Baghdad? (Lessons from Ferguson, MO)

Baghdad? (Lessons from Ferguson, MO)

Baghdad? (Lessons from Ferguson, MO)

Last week, the Huffington Post ran an article titled Baghdad USA. It described the chaos in Ferguson, MO and how protestors were lobbing Molotov cocktails at police and looting stores any chance they could get.

This past Sunday, it was announced that the governor of Missouri was sending in the National Guard to try and get things under control.

The thing is, we still don’t know the truth of what happened in Ferguson and yet we have a city destroying itself. Obviously, if the police officer’s story is true that Michael Brown fought with him and tried to take his gun, then the shooting is justified.

On the other hand, if the friend’s story is true that Michael Brown was running away and then put his hands up and the police officer shot him anyway, then that would be murder and the police officer should go to jail.

Eventually, the truth will come out. But in the meantime, it appears the looting, riots and destruction will continue.

The events in Ferguson once again prove how fragile every city in America is. It doesn’t matter where you live… one natural disaster, one jury verdict, one police shooting… can cause a place to meltdown into a third world country.

So, even though you may not live anywhere near Ferguson, MO, have you thought about what you would do if your city turned into Ferguson? What if things got so bad that you couldn’t go to the store and you had to hunker down in your home for a week or a month? Do you have enough food and water at home to survive?

Also, are you smart enough to control your emotions to keep your family alive in the event your city became “Baghdad USA”? What I mean is, let’s say you had to leave your home during the looting and riots. If you walk out your front door and you start screaming at the looters or fighting with the protestors that’s a good way to get yourself injured or worse.

Instead, you need to blend in with them until you get the supplies you need and get back to safety. Hopefully, you agree that looters are low-lifes who are breaking the law. But, if I go to the store to buy milk and run across 50 looters, that’s not the time to give them a lesson about “thou shalt not steal.”

My point is, be prepared so you don’t need to leave your home, but if you do, it’s a good idea to blend in with the “enemy” to keep yourself alive. I realize there are some “macho” people who will say they’ll never do that, but I have a hunch their feelings will change when they’re outnumbered 1 to 100.

Finally, the Ferguson incident is another reminder of why we have the Second Amendment. I can only imagine how many residents of Ferguson used to be anti-gun, but this week had a change of heart, which is why gun stores in the area have been extremely busy.

By now, if you don’t have all of the firearms you need to protect your family, what are you waiting for? Yes, you should have handguns (I like the Glock 19 and Smith & Wesson M&P) but do you have rifles too?

Just think of all of the storeowners who’ve had to protect their shops by standing in front of them with an AR-15. The message doesn’t come across quite as well if you’re just standing there with a handgun.

You might not own a store, but if looters happened to come to your home and you had to stand out in front of it to keep them from breaking in, what kind of message will you be able to send? Hopefully, the message that you’re not an easy victim and that you’re prepared to take care of yourself and your family.

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  • kkaplan

    Even if he attacked the cop, that doesn’t mean the shoot was justified. Rules of engagement don’t permit an execution from 30+ feet after the threat is no longer present.

    Obviously, if he charged again, it could still be justified – but that isn’t a given as you state above.

    • Michael

      Have you not been following this story? Your comment as of Aug 20 is current enough that you would have had time to learn that several witnesses have come forward to back the story of the police. One witness was caught on tape by accident stating that Michael Brown ran toward the officer even though the officer had his gun drawn on him. The witness states that the shots were missing because Brown continued toward him. Actually, the shots were hitting the right side of Brown and they failed to stop until the two head shots and at that point, Brown fell dead two feet from the cop.

      • John

        If this is true, I haven’t heard any of this on the news. Maybe I have been too busy to see the right newscast. I believe the people committing the violence in the streets and looting, are just looking for some excuse to hide behind. According to the video he was captured in, he would have already been wanted for robbery and assault if
        the officer would have known anything about it.

        • tsuchino1

          John, The physical evidence that is now coming out supports, or at least doesn’t contradict, the officer’s version of what happened.

          • John

            I hope so. Having someone that big charging at you could be very frightening and the number of shots would support someone in a bit of a panic mode. The problem is, it could also come from someone in a hate mode. I’ve been to busy to catch all the news about it. I have a nephew on the force, so if the officer was anything like him, he did what was necessary.

          • tsuchino1

            John, The number of shots is largely immaterial. The rule is to shot until the threat stops then stop shooting. Ask your nephew. My kid brother is a retired LEO and that is what he tells me is policy.

            Four in the arm would not stop the threat. The two that hit the head could have come in about a second. I am sure that the officer was not seeing well since the hospital report said that he had an eye orbital bone fracture from Michael’s attack against him while he was in the police car. The sight in that eye would be little or none at that time. This would also affected the other eye if for no other reason than from the heavy tears. If you have ever hurt your eye you will remember that both eyes tear up.

          • John

            You’re right on the shots for LEOs, I guess I was thinking more on civilian terms including hate crimes where the number might come into play. Seems like the only news I hear about this is from you when I check my e-mail. I didn’t know that he attacked the officer while he was in his police car. Keep me informed if you will please. Maybe I’ll have a little time to check the news later. 🙂

          • Texsputin

            WHAT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE? I ask this some 21 days after you make this comment. Nobody knows nothing, still. So what physical evidence were you speaking of then?

          • tsuchino1

            Two items come immediately to mind. The first is the police say that there was a discharge of the officer’s gun inside the squad car. This is based on physical evidence. A gun discharge inside a car leaves a lot of physical evidence. The second is the release of an x-ray taken of the officers head that showed an orbital fracture of the left eye. A Google search should find it for you.

            Then there is the phone video where you can hear in the background two people talking. They did not know their conversation was being picked up by the phone. One said that he saw Michael Brown charge the officer and the officer started shooting. Michael keep charging and the guy thought that the officer was missing. This is hearsay not physical evidence like the x-ray and gunshot in the car.

            Even now over 21 days after the event nothing has come to light to dispute what the officer said. But much is starting to come out that Michael Brown was not the angel the press were telling us he was. In fact, it appears he was a bully and thug. He has sealed court records that are the subject of a lawsuit to get them released.

    • Vanns40

      Why are you even bringing up “30 feet”? Why even suppose? Since you speak of rules of engagement, let me enlighten you just a little and this is all conjecture since we don’t have the facts. If, as one story has it, the officer had been attacked by this 290 pound man and had a fracture of his orbital socket and the officer reached for his gun, the suspect turned and ran, then turned and from 30′ started to full on run at the officer to attack him again the officer would be absolutely justified in shooting him. And not just shooting him once but shooting him till he dropped. It takes approx. 1.5 seconds to fire 5-6 shots. The spread of the shots are consistent with a person starting low and recoil bringing the shots ever higher.

      Of course, I’m indulging you for the sake of whatever just to show that NEITHER ONE OF US knows what happened and we shouldn’t speculate. It serves no purpose.

    • Earlybird

      We were taught that a man can close 30 feet or more in less time than most can react with a firearm. Also even if he fled he was now a felon after the assault on the Peace Officer.

  • mandel7172

    It’s very simple, innocent or not, is no excuse to riot. So from now on when a white person shoots a black person justifies a riot, or some kind of pay-back, like with Zimmerman-Travon? If the cop was black it would not have made the news. Talk to the families in Chicago where there were over 60 black on black shooting, over July 4 weekend — but that’s OK….Right?

  • mike

    I have thought about this scenario which is why I won’t live in the city. For those that take their/family security seriously it’s not an option. Going to the store to face 100 to 1 odds for supplies you should already have because we take our safety and security seriously not going to happen. Blending in is good but why even expose yourself? A mob moving through my neighborhood not going to happen maybe “the hood” but again not being in one is the first and foremost rule of gun fighting. While your blending in try to avoid those pro 2A types that are newly created. You know the ones flocking to the gun stores so they can protect themselves. With no training on their part I wouldn’t want to be too well “blended”.
    This isn’t going to be a 3rd world country situation because eventually stability will return, it may be a few days or a couple weeks but it will not be forever and it will be localized. So maybe the second rule of gun fighting takes over and we escape and evade if needed. Your prepared right? That means enough fuel and supplies to move 100 miles away for a couple of days to safe area. The emergency Amex so I can get a nice hotel with a good restaurant and pool.
    As for the house it’s called full replacement value insurance. Plain and simple you break it or steal it I get a new one anything that’s truly valuable is locked up and you’d be lucky to find the safe in the first place. The AR15 sends the message that I have something to protect and most likely a limited supply of mags and ammo. My odds against a full blown riot increased 30 rnds to 100 for the first mag still not good.

    • 9mm supporter

      The cop had no orbital fracture nor any visible injury to his face. Although Officer Wilson was seen walking around the body of Michael Brown after he was dead, the cop was also reportedly taken to a hospital. No hospital report has been released.
      Also, no police incident has even been filed or released. Officer Wilson, himself, has not released any statement. Anyone who claims this or that backs up the claim of Officer Wilson does not know what he is talking about. I repeat, Officer Wilson has released no statement to date.
      There’s been way too much unverifiable innuendo thrown out as purported fact and way too little actual information.

      • Texsputin

        BRAVO!! Well stated.

  • DetroitGuard

    Jason, I have to say I believe that you are correct in much of what you said. Odds are most of those commenting on the shooting have never worked in an area where the threat level is as high as I must believe Ferguson, MO to be. There have been so many comments making it only a racial incident, but I challenge those individuals to truly look at the situation.
    First I want to say that as you said, the officer was fighting to maintain possession of his weapon then the shooting was justified, but as you stated, if the young man was fleeing then it was not. I totally agree.
    But the facts have yet to come out. I have been posted to area where the use of deadly force was a necessary option. I have worked and continue to work (as private security) in one of the most dangerous areas of Detroit where having a side arm while on duty is necessary for those who may cause harm to know you can and will use what ever force is necessary to stop the threat.
    This young man has been as an “unarmed black youth killed by a white officer”. While this is true, this “youth” had just stolen and assaulted a clerk at a nearby store. This “youth” was a rather large young man who had just used force against and unarmed store owner.
    Working in the areas I do, had a young man this large had stolen from one of the local businesses and then encountered me and tried to physically dominate me, I too would be in fear of injury and possibly death. Had someone this large gone for my gun I would too have done what was necessary to stop his aggression.
    This does not give the officer or anyone to shoot a fleeing felon, and if he did assault the officer as initially claimed, he was in fact a felon.
    There is the video on the web showing the young man grabbing the store owner and in it there is also a gentleman on the street commenting on the event. In it he says the young man should not have been “shot while on the ground like an animal”. This is the misinformation that is in the community, the this poor boy had given up, laid down and was executed.
    The truth must be found and if the officer acted in an improper way, then he must pay the price. But let the truth be hear first. I fear that regardless of what the truth is, there will be no true acceptance of it by the violent individuals of Ferguson.
    It is also obvious that you have working in theaters that required “blending in” and you are right on point with your comments regarding this. Also to the fact of what weapon will cause intimidation if needed and will in fact prevent the need for using it.

  • DetroitGuard

    One further thought, The make up of city gov and the police force in Ferguson is predominantly white in a community that is mostly African American. My question regarding elected positions. Why has not the black community elected black officials who could better represent them, if they feel the white individual are not.

    • bobfairlane

      Why don’t blacks go to black countries, where they won’t even encounter white officials?

  • Samuel Day

    The cop has a fractured eye socket. The “kid” is something like 6-4, 280 pounds. A number of witnesses have confirmed the “kid” was charging to cop. If someone that much stronger than me was coming at me I would put him down, too.,

    • Nobody

      Not to mention the already two coroner reports, both proving he was shot from the front. So now there’s a third because apparently people just can’t accept provable fact.

    • Texsputin

      Again, I ask “WHAT witnesses?” I am asking you this 21 days after you posted your comment and, although I am following the case closely, I am not aware of even one single witness stating they saw the deceased ‘charging’ the cop – reference? Also no reports(that are supported with medical reports) of a fractured eye socket’, either – where do you get your mis-information?

  • marty

    Forget what caused this. Everything about Furguson is being spun. 99% of the protesters are peaceful. I have been watching the live video feed for days. The people doing almost all of the looting and damage are coming in from other cities to stir up trouble. When someone gets out of line, the protesters themselves are taking care of the problem. One provacateur threw a brick at the police and the protesters ran him out of town.

    Most of the provacative moves are coming from the police. Though most of them are behaving rationally, some are pointing guns at unarmed protesters and threatening to kill them! This is hardly any way to cool down a crowd. Furguson is shut down at night with police roadblocks and checkpoints everywhere. People can’t go to work. They can’t go out. It’s martial law without being declared as martial law. It’s not the looters and protesters who you have to worry about in this type if situation. It’s the ramped up police who act like they are fighting insurgents in Iraq.

    • Earlybird

      Maybe you aught to sign up to be on the front line. It may work since you seem to have a good handle on the situation.

  • polarisgold

    Nothing to worry about here where I live…..in my city of approximately 35,000 people there may be 6 blacks and 10 Latinos. I had a case of culture shock when I moved here from Atlanta, Ga! Kinda nice not having to worry about the different race problems……

  • DC

    Please, this is not “everytown USA. This is a racially coddled town that is now paying the price. When a local/state government bends over backward to avoid being percievied as other than pro-minority, the minority comes to believe they can have anything they want and will exploit any and every opportunity to take it.

    • Texsputin

      A ‘racially coddled town’? What does that even mean? And do you really think that having 3 non-white officers out of a force of over 50 REALLY reflects a community that “bends over backwards to avoid being perceived as other than pro-minority”? Do you feel the calling out of the National Guard is the action of a state which is “bending over backwards” to achieve the same objective?

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