Saturday, December 27, 2014
You are the sum of all your mistakes and successes, bad habits and good, the lies you tell yourself and the truths you celebrate and a simple ticking of the clock isn't going to suddenly change that because if it could, you wouldn't wait for a new year to make it happen. Changing your behavior isn't like changing a diaper, you don't have to wait for a reason, you can do it right now, any time you wish. The idea of a landmark to wait for change is appealing because it gives us time to continue doing exactly what we want to be doing versus what we think we should be doing instead. Thats right; if you think you need to change your habit of watching 8 hours of TV a night and instead get in the gym, think about why you watch 8 hours of TV a night. You do it because its what you want to do. If you wanted to be in the gym, you would be. There is nothing so pressing on TV to keep you from that goal, even binge watching an entire season of House of Cards is no excuse, and may actually be the reason Kevin Spacey still has a career (great show, shift fire).
Think about it, when you want to do something, anything, you have all the motivation you need to do it. From running to the store for a new thingymajig to starting a family, the motivation is reason enough to make it happen. Oh, the more complex the want the more difficult the path to making it happen but it all starts with honest motivation, which shouldn't be calender dependent. Is there some ethereal force in December, some chronological specter that will suddenly not be there in January?
Training is what we do to become what we want to be with a skill or a physical way of life. Its an idea that appeals to us enough that we make a plan to achieve it and that plan shouldn't be calender dependent. Setbacks are coming, excuses for skipping a day or a class or to not even start are coming; be ready for the lack of motivation or the crunch of time when other life activities threaten to steal some of your time. Every second spent working for a positive goal is better than letting that second go to waste. Be it 15 minutes or an hour you can give each day, its going to be better than saying some day. If you want to wait for January 1st to begin, thats fine, but just like January of this year, dont be the guy or girl who has given up before the month was over. Grind hard, make time and crush all the excuses until that goal isnt as important as your new way of life.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
|East German Volkspolizei, 1955|
|Gloria Richardson, for example, was ZFG about Bayonets in her face.|
-Egon Bittner, Ph.D., The Functions of The Police in a Modern Society (1970)In his assessment of the police, Bruce Smith wrote in 1940 that, in spite of the still rather bleak picture, "the lessons of history lean to the favorable side."l He pointed to the fact that the then existing police forces had moved a long way from the past associated with the notorious names of Vidocq and Jonathan Wild, and he suggested that the uninterrupted progress justifies the expectation of further change for the better. It is fair to say that this hope has been vindicated by the events of the past 30 years. American police departments of today differ by a wide margin of improvement from those Smith studied in the late in 1930's. 'l'he once endemic features of wanton brutality, corruption, and sloth have been reduced to a level of sporadic incidence, and their surviving vestiges have been denounced by even generally uncritical police apologists. Indeed, police reform, once a cause espoused exclusively by spokesmen from outside the law enforcement camp, has become an internal goal, actively sought and implemented by leading police officials.
Now, the interesting part about this quote is that its from a study published in the 1970s and pays little attention to the abuses of law enforcement during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, which should have been fresh in the author's mind yet is suspiciously absent. I dont believe it was maliciously intentional on the part of the author, rather the public consciousness had not yet shifted to a point where popular opinion was one of total denouncement of the police practices in the south during that time. Of course not all law enforcement abused their authority during the Civil Rights movement, but many did and they did so in the defense of a law, which may have justified it in their minds. In hindsight we find their behavior unforgivable. Hindsight.
|circa 1920s, long before the Meme existed.|
DOT regulations for mandatory safety equipment and function on motor carriers, because an 18-wheeler with substandard brakes is not acceptable on the interstates...but I unequivocally do not agree with an arrest over unregulated cigarette sales or when enforcement of that regulation (where only the state is the victim of violating the regulation) leads to the death of someone. The nexus of the death of Eric Garner isn't if he could breathe or not, its the enforcement of a regulation where no true victim exists.
|This is for protecting and saving lives, not the enforcement of laws and regulations that have no victim.|
“We’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, a lot of ammunition.”Essentially the officer, Deputy Jerry Moffett, appears to have the opinion that a pro-constitution opinion is a bad thing; which bothers me greatly seeing as this same Law Enforcement officer is granted all of his powers of office via this same constitution which he is sworn to protect. Now, to pour gas on the fire, the Spokane Co Sheriff, Ozzie Knezovich says that the video is taken out of context and that
“The term constitutionalist has a widespread meaning. Some people say I am a constitutionalist,” he said. “But people need to understand that there are people who carry that title who have killed police officers.”My opinion is that he is confusing "Constitutionalist" with "Sovereign Citizen" and should probably correct the definition in his mind before painting with such a broad brush; after all, law enforcement officers have been murdered by Christians, Jews, Republicans, Democrats, Boy Scouts of America Counselors and many other individuals with respectable monikers, titles or affiliations and there are no law enforcement warnings about these groups. Unlike the Sovereign movement, a Constituionalist is on the same team a police officer is supposed to be on and that is defense of the constitution from all threats; foreign and domestic. The Oath I took when I first put on the badge has not changed and I have not forgotten that every aspect of my job as a law enforcement officer is granted by the Constitution; in order to protect the rights provided by the Constitution.
The divide is not an epidemic, at least not yet but it is a problem. It seems more prevalent than it is do to the magnification by the media/social media, though perception is often reality and the few bad apples mentality is often dismissing the problem instead of addressing it. As law enforcement officers, we cannot avoid the perception of our actions any more than we can avoid the consequences of that avoidance. I dont think we "need to open a dialog" because those are platitudes that have as much active use as "hoping for change." What we need to do is change how we view our daily actions and use officer discretion to honor the color and letter of the law, to remember our oath. The enforcement of the law is protection of the people and recognizing the defense of peoples rights versus the defense of the governments wants will go a long way towards repairing and improving our relationship
Our duty is not to administration, office, government, supervisor or shift Sergeant, it is to the Constitution and by that definition and truth, Deputy Moffett is sworn to the same; hes supposed to be a Constitutionalist, too.
To end on a lighter note:
Monday, December 8, 2014
I recently saw an exchange over handheld Vs weapon mounted lights and which to use. My opinion is that the question was too broad. Use for what? Should be included but that's just my opinion. Some spoke about weapon mounted being the way to go, others were all for a handheld and each side had reasons. One of the most common detractors against a weapon mounted light is that it draws fire. It sure can; so can a hand held, a bic lighter, a cell phone screen or any other source of light in the dark.
I can get in a shooting. So im not leaving the house.
Wait, I can get in a shooting at home, so im leaving the house.
Just because something can occur does not mean it will, and throwing your hands up in the air when the can realization strikes is the quickest path to being totally unprepared. Training and proper practice help give us tools, not plans. There is actually very little within our control when it comes to self defense but those few things we do control are some of the most important factors towards staying safe and effective. Our gear, and how versatile we are in the use of that gear is one of the most important factors under our control. I believe that the software is the most important part of self defense, but the software needs adaptable hardware.
Just a bit of history.
|The Seely Light; available in |
Call of Duty: Olde Tyme Warfare
So if the weapon light can draw fire, why is it used? It sure sounds like its potentially a horrible idea yet its considered essential equipment to professionals and personal defense-minded individuals everywhere.
|Doesnt need a weapon light, handheld or even a weapon.|
Not because he was born in and molded by the dark
but because hes a fictional character.
|Doesnt need a light because he is the light.|
Everyone else does.
"Do you need help with something, sir?"
A quick flash to their face, then pulling the beam down to their chest. I have already done much to control the situation and diffuse a potential violent encounter. I no longer look like food. I am alert and the potential bad guy knows this. By pulling the beam out of his face I am aware but not confrontational and I am leaving them with an out. Mindlessly drilling them in the eyes with the beam during the exchange could actually cause an escalation. A purposeful flash of his eyes ruined his night vision and gave me a second or more of superior situation awareness. This can easily be apologized for while I maintain ready light control.
|Circa 1965 Breeding weapon light; we|
have been doing this for a while now.
There are a few things where one way is the best way, maybe even where one tool is the best tool. Light isnt one of those situations. Have both, or at the very least a handheld. The only situation I could say where a weapon light is far superior is home defense and only then because of the situation. For those that say you cant illuminate an unknown threat with a weapon light without muzzling that unknown person I would suggest a reality based low-light class focused on self-defense, not burning ammo. Splash lighting, especially indoors, is a very useful technique that keeps us from muzzling things with WMLs until we want/need to. Its a trained technique and there doesnt seem to be much knowledge of it outside of those who have been trained how to do it, which means those of you who have been trained how to do it are letting your buddies/loved ones down by not passing it along.
So weapon light or handheld? Both. Do flashlights draw fire? They can. The risk far outweighs the reward when used correctly.
If you want to read more on my approach to weapon/light use you can check out the two part series I did for Breach Bang Clear: Part 1 and Part 2. Or the two part I did for Monderno Part 1 and Part 2.
And since the question has been asked, here is my feeling on the Taurus Curve.