Friday, September 23, 2016

They Call It Protesting, I Call It a Reason to Get Free Stuff

If you've watched the news during the last few days you will know that Charlotte has been a hot bed of violent unrest since the police shooting of Keith Scott.  Never mind that he was a criminal who pulled a gun on a (black) cop who responded the way any cop would when someone is pointing a weapon at them, never mind that the protesters seem more intent on looting stuff from local businesses than getting a message of protest across...but I digress...  Here's some tips if you find yourself in the middle of a civil unrest situation:

  • Don't put yourself in the situation in the first place.  Sometimes scheduled protests will be noted on the news.  In other situations you can pretty much guess that if a (black) person is shot by a cop there is going to be protesting in whatever city the incident happened in (even though the person was a criminal, even though the person was armed...but I am digressing again).  Ditto the end of a big football or soccer game where the home team wins, etc.  Many of these protests you can follow on social media so you will know where NOT to be.
  • If you see a situation getting out of hand, leave.  I'm not a fan of crowds anyway because they can go from stable to unstable rather quickly, but if you happen to be in a place (generally an urban area) and the crowd starts getting agitated, that's your cue to leave.  Note that this can be because of protesting over a police shooting or because a local team won a football game.  Lots of stuff can set off large groups of people (and often the majority of people have no idea what set them off, they just want to join in on the mayhem!).
  • Leave the area in the most discreet way possible.  Yes it is your right to walk right down the middle of the street but it also a stupid thing to do if you value your hide.  Walk away from the crowd, take a side street, cut through a business, blend in if necessary (do the yelling and sign waving as you back your way out of the crowd if needed).  Get out of the middle of the crowd and edge your way down vacant side streets as much as possible.
  • Be aware of who's who in the zoo.  Where are the cops?  Note that they aren't there to see to your safety so don't expect them to help you if a riot is taking place.  Who seem to be the leaders of the protesters and what are they doing/saying ('death to all whites' and you are white? You are definitely in the wrong place.)  What direction is the crowd going?  Where is the media (the media can sometimes become a target for violence so you probably don't want to be around them if you can help it).  Are there people helping to keep others safe like business owners letting people hole up in their shops?  This may be your only option at some point.
  • Know where you are going.  If people are chasing you, you don't want to get cornered in a dead end street.  Be familiar enough with the local streets/alleys/businesses/etc so that you will have multiple options for escape.  If you can't escape, look for places to hide (dumpsters, old buildings, etc).
  • Try to look as boring and non-target-like and non-threatening as possible.  Is everyone in black--protesters and law enforcement alike?  Toss your Burberry coat and let your black button down and slacks be your camouflage while you are in the problem area.  Put your Rolex in your pocket, keep you weapon concealed, take off any jewelry.  Don't try to reason with the protesters or voice your opinion on the situation, it won't help.
  • Plan on extricating yourself from the area.  Cabs and Uber and your best friend aren't going to drive into the area to rescue you.  The cops will be busy and public transit may be bringing more trouble makers to the area.  Be ready to walk your way out of the area.
  • If you have a business in a protest area that the looters are eyeing, well I hope you have insurance.  Besides your standard security measures (metal window and door gates and the like) think twice about trying to hold off looters with just yourself and a shotgun (a bunch of material goods is not worth your life).  
  • If you are driving through an area when all hell breaks loose, keep driving.  You are usually (depending on the jurisdiction) well within your rights to drive over people if your life is in danger (obviously this would be a last resort).  On the other hand, if you are able to leave your vehicle and blend into the crowd before the crowd swells around you, consider that option as well (it may make you less of a target depending on the situation and your life is worth more than a car).
  • It's always a good idea to carry a concealed firearm.  It was useful in this situation.  But there are many drawbacks to doing this including being overpowered by the crowd and having your weapon taken away from you, having the police think you are one of the agitators, and, well actually killing someone or many someones (always a problem even if you are in the right).
  • Gather with others who are trying to leave the area if possible.  The random idiot protester won't think twice about attacking a single person on the streets; he will think twice if it is a group of random guys (who can all be watching each other's backs as you make your escape).  The ideal is to de escalate the situation and escape but you may be pushed into using a show of force for your own safety.
So basically, your best response to civil unrest is the avoid it if at all possible.  Next, get away from it as soon as possible.  Finally, be prepared to fight for your life if need be.


  1. Consider life as a vegetable or being confined to a bed for the rest of your life and ask yourself if you really want to use a weapon to prevent such a life. For me not a hard choice. That's why I have a concealed carry permit and practise often.

  2. "To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death.
    How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic."

    --Ted Nugent

  3. This is what it's come to; surviving "social justice..."