There’s an old Chinese curse: “May you have an interesting life.”
Hmm. Gotta wonder if there’s been any cursing going on about my neighborhood, which has been interesting right along. Last night, already in bed, a call came in from a neighbor for the neighbors. “Come on over!” An interesting life makes for a long day. But it’s good to be a good neighbor and be a priestly extra set of eyes and ears and a listener when things get stressful.
Multiple law enforcement agencies were deescalating a guy who allegedly crossed a line, so to speak, some minutes before. Previously, after mag dumping a pistol in the neighborhood, he presented a loaded double-barreled shotgun to some of our incredibly patient officers who merely assisted him to the ground with the best deescalation techniques ever. We’ll see if a judge can say anything this coming week about the present alleged incident.
There are priests in the diocese who are thinking that this parish amounts to living the quiet life and that they would want something more interesting. Be careful what you ask for.
Hahaha. What’s not funny is that the media brought about the riots in which people lost their lives. That they lost their lives is not the fault of Kyle, not in the least. They forfeited their own lives by delivering potentially deadly aggression toward Kyle. Meanwhile, Kyle had been busy putting out fires and rendering first aid. Kyle is not a vigilante. And he’s surely not a Vigilatte®:
Employment of the 2nd Amendment for defense of self and others against unprovoked and already being delivered deadly aggression is still part of this Constitutional Republic with the Rule of Law, and always remains part of Natural Law (=unalienable, God-given). Just defense is not illegal. It is a positive contribution to the virtue of justice which you never want to have to make. But if you do, it is what it is.
Kyle is the victim in all this.
Thanks for putting out fires, Kyle. Thanks for rendering first aid, Kyle. Praying for you, Kyle.
The call came in yesterday morning at 8:30 AM. Jumping in the car, continuing with other phone calls on the road about funerals and then about extracting friends out of Afghanistan, ever more dangerous, ever more frustrating, arrival was soon made in the Sheriff’s Office, always a super friendly bunch.
Why? Recreation with wild target practice, though that’s difficult at this time with the loss of my private range and the high price and scarcity of ammo. One session of practice can entail really a lot of ammo, with so many courses to run through. So, only rarely. But it’s fun when it happens.
Why? Self-defense, and some occasions have arisen when I’m happy to have been at the ready, but always happier when, with the whole “carry” lifestyle of situational awareness as avoidance and verbal deescalation techniques, there are no confrontations at all. This has been a real education.
Why? Defense of others, and some occasions have arisen when I’ve been happy to have been at the ready, particularly during one would-be carjacking incident when I was driving a crippled police officer to the hospital. Given permission to leave the scene by the first arriving officer, we counted nine cruisers from one direction, guessing that there were as many coming from the other direction. Imagine if I had let that crippled officer become a hostage to that guy. Ain’t gonna happen with this transporter. ;-)
Why? To support the 2nd amendment to this democratic Republic’s Constitution.
Why? Because all this prompts wildly wonderful conversations about Jesus all around town and far beyond.
We live in a time of anti-God, marxist bullies, whose BLM Antifa style fascism (yes, they reflect each other), whose primary method of anarchism is meant to bait law enforcement officers into being ambushed, wherein no matter what happens, it’s the fault of any authority other than their narcissistic selves. The entitled bully’s is reaction to authority, which is, then, by definition, no identity at all:
Identity politics is about being devoid of identity. There is no self-respect, no respect for others, no respect for God our Creator, no respect for the natural law or any law other than the absolutism of one’s personal relativity to oneself, which is nothing. Yuck.
Assassination of law enforcement officers is the “order” of the day, with such assassinations celebrated by all criminals who entitle themselves to blind obedience of their rich masters who pay them slave wages.
There’s a political party which celebrates such as this:
No apologies from this Catholic-priest-law-enforcement-chaplain: if I saw someone pumping bullets into law enforcement officers who were just minding their own business, I wouldn’t bother with any failure drill (two to the body and then one to the head if the threat weren’t yet ended), but I would rather just do a quick double tap to the head. Yes. No time to waste, especially with someone who looks like they might well be wearing body armor. Of course, then, as the priest, I would conditionally absolve the perp, you know, while calling in the “Shots fired!” and “Officers down!” and EMS and LEO assistance required. One hopes there will always be time for deescalation techniques. One hopes that one can use the old “continuum of force” fairy tale made up by someone who has never been in the field.
But encounters don’t always go very slowly, and are not always subject to a half dozen steps bringing one within rules of engagement, you know, greeting a person who then runs, who then resists arrest, who then gathers a crowd interfering with the arrest, who then assaults the LEOs with stones and bottles, who then grapples with the LEO, who then uses deadly force on the LEOs. It can go from zero to one hundred in less than a nanosecond.
It is expected, nevertheless, that the officer, while pumped full of bullets, will call social services to calmly talk the perp down at all of these stages, waiting an hour or two for the nice social worker to show up, that is, after a few weeks when messages are retrieved during these Covid-19 zero service, zero office hours difficult period we are going through in these USA and around the world.
When it goes from zero to a hundred in a nanosecond, there’s no time for this kind of BS. No deescalation techniques. No coping mechanisms. No offering of lolly-pops and cotton candy. No time.
There’s a political party which demands that the criminally insane be allowed to murder whomsoever they want, but especially law enforcement officers:
No apologies from this Catholic-priest-law-enforcement-chaplain: if I saw someone repeatedly plunging a Bowie knife into any law enforcement officer who was just minding his or her own business, I wouldn’t bother with any polite discourse, using words like sir or miss, or please, but I would rather just do a quick double tap to his or her head. Yes. And that’s even if I knew the guy or gal was criminally insane. He might not be personally responsible for his actions, being criminally insane and all that, but that doesn’t mean that the threat shouldn’t be subdued. We live in a fallen world. It’s not the officer’s fault or my fault if unjust aggression is afoot. It’s all very sad. I wish it weren’t so. The one who assists in lessening the threat is also a victim. Who wants to carry that event around in one’s soul for the rest of one’s life? Nobody. Deescalation IF POSSIBLE.
Meanwhile, I’m patriotic and I’ll tell you this, there’s only a small percentage of those in America (whether citizens or paid foreign terrorists) who are like that. Most people are like those I met on the day off yesterday. They were happy for me to take pictures of the backs of their T-Shirts:
I make it a habit to have lunch on the day off with another priest at this particular restaurant in the middle of absolutely nowhere. I don’t think I’ve ever been here when there hasn’t been some law enforcement officers, or spec ops guys and gals. This is the order of the day in this back-mountain region of Appalachia. There is no harassment of those dining here. ;-)
The other week as we were leaving that restaurant, one such guy threw out a greeting to me, and I made the observation that he had a tattoo of a very unique American Bald Eagle on his forearm (stating the extremely obvious), but I asked what the symbolism was, expecting something about that stylized eagle being the logo of a particular military group. He hesitated a couple seconds, perhaps not wanting to share anything like that at that moment while trying to eat with his wife (I’m so imprudent, but he started it), but he then exclaimed that it stands for “Freedom!” I laughed in joy and wished him a “Be safe!” as he did for me.
Look, I realize that this is not the experience of those who live even just down the road from me in Atlanta, where, as in so many other places, people are accosted while quietly eating in a restaurant, their meals thrown on the floor, getting spit on, insulted and shrieked at, their tables and chairs being overturned, and even elderly people being smashed to the floor and beat up by uncontrollable mobs. Let’s see… that would be defined for the elderly as at least grave bodily harm. I’ve seen what an intracranial hematoma can do to people – like a 66 year old parishioner of mine. She died pretty quickly after that, but only after tortuous suffering.
That kind of assault, threatening grave bodily harm or death in some circumstances to be evaluated, would also be a threat which would have to be confronted, though such a confrontation would surely – at least with me, I hope – be able to be wrought in such manner that deescalation of unjust aggressors would immediately ensue. These kinds of perps are such cowards when anyone confronts them. Just use the Jedi Knight trick by telling them – in no uncertain terms – that they will stand down, NOW! Yes. It does work.
Perhaps you remember that Jedi Knight trick:
Here’s the deal. We all want peace and joy, goodness and kindness, all of us, including and perhaps especially the perps. There’s no one more thankful for having been stood down than a perp who then has had an opportunity to think about it and repent. Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever. We pray for better times. We pray that we get through the next few months unscathed.
Advice Part 1: Don’t try to do the Jedi Knight Mind Trick. It won’t work. Really. Truly. Advice Part 2: To the radical left-wing “progressive” mayors and governors former NYPD Police Commissioner Bernard Bailey Kerik says:
“Tell your thugs in your community…
Don’t attack our police
Don’t assault our police
Don’t resist arrest
Don’t obstruct or interfere with an arrest
Don’t run from the police
Don’t run cops over with your car
Don’t take their Tasers
Don’t take their weapons
Don’t take their guns
… because if you do we’re gonna use force and we’re not gonna lose if we use force.”
Is that a statue of Saint Michael? Yes. Saint Michael is the patron saint of Law Enforcement.
As a police chaplain, I would add a couple of things:
1. Such advice above about not resisting arrest (resisting itself is a crime) is for all:
for the guilty and for those who are provably innocent.
for black and white and brown and yellow… whatever.
2. Just comply. Then, if you think you’re innocent, bring it before a judge.
I realize that this is controversial and emotions are what they are. But what the Commissioner said is true in all cases: If you do bad stuff in resisting, police are going to use force and the police are not going to lose if they use force. The one police officer you’re resisting will be backed up soon by untold numbers of other officers. And now they are not interested in the original incident, say, a possible wrongful traffic stop. No, no. Now they will be interested because of an assault or murder of a police officer. Just comply, then bring it before a judge.
I had some business to take care of at the now internationally famous Cherokee Guns in favor of the coexistence of my ballistic vest and a compatible holster.
It’s the provocative advertising that Cherokee Guns often indulges in that has caught the attention of the MSM worldwide. Their input at the top of the picture above is rather low-key, but it was already enough for anonymous socialists in the area to offer a response with the quotation from socialist Helen Keller.
(1) Note the hypocritical statement of these socialists. In fine print at the top of their presentation they have this to say:
“PAID FOR BY CONCERNED CITIZENS OF MURPHY”
“Citizens…” Why are they so anti-undocumented immigrants?
(2) Also, notice their use and abuse of Helen Keller, implying that she was all about smashing down all religions and points of view with homosexualist violent bullying, with “tolerance” meaning equal opportunity destruction of all truth and morality. Um… No… That’s not what Helen Keller was all about. As they scream “tolerance” they become so broadminded that they become flatheaded. I think it was the Venerable Fulton J Sheen who said something like that. There is good tolerance in the respect of people, but that doesn’t extend to any necessity of saying that error must be affirmed by those who are truthful. Also, and to the point, tolerance is NOT about letting violence take your life. Tolerance and defense of the innocent compliment each other.
(3) Now, it might seem that I’m being rather aggressive in my rhetoric, enough so that a dialogue becomes difficult. I mean, calling people names such as “hypocrite” and “flatheaded” is no way to be inviting and consensus building. But, here’s the deal: these “concerned citizens” have unilaterally redefined my religious Judeo-Christian existence through their all INtolerant lens of homosexualism, hijacking the rainbow as they do. I think that their aggressive hypocrisy should and must be pointed out to them.
Piotr Młodożeniec, the guy who came up with spelling COEXIST with symbols, might well have a copyright not only on his own twenty year old artwork but on all would-be derived works. So instead of writing COEXIST, there’s just a jumble of symbols.
Anyway, the response of Cherokee Guns, less wordy than myself, was simply to write out – correctly I might add – the word “COEXIST” with their own symbols that are not insulting of religion and offer all people regardless of religion or not the God-given inalienable right of self-defense against the aggressive fascist intolerant violence of the socialist leftists. The possibility of self-defense does lead to coexistence. Of course, there is more to it than all that. We are to love our enemies, right? Yes. And in not letting them hurt themselves more by such inhuman intolerance is also to love them.
By the way, this post is also categorized as “Deescalation.”
It’s been well over 3 1/2 years ago that Officer Mader put his off-the-charts skill sets in deescalation into action, and saved the life of a guy wanting to do a suicide-by-cop, well, until another officer just shot the guy three times to the body and once to the head (the latter being the instant kill shot). Then Officer Mader was fired for not firing his gun himself. Mader went on to win a $175,000 settlement for wrongful termination. But then he had to move out of his hometown as the harassment was too great for he and his family. “He’s a coward!” it was said. No. Deescalation is not cowardice. It is supreme bravery if the circumstances were right. It just seems that the officer who arrived in media res might have asked what the deal was. Maybe he did. I wasn’t there.
I would like to share just a couple of incidents about deescalation, one related to me by a Sheriff who did the same as Officer Mader as told to me by that Sheriff himself, and another I personally saw during a heavily armed incident. Both stunning stories. I do this because I’ve seen the same off-the-charts skill sets in deescalation more recently. Hugely impressive. Let’s start with something I saw myself:
 The above picture is the entrance to the Fijian Parliament. I was there in the year 2000 taking over the courses for the chair of the Scripture department of the Pacific Regional Seminary which is situated to the right just some hundreds of yards away. The problem was that all the students, staff, faculty and administration to a man, to a woman, had all fled as far away as possible, even to their own countries, to avoid a somewhat violent coup d’état with 21 hostages, members of the parliament, including the Prime Minister, that was taking place in the parliament itself.
Being left behind, as it were, and being behind the last military check point, left to the whims of the hostage takers, I decided – me being me – to read all of the Bible, cover to cover, writing marginal notes and cross indexing everything in my mind and on those pages, all while walking the surf on that southeastern seaboard of the tiny country, directly in front of the parliament. :-)
Sometimes I would end up walking along the road that bordered the sometimes too violent surf, even right at the entrance of the parliament itself, even when some of the hostage takers were also out front on the road. At that point, the side of the road sported a smoking, ashen, burned out fruit bar / restaurant, and now mounting skeletons of cattle the hostage takers had been eating. Deescalation skills came in handy a number of times when I was approached. There were plenty of murders around the mostly peaceful country in now extremely tense times.
Then, just from the POV of the picture above, I saw a dozen soldiers on the one side and a dozen on the other aggressively walk-running toward each other just at this point. They all had their rifles brandished in front of them, pointing at each other, yelling whatever it is that one yells in such a situation. I ran to the left of the picture, trying to get cover from any violence that seemed sure to break out, but I must say that I had a front row seat to what would now follow. There were plenty of bullets that would zip through the seminary grounds (also right next to me, repeatedly… ah… that sound of bullets passing by your head…), so it wasn’t as if anyone was hesitant about pulling the trigger for any or no reason.
When they came together I witnessed the most incredible restraint-as-deescalation I have ever seen or can ever imagine seeing. Both sides did a kind of dance in which they would lunge at each other in the air – pointing their rifles directly at the opposition – only to drop their rifles mid-air (still secured by slings) so that their hands were free to grab the ends of the barrels of the rifles of the enemy soldiers pointing right at them. There would be a tussle for the control of weapons, but then the lunger would retreat having yelled some choice words. After some long minutes of this – and it started to get boring even as they got tired of this surreal dance – the verbal assaults turned into a somewhat more intelligible back and forth between the two leaders of the clashing parties. Surely these were demands being made and such like, you know, like delivering pizza, or re-writing the constitution. The Fijian way. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone went to school with everyone. Everyone went through United Nations military training with each other.
In other words, it’s alright to know your enemy, what he will and will not at all do in certain situations. No one was going to fire a weapon in such a situation. Zero chance. Is deescalation by restraint allowed? It can be dangerous, but yes. There may be a life or two lost here or there because of misreading of certain signs or subterfuge about the same, but hundreds or thousands of lives may be saved because of that restraint.
 But even more to the point, let’s take a more local law enforcement suicide-by-cop attempt that took place somewhere here in Western North Carolina (I know exactly where) and told to me by the Sheriff involved, who did the same thing as Officer Mader in the video above. That Sheriff has been reelected many times.
What happened was that the perp had purposely caused a scuffle in town, waiting for law enforcement to show up. It was the Sheriff himself. The perp ran to the nearest creek, some 1,600 feet. The Sheriff caught him, but he broke loose and jumped in the creek, now brandishing a gun and shooting “at” the Sheriff. I put “at” in scare quotes because the shots were way wide. The Sheriff immediately understood that the guy meant him no harm, but was wanting a suicide-by-cop. The Sheriff then went in after him, the perp continuing to pull the trigger, firing more shots “at” the Sheriff. The Sheriff simply tackled him, took the gun, and dragged the perp to the river bank, cuffing him and marching him back into town. The guy goes to jail. A year later, the perp asked to see the Sheriff, who went to see his “assailant.” Sure enough, the perp admitted he had been attempting to do a suicide-by-cop, and thanked the Sheriff for having saved his life with restraint as deescalation. Amazing.
The thing is, you have to keep level headed in such situations. You have to have lots of scenario training, including suicide-by-cop training. Not having that doesn’t make for a happy ending. But sometimes there are those who are super trained up:
So, however sad the situation, that was really funny. Hahahahaha. Sorry, I played this multiple times. I laughed every time.
I mean, just think about it. How many suicide-by-cop incidents, with the perp brandishing a gun, have resulted in no one being injured. Quite a few. Remember the one in which the guy just sat in a chair on the middle of a road after a spat with his girlfriend and brandished a gun? They didn’t shoot him. They knew what was going on. They quietly got a sniper in place. The sniper guy shot and hit the trigger mechanism of the gun, making the gun fly out of his hands. The perp guy didn’t even lose any fingers. But maybe some departments don’t have snipers, etc., etc. I know. I know.
And, yes, I know, all cases are different and very many times you do have to pull the trigger on someone regardless of what they say or do signifying a suicide-by-cop attempt. They are just too dangerous, too out of control, too wild. It is what it is.
Analogy with all matters spiritual in evangelization: Do we ever dismiss anyone ever because they seem to have gone too far, that they are too far gone? It’s not to be done. Our Lord is working on everyone. As long as we are alive, that in itself is proof that our Lord is giving us a chance to get to heaven.
[[[UPDATE: I did a bit of investigation and found out that the guy who accosted me twice was the guy I thought he was. He’s one of the most dangerous people in Western North Carolina and has a standing arrest order on like half of all state owned properties in this entire region. The Jedi mind trick worked even with him. Good to know.]]]
You never think it will happen to you, until it does.
There are retired operators of whatever background who offer classroom shakedowns for pay, that is, for students of situational awareness and deescalation, very useful exercises. But I don’t get the part about paying for this. Guardian angels will provide all the incidents you could ever want and more. Yesterday, for example, I had two would-be incidents, would-be except for my guardian angel and the Jedi mind tricks I employed. It’s especially important to learn the Jedi thing here in Andrews since I’m now guessing that for the unforeseeable future we will have no actually local police for a number of reasons. And the local riffraff know it. Such is small town drama.
Our town politicians will be upset with the first fifteen seconds of the above video, but this is what Andrews is fast becoming with what amounts to little law enforcement. It’s true that the county deputies come into town to look for the riffraff they are after to effect their arrest warrants, and they are a most welcome sight. Wherever you see them, however, you also know that the riffraff they are after are very close by. That’s a good heads-up.
Yesterday, for instance, I was returning from a Communion Call, driving past the DMV, and there was deputy […] in full uniform but in his unmarked black dodge charger pulling in behind me from the direction of our little church. This reminded me to come back and get my soon-to-be-required-by-everyone-in-North-Carolina Gold Star Federal ID card issued in my case as a North Carolina biometric driver licence. The picture, taken by a special multi-lens camera looking ever so much like a Star Wars droid, has 12 measurement points which are inimitable, so that not even plastic surgeons at Liberty Crossing Campus at McLean can mimic what is measured, such as center of pupil to center of pupil. Foiling one won’t foil the others. My very first thought, however, was “Who’s the deputy after?” But before going to the DMV, I needed to fill up at our local BP gas station. He stayed on my bumper until I pulled into the BP and then disappeared somewhere.
Just as I had paid-at-the-pump with a debit card and had placed the hose-pump into the gas-tank receiver of Sassy the Subaru, a riffraff looking guy, about 6′.6″ tall (even I had to look up), coming out of nowhere, tried to make his way to me around that pump station. With all my situational awareness, blah blah blah, I hadn’t seen him. Don’t be upset with me for that riffraff description. I’m riffraff myself and know riffraff the second I see riffraff. Birds of a feather and all that. Anyway, he was so intent in getting right in my face that he couldn’t see the window-squeegee-combo-trash-buckets in front of him, and, running into them, was getting frustrated. With that, I knew that all was not right, that the guy was perhaps a bit drugged up, and so I started to back away. But, I gotta hand it to the guy for being clever. He was using the “I-really-want-to-speak-with-you-but-I’m-not-going-to-speak-to-you-until-I’m-an-inch-from-your-face-and-I’m-keeping-eye-contact-so-as-to-make-you-feel-obliged-to-let-me-do-that” trick. Not able to get closer in just that three seconds, he stated that he wanted my money. Twice.
I said to him with joyful alacrity and an abundance of confidence, now using his own eye-contact trick against himself, that, “It’s really NOT smart to shake down people for money at gas station pumps.” Glare-glare-glare. My glaring worked. With that, he stepped back, but only to go around the pump station for a sneak-attack. Just as he was coming around the other side, even as I was taking the pump-hose out of the side of the car to hook up in the pump station once again – a pretty vulnerable position – I saw him consider the joyful alacrity with which I had said “NOT smart.” He stopped and reckoned for another second, then turned and walked away. Hah. Thank you guardian angel. I noted he was walking in the direction of town (where the DMV is).
After spending quite a bit of time with the most wonderful church secretary in the world, I made my way to the DMV for that biometric Gold Star driver licence, where I had seen deputy […] looking for someone. I pulled into the DMV parking lot. With all my situational awareness, blah blah blah, I hadn’t seen the same riffraff guy (this being exactly one mile away). As I got out of the car and before I could even lock the car, he was right on top of me, an inch away, the trick of practiced pickpockets. Again, very clever. The entrance of the building is kind of in a side alley blocked from view of the inside of the building and from most everyone on the street. That’s where he had me. People going into the DMV to do document work are just as likely to already have their wallets and documents in hand while getting out of the car and going into the building. That was the case with me. Stupid me. His question this time was not about money but about whether or not I was there to try to get a driver licence (I had driven up) and that’s what he was trying to do for a really long time. He was eyeing the wallet and documents an inch away. Bolting for the door would be useless. Time for a Jedi mind trick, again. I fully turned to him and said with rather stern but joyful alacrity and confidence: “Yes, a driver’s licence… THAT’s what I’m trying to do.” Glare, glare, glare. My glaring, as a challenge, combined with the joyful but rather to the point confidence had him back off and disappear. Thanks, guardian angel.
Long time readers know that I carry. Not that I had any firearm on me. I did not. They are not allowed in the DMV, of course. Criminals also know that the safest place for them to commit crime is in gun-free-zone, or, hey, in a parking lot of a building that is a gun-free-zone, because, although the parking lot is not a gun-free-zone, no one in that parking lot will have such a tool with them.
Mind you, I’m 6’2″, 250 pounds (still), wear a 5-11 tactical shirt with collar (because I’m more elephant than donkey), and this guy still thought I was an easy target. Twice. Druggies, I’m thinking, are having a tough time if they are being kicked off the welfare system as their excuses are found to be invalid by real doctors.
Oh, it’s him
Oh, wait a minute. I think I recognize him. He’s the guy who, at a certain garage getting my tires changed out, towered over me, an inch away from me, as I sat low to the floor on a couple of stacked tires, waiting for my tires to be changed. I was there, again with my Roman Collar on, a Catholic priest, obviously, with him saying to me (a white boy and a foreigner – born outside the county – and from a state of Northern Aggression, Minnesota), he saying to me that: “We don’t like N*****s around here,” trying to be as threatening as he could be, you know, just an inch away from me, and me being as white as white can be. I just shrugged my shoulders and asked a question about the tires, diffusing the situation. I remember having asked about him later. Apparently, the guy really is clever. If I remember correctly, he was in fact trained up to analyse the criminal mind. And then he became a criminal.
Mind you, I try to be practiced as well with situational awareness, but this guy, trying not to be seen until he was on top of me, was better than me, druggy or not. A good lesson. I bet he’s the one the deputy was after.
So, look at that. Being practiced in Jedi mind tricks and depending on one’s guardian angel is the way to go, even with someone like this.
That’s an eye-opener for me – two experiences like this in one day – and I thought I would share that with you. It’s not just a good lesson. It’s an important lesson.
Prosecuting Attorney: Do you exercise situational awareness at all times?
Defendant in self-defense case: Yes.
Prosecuting Attorney: Because you are paranoid and want to take someone out? You’re guilty as sin.
Defendant in self-defense case: No. Situational awareness isn’t concerned with feeling threatened without cause; that’s paranoia, and paranoia is what goes hand in hand with feeling aggressive without cause. That’s dangerous. Instead – and having nothing to do with paranoia – true situational awareness is directed at evaluating circumstances with an eye to deescalation. A responsible upstanding citizen is interested in peace, even to the point of removing oneself from a situation if at all possible, doing more than the law requires on behalf of peace. Being oblivious and naive is unhelpful to oneself, to the community, and indeed, to any possible aggressor who may have his opportunity for aggression removed by a responsible citizen practicing situational awareness.
//===// So, how have you developed your situational awareness today?
Sometimes you run across people (or should I put that a different way?) who you know are just looking for trouble of some kind, robbery, murder, that sort of thing. I can’t even count the times in my life I’ve been in such situations.
Deescalation is key. If I didn’t have some of this talent throughout the decades, I think I would have been long dead a thousand times over. Some of that was the kind of deescalation that we all have built in with healthy fear. And that’s O.K. Then there’s the kind you learn, which includes a number of options brought about by true situational awareness.
Then there is what the deescalation of truth in the search for peace, you know, the old dumb it down methodology of making people so stupid that they just don’t care about standing up for any principle or any person no matter what. Whereas they could stop a rape, a murder, or whatever violence, they just don’t, you know, so as not to offend anyone who thinks violence is great. But that only brings more violence.
And then there is the great non-deescalator we call Jesus, who went out of his way to make people so angry in the space of say 30 seconds that they wanted to kill him. Remember the incident of the man with the withered hand that he called in front of everyone, how Jesus glared hard at them, reprimanded them, making fools of them, then curing the guy? He could have done that elsewhere. He chose to do it there in front of his greatest mortal enemies to teach them a lesson, even if that meant really pissing them off. (Oops, sorry for the language, but it fits what Jesus was doing.)
As the Master, so the disciple. If we piss people off (I won’t apologize…) for the sake of the salvation of souls, that’s not only just O.K., it’s true evangelization. Did Jesus get killed for it? Sure. But maybe some repented when they finally thought about it after all was said and done and rivers of red blood were flowing down from Calvary. Jesus didn’t die for nothing. The death of his loved ones is precious to him. It is the greatest evangelization of all. It’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. The only One. It’s all about Jesus.
Here’s something I did today in just sixty seconds. Replace the tiny deadbolt plate screws with long screws because, here’s the deal:
Money, Food Stamps and Welfare Checks might be in short supply for some people who can get a job but wont take a job, that is, until they wrap their minds around getting a job, and that means that home invasions may sharply spike until the entitlement mentality of some is replaced with a perspective emphasizing initiative. Admittedly, it’s difficult for druggies to get jobs because many of them look terribly wasted. The trick is to get them to get some self-esteem. I never thought that worked for anyone ever, unless that self-esteem comes from getting to know that our heavenly Father loved each one of us so much as to send his Son among us to die for us.
Meanwhile, there is an exercise in prudence and, quite frankly, deescalation of possible confrontations which takes just a minute. Deescalation is always good. This involves exterior doors to your house / apartment. Take out the tiny screws that come with a dead bolt plate (whose tininess makes it easy to kick in a door), and replace them with, say, 3″ screws, making it really difficult to kick in a door, as the longer screws go beyond the frame of the door and into the supporting structure of the house. Seeing that you’ve done this can put off a potential home-invader altogether. They can see you’ve done your homework.
We just now had another bit of violence in the parish territory, this time down in Marble. The sheriff is calling the scene of violence suspicious. Personally, I doubt if the fellow who died could beat his own brains out with a baseball bat / crowbar. So, just my humble opinion, it wasn’t a suicide. The suspected purveyor of the violence had already, it seems, been in prison for providing extreme and deadly violence to another. Drugs may be involved in the life of the alleged provider of the violence.
Things happen, and they happen quickly, and we should assist in deescalation by taking precautions with that which costs pretty much nothing in time and treasure.
And no, what I say in this post isn’t a microaggression against druggies. Being helpful and doing things that will deescalate situations is always helpful.