One of the most important and least understood elements of self-defense is the social “landscape” in which self-defense takes place. If you’re puzzled about that statement, let’s go with a blunt trauma example. You are visiting rainy London and have the misfortune to be set upon by thieves, whom you repel with your classic black British umbrella. Instead of a gold star and a funny story to tell your friends back home, you may very well be changed with the crime of carrying a weapon, which is defined ex post facto as carrying anything that is used as a weapon.
Under those rules, you could remove a button from your very British tweed vest, flick it in the eye of your attacker and technically be as guilty as if you were the one tossing the jar of acid in your face.
It’s fair to say that the landscape inn the U.K. is wildly slanted against any sort of self-defense. Violence is the exclusive province of the state.
Until recently, the self-defense landscape in the United States was pretty straightforward. Of course the laws varied from state to state (sometimes municipality to municipality), but there was a general acceptance that, yes, Americans had a right to protect themselves and their families.
That right, however, is now inoperative (and if not completely absent, then bent wildly out of shape). This is because of something that up until recently been rare or absent in the U.S., the concept of politically sanctioned violence.
I’m going to have to carve out my own definition here, as most other definitions of political and state violence don’t really work here. Politically sanctioned violence is violence that is implicitly encouraged, allowed and/or protected by a politically entity of some sort. In the specific case we’re talking about here, the current iteration of the Democratic Party, far far to the left of any other iteration of that party, has implicitly encouraged, allowed and protected street violence by groups such as Black Lives Matter, Antifa and other splinter groups. The actions the party, or members of the party acting ostensibly on their own, to protect the perpetrators of such violence include no or very few arrests, quick no-cash-bail-required release from jail in the case of arrests, providing or raising funds to be used for legal services of rioters, providing “services” to the perpetrators, including transportation (somebody payed for all those buses), on-the-ground legal services, water and some medical services, and the most important resource of all, cash. Also, the various federal law enforcement agencies have shown a distinct lack of interest in investigating crimes stemming from the long 2020 summer of riots and the current iteration of riots and fire-setting.
I don’t think I have to go through every incident to prove this to you guys. It is worth noting, however, the difference in the federal response to the events of January 6, 2021, at the Capitol, which barely meet the definition of a riot, much less an “insurrection.” It is April when I write this, and people are still being held without bail and in some cases without any charges being placed against them. To say this is un-American is a breathtaking understatement. Yet we already have a preview of this summer’s rioting already underway, including a recent case where Antifa set the Portland, OR, ICE facility on fire with people trapped inside…last I checked, that would be called “attempted homicide.” Arrests? Convictions? Even conceding that setting a building on fire with people inside is a bad idea?
So what does this have to do with you, a civilian concerned about personal safety?
More than you might think. Politically sanctioned violence has changed the self-defense landscape in the United States, and the sooner we accept this and modify both our behavior and training accordingly the more likely we are to stay out of the teeth of the beast.
For the most part, we have seen self-defense as binary, the defender versus the aggressor. That is consistent with the language we used on THE BEST DEFENSE; it is the language used in virtually all of the self-defense courses I have ever taken, and it makes perfect sense, “us versus them,” good versus bad.
But what if the aggressor we face is a member of one of the politically sanctioned groups? Well, you might ask Kyle Rittenhouse, who’s life — whatever the outcome of the murder charges against him — is ruined. Without going into a huge analysis of the incident, I suspect that a lot of us would say we were legally, morally and ethically able to respond with potentially lethal force if we were attacked by an aggressor with a “deadly weapon,” whether that weapon be gun, knife, a hammer or an improvised impact weapon, say, a skateboard. After all, that’s what we have taught and been taught.
But what if the aggressor is a member of one of the politically sanctioned — protected — groups? Here’s the Cliff Note’s answer: You are at fault, regardless of the circumstances; you are the one who will pay the price. The aggressor probably knows in advance that if he or she is actually arrested, a small likelihood, either there will be a legal team in place to spring them or they will face a “woke” district attorney elected by floods of money from globalists like George Soros, who were put in place specifically for this reason. There are no legal consequences to their actions.
And what do you think those committed, “woke” DAs will do to you? Short answer…they will destroy you.
If that doesn’t scare you enough, consider that the aggressor you face will very likely know or will have been taught just exactly how far they can go to push you into an escalating reaction. In fact, they want that escalating reaction on your part, because it will play well in the wildly biased media reports…you will be the “thug;” the aggressor will be the “victim.” That is how this particular game is played.
So, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. Some of this material is stolen wholesale from Ed Monk of Last Resort Training’s presentation at TAC-CON 2021, and it is very consistent with my own thinking.
- Situational awareness is the most important element of the new landscape! You cannot get caught up in a riot if you are not there.You can’t get sucked not a shouting match in a restaurant if you and your party stands up and leaves before the planned “incident” fully gets under way. You cannot be drawn into an escalating event if you refuse to engage. Situational awareness is more than studying in advance or even responding farther “down the curve” as we have talked about so many times. Situational awareness is also an awareness of the entire situation…if you know you are being verbally attacked and physically threatened with the specific intent of of causing you to react, or over-react, that should change your response matrix, shouldn’t it?
- “Verbal Judo” will likely not work. Most of us have incorporated verbal commands into our self-defense repertoire, and I can tell you from personal experience that it works. That is, it works on what we might think of as the average aggressor, who doesn’t want to advertise what’s happening. “STOP!” works wonders. However, when we look at a similar situation the politically sanctioned aspect folded in, there’s no benefit for the aggressor to stop. They want the confrontation, and your shouting “Stop! Stop!” probably only adds to the clamor. It is also safe to assume that verbal deescalation will not work, since this is not a situation where the aggressor has “wound themselves up” for the confrontation or attack. It is likely not an impulsive attack. Rather, the event has been predetermined, with roles assigned to the aggressors.
- Everything is being recorded! This point should probably be tattooed on our foreheads. They is always a camera, and everything is always being recorded, usually from multiple angles. And a corollary is that the videos/angles shown in the Mainstream Media and, should it go farther, in court, will be the ones that show you in the worst possible light. Videos will either be streamed live to the Internet from the scene or will be posted very shortly afterwards. This is 100%, folks. You must assume that every action you take and every word you say will be all over the world before you even catch your breath, so you must plan in advance how you will deal with politically sanctioned violence! Referencing back to Point #2, attempts at verbal deescalation, even if they have no chance of working, does have a potential benefit for you if you’re able to put yourself in the best light: “Please leave us alone!,” “We’re leaving!,” “You’re scaring my child!” You are a terrified person trying to leave the scene…play that role!
- The police are not coming! To put this bluntly, American law enforcement, especially in urban areas, has been totally neutered. Police departments have been “defunded,” lost a huge percentage of their officers, lost qualified immunity and know that neither their department or the politicians in the area they serve will back them up. They know that if they help you, they will suffer your fate — or worse. The videos don’t lie. You cannot watch the videos of the on-going riots without understanding that you are on your own. This is harsh, but it is no less true. Should you call 911? Absolutely, because it puts you in the best light if the event should end up in court. Just don’t expect the cavalry to come riding over the hill.
- Testosterone is your enemy. I get furious just watching some of these events! But if you are in the soup, and you become so furious that you “lose it,” congratulations, you’ve just given the aggressor what he or she wants more than anything in the world…your head on a platter. You are going to have to swallow your anger. You are going to have to make sure that, in your anger, you don’t blurt out words that, when played on CNN, will add fuel to the witch-burning frenzy that you’re already embroiled in.
- Walk away. I’m pretty sure this grates on your as much as it does on me, but they most likely way for you to keep your house, your bank accounts and your sanity is to walk away. Obviously, avoidance and breaking contact when possible are critically important in a “regular” violent incident, but they are often greater importance if you and your family is caught up in a political event. The good news is that politically sanctioned violence events aren’t necessarily designed to kill you. When you disengage from an assault or a mugging or any “real” violent event, it is with the knowledge that the aggressor has already made the decision to do you harm or even kill you if you don’t comply. However, at its core, politically sanctioned violence is theater. While the aggressors might indeed do you harm (or even kill you) in the heat of the moment, that’s not the primary purpose of the attack. While it is likely, based on what we’ve seen over the last year, that you and your family may be followed and harassed even as you attempt to disengage, it is still the safest, if hardest, path for you to follow.
- You still need to understand where your “line in the sand” is. I have discussed at length with my Sweetie at which point I will respond and at which point if I am otherwise engaged she will respond. DO NOT POST THAT INFORMATION ON-LINE! Our enemies are not idiots, and most of them can read as well as we can. We have gotten to used to putting far too much of our personal lives on line where anyone can ready them. Remember that the landscape has changed…do not give aid, comfort or any information to the enemy. OPSEC, kids!
- The weapons don’t come out until it is time to use them. Presentation in this kind of situation, especially a riot, is guaranteed to escalate the situation. You have an ace in the hole…keep it there until it’s time to turn over the card.
- Call your lawyer immediately. You have a lawyer, right? Use him or her. The sooner your lawyer is involved the better chance you have of surviving the second part of the ordeal.
- Don’t expect “justice.” Justice is dead in America. The ideal of everyone being equal under the law is now a quaint relic of olden times. We are now all on George Orwell’s animal farm, and the pigs have clearly stated that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. You and your family are on the wrong side of that equation. The thugs, the pigs, understand that they have the whip-hand, and they have shown themselves very willing to use it. This is what a Cold (for now) Civil War looks like.