I haven’t written about this subject in a while. I’m sure I’ll get some unsubscribe notifications. I don’t care. This is important shit.
There was a murder-suicide only a few miles from my home at a grocery store two days ago. I was in that grocery store just a few days before. This “hits close to home,” literally.
A grandmother and her 2 year old grandchild were murdered. Then the perp killed himself. At first glance, it would seem like a “domestic” incident. As disturbing as domestic violence is, it wasn’t the case here. More disturbingly, the perp had no connection to the victims. It was random.
It’s one thing (in our own minds) when it’s a “domestic” act. “That’s not me. Not my family. We don’t have that problem.” But, this deranged animal intentionally murdered strangers before taking himself out. That means, “It could happen to me.” I was just there, in that store.
Violence is predictable.
It turns out, this suicidal sociopath posted on Facebook that he wanted to “kill people and children.” It turns out, people that knew him, knew “something was wrong.” His ex-wife said he had been “acting strangely.” Nothing was said or done. Again.
(Update: The perp’s ex-sister-in-law claims his ex-wife went to police previously with concerns about him, and nothing came of it. The police have not responded to media questions about that.)
In 100% of these public murders, someone knew the fucker who did it. And, they knew something wasn’t right with him. They saw it coming but said nothing until after the fact. There are “tells” every goddamned time.
Something ain’t right here.
One of the things that was reported by the news was that he entered the grocery store using a golf putter as a cane. It seems a bit odd, but on the surface would be considered harmless and non-suspicious to the average observer. Most wouldn’t give it a second glance. Right?
Here’s the thing. I’ve studied violent crime (and armed self-defense) extensively. (I’ll post my reading list below.) That may seem weird, but I take my personal safety and that of my family very seriously. The best way to avoid violence is to see it coming and not be there when it happens.
In Gavin DeBecker’s book, “The Gift of Fear” (link in reading list below), he talks about “PINs” or “pre-incident indicators.” The signs are ALWAYS there. Always.
Something that ALL the experts advise is to TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If something seems even a “bit off,” PAY ATTENTION. How many other NORMAL people have you seen using a golf putter as a cane, NOT on a GOLF COURSE?? Sure, it might be a harmless affectation. Hopefully, that’s the case. Pay attention anyway.
The grocery store video surveillance also revealed the sociopath watching his victims before he attacked. It takes a special kind of EVIL to murder a child.
If you see someone acting strangely, or something is out of place… PAY ATTENTION.
If you notice you’re “running into” the same stranger (or maybe not a stranger!) over and over in the grocery store… pay attention.
Is someone eyeballing you more than would seem normal? Pay attention.
Are someone’s movements paralleling yours? In the mall? In the store? In the parking lot? PAY ATTENTION. Is a dude (or dudes) just standing outside next to a car near your car? Why would anyone just stand around in a parking lot? Pay attention. Is someone walking purposefully towards you? Don’t bury your head in the back of the minivan as you load your groceries. Don’t stare at the gas pump. Don’t look at your phone. Pay attention!
Fuck political correctness. Fuck being “woke” and “tolerant.”
Profile the shit out of anyone acting strangely. Even just a little bit strangely. It may save your life.
Trust your inner caveman. If something is off, watch it! There’s no harm in changing directions and walking back to the store from the parking lot. Feel like you’re being followed down a sidewalk? MOVE! Speed is life! Cross the street. Duck into a store.
If you’re in a grocery store or other retail establishment and hear shots (like this situation), consider an alternative exit for your “GTFO.” In a grocery store, there will likely be a log-jam at the front exit, and you may be more likely to encounter the perp (and possibly accomplices). There is always a back exit (through the warehouse or delivery area). That would be my first choice. Same goes for a restaurant. Head for the kitchen and go out the back door.
There’s nothing wrong with heading up to the customer service desk if you think you’re being tailed inside a store. There’s nothing wrong with turning around and waiting it out. When in doubt, GTFO (get the fuck out)! Drop your shit and MOVE. If it turns out it was “nothing,” ignore your embarrassment. And tell anyone who ridicules you to fuck off.
Pay attention to the little things that “don’t seem right.” Like a golf putter being used as a cane. Like someone dressed in a trench coat in or wearing a hoodie over the head in the middle of summer. Maybe it’s harmless. Pay attention anyway.
The chances of a head-on collision in my car are statistically miniscule. But, I wear a seat belt 100% of the time. The chances of a fire in my home or office are tiny. But, I have fire extinguishers at the ready.
In my entire 40 years of firearms ownership and 27 years of license to carry concealed, I’ve never “needed a gun.” But, it has been said, “A gentleman rarely ever needs a gun. But, when he does, he usually needs it very badly.”
Arming yourself is a very personal decision. Your mileage may vary. If you do, get some training.
Here’s my reading list (with links)
Yes, I’ve actually read all of them.
- The Gift of Fear – Gavin DeBecker
(If you get only ONE book, get The Gift of Fear!)
- The Little Black Book of Violence – Kris Wilder
- Meditations on Violence – Rory Miller
- To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth – Jeff Cooper
- Principles of Personal Defense – Jeff Cooper
- The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why – Amanda Ripley
- In the Gravest Extreme – Massad Ayoob
- The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life – Ben Sherwood
- Tactical Pistol: Advanced Gunfighting Concepts – Gabriel Suarez
Oh! One more book! If you are already armed for self-defense or are considering it (at home or outside the home), you MUST get this book and read it. Then read it again. Know it COLD.
Stay safe, my friends!
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Fantastic article. Everyone needs to read this. And yes, fuck political correctness!!
Thanks, David! Nice to see you ’round these parts!
Hi Mike. What you lay out is great basic advice. I try to teach my 18 year old daughter much of the same, especially the being OBSERVANT part. So many people today are walking around distracted by their phones and in a world of their own. That makes them easy pickings for the perps. I like to use your phrase “check your six”.
Today with the crappy socio-economic conditions created by the past year, routine petty theft is up. But most importantly, the undercurrent of mental illness ticking along just below the surface, and usually unnoticed, has bubbled up, leading to these horrific crimes as noted in your account. Keeping your wits about you and self-protection are paramount. It never turns out well if we let the inmates run the asylum.
Thanks for your comments, Brian. Spot on, of course. Something I’ve been repeating over and over the past year is, “What did you THINK was going to happen??? (you stupid, STUPID fucks!)”
What did you think was going to happen when you shut everything down? What did you think was going to happen when businesses were closed and people lost their jobs? When they lost their homes? When they lost their relationships?
And, by “you,” I don’t mean the government / politicians or the media. I mean YOU (us), THE FUCKING PEOPLE. Because NONE of this could have happened without the CONSENT of the PEOPLE. The government does NOT have the power to shut us down. They only have that “power” with OUR CONSENT. If we, the People, said, “Fuck no. We’re not doing that,” there’s literally NOTHING the gov’t could have done about it. The people folded like cheap tents.
So true, Mike. It will take a bit to recover from this mess, but it truly was a good lesson on what government/media/politicians are capable of and what the real agendas may be. The radical left has over-played their hand, much like impulsive betting of a novice poker player. They immediately exclaim “all in!” as soon as they see two aces in the hole, then are perplexed when everyone folds, giving them the meager pot. Things are already starting to snap back the other way. We just have to be careful to stay vigilant going forward, and call out the bullshit as soon as it happens.
Sadly, I do not thing the general population has learned its lesson (allowing the tyrants in gov’t to run them over).
I DID call out the bullshit, as soon as it happened. I wasn’t the only one, but one of the few. And, we were ostracized as heretics by the larger population. I lost friends and family relationships over it.
Good stuff Mike, as always.
Your best advice of the article. GET TRAINING!! The really easy part (even now) is buying the weapon. If the price of the weapon is 500, budget double or more for ammunition and training. Know and abide by the law. Choosing to carry a firearm is not to be taken lightly. Skills and knowledge are a 100% requirement.
So long as we’re not actually REQUIRING training by law. To that, I am opposed, as it would be unconstitutional.
But, yes… it is the prudent thing to do for a number of good reasons.
Unfortunately, the current ammo situation makes training and practice nearly prohibitive.
Agree with that. Constitutional carry! Requirements are part of the gun grabbers tool box.
My job is to protect and provide for my loved ones. Physically protect of course. We must know when we can employ deadly force. We must be both capable and accurate with the weapon. It’s critical to know the law, that law varies by state and locale. If the worst ever happens, we must survive financially too, it’s part of the job. You are ahead of me with the excellent reading list, carry on skipper!
I think we’re up to 20 states with Constitutional Carry as of this month.
Yes… If you’re going to be completely accountable for the safety of yourself and family, you better know the laws COLD. There are plenty of resources for that. And, it ain’t rocket science. But, ya gotta know it!
And, that does NOT mean asking your friend, the cop, for legal advice as it pertains to concealed carry and the use of lethal force. I’ll say it again… do NOT ask a cop. With no disrespect intended (and I have a LOT of respect for LEOs)… but, they simply are NOT the resource for legal advice. Ever. Period.
In my many interactions with LEOs (I used to shoot at their range for years), they are NOT well-versed on the laws pertaining to concealed carry or the use of lethal force by citizens (ironically). Some are. Many are not.
And, countless times I’ve heard someone say, “My friend / relative / neighbor, the cop, said ___________.” And, it’s cringe-worthy wrong. The craziest / worst bit of “conventional wisdom” is, “If you shoot someone outside your house, drag the body inside.” Another is “shoot to kill.” People actually say and believe this shit. It’s a SURE way to go to jail for the rest of your life.
Your best resource is something like attorney Andrew Branca’s book (at the end of the article). You can also visit his website for more info: https://lawofselfdefense.com/
I agree with you 100 percent. I have been CC’ing for 30 years and have had lots of training as well. As early as college and later as a ARMY officer and beyond, numerous NRA training and even competition with three gun. My son started carrying when they turned 21. My daughter is married to a cop. Very early in their life one of the things I tried to inculcate as a father was Situational Awareness. It is in my opinion one of the most important things you can teach your kids. “ Know when to bug out”.
Another good book is Sheep No More by Jonathan T Gilliam.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks! I’ll look up that book.
Edit: Done! Bought the book for my kindle reader!
Fantastic article, Mike. Its very sobering to realize that these horrid things could be happening to us, or near us, at any time. I believe most of us need a LOT more situational awareness. Its also sad that wherever you go somewhere, seems like 95% of those walking about are totally immersed in their cell phone, oblivious to whatever is happening within meters of them.
As suggested, I’ll get that first book entitled The Gift of Fear. Keep those wonderful articles coming, Mike!
As a scientist, I think you’ll really appreciate “The Gift of Fear.” The author studied thousands of violent crime encounters and compiled the results and conclusions in an objective and very informative way.
An important suggestion…
Have a “leave” word for you and your loved ones. A word anyone in your pack can use that says “We’re leaving NOW.” No discussion. No questions. No hesitation.
A word you’re not like to use in normal conversation, obviously.
One more thing: attach a house key to a light stick and keep it near a window. You don’t want the cops breaking in and you don’t want to clear your own house.
I like the “leave word” idea.
I’m not sure I understand the last suggestion, though. When or why would you leave a house key in plain sight with a light stick attached? Near a window, meaning what? I’m not following this one. In which circumstances?
Great article with simple and straightforward advice.
Thanks, Adrian. I tried to cover what I think is important and easy-to-follow advice without making it too long.
More than a decade ago, a teacher was sitting on a bench outside a noodle shop at a mall, enjoying her lunch. A psycho walked into the drugstore next to the eatery and bought an ordinary kitchen knife. He exited and stabbed the teacher as she was eating. He didn’t know here. He just wanted to kill someone. It was a random murder. She had two little girls and her husband was in shock and heartbroken that his wife died just because some lunatic had the uncontrollable urge to stab someone, anyone to death. Her husband asked me to write the speech for her funeral services. You’re so right, Mike — there is evil in this world.
Horrible. But, yes… There exists TRUE EVIL in some people. There’s no cure. There’s no preventing it. They are wired that way.
Sadly, you have to keep your head on a swivel and trust NOBODY. And be prepared to defend yourself. Nobody else will do it for you.