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.

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.

Quote of the Day – A Girl (12/18/2012)

When I was mugged I blamed only 2 people. My attacker and myself. I can’t control him, so I looked at myself to figure out what I could do to put myself in a better position for survival should the element I couldn’t control decided to come after me again. I took responsibility. I didn’t blame the cops or the grocery store parking lot or even my parents. They had some influence as did society, but it was me who stood there and did nothing. It was me. I did not come after you or anyone else. I didn’t go to congress and ask for new laws to protect my lack of action. I took action. Law abiding, legal action and I took responsibility for my part in that day. I can tell you none of it felt good. I didn’t feel good after I picked myself up off the ground, I didn’t feel good as I hid in the bathroom and took care of my scraped up arms and back. I didn’t feel good when my so called friends turned their backs on me. I didn’t feel good when my daughter looked me in the eye and told me she didn’t feel safe because I didn’t stop the and guy. It didn’t feel good when I showed up in the park to learn how to defend myself. I felt anything but good. I felt sad and lonely. I felt lost and broken. I felt ashamed and confused. I felt scared and and hopeless. And I fought all of that everyday for over a year in order to take responsibility. In order to feel good again.

A GirlFeeling Good
December 18, 2012


[First, go read the whole thing, it’s worth it and there were a few other quotes I almost put up first till I hit that one.

Now when I read that my immediate thought was, “No one ever said doing the right thing was the easiest route.”  I did a previous rant in the immediate wake and honestly her post and mine are intertwined together.

Feelings are driving the conversation for a lot of people right now, they want to do something, anything.  As I said before:

They want to be able to look at a physical object and blame it for what as happened.  They want to destroy the physical object and blame it for their grief.

They don’t want to admit that ultimately there was a person behind the gun.  They don’t want to admit no matter how hard they tried, they wouldn’t be able to control him.  They don’t want to admit all the efforts they took in advance to feel good in the wake of things like Columbine and other mass shootings in the end did nothing.  Not only did they do nothing, but the may have made it worse.

To them though that last thought is an impossibility   It is impossible that the actions they took to satisfy their feelings could have been counter productive.  How could they?  Their responses felt right to them in a previous time of emotional tragedy.

People currently forget that 11 years ago a group of men brought this country to its knees with a set of box cutters.  The tool is a tool and nothing more.  It’s use for good and evil rests entirely with the person holding the tool.

The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, gave her life ultimately trying to protect her students.  She was forced, by law, to be unarmed in that encounter.  The aggressor however broke numerous laws and had to actually steal the firearms to carry out his crime.  Think about that for a second, objectively.  We, as a community, trusted that woman, as well as the staff with the care and protection of our children.  We trusted that they would do what is necessary to keep them safe and educate them for the future.  We trust them enough to send our children there for a decent part of their young lives.  Yet we refuse to allow them the choice of carrying a firearm to defend our children should evil come before them.

We refused to allow the people immediately on the scene to respond to the threat posed against the children.  Instead the shooter was given 20 minutes to perpetrate his crimes.  He was given 20 minutes with defenseless victims.  Victims who were in the charge of responsible adults.  Those responsible adults, responsible for the children in their charge, were forcibly disarmed under the law.

The law in this case guaranteed the outcome.  We will never know what the outcome would have been had just one teacher been able to choose to be armed.  We can hypothesize given previous events, such as the Pearl High School incident in 1997.  But we can never actually know, all we can do is wonder.

It’s time to stop passing laws based on irrational emotion and examine a very simple and harsh fact.  When evil finally shows up, how can we react.  We focus too much on stopping evil out right and preventing it from ever happening.  While definitely a worthy goal, it is almost impossible to achieve since you cannot actually control the aggressor.  All you can do is react as quickly as possible and try to minimize damage.   What you can control to achieve that goal is yourself and your response, except in many cases the law has neutered that ability from the victims. -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.

Doesn’t Fit the Narrative

So I’ve seen this a few places and figured I would post it since it deserves recognition.

“He was working on his rifle,” said Meli.  “He kept pulling the charging handle and hitting the side.”

The break in gunfire allowed Meli to pull out his own gun, but he never took his eyes off the shooter.

“As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them,” he said.

Meli took cover inside a nearby store.  He never pulled the trigger.  He stands by that decision.

The shooter however did see Meli and promptly took his own life ending the confrontation.

Now I bring this up because it has been pushed down the page.  Even if the events of Friday had not occurred it is still quite likely we wouldn’t know about the actions of Nick Meli from the national news.  Why?

We have a perfect example of a defensive gun use within a public setting.  We have an example of a concealed carrier acting responsibly and thinking about his backstop and possible innocent casualties.  Tell me, would a police officer restrained himself in that case? I highly doubt it and the New York shoot out provides a good solid example of that.  Especially since most officers will be protected from negligence by qualified immunity.

Our opponents are beating the drums, last night I had someone on twitter arguing how one just needs 911 and there’s no need for firearms.  As horrible as it is, now is the time we must remain vigilant and we must fight.  The media will do all they can to suppress things that do not fit their narrative, it is up to us to give those stories a voice.

h/t Sebastian and Dave Hardy

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.

Can You Say Winning?

In an effort to increase membership, a number of U.S. churches — including the Church of Christ congregation in this rural village 30 miles north of Columbus — are offering an unconventional public service: Concealed weapons training.

“Church has done a good job with coffee klatsches or whatever, but we haven’t really reached out to guys,” said Jeff Copley, a preacher at the church. “And guys in Morrow Country, they shoot and they hunt.”

That is all sorts of awesome.  And it isn’t just one church either, there are numerous churches from Texas to North Carolina.

It’s nice to see some not rely on blind faith and miracles to save them but instead see that good happens through the deeds of others.  Some may see religion in that, others may not.  In the end though people who have faith in miracles to save them while rejecting the tools they can use themselves drive me insane, which brings me to this joke:

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

Why should I expect god to lift a finger for me if I won’t lift one for myself?

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.

Interesting Map

So I stumbled across this from Kiro TV in Seattle today.

image

That is the distribution of CPL licenses by zip code.  The deeper the red, the more self reliant the community.  What I found interesting is major urban area’s had a much lower rate, with Seattle having a rate as low as 1%.  What is most telling about that though is that when you get into the rural areas there is a realization you cannot depend on the police.  I’m not making that up either:

“People understand it might take a while for the sheriff to get to Lyman,” Hills insisted.

Mayor Debbie Heinzman also runs the local tavern. She agrees that “everybody has guns” in Lyman to protect themselves and their property.

Next I’d like to see a map that overlays property and violent crime rates by zip code.  Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but I think it would still be an interesting thing to see.  Doubly so since I’m sure it would counter the “more guns equals more crime” myth as well as the “concealed carry means blood in the streets” myth.

I’m reasonably sure this would be the case because:

KIRO 7 Investigators calculated only 2.8 percent of Seattle residents, overall, have sought the right to carry.

In the six zip codes to the east of I-5 (the International District to Capitol Hill, to north of the UW) the number is even lower — just 1.6 percent.

I lived in Seattle for 2 years in the U-District and there wasn’t really a day that went by that I didn’t hear about either violent crime or property crime.  There is an anomaly in that theory as Kent, which is not exactly the nicest part of the area, has a carry rate equal to where I live.  Even worse is Tacoma, which high urban area also has a much higher carry rate than the state average.

So when you pull all that in, it’s like the gun is merely a tool and what really matters are the people carrying it and what their intent is.

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.

Concealed Carry on Campus

Both the University of Idaho and Washington State University forbid concealed carry on campus.  Luckily the ban at WSU doesn’t have any teeth in that all they can do is ask you to leave at which point if you refuse you’ll be trespassed.  Students and faculty though can face administrative punishment however.  I do not remember the exact details regarding carry at the University of Idaho.

I bring this up because so often I hear the following phrase, “Why would you need a gun on campus?”  Well maybe you live in the dorms or university housing.  Maybe you have a night class and will have to walk across campus in the dark.  Ultimately though people seem to think that bad things never happen on campus.  Reality always has a habit of showing up though.

Moscow Police arrested a man Sunday for the alleged rape of a University of Idaho student on the Moscow campus.

Nothing says stop faster than a hunk of lead flying at 900 fps.  Bad things happen everywhere, even college campuses.  Even more than that, it isn’t always the random person you don’t know.

“The victim knew the suspect from working with him in Twin Falls at a restaurant, so they were acquainted, but on a friendship level only,” said Chief of Police David Duke.

It’s best that we all remember these things can and do happen.  If you can, support Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the fight is a significant and real one.  I wore an empty holster on to campus on more than one occasion specifically in support.  The one debate that I saw occur on campus ended squarely in favor for campus carry.

The thing is, at least with WSU, the board of regents will not move to change the administrative code and the only way you can bring about a legal challenge is if they exercise the code against you.  For this reason, many of my friends followed the rule of better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.  Not everyone is so willing to do that though.  Then again, when the building you work in has been attacked by ALF, your desire to survive should they return usually wins.

Though the school would prefer you to be disarmed to be easy prey.  It’s not like it’s their life that’s on the line though.  It’s like the government and politicians only care about criminals, not the law-abiding.

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.

A Compare and Contrast Exercise

Lets look at exhibit A:

The results?  15 rounds, 9 innocent bystanders wounded.

Exhibit B:

Result, no innocent bystanders shot, 2 perps wounded and found in the hospital.

So can someone please explain to me again why concealed carriers are so dangerous?  Especially given the following information:

–You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist

I really should spend some time aggregating the stats for the number of innocent people shot by officers during an engagement versus the number of innocents shot by a concealed carrier while defending themselves.  I hate spending my time doing that because I already know the answer and I know there was a study on it, my Google fu just can’t find it again.  I have a feeling though it may be buried and I will probably end up doing it.

Intrepid readers, if you find it, please let me know!

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.