in a restraining order that you believe the respondent may violate), you may want to consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services,” the original release stated.

Selig’s community watch group, looking to fill in the law enforcement cracks, now meets once a month to discuss crime and teach its approximately 100 members about personal safety. The group also has a trained “response team,” which consists of 12 people who will respond to the scene of a reported non-life-threatening situation if called.

I’ll summarize the full details real quick for everyone.  A county in Oregon lost a federal grant for timber that was a large source of revenue for them.  The county attempted to pass a tax levy to make up the difference, but it was voted down.  Because of this, they cut law enforcement back because that’s the obvious area to reduce funding. *SMH* One of the officers who was forced to retire early because of this mess decides to create a neighborhood watch group that is basically performing some of the duties of law enforcement mainly focused around property crime.  They’re not handing out tickets or arresting anyone, at least from what the article said.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.  There are obviously legal ramifications here.  There are liability issues and then the question of what they do when they are in a situation where they should arrest a person.  So far it seems like everything they’ve been involved in has been pretty harmless, but I’m sure that won’t last forever.  While I don’t agree with the scope of law enforcement at times, I also don’t want to trivialize their job and make it sound like anyone can do it.  Since it’s a prior officer that’s running this thing, I’m hoping that there is some good quality training going on and that the people doing this are prior MIL/LEO.

Some of the citizens are saying that the local government is cutting law enforcement to basically force their hand and get them to approve the levy.  I haven’t seen their budget, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this was the case.  Regardless of whether or not there is enough money, I’m impressed with the citizens’ willingness to step up and get the job done.  While law enforcement isn’t the first place I would think that we should have citizens stepping up to fill the gap, I am glad to see them doing what needs to be done, and I’m really hoping they do it right since this is the type of thing that can set a precedent going forward.

~John

Quote of the Day–Tam (5/31/2013)

A good start would be allowing everybody to serve as their own bodyguard because, when it comes right down to brass tacks, government can’t protect, only punish. Whether your assailant comes at you with ballistic missiles or butcher knives, all the .gov can do is retaliate after the fact.

Be Prepared: You will be your own first responder.

Tam – The government cannot save you.

May 31st, 2013


[As I’ve said before, and even put more succinctly here but it bears repeating.  You are the help, you are the rescue, you are the extraction team.  Accept it, learn it, love it.  -B]

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day–Scholling(5/21/2013)

We would not allow cities or states to require poor women to spend several hundred dollars on training and licensing before having a child or an abortion and I don’t see how it is any more constitutional to require a woman to spend several hundred dollars to obtain a license to defend herself against rape.

Scholling – CalGuns Forum

May 19th, 2013


[I have nothing further to add that I haven’t said before. –B]

h/t David

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

I Don’t Think They Thought This Through…

So Mom’s Demand Action, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg, Inc. issued the following statement.  Most of note was this line:

The right of mothers to protect our children SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

Evidently in their twisted view of the world there are only a few acceptable means of defending your children.  One small problem with that, their statement in and of itself is full of hypocrisy.  Why?  Let me illustrate with 1000 words with help from A Girl.

DefensiveMom_2

A Girl and her daughter E.

You see, my immediate thought when I read that line of garbage, and it is garbage, was of her and E.  Immediately followed by my friend Laurel:

Image via Oleg Volk.

I could continue down the list of mothers I thought of who would stand opposed to what “Moms Demand Action” is claiming to be right.  Not only do they stand opposed, but the desires of Moms Demand Action stands as a direct infringement to prevent them from doing what they claim to be protecting.

No one is forcing you to pick up a rifle to defend your family.  If you don’t want to, fine, that’s your choice and your business.  If however someone does want to pick up a rifle to defend their family, no one has any right whatsoever to tell them they cannot.   Any attempt to tell a woman she cannot pick up a rifle to defend her children is an infringement on the right to protect their children.  As such, any attempt at gun control whereby arms are removed from the hands of law-abiding citizens is just such an infringement.

So I went through and fixed up their document while adding commentary:

A Mother’s Bill of Rights

We, as mothers, have the absolute right to protect our children families from harm. We have the right to know our children are safe from gun violence, from the moment they leave our arms in the morning until they return home later in the day.  (That sentence is false, see Warren v. District of Columbia.)  We have a right and responsibility to defend our families from those who might do them violence.  But the rights of Americans mothers are under attack by criminals, the gun lobby, and legislators and puritans  who wish to trample those rights while still sticking them with the responsibility are unable to stand up for common-sense gun reforms. The right of mothers people to protect their families our children SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

As mothers people, we have the right to…

 

  • Expect that assault weapons will remain in the hands of our military, not civilians that our right to keep and bear arms in defense of our families and children shall not be infringed.
  • Preserve our children’s innocence and shield them from gun any violence by taking any means necessary to stop it abruptly and swiftly without prejudice. in America, real and scripted(Really, scripted, why don’t you just turn off the TV instead of attacking Free Speech).
  • Demand that all public places remain gun-free zones;’ except private homes and shooting ranges allow the carry of defensive arms by those legally entitled to do so.
  • Know our children are safe in their schools: any school, anywhere, by allowing those who wish to defend our children the tools to do so.
  • Expect our teachers to be focused on teaching our children, not training to become armed guards.  (Because what a teacher does in their own time to defend themselves and your children is a bad horrible thing?)
  •  Demand that our government create the same strong regulations for guns as they have for toys, cars and food.  (Umm, did you miss the fact that firearms are more heavily regulated than all those things combined?)
  • Expect our leaders to put our children’s safety above the profit desire for power and influence of the gun industry those who hate and wish to deny us our rights and personal liberties.
  • Have access to complete, accurate information about the impact of gun violence on our families and communities personal responsibilities we have in ensuring our own family’s safety and wellbeing.
  • Hold our elected officials accountable for keeping our children safe from gun violence breaking their oath to support and defend the constitution.

Seriously, in what world does anything they wrote count as not an infringement.  You all keep using these words rights and infringements and I don’t think any of you on the other side really understand what a right is and what it means to infringe on one.

Not to mention it seems that they think some how their opinion is worth more merely because they are mothers.  Tell me, does the father’s opinion not matter?  Does the opinion of the desire of the husband to defend his wife count for nothing?  Just the same, does the opinion of the wife and mother to carry for the defense of her own family not matter?  No they would rather tell you, me, and everyone else how to live our lives.  Our opinion to them counts for jack.

It doesn’t matter we respect them and their decision not to carry firearms, but they want to force their decisions on the rest of us.  To them I say, “NO!”  I’ve had enough of you taking my cake and you will not get a single solitary inch until you give something back.  I am sick of “compromising” where I give up everything and you give up nothing.  GO TO HELL!  There’s a reason I get angry.

I think this version of the picture of A Girl with some additional text says it best:

Everyone has a right to choose their own tools.

Everyone has a right to choose their own tools.

h/t to Sean.

*If you’d like to use the spoof logo I created:

Moms Demand Action

Feel free to use this, just give me credit if anyone asks. 🙂

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.