A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Self Defense’ tag

Hey Siri, I’m Getting Pulled Over

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Do you carry an iPhone? If so, is it updated to iOS 12? If you answered yes to both, there’s a very useful tool you can download:

There’s a big new feature for iPhone experts this year: It’s an app called Shortcuts, and with a little bit of logic and know-how, you can stitch together several apps and create a script that can be activated by pressing a button or using Siri.

[…]

But Robert Petersen of Arizona has developed a more serious shortcut: It’s called Police, and it monitors police interactions so you have a record of what happened.

Once the shortcut is installed and configured, you just have to say, for example, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.” Then the program pauses music you may be playing, turns down the brightness on the iPhone, and turns on “do not disturb” mode.

You can download the shotcut here.

I’ve downloaded it and tested it. Sure enough it works as advertised. Grab it and install it on your phone so it’s ready if you get pulled over.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 12th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Sometimes Violence Is the Only Thing People Understand

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I tend to favor leaving over deescalation and deescalation over violence. However, there are times when leaving isn’t an option and deescalation isn’t possible. In those situations violence can be the only solution:

What happened next, however, was road rage to the extent Bowlin had never in her life witnessed.

“The one time I leave a little too much space for the car in front of me, he then proceeds to go onto the shoulder and try to ram me with his car on the passenger side of his car, on the left side of my bike and with my left leg, into the cars … to the right of us, which would be considered the fast lane,” she told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

The driver, identified as 60-year-old Bruce Jones, repeated this action a couple of times, as Bowlin tried to get away. Jones’ wife was in the passenger seat the entire time; Bowlin observed that she had a shocked expression.

[…]

In the fetal position against the barrier as Jones weighed down on her, Bowlin began to slip in and out of consciousness due to the tightness of her helmet’s chin strap. Bowlin realized in her lucid moments that Jones was going to choke her to death.

“If he had gotten my helmet off, I would’ve been dead,” she said.

It was at this point that Bowlin suddenly remembered that she had a firearm. She knew that she had to save her life.

“It was me or him,” Bowlin said. “And I was coming home.”

She managed to pull her gun out of her jacket and fire, hitting Jones in the abdomen.

These are the situations that gun control advocates seem unable to comprehend. Bowlin was in a bad situation. She couldn’t flee and her attacker, who had given her plenty of reason to believe that he intended to kill her, was physically superior to her. If she was unarmed, she likely would have died. However, she was armed and therefore able to overcome the physical disparity that existed between her and her attacker.

Sometimes there is no avenue for escape. Sometimes your attacker isn’t in a reasonable state of mind and therefore cannot be talked out of their aggression. Sometimes situations only offer you the choice of fighting and living or dying. I very much wish this wasn’t the case but, unfortunately, my wishes have so far been unable to alter the universe I occupy.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2018 at 11:00 am

A Proper Response

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I’m of the opinion that everybody should have the best means available to them to defend themselves. I believe having the best means of self-defense available is especially important for those who may face violence because of who they are. People who fall under the LGBT label, for example, have a higher chance of being attacked, which is why stories like this warm my heart:

“I don’t want to get beaten to death, stabbed and burnt alive,” a slight woman with long blond hair and a checked shirt says. “I want a gun to feel equal.”

She is a member of one of the United States’ fastest-growing gun clubs, the jauntily named Pink Pistols.

Two years after the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, gay, lesbian and transgender Americans are nervous. According to the Human Rights Center (HRC), a US LGBTI advocacy group, 52 gay people were murdered in the US last year because of their sexuality, and 28 transgender people met the same fate.

Of course, gun control advocates will say that these individuals shouldn’t need a means of self-defense. I do agree with that sentiment. However, I don’t believe that people should operate under ideas of what they believe should or shouldn’t be the case, they should operate under what is the case. What is the case is that there are people who will attack and even murder individuals for their sexuality and gender identity. Furthermore, if individuals who fall under the LGBT umbrella continue to arm themselves, they will likely create an environment where they are less likely to be attacked.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 21st, 2018 at 10:30 am

Some Days Aren’t Your Days

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Some days are destined to not be your days. That’s probably how Christopher Raymond Hill felt a few days ago:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — Police say a man who tried to carjack two people was thwarted after the victims both pulled out guns to protect themselves.

What kind of America do I want to live in? One where a carjacker tries to carjack two separate vehicles and gets a gun pulled on him by both would-be victims.

It’s also worth noting that Florida has castle doctrine. According to gun control advocates, castle doctrine leads to the streets overflowing with blood due to all of the people legally shooting each other. Even though Hill was posing an immediate threat to the lives of the people he was trying to carjack, neither one of them gunned him down. Despite what gun control advocates often claim, most people aren’t looking for an excuse to gun another human being down. In fact most people seem to prefer avoiding violence if necessary. It is only when pushed into a corner that most people are likely to retaliate violently and even then the general preference appears to be avoiding violence is possible.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 14th, 2018 at 10:30 am

I’ve Been Told this Never Happens

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Whenever a gun control advocate is demanding that innocent gun owners be punished after a mass shooting, gun rights advocates point out that individuals carrying guns are the best defense against mass shootings. Usually this results in the gun control advocate claiming that such an event never happens:

An armed citizen gunned down a shooter at an Oklahoma City restaurant on Thursday, killing him, police said.

A man walked into Louie’s Grill & Bar and opened fire, striking two people. As the gunman was fleeing the scene, a bystander armed with a pistol confronted the shooter and fatally shot him outside the restaurant, Oklahoma City Police Captain Bo Mathews told reporters.

“Right now, all I know is that it was just a good Samaritan that was there and looks like he took the right measures to be able to put an end to a terrible, terrible incident,” Mathews said.

Since it’s CNN, I’m not surprised that the article used the verbiage “gunned down” but the fact that CNN ran this story at all is a bit surprisingly.

The key to reducing casualties in a mass shooting scenario is response time. The sooner armed resistance can be made against the shooter, the sooner the shooter will either kill themselves (a very common result in mass shooting scenarios) or disregard bystanders as they fight for their life. The fastest possible response time comes from somebody at the location when the shooting begins, which means the best way to decrease the number of casualties caused by a mass shooter is to allow individuals to carry a firearm on their person so that there’s a higher probability of an armed individual being at the location when the shooting starts.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 25th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Learning Lessons the Hard Way

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I’d imagine that most of you were taught to keep your hands to yourself at a pretty young age. I certainly was. However, some people can only learn this lesson the hard way:

A woman jogging Friday morning in Salt Lake City fought back against a man who came up behind her and groped her.

She was attacked about 6 a.m. in a neighborhood near 1700 South and 500 East, Salt Lake City police spokesman Greg Wilking said.

The woman was carrying a small knife in her hand and stabbed the man multiple times when he grabbed her.

And a valuable lesson was taught.

With sexual assault so prevalent in the news, it’s nice to read a story about how high the cost of sexual assault can be. The biggest enable of sexual assault is likely the extremely low cost of perpetuating it. Sexual assaults often face no physical or legal consequences. If sexual assaulters were commonly beaten, stabbed, or shot, the cost of perpetuating sexual assault might be high enough where would-be sexual assaulters would reconsider their actions.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 17th, 2017 at 11:00 am

An Interesting Psychological Phenomenon

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Whenever there’s a story about an instance of abuse where the victim failed to fight back I see at least one comment asking why the victim didn’t fight back.

It’s an interesting question. I’ve often asked the same thing about inmates on death row. There is a population of individuals who have nothing to lose. If they follow the rules and act submissive, they’re going to die anyways. Why don’t they fight back? Certainly the minute chance of escape is better than the guarantee of death, right? Yet we seldom read stories about inmates on death row making a last ditch effort to escape before they’re executed.

It’s an interesting psychological phenomenon. I wish I had a better understanding of it.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 16th, 2017 at 11:00 am

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The Importance of Out-of-Band Verification

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Yesterday I received an e-mail that appeared to be from a friend. It was a short e-mail asking what I thought about the contents of a link. The first red flag was that this friend seldom e-mails me. We have other forms of communication that we use. The second red flag was the e-mail address, which was his name at a domain I wasn’t familiar with. The third red flag was the link, it went to a domain I wasn’t familiar with.

Friends asking me about content on unfamiliar domains isn’t unusual. Moreover, friends e-mailing me from unfamiliar domains isn’t without precedence since new “privacy focused” e-mail domains pop up everyday and I have friends who are interested in e-mail providers who respect their users’ privacy. I smelled a scam but wanted to make sure so I contacted my friend through another messaging service and he confirmed that he didn’t send the e-mail.

The combination of social media with people’s general lack of security has made a lot of social information available to malicious individuals. If you want to specifically target somebody, the social information is often available to do it convincingly. Even if you’re not interested in specifically targeting somebody, the social information that is available is often complete enough that it can be fed to an automated tool that sends targeted e-mails to anybody it has information about. These types of scams can be difficult to defend against.

One method for defending against them is establishing multiple channels for communicating with your friends. Between e-mail, Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, text messaging, Skype, XMPP, and a slew of other freely available communication tools, it’s easy to ensure that you have at least two separate means of communicating with your friends. If you receive a suspicious message that appears to be from a friend, you can use another form of communications to verify whether or not they sent it. Admittedly, such a tactic isn’t bulletproof. It’s possible for an attacker to compromise multiple communication methods. However, it’s more difficult to compromise two communication methods than to compromise one.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 15th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Trigger Warning

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I make not effort to hide the fact that I believe gun ownership should be expanded to everybody, which is why I was happy to read this article:

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—The former pacifist pumped a shotgun at the firing line.

Lore McSpadden never touched a gun before the Trigger Warning Queer & Trans Gun Club started this past year. Now McSpadden is among the shooters routinely yelling, “Pull!” and blasting at clay pigeons angling over a mowed field near Rochester.

Trigger Warning members are anxious about armed and organized extremists who seem increasingly emboldened. Their response has a touch of symmetry to it: They started a club to teach members how to take up arms.

“It’s a way to assert our strength,” said Jake Allen, 27, who helped form the group. “Often, queer people are thought of as being weak, as being defenceless, and I think in many ways this pushes back against that. And I want white supremacists and neo-Nazis to know that queer people are taking steps necessary to protect themselves.”

Trigger Warning members meet once a month to shoot still targets and saucer-shaped pigeons. The 18 dues-paying members are all LGBTQ, many just learning about guns.

Traditionally individuals who fall under the LGBT banner have been tagged as anti-gun progressives. This has lead quite a few curmudgeons in gun owner circles to see LGBT individuals as opponents, which has established a rather nasty circle where LGBT individuals are put off by gun owners who are put off by LGBT individuals being put off by gun owners and so on. But necessity is the mother of invention. Feeling threatened is usually a good motivator for people to learn how to defend themselves.

Although Trigger Warning is a small group at the moment, which isn’t surprising since it currently exists in a state ruled by a very anti-gun government, I hope its ranks expand quickly and new groups like it spring up all around the country. The stereotype of LGBT individuals being anti-gun has made violent individuals who wish to prey on them see them as easy targets. If more LGBT individuals become open gun owners, that stereotype will hopefully fade with time. If that stereotype fades away, it will likely dissuade a lot of predators who are looking for easy targets.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 25th, 2017 at 10:30 am

They Came for Violence

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If you listen to self-identified national socialists, you would be lead to believe that they had no violent intentions in Charlottesville and that they only resorted to violence to defend themselves against the international socialists. However, material posted in chats for organizing the event indicate that those claims of self-defense are spurious at best:

Unicorn Riot has so far published roughly 1,000 screenshots of chats, and the recording, conducted through the app Discord, from a source. A march organizer says the documents he has seen appear to be authentic. Transcripts show participants openly planning violence while organizers instruct them to obey the law. Participants on one call debated when it would be permissible to use riot shields as weapons. “Some screaming little Latina bitch comes at you and knocks your teeth on your riot shield, that means you hit her, and you’re going to get in trouble for the weapons,” one participant says.

Timothy Litzenburg represents two women injured in the melee who last week sued 28 groups and individuals, including the alleged organizers of the Unite the Right march. He says the documents could be “the crux of the case,” because they show “a little flavor of how [organizers] totally intended on violence and mayhem.”

While Unicorn Riot cannot be called an impartial source (it’s a hardcore leftist media collective), it did provide screenshots from the organizer’s Discord server that have so far been undisputed. Moreover, it’s no surprise that a bunch of national socialists planned to perpetrate violence since national and international socialists have been killing each other for a long time now. But this information does lend itself to a more interesting topic: self-defense.

In Minnesota, one of the requirements for legally using deadly force in self-defense is that you must be a reluctant participant. That is to say, you must not have willfully entered yourself into the violent situation. I personally think that it’s a good principle.

So the question here is, can the national socialists claim self-defense in this situation? Obviously that question can only be answered on an individual by individual basis. However, the material released by Unicorn Riot shows that at least some of the individuals who went to Charlottesville did so seeking violence. They knowingly put themselves into a situation that was all but guaranteed to turn violent (violating the “Don’t go stupid places,” principle of self-defense) and specifically expressed a purpose to perform violence.

I know there will be some debate about whether or not one can claim self-defense if they knowingly went somewhere that they reasonably believed would turn violence, however, one thing is certain: prosecutors eat up material like this. And that is another important point. While situations that qualify as self-defense can be debated, what you post online can and will be used against you if you are ever in a situation where you claim self-defense. Protecting yourself doesn’t stop after the situation itself, it starts before that situation and ends after that situation. Before you get into a self-defense situation, you should take care of how you portray yourself because a prosecutor will use your character against you after the situation.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 31st, 2017 at 11:00 am