“Be professional, be polite, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet…”
Doctrine handed down from on high from St. Mattis… the Marine Corps. Patron Saint. of Chaos… (Well… General Mattis, but he has biblical qualities)
Another great saying from a military leader comes from the great British Admiral Horatio Nelson…. he said “All of my success in life I attribute to being fifteen minutes before hand…”
What both of these men are saying is be prepared. Be aware. Semper Vigilentes
We saw this play out in Hatch New Mexico this last Sunday.
Three thugs, two of whom were wanted for the cold blooded murder of an elderly citizen in Ohio were stopped for a traffic violation in New Mexico. What they were doing only a few miles from the Mexican border only days after committing a murder in Ohio can only be theorized.
None the less stopped they were and that stopped resulted in the death of a cop.
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The thin blue line was breeched on Sunday when a two year cop was shot in the neck and killed during that traffic stop… not shot by the driver, but rather the passenger.
Once the thugs had added another to their body count they decided to change vehicles. This would best be accomplished at the next rest stop. So they made there way to the closest truck stop and car jacked an aware citizen. That person was also shot, but is in serious condition at the time of this writing.
With a new set of wheels the murders fled again… however now the police were in full pursuit. Some were also staged ahead, and a spike strip was deployed.
That spike strip stopped the chase and ultimately resulted in an arrest of the three suspects.
There are two lessons here…
One: Bad guys travel in packs. The threat you perceive, may not necessarily be the most imminent threat to your existence. We can infer… (though this is speculation on our part)… that the officer was either focused on the driver or in some form distracted enough that he did not see the passenger initiating his attack. All are threats…. all must be dealt with. Three adult males traveling together without the presence of a female is unusual, and must be taken as a more serious threat than three elderly ladies. That is not stereotyping… that is reality. A law enforcement friend of mine once scoffed at the idea that profiling was a bad idea.
“Please… we profile all the time! It is impossible no too! We don’t racially profile, we profile criminal behavior.”
The cop that lost his life may or may not have been one hundred percent situationally aware. The facts are still too vague to know exactly what happened. He pulled them over for a reason though, and the chances are that he had “criminally profiled” them. His instincts were obviously correct, since they were in fact criminals. Not just normal criminals, but apex predator criminals.
The poor civilian that got shot and remains in the hospital may or may not have had the opportunity to escape.
There is a certain obviousness that with fore knowledge of a violent encounter the true gunfighter would avoid being there. We do not know if the citizen had a firearm that he could have used to defend himself…. but we do know he had a spectacularly deadly weapon at his disposal… his car.
This brings up our second point… Being vigilant only has merit if you have a plan for the contingency. This goes back to General Mattis. You need to have a plan. Having great marksmanship skills is wonderful, and making sure that your weapon is in peak operational status is always a good thing… but if you don’t know what the hell to actually do when the goblins show up then you are really missing the point.
Training comes in a variety of flavors. Sometimes we train at a specific location on specific drills, but training can happen virtually anywhere at anytime. Always be looking for threats, if you don’t see any “convert” that innocent looking guy or gal at the counter into a criminal that is going to do you harm. What are you going to do when he brings on the pain? Think it through, analyze it, then move onto the next “threat”.