April 14th, 2012 09:36 PM
Your Line in the Sand Part 1
Your Line in the Sand Part 1
You could ask me a hundred questions about strategy and tactics and I could probably answer each one in the most logical and accurate manner with just two words "it depends!" Once this fact has been set down it becomes very clear that "the line in the sand" (the point where you are willing to use lethal force) is not the most correct way to look at a tactical situation. "Your line in the sand" is the only way that tactical scenarios can be looked at in a well thought out, well researched, and well educated manner. The situation is the dictating factor and the biggest factor inside of the situation is YOU. It is the situation and who you are that needs to be taken into consideration when you look to develop your line in the sand.
When we look at all of the varying state laws across this country, it becomes very clear that a guy from Texas cannot tell a guy from California where his line in the sand should be. A guy who lives alone, with no wife or kids cannot tell a family man where his line in the sand should be. A person with extremely advanced training and a ton of experience cannot tell a person with virtually no training or experience where his line in the sand should be. A person that has an overwhelming desire to always do what they believe to be "right" cannot tell a person that has a different perspective on "right" where his line in the sand should be. Yet, we see that all of the time on the gun forums. Some people may feel that they must fight evil every time they see it, while another, just as righteous of a man, may feel that "discretion is the better part of valor" makes more sense for his ability to continue to take care of his loved ones and fight evil for the long run.
Having been on gun forums since 2001, it still amazes me when I see people forcing their feeling and beliefs of tactical situations on others, as if they are the only ones that are right and everyone else is wrong. This is either a stance that is contorted by ignorance or by arrogance. If the situation is the dictating factor (and it is) and the individual is the largest factor inside of that situation (and they are) then it is clear to me that no person has the right, or the ability to adequately judge another man's "line in the sand." Until you are standing in his shoes, knowing everything that he knows, you have no clue what perspective he is coming from, you have no idea why he has made the decisions that he has made. His very personal line in the sand is as foreign to you has Ancient Hebrew.
Recently, I read a comment that there seemed to be "no consistency" in our teaching at Suarez International (SI) in regards to "the line in the sand." The problem is not that there is no consistency, the problem is that there is no easy answer, due to the fact that it is all situational and all very personalized to the person inside of the situation. This means that there is no perfect formula for the perfect line in the sand. That is not a reality! Cementing your line in the sand takes work, time, effort, and thought. Even if you do everything right in preparing your line it can all go very wrong. Fighting evil, especially all by yourself as a lone civilian, is very dangerous stuff that is fraught with risk and danger, not just to yourself, but to your loved ones, your freedom, and your financial security. SI is not telling you to not take the risks, we are telling you to put in the work, train, research, and learn as much as you can so that "your line in the sand" is as solid as you can possibly make it. This is "YOUR" line in the sand, make it yours! Take ownership of it, because when it is all said and done these are the decisions that you may live with for the rest of your life (possibly, very short life.)
Be very careful about listening to the two extreme points of view on each side of this debate. Remember you will be the only one looking at yourself in the mirror. You can screw your life up by doing way too little and by doing way too much. Use your head! This is not a black or white topic! There are many shades of grey! Moderation, preparedness, and thoughtfulness will do more for you than extremism, bravado, or cowardice.
We need to accept the fact that there are very good men willing to put everything on the line to do the right thing......and they are mentally and physically prepared to do so. By the same token, we often see people with zero experience who fantasize about becoming a hero that are not prepared in anyway whatsoever. Both groups may preach a "holy than thou" sermon to those that may use more discretion. The biggest problem is that unless we know the men personally it is hard to tell which group they are preaching from. We can call these guys "The Righteous Fighters." There is nothing wrong with being one of these guys if you have what it takes to actually be one of these guys.......nothing wrong with that at all. Heck, it is their life and they have made their decisions. We often see guys like this in the Military or Law Enforcement, but it is not exclusive to those lines of work. As many of you know, there are many civilians that have what it takes to be one of these guys. It is also a fact that there are plenty of "Want to be Righteous Fighters" that do not have what it takes and take a stance on this subject that they have no right to take. They are not prepared, they have not thought it through, they have neither the experience or the physical/mental make up to preach about something that is well beyond them.
It does not matter whether you are a "Righteous Fighter" or a "Want to be" it is wrong for you to assume that the decisions that you make are better than those that use more discretion.
"What is your mission?" is a question that is as personalized as it gets. A man that feels the need to fight evil, and does so, is not better than a man that feels the need to fight evil, but has to constantly try to control his need in order to fulfill his mission. There is more than one way to fight evil! You can fight it head on, without any restraint, and in a possibly short term manner. You can also fight evil in a more discretionary manner that allows you to fulfill your mission and possibly fight it for the long term. Both groups of men are good men, just with a different mission to fulfill.
When we talk about discretion and fulfilling the mission, we are most likely talking about a good man's desire to provide for his family. A good man provides many things to his family that goes well beyond finances and security. The absolute need that the family has to have a good man around needs to be part of the equation when it comes to understanding your need to do the right thing. What is the right thing in your eyes may be very different from what the right thing is for your family and in your loved ones eyes. This understanding and willingness to compromise your need to fight evil, in order to take care of your loved ones for the long term is a very honorable and admirable thing to find in a person. To think that there is no honor in this type of thinking, preparation, and understanding is the sign of somebody that has not experienced what it is like to grow up without a father, it is the sign of ignorance of a reality that many know to be as real as anything can ever be. When you see "me and mine" written out when it comes to the line in the sand, unless you are standing in that man's shoes and know his reality you have zero right to be the judge of it.
We are all products of our experience and our experiences will guide our decisions. I have been "The Righteous Fighter" and I can tell you that it can be a tough row to hoe. In my eyes, I was already dead, I had nothing to lose, and nothing to care about. That is not my world anymore! I am still the same man, but my perspective has changed. My experiences have made me wiser, my family has shown me that I am not already dead and that I do have plenty to live for. I will still fight evil, but I will do it for the long haul, using experience, knowledge, training, ability, and the understanding that one battle is not the war. The war on evil has many battles, from many fronts.
Use your head and choose wisely!
April 14th, 2012 10:25 PM
Well said....I don't seem to find anything there that I can either dispute or disagree with. A good read for anyone who takes on the responsibility of carrying a weapon for personal/family/loved ones protection. JMO
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
April 15th, 2012 12:27 AM
Good post! We all see the keyboard commandos slinging advice. I often wonder how many of those have experienced anything close to what they write or have trained sufficiently to scribe the words. Thanks for posting!
BE PREPARED - Noah didn't build the Ark when it was raining!
Si vis pacem, para bellum
NRA Life Member
April 15th, 2012 12:34 AM
This post reminds me of Mas Ayoob's comment re another notable trainer's emphasis on the KISS principle. Mas said, "it's never simple, and we're not stupid."
NRA Endowment Member
April 15th, 2012 09:35 AM
Kudos to the OP. Good stuff.
April 15th, 2012 10:01 AM
Your Line in the Sand Part 2
"Be Very Careful What You Wish For"
In my 11 years on gun forums, I've spent a good amount of time with obvious newbie's. Whenever a discussion on a tactical scenario's come up, it is the newbie's that tend to preach the most uncompromising positions on the line in the sand. It is as if they get a new blaster, practice some target shooting, and they feel empowered like they have never felt before. They suddenly believe they can now take down any and all evil as soon as they see it. This is usually the most vocal of the "The only way for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing" crowd. This extremely vocal group with their illusions of grandeur tend to distort this topic in a manner that start people off with the wrong starting point when it comes to laying down their personal line in the sand. Many rational people read what is written and question their own manhood because that is not the way that they feel. We need to accept this as fact and begin try to mitigate the damage from the ignorance that is being perpetuated at the vast majority of gun forums. To a much smaller degree we need to be aware of this here at Warrior Talk.
Ignorance and bravado are the enemy of a quality line in the sand. A solid line in the sand is not just about mindset and wanting to be a bad ass, it is much more about personal knowledge, understanding, skill sets, ability, and clarity of mission. Everything starts with "the mission" not with the "The only way for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing" mentality. Look at your life, your responsibilities, your experience, and your ability and begin to build your line in the sand from that point right there. Do not worry about the vitriol spewed out by the ignorance of those that do not know what they do not know. They have no idea what it means when I say "Be very careful what you wish for." They do not understand the dynamics of a fight and how quickly everything can go from "good" to "really bad." Life threatening encounters are a gamble and if you gamble long enough eventually you will lose. If you are gambling from a position of ignorance your chances of losing jump dramatically.
On the other hand we have the legitimate "Righteous Fighters" who preach what they would really do, from a position of experience and ability. This is a voice that must be heard, because they can lead by example. They can teach us how to be better fighters, they can teach us how to increase our odds. Never assume (ass of u and me) that the person that is teaching you is a just a key board commando. You may be insulting a person that could be a huge resource to you. Just because his perspective is different from yours does not mean he is wrong. This world needs men that will step up without any concern, accept for that of killing evil.
The difference between the "Righteous Fighter" and the "Want to be" comes down to actually having the ability to do what they say and the knowledge and acceptance of the risks that they take.
One is noble and can be learned from, the other just makes a lot of noise, distorts the topic in a negative direction, and can possible affect our gun rights.
April 15th, 2012 12:06 PM
Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
-Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95
April 15th, 2012 12:50 PM
Very interesting post by the OP. Well said. Well worth reading and pondering.
Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King
And keep a .45 handy
Kimber Custom TLE II
April 15th, 2012 12:51 PM
Good stuff Roger, Thanks for sharing....
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......
April 15th, 2012 10:51 PM
Your Line In the Sand Part 3
Clarity of Mission and Doing What is Right
Doing what is right? Could we possibly be more vague than that? Could anything be more subjective than that? What is right to one person could be completely wrong to another person. This is why our clarity of mission must be our starting point because doing what is right is mission dependent.
This portion of the discussion is going to center on the differences between "The Righteous Fighter" and "The Righteous Family Man," The difference between these two groups come down to the prioritization of who is under their care. The Righteous Fighter often believes that all good people are under his care. This is a very commendable and honorable position to take, but it is simply not for everyone. "The Righteous Family Man" believes that there is nobody as important as his loved ones and his ability to take care of his loved ones. This is also a very commendable and honorable position to take up. He may not forsake all other good people but his "me and mine" mentality is his priority. There could be a thousand reasons why each group has chosen their respective paths. But let's make sure that we get to the bottom line on these varying paths. It does not matter which path you take, when you prioritize one group of people as "being under your care" over the other group, you may very well jeopardize your ability to protect the people that were prioritized as being second. If your family is not prioritized as being first, they are as good as being prioritized as being second. So in my opinion each "Righteous man" has made a decision to be less righteous to one of the "under my protection" groups. Therefore, one group of men is not better or more righteous than the other group of men.......their priorities and focus are just different.
We so often see each of these groups claiming moral superiority over the other, a moral superiority that is simply not there. On a personal note, I have seen both sides of this prioritization and I am the exact same man that I have always been. There is no difference other than my focus. I would be good to hear from those that have seen both sides and how they felt about themselves from each respective side. That is an apple to apple comparison right there! Comparing yourself to somebody that you do not even know is a comparison based on ignorance and arrogance.
I had very good reasons to be "The Righteous Fighter" and my good friends know what they are. I have equally good reasons to be "The Righteous Family Man" and anyone that does not accept that fact and believes himself to be my moral superior would be as ignorant and as arrogant as the sky is blue.
April 16th, 2012 11:17 AM
I consider myself far from being "Righteous" nor morally superior to anyone. Everyone has to chose what they consider is best for them. I am steadfast in my beliefs and would not consider interfering in anyone else beliefs until it becomes dangerous to those around me. Dangerous being the lost the lost of life, liberty, or freedom of choice.
While in the service I considered my Troops as being under my care and my responsibility, while I was a LEO I considered the public as being my responsibility and now It is mainly my family.
Being single and in the service they were my family. While a LEO and now I always considered my family, wife, childern, brothers sisters ETC as being my responsibility. Other people could become part of my responsibility but not to the determinant of my family
April 16th, 2012 01:02 PM
Thank you for the excellent posts.
April 25th, 2012 10:50 PM
The Righteuos Family Man
Due to circumstances of my past and the experiences that have molded me, which I would never wish upon anyone, "The Righteous Family Man" is who I am to my very core. As I write more and more about my past and the things I have learned it is clear to me that I have actually hit upon something that is important to a lot of guys that train with SI. I am sure there are people here with experiences like mine or maybe even worse. I would hope that the men that have not had to learn the hard lessons, as some of us have, that they would be able to learn just by listening or reading, so they do not have to experience that things that some of us have.
Here is something that I wrote when I opened up my "Do's and Dont's of Open Carry" discussions. There is no use in my typing the same thing out when I have already captured what I feel is important. For those that have not read it, I hope it put's in perspective the philosophy of "The Righteous Family Man."
"I know there are people out there that believe that I am “anti-open carry.” This is not really the truth of the matter. What I am is “anti-ignorance” and I admit that I am very hard core in this belief. For those that know and train with me, they know why I am like that. They know that I really care about their ability to be the very best they can be when it comes down to the ability to defend their lives and the lives of their loved ones. To me, this is the paramount reason that we carry and any other reason pales in comparison.
I do not carry for a political agenda, or because it is my right, or because I want to be a hero, or because I want the mere presence of the gun to stop a crime, or because of the coolness factor, or to educate people, or the stir up awareness. I carry for one reason and one reason only.
I carry to be the very best that I can be inside of a life threatening encounter involving myself or my loved ones!
Everyone can feel free to call that “one way” or “self centered” but the reality of the matter is that “me and mine” are more important than everyone else. That does not mean that I will not risk my life to help innocent people, heck I’ve done it before on a few occasions. What it does mean is that I want to have the choice whether I get involved or not. Open carry cuts down on my options.
Any attack on me is an attack on my loved ones. I am the one that keeps them in good neighborhoods. I am the one that keeps them in good schools, I am the one that keeps them from hanging out with the wrong people, I am the one that keeps them away from drugs, alcohol, crime, teenage pregnancies, and especially the violence that comes out of those issues. I am the one that instills “the three stupid rule” into them. You will be amazed how living with “the three stupid rule” as a guide will cut down on your violent encounters.
Do not go stupid places, with stupid people, and do stupid things.
The importance of a solid parental figure inside of the home can be the difference between life and death for the children inside of that home. That has been my reality! I lost my older sister at 28 years old due to the life style that we had led as children and young adults. Living outside of “the three stupid rule” as we did, for over thirteen years, cost her her life. She made decisions at thirteen years old that were not survivable. I spent thirteen years of my life protecting her and my family from the extremely violent world that she brought into our lives. Never underestimate the value of a strong parental figure inside of the home. As the parent, no matter how important that you think that you are, you are much more important than that. You can be the difference between your children living or dying…….and that is a fact!
IMHO, as a parent or future parent, you should have one mission that overrides all other missions. That mission is to go home and take care of your family. I do not need to be a hero, I do not need to push a political agenda, I do not need to educate anyone about their rights. All I need to do is go home and make sure that my family has everything that I can give them, to give them the ability to acquire the very best life that they can have. I did not fight my way out of the gutter to have my children need to do the very same thing.
This is why I am so vocal on the issue of being the very best that you can be inside of a life threatening encounter. This is why I risk being seen as an “anti-open carry” guy, even though I am not. All I want is for people to get the best information so that they can make the best choices for themselves and their love ones. All I care about is you fulfilling your paramount mission.
Now that people have some insight on “why I do what I do” how about we look at the things that will allow you to be the very best that you can be while open carrying."
The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Open Carry Part I
April 26th, 2012 01:49 AM
I think you are over-analyzing.
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."
April 26th, 2012 11:59 PM
Yeah, so anyways.......
Originally Posted by Eagleks
My Litmus test
I learned this from a good friend that posts here. He goes by "Guantes."
If I think that I may have to get myself involved again, I ask myself one very simple question;
"Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?"
This question gets right to the very heart of the matter. If they are doing something that, as Gabe puts so well, "shocks the consciousness of humanity" then it is pefectly clear that it is worth me having to kill them over.
But, If it is not worth me having to kill them over......then I probably will not get involved.
I know that some people are going to say that I can get involved but that I do not have to kill them. Let's make this crystal clear, if I decide to get involved in a situation that does not directly effect me.......I am escalating the situation! Once I've made the decision to escalate, I am no longer in full control on how far that escalation can go. My adversary may escalate the situation to the point that I have no choice but to kill him
If you interject yourself into a situation that is none of your business, you may have very well jumped in the middle of something that forces you to kill a man. (I've been preaching this for years before Zimmerman, he is just the latest highly publicized example.)
If you do not want to be another "that guy" run the litmus test and ask the question. You will be amazed on how many "3stupids" you avoid.
I have my "primary mission," I have my "righteous indignation," and I also have my "this is not F-ing worth my time." I do not need to be the "bad behavior police," I do not need to be a hero!
All I need to be is a great provider for my family, a solid and decent man, and an absolutely ruthless fighter when it is time to answer the call again.
"Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?"
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