Category Archives: Ramblings on Policing and the Military…

And so the travesty in Ferguson, Missouri reaches it’s tragic denouement…

Watching CNN right now.  The prosecutor isn’t even done reading his statement.  Within two minutes of stating “no indictment for Officer Wilson on any of the five counts”, the crowd is already unravelling.

Video snippets are already being shown of crowds of protestors running down the streets, already starting to cause mayhem, with the police already forming their riot lines.  Aggressive and tactical posturing is beginning on both sides.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the true residents of that small city, and the general area.  The looks of “professional protesters” are appearing to make this into an ugly and unfortunate climax.  As if the whole situation wasn’t bad enough, people are already starting to take advantage, yes advantage, of the situation as it is.  Peaceful protesting it is not.

Even with what the prosecutor is reading appearing to show that Michael Brown did in fact charge at Officer Wilson, and did appear to try to disarm the officer (which is a threat of serious-bodily-harm-or-death, directly armed or not, and not the completely innocent “little boy” that some try to proffer), people will look at it as a 100% race-against-race issue, and not for what it is – resentment and distrust, on both sides of the coin, leading to the destruction of two families and a community enduring the national embarrassment of the tragedy of social and racial disparities.

Good luck to them all.  Patience, understanding, racially-unbiased-justice and better temperaments are needed.

Time to get back to “normal”…

So, it’s been a couple weeks now.  October 20th and 22nd, 2014.  For Canadians – and especially those of us in the military – those dates will remain infamous in their connotations.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.

THOSE are the names that need to live on.  Not those of any perpetrators.

Their tragic endings are most unfortunate.  The recent spate of occurrences are having drastic consequences on us as a society.  Granted, many more have perished needlessly in previous incidents around the world – the London subway attacks in July of 2005, the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, the 2014 knife attack at the train station in Kunming, China that killed or injured 176, and of course, 9-11.

But, as much as western media likes to thrive about it, it’s not about body count.  It shouldn’t be.  It’s about the impact that an incident has on a culture’s soul.

There are those of us, living in uniform, be it military, police, fire, etc., who have understood for years that this is the new reality of our world.  That something fanatical-/terrorism-based hasn’t excessively happened in Canada previous to these occurrences is, honestly, surprising.  People, society as a whole, like to keep their collective heads in the sand.  We watch the nightly news, and we see all that’s wrong in the world, all the bad stuff that’s happening…somewhere else.  Sure, we’ve had bad things happen here occasionally.  The shootings of RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, or more recently in Monction, are a case in point.  The “lone wolf” actions (or “stray dogs” as they can be called as well, due to their misfit and seething nature leading them to find a home with fundamentalist propaganda) have always been on the fringes of the radar.  But, we were fighting terrorists (there’s that word) “over there”, over in the sandbox – not on our pristine shores.  The incidents earlier last month led people to wake up to the notion – yes, stuff like this can happen within our borders.  Fanatical people, coming from overseas or our own citizens inspired from online groups, could do something like this, in peaceful, quiet, world-loving Canada.  It was a shock to people to even have an understanding that this could occur.

I’ve had a tiresome couple of weeks with this (gawd, I need a good cigar!)  New levels of caution are out there, especially for those living in uniform.  Media coverage is running the gamut.  Some news stories and stuff from both inside and outside of Canada – it’s amazing to see.  While I don’t think it’s funny, I do laugh at the relative naivety of society as a whole – “in Canada??!!!?!” and “if it can happen in Canada, it can happen anywhere!”, etc.

Is religion to blame?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  I’d say – probably more yes than not; but not religion exactly – it’s the perversion of it by those wishing to control others.  But…don’t put the blame on true religous believers of Islam.  Who am I, or who are any of us, to judge others on that?  Of course, similar to 9-11, I’ve heard many discuss how “the religion of Brotherly love” is leading to the recent unforgiveable slaughters of many innocent people.  However – Christianity is no better (looking in historical context).  Neither is nearly any other religion out there.  In my mind, the overall history of organized religion is no better than any corrupt big business or mafia.  Hell, as is oft quoted and discussed – many more people have died in humanity’s history solely due to religion and religious beliefs, than over all other geo-political reasons.

All I know is that Canadians as general, especially with this happening in the run-up to Remembrance Day on November 11th, are definitely more acutely aware of our pretty country not being invulnerable to such heinous acts.  Something that some of us in uniform all knew and understood, but that with society’s blissful ignorance let “our guard down”, so to speak.  The national consciousness has now somewhat woken up to these possibilities.  Some will still choose to put their heads back in the sand.  The rest of us will move forward, always “on guard for thee”, remembering those that have unfortunately been taken from us.

To our future tomorrows, and that there be many more…time to have some good cigars again.

Cheers all.

So…I hate when people try to make me lose my lunch…

It sometimes makes for interesting times. “Dirty MP”. “Let’s have some fun with him”.

Hey, just because I have the scarlet hat and a gun or eight, doesn’t mean that I’m any more of a man who would keep a barf bag beside him when a tactical orientation flight turns into one big prank. LOL.

Very fun, but definitely, like roller coasters, makes me feel that feeling of “my gawd, I’m not in control and I HATE it” sensation.

Sorry for some of the pictures though – nightime lighting, and certain points, especially with open rear ramps, I was NOT gonna risk holding my iPhone in my hands, lest it become expensive and dangerous airborne debris for some poor bastard sitting in his backyard and watching the stars when a couple of jackasses tactically zoom along the treetops.

From a couple of nights ago…

Thoughts on the Moore, Oklahoma beheading…

So, I’ve thought long and hard about my “Champ and Chump of the Week” thing.  Thought better of it.  Thought further about it not really fitting my personna as well, nor what I wanted published on the blog.  I’m very opinionated, and have my thoughts on just about everything – qualified or not!  But, it’s just perhaps some stuff I don’t want to publish here – figure that I can do without the negativity, and instead can just focus on other thoughts when and where something comes up that fits my other categories and themes on here.

With that in mind…

How crazy was your workplace this past week? Not as crazy as at Vaughan Foods I bet:

My hat off to Mark Vaughan in this incident.  Whatever the suspect’s motivations were, Mr. Vaughan, being a reserve sheriff’s deputy, off-duty and at his main workplace as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, was called to action and “put some in him” to stop Alton Nolen’s attack.  Friggen awesome.

As is currently being reported but is still under investigation by the FBI as well, the suspect had apparent extremist Islamic ties, and was trying to convert workplace employees in an aggressive nature recently, part of which apparently led to his firing on the day of the attacks.  Whether it was these supposed extremist / fundamental ties and/or beliefs, or his anger over the firing that day, he then left the main / HR building, drove across the street, and walked into the main processing building and attacked and severed the head of the first employee that he saw, and then attacked another before Mark Vaughan fired his weapon at him to stop the attack before another beheading could take place.  We’ll find out in due course (as he’s recovering in hospital from his injuries, so he’ll likely be interviewed / interrogated soon) what caused him actually to do this, whether it was the extremist religion things or just an angry act due to losing his job.

Of course, the unfortunate debates from all sides of the political spectrum and viewpoints will begin to rage anew in the U.S. and other countries.  Pro-gun groups will applaud the off-duty reserve deputy for having and using his weapon to stop the attack.  Hell, the local police praised him for doing so, saying the attack could and would have been much much worse. (I wholeheartedly agree with this, based on the information that’s out there right now.)  Others on the far-right will also say, “too bad he didn’t kill the terrorist dead”, wanting an eye for an eye.  On the other side, people will ask for more security.  Saying this is different, as he was an off-duty reserve cop, and not a crazy civilian carrying-concealed at work.  Also, whether this has a direct link to the recent ISIS beheadings, and much scarier, perhaps to the recent ISIS video demand for supporters in western countries to attack and behead people (specifically police and military personnel – so I’m on the docket twice I guess!), we’ll have to wait and see what the FBI investigation reveals.

But for the now, good on Mr. Vaughan.  Seeing and/or hearing what Alton Nolen had just done to the first victim in stabbing and then beheading her, and then with him attacking another woman, Mr. Vaughan fired two or three rounds (reporting varies, but looks to be three shots), and put two rounds on target, stopping Nolen’s heinous and violent attack.  Local reports are saying that Vaughan wasn’t actually armed at the time of attack, but that he retrieved an assault rifle and vest from his vehicle (as a tactical team member), and then returned back into the building to stop Nolen.

The online debates are already raging.  I’m not gonna link anything further here – Google it and look around if you want proof and/or are interested.  People are saying the usual tripe.  “Everyone needs to carry concealed to protect themselves.”  “Morons are going to end up with their heads separated from their bodies because the cops can’t get there fast enough and everyone else complies with the no gun at work rule.”  “Shoot first, ask questions later.”  “Everyone needs to carry everywhere.”  “First confirmed domestic kill of an Islamist extremist.”  [Duh, no.]  “How long will it be before Sharpton and Jackson start the wailing and gnashing of teeth over a black man shot by a white cop for simply exercising his freedom of religion?  Wait for it, in 5, 4, 3, 2…”  [Ouch.]  “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 or beheaded by 1.”

It’s equally extremist verbal filth, from the far right, and doesn’t help any side heal and move forward.

Yet equally, others from the left are saying how it’s another example of workplace violence in America.  Another reason to ban guns / weapons (ummm, the dude cut off the lady’s head with a giant vegetable knife, in a food processing plant.)  Others are saying why didn’t the reserve cop shoot him in the leg or arm instead.  Etc., etc., etc.  Muslim groups in America are also rightly condemning the actions of Nolen, saying what he did is the “antithesis of every teaching of the Islamic faith”.

I for one believe that Mr. Vaughan is a hero.  He heard about what was happening, retrieved his weapon (with his police training kicking in), and donned his vest (with him saying in a statement that he did so, due to wanting to ensure that any responding police would identify him as not being the actual suspect), and then took out Nolen.  To those saying he shoulda killed him, or shoulda shot him in the leg, etc., etc…

Police shoot to stop the threat.  Period.

It’s not about shooting to kill, as some gun haters call it.  It’s about using hydrodynamic shock (from the bullets going through the body’s tissues) to impart enough damage on the subject’s central nervous system and/or cardiovascular system to cause them to lose bodily strength and control, so that they no longer present an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death to someone, be it the police officer or a separate subject / civilian.  Yes, there’s actually all this theory and science behind it.  Yes, it can cause someone to die obviously.  But, that’s not the main intent (unless you’re a sniper, and/or that’s the only shot to go for is a “kill shot”.)  It’s all about stopping the threat.  Double-tap into center mass.  That doesn’t work immediately, more rounds downrange in double taps, and/or aim for the noggin’.  It’s called the “fail to stop drill”, or what Hollywood and old-school thinking calls “two in the chest, one in the head”.  And this is all happening during the oodles of tactical considerations and decisions being made in nano seconds.  Mr. Vaughan’s training kicked in, put at least two rounds into Nolen, dropped him.

Kudos.  Time will tell if this is an extension of the ISIS beheadings and/or the ISIS demands for supporters to act, or just simply a heinous act by a copycat.  But for now, what remains is that Mr. Vaughan stopped things from potentially getting much much worse.

Cheers all.