Here at the house, I have a couple of decades plus of military experience.  I have tools to dig in or out of natural disasters.  I have extinguishers and hoses. I have a field trauma kit and bandages. I have weapons both melee and firearm. I know how to use them. I know how to trench, support and revet.  I understand the fire triangle and appropriate approaches.  I understand breathing, bleeding and shock.  I know how to detain, restrain and control. I have done all of these at least occasionally, professionally. I've stood on top of a collapsing levee in a flood. I've fought a structure fire from inside so we could get everyone out before the fire department showed up, which only took two minutes, but people can die that fast.  I've had structures collapse while I was working on them. I've been in an aircraft that had a "mechanical" on approach and had to be repaired in-flight before landing. I've helped control a brush fire.  I've hauled disabled vehicles out of ditches in sub-zero weather.

My ex wife has over a decade of service and some of the same training.

We have trained our young adult children.

My wife is a rancher who knows her way around a shotgun, livestock, sutures and tools, hurricanes and floods, and works in investigations professionally.

Our current houseguest is another veteran.

This means if anything happens at the house--and last year we had a lightning strike, a tornado and a flood within 10 days--we're pretty well prepared.

Now, we're probably better off than 95% of the households out there. The level of disaster that necessitates backup varies.

If we find it necessary to call 911, it means the party is in progress and it's bad.

You will probably not be going home safe at the end of your shift.

And you know what? If it gets to that point, I really don't give a shit. I don't give a shit if you get smoked.  I don't give a shit if you fall under a tree. I don't give a shit if you get shot at.

Because at that point, I've done everything I can with that same circumstance, and run out of resources.

If my concern was "you going home safe," then I'd just fucking hunker down and die. Because I wouldn't want that poor responder to endanger himself.

Except...that's what I pay taxes for, and that's what you signed up for. Just like I signed up to walk into a potential nuke war in Germany and hold off the Soviets, and did walk into the Middle East and prepare to take fire while keeping expensive equipment functioning so our shooters could keep shooting.

There's not a single set of orders I got that said my primary job was to "Come home safe." They said it was to "support the mission" or "complete the objective." Coming home safe was the ideal outcome, but entirely secondary to "supporting" or "completing." Nor, once that started, did I get a choice to quit. Once in, all in.

When that 80 year old lady smells smoke or hears a noise outside her first floor bedroom in the ghetto, she doesn't care if you go home safe, either. She's afraid she or the kids next door won't wake up in the morning.

If I call, I expect your ass to show up, sober, trained, professional. I expect you to wade in with me or in place of me, and drag a child out of a hole, or out from a burning room, or actually stand up and block bullets from hitting said child, because by the time you get there, I'll have already done all that. And there will be field dressings, chainsawed trees, buckets and empty brass scattered about.

I don't want to hear some drunk and confused guy squirming on the ground playing "Simon Says" terrified you so much you had to blow him away.  I don't want to hear that some random guy 35 yards away who you had no actual information on "may have reached toward his waist band. Or that "the tree might fall any moment" or that "the smoke makes it hard to see."

Near as I can tell, I don't hear the smokejumpers, or the firefighters, or the disaster rescue people say such things.

But it's all I ever hear from the cops. If you and your five girlfriends in body armor, with rifles, are that terrified of actually risking your life for the theoretically dangerous job you volunteered for and can quit any time, then please do quit. 

You can get a job doing pest control and go home safe every night.

Until a bunch of fucking pussies with big tattoos, small dicks, body armor and guns blow you away for minding your own business.

Because what you're telling me with that statement is, your only concern is cashing a check. That's fine.  But if that's your concern, don't pretend you're serving the public.  If you wanted to help people at risk of life, you would be a firefighter, running into buildings, dragging people out, getting scorched regularly.

If you're cool with writing tickets, then there's jobs where you can do just that.

If you want to tangle with bad guys and blow them away, fair enough.  But understand: That means they get to shoot first to prove their intent, just as happens with the military these days. Our ROE these days are usually "only if fired upon and no civilians are at risk."

If your plan is "shoot first, shoot later, shoot some more, then if anyone is still alive try to ask questions," and bleat, "But I was afeard fer mah lahf!" you're absolutely no better than the thugs you claim to oppose. All you are is another combatant in a turf war I don't care about.

Since I know your primary concern is "being safe," then I'll do you the favor of not calling. Cash your welfare check, and try not to shoot me at a "courtesy" sobriety checkpoint for twitching my eye "in a way that suggested range estimation."

If you're one of the vanishingly few cops who isn't like that, then what the hell are you doing about it?  If there's going to be a lawsuit costing the city millions, isn't it better that it be a labor suit from the union over the clown you fired, than a wrongful death suit over the poor bastard the clown shot? Both are expensive, but one has a dead victim you enabled. So how much do you actually care about that life?

How is the training so bad that it's not clear who is the scene commander who gives the orders?

How is it that trigger happy bozos who, out of costume, look no different from the gangbangers you claim to oppose, get sent up front to fulfill their wish of hosing someone down because "I was afraid for my life!"?

Why does the rot exist in your department?

If you can't do anything about it, why are you still in that department?

At some point, collective guilt is a thing.

You've probably not been a good cop for a long time.

And I still don't care if you go home safe. I care that everyone you purport to "serve and protect" goes home safe.

But not the way you think.

America was founded on the concept of equal opportunity, vs equal outcomes, and our Constitution specifically prohibits titles of nobility or royalty.

This has not stopped our culture from stratifying into three broad categories--the commoners, the Celebrities, and the Ruling class, or effective nobility, and the latter's Enforcers.

The commoners are accountable under law and pay heavy penalties for digressing from the convoluted path dictated by the Ruling Class. Commoners have their assets seized--houses, cars, bank accounts, even wardrobes, if an Enforcer of the ruling class claims he thinks he smelled something that might have been pot, or maybe just some burning leaves a few blocks away.

The commoner's recourse is to beg, plead, hope that someday Justice Will Be Done, and he'll recover what hasn't been sold, destroyed or flat out stolen, and maybe he won't have spent his entire future, and his children's, recovering it. 

Meanwhile, the Ruling Class can literally ignore a very simple federal law, such as one that distils as, "It is illegal to leave sensitive data insecure," and argue that "Well, no one actually got hurt that you know of, so the law doesn't apply to me."  And have fawning lackeys try to double-talk that a crime that other people do get put in jail for is not actually a crime when a Special Person does it. 

The Celebrity Class can be glamorized as heroic while attacking others and evade law with impunity. 

The Enforcement Class can gun you down dead where you stand, shrug and claim it was an accident, and really, actually your fault for not understanding their policies that they clearly shouted at you. 

Some time back I asked myself, "What is the downside of being a federal politician?"  Congressmen get a high salary, almost unlimited travel and other perqs, invites to any number of shindigs paid for by others, "fact finding missions" and "Summits" in exotic parts of the world.  Certainly, some of them do legitimate work in the process, but they have the finest working conditions in human history, and are just about unaccountable. They have to anger both the opposition and their own party before anything is done, and even that is usually minimally inconvenient. 

Celebrities are revered for doing jobs no harder than any other, simply with more visibility, and treated as if they are thereby relevant. You're an athlete who dropped out of school? What do you think of this scientific crisis? You're an actor with a few college credits or some generic liberal arts degree? What do you think of this major legal matter? 

The Enforcers are pretty much immune from the laws they enforce.  Police (and I mean when not responding to an emergency) can speed, violate traffic signs, toss their cigarette waste out the window, text while driving, and if anyone questions, they pull out a badge and walk away. Even, as noted, if they've murdered you in a fashion that would send a commoner to jail for life. Or worse. 

What America needs is more violence.

A few Celebrities getting beaten senseless would remind them that not everyone adores and worships them. Take away the pretty looks and many of them are unemployable.

But how does that violence improve things? Simple: It makes them aware that their opinions matter no more than others, and at the end of the day, anyone's outrageous statement can result in an ass kicking, and if that's a problem, possibly fewer outrageous statements are in order.  Because common people risk abuse and jail for protesting and resisting. In the past, in fact, even some celebrities did so, such as when they marched with Dr King. 

A handful of effective assassinations a year would make the Ruling Class aware that the ultimate democratizer is death, and that the constituents they claim to represent expect results, or preferably, inaction, to endless blather followed by pointless regulation and jackbootery. 

But how, I'm asked, will we keep good politicians in place like that?

That's the point. If they feel a need, they should run, serve, and get out.  It was never intended to be a lifetime gravy train for the animals that are more equal than others.  Clint Eastwood served a single term as mayor, then went home. We need more of that.  

This also applies to bureaucrats. If someone in extreme agony from joint or neural issues blows away an FDA paper pusher, perhaps the rest will be reminded that their job is to approve effective medications, not create more pages of rules. Or perhaps they'll just quit, and we can let people decide for themselves if the pain is worth the risk of other side effects, rather than having some chair-warmer decide for them.

The Enforcers would be much better aware of their obligations if a few more of them died in the immoral process of kicking in a door that doesn't have a life or death situation behind it. They should be asking themselves, "Is someone else's life in danger? Because if not, I shouldn't be using a weapon."  Does that entail risk? Certainly. But when was the last time you heard a military commander, or a fire chief, announce, "The important thing is that my people went home safe"? Sure, the building burned down and 200 people died, but not a single firefighter was hurt, thank God.

We demand more bravery and responsiveness from firefighters than cops.

If someone calls an Enforcer, it's because there might actually be a risk to life, and he's entirely a volunteer who has accepted that call. If his life is more valuable to him than that of those he (allegedly) serves, that's fine.  But he needs to find another profession.

And yes, a few of them getting blown away with the same impunity with which they blow away completely unarmed non-threats might remind them of that fact, and send the weak ones to easier paths. 

They should absolutely be held to at least the same standards as Commoners, and given the exact same punishment for wrongdoing. No special funds for defense, no assumption that any shot is a good shot, no country club prisons with other cops and politicians, safe from the violence visited on ordinary criminals. Because if they violate the public trust, they ARE ordinary criminals.

Now, I've had people who claim to be pro cop (meaning, they don't think cops can ever be fallible) ask if I understand that officer would be raped to death by inmates the first day in Gen Pop.

Gosh, I hope not.

With luck, they can pass him around for six weeks, and then finish him off with a toilet plunger. 

And that might be a good lesson for the rest of them.

As everyone knows by now, Mesa PD engaged in a game of "Simon Says" combined with "Twister" involving short barreled rifles with a completely innocent citizen, and blew him away when he wiggled wrong.

I'd like to address some obvious failures in the procedure the department devised.

EDIT: And first, why did they assume a report of "Man with a rifle aiming it" was 100% accurate? The person could be mistaken as to if it was a gun, if it was being pointed, and it assumes pure intent on their part, not intent to have someone shaken down because the caller doesn't like guns.  And people have previously died under those conditions.

Now, every competent cop on the planet, most veterans with training in house clearing, and anyone with a brain knows that you want to detain and control a suspect quickly. The longer a dance goes on, the more the risk of something happening to someone.

Ideally, you have the suspect prone out, cover him will someone else cuffs him, then search for weapons.  You can also have him lean against a wall or car. A competent officer can even do it alone. It's certainly safer if you have two or more.  One covers, one restrains.

Mesa came up with some bizarre dance where the suspect lies prone, hands on head, crosses his legs, kneels up, gets shouted at for using his hands, puts his hands straight up in the air, is told to keep them there while somehow crawling, then gets his brains blown out. This process takes five minutes and endangers bystanders. 

What would have happened if someone else came out of a hotel room or around the corner of the corridor? What would have happened if those fired rounds had penetrated thin hotel walls and killed someone else?

The answer, of course, is that Mitch the Bitch Brailsford would have walked away from two or more murders, not just one.

So, Option One, as discussed:  One officer covers, one approaches, cuffs, then searches. There are finer points to this, but that's the basics.

Option Two: If you are really terrified of this subject, you have him remain motionless while the second officers (and they had six) takes a wide arc around. In a hotel hallway, you could even have one or more officers go down a floor, up another stairwell, and approach from behind.  Problem solved.

There's two failures of training or ability for a simple procedure that is done literally thousands of times per day.

Failures in the order process:  I heard a statement that the changing positions are deliberately designed to keep the subject confused.  That's wrong.

What if the subject is of low intellect?

What if he is intoxicated?

What if he is hard of hearing?

What if he was just clocked in the head in whatever engagement you are responding to, and is not cognizant?

What if he is mentally ill?

What if he's just terrified of weapons pointed at him and unable to track other matters?

Well, I guess nothing, if your intent is to find a reason to murder someone.

Now, what if the subject has an injured or incapacitated arm and can't raise his hand into one of these positions?

I guess you have another reason to make his children orphans.

Then you want him to cross legs, then somehow kneel.

Fun fact: There are a lot of people who can't kneel. Bad knees, bad ankles, poor balance.

Once again you get to make a brain salad.

Then you want them to crawl, with an implication to keep their hands above their head (it was never stated he should move his hands after he was told to "keep them there or we will kill you") that is not stated.  This is an impossible command to follow. As stated, it's impossible. As implied, it's not as stated.

I can deduce exactly how this entire idiotic procedure came about. They probably rehearsed it. They had someone play the subject, talked them through the process, and determined it was feasible.

The problems would be: That actor did not have loaded rifles pointed at their head.

That actor would be quickly familiar with the routine after seeing it or rehearsing it.

That actor was probably another cop, physically fit, well-rested, and not confused, terrified or hindered in any way that would complicate matters.

This is a legitimate example of "privilege." The rehearsal involved fit, aware, competent individuals with no hindrances given to them by nature or the situation.

When you put an actual victim in there, intoxicated, terrified, innocent, who realizes his pants are slipping down and, per our cultural mores, tries to correct that moral problem, it means he moves in a way that poor little Mitch the Bitch, armored, armed, with his custom "You're Fucked" rifle and his awesome tattoos, just itching to blow someone away, gets his lifelong ambition. And gets to claim that he and his five buddies were just terrified to death of this prone guy in shorts.

Then the pig, the department and the city get to shrug and say, "Well, it works perfectly in simulation. We don't know what went wrong here. Good police work, though."

My analysis of this bizarre dance is that it was deliberately designed to offer the maximum opportunity for incompetence, error and murder.

And no one with any sense of self preservation should ever enter the city limits of Mesa. You have better odds in Vegas. Mesa doesn't have a police department. They have a murder squad.

We asked several police officers nationwide how to handle interactions with law enforcement. These were their responses:


The birthday party down the street is a little noisy. What should I do?

Call us and we'll shoot the dog. That will quiet the little punks down.


What if I have a service dog?

No problem.


You shot my dog! Now what?

You need to saw its head off so we can test it for rabies. Or else you go to jail.


I think my friend is suicidal.

We can fix that problem for him.


That's really not a good fix.

Well, there are other options.  We can try to cheer him up. 


I see a kid in the park with what might be a toy gun.

No problem. We've got this.


I saw a guy near the gun counter of WalMart with a gun. What should I do?

Call us and we'll shoot him on sight.


I possibly saw a gun through a hotel window, even though that's legal in this state.

We've got a procedure for that. Our swat team will make him do the hokey pokey then shoot him.


My neighbor is deaf, is that going to be a problem?

No, the bullets will kill him just as easily.


If I'm helping a disabled person and the cops arrive, what should I do?

Seriously, we have no idea either. We'll probably open fire.


If a disabled, mentally ill person needs help, what should I do?

Call us, of course. That's an easy one.


Seriously?  You'd shoot me?

Well, not always. 


I'm not the mentally ill person you're looking for.  I'm not sure why you're here.

Our expert says you're mentally ill. We don't need to see your identification. We're going to forcibly medicate you now. But you'll get a free steak dinner. 


We think a teenager may have taken explicit photos of himself. What should we do?

Call us and we'll send a child molester to make definitely sure there's video of him.


What if I have no legal problem and call outside for first aid?

We'll shoot at your dog, miss and hit your daughter instead. 


Is it proper to produce my wallet and ID when confronted by police?

It certainly helps us with paperwork.


You're good at identifying the right target, I hope.

Sure.  Of course, if you're a small Asian woman we might mistake you for a large black man. But don't worry, we'll have some charity replace your truck after we shoot it full of holes.  Totally not our fault.  Stress of the moment, you all look alike to us.


If I have drugs, you'll be careful about my family, I hope.



I make every effort to abide by the law, including asking for police inspections.  I assume I'm good.

Maybe. Got anything interesting? Or sellable?


We don't sell drugs.  We should be fine, right?

Our paid stooge says you sell drugs. Your baby has it coming.


Really, I don't sell drugs.

What do you mean you don't sell drugs?  Our experts know better.


What's the procedure if you do think I have drugs?

A scientific search.


What should I do if you conduct a sting on my premises? Do you need help?

No, we're going to seize your property for the crime we pretended to commit.


So I should follow all instructions and everything will go fine.

Yup. Perfectly fine. It makes it much easier.


If you realize you have the wrong house, will I be okay?



If I'm 92 years old, and you have the wrong house, what happens?

Oh, we'll make it the right house. We'll fire 39 shots at you and hit you with about 6. Then we'll shoot each other.


What?  You don't shoot each other often, do you?

Well, accidents happen.


If I wind up getting shot, you'll administer first aid, yes?

Why would we do that?


If I'm stopped for a traffic violation, should I tell you I'm legally carrying a weapon?

If you like.


What if I'm sitting in my car unarmed?

We'll break the window, drag you out, and put a bullet in your brain, for "officer safety." 


Look, you don't just shoot everyone you encounter, do you?

Nah, we also have dogs.


So it's safe for me to call for help if I see a problem, then.

Define "safe."


What if I'm minding my own business?

Yeah, right. You're probably a prostitute and deserve a groping and a beating.

I'm afraid to ask, but if a child were lost, you wouldn't shoot them, would you?

The child? No.


So children are safe during procedural processes?



So it would actually be best if I were naked, then?

Why would that matter?


What if I meet you off duty? Say at a social function for pets?

I'll probably shoot your dog. 


You have really good aim with dogs. Sheesh.

Usually, but not always.


What if a small girl is chasing her puppy?

We'll teach her some manners. 


What about other social events?

That depends on if you accept our offer of a drink. 


What kind of training do you have for this job?

The best training in the world.


That's rare, though, right? I shouldn't be in danger.

Probably not.  But accidents happen.


I'd like to observe this training for myself, to see just what's involved.

You might not wanna do that.


If there's a camera rolling and you know it's being filmed, you'll use discretion, yes? You won't empty your guns at a running bad guy and hit the cameraman?

Who cares? There's nothing wrong with that.  The judge concurs.


Right, but it's not policy to roll up and blow people away, is it?

Well....about that....


So if I see you roll up to get someone, what should I do?



One of your officers just plowed into my car. What now?
But at least in a dire emergency, like a school shooting, we can rely on you to help, right?

If I'm detained, should I come quietly?

Quiet, screaming, actually, it doesn't matter if you come, as long as we do.


Do I have right to remain silent?

That depends. Do you like rough sex?