164 – Preparation for and Avoidance of Asymmetric Violence

This past weekend marked an increase in violence surrounding demonstrations across the country.  Lives were lost as a result. Many people — protesters and bystanders alike — were injured. We saw it at the Austin protest, a rally in Louisville, at a demonstration in Seattle, and in other places. Today it seems appropriate to discuss some of the events we’re currently faced with and what we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from danger.

The best thing we can do in our position as podcasters, bloggers, and instructors and teachers, is to talk about safety and survival objectives, including:

• threats and how to recognize them

• threats and how to avoid them

• response without reacting to emotional triggers

• preparation, precautions, and preemptive measures

Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw

Co-Host: Varg Freeborn

Producer and Transcriptionist: Leah Ramsden

Below is a break-down of some of the main topics discussed during our podcast today. Feel free to find the topic of your choice;

  • 2:18 A shooting in Austin
  • 2:39 A shooting in Colorado
  • 2:52 A shooting in Louisville
  • 5:30 What to know right now
  • 7:36 How to mentally prepare
  • 8:00 Stock up
  • 9:30 Avoidance
  • 10:24 Getting caught in a mob story
  • 11:32 Normalcy bias
  • 12:40 Standing your ground
  • 17:18 How to start preparing
  • 18:13 The importance of strength and fitness
  • 21:20 The importance of self-control

2:18 VF reflects on the recent violence across our country,

“This past weekend, we had a major shooting during a protest in Austin. There was a protester with a rifle, and there was a car that tried to drive through the protest…that guy with the rifle ends up getting shot to death. Another protester ends up shooting at the vehicle also, so there were at least three guns involved in that.”

Garrett Foster open carrying an AK47 at BLM protest in Austin.
Armed BLM protester Garrett Foster was shot and killed by the driver of a vehicle during an Austin protest just a few days ago.  Events surrounding (and justification or lack thereof) for the shooting remain disputed. As of this writing, no charges have been filed.

2:52 VF continues, “Most notably in Louisville we had hundreds of militias show up on different sides of the aisle, fully kitted out, fully armed, and one of the militias had a negligent discharge in their staging area, injured two or three of their own members…

A group of protestors tried to stop a truck driving through, and the occupant of the truck drew a gun and put it in the protester’s face, so the protestor then drew a gun and put it in his face. They’re viscously yelling at one another with guns pointed just inches from their faces.”

Protests in Louisville, KY
The Austin protest was not the only demonstration to see gunfire lately. A negligent discharge at a rally by the “Not Fuc&!ng Around Coalition” led to three NFAC members being hospitalized.

7:30 VF Asks, What do you think are some ways we could take that information, about the escalation of violence and what we’re clearly seeing happen and act on that in some way in our own lives?

DS Replies, “Nothing changes with my outlook, I have been preparing for this for a long time. My hope is, this gives a sense of urgency, to a lot more people to be more prepared.

We recently did an episode on Home Defense here, where we can harden our house, harden our structure, protect our families better.”

There’s a lot happening right now and it’s a scary times to be unprepared… -DS

Protesters hit by car in Seattle
This video screengrab shows a man who drove his car into a police barricade in Seattle and smashed into a crowd of protesters before exiting the vehicle while brandishing a firearm

9:30 VF suggests, “The first thing to know (Just like I teach in classes and anytime we’re talking conflict and violence) avoidance is the first, best option. However, you can get caught off guard in conflict.

DS Replies, “I have a friend of mine, who I’ve known for many years, and his daughter had no idea what she was driving into. She was heading to work, and she ended up in the middle of one of these mobs. She rolled her window down, smiled, and thinking that they were going to let her. She was thinking they’re a peaceful protest, no big deal.

She was getting assaulted and she barely got away. But she was totally oblivious that this was a danger. She didn’t even know that her life was in danger right then.”

There are things you can do; if you see something a couple miles down the road that looks questionable, find another route -VF

Start NOW

17:18 VF Says, “You can step back now and say, [I want to] train and have the responsibility to take care of myself and take care of my loved ones, be my own protection and first responder, have my own medical, equipment, knowledge and skills.

That kind of stuff is very important and if you’re just getting on board and realizing that now with the recent events, that’s good, but you’re behind the curve. So, you better catch up [quickly], because I don’t know how much time we’re going to have if this keeps escalating.”

Training Strength & Fitness 

18:13 VF suggests where to start if you’re just starting now,

“Your strength and fitness should be number one, because no skill, and no amount of weapon, gear, or knowledge, is useful if your body cannot move to deliver it. All of the knowledge, skills, and equipment require your body to physically deliver those. If you get overwhelmed physically by the smallest tasks like going up a flight of stairs… all of the other preparations are not going to help you at that point.

And then:

Have some weapons training, a little bit of fight training, some medical training, have the gear to support those skills, and learn about clarifying your mission…All the decisions you make should be based on that mission.

Training Your Mind: Self-control  

21:45 VF recommends,

The first thing I’d try to accomplish in the category of self-control, is to resist being emotionally charged by any headline, or any video, or any post on social media, or anything you see that comes at you from a remote distance. If you [get] emotionally charged, you’re allowing something outside of yourself to take control of you and your emotions. Your decision making is going to be [impaired] based on those emotions. Now your decision making is not entirely yours anymore. You become very predictable and very controllable.

…the things that charge you up emotionally, you should recognize those immediately and stop yourself from allowing that to happen. Step back and be logical, be rational, and be objective about your decision making.

Final Thoughts 

26:21 DS says,

“Now it’s virtuous for you to do exactly as the government says, and it’s not virtuous to go against anything. Nevermind all the different scientific studies saying different things. Nobody really knows what’s going on right now. But there are people who fight and argue with people they used to care about…

We have to take a step back and remember, above all else, be a good person. Be kind to each other. If we can stay with those tenets; self-control kindness, gratitude…then we won’t let them divide us.”

Gunmag Training's Chief Instructor Daniel Shaw is a retired US Marine Infantry Unit Leader with multiple combat tours and instructor titles.  Since retirement from the Marine Corps, Daniel teaches Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers weapons, tactics and use of force. Daniel takes his life of training and combat experience and develops as well as presents curriculum to help Law Enforcement, US Military and Responsible Armed Citizens prepare for a deadly force encounter.  When he isn't directing marketing for Gunmag Warehouse, Daniel travels the US teaching and training under Gunmag Training, and discusses all things hoplological and self-defense related on The MagLife Podcast.

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