Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part II)

dumpster fire

There are even more lessons we can take away from the Duel at the Dumpster, which we probably could also call the Dumbster Fire. Perhaps the most important lesson of them all relates to the human dynamics of confrontations.

You’re always on video

We have to assume we’re always going to be on video. This is especially true when there are other parties nearby, whether they’re Seconds or just bystanders.

Here is a reasonably good transcript of the first minute of the confrontation.

First minute

  • Orange shirt: You’re going to jail
  • Father: No, I’m not
  • Orange shirt: Yes, you are
  • Fiancée: Unintelligible (off camera)
  • Orange shirt: Cursing
  • Orange shirt: You are (unintelligible)
  • Son: Get away from him
  • Father: Back off
  • Orange shirt: Gonna go get my BB gun and I’m gonna put 9 in it
  • Father: Back off
  • Orange shirt: I’m standing by the dumpster
  • Father: If you come closer to me, I’m gonna kill you
  • Orange shirt: Hey, you hear him say he’s gonna kill me?
  • Fiancée: Yes
  • Orange shirt: I’m at the dumpster
  • Orange shirt: Put the gun up and go inside
  • Son: Unintelligible
  • Fiancée: You pulled a gun in front of ….
  • Orange shirt: You pulled a gun in front of my kids. What a (bleep) bastard!
  • Orange shirt: Point it at me and I’ll (bleep)
  • Father: Go on
  • Orange shirt: Point it at me
  • Father: Take your swing
  • Orange shirt: (0:37) I’m Standing My Ground (bleep)
  • Father: Take your swing
  • Son: Unintelligible
  • Orange shirt: No you ain’t
  • Fiancée: You’re in an alley. You’re not in your home, sir
  • Orange shirt: You came out the alley to point a gun
  • Son: It’s a part of the driveway
  • Orange shirt: I will kick your dead
  • Orange shirt: I promise you both, you’re dead
  • Father: Nah, I doubt it
  • Fiancée: It is an alley
  • Orange shirt: You’re in an alley. With a (bleep) shotgun. You little piece of shit.
  • Orange shirt: I’m gonna kill you.
  • Father: I doubt it
  • Son: First of all, if you’re gonna (unintelligible), you might wanna (unintelligible)
  • Orange shirt: Oh no! I don’t give a fuck. I will fucking kill you.
  • Orange shirt: You pulled a gun in front of my kids.

Options – especially withdrawal

Andy Stanford made the observation that your Number One Option for Personal Security is:

a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

It’s obvious from the above transcript that no one, either Principals or Seconds made any attempt at avoidance, deterrence, or de-escalation. The Seconds, who should have had clearer heads, fanned the flames instead of trying to defuse their Principals’ emotions. Either of the Principals could have walked away at any time. Learn to control your emotions and to walk away.

How do you win a gunfight? Don’t be there.

 –John Farnam

If you catch yourself saying the same things over and over again, that’s a clue to do something different. Probably the best thing to do is to get your feet in motion away from the scene. That’s a valid form of ‘Getting off the X.’ Don’t get stuck in a ‘goofy loop’ sounding like a grade school child having an argument on the playground.

We have numerous options for our Personal Protection. Incidents such as the Dumbster Fire demonstrate how easy it is to get caught in ‘gun or none’ thinking without considering the full range of our options.

  • Lethal Force
  • Less Lethal Force
  • Verbalize and/or communicate
  • Withdraw or Take Cover
  • Surrender (at least temporarily)
  • Search
  • Wait or Gather Information

Withdrawing to their homes would have served both sides of this confrontation much better than the way things turned out.

Stand Your Ground (or not)

At 0:37 in the video, Orange Shirt says, “I’m standing my ground.” Stand Your Ground is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the firearms community now. The misunderstanding relates to the difference between what is actually a courtroom defense stratagem a lawyer uses as opposed to a tactical decision model a person in a confrontation uses.

Put Stand Your Ground out of your head. It’s only for lawyers in the courtroom, not for people in the course of their daily lives. If you have no other option other than using Deadly (or Non-Deadly) Force to prevent Death or Serious Bodily Injury, then use it. If there’s any way to escape the situation before that moment comes, then escape, whether you have the ‘right’ to be there or not.

The most successful fighter pilot of World War II was Erich Hartmann. He had a very workable tactical decision model.

The second step of my tactic was the point of decision, that is you see the enemy first and you decide to attack immediately or to wait for a better situation or maneuver to gain a better position or not to attack at all.

In Hartmann’s context, we should realize that ‘the enemy’ is not just a person but also the situation and our personal emotions involved in it. Defense and offense are two sides of the same coin. Whenever possible, we need to put that coin in our pocket and walk away with it.

More about the issues involved tomorrow.

I’ve written two different eBooks for those who are interested in improving their skill with handguns. They provide a roadmap to improving your competency at your own pace and within the resources you have available to you. For less than the price of a box of ammo, you’ll be able to use your time and other resources much more effectively.

For those who carry a concealed firearm, Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

For those who don’t carry a concealed firearm but keep a handgun for home defense, Indoor Range Practice Sessions, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

My downloadable recording, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make,  http://seriousgunownermistakes.com is particularly appropriate when analyzing this incident.

Part III

8 responses

  1. There are too many things that were handled poorly by all 4 people in the video. Anger and ego most of all.

    If you have a gun, you should be de-escalating or leaving, not head-butting with your ego. If you are facing someone with a gun, telling them “Point it at me.” is probably not a good idea.

  2. […] Possibly added to this list will be the recent case in Abilene, Texas, spoofed by TactiCoolMemes on Instagram, and more seriously analyzed in a two-part series by The Tactical Professor, Claude Werner (here and here). […]

  3. […] My downloadable recording, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make,  http://seriousgunownermistakes.com is particularly appropriate when doing incident analysis. […]

  4. […] Claude Werner has some pertinent advice on the topic as well.  You should also read Claude’s Lessons from the Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster. […]

  5. tuesdayissoylentgreen day

    Both sides should have walked away, but half second after two shots fired by older man. WHY does he bring up his right arm and turn to the left? I think the Orange shirt hit him or took a swing at him with the bat. Then the son fires to defend the Dad. Yes, he had a bat, who handed him a bat from the orange shirts property ? Brother or Common law spouse? The orange shirt had anger issues. Confirmed by the police. More to this story than what you say in article.

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