“We did retreat”

Note:  I have no training or expertise in police procedure, and this subject is off topic for this blog.  However, after raising questions in a post the other day, I decided to follow up with the additional information I’ve been able to gather.  I should also note that we still don’t have all of the information.  While what we have looks bad (to me at least), it is possible that the Orlando PD is just doing a very poor job of getting the information out about what transpired.

Following my original post on the topic more detail has come out about how the terror attack was handled.  However, there are still significant gaps in the explanation.  According to the LA Times, the off duty officer working security at the bar engaged with the terrorist right away:

The shooting was reported at 2:02 a.m. Sunday when an off-duty Orlando police officer at the club initially confronted Mateen near an entrance and the two engaged in a gun battle, Mina said.

This is vague and it isn’t clear whether the original officer broke off the engagement or chose not to pursue the terrorist as he went (back?) into the club.  It also isn’t clear when the terrorist shot over 100 people.  Did he shoot them before the off duty officer engaged him, or after the officer engaged him but before additional officers arrived?  The story is that after additional officers arrived they went into the club and engaged with the killer, and the killer retreated into one of the bathrooms of the club.  At that point, Police Chief Mina says that “dozens and dozens of people” were rescued:

At that time we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people and get them out of the club,

Again, this is vague, but reading in between the lines it sounds like it was a hasty effort to get as many people out of the building as possible before hurrying out.  They must not have been able to do much of a check for wounded who were unable to either call out for help or walk out on their own power.  It also seems that they didn’t sweep beyond a main area, because while the terrorist was holed up in one bathroom with a number of victims, the police left the bar without freeing 15-20 victims trapped in another bathroom.

Mateen holed up with four to five hostages in a bathroom, while 15 to 20 more people were trapped in another bathroom nearby, Mina said. That’s when police backed off.

“Based on statements made by the suspect about explosives and an explosive vest, we did retreat,” Mina said.

After the police left the building, this article states that the wounded inside would have to wait until some time after the building was breached (around 5 AM):

As people lay dying in the club, the shooting developed “into a hostage situation,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that initially, officers mistakenly thought the gunman had strapped explosives to some of his victims after a bomb robot sent back images of a battery part next to a body. That held paramedics up from entering the club until it was determined the part had fallen out of an exit sign or smoke detector, the mayor said.

The robot was sent in after SWAT team members used explosive charges and an armored vehicle to knock down a wall down in an effort to access the club.

While the original claim was that the police waited out of fear of causing harm to the hostages, the fear of harming the hostages (in the bathroom) doesn’t explain why the police left the bar entirely and didn’t immediately start assisting and (once possible) moving the most seriously wounded people out of the building.  In fact, the reason specifically given for not remaining and helping the seriously wounded is fear of explosives.  Based on the reported statements by the police department and the mayor, the reason for the roughly three hour delay in rendering aid to the victims they left in the club was not fear of causing harm to the victims, but fear of harm coming to the police and paramedics.  Obviously this was a judgment call, and the safety of the first responders matters.  But there is an evasiveness in the way the story has been told.

After roughly three hours of victims laying bleeding on the floor with the police and paramedics outside, it was finally deemed safe enough to go and render aid.  CNN describes the scene:

When it was all over and the first of the responders made their way through the cavernous nightclub, feet gingerly stepping over the bloody bodies sprawled all around, they called out, “If you’re alive, raise your hand.”

Lastly, there is this bizarre statement from the commander of the SWAT team commending the bravery of his officers for only leaving the building (and not running farther away) after Mateen locked himself and some hostages in the bathroom:

My guess is that most if not all of the SWAT team members wanted very much to go in and take control of the building (except perhaps for the bathroom the terrorist was holed up in) so the paramedics could start caring for the seriously wounded inside.  While the framing is bizarre, by making the subject the bravery of his individual officers he is able to deflect attention away from the leadership’s decision to play it safe and wait.

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63 Responses to “We did retreat”

  1. dc.sunsets says:

    You’re always on your own when events are extreme. This is central to why it’s so necessary to observe the Three Don’ts:
    Don’t do stupid things,
    Don’t go to stupid places, and
    Don’t hang around with stupid people.

    Those who were in the nightclub violated all three. I thus find nothing to learn from this event

  2. Gunner Q says:

    I’ve never heard of a Muslim strapping bomb vests onto postmortem victims, or even planting grenades. Given a credible bomb threat, I see no problem with how they withdrew, but it’s odd if the bomb threat was first discovered by the bomb robot they sent in. So the police DID have an APC? I was under the impression it was a cordon of standard cops until SWAT got organized.

    “They must not have been able to do much of a check for wounded who were unable to either call out for help or walk out on their own power.”

    I wouldn’t have checked closely either, not in the equivalent of a blood-splattered gay bathhouse. Better to take a bullet than prick a finger there.

  3. rugby11 says:

    Totally shared responsibility.

  4. BillyS says:

    I am not sure we will ever find the truth in this with so much pro-LGBT stuff going on.

  5. Avraham rosenblum says:

    I should mention I was in NY during times when there was extreme pressure and criticism on the police there. If this kind of pressure has expanded into other areas in the USA, then the caution of the police becomes understandable. If the atmosphere has become anti police, then there is little motivation for an officer to stick his neck out.

  6. Laguna Beach Fogey says:

    Never underestimate the incompetence of the security forces (PD, FBI). Their failures are an opportunity for other actors, such as self-defense units, vigilantes, and paramilitaries. I hope the Nationalist revolutionaries on the Alt-Right are taking notes.

  7. Robert What? says:

    In the modern age “officer safety” trumps any and all other concerns, including public safety.

  8. If the atmosphere has become anti police, then there is little motivation for an officer to stick his neck out.

    Aw, poor widdle powice man doesn’t feel motivated to do his job because people don’t wike him.

    Yeah, it’s our fault.

  9. Anchorman says:

    Targeting first responders has been a concern for some time.

    The past two major terrorist incidents (this and San Bernidino), the police response has been strange.

    For example, in both cases, they allowed uncontrolled access to the living quarters of both shooters. The media has been able to stomp around, move things, contaminate the scene.

  10. Per Desteen says:

    @LBF

    Never give your opponent time to turtle. Equally, those without external support should never turtle unless they accept that their death is only a matter of time when they do so.

    Basic RTS strategy.

  11. l8apex says:

    Dalrock – this is probably outside the scope of your article, but the other disturbing issue with this incident is the question of the number of assailants. It seems exceptionally unlikely (i.e. impossible) that this was the act of just one person, just from the sheer number of deaths. Now there are some reports trickling in from victims and friends of victims saying there was more than one assailant. So why hasn’t the MSM been reporting that? Typically that would always be a key part of reporting the story…

  12. Dalrock says:

    @BillyS

    I am not sure we will ever find the truth in this with so much pro-LGBT stuff going on.

    I suspect we won’t get much more than we already have. The Orlando PD don’t seem interested in sharing more detail, and the press doesn’t have any pet causes (pro LGBT, gun control) that are advanced by challenging the narrative.

    @Robert What?

    In the modern age “officer safety” trumps any and all other concerns, including public safety.

    I think this is part of the mix. Part of this is standard bureaucratic ossification. Another (related) part is the transformation of the police from a masculine protector role to a feminized equal opportunity jobs program (and therefore with a much more risk averse ethos). We should expect the military to move in the same direction.

    I think there is probably another force at work specifically for SWAT teams. Every jurisdiction now needs a SWAT team (all the cool kids have one), and to justify the expense you need to keep them busy. How often in a SWAT officer’s career can they expect to be called into an active shooter, kill as many as possible, scenario? I would bet 90% of SWAT officers don’t ever face this kind of unusual scenario during their careers. Day in and day out, they are either executing a pre planned surprise assault, or are called to a low level hostage scenario. Their routine trains them to be aggressive when they have the initiative (they are delivering a warrant), and patient and cautious when the criminal has the initiative. Especially for leadership, this would be a hard habit to break should they ever stumble on the very rare scene where a criminal has maximum carnage as his objective.

  13. Looking Glass says:

    @Anchorman:

    As I mentioned in the previous thread, one of the government’s best skills is covering their tracks. (Or making the situation so muddy it’s functionally impossible for the real events to be properly pieced together.) That’s more or less what’s going on. They have their shooter, more information isn’t useful to the people that the information could come back to cause problems.

    It tends to happen with a lot of these events (not just in the States), that security services were in contact with someone that’s involved. Sometimes, they were actually paid informants. It’s always easy to find funds when a country is willing to pay to blow itself up due to incompetence.

  14. Dalrock says:

    @l8apex

    Dalrock – this is probably outside the scope of your article, but the other disturbing issue with this incident is the question of the number of assailants. It seems exceptionally unlikely (i.e. impossible) that this was the act of just one person, just from the sheer number of deaths.

    I think they should definitely follow up on this, but I don’t think you have to assume there was more than one shooter. The reason it is hard to believe that one man killed that many people is the impression is given that he was immediately confronted by the police, and after a gunfight with the police retreated into the bathroom and didn’t shoot after that until he shot at the police three hours later. It seems unlikely that he could focus much on shooting patrons while the cops were shooting at him (or even maneuvering on him). What I think isn’t being said (outright) is that he had a significant period of time where he was able to focus solely on shooting patrons, with no challenge from the police. Then, after he shot over 100 people, the most seriously wounded were left to bleed out for three hours (or more) before given aid.

  15. Looking Glass says:

    @Dalrock:

    I mentioned that, from a tactical point of view, it was a really good time to pull off the type of attack he did. In that environment, everything would have been confusing to any police involved. Chaos is very useful when you’re trying to pull something like this off.

    Though there’s something that came to mind: what do most narcotics due to blood coagulation? Considering it should be assumed that most everyone there was on alcohol & a cocktail of drugs, it’s also possible that a lot of normally non-fatal wounds could simply have had someone bleed out far, far faster than normal, if there were mitigating factors.

    Last thing I’m curious about: was the music & lights still going during the entire “stand-off”? Because the point of dance music is to make you unable to actually think straight. So, as I said, it was a well chosen target environment.

  16. Annie says:

    @l8apex:

    Regarding the number of deaths, remember that we don’t have any specifics about that yet. A number of those are likely due to being trampled or crushed by the panicked crowd. Since it was so long before paramedics came, others may have bled out that could have easily been saved. Finally, it was a very packed nightclub so nearly every bullet could easily hit a person.

    That said, at some point he had to reload. There were so many people, didn’t anyone throw chairs and bottles at him and try to take him down? How could one person, even armed, have total control for so long?

  17. Jeremy says:

    As a reference, a Mathematician did his own study on “mass shootings” and determined that fighting back, regardless of whether or not you have weapons at hand, always saves lives.

    In fact…
    In shootings where people rely on the police to save them, an average of 14.29 people die.
    In shootings where people fight back immediately, regardless of whether or not they are armed, an average of 2.33 people die.
    Amazingly, in 11 of the 17 cases where people fought back that he sampled, the people who fought back were entirely unarmed, had only fists, etc..

    http://dailyanarchist.com/2012/07/31/auditing-shooting-rampage-statistics/

    He did a decent job, excluded incidences that might poison the sample for various reasons, etc.. Worth a read.

  18. Robert What? says:

    @Dalrock,

    Another (related) part is the transformation of the police from a masculine protector role to a feminized equal opportunity jobs program (and therefore with a much more risk averse ethos). We should expect the military to move in the same direction.

    A heavily armed, feminized police force who are always afraid for their safety sounds extremely dangerous. They are liable to react erratically and violently, which I think is what we are seeing now.

  19. Pingback: “We did retreat” | Reaction Times

  20. Casey says:

    @ Dalrock

    It certainly sounds like the response by the Orlando PD was not necessarily the one needed given the circumstances.

    A lesson in this to everyone else though. If anyone ever finds themselves in a similar situation (whether it be a 9/11 event or a lone gunman) the answer is to fight back. Preferably in unison.

    It’s natural to run from gunfire. If the running therefrom leads you to a ‘boxed in’ situation (restrooms) then another approach is needed. Immediately.

    The number of victims in this case is certainly much, much higher due to an unwillingness to fight back and/or a naïve belief the police would save them.

    Case and point, the number of people tweeting about the situation rather than being fully present & willing to fight to their dying breath at the chance they may overpower the gunman.

    We aren’t taught to fight any longer, we are taught to be passive, to relax, and to let the government handle it.

  21. Dalrock says:

    @Casey

    We aren’t taught to fight any longer, we are taught to be passive, to relax, and to let the government handle it.

    Agreed. This is more about mindset than anything else. And at the same time, the people we are expecting to “handle it” are being taught to cordon off the area and hope something good happens.

  22. Anon says:

    Laguna BF,

    I hope the Nationalist revolutionaries on the Alt-Right are taking notes.

    Everyone on the Nationalist Alt-right, are armchair people. Just like you.

  23. Gunner Q says:

    Robert What? @ June 15, 2016 at 10:26 am:
    “In the modern age “officer safety” trumps any and all other concerns, including public safety.”

    It’s hard to recruit for a job in which somebody else can order you to take a bullet. Do we want a conscripted police force? That would be an interesting punishment for a clean criminal record. “Lewis, you’re the only innocent man in Compton. Here’s your badge.” But hmm, if he didn’t have to quit his day job then how would this be different from the American masculine ideal?

    I like armchair quarterbacking as much as the next guy but it’s a real problem in the information age. Nobody wants to get involved in a crisis knowing that every word and gesture they make will be permanently recorded for the leisure of all the devil’s advocates, but if nobody wants to get involved then this sort of thing happens. Cue the long-running debate over how to balance freedom of information with expectation of privacy.

    Casey @ 1:25 pm:
    “We aren’t taught to fight any longer, we are taught to be passive, to relax, and to let the government handle it.”

    And not just fighting. The last time I tried to re-certify my CPR/First Aid in California, I discovered the Red Cross no longer teaches it except for a useless online-only class. Nobody else seemed to, either. Is this true elsewhere in the U.S.?

    I hate to think citizen First Aid is no longer being taught because of liability issues. Or, this being the Bay Area, immigrant- and sodomy-related health issues.

  24. Rudolph says:

    So, how many of the dead and wounded are “friendly fire” from the off-duty cop returning fire with the terrorist?

  25. Damn Crackers says:

    Stop the investigation! It doesn’t matter. Toxic masculinity caused all those nightclub deaths:

    https://newrepublic.com/article/134270/hypermasculine-violence-omar-mateen-brock-turner

  26. I was gratified to see that there are real concerns related to this that are being taken up by our legislatures.

    Tweets by JeremyAllenMoss //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  27. Oscar says:

    Casey says:
    June 15, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    “We aren’t taught to fight any longer, we are taught to be passive, to relax, and to let the government handle it.”

    Check out the non-reaction when the shooting starts.

  28. Peter Blood says:

    Don’t sweat it, Dalrock. Just stay out of chemsex clubs and police might be willing to risk saving you.

  29. greyghost says:

    The case is what a one off event looks like . The police didn’t do so well on this one. But it was an unplanned one off event. This is where masculine character matters and truly comes into play. Training and planning for an event only works when the suspect follows the script. As airline passenger realized the police that really care need to realize kicking ass trumps all. The “hostages” are dead any way go get him. Look at the mugshot of that “shoebomber” the passengers on the plane beat his ass.
    Fight for life it is your duty and nobody else’s

  30. Opus says:

    Predictably and despite The Walmart Terrorist and the murder of the French Police Chief, Orlando’s Pulse was quickly shunted off the front pages to make room for fisticuffs between certain English and Russians and Brexit. I did however view what I thought a quite unlikely interview from Sky TV between an Anchor, some loud-mouthed woman and the GLBT correspondent for the Guardian which ended with the Man from the Guardian ripping off his mic and walking out of the studio. Had I been in his position I do not think I would have lasted as long as he. The Gobby woman was naturally blaming Guns (the typical British view) and the Anchor merely saw it as a terrorist attack without special flavour. The Guardian man rightly said that it was the worst attack on GLBT people in history and probably would also have said that it was the worst gun atrocity in the history of America but the woman talked over everything the man said. The Anchor countered with the fact that the death toll is less than in Paris in a ‘my casualties are bigger than your casualties’ kind of way. The Man from the Guardian however did not entirely cover himself with glory for his response to the Anchor was that ‘you wouldn’t know what it is like as you are not Gay’ an utterly irrelevant special snowflake of a comment which gave the anchor a chance to suggest that the Guardianista could not be sure of that and then the man from the Guardian went out of his way to exonerate Islam. Ye gods!

    I am no great fan of the the self-serving pressure-group which is LGBT as their behaviour towards Christian Bakers, Street Preachers and Hoteliers and people like the brave Brendon Eich (no way am I giving Mozilla a single cent) has been deplorable as well as their attempt to rewrite the concept of Marriage and indoctrinate Children into their cult, but even so I thought the Media were supposed to be pro-Homosexual. It is worth observing, I think, that as little as twenty or so years ago the Gays were not a protected or favoured minority. I was just re-reading one of David Stove’s essays where in passing he lists the favoured minority groups but Homosexuals are not included – yet he wrote the essay that I was reading, I suppose, sometime in the late eighties. In England one can date it precisely to the arrival of the Blair government of 1997 and the abolition of the (I read it) incoherent Clause 28.

    As I am mentioning Homosexuals may I voice the view (original to me, I think) that the people these days who are Homosexual are of an entirely different type from when I was a youth. In those days they were mostly married-men or that small coterie of men who had somehow ended up single. One did not come across it amongst the young (consider John Osborne’s play Inadmissible Evidence – which I think gives a fair picture in support of my contention – and I have no reason to say anything nice about Osborne as I had dealings with him and further when we met – mid-afternoon – he was drunk). Curious is it not that in Qatar those who commit adultery are beaten, but in the West one is just as likely to be imprisoned for having sexual intercourse with ones wife – no wonder Islamists (and Roman Catholics like Mugabe) think that we are dissolute and depraved.

  31. MrMasculine says:

    A good example of acting in the face of death was the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in the 80s. Those Russian scientists and first responders ran right into extreme amount of radiation and they had to know they would die for sure. Some of the scientist were kicking the cooling rods back into the sarcophagus of the reactor. Some men died that day and many did not live to see the next week. When I watch the video footage, I can plainly see these men are not thinking ahead. They are taking care of the job that must be done now. Their bravery actually saved many lives. I don’t think these guys were feminized.

  32. Gunner Q says:

    Opus @ 4:41 pm:
    “As I am mentioning Homosexuals may I voice the view (original to me, I think) that the people these days who are Homosexual are of an entirely different type from when I was a youth.”

    What you see is the difference of repentance. Old-school Sodomites restrained their evil impulses and went on to live decent lives. Modern Sodomites embrace their evil impulses and nobody wants to save their diseased bodies from their psycho lovers.

    Not only homosexuals but all people are like that. Sin is like ice cream; we each have our favorite flavor but none of them are healthy.

  33. Blue Blazer says:

    I usually avoid reading about these things in-depth, because of The Meaning of it All tendencies of most writers. My attention focuses on something minor,such as the ringing phones of the dead victims. What is the procedure regarding answering the phones ? Is there a standard action;either officially or unofficially ?

  34. >>>>patient and cautious when the criminal has the initiative. Especially for leadership, this would be a hard habit to break should they ever stumble on the very rare scene where a criminal has maximum carnage as his objective.

    It is NOT a hard habit to break. A single leader can change the entire culture, especially for institutions like policing.

    >>>>What I think isn’t being said (outright) is that he had a significant period of time where he was able to focus solely on shooting patrons, with no challenge from the police. Then, after he shot over 100 people, the most seriously wounded were left to bleed out for three hours (or more) before given aid.

    Why isn’t this being covered elsewhere? Only a religious blogger cares about fags enough to search for the truth?

    >>>In shootings where people rely on the police to save them, an average of 14.29 people die.
    In shootings where people fight back immediately, regardless of whether or not they are armed, an average of 2.33 people die.

    @Looking Glass: “what do most narcotics due to blood coagulation?

    Nothing, if anything the narcs would slow things down and make them less likely to bleed out. Unfortunately the poppers that, ahem, open thing up (lungs, bungs, etc) would make it a lot more likely to bleed out. In any event, none of that matters because 3 hours is such a ridiculous amount of time. I do wonder how many people get AIDS from the shooting.

    >>>@GG: Fight for life it is your duty and nobody else’s

    Answer seconded: We aren’t taught to fight any longer, we are taught to be passive, to relax, and to let the government handle it.

  35. Chuck says:

    Please stop using the term “shooter” when referring to this terrorist. Mateen and his ilk are “murderers” or “terrorists.” Applying the term “shooter” to these savages is Leftist Orwellian newspeak, a manipulation of language to try and demonize law-abiding gun owners in the eyes of the general public.

    I am a law-abiding gun rights advocate and firearms enthusiast. I am proud to call myself a “shooter.”

    [D: Fair point. Fixed.]

  36. They Call Me Tom says:

    Perhaps this is all a bit like the lull in the Hundred Years War, where professional soldiers in peacetime inevitably prey upon their communities if their is no enemy to take the field against… and in preying upon the defenseless, they get soft towards fighting against real opponents when they again show themselves.

  37. Zero Fox says:

    It was poor leadership all around. You don’t start negotiating after they’ve proven they will kill. You also don’t wait for the assailant to get a handle on things, keep the pressure up, and kill/capture him quickly. This is a black mark on OPD, shameful.

  38. J C says:

    A friend of mine works as a cop frequently complains about his department to me. In his words it’s been cucked probably at least since Trayvon got shot. For example he isn’t allowed to pull over cars that have some technical fault with them (broken light, flat tire, whatever) because it turned out that those kinds of traffic stops were disproportionately minorities.He was telling me that during the Ferguson riots he pretty much parked his car in a parking lot and played games on his phone (and this was essentially encouraged) because no one wanted to get something nasty written about the department in the NY times.

    So pretty much no cop wants to be the next Darren Wilson and no department wants the media breathing down their necks. Frankly in this case I don’t blame the cops because there’s no way I’d want to risk my life for a bunch of dudes trying to give each other AIDS.

  39. I heard this today and cannot say for sure it was the case, but was told there was only one entrance and exit (the fire exit was chained shut) so the shooter was able to stand at the front door and take control pretty quickly. This hampered the law enforcement ability to get in as well, hence the blown out/bashed thru back wall so they could enter without going in the one and only entrance like fish in a barrel. My guess is the armed off duty guy got blasted and that was the end of that, but again only a guess. The whole thing is horrid. Progressives may extend tolerance and acceptance to the muslim culture but they do not seem to get that the muslim culture is not at ALL tolerant or accepting of progressives. NOT AT ALL.

  40. Also, it is not about access to guns. The media sand talking heads saying that over and over really misses the point. Where I live is probably one of the most locked and loaded places in the country, and we have NO such killing sprees here. Not a one. (Thank God and God willing it stays that way.) It was because of his BELIEFS that this happened, not because of gun access.

  41. To be more specific, his belief that others not sharing his beliefs justified killing them. That killing them was “right.” Kind of a SJW of another sort, in many ways.

  42. Ok one more thing and I will stop, but I am very disturbed by this and have very few people IRL I can actually have a discussion like this with so thanks for letting me vent a bit… If guns are not available, killing lots of people is still very possible. Like with explosives made from common chemicals available in a farm or garden store (Oklahoma). Or by crashing a plane into a building full of people (911). For examples…😦 It is a flawed BELIEF system (could be Islam, could be another belief system) that is the cause of such actions. Not the weapon.

  43. Hoyt says:

    “I didn’t understand why they didn’t go in. There is no reason why they should be standing there with all these gunshots going off. I have videos of me yelling at the cops to go in there.”
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/did-orlando-police-wait-too-000000967.html

  44. Brian says:

    First time poster.

    @Annie

    Apologies if I’m wrong about this, but I’m guessing your history with combatives training, combat sports, and life-or-death violence is probably limited. Not judging.

    As a former fighter, police officer, and lifelong martial artist, may I suggest that “fighting back” is sometimes not a choice a typical person can make. If your daily training for many years has included dealing with simulated violence, yes, sometimes you have the option to fight back. Most people will not. See http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/freeze-response.htm for more details. I don’t fault you for armchair quarterbacking…it’s a natural response. I would do it too, probably, except that I’ve experienced just enough real violence to know better. I mean this with full respect: the best preparation before making that kind of commentary is to go experience controlled violence in a supervised training environment. You might or might not be a Janet Bloomfield fan, but she has a post about this topic here: http://judgybitch.com/2016/03/14/youre-gonna-get-hit-its-gonna-hurt-accept-it-lessons-from-krav-maga/

    Jeremy Glick, for example, was able to be a hero because he was a wrestler and judoka (www.wrestlingcoach.com). Fight/Flight/Freeze is the genetically-coded trichotomy. If you don’t train now, you usually don’t have the option to choose which you’ll do: the limbic brain will choose for you.

    Sgt. Rory Miller has had a lot to say about this.

    Best, (seriously)

    Brian+

  45. Linx says:

    @Brian
    “As a former fighter, police officer, and lifelong martial artist, may I suggest that “fighting back” is sometimes not a choice a typical person can make. ”

    Martial arts is a sport with rules. No biting, no eye gouging, no this, no that. It does not give you the will to survive when all hope seems lost. At best it only gives you the element of surprise in really close quarters combat with muscle memory reflex.
    So if the typical person is in a situation that prevents them from running away or hiding they will either have the will to fight to survive or not. It is not a concious choice that they “can” or can’t make.

  46. Gunner Q says:

    redpillgirlnotes @ 1:24 am:
    “If guns are not available, killing lots of people is still very possible.”

    You’re preaching to the choir. Guns don’t kill people, abortions kill people.

    Brian @ 8:21 am:
    “As a former fighter, police officer, and lifelong martial artist, may I suggest that “fighting back” is sometimes not a choice a typical person can make… I mean this with full respect: the best preparation before making that kind of commentary is to go experience controlled violence in a supervised training environment.”

    Yeah, I discovered this when I took up paintball. It was surprisingly hard to shoot my fellow man even when I knew he wouldn’t actually get hurt. There was no technical reason for it, my hand just kept twitching at the last instant to keep them safe. In a life-and-death situation, I would therefore actually trust my kickboxing over a firearm. It’s got nothing to do with a 1911 being the objectively better choice.

    Maybe paintball really does teach you to kill, but then, it also teaches plywood is bulletproof.

  47. >may I suggest that “fighting back” is sometimes not a choice a typical person can make

    This is the type of SJW nonsense that is the problem.

    MEN can be trained very easily to do what is needed in the moment. Instead of the anti-drug propaganda we could train High School aged boys what to do when they hear POP…POP…POP…POP…Hide…get behind something bulletproof….look for the exit…if you see an active shooter bull rush him and take him out quickly. No problem. It would take a 2 hour assembly at the local High School and mass shootings would get you 2-3 victims instead of 100.

    Of COURSE we cannot do that! This would identify the gender roles of men and women. It would empower men. It would foster an independent spirit. In short it would decrease the power, majesty, and authority of government and would actually make us safer. Obviously we can’t have THAT.

    MEN are programmed to fight for their lives if necessary. MEN are programmed to defend women. MEN naturally will charge the shooter. IF there were MEN around, that is exactly what would have happened. Don’t tell me that wrestling turns you into a warrior. All it does is reinforce the biological realities that have been desperately and constantly programmed out of boys and men.

    What has happened is that the Blue Pill conditioning, the flowery bullcrap, the yougogiiiirrlz meme, the female teachers, the no dodgeball and “Tug of Peace” and the shaming of young boys and the psychostimulants have turned them away from being MEN.

    Thus, enjoy the decline.

  48. Brian West says:

    I must not have expressed myself or defined my terms very well. I’ll try to clear a couple things up without hijacking the thread much further. It’s probably not respectful to write a dissertation on self-defense training without Dalrock’s blessing, so do my very best to be brief. As with most things, Will Rogers was right: it ain’t that people are ignorant that gives them so much trouble, it’s that they know so many things that ain’t so.

    @Linx

    I’m not sure I follow your argument, exactly, but I’d like to gently suggest that you’re a little under-informed on a few relevant topics. I hesitated to bring this up, since most people are happier not knowing how deep this rabbit hole goes, but your safety could possibly be at stake. Just for clarity, I think you’d be well served to research 1) the relative merits of martial arts versus combatives versus combat sports training, 2) the efficacy (or lack) of each of those three broad categories of skillsets for dealing with various types of violence (particularly social vs. antisocial violence), 3) the best current models of how the fight/flight/freeze reflex works, and 4) how training can affect “the will to survive” (which might better be described as the “presence of mind to act” or self-efficacy in a violent encounter). No offense meant, at all: I’m sometimes just as guilty of accepting a neat-sounding solution to a complex problem and repeating it without thinking (pretty sure I said something foolish about internal combustion engines the other day to a mechanic. He was graceful and just nodded).

    I’d like to suggest, as a starting reading list: “Meditations on Violence” by Rory Miller, “On Killing” by Dave Grossman, and “Animal” MacYoung’s entire http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com website. Kris Wilder and Lawrence Kane’s “Dirty Ground” gets honorable mention for being an in-depth look at the art/combative/sport

    @Gunner

    I think we agree, just with the caveat that all modes of training are flawed. Otherwise we’d leave the gym maimed after every practice, right? If I’m not mistaken, Miller calls what you’re referring to the “flaw in the drill.” All combat drills are deliberately unrealistic in at least one way…otherwise they’d be actual combat, which would make all training as dangerous as the scenarios we train for.

    Even though all drills are flawed, they’re still useful for training on all sorts of levels. We just have to be mindful and compensate for the flaws. One drill we might do at 1/10th speed, another at full speed but 1/10 power. Some training modalities (like bjj) go full speed and full power, but remove the most dangerous techniques (which does not, as Jinx would imply, make it ineffective in all scenarios of violence). In the case of paintball, putting an inexpensive brick-veneer plyboard over the bare plywood “cover” could help train you to look for masonry cover in a real scenario, for example. Not sure it would be worth the expense unless you really think urban infantry combat is a possible scenario you’d have to deal with, but that’s up to you🙂.

  49. Brian says:

    @bluepillprofessor

    >may I suggest that “fighting back” is sometimes not a choice a typical person can make

    Perhaps I was misunderstood. “Typical person” probably reveals my biases: I meant a typically suburban, middle class, non-sociopathic, law-abiding citizen. There are certainly parts of the world (and parts of American cities) where violence is a daily part of life, and the “typical person” in those areas is usually quite capable at recognizing pre-violence cues, surviving violence, and mitigating the aftermath.

    The “typical person” I referred to is not “programmed” to deal with violence or protect anyone, in most cases. Those people are exceptions, not the rule, as analysis after analysis of real-world violence shows. Without training (be it prior service in public safety or in the military, or Krav Maga classes, or what-have-you) the average person is ill-equipped to deal with abrupt and savage violence of the kind perpetrated in Orlando.

    For my two cents, Dr. Kano had it right when he made judo a mandatory part of Japanese public education. Being tough (mentally and physically) is at least as important to life success as being smart or well-educated.

    A final note: If you have confused my perspective with the SJW mindset you describe, you are very much mistaken.

  50. Brian says:

    [I wrote a comment that seems to have disappeared. Hopefully if it re-appears, one of the two comments can be deleted.]

    As Will Rogers reportedly said, it ain’t being ignorant that gets folks in so much trouble, it’s that they know so much that ain’t so. I mean this in the nicest way possible, and it applies to me as much as to anybody, except when it comes to two fields. And this is one of them.

    @Jinx

    I’m not certain I follow your line of reasoning, but I’d like to gently suggest that you might be under-informed. I say that in all humility: maybe you’re actually Jinx Gracie and you just didn’t express yourself terribly well (happens to us all). But since this could possibly affect your safety, please consider re-evaluating:

    1) the relevant merits of martial arts versus combatives versus combat sports training
    2) the efficacy of those three broad skillsets when it comes to the various types of real world violence (particularly social vs. antisocial violence)
    3) the best current research on the fight/flight/freeze reflex, and
    4) the extent to which what you call the “will to survive” (probably better referred to as the “presence of mind to act in the face of violence” or as a sense of self-efficacy in a violent scenario)

    If I could make a suggestion, you might be very well-served to read Rory Miller’s “Meditations On Violence,” Dave Grossman’s “On Killing,” and Marc “Animal” MacYoung’s entire nononsenseselfdefense.com. My guess is you might encounter–as I did–quite a few things that re-shape how you look at the subject. I can suggest a few works for further research when you’ve had time to take a look at those.

    @bluepillprofessor

    I reread my post and I see I’ve communicated poorly again. What I meant to say was that training–and tempering–are, generally speaking, necessary in order for a typical middle-class, law-abiding person to have the *option* to take effective violent action when facing a crime like the one perpetrated in Orlando. Those who can take effective, violent action on behalf of others when encountering abrupt and savage crime are extraordinary, and not the norm.

  51. Linx says:

    @Brian
    “But since this could possibly affect your safety, please consider re-evaluating:”

    Well seeing as I grew up in a war zone I will have to say that I know a thing or two about what it takes to survive.
    But thank you for your concern.

  52. Brian says:

    @GunnerQ

    I think we see eye-to-eye. Grossman’s work–have you read it?–explains in great detail the mechanisms behind what you just mentioned. He did most of his research while a Lt. Colonel in the Army, and at one time “On Killing” was required reading in the service academies. Might still be.

    Miller takes a more practical view on the plywood conundrum you mentioned. All training scenarios have flaws, but it would be short-sighted to take @Jinx’s view and throw them out altogether just because training =/= life or death combat. Miller recommends being intentional and mindful about what he calls the “flaw in the drill.” Some forms of combatives might “spar” using the most deadly techniques in their arsenal, but at 1/10th speed. Some forms of grappling are famous for sparring at full speed and power, but only after removing the least safe techniques (a counterintuitive approach I’d like to point out has nevertheless been proven to develop skills that apply quite well to situations of extreme violence).

    A way of modifying your “drill” might be to cover the plywood with brick-veneer plyboard, if you can find it cheap. It could help condition you to seek masonry cover in an active shooter scenario. May not be worth the effort though, unless you decide your risk level of that kind of violence is unacceptably high (a civilian contractor in a war zone, for example).

    From a legal perspective, using your kickboxing skills–even when under the legitimate threat of violence– is likely to result in misdemeanor charges (a sad fact of self-defense in most jurisdictions). Using the 1911 is probably a murder or aggravated assault charge. On this topic, Massad Ayoob’s “In the Gravest Extreme” is a bit outdated but still very useful.

  53. Brian says:

    @Linx

    Accept my apology then. I wasn’t aware of your expertise.

  54. Gunner Q says:

    Brian @ 1:27 pm:
    “I think we see eye-to-eye.”

    I’ve been in enough life-and-death situations to know how things work. Tunnel vision, can’t think, that terrible instant when you realize sh!t got real, the dissonance of needing to do today what would rightly get you arrested any other day. Everybody reacts differently to extreme stress and it’s really hard to predict in advance.

  55. mikediver5 says:

    I graduated from the US Naval Academy. We did all kinds of martial arts like training (Not serious enough to really learn anything, but a wide smattering to spark interest). After years of thinking about I determined that the point of it was not to develop real skills, but to instill a will to combat. The first year of boxing I sparred with a friend. We had an agreement not to hurt each other. When test day came he was absent, and I was put in the ring with a golden gloves boy who beat the shit out of me. They stopped the fight and asked me how many fingers I saw. I couldn’t even see the hand. I flunked and had to take remedial boxing out of my limit free time. The next year I had a different attitude. In a sparring session I was paired with a classmate from my company. I told him that there were no friends in the ring and to prepare accordingly. After the session he threw off the gloves and angrily shouted, “What the hell is wrong with you?” That year I did not fail. If you won your rounds you got an A. If you went in and got bloodied and beaten up pretty bad but kept going in, you got a B. You only failed, if like I had, you went in trying not to get hurt. Similar cases applied to Wrestling, Hand to Hand Combat (obviously), and the other fighting classes. Very few citizens of the US have had these kinds of experience and they make all the difference. When a classmate and I were posted to San Diego for our first class cruise (submarines) we were walking through a bad neighborhood trying to find our car after eating at Mickey Ds. Two guys cut us off, one angling in from each end of the sidewalk. We instinctively went back to back and took fighting stances. It turned out to be two cops that wanted to know if the hooker on the previous block had propositioned us. We told them we were so broke we had to go halvsies on a large fry.

    The armed forces took statistics on how many men fired their rifles during fire fights in WWII, and found it was precious few. Since then they started using targets that were a human outline instead of the old round bulls eyes. This increased the number of actual shooters in Vietnam. You have to train very hard to overcome the civilization wide indoctrination not to fight and kill. When it becomes necessary those indoctrinations can get you killed and your country defeated.

  56. Looking Glass says:

    On mikediver5’s point, there’s been a very long running discussion among the Civil War historians about how many soldiers actually fired their guns, even in combat. A few years ago, they were estimating maybe 25% actually fired their weapons when they should have been. It’s a fascinating topic, as it explains a lot of the reasons certain commanders would have done so well, as they could get their troops to shoot.

  57. BunnyHooHoo says:

    Obviously Orlando PD has never dealt with a situation like this, so there had to be some uncertainty and hesitancy.

    They are really waffling on a lot of the details of their response.

    I don’t think this is a “Ferguson effect” situation. I think it’s a part of the evolution from “police” to “law enforcement”. Cops are no longer there to “police” the criminal element – because that inevitably requires profiling, which is verboten.

    Cops are now “law enforcement” which means they most definitely are not there to protect you. Their role is to arrest the person who killed you and collect evidence of your dead body.

    I believe the political left hates the concept of traditional “policing” and wants to create a situation where people do not trust the police. And they want to take away our guns. They like us defenseless.

  58. Minesweeper says:

    OT:
    advert on UK TV essentially promoting female infidelity while the men are away watching football.

  59. I would hope in such a situation I would find it within myself to act as selflessly as men so many many times have done. Women have a “flight” response most of the time. Females can be most brutal but usually indirectly (poison, etched) vs actual hand to hand.

    Think of those in a plane over a field in Pennsylvania, for example. They knew the odds of their own survival. They took the hit so others could live. That is in my mind the highest bravery/heroic thing one could do. If called, I hope I would muster the faith and trust the bigger picture.

    When I did pair I go to this: the smallest amount of light displaces darkness but no amount of darkness can ever overcome the smallest and dimmest of light. My own story is part of one much larger…

  60. Ak typos… Etc. not etched, dispair not did pair…🙂

  61. Tarl says:

    “The armed forces took statistics on how many men fired their rifles during fire fights in WWII, and found it was precious few.”

    Nope. This “study” was debunked. The man who did it (SLA Marshall) never actually did the interviews he said he did. Anything based on his work (like the Grossman books) is flawed.

  62. PokeSalad says:

    Well to be fair….the gays were fine with square, hetero, flyover-country Americans dying at the hands of jihadists…its only when the alligator turned on them that they are shocked.

    My sympathy is limited.

  63. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the analysis. I’ve been troubled by the timeline/apparent retreat as well.

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