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Whenever an incident like the entirely justified shooting of Michael Brown by former Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson is forced into the public consciousness, predictable–and dangerous—assertions spring up. Such assertions are fueled and informed by ignorance, righteous imaginings of how things ought to be, novels, TV and movies. While they’re entertaining and dramatic, the actions suggested are virtually always practical, tactical disasters . . .

I speak of the dynamics of fights, assaults and deadly force encounters. Fictional depictions of these deadly serious interpersonal conflicts have, in a sense, poisoned public discourse. I say “in a sense,” because for the advocates of “social justice,” fact and logic have little or no meaning. For them, a proper, politically correct narrative, regardless of fact, is all that matters. The ability to agitate and avoid consequences, even more than many ends, justifies the means. But for those that live in a world where fact, logic and the laws of physics matter, a rational understanding of these dynamics is a matter of life and death.

The Invincible Hero: A staple of fiction, these are heroes so strong, skilled or otherwise capable they are able to overcome multiple attackers in mere seconds, dispatching them with single blows. Attacked by many villains, the hero is able, empty handed, to finish them all and emerge absolutely unscathed; the bad guys never lay a hand on him.

These heroes range from James Bond, who might overcome 2-3 bad guys, to Bruce Lee, who would routinely flatten many times that number. In many of Lee’s movies, a bit more realism was introduced in that he usually used weapons when fighting large numbers, and without question, he was unusually skilled in hand to hand combat. When he starred in The Green Hornet, he was so fast in fight scenes, he had to significantly slow down or viewers would see only a blur.

These superhuman abilities are also transferred to armed heroes. In Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano overcomes more than 10 attackers, all armed with swords and daggers. He manages to stay ahead of them by clever use of convenient urban terrain, and at one point, manages to disarm three at the same time.

Contrast this with my experience in teaching modern sport fencing. The basic weapon every fencer learns is the foil, a very lightweight version of the rapier, the kind of sword wielded by Cyrano, the Three Musketeers, and most other post-Medieval European or British heroes. Inevitably, students begin to imagine themselves capable of fending off and even defeating multiple attackers, until, that is, I arrange for them to take on a mere two. It takes only seconds for them to be “killed.”

This is so because while one attacks, the other is able to slip their blade past the guard of the defender, producing a deadly thrust. One might think that with real swords, a defender might triumph. After all, sport fencing has rules that prevent the use of hands, feet, or anything else at hand. In reality, the lack of rules in actual combat makes a quick death for anyone attacked by multiple assailants even more likely.

Distance and Timing Matter: In hand-to-hand fighting, a single defender attacked by several can survive only so long as he can keep all of his attackers at arm’s length–or greater distance–while still being able to leap in to deliver punishing, unreturned blows when desired. Such contests almost immediately degenerate not into a choreographed movie fight ballet, but into a very one-sided wrestling match on the ground where the defender is quickly overcome and killed.

It is indeed true that an extraordinarily skilled and experienced fighter or fencer might be able to overcome two or three opponents, particularly if they are less skilled and not absolutely dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to kill them, but such people are rare indeed, and few outside those exalted ranks practice empty-handed combat against multiple opponents.

For almost anyone not armed with an effective firearm and the knowledge and will to use it, being attacked by more than one assailant inevitably leads to very rapid injury or death.

One On One Combat Is Predictable: Why didn’t Darren Wilson simply take Michael Brown down hand-to-hand? Shouldn’t any police officer be able to do that? After all, Wilson and Brown were both the same height—6’4”—and Wilson was a trained police officer.

The truth most police officers don’t want the public to know is that very few of them are trained and experienced martial artists. They are taught a small number of striking and restraining techniques in their early days as officers, and if fortunate, they get a yearly refresher. Most do not get even that much training. Most police officers have never been in a desperate, no-holds-barred fight. They rely on situational awareness, smart tactics, the authority of their office, their persuasive abilities, and greater force of numbers to avoid fights, and when they can’t, to end fights quickly without serious injury to themselves or those they must arrest.  In truth, a single blow to the head can all but incapacitate, and Wilson took several.

People often see multiple police officers wrestling with suspects and become angry, thinking they’re picking on the poor bad guy or using excessive force. While such is possible, normally, officers absolutely avoid single combat. They’re required to use the minimum force necessary to make arrests. Using multiple officers tends to prevent having to fight, and when it does not, allows competent officers to avoid using excessive force.

When forced to engage people one-on-one, police officers are often at a serious disadvantage, as Darren Wilson was. This is so because people willing to attack police officers tend to be violence prone and experienced. Many of them have experience in street brawling, or are so generally violent and uncivilized, they’re willing to get hurt, perhaps even killed, in order to harm or kill others. Anyone attacking a police officer must understand that they are potentially provoking a deadly force encounter. No police officer can allow them self to be overcome or rendered unconscious. They understand that if they are, they’re going to be killed.

In the real world, size, strength, aggression, experience, skill, good fortune, terrain and good tactics matter a very great deal. This is why not only carrying a handgun is important and potentially life-saving, but it is only one of several steps necessary to survival.

Situational Awareness: Anyone carrying a handgun must develop this skill. Think of it as a sort of sixth sense, an ability to “read” one’s surroundings and predict danger. In a way, it’s the ability to move outside oneself, watching, as though seeing an interactive movie. Another way to think of the concept is to continually ask oneself “what if?” What if that guy approaching and reaching into his coat comes out with a handgun? What if those two guys lounging on that bench suddenly decide to attack? Where do I go? How do I create distance? Is there any available cover? Which of the two is the most dangerous? What if I’m attacked when I’m pulling into my driveway?

Virtually anyone can develop some degree of situational awareness, but not everyone can excel. The greatest benefit of solid situational awareness is the ability to detect danger far enough in advance to avoid it. If it’s not possible to avoid it, situational awareness can often provide the time and distance necessary to enjoy a tactical advantage over an attacker or attackers.

Time and Distance: There is no question that a concealed handgun can allow even a slight woman to survive an attack by multiple criminals. However, handguns aren’t Star Trek phasers. They have no “stun” setting that works every time. There are more than a few cases on record of police officers shooting attackers multiple times–enormous numbers of hits–even inflicting mortal wounds, only to have those attackers seriously injure or kill police officers. The human body is at once amazingly fragile and incredibly resilient. Even someone shot in the heart, if close enough, may still kill the armed innocent they attacked.  Distance is always supremely important.

Ideally, keeping cover and difficult-to-bypass obstacles between oneself and attackers is desirable. Displaying a handgun and the obvious skill and determination to use it can often end a confrontation immediately. If not, being able to maneuver to keep a safe distance between oneself and attackers is essential. If those attackers are armed with less than firearms, or are unarmed, they must be kept as far away as reasonably possible. If they can close to grappling distance, the advantage of a handgun may be quickly negated. If they’re demonstrating the willingness to take bullets to close that distance, the ability to maneuver and stay away from them is critical.

Even in my youth, at my physical peak, I wasn’t foolish enough to imagine I could take on multiple attackers hand to hand. In fact, I wasn’t anxious to take on single attackers, figuring that anyone willing to do that with a stranger was either an experienced brawler, incredibly stupid, and dangerous either way. Now, past middle age, I go nowhere unarmed, and I work very hard to ensure I meet with no surprises.

I also have no delusions that I am an action hero or starring in a movie. Let social justice hustlers disparage people that accept the responsibility for the protection of themselves and those they love. They live in a world they’re always trying to create, a world eternally under construction, that never quite exists. I live in reality.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.

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  1. Understanding your limitations and taking steps to mitigate them, is a building block of self defense.

    Good article.

  2. Mike leaves out one other trait that the public has been conditioned to believe from watching TV and the movies. They think LEOs all have the skills of the fictional Leroy Jethro Gibbs. They can take out the moving bad guy at 50 yards with a snubbie. This legendary accuracy can even be used to shoot the gun out of their hands at extreme ranges. While some people may have the skill set to consitantly hit a fixed target with a snubbie at 50 yards or more this doesn’t translate into a real world situation where everybody is moving and there are innocents near the bad guy. I don’t think even Jerry Miculek would take that kind of shot. I can’t count the conversations I have had in person or online where someone says “why couldn’t Darren Wilson shoot Brown in knee to stop him.” For the most part, you cannot convince them that in the real world it doesn’t work that way.

    • “I have had in person or online where someone says “why couldn’t Darren Wilson shoot Brown in knee to stop him.” For the most part, you cannot convince them that in the real world it doesn’t work that way.”

      There is a LOT wrong with the ‘shoot in the leg’ or whatever similar bs they try to suggest. Here are a few thoughts:

      (1) Just about any gunshot can result in serious injury or death. Shooting someone in the knee is no guarantee of a ‘happy ending’ however they define that.

      (2) Suggesting shooting someone in the leg with intent to wound (vice kill) is suggesting someone break some very fundamental philosophies/rules about gun handling. “Don’t point it at anything you don’t intend to destroy” comes to mind.

      They are in essence asking someone to go back on what could be YEARS of training and ingrained habit.

      (3) Shooting someone with a mortal shot does not guarantee incapacitation or ending a threat. See ’86 Miami Shootout, where several FBI agents were killed even though one of the first shots delivered to a bad guy was actually the one that killed him.

      Shooting wound (intentionally) could well defeat the purpose of shooting at all.

      If it’s worth pulling the trigger on at all, it’s worth taking the shot(s) that will end the threat as quickly as possible. That’s the whole point of shooting. Even a mortal shot can fail to do that, and a wounding shot can as well.

      But yeah, I agree. A person that makes that statement would never even listen to these or other points on the topic. Suffice it to say that shooting someone in the knee on purpose in a life-and-death struggle is stupid in by far the majority of cases (I’m leaving some wiggle room so as to not say “always”).

      How many years of martial history do we have to back that up? How much actual data does one have to ignore to come to the conclusion that that is a sound approach?

      • Never mind that there’s serious civil liability in ‘shooting to cripple/maim’ as if you’re choosing to deliberately act to disable (possibly permanently) someone with a shot like that, then clearly you didn’t feel you were in mortal danger.

        • Nonsense. The purpose in a police shooting or a self defense shooting is not to kill the attacker, but to stop the attack. It really doesn’t matter at all where you hit the target from a liability perspective. If putting a round in the BGT’s leg puts him on the ground, great, but the fact of the matter is that unless you hit bone it probably won’t. The primary reason for not shooting at legs or arms or hands is the near impossibility for the average shooter of landing a hit on a moving target. The torso is the biggest and moves the least, and is therefore the easiest to hit. Shooting for appendages increases the probability of a miss, and therefore the risk to bystanders. When added to the fact that even with training for CM, the average police officer lands rounds only one in five shots, those who practice, about five in ten. Statistics indicate that it takes on average for all handguns, two to three shots to stop an attack. In conclusion, one does not shoot for knee caps because of some ethereal risk of liability, but because the probability that one will successfully stop an attack is no better than dumb luck.

  3. I take objection to your term justified: there was enough hokey about this case to distrust the testimony of the officer in question, and the shenanigans around the (lack of) indictment are enough to give me pause.

    Your source’s statement: “Their duty requires they stay and overcome any attacker”

    Case after case has proven time and again that the police are under no requirement to do anything that might bring them harm. You basically give the cops a pass to kill any attacker they come across.

    Would Brown be dead today if Wilson had stayed in his car and waited for backup. Maybe. His decision to case ESCALATED the violence.

    • “His decision to chase ESCALATED the violence.”

      totally agree, but..
      As a cop, it was actually Wilson’s job to chase criminals. It would not have been a good move if he had been a civilian exercising self-defense,but his civilly-granted powers of law enforcement compelled and authorized him to pursue. Brown’s decision to turn and confront him at that point (as confirmed by 7 other witnesses) was Brown’s choice alone.

    • I am tired of this propagation of the Big Lie. There were sufficient witnesses who were not part the story, including an African-American who saw the entire incident from beginning to end. His testimony was entirely consistent with Darren Wilson’s story. He gave his statement very shortly after the incident and noted that pressure on him from the community, i.,e., the gangs, to lie and later change his story began immediately. His testimony is backed up by the forensic evidence which he did not have access to. The hands up meme was started by Darian Johnson, Brown’s accomplice in the strong-armed robbery that precipitated Brown’s own death. Johnson, who had given false testimony to the police before, was forced to retract his story under the threat of a perjury charge.

      The entire incident has been used by the gangs to successfully take over the streets in and around Ferguson. Just ask the community of Bosnian Muslims who have settled near there and are now targeted by gangbangers. Why is it that press minimizes the targeting of people who fled from Serb and Croat gangs now only to come under ethnic attack in the US. It is understandable why Obama, Holder and Sharpton want to put the gangs in charge but I do not understand why people like you and Rand Paul want to do it too.

    • “Case after case has proven time and again that the police are under no requirement to do anything that might bring them harm.”

      Cite those cases, please.

      I think you are conflating the “no duty to protect individuals” with some larger philosophical point you are reaching to make.

      The police absolutely DO have a duty to protect “the public at large” in the sense that it is their job to seek out and apprehend violent offenders.

      Once Brown attacked the cop in the car, Brown had a duty to catch and apprehend him. Could there have been better ways to do that? Maybe. Fantasize about that all you want. Speculation about what “could have been” does not interest me.

      But, the bottom line is your assertion that cops don’t have a “requirement” to ever put themselves in danger is deeply, deeply flawed. Shoot, just showing up for work is an action that might bring them harm.

      • What duty to the public at large? Hiding behind cars in active shooter situations and waiting for back up before engaging in crimes in progress isn’t much of a public service. Cops are only concerned with making sure they go home at night and they have to pretend pretty hard that they are still good guys with guns. Cops only put themselves in danger over flaws in situational awareness or for other cops not us regular citizens.

        • “What duty to the public at large?”

          Don’t be thick. You know good and well that the police have a duty catch felons and that that is service to the greater public / society.

          Responding to any crime in progress call, insinuating themselves between combatants in a fight, and a long list of other examples.

          Waiting for back-up in spree shooting calls was, for a period of time, considered best practice, but it has since been ‘corrected.’ That’s not to say that it’s not still policy at some departments, but ‘going after him,’ even alone, is now deemed the best approach.

          Further, don’t mistake “tactics” (good or bad) with not having a duty to chase the bad buy. It’s not like they DID NOT RESPOND to such calls, which your comment seems to suggest is what they really do.

          It’s true that they may adopt tactical approaches to minimize the risk, and it’s further true that we may criticize certain examples of those tactical approaches, but that’s a far, far cry from saying they do not exercise duty to go after dangerous people in oft-times dangerous circumstances or that they have no duty to do.

          Cops all over the country on a daily basis put themselves in harm’s way in a variety of ways. If you doubt that, you are not being honest about what you can see in the world around you.

    • I’m a pretty well known “cop hater” around these parts, so please consider the source when you read the following.

      Based on all released evidence and testimony, this was as solid a shoot as anybody could ask for. Wilson was assaulted after making contact with Brown, a quasi “grappling match” ensued during which possession of Officer Wilson’s sidearm was under contention. Brown broke contact shortly thereafter and Wilson pursued him. Around this time period Brown again advanced upon Wilson who responded by aerating him.

      Had Wilson NOT pursued Brown, the latter would likely still be breathing today. However, Wilson had a duty at that point to apprehend an individual who had just assaulted a police officer. Brown had committed a violent crime that Wilson was party to and as an agent of the state, Wilson had an obligation to apprehend Brown.

      Yes, the details about the split-seconds immediately leading up to the shooting get a little muddy. The shock to all parties involved and witnesses to the event will always make details confusing. Traumatic shock does wildly different and strange things to everybody. The fact is, however, that Wilson fired on an advancing individual who had moments before attacked him and attempting to take control of his firearm. If you or I, not as police officers, were in a position in which we had to grapple and fight for our sidearm we would have EVERY justification to use lethal force to retain said weapon. Somebody physically removing my weapon from my holster would present an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm to myself and everyone within the area.

      Long story short, Brown was out to hurt him. He clearly wasn’t there for cuddles. We could talk about dozens and hundreds of other cases in which I’d agree excessive force was used and a murder charge was justified. But this one is a clear loser on that front. All evidence (including the coroner’s report) points to a textbook “good shoot.”

    • Sorry Chris. Your perspective is not backed by fact, history or the testimony of those that actually saw the event and forensic evidence.

      But you are free to believe what you want.

      But I am glad that I don’t live in the universe you seem to exist in.

    • The police do not have a legal duty to protect an individual; the police cannot be sued for failing to do so.

      Don’t conflate this civil liability issue with that of general duty. Any police officer who doesn’t try to apprehend a robber who has committed a felony assault on a police officer has surely failed in his duty.

    • Sorry, but I don’t want to live in a country where we say, “Just let the violent felon go. It’s better he’s alive than dead in some sort of police confrontation.” Brown was a suspect in a violent felony- strongarm robbery. He then assaulted a police officer. And your plan is… let him go?

      It’s true that the police don’t have a duty to protect you, the individual, if it’s dangerous to do so. This is a civil liability issue- you can’t sue a police officer for waiting on backup to take on a criminal that’s currently assaulting or killing someone. That said, if Officer Wilson had failed to pursue Brown, I’d hope that his department would have fired him.

  4. “The basic weapon every fencer learns is the foil, a very lightweight version of the rapier, the kind of sword wielded by Cyrano, the Three Musketeers, and most other post-Medieval European or British heroes. ”

    As a clarification, sport fencing with the foil is based on a training weapon for the smallsword (which itself is represented in sport fencing by the Epee), which was a lightweight civilian weapon and as much a fashion statement as a tool for self defense. The rapier in contrast is much longer, heavier, and often has a very complex and protective guard, vs the smallsword which nearly always had a very minimal clamshell guard and a thin knucklebow. A rapier (as a military cut and thrust sword) is as different from the smallsword as a 1911 is from an LCR.

    I’m sure you know this as a fencing instructor, but we’re so careful about avoiding misinformation when talking about guns, we should be as mindful with everything else.

    • It is great to hear people talk about this subject. In my youth, I had the opportunity to fence with a sword designed to emulate rapiers from the renaissance. Movies portray these fights as being fast and close, but in reality, swordsmen kept their distance as much as possible. The weight of the sword being much heavier than an Olympic legal foil meant a much slower, exhausting fight as well. Add daggers, pistols, other gadgets, and dirty tricks, it is obvious these fights were never civil or based on some code of conduct.

      • I should add that a trained swordsman could lunge forward an incredible distance at an amazing speed. So, if you ever come across a trained swordsman, which would be extremely rare unless you are in the SCA or a fencing studio, you have been warned. 🙂

        • Ah…but some of us are in the SCA aren’t we? 🙂

          A foil to a real sword is like the difference between an airsoft gun and a Beretta 92.

          Its a good article but lessons learned from a pure sport like fencing only have limited application to combat.

          Now, if he was coming from an SCA background, that would be a little different.

        • Not only that, but they changed the sporting rules after I stopped fencing so that now it is illegal to fleche or use any move where the fencer’s feet cross, including all running attacks, taking the sport even further from its roots of teaching swordsmanship. I have no idea why this was done. The last time I watched Olympic fencing (women), it was distressingly sloppy. I understand that this “style” is now the norm. I hope I am wrong.

    • I would just add that although the Smallsword was a typical fashion accoutrement, it was also the apex development of the European fighting sword – light, fast and maneuverable. The Epee is often conflated with the rapier, but as was pointed out above, the rapier was an ungainly and heavy device, some examples of which were over five feet long. The origin of the rapier, and subsequent smallsword, is murky with some attribution to Spain, some to Italy.

      As an aside, the advent of the rapier spelled the end of dueling. There had always been prohibitions on the books but the various authorities turned a blind eye because the typical altercation involved chopping away with an edged weapon, a few to a lot of stitches, and the participants back to normal. When the rapier hit the scene, suddenly the medics were faced with deep puncture wounds, which most often resulted in death by bleeding out or organ damage, which can still be the case today. The King of France looked around the Court and noticed a lot of missing faces, and decided to enforce the law against dueling with a heavy hand; any surviving antagonist was promptly executed, before he completely ran out of noblemen.

      • “I would just add that although the Smallsword was a typical fashion accoutrement, it was also the apex development of the European fighting sword – light, fast and maneuverable. ”

        Perhaps, but if I was dueling a smallsword user, I’d maybe prefer to have a rapier in my hand. Reach is king.

      • The rapier hardly ended dueling. The small sword took on that role when it was popularized in the 17th century, and continued in use as such (it had no real military value) or in the form of the epee (which varied only in the heavier weight of the blade and the size of the hilt) until the end of the 18th century. The modern foil is also an offshoot of the small sword. Blades varied widely; although usually triangular, they are also found with diamond cross sections as well as flat, narrow blades with full length fullers (that are almost always decorated).

  5. “I say “in a sense,” because for the advocates of “social justice,” fact and logic have little or no meaning. For them, a proper, politically correct narrative, regardless of fact, is all that matters.”

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    • “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

      It can, of course, be both.

  6. Of course; there are exceptions to every rule when it comes to human endeavors. Which is how legends are born.

    Musashi is one. 16th century Japanese swords man known to have fought up to fifty even a hundred men at once and won.

    By himself.

    In personal combat.

    But for most of us. Reality is a you know what.

    • And, of course, stories passed down from four centuries ago are never embellished or mythologized.

      • Aw, settle down, it ain’t that tough if you’re actually that good. Despite the previous scenario, try placing yourself where your attackers have to come at you through a doorway, where you simply kill all 50 one at a time. Would work with a gunfight, as well. A 400 year wait for explanation may just say “defeated 50 attackers by himself”, which would be true. And, of course, we must note that the story above describes our hero as a swordsman, does not mention whether the attacking hordes were armed at all. A Japanese swordsman with a Katana vs 50 eurotrash attackers who were unarmed?

      • Now Stinkeye. Don’t lose sight of the point. That like all generalities about the human condition; there are always exceptions. The idea of that there are times for caution and staying with in excepted limitations, but then there are the times when all caution needs to be thrown to the winds and to take action without thought of the consequences.

        Alvin York during WW I, Our own Revolution against Britain, The 300 Spartans, The Alamo. Etc. ,

        Some times a person or group can win against incredible odds and survive to tell the tale; other times not. But either way, in the attempt of these incredible feats, legends are born that are the fuel for every day people in the creation of a world view that guides us in our journey in life.

        It is called the Hero’s Journey. Each culture has it’s version of the Hero’s Journey. It helps to define that culture and to help guide the individuals with in that culture in their own particular paths.

        Why do you think the Marines have such a reputation, (rightly so)for being one of the best battle forces in existence today?

        Because as part of their training, they are inculcated with the real Marine legends of past deeds that are legendary. So with the excellent training, they also want to live up to their very real “legends”.

        In the same way, our American legends, though many times, just all all legends can be “pumped up”, are still based in reality that helps to guide us as to what it is to be an American.

        Which is also why Liberal/progressives are so intent in deconstructing our American legends. If a people don;t believe in anything, they will believe anything, no matter how delusional or destructive.

        Liberal/progressives are a perfect example of this process.

  7. The woman in the picture is being taught the “Pepper” Police Woman grip. You would think a lesson would first start with a proper grip, especially if the photo is going to be used to attract clients.
    Her support hand needs to wrap around the front more and provide lateral pressure. Her left thumb should be forward of the right one and above the trigger just under the slide. Her left grip is weak and of no use to accurate shooting or recoil management.
    Her finger is on the trigger so one can assume this is her grip technique.

  8. While I think the shooting was justified I can’t say for certain. None of us was there.
    I accept that your opinion is that it was justified.
    This case was exactly the wrong case for those seeking social justice to hang their outrage on.

    Like the UVA frat rape case these inconsistencies make it hard for the public to form an opinion. But do they? The issue is clear. The actual incidents tend to be more grey.

    The press needs to stop mentioning the race of the perp and of the cop. It is only significant if it is significant.

    You know some frat boys take advantage of inebriated girls. You know some cops use excessive force. Let’s as a people, change these actions on principle alone.

  9. The answer is the same for gunfighters as it was for fencers, ( a sport, not a martial art) and the real sword fighters before them.


  10. I’d like to add to the author’s point about the resilience of the human body and the will of those who attack LEO’s to do harm. When I took my CHL class, it was taught by a semi-retired cop. He had spent decades on the LAPD, with his career culminating in him spending a number of years on the SWAT team, and eventually getting to the point where he personally TRAINED SWAT personnel.

    Very good guy, incredibly skilled with firearms, very knowledgable about them, and has almost certainly (he never said explicitly, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out) been in multiple firefights. He had an anecdote from other cops in the LAPD I thought was really interesting. He was talking about how much of a difference the will to survive makes, contrasting two situations. In one, a fellow officer was involved in a shooting. Now, the assailant was eliminated, but he sustained a gunshot wound to his arm, just to the muscle.

    And he died from it. He pretty much even said, “It’s over, I’m dead” before dying. I’m sure it hurt like hell, but it was as survivable as wounds get. Some minor surgery and a month or two of physical therapy and he’d be good as new, save for a scar and a cool story to go with it. On the other hand, there was a woman who was alone, and on her way home after a shift with the LAPD. As she pulled into her driveway, she was ambushed by three well-armed gang-bangers. In their opening barrage of gunfire, she sustained a wound to her heart. Yes, her freaking HEART. And despite having such a critical organ completely shredded, she STILL managed to kill the three of them, and then to hold on long enough to get into surgery. She survived.

    There is a tremendous amount to be said for willpower, and a stark refusal to give up, that people need to be aware of. Gunfights are messy, dynamic, terrifying, unpredictable events, and anyone who carries a gun should be aware of how much difference willpower makes. Never assume a certain type of wound will kill or incapacitate, even if it’s a heart shot or a head shot.

  11. This article pretty much sums up my feelings about the insane logic of this case, the massive ignorance of self defense laws and practices and just how the race baiting liberal media press can continue to spread misinformation and come together so quickly for their own agenda. Brown is dead for his actions. PERIOD!

  12. I think what everyone is forgetting is that the entire episode started when Wilson told Brown to not walk in the street. Again, a minor infraction escalated to a physical confrontation that resulted in death. I can’t speak for what happened after the initial contact but Wilson chose to escalate the situation. What happened after that is a result of Wilson not liking his authority challenged……..

    • False. Both Wilson and Johnson say that Wilson started driving off after he told them to get out of the road. Things escalated after Wilson realized Brown and Johnson matched the description of the strong arm robbers he’d heard, and he backed up his vehicle to confront them. The physical evidence supports Wilson’s claim that Brown then assaulted him, that Brown was grappling for the gun when shot within the car, and that after Brown initially ran off, Brown stopped, turned, and was approaching Wilson when he was shot. The fact that Brown fell forward so neatly despite multiple shots to the front, the angle of the killing shot, and the fact that he fell hard enough to scrape face and chest, together indicate that he was moving toward Wilson at a fair clip.

      Brown escalated the situation, beginning to end, not Wilson.

      • That is assuming Wison is telling the truth. There is no evidenceo support his claim thae heard the call about the robbery two seconds after telling them to get out of the street.

  13. Reading the article, I kept finding myself on the verge of disagreeing, but then I had to remind myself that I have trained for that in Kenpo. Even, with that training the most important points we were taught was fighting multiple opponents was a) desperation – you have no other choice, b) focused on buying time to get away, and c) expect that you ARE going to get hurt.

    So, Mike is right. It is an art that you have to train for and even with the training, every moment you are fighting multiple opponents you chance of living through it diminishes.

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