Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dark Arts For Good Guys: Think Fast!

There is a problem we (society in large) face in trying to thwart,fight,and kill the badmen of the world.

As the "Good" we have concluded that there is unofficially mandated fair play and ethics into trying to fight off those who commit evil.

When I teach on how to defend against mass shootings I tell my students that they have to get their head around shooting an attacker in the back. And turn the targets around for them to do so.

Being in a prolonged gunfight with multiple attackers is not the same fight as with a home invader. You shooting a man in the back as he runs for the front door is at best manslaughter. Understanding that firing into the back of a gunman as he walks around executing people lying on the floor is called tactical advantage and justified. Just as it is for any S.W.A.T and HRT Sniper.

The same holds true for taking a hostage. We have ingrained into our heads that those who take hostages are the bad-guys and the hostage the victim. Always.


There is a point when fighting against and resisting multiple attackers that taking a hostage can save your life.

To be clear. I am not talking about Sally from Accounting or someone's nephew named Nathan.

Rather one of the perpetrators themselves.

On the afternoon of March 22, 1999 Cyndy Vigil (then 22yoa) fled from the mobile home of David Parker_Ray in Elephant Butte, New Mexico. For three days she had been held in captivity, repeatedly raped and tortured until she had the opportunity to escape. When she burst into the kitchen of Darlene Breech's home screaming for help she was naked with the exception of a padlocked collar around her neck and four feet of logging chain dangling behind her. She had escaped by stabbing Cindy Hendy (Ray's accomplice) with an ice pick.

In the summer of 2008 a gang of attackers numbering around 20 brutalized and stabbed a family riding the Saint Louis Metro Train as they returned from vacation from the airport. This became the starting point for roving attackers sometimes numbering close to 100 people mostly made up of teenagers and young adults (again not all of them male).

We have to realize that there may come a point and time when you are simply out matched, outgunned, out numbered or out maneuvered. Surrender is rarely a good option and retreating can be cut off.

Granted in a situations like a train station against a roving gang and being armed when shots are fired most of the perpetrators will flee. Dwindling the number of committed attackers. But take the same mob during something like the LA or Paris riots and the pack mentality dominates.

Facing an armed gang with any gun whether its a 19+1 Sig or a five shot Ruger is over whelming. And in a tooth and nail fight there is one thing you can bet on. Not all of your rounds fired will kill or even severely wound.

Sorry but in the real world there is no one shot/one kill ratio. Though from a tactical standpoint you would be better served putting at least one round into as many attackers as opposed to wasting multiple rounds on a single target.

But what about a smaller and more perversely intimate situation. You're a wife and mother of three who earlier in the day was camped with your family near a nice lake when you were coxed over in a false panic to a truck by another woman asking to help her baby inside. In an instant you are now the victim of a demented sadist couples' kidnapping.

Wake up because they do exist.

In fact now more than ever we are seeing women act as very willing co-conspirators with their male counterparts in criminal activity most noticeably kidnapping and rape.

Regardless of the situation there may be a moment when escape is possible but a flat -out-running-flee is unlikely without being over taken by your pursuers.

When Cyndy Vigil escaped from David Parker Ray's infamous "toy box" she did it by stabbing her female kidnapper with an ice pick and running. Ray was at the time gone, but what if he had been there and the right opportunity to escape still presented itself, but was likely to be short lived as she would have two pursuers to communicate and cut off her escape.

What if in the midst of a mob attack you are low on ammunition or have only a knife or the proverbial pointed stick. Yet you have managed to wound a nearby assailant that is with in arms reach?

While the thought of reaching an grabbing a shirt collar of the guy who moments ago was about to kill you and using him for cover and emotional counter balance may seem morally deplorable to many. I would offer up this single solitary thought:

Who started the crisis that you now exist in?

My point is not simply to raise the moral question but explain the motor skills to do so. There is nothing complicated or magical about taking a hostage you simply have to do it.

For clarity in this exercise the term "Hostage" in this post refers to a previous attacker whose world you have seized control over in order to escape from the ordeal at hand.

A wounded hostage is better. Pain robs the brain of clear thinking and lowers the level of resistance, as does fear.

The use of pressure points is also helpful but not necessary. It is also key to remember when using pressure points not to over use or maintain steady and constant pressure on any one place. The body adapts to the pain. However hitting a pressure point hard for several seconds then releasing for a couple of seconds then bouncing on it again intermittently causes the nerves to become confused and thus they can not adapt to the blow they are being dealt.

However the simplest and best course of action is a fist full of shirt collar or hair that allows you to keep your B-I-Q/Hostage in front of you as a shield. If you are taller, stoop to get behind them. If they are taller than you once you have control of the head, collar, hair or ear just pull in the direction you need to go. Up-Down-Left-Right it doesn't matter.

Control the head and the body is forced to follow.

If you are armed don't stick it out in front of your B-I-Q/Hostage where it can be taken from you. Rather put it right at the base of the skull or locked in behind the ear. No one regardless of how fast they are can beat weapon on skin contact in time to prevent injury.

If you are armed and your message of being free to leave by fellow attackers is not being delivered a pistol round fired next to the ear of you B-I-Q/Hostage and into the group of attackers should speak a little more clearly and act as an impromptu force multiplier in the realm of psych war fare.

Because if you haven't caught on yet that is exactly what this is. Psychological War Fare at its most basic level.

Armed with only a knife, ice pick sharp stick, again the base of the skull or slightly inside the ear should give you all the control and undivided attention you desire. The loss of a little of your B-I-Q/Hostage's blood again conveys the seriousness of your mindset in wanting to be let go from your current circumstances.

If you're worried about the legal ramifications after the fact call Massad Ayoob or F. Lee Bailey and see who they recommend for the Defense.

Frankly if its your first thought it will probably be your last as well.

Because in the very real world there are men and women working as Contractors where Al Qaeda still kidnaps and saws peoples head off.

There are women who are kidnapped off the streets and locked in basements never to be heard from again only to turn up buried in a back yard in Ohio.

When you doubt the severity in which you think you need to know how to fight back in this world to save your life go read "Slow Death" by Jim Fielder or "Inside the Mind of a Serial Rapist" by Dennis Stevens, Ph.D or "Profiles in Murder" by Russell Vorpagell.

They are good reminders that there is evil that walks the street and sometimes they come in pairs, or more.

Man or woman. Alone or together. Getting out of the frying pan is on you first, because ultimately You are the First Responder in your crisis.


Anonymous said...

Okay, this is seriously the most inventive, outside the box thinking blog going. Every time I click on an see "Dark Arts For Good Guys" in the title I think here we go.

I don't know this guy but if someone ever kidnapped my daughter I want him.

Awesome Awesome Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Well done Matt.

This one was a little easier to wrap my brain around than the last Dark Arts.

All too often we're told that winning isn't everything. Well in some cases, it is the only thing. I wish the kids at VA Tech (or victims from any mass shooting) had the opportunity to read your posts prior to Cho going on his rampage.

I think more than anything, your posts communicate that our lives are worth more than that of our attackers, and that there are no rules when it comes to preserving your own life against those which choose to harm you.

Well done, this post turned out much differently than I had thought it would.....

Unknown said...

i love your blog. its really a eye opener in so many ways.
is there some similar blogs out there?

Anonymous said...

Another great post in the series, Matthew, bringing awareness and intelligence to things most of us have never thought twice about before.

HankH said...

Great post as usual. Unfortunately I fear that for most people (sheep) it's easier to wrap their brain around getting slaughtered than to putting up a fight with the intention of prevailing.

Dan said...

My one handed opening knife doesn't look like yours! WANT

mikeb3020 said...

I'm sorry but what sort of ridiculous and imaginary world do you live in where you think something like this would ever happen.

There is no Boogy Man around ever corner and there certainly aren't any gangs of Boogymen running around that I can see.

Anonymous said...

mikeb - assuming you're sincere, consider the Dark Arts series a toolkit - just another wrench or screwdriver. You never know when you need it, but rather have it around anyway.

However, you're not sincere. You're a dumb shill, pushing unconstitutional disarmament as well as learned helplessness.

Matthew, thank you for writing this. Fighting fair should never be the expectation.

Anonymous said...

Always cheat. Always win.

James R. Rummel said...

Good post, as always!

Anonymous said...

It is good to see a "win no matter what" mentality displayed. Takes quick thinking, but more importantly, PRIOR thinking to imediately come up with said plan.

Without pondering the options before hand, you will most likely miss an oppritunity latter.

Sure, the odds are slim that such a need will arrive, but having the idea in the back of your mind makes it much more likely to be accessed in a moment of need.

Good post!

ASM826 said...


Another great post. I am going to link to it once I figure out how to introduce it.

One commenter you might want to pay attention to is this MikeB. He is a troll.

Here's weerdbeard's promise on this guy: http://weerdbeard.livejournal.com/589812.html

Here's Breda's: http://thebredafallacy.blogspot.com/2009/11/fair-warning.html

I will quote her for you: I am now and forevermore going to be deleting comments by mikeb302000 because all he ever does is come here and try to stir up arguments. This is not a person who wants a real debate, or who can be swayed to a more 2A-friendly mindset. He's a troll, despite all attempts to appear otherwise. He knows nothing about guns except he that he hates them, and us. He's also been using my blog to link to his own posts in the comment section, seeking blog hits and attention and I simply won't allow that.

Warned is armed.

Camry said...

And on this day, I am truly thankful for another post in the Dark Arts For Good Guys series. Thank you, Matthew.

I had, actually, considered doing this. Now I have a better insight into how and when to do it.

Exit13c said...

Great post. I'm just incredulous that anybody couldn't see the logic and good sense in what you say. Thanks!


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