Recon Your Area, 500 yards

When I was a firefighter, it used to annoy me when we would close a road because of a fire, accident, or other emergency, and people would be angry that “this is the only way to get to my house.” I would point out that I could think of four different ways to get around the closed road, but the idiots only knew one way.

Part of being prepared for anything is to know the area where you live. Know it on foot, know it in a vehicle, and if possible, know it from the air. That means doing a thorough recon of the area. That starts with knowing everything about the area within 500 yards of your door. You can use a range card, found here on the training materials page, or you can simply do a sketch. Make sure that it includes the range and bearing of landmarks like the treeline behind your house, that large elm tree down the road a bit, and other things that you can use to estimate range using the Mark I eyeball.

I know that the treeline behind my house is 98 yards away. The treeline in front of the house is 85 yards away. The house behind mine is 403 yards from my back door. I have all sorts of landmarks on my card, and that will allow me to guess the range to various things within 500 yards or so of my house.

Now that you know the physical layout, make sure you know your neighbors and identify potential allies as well as potential rats or informants. As always, practice OPSEC and remember that the person asking you to do illegal shit or showing an interest in what you have is probably an informant or a thief.

Bailing Out with Munter

If you spend time on the second to fourth floor of a building, you have to ask yourself how you will get out of that spot in an emergency. Enter the bailout kit. I carried one clipped to my gear when I was a firefighter, and I’m telling you that this a great to use in an emergency if you need to get out of a tall building in a hurry. Some of you have asked for more firefighter on the job tricks, so this post is one of those.

When my son was 14 years old or so, the two of us got in a bit of hot water with the apartment complex manager when I was teaching him how to use this system. What we were doing was climbing the stairs to the third floor, and then using it to rappel down to the ground. Over and over. She saw this and came over to yell at us for it. Killjoy.

It’s an easy concept. All you need is a bag with 40 feet of 8mm climbing rope and a pair of locking carabiners. There is a kit here that has the rope and one carabiner. You can get more carabiners here. Make sure that whatever you get is certified for climbing. Buying the cheap stuff will ensure that it fails when you need it.

Store the bag with the rope in it, and one carabiner attached to the near end with a bowline knot. The other carabiners (one for each person who will be escaping) just need to be clipped to the handle on the outside of the bag. When it’s time to bail out, hand each escapee a carabiner, clip the one that is tied to the end of the rope to something sturdy (we will get to that in a minute) and toss the bag out of the window. At this point, you should have a carabiner in your hand and be looking at a rope that is attached to something sturdy at one end, and is trailing out of the window all the way to the ground.

Now you need to clip that carabiner to yourself. If you are wearing a sturdy gunbelt (you DO wear a 1 inch or larger leather belt for EDC, don’t you?) that will do. Whatever you wear for a belt needs to be able to support your weight. Now tie the rope in a munter hitch and attach it to the carabiner that is clipped around your belt.

Now you can simply bail out of the window by using the munter hitch to control your descent. Each person who has a carabiner can do this. Please note that this is for emergency escape where remaining in the building will be fatal. I do not recommend using a belt as a climbing or rappelling device under normal conditions.

If you are going to practice this technique, please use a safety line with someone on belay. If you don’t know how to do this, please take a climbing or rappelling course.

Parting thought… Why do they have female firefighters?

Well, who else is going to make the sandwiches?


Many people don’t understand the ins and outs of self defense. My wife, who has attended classes in self defense and actually has a CWP even has problems with the concept.

A couple in Sanford were checking out at WaWa when they noticed that a bottle of wine had been added to their order. They told the clerk that it wasn’t theirs, and the clerk took it off the bill. The woman behind them in line told the couple that it was her wine, then demanded that they pay for it. When they refused, she began beating them with the bottle, and knocked the male unconscious. The woman with the wine bottle was subsequently arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

I was reading that story to my wife, and I made the comment that, should someone do something like that to me, her ass would be shot long before she was able to hit me with the bottle and knock me out. My wife’s reply was, “I don’t think a jury would agree that shooting an unarmed woman is self defense.”

I pointed out to her that the wine bottle was definitely a weapon, and not only was there a risk of serious bodily injury, the man actually DID suffer serious bodily injury, as any blow to the head that results in unconsciousness is at least a concussion, and has a fair chance of resulting in death.

My wife is from New York State. The attitude that is fostered there when it comes to guns in pretty well known to those of us in the gun community. When we were first dating, she questioned why I felt the need to carry a gun and said that she had never needed one. She was open to listening, so I took her to the range. She eventually took some classes and got her CWP.

Still, she is a pacifist at heart. When we were first dating, we were at a baseball game (the Rays v the Yankees- she is a Yankees fan) and a fight broke out in the crowd. One of the trouble makers was being escorted out by a cop, and he decided to punch the cop in the face. The cop took the guy down hard with a leg sweep. The assailant landed on his face hard enough that I heard his face hit the concrete from 30 feet away. After it was over, she was visibly shaken, and told me that she doesn’t like violence, and it makes her sick to her stomach.

The terrorist attacks in Paris were a turning point. We were on vacation in France when the attacks took place. When we saw the news of the shooting, she turned to me and said, “When we get home, I want to take the concealed weapons safety course, so I can apply for a concealed weapons permit.”

Still, even though she has the CWP, she isn’t thrilled about using force.

I get it- she is a girl, and I am not married to the Sara Conner from Terminator 2. The reason I relate this story is that you will be tried by a jury of soccer moms who are likely less gun friendly than my wife is. Remember that when you are in a situation that may require you to use force. You also need to have a lawyer who is good enough to explain your shooting in a way that will get the jury to understand why you felt the need to use force.

Disparity of Force

There was a fight that occurred in a Raleigh, NC high school. The fight was nearly 30 students jumping one solitary student. They knocked him to the ground, kicking and jumping on his head. You can see in the video that he produces a knife then stabs one of his largest attackers. Police arrested the kid, 14 years old, and charged him with murder.

Unless I am really missing something, I think that this is textbook self defense, unless there was something that happened before the video began. It was 30 against 1, the suspect was on the ground, and they were taking actions that would likely result in serious bodily harm. He clearly stabbed and then, rather than push the attack, he used it to escape the mob. The minute he was able to exit he did. The choice was to be killed or seriously injured or stab back.

Sure, he had a knife at school, but that will at most result in him being charged with illegally carrying a weapon at school, but that doesn’t make his defending himself with it into a murder case.

Another odd occurrence. At about 15 seconds, you can see what appears to be a gun that was dropped by one of the attackers.

This brings another piece to the puzzle. This illustrates a few issues.

  • You don’t fight one of them. There is always a gang.
  • Blacks are largely violent when in large enough groups.
  • Our schools are failures. For most Americans, the only place they experience being attacked is in our schools.

I’m Not Your Punching Bag

When I got a Bachelor’s Degree in EMS administration, my capstone research project was about violence against healthcare workers. Emergency medical workers are the victims of workplace violence more often than any other profession: more than police, prison guards, and convenience store clerks. I don’t know why, but people generally have no problem attacking EMS and emergency room workers. Scenes like the one in this post are actually more common than you would think.

I have always taken the position that no one should have to be a complacent target of someone else’s misplaced intoxicated rage. Many employers view self defense as a form of violence. I have even had coworkers (nurses, EMTs, and paramedics) tell me that “we are held to a higher standard, and shouldn’t succumb to the instinct of defending ourselves.”


I don’t care what profession I am in- I should not have to be, and refuse to be, someone’s punching bag. That doesn’t mean that my response shouldn’t be proportional to the level of the attack. A woman hitting me like that is going to be put in a wrist lock. If you have an effective wrist lock, you can work against the joint just a bit to cause pain compliance. If they struggle more, twist a bit harder, and they will bend away from you. It’s an amazingly effective technique in controlling a violent patient without causing injury. Just don’t overdo it, or you will wind up having to explain and treat a broken bone.

If you couple it with pressure on the ulnar nerve, forcing it to be compressed between your fingers and the olecranon, it causes a good bit of pain without causing permanent injury. It’s essentially compressing “the funny bone” and, properly applied causes the same sort of pain you feel when you hit your elbow and feel the fire sensation running down your arm.

It’s a skill worth learning to subdue people without permanently hurting them.

Not Hate

There are those who say that I “hate cops” because I disagree with their actions when they screw up. Well, here is a time when I think that the police were completely justified in their use of force:

I don’t care that she is a girl. I don’t care that she is, at 16 years of age, still legally a child. She entered into a fight with a police officer and attacked him in an attempt to disarm him and acquire possession of his weapon. The police must presume that, should she gain control of this weapon, it will be used against them.

For that reason, the officer was entirely within the bounds of being reasonable when he threw her to the ground. This is a clear case of self defense.

SERE training

We have talked about how you should never talk to the cops. In the video at the end of this post, a heroin addict who is under arrest because he was found near the scene of a robbery conducts a master class in applying this tactic:

  • Cop1: Reads Miranda Warning, and says “Do you understand your rights?”
  • Heroin Addict: Remains Silent
  • Cop 2: If you have something to show you didn’t do it, this is your time to talk
  • HA: Are you the good cop?
  • Cop 2: No, I’m the prick
  • HA: You look like a prick.
  • Cop 1: I’m not asking you to talk to me at this point. I just want to know if you understand your rights.
  • HA: Am I under arrest?
  • Cop1: Yes
  • HA: Then take me back to my cell, because I don’t talk to you motherfuckers.

They took him back to his cell, but questioned him again two hours later, and this time they brought him sodas. Still he didn’t talk.

  • Cop 1: Talk to me.
  • HA: You’re not my friend. You’re just trying to get some stupid ass confession from me.

The video talks about cops using the Reid technique. It is a trick used by cops, especially the FBI, to trick people into confessing. This technique is a form of psychological manipulation that is designed to trick people into agreeing to a set of facts that is a confession.

The best way to avoid this technique is not to say anything beyond:

  • Am I being detained?
  • Am I free to go?
  • I don’t wish to make a statement
  • I want to call my attorney, or I want to be provided with an attorney.

That’s it. I’m guessing that psychological games and manipulation are why the J6 supporters are being held in the deplorable conditions that they are. A person who has been denied nutrition, sleep, and social interaction is easier to manipulate. At this point, they are political prisoners or even POWs.

Anyhow, the video is below: