Short-Circuiting the Monkey Dance

December 22nd, 2012

Some self-defense experts teach students to de-escalate potentially violent situations: apologize, reatreat, defer, accept blame. Others teach aggressive escalation: be loud, be clear, and be increasingly firm in making it obvious that you are not a victim. The apparent discrepancy between the two tactics is because instructors are talking about two different kinds of violence: (1) the monkey dance and (2) predation. Any reponse that de-escalates a monkey dance will aggravate predation, and vice-versa.

Gender and Firearm Shape Influence Jurors

December 15th, 2012

When judging a home-invasion self-defense shooting, jurors expect women to be gun-incompetent and men to be gun-competent. They more often convict and give longer sentences to anyone who violates either expectation. Jurors are also influenced by seeing a weapon as “evil-looking”. They more often convict and give longer sentences to users of military-looking rifles, pump-action shotguns, or semiautomatic pistols than respectively, to users of hunting-looking rifles, double-barreled shotguns, or revolvers. Finally, female jurors are harsher than males.

Prepping for Hyperinflation

November 24th, 2012

Preppers are sometimes unclear as to the nature of the contingency for which they prepare. Hyperinflation of the U.S. dollar is likely. Natural disaster in a city is less likely. Global crash of Western civilization is unlikely. How you prepare for each scenario is different. This essay presents advice for the first contingency. You are on your own for the other two.

Why Did You Use Illegal Cop-Killer Dum-Dum Bullets?

November 17th, 2012

Prosecutors routinely try to convict armed citizens who defend themselves. A favorite technique is to ask a trick question that is unanswerable due to its hidden assumptions. E.g.: “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” The trick question about ammunition in this essay’s title is meant to show malice by an armed citizen during his or her trial. It has often succeeded, resulting in unjust convictions. This essay presents five jury-persuading answers to the trick question.

Video Recording Confrontations

October 20th, 2012

You are attacked in an attempted rape or robbery. You shoot the attacker. He tells police that he was minding his own business when you shot him for no reason. He is wounded. You are not. Who do the police believe? Who gets charged with a crime? In the eyes of police and prosecutors, many self-defense incidents become he-said, she-said scenarios in which the choice of whom to prosecute is essentially a coin-flip. A video of the event can resolve it in your favor.

Ability + Opportunity + Intent

October 13th, 2012

In order to be found not-guilty of assault or murder you must persuade judge and jury that: (1) The person you shot had the power to kill you (ability). (2) The person was close enough to kill you (opportunity). And (3) The person wanted to kill you (intent). In a prior essay , we described fifteen negative factors that might convict you despite evidence of self-defense. Today we look at the reverse, the three elements of a successful self-defense argument.

The Tueller Principle

October 6th, 2012

A knife-armed attacker 21 feet away can kill you before you can draw and shoot. Whether the attacker is young, old, fat, thin, fit, sedentary, male, female, makes little difference. From a standing start, an attacker can cover 21 feet in 1.5 to 2.0 seconds. That is how long it takes you to draw and shoot. Watch the video below. Remember it. Post a comment that you watched it. You may someday need to prove in court that you knew this fact, and that is why you fired.

The First Rule of a Gunfight

September 29th, 2012

Don’t be there. Virtually all self-defense firearms instructors agree that the first rule of any gunfight is to be somewhere else when it happens. How can you manage that feat? Famed instructor John Farnam, head of Defense Training International teaches a four-layer avoidance strategy: (1) don’t go there, (2) be invisible, (3) be deselected, (4) disengage. Only if all four layers fail should you draw your weapon as a last resort.

Death by Defiance

September 22nd, 2012

Is there a “racial” link to bad shoots? It is a tragedy whenever a LEO (law-enforcement offficer) in low-light, ambiguous conditions shoots someone who was actually unarmed and surrendering. It a political nightmare when the bad-shot person was Black. Statistics on officer-involved shootings (OIS) show that unarmed surrendering African Americans are much more likely to be shot by police than are non-Blacks. And yet shoot/don’t-shoot scenarios testing hundreds of experienced LEOs reveal no link between a “bad shoot” and the person’s “race”. A recent study explains the discrepancy. Surrendering unarmed non-Blacks are culturally more likely to comply with LEO commands. Surrendering unarmed African Americans are culturally more likely to posture, threaten, and act defiantly.

How to Stop a Mass Shooting

September 1st, 2012

On average, 14.3 victims are killed in each mass shooting that is stopped by the police. On average, only 2.3 victims are killed in each mass shooting that is stopped by civilian bystanders. We show how these facts were computed. Then we offer two possible explanations: First, police arrive too late. Second, armed bystanders are better trained.