Using Cover Effectively
Active Self Protection recently made a good video about last December’s murder of a retired Chicargo firefighter during a carjacking.
Unfortunately it won’t embed because it’s Age Restricted. If you care to watch it, this is what to search for.
John made an important point in his video that bears reiteration and amplification.
Appropriate and effective use of cover is an important tactic in protecting ourselves.John Correia
Things to keep in mind about using cover.
- Cover protects us from bullets and contact weapon attacks.
- Any cover can be defeated, either by adequate weaponry or by maneuver.
Here’s my initial video commentary about the situation. It wasn’t as simple as it looks at first glance.
Whether the second Carjacker would have shot LT Williams will never be known but it cannot be discounted as a possibility. There’s a good chance he was the leader of the crew and probably very dangerous. It wasn’t his first rodeo.
The incident provides a good example of the difficulties faced when dealing with multiple attackers. LT Williams was in a very difficult position as a result of this attack. We will never know if he even saw the second armed Carjacker and could have realized that he was vulnerable to being flanked. This was a well-rehearsed Carjacking crew with a good SOP. One comment on the YouTube video about the incident opined that this same crew had tried to Carjack him earlier and he had only escaped by luck.
Here’s the complete video of the incident on YouTube.
Disregard the TV station’s gauche and inappropriate invitation to Like and Subscribe at the end.
This was the funniest comment on the YouTube video. It’s unclear which person the comment is about.
Another of John’s points was that it’s important to keep in mind our mission. As Armed Citizens, we don’t need to get the bracelets on a criminal, we just need to force a Break In Contact and then go home.
My first LAPD Shootouts book is based on off-duty incidents at home. It provides a great deal more documentation and explanation of what Home Defense with a firearm really looks like than news reports. The lessons learned apply whether you’re a POlice officer or an Armed Citizen.
‘I live in a nice neighborhood’
This week, a 50-year-old transient man (aka bum) was sentenced to 141 years to life in state prison after being convicted for a 2014 crime spree in the high end Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Note from his picture that he was already a violent bad actor. The criminal used a box cutter as his weapon for this series of crimes. The crime spree occurred on August 11, 2014. He was sentenced on July 6, 2020.
There were three crime scenes in the high end neighborhood where the day’s drama began on a sunny Monday morning at 7:45 a.m. First, there was a home invasion in an apartment complex, which currently has a rental rate of $4,800 per month. After two subsequent crashes, including a second car that he carjacked, he invaded a home which currently has an estimated value of $2,705,500. In that home, he threatened the female occupant and stole the occupants’ Lexus.
Lessons to be Learned
Keep your doors closed and locked. Have a plan and be ready for unwelcome visitors. Serious crime knows no borders, regardless of how nice your neighborhood is.
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If we get carjacked, as long as you and I can both get out of the car, they can have it; I have insurance. But if either of us can’t get out of the car because we get hung up in the seat belts or something, turn your face away from me and close your eyes because I am going to start shooting. I don’t want his loathsome blood-borne pathogens to get in your eyes.
–my personal policy/Standard Operating Procedure, as related to a former girlfriend who lived near Murder Kroger in Atlanta
A California man shot the carjacker of his van Friday as the carjacker drove away. The carjacker died shortly thereafter and the shooter was arrested for Murder. Once the threat of Death or Serious Bodily Injury has passed, the time for gunfire has ended.
“Nice people lock their doors.” –my mother
‘Don’t sit around in unsecure parking lots working on your czechbook, writing reports, texting, or talking on the phone.’ –paraphrased from Bill Rogers and Craig Douglas
“Firearms shall not be discharged at a moving vehicle unless a person in the vehicle is immediately threatening the officer or another person with deadly force by means other than the vehicle. The moving vehicle itself shall not presumptively constitute a threat that justifies an officer’s use of deadly force.” —LAPD Manual Volume 1 Section 556.10 POLICY ON THE USE OF FORCE
Policies, SOPs, or whatever you wish to call them are simply committing to memory, or writing down, actions that you have thought about ahead of time. For some reason, the word ‘policy’ evokes a great deal of resistance on the part of people I talk to about it. Not thinking about things ahead of time is probably the most Serious Mistake Gunowners Make and I will have to add that to the next edition.
In a crisis, the conscious mind has an extremely short life span, probably less than a second. Once the conscious mind expires, either training/practice or the amygdala will take over. Trying to make up a plan on the spot is an extraordinarily difficult task.
Perhaps the inability or lack of desire to think ahead is the reason for the popularity of the OODA Loop. Relying on the OODA Loop implies that you can out-think the situation in the moment. This is just being lazy and an excuse for not thinking ahead. No plan survives the test of combat, as the saying goes, but it is ALWAYS easier to modify a pre-existing plan than to make one up on the spot.
Fighter pilots have been at the forefront of developing policy and procedure for ‘in the moment’ encounters. Their creations over the past century have shown increasing sophistication as they have evolved.
- Dicta Boelcke, a list of principles, was formulated during WWI by Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke, a German fighter pilot and squadron commander. It is interesting to note that he was killed when he violated one of his own dicta, never close in on a single combatant when others are also pursuing it.
- Lieutenant Commander Jimmy Thach recognized the superiority of Japanese fighter aircraft in the early days of WWII. To counter them, he developed, using matchsticks on a tabletop, the Thach Weave as a defensive maneuver. Then he tested the maneuver under conditions simulating the disadvantages US Navy fighters would face.
- No Guts, No Glory, a USAF training document, was written by Major General (then Major) Frederick C. Blesse shortly after the Korea Conflict. It was an explanation of his experiences flying F-86 Sabres against MIG fighters and how to defeat them.
- Colonel John Boyd wrote the Aerial Attack Study, which is the most comprehensive manual on fighter combat ever written, in 1959. In it, he methodically worked out all the possible attacks and counters a fighter could make in relation to both bombers and other fighters. His study was heavily based on a thorough understanding of the flying and weapons capabilities of both US and Soviet aircraft.
In every one of these documents, specific principles, procedures, and pitfalls are worked out in advance. Speed of decision in tactical situations is achieved by picking from a list of possible options to best solve an unfolding incident rather than trying to ‘think faster,’ which is physiologically impossible. The distinction between ‘thinking faster’ and picking from a menu of possible decisions escapes many common taters about the OODA process. Boyd’s description of the process is much more involved than generally assumed and explained using a simplistic circular diagram. That circular graphic does no justice to the concepts that Colonel Boyd developed.
In order to make decisions in advance, it’s necessary to think about likely scenarios, at least, ahead of time and decide how to solve them. This includes the legal ramifications of your possible actions. Thinking ahead is a key component of avoiding becoming a victim or incurring a Negative Outcome in the criminal justice system.
John Johnston and I will be discussing this timely topic in more depth on Ballistic Radio tonight. Ballistic Radio is available over the Internet.
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