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Old 04-30-2012, 01:43   #1
wprebeck
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Musings on criminals and guns

Felt this was deserving of its own thread - if Russ disagrees, good enough.
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Oh, I agree! Let me introduce this thread:
You carry a firearm. Why?
"Well, just in case, that one day, if someone chooses me as their victim, I'll be prepared..."
Prepared, huh... Preparation includes learning everything and knowing everything about your enemy, knowing your enemy very, very well.

This thread, this is where your preparation, your lesson about the enemy begins.
First, background for those not familiar with me. Twelve year officer at the largest county jail in my state. Fully sworn, on/off duty arrest, etc. Married to a street cop who has nearly 12 years herself. Pro-gun officer, gun/gear geek, etc.

Alrighty, on to the fun stuff. First, and foremost, this will anger, offend, and may even contradict the world view of some people, but it needs to be said:

Contrary to the words of our dearly departed Col. Cooper (if you don't know, ask) - most "goblins" aren't scared of a gun. There, I said it. Flame away.

But, bear in mind one thing. I know these people on a level which very few outside of the LE system ever do. I know how they think, act, and why (for the most part) they do what they do. How? Easy, I'm locked up with them 40 hours a week, and see them on the street while working my off duty jobs 10 or so hours a week.

Seriously - pick a name that's been on the news in my area for something lately. There's a 99% chance I know the guy, and his history. That gives me a perspective that's the average person doesn't have....which is how I know they're not scared of guns.

I've got folks inside who have been shot, more than once, and are alive to tell me about it. From guys who took 3 .44 rounds to the lower abdomen to a guy who took five center mass rounds from an auto, to a guy that still had a bullet in his skull. They don't care.

At the core of it, is a simple concept. Are wolves scared of sheep? To people such as these, armed or not, you ARE a sheep. The mere presence of a gun does not mean you are NOT prey for them. Were that the case, there would not be a memorial for my brethren in D.C. with names of the dead from hostile gunfire (among other reasons, but that's not the point), nor would there be thousands of law enforcement officers injured after fighting with suspects.

As has been mentioned on GT before, there exists a study (Sam, got a link?) of offenders who killed cops. The main point to take away was that the offenders attacked because they felt the officers were weak. Now, according to the mindset of some on here (argue all you want, deep down, we all know there's more than a few who think this way), since there was an armed good guy around, said attack should never have taken place.

That's crap, nothing but wishful thinking, and will get you hurt or killed. Predators aren't scared of their food, its just that simple. They need a reason to be wary, and someone walking around carrying a gun just doesn't do it. They need to believe that you will not hesitate in using that gun, if necessary. They have to believe it, not you.

Again, using myself as an example - I don't outwardly appear as threatening as do, say, two of my coworkers. Both are 6'4 and obviously into working out and martial arts. So, I have to present myself as someone who will not put up with crap, and who might just make (that fight painful enough to not be fun. Usually, it works.

That principle applies to civilians (seriously, don't start - I took an oath and there's exists enough case law to screw me, should I fail to perform my job adequately) carrying guns. Don't act like prey - watch who and what is around you. Play games like "what color shirt and pants is he wearing, and what would I do if he started shooting right now?" And while there are at least two schools of thought on this, I say to not be shy with doing it. Some will say to be unobtrusive as possible, but I feel that's geared for intel/counterintel types or special plainclothes security work, as opposed to everyday living.

Basically, the gist of this long winded post is this: don't look like a victim is a big part of NOT being a victim. A gun means nothing to all but the most weak criminals (and those types dont do physical assaults, they work more thievery/fraud type stuff).

Comments are welcome - but don't get your panties twisted if i disagree. My observations come from knowing, and seeing on a daily basis, real life criminals that most of you just see on the news. Not bragging about that, as I can't wait to retire - just saying it, because there's a few who seem to believe Cooper's comments about most criminals being cowards that will flee from the sight of a gun. Its just not true, and believing it may get one killed.

Last edited by RussP; 04-30-2012 at 19:22..
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:26   #2
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I hope your getting paid enough to deal with those pieces of shlt in jail day in and day out. Not something I would want to retire from but hey at least you got a job.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:39   #3
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, as a former Mil LEO I can say that some people/criminals will not care if they are on camera, out manned, out gunned, be completely sober, smaller than you and still want to attack. We had a guy that was involved with a altercation at the base pizza place and there were several (7 or 8) of us that responded and there one guy who was smaller than most of us and sober (no drugs, intoxicants, alcohol found in his system) wasn't afraid or deterred to get into it with us.

Just because one is or was a cop dosent make them always right but it does give a more experienced and first hand aspect in matters like this. Situations can differ greatly. There have been some instances where an armed civilian has helped but that is not always the case. I would rather be an armed civilian than not but I will also be aware that just being armed doesnt mean victory or that it will prevent someone from attacking. It does give me a better chance. Stay alert, be careful and hope for the best. Stay safe







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Last edited by TSAX; 04-30-2012 at 13:28..
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:42   #4
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I hope your getting paid enough to deal with those pieces of shlt in jail day in and day out. Not something I would want to retire from but hey at least you got a job.
My buddy in VA was getting paid about a little over 30k to work corrections for the last 4 years before he got a better gig. No it was not worth the crap, getting spit on, watching your back every second, smelling the nasty stuff from cell to cell, having people with diseases try and bite you but he had to support his family.









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Old 04-30-2012, 04:40   #5
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I don't know how each individual criminal thinks or what they are capable of, that is why I carry. I don't know who is under the influence of what, who has reached the end of their rope and is just plain suicidal. I also can't afford the luxury to assume criminals are cowards or stupid. Some may be, but assuming the one I encounter is, could be a deadly mistake.

I do my very best to be aware, but I can't claim that I never let my guard down and things may happen that catch me by surprise. Generally, I don't appear approachable to strangers and have a thing with my personal space. It is not something I've worked on, just part of who I am. My mother used to call it being anti-social (although I'm friendly with people I know). I've accepted who I am and learned to utilize what others may perceive as unfavorable as an additional alarm mechanism.

Carrying doesn't make me any less prey to a criminal, odds are high they wouldn't have a clue I do anyway. It barely gives me another option should I find myself (or a loved one) in a situation we were not able to avoid. My first options is to get out of Dodge and let someone else handle it. Unless I have absolutely no other choice but to face it, I won't.

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Old 04-30-2012, 07:41   #6
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I'm not concerned with and certainly don't rely on whether or not the criminal element is wary that regular citizens carry guns. He doesn't have to be scared of a bullet for it to physically affect him.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:52   #7
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You've touched upon the topic of "command presence". LE and civilian alike, ask yourself, do you have it?
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:55   #8
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Originally Posted by Misty02 View Post
I don't know how each individual criminal thinks or what they are capable of, that is why I carry. I don't know who is under the influence of what, who has reached the end of their rope and is just plain suicidal. I also can't afford the luxury to assume criminals are cowards or stupid. Some may be, but assuming the one I encounter is, could be a deadly mistake.

I do my very best to be aware, but I can't claim that I never let my guard down and things may happen that catch me by surprise. Generally, I don't appear approachable to strangers and have a thing with my personal space. It is not something I've worked on, just part of who I am. My mother used to call it being anti-social (although I'm friendly with people I know). I've accepted who I am and learned to utilize what others may perceive as unfavorable as an additional alarm mechanism.

Carrying doesn't make me any less prey to a criminal, odds are high they wouldn't have a clue I do anyway. It barely gives me another option should I find myself (or a loved one) in a situation we were not able to avoid. My first options is to get out of Dodge and let someone else handle it. Unless I have absolutely no other choice but to face it, I won't.

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Great post.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:04   #9
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There are crooks and "real" crooks.

The ones I have seen are opportunists who will give up, or more often just flee, when a gun is present. They have some moral fiber that precludes them making the choices that the true sick pups make.

The problem is that you only find out who the true predators are when it's too late.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:12   #10
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Felt this was deserving of its own thread - if Russ disagrees, good enough.
Great topic!
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:14   #11
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the best way to fight off a wolf is to not become a sheep dog, but to become a wolf yourself.

you go full throttle or not at all.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:19   #12
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Good Info
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:13   #13
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Contrary to the words of our dearly departed Col. Cooper (if you don't know, ask) - most "goblins" aren't scared of a gun. There, I said it. Flame away.
Hey, I agree. And, except for that, I pretty much think Jeff Cooper is/was the subject matter expert on combat mindset (and I think Massad Ayoob is pretty much the subject matter expert on personal tactics).

Cooper went at it as an art, Ayoob goes at it as a science. I think everybody carrying a gun ought to read everything both of them has written. And, then make your own mind up, as you get your own personal experience.

But, Cooper grew up in a different time, with different bad guys. He didn't get to see a culture where we have fourth generation sociopaths, each one bringing the one under them up in a more screwed up way.

Jail is a second home for the predatory thugs we have today. It is not a big deal to them to have go again. More of them than not, have been shot at, and a lot of them have been hit. They really don't expect to live to old age.

And, they are not scared of the things we are scared of.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:15   #14
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There are crooks and "real" crooks.

The ones I have seen are opportunists who will give up, or more often just flee, when a gun is present. They have some moral fiber that precludes them making the choices that the true sick pups make.

The problem is that you only find out who the true predators are when it's too late.
One writer, I can't remember who off the top of my head, divided them up as scavengers and predators. A scavenger can be scared off. A predator can't.

I thought that was the perfect analogy.

Danny Coulson, former FBI HRT commander, writes in his autobiography, that even the criminals are aware of this fact. He recalls interviewing an inmate, and asked him what he did. "I'm a bank robber," he said.

Coulson asked, "Were you a getaway driver?" and the inmate got mad. "I told you. I'm a bank robber. I go inside."

Coulson later used that description to classify not only criminals, but fellow FBI agents as well. Some were drivers, and some were go inners. And, there is a difference.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:25   #15
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Good thread!! Awareness is key.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:31   #16
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That fits!

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Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
One writer, I can't remember who off the top of my head, divided them up as scavengers and predators. A scavenger can be scared off. A predator can't.

I thought that was the perfect analogy.

Danny Coulson, former FBI HRT commander, writes in his autobiography, that even the criminals are aware of this fact. He recalls interviewing an inmate, and asked him what he did. "I'm a bank robber," he said.

Coulson asked, "Were you a getaway driver?" and the inmate got mad. "I told you. I'm a bank robber. I go inside."

Coulson later used that description to classify not only criminals, but fellow FBI agents as well. Some were drivers, and some were go inners. And, there is a difference.
In my academy days we were present with the 95 - 5 ratio of sheep vs wolves. With us being a tiny proportion being between them. Your hypothesis of scavengers and predators fit perfectly if you attempt to further break down the wolves category. I've had people with guns surrender when confronted. Thankfully I've never had a true predator who regardless of equal or greater force continue to fight. I'm waiting for that day.

This is a great post. Good topic, well presented thoughts. Take care and Be Safe Out There. I thank you for the jib you do. ADF officers & COs have my greatest respect.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:43   #17
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THIS IS A GREAT POST. It makes us really thing about the criminal mindset. It also shows us that only head shots will really work.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:22   #18
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THIS IS A GREAT POST. It makes us really thing about the criminal mindset. It also shows us that only head shots will really work.
I did mention the guy I know with a bullet still in his head, right? I met him in jail - not on a crime scene.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:41   #19
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begin every shift by telling yourself "someone is going to try to kill me today, and they will fail".

don't just tell yourself, but believe it.

if it doesn't happen, great.

if it does happen, you have already accepted it in your mind and will be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.

i was driving around the other night patrolling and a voice within me (Holy Spirit?) spoke something to me that created an incredible sense of calm to spread throughout my body: "I ain't afraid of dying, but it's going to take a better man than you to kill me".

be safe out there.
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Old 04-30-2012, 13:26   #20
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I did mention the guy I know with a bullet still in his head, right? I met him in jail - not on a crime scene.
Do you know the cal and distance? These don't come very often..
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