T Nation

Bad Ideas


Glad to see you back Robert!

Completely agree about your reaction to those executions; diplomacy is IMO the best option when it’s an option, but there are certain situations in which it is not and this certainly seems like one of them. The difficult part is bringing them to justice without killing all of the innocents which they will/are using as human shields in the process.


Well…I would say we generally don’t do the Hugs For Thugs program much here, except for Austin. Great city to party in, but that place has gotten WAY liberal.

Other than that, Texas continues to be the bastion of conservative hope it has always been. I’m sure you are aware our Open Carry statute went into effect on January 1st. Should prove interesting.


Yeah, that is a big “Same Rules as Last Year” concept. Even on just the interpersonal violence/interaction level mastering the “always be deescalating” unless it’s time to crack heads, then crack fucking heads paradigm can be tricky. It is also painful as hell to try to get it across to others. I am sure you feel that pain weekly teaching.

Off topic: Is Little Sento walking yet?


Robert A


RE: Hugs for Thugs. I have heard so much about Austin. A good friend has a brother there, and I was informed that the PD finds a way to drum out any officer involved in a shooting, even if it was textbook justified. If that is at all true I think that’s great. I have considered every possible outcome of making sure police know they will be punished for defending themselves and chastised for even trying to ruin a violent criminals day and all of them are positive. What could possibly go wrong? The pay must be great if they can still hire people when there are rational just next door.

RE: Open Carry
I am a big open carry supporter, and an advocate that nobody should do it unless forced. Outside activities often make it the best choice, hiking, snowmobile, hunting, etc. But around town/the suburbs? Fuck that. Not without a serious retention holster, and even then if I have to draw and fire I want the first sign that I’m armed to be muzzle flash. The only time I might make the “open carry” decision would be with a long gun and in situations when there is no answer when calling 911 (disaster, massive power outage, riots, etc.)

I do support it being legal for the above reasons though. Also so accidental exposure isn’t an automatic charge/crime.

I remember reading that a whole bunch of the FBI “shootings”/gunfights were just plain robberies gone wrong. Namely some would be criminal mastermind tries to rob someone they ID as being a clean cut person with a law degree. Don’t off duty officers wind up stopping a significant amount of crimes also?


Robert A


Welcome back
this has been a good read for many many months.


Absolutely. It’s also a tough concept to teach people because every situation is different and ultimately it will come down to a judgement call by the individual as to what the correct course of action will be. Even then I/we try to educate them on the present and post conflict realities (legal, psychological, and physical) which they may encounter should they decide to go physical. IME it seems to help people to “draw that line in the sand” ahead of time so they can act more decisively should the need arise and helps to prepare them for the possible consequences of their actions.

Yes, little Sento is walking, running, climbing, talking, terrorizing the cat, and loves hitting the Thai bag, speed bag, and double end bag (and of course loves watching Daddy do so as well). :blush: Thanks for asking.


Robert A ! Damn, brother, really good to see you back. I hope all is well and life has you seeing calmer seas. Your wit, humor, and tactical intelligence have been truly missed.


I have been on assignment and have not had time to lean this new format. How does one post a picture now?


Found a thread from Cris about posting a picture (thanks) will give it a try. if it comes through, my general attitude this morning:


Tried to post this earlier and it just vanished.


Obviously someone actually attacking with lethal force is go time. Actually, I would argue it is a sign that “go time” happened previously. Regarding the “do I need to?” questions those are always variable. I tend to preach staying mobile, NOT getting into a terrible tactical position, all while trying to get enough information to make the decision. Just something as simple as aping Jeff Thompson’s “Fence” concept while trying to circle the “might be a threat” at least 45(but preferably a bit more) so that peripheral vision picks up the previously blind spots seems to be robust and work half assed reliable. I also stress that someone not letting us do that isn’t being “polite” or “innocent”. That is “information” which informs the choice to go violent/loud.

As far as the lethal force “lines in the sand” I really, really like Kathy Jackson’s list. She describes these as conditions under which she “intend(s) to fight back even if I don’t think I can win.”

Quote and List from her site:


The list

Some of my personal boundaries are:

  • List item

I will not go anywhere at gunpoint. If the bad guy wants me to go somewhere else, it’s because he will be able to do something to me there that he is unwilling or unable to do to me right here, right now. Therefore no matter how bad the tactical situation seems right here and now, right here and now is the absolute best chance to fight back I will ever have and I intend to use it.

  • List item

I will not be tied up. If the bad guy wants to tie me up, it is because he wants to do things to me that I would be able to prevent if I were not tied up. Therefore, I will resist while I am still able to do so.

  • List item

I will not kneel. No one is going to execute me. If I die, I’ll die fighting.

  • List item

If someone tries to take one of my children, I will fight even at the risk of my child being killed in the resultant firefight. I plan this not because I have positive assurance that I would be successful, but because I would not be able to live with myself if I simply “allowed” my child to be taken, brutalized, and his body perhaps never found. I’d rather watch him die in front of me. (Yes, that’s harsh … but given those two options and only those two, which would you choose?)

My point is not that your boundaries should be the same as mine. It is simply that even though you can wait until the very last moment to make the final decision about fighting back, you should have certain things already set into your decision-making machinery beforehand. If you don’t, and if you are ever attacked, you may not have enough time to do anything but stand there with your brain frozen solid while your attacker takes all your choices away.

I will add that my exception to the above is when dealing with someone I reasonably believe is law enforcement.

Great to hear about Little Sento.


Robert A


Yeah. I feel the same way. It seems way easier, but different. So I am fighting the urge to tie an onion to my belt and yell at clouds. Shit, Sento managed to post a cartoon smiley. I am not sure what wizardry he used to accomplish that, but it is beyond me.

I found the missile thread. Sincerely, thank you.


Robert A


Good Lord…we can post cat video clips now? What sorcery is this??


I know this is almost a year old, but it needs to be posted here. So much fail and suck is involved that it is almost beautiful.

The Story:

Read the whole thing but it has this gem:

From the Washington Post Article:
About a month after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the city’s assistant police chief, Al Eickhoff, took to Google and searched under the words “less lethal.”

Eickhoff, a 36-year veteran of Missouri police work, said he was looking for any new device, weapon or ammunition — any alternative to lethal force — that might have prevented a deadly result when Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson encountered each other in the noonday heat last August.

If true this means that the assistant police chief in Fergusson, a man in a much better position to know what actually happened earlier than the rest of us thought this doohickey might have made a difference when officer Wilson was fighting off a gun grab. It also implies he was just fucking googling less lethal instead of trying to tap into established TTP’s or exploiting actual resources. I see only three alternatives. Either the shooting didn’t actually go down anywhere near the way all investigation and officer testimony showed that it did and Wilson really did “murder” Mike Brown (oh, and I guess hundreds of people helped cover it up, and Wilson’s story never wavered, and…), Assistant Chief Eickhoff is so far removed from the realities of street work and violence in general that he can’t tell up from down, or Eickhoff needs to sue the paper for libel. I wonder which one of those is most likely?

The Doohicky of Death:

Videos of the capabilities it brings

Video with two “simulations” of simulations

Train hard, stay safe.


Robert A


You summed that piece of junk up very nicely, Robert. So much suck and fail involved, it’s almost beautiful.

What pisses me off the most is the part of his sales pitch where he says, “Just because someone is having a bad day or is mentally ill, doesn’t mean they deserve to die.”

You know what? He’s right…but therein lies the problem. I’ve never pointed my gun at anyone because they were mentally ill or having a bad day. I did it because I genuinely believed that lethal force was going to be the only option for me to stop someone. (Or, in some cases, to prevent them from initiating a deadly force assault upon me…best to be proactive, methinks.)

I get what he’s trying to say, but these mentally ill types or people having a bad day are, at that moment, trying to kill me or cause me serious bodily injury. Ergo, deadly force is the appropriate and legal response.

Michael Brown wasn’t mentally ill. He might have been having a bad day, but it seemed to be going his way when he was beating on a police officer. By all accounts, he had won the fight, if you want to call it that. The only part where he started to have a bad day was when he got some bullet holes punched in him. Unfortunately for him, that was a result of his own bad decisions.

I fail to understand the aversion people have lately to the use of deadly force by police officers, even when justified. We had a shooting here in Texas before Christmas where a police officer shot a guy college student who was drunk, or high, or both, who charged the officer with an axe. People in the paper were outraged that the officer was “so quick to use deadly force against an unarmed person”. That’s correct…you read that right…people claimed the axe was not a deadly weapon.

My personal favorite, though, was a commenter who asked why the police didn’t use a Taser, or a cargo net. A FUCKING CARGO NET!!! REALLY!!! Oh, wait, sir…I know you are attacking me with a weapon similar to that used to lop off enemies heads since medieval times, but current community standards require me to shit out a cargo net real quick and capture you with it. Give me a fucking break.

Thank God I’m not in patrol anymore…I’d lose my mind.



I harp all the time when explaining violence/self defense to people that in the abstract it is true “We” can’t really know what is in a strangers heart. The best we can do is make our decisions informed by that strangers actions. So if someone is trying to kill you or make you pregnant than it is wise to adopt a somewhat casual attitude towards their well being.

I think there are a shit ton of people who’s root for the underdog/champion the weak persona over rides any ability to eval and understand. They see the badge, the training, the firearms/tasers/batons, the advantage of numbers, etc. and instead of going “Good, this means the police have a better chance of handling this than the rest of us” they go “that isn’t a fair fight” like fairness was somehow even fucking desirable. Solving the immediate problem is desirable, than moving on to the next issue. A big reason I was/am so pro NYPD in the I Can’t Breath arrest is they transitioned real fast from takedown to recovery position and get medics on scene. So I guess I suck at outrage.

On the other hand, if they give you net launchers is there any hope I could do a ride along? Oh, I am strictly interested in cargo netting any hipster douchebag that looks like a young Heston. That would cheer me up to no end.


Robert A


You have my word, sir…as soon as we start fielding the cargo net launchers, you can come along and watch us catch vagrants, ruffians, and assorted ne’er-do-wells.

As a bonus, if you’re nice, I’ll let you turn on the lights and make the siren go “whoop-whoop”!!

Alternatively, you can also get on the P.A. and say, “These cray-cray mah-fuckahs got net launchers up in this bitch! Shit fin-ta go down for reelz! Ya heard? Nah-mean??”

That’s what I plan to do, anyway…


It is important to have a plan. I think yours is robust and well thought out. I would like to think they were kidding about net launchers, but I know they weren’t. They also didn’t think about what to do after someone is in the net. When you net dangerous animals, usually they don’t come out of the net healthy or awake.


Robert A


Bad News w/ Good Ending?

Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett was ambushed by one Edward Archer on Thursday Jan 7. Archer opened fire with a handgun, that was actually reported stolen from a police officers home several years ago, while Hartnett was in his car. He has been arraigned.

Video of press Conference


Why “good outcome”? Because officer Hartnett assaulted into an ambush. He drew his sidearm with his off hand because his strong side was incapacitated by the would be cop killer. He found a way to get into his fight, and he won it.

Archer had every fucking advantage, even moderate luck/competancy should have made this a homicide. But his tactics and execution came up nearly as short as his life choices and officer Hartnett made that opportunity enough. I sincerely hope Hartnett has an unremarkable and uncomplicated recovery.

Train Hard. Stay Safe.


Robert A


Some good for a change:

Over the past three days, planning and training payed off, and several assholes are trying to find their virgins. Perhaps it will help in some small way to even the scales for this atrocity:

Personal: Had the good fortune to work with someone who was a true warrior of the finest caliber. He died for his beliefs and his strong moral code. He was a basketball nut and was always talking the NCAA and NBA. I have never been into basketball, really the sport bores me. This was an endless source of ammo for him to use against me, since, he claimed that only people with double digit IQ’s didn’t like basketball.:)) This is for him, I know he would have approved:


Heroics come in many forms, but, to save a small life rates number one on my list: