Just matter of fact
And a little suspicious
That the deck is stacked”
End of the World Blues
I think my favorite
memory of before the world ended is Christmas, 2019…good food, good
friends, good fun, a sense of optimism and a faith in a better future. On
December 31 of that year, a small unnoticed news report talked about an
outbreak of a new pneumonia in Wuhan, China.
Talk about a
slippery slope! Within a year, so many things we’d taken for granted
growing up in the United States, rights that we thought were “inalienable,”
were…inoperative. Unconstitutional mandates, illegal lockdowns…and the
dominoes just kept falling. The cities burned, laws were ignored, people
and businesses were “cancelled” or destroyed, violence soared to
unprecedented levels, and every day brought a new indignity.
There used to be a
meme in the prepper community to the effect of “How will we know when the
SHTF?” How will we know when we are truly in the soup? The best answer I
ever heard was from a man I met at Auschwitz in Poland, a man who had
survived the hellish nightmare of the Balkan genocide. Couldn’t you tell, I
“Hindsight,” he said.
“You can only tell in hindsight.”
We tend to think of
violence — aggression against a person or persons — as an event when, in
fact, it is a process, a series of actions moving along a timeline to
achieve a specific goal. That goal might be taking your money, taking your
car, or for that matter, taking your life.
Violence is an
inherently chaotic process — that is, so many known and unknown factors are
acting on the process that it’s impossible to predict the outcome. Because
the violence is happening along a timeline, the factors acting on the
process are constantly changing, adding even more to the unpredictability.
Violence is also
cultural…the risks a person might face and the appropriate response from
the person differs depending on where they live. Denver is different from
Mexico City which is different from London which is different from
Johannesburg. Makes sense, right?
Here’s where things
get tricky…scary tricky, if you ask me.
Both as students
and trainers of self-defense, we have to make certain assumptions, and
those assumptions are culturally based. But the culture that we base those
assumptions on no longer exists, poof, gone, shredded by COVID, “mostly
peaceful” riots and a vicious progressive agenda that has driven much of
what we thought of as American exceptionalism off the cliff.
In other words, the
end of the world has already happened, the Schumer has already hit the fan,
and the Denver, or any American city for that matter, of now is not the
same as the Denver of the Good Old Days before the world ended, say
How has the culture
changed in ways that might affect the self-defense “landscape?” Oh, let’s
count the ways:
stunning racial animus. And I say that as someone who grew up in the South
during the Jim Crow years, whose grandmother’s — rest her soul! — favorite
story was, “When Michael went in the ‘Colored’ door” at the local burger
hangout. Racial violence is off the charts, even with the mainstream media
knocking itself out to hide it.
violence, such as the Antifa and BLM “mostly peaceful” riots. This creates
“protected” groups of people who can initiate aggression toward you, but if
you respond even in a way that is, in fact, legal, you may be the one going
directly to jail.
The demise of
equal protection under the law. In our “new normal,” some animals are
indeed more equal than others. I’m betting you’re not one of those animals.
If you don’t believe this, try and get in touch with some of the J6
defendants…no wait…do that and you’ll have the FBI at your door.
demonetization and demoralizing of the police. The police aren’t there, but
if they are there, they’re not coming. If they are coming, they’re coming
late…response times are drastically slowed. And if they do come, it might
not be the aggressor who gets arrested.
“Soros prosecutors,” prosecuting attorneys funded by George Soros
specifically elected to “fundamentally change” the American justice
system…and not in a good way. The concept of bail is eliminated; what were
once felonies are no longer prosecuted. Misdemeanors? Just good fun…the
revolving door is firmly in place, but not for you.
collapse of major cities, especially the Blue cities (but I repeat myself).
Chicago, Memphis (where I was born and grew up), Baltimore, St. Louis,
Milwaukee and others are literally ripping themselves apart. The tax base
has moved out, the big businesses are gone and violent scavengers are
picking over the bones. Sound like places where you want to raise your
families? Oh, and watch out for that pile of brown stuff on the sidewalks.
Those are what I
think of as the “macro” changes, but they have spun off a series of deadly
consequences. Just briefly…
…a shift toward
multiple aggressors, gang/flash mob, join-in type attacks.
…a shift toward
…because of the
lack of legal consequences, more crimes are committed in daylight than ever
decriminalization of “shop-lifting” has lead to a proliferation of “smash
and grabs,” systemized looting of stores, etc.
consequences means a willingness among criminals to escalate, for example a
rise in violent “follow-home” robberies, which my dear friend, the late Dr.
William Aprill, defined as a “murder waiting to happen” and violent
The last point
needs some explanation because it is so deeply tied into the cultural
disaster we find ourselves in. “It’s a slow evening…what say we all go put
on matching neon green bodysuits and beat the crap out of some old people
on the subway?” That attack happened in New York late last year, by the
entertaining…ask any 14-year-old boy who punched his brother. The net-net
for us in the self-defense community is that if violence is entertainment
and the consequences of that violence are low or non-existent, the
threshold to violence is lowered. And the nature of the aggressor changes.
It may not be a career criminal who puts the gun to your head and ‘jacks
your car in the middle of the day; might just be a couple of bored teens
looking for a cool ride. Do you think they might be less, or more, likely
to shoot you?
Or the implications
of multiple attackers…those multiple attackers may not be the Neon Green
Bodysuit Gang. The additional attackers may be join-ins or hangers-on who
didn’t realize what was happening until the game was afoot, then decided
participation looked like fun. You may have thought you had the existing
situation well in hand, but three or four additional attackers will be, I
guarantee you, a game-changer.
Are you seeing
these changes being discussed in self-defense training? I’m not, and that
worries me a lot. Why? I’m going to go back to Dr. William Aprill for the
answer. William was one of the most astute, thoughtful and knowledgeable
persons on self-defense and training that I’ve ever been honored to work
with, and his untimely death was and is a staggering loss to the community.
training to be effective, William said, first a person has to make space in
his or her head for what can potentially happen — not just that it can
happen to you, but this can happen to you! Or, as legendary trainer Tony
Bauer puts it, “You can’t create a solution if you don’t see the problem.”
trainers, need to openly discuss these cultural changes and what they mean
for our everyday defense. If you are an armed citizen and the first time
you think about stuff like this is when you’re in the middle of something
that looks like a major riot mated with a Mardi Gras parade — and you
appear to be the Designated Piñata — the likelihood of what “Tactical
Professor” Claude Werner calls a “negative outcome” becomes a virtual
are some top trainers who realize the world has shifted. Ed Monk at Last
Resort Firearms Training, John Murphy at FPF Training and Greg Ellifritz at
Active Response Training (among others) are on the cutting edge, but it is
up to you to make sure the training you are getting is reflective of today,
not the days before the world ended.
Sure, I miss the
hell out of the world that once was and what we allowed to slip through our
fingers, and I’m sure the Founders are rolling in their graves. But I grew
up in a poker-playing family, and one of the earliest life lessons I
learned was you can only play the hand you’re dealt.
No one is coming!
Stay safe out there!