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The Truth About violence
Posted: 08 November 2011 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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The Truth About violence

This article contains very good advice. I’m very glad to read about self defence from a USA citizen that doesn’t include “defending your home with a gun”.


Principle #1: Avoid dangerous people and dangerous places.
You would think this is common sense; too bad common sense isn’t common.


Principle #2: Do not defend your property.
Not only is this dangerous, it is morally questionable. Maiming or killing someone to protect property is wrong.


Principle #3: Respond immediately and escape.
All real self defence courses teach you to RUN as soon as possible. You can’t be hurt if you are out of reach. You can’t get help for your self or loved ones if hurt. And Sam is right that if you must defend yourself do it very aggressively. If you can’t defuse the situation, or get away they mean you great harm. Normal buglers will run if they find out you are home. There are no rules when defending yourself. Don’t hold back.

Even you know sport fighting you should take a few self defence courses. A sport fighter will have great technique, but wrong instincts for self defence.

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Posted: 08 November 2011 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I have no problem with someone defending their home with a gun—when that’s tactically the best option.  And sometimes it is.  For example, if you have a family (most probably sleeping in multiple bedrooms), it may be easier and less risky to defend a hallway or the top of a staircase while your wife calls the police to come get the intruder out of some other part of your house, and shoot him if he approaches your defended position, than it is to get an entire family out safely (especially if the bedrooms are upstairs, and your family would have to move past the intruder downstairs, before they could get out), before the intruder can hear your activity and move to intercept you.  Or you may wake up to find the intruder already in the bedroom, in which case it would probably be better to retrieve the gun from your nightstand and shoot him, if you can, than leave him in the house with your family while you escape yourself (it goes without saying that it’s too late to herd your family out safely if he’s already gotten into your bedroom and is threatening you).

Every case will be different, and your best available options will be dictated by the circumstances.  Sometimes the best option will be flight, and if it is, you should flee; at other times, flight may not be a realistic option, and you may have to stand and fight, and if that happens, you’re far more likely to prevail if you have a gun and know how to use it.

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I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
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Posted: 08 November 2011 11:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I trust your gun is safely stored in a gun vault, ammo stored separately. The danger of a gun accident harming your family is higher than an intruder harming your family if your weapons are not safely stored.

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Posted: 08 November 2011 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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arussell - 09 November 2011 04:45 AM

I trust your gun is safely stored in a gun vault, ammo stored separately. The danger of a gun accident harming your family is higher than an intruder harming your family if your weapons are not safely stored.

This turns out not to be the case.


Gun Accidents (and Kids & Gun Accidents)
Is My Own Gun More Likely to be Used Against Me or My Family?


The statistics used to support that assertion are misleading.  The Kellerman paper cited to support it included suicides—by far the greatest cause of in-home firearms-related death—to reach that conclusion.


This is not to say that guns aren’t dangerous.  They are.  But the idea that a gun is far more likely to injure or kill a family member is actually something of a myth.  I grew up in a house full of firearms.  So did most of the kids I grew up with.  Curiously, we all managed not to shoot ourselves or anyone else.


And incidentally, in my own case, I have no family, so I don’t need to store it in a gun vault in order to keep it away from kids.

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I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

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Posted: 10 November 2011 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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arussell - 09 November 2011 04:45 AM

I trust your gun is safely stored in a gun vault, ammo stored separately. The danger of a gun accident harming your family is higher than an intruder harming your family if your weapons are not safely stored.


This is not supported by the facts.  For example, according to the CDC in 2005, for most age brackets, homicide by firearm occurs with greater frequency than suicidal (or unintentional) firearm use.


In no way am I advocating that one be reckless or irresponsible regarding firearms storage. But in addition to proper storage, what will best protect your family regarding firearms is to educate and train them on how to appropriately handle and use them, when age appropriate.


But going to the extreme of locking up ammo and gun separately is counterproductive. If you do so, then in the event that you need your firearm, you must retrieve both items, load the firearm, in potentially precious time, during a period of high-stress when fine-motors skills are most likely to fail you. 


During a home invasion scenario, you should not be fumbling to get or load a firearm with ammo—only to then be shot first or be overpowered, disarmed, and tragically shot with your own firearm.


If you can secure an unloaded firearm, then you can secure a loaded firearm in such a way that it can be quickly retrieved with zero risk to family members otherwise.

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Posted: 10 November 2011 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I guess it depends where you live. Where I live the chance of an armed home invasion is very, very, small. Everyone I know with guns has them locked up and only uses them for hunting or target shooting. Home defence doesn’t enter into it. If you live in a more violent society I guess it makes sense to have a gun handy with the proper training and safeguards in place.

Two children were accidentally shot by other children in Canada recently, and in both cases the gun was improperly stored, and the kids had received no safety training that was mentioned in the newspaper.

in my city, unless you are a mid level or higher drug gang member you are very unlikely to be shot by a criminal.

While I don’t need or want a gun, I have no problem with my neighbours having guns if they are trained and store them safely.

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Posted: 17 November 2011 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I was mugged a couple years ago and it influenced the direction in my life to some extent.  It unintentionally snapped me out of my severe depressiveness.  Made me realize that if I want to die there were people around me willing to take care of that. 

I reacted to the situation quite foolishly.  Two young men asked for my luggage.  I didn’t give it to them.  They then asked for my wallet instead.  I gave that to them.  They walked off and I snapped and decided to chase after them.  One of them threatened to shoot me with a gun he claimed to have in his jacket.  I guess I didn’t care.  There are other details.  It all ended up with one getting away and the other going to court.

I haven’t bothered to look into self-defense yet.  I’ve feared reacting poorly to this situation and it’s take me some time to understand how to react to it.  Could I have been killed?  Was a lucky?  Is there any way to really defend against those situations?  I’ve learned to better trust my intuition and to better assess the environment.  I take stock of the people.  I notice if someone gets too close to me.  That’s all though.

Can anyone recommend any other practical tips on how to deal with this issue?  Should I just take classes?  Is it a complicated matter that requires study? 

I’ve also developed the idea that if I’m walking around at night (and maybe during the day) in my area of Hollywood CA (it’s grimey) then I should look like hoody like the environment so as to not draw attention to myself.  Is this a bad idea in anyone’s opinion?

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Posted: 17 November 2011 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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You should never risk your life for things. You should not endanger others lives for things. Why? Things can be replaced and simply are not that important compared to human life.


Self-defence training is for situations where running away is not an option. I would expect that it would take two or three years of bi-weekly training to get to the level where martial arts training could be used for self defence, but only if you take a course teaching practical fighting skills.

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Posted: 20 November 2011 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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If you apply all these “principles” in your life, there is a good chance you will be constant victim.


Principle #1: Avoid dangerous people and dangerous places.

“If a man who makes you uncomfortable steps onto an elevator with you, step off.” If you take this principle to its logical end, then you’ll literally be stepping off in a lot of places which hinders your right to exist in even the simplest of places.


Principle #2: Do not defend your property.

“Thus, if someone sticks a gun in your face and demands your wallet, you should hand it over without hesitation—and run.” For crying out loud, don’t run. Whether or not a particular piece of property is worth fighting for is an individual choice, but no one should run, this is what victims, prey, do.


Principle #3: Respond immediately and escape.

“If someone puts a gun to your head and demands your purse or wallet, hand it over immediately and run.” Again, don’t run. All these principles if applied in a prison setting full of predators, you’re setting yourself up for failure.


Wolves respect other wolves, not lambs. The cost benefit model is different for each individual, but if you make a habit of running and throwing your valuables at every person who demands it, sooner or later you’ll not only lose your property but your dignity.


Running away is a luxury enjoyed by people who live in Beverly Hills and the like. If you are in prison, live in a tenament or live in a very depressed area (ie the projects, favilas, etc.) if you live your life according to the principles above, you will be a constant victim.


Criminals thrive when the number of victims multiply exponentially. Making a stand is in and of itself a form of deterrence. Like I said, individual cost benefit matrices vary, but if you make a habit of becoming a victim you are only inviting more trouble.

[ Edited: 20 November 2011 01:55 PM by theresawilliams]
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Posted: 20 November 2011 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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theresawilliams - 20 November 2011 06:47 PM

If you apply all these “principles” in your life, there is a good chance you will be constant victim.

You may be correct, Theresa. At any rate, I don’t want to piss you off. Just keep in mind that Sam Harris’ typical Twitter followers might tend to live outside of ghettos and prisons. I’m 56 years old and have only been held up by someone with a deadly weapon once in my life. The holdup took place at an edge of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn at 2 a.m. I doubt if my neighborhood reputation would have been harmed if I’d bolted at some point, since the only people in the neighborhood who knew me were my friends.

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Posted: 20 November 2011 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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nonverbal - 21 November 2011 12:32 AM

I’m 56 years old and have only been held up by someone with a deadly weapon once in my life. The holdup took place at an edge of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn at 2 a.m. I doubt if my neighborhood reputation would have been harmed if I’d bolted at some point, since the only people in the neighborhood who knew me were my friends.

Like I said, the cost-benefit matrix is different for everyone. Even people who live in depressed neighborhoods, will cultivate an intuition/6th sense of when to fight or flee.


The danger here is if you make a habit of running away and giving your valuables.


As an individual, your habits eventually become who you are. Bigger picture, if everyone in your neighborhood adapts the 3 principles as their lifestyle choice, then maybe word will spread that that particular area is full of victims. And you’ll be partly responsible for your friends getting robbed, then maybe next time the outcome wouldn’t be as pleasant.


Your luxury is an illusion, at any given time your safety will be compromised. If you continue to cultivate a run-away mindset, as Mr. Harris is suggesting, you will be a victim. What he is suggesting is dangerous. Like I said, know when to run and know when to fight, but never throw away the option of aggressor, you are not a victim.


Are the 3 principles the safest advice, of course, but when you focus on the bigger picture it’s probably not the smartest.

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Posted: 20 November 2011 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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I’m curious, where do you live that crime is so common and the police so inept that you would expect to be robbed enough to increase the crime rate by running away?

Where I live there is a fair amount of property crime, for example car break ins and car thefts, but actual muggings are very rare, and when they do happen the mugger becomes a police top priority. As the police DO generally come down hard on muggers it makes sense to not risk your life and let the police handle it.

I’m assuming you live in a place with a high crime rate and ineffective policing.

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Posted: 21 November 2011 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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arussell - 21 November 2011 04:54 AM

I’m curious, where do you live that crime is so common and the police so inept that you would expect to be robbed enough to increase the crime rate by running away?

Where I live there is a fair amount of property crime, for example car break ins and car thefts, but actual muggings are very rare, and when they do happen the mugger becomes a police top priority. As the police DO generally come down hard on muggers it makes sense to not risk your life and let the police handle it.

I’m assuming you live in a place with a high crime rate and ineffective policing.

I live in Oakland, but have also lived in DC and L.A. Three very recently gentrified areas with very good police departments.


But I think you’ve hit the point I’m trying to make here, there is a sense that if you run away and let others deal with the problem, 1). you are ensuring your own safety and 2). others, I guess you can call them sheepdogs, will always come to your rescue when wolves attack. Don’t internalize this worldview, you are not a lamb, not a victim.


The cops’ job is to deter, interdict and investigate, in order, before, during, after a crime occurs. If you are in the process of getting mugged, chances are there will be no police officers around. You and only you can decide whether you fight or flee, but to suggest that you should always flee is WRONG.


Whenever we see news footage or hear stories of 75 yr olds fighting back their assailants or other would-be victims taking a stand, we lionize them. They are exceptional heroes. But they shouldn’t be the exception, they should be the norm.


Criminals are like water they go through the path with least resistance, but if you as a neighborhood or community stand up for yourselves, there would be less criminals. Don’t make it easy for them by always choosing to run away.


I just saw a PBS ad for school bullying the other day, in which a Hollywood star urged a bully victim to run to an adult and inform them that he is being bullied. What kind of advice is this? No wonder there is a bullying epidemic. We’re teaching our kids to run away and ask for an authority figures’ help, when the smartest and common sense advice is to stand-up and fight for yourself.


Criminals are bullies and they flow where there is least resistance. If you fight back, they’ll look for another prey OR decide that this enterprise isn’t really as profitable or beneficial as they previously thought. Fighting back is deterrence, so do NOT ever throw away this option is my point.

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Posted: 21 November 2011 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Whether you live in a safe or depressed area, poor or rich, live in areas with good or ineffective police departments, whether you are old or young, whatever your case may be, you should NEVER rule out fighting back.


Run what-if scenarios in your head, take a martial arts class, do police ride-alongs, visit your local prisons, local morgue, do whatever you need to do to understand violence and violent people, but NEVER throw away the option of fighting back—NEVER.

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Posted: 21 November 2011 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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In 1988 or so, I got a phone call from a manager at the company where I worked. He informed me that Greg Jackson, a co-worker of ours, had been stabbed in the heart and was now gone because he approached things the way you are now advocating, Theresa. I consider you, Theresa, to be an irresponsible person who I hope no one is paying attention to. Of course that’s only my opinion, but it’s also my opinion that one’s life is more valuable than a car.


Show some documentation validating your half-baked opinions or you’ll soon be severely mocked, I suspect.

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Posted: 21 November 2011 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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nonverbal - 21 November 2011 12:24 PM

In 1988 or so, I got a phone call from a manager at the company where I worked. He informed me that Greg Jackson, a co-worker of ours, had been stabbed in the heart and was now gone because he approached things the way you are now advocating, Theresa. I consider you, Theresa, to be an irresponsible person who I hope no one is paying attention to. Of course that’s only my opinion, but it’s also my opinion that one’s life is more valuable than a car.


Show some documentation validating your half-baked opinions or you’ll soon be severely mocked, I suspect.

There’s smart and then there is wise.


I am not advocating fighting back when you are surrounded by 4 muscular bald men with knives. And for women, if the same men want to rape you, running is probably not an option too, so the wise thing to do is to take the rape, remain motionless and emotionless, since the more you move the more injuries you’ll suffer and showing emotion will only bring them pleasure. While you are taking the rape, remain calm and remember how they look like and what they say and their names or any other information that come up. Don’t clean up, go straight to the police so they can collect and preserve their semen as evidence.


Maybe Greg Jackson thought he could take them on, who knows. Maybe had he ran, he’d still get killed. Maybe the threat was that the robbers promised to return and keep returning to victimize him. The fact is you’ll never know what choices Greg Jackson calculated in his mind. But to conclude that he should’ve ran, is probably more irresponsible as saying he should’ve fought back.


Again, like I said, the choice is individual, but fighting should never be thrown out as your option.


If a 120 lbs. teenager, accosted you outside a shop, fumbling, his hand in this pocket, nervous, asking for your wallet, I believe that running is the wrong thing to do for yourself, for your community and for that teenager. By fighting back, you can either have him arrested or send him home running, seriously questioning his chosen profession as a robber.


If you do what Mr. Harris suggests, throw him your valuables and run, you’ve just convinced him that robbery is an easy and very lucrative career field. This encouragement is irresponsible.


That snivling 120 lbs. teenager will be different for each us. Greg Jackson’s was probably more than he could chew, but to say that he made the wrong decision, is projecting your own weakness and celebrating it. Don’t be too proud that you are a victim.

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