Edge of Collapse: Your Role as a Protector
Following on from my previous post ‘The Collapse: When and What? How to be ready?‘ I am going to put some ideas out there about what to do in the current political / social environment, followed by information on situational awareness and training. These are general thoughts and ideas and you have to take them or leave them as you see fit.
I suggest to you that the current political environment is something beyond what you could term as ‘politics as usual.’ The reason I say this is because I would define ‘politics as usual’ as a case of differing opinions and approaches within a defined political system. That political system is the Constitutional Republic which this country aspired to be; in a normal society we would be debating and electing people based on fairly moderate political ideas slightly to the left and right of the political spectrum, but within the scope of the Republic.
Sadly, this country is / was a ‘Republic if you can keep it’ and it appears that we have failed to keep it. We are now facing extremist political actors who have a stated desire to bring about ‘transformation’ of this country. What that means, in my opinion, is the destruction of the Constitutional Republic and replacement with something Socialistic in nature, which cannot and will not work, and will result in collapse.
I for one have certain opinions (such as my opinions on tax, and specifically property tax), which I consider already excessive for a true Constitutional Republic as the Founders intended. I see us already living in an authoritarian and socialistic country (wealth redistribution via high taxes). However, we are where we are. I personally am a legal immigrant and although I was disappointed to find inside the tin not what the label read, ‘it is what it is’ at this time. I say this to mean we have to start from where we are – which means any further slide into authoritarian socialism must be resisted.
The current (read NUTS) state of politics in this country is why I reject it when people call for ‘unity.’ I do not believe there can be any unity in the face of a clear and present danger such as the socialists are promising to bring us with their transformation. Thus, I think anyone espousing socialism or political correctness must be resisted at all times. This may mean ‘standing up’ and is where many of you will part company with me. Why? Because it means ‘making a fuss’ and calling people out on their BS. I have personally experienced how people get upset by cussing and I laugh about that (some of you however do have religious reasons behind that) – because I also think that we live in an adult world with big boys rules. At the same time, I reject any leftist / socialist who would tell me that I am being disrespectful to them, and not engaging in a civil discourse. Why? Because in my opinion we are well beyond that. I will respect a political opinion given the circumstances laid out above for normal political times, but when someone is espousing dogma that is a clear and present danger to this country, and to the future of my children, I consider them a threat and we are well beyond civility in that case. It seems leftists are allowed to be rude but ‘Libertists’ are not. I disagree. The extent to which you are rude or cuss or simply call them out without doing so is up to you and up to the situation, but my point is that you should not let these people get away with their lies and BS and you must stand up and call it for what it is.
Let me clarify the above by explaining that I am not saying that the only tactic with a leftist is to cuss them out. If being more reasonable works better for the circumstances, then go with that. But what I am saying is do not let them get away with it, and do not be afraid to drop the cuss bombs if the situation calls for it – do not be afraid to ‘up the ante’ if it means that you are standing up and calling these leftists out for the crap they are doing. Point being – the priority is to stand up to them, the specific tactic is up to you.
I voted for President Trump in the 2016 election. I mainly did so as a vote against Clinton. Since then, I have been more and more impressed with Trump. I think he is a genius. The left are really good at organizing and the right is atrocious at it. Unless you want to see President Harris in 2020, you need to put whatever ‘never Trump’ crap it is that you are thinking to the side and get on it. I mean, I don’t even truly believe in democracy, in terms of viewing it through the prism of the negative effect it has had on the Constitutional Republic, and now the mass stupidity is likely to bring about the end of that Republic. But it is where we are at and we have to use the system available to us to push back against this impending socialism. Yes, I hear ‘there is no voting our way out of this’ (TINVOWOOT) but there is a way to get Trump elected and serve a second term.
Now let’s discuss what you can do as an individual / family member / parent. You need to look to the protection of your family in this increasingly divided and insane society. Some of what I have said above has the potential to put you and those family members in danger. Even the decals you put on your vehicles. Thus there must be a time and a place for calling out the leftists. When you are with your small kids, it is not the time. For example, I recently purchased MAGA hats for use in the coming electoral festivities. These will be worn sparingly, mainly when I am alone and not with the family / kids – because there is a clear and present danger to being out in public with the nut jobs that infest the place. Getting cold-cocked in the line to buy a burger in a fast food joint is not a clever plan. Trump-derangement syndrome is strong.
Above, I am referring to situational awareness. This is vital. There are a couple of important aspects to this – there is your active awareness, and there is the impression you put out to others even when you are not aware they are observing you. Your active awareness is up to you, and requires an attention to your environment which in itself will have an impact on the second aspect. But you must also temper that with some subtlety – you can’t be scanning rooms like a crazy person, you just have to be subtly aware. The second aspect is impacted by such things as how you hold yourself, your physical fitness / strength, and whether or not you look like an easy mark – you want to be a hard target. The predator is an expert at assessing this. He can tell if you are an easy mark, or similarly, if you are pretending to be a tough guy. The best approach would be to be quietly and subtly confident / competent, which the predator will be able to spot, and thus will likely leave you alone. Of course, being confident may have a lot to do with your level of competence achieved via effective training, although in this day and age there is just as likely to be a false-ego confidence brought about by untested egos. The predator will know.
To be an effective protector you have to work on the aspects that build the warrior mindset, and that is tied in closely with situational awareness and risk assessment i.e. good judgment. Much can be gained for situational awareness in combat by effective training which leverages the positive effects of combat inoculation during both live fire tactical maneuver training and force on force team tactics. This will go a long way to mitigating the negative effects of such psychological stress-effects such as tunnel vision and auditory exclusion – in effect the stress caused by effective training, although not as intense as the actual combat situation, goes a long way to inoculating you to the effects and physical / psychological processes when you actually experience combat. This is not achieved by bench-rest or pew-pew type shooting.
Thus to work towards the warrior mindset we should work on our physical fitness, our hand to hand and handgun self-defense skills, and also our rifle combat marksmanship and team tactics. We run an excellent Defensive Concealed Handgun (DCH) Class that is about the practicalities of carrying and shooting, and is not a State CCW qual class. We also run our series of Hostile Environment Advanced Tactics (HEAT) classes, such as HEAT 1 & 2, Force on Force Team Tactics, the Combat Leadership Course and Close Quarter Battle classes. Not only are these professionally run and excellent tactical classes in their own right, but they are also teaching you the situational awareness, tactical judgement and tactical decision making that are vital to survival and your role as a protector.
One of the problems I observe by reading blogs and comments is the tactical naivete displayed by many. People clearly see the threats and dangers of our current situation but they appear to withdraw to a form of denial, by creating mental crutches to which they can retreat, building a buffer against the reality that they fear and know they are not prepared for. This is partly why people create ‘scenarios’ for the collapse which they feel they can control. An example is the disparaging of the need to conduct small unit tactical training. This is often based on inner feelings of inadequacy because they know they do not have the physical fitness for it, and they know they do not have enough of the warrior mindset to do something about that. Another crutch exists in long range shooting. This is the sort of bench-shooting which many do as an (admirable and useful) hobby, but which does not translate (on its own) across to a combat environment, particularly when engagement ranges are likely to be at less than 100 meters and dynamic. Without the physical fitness and situational awareness, tied in with lack of tactical common sense and judgment, it is unlikely that these basic shooting skills will be viably translated into combat effective tactics. Now, give me a competent long range shooter who also gets physically fit and trains in small unit tactics, and I will give you someone who is useful.
In case you did not catch it before, here is the information on the warrior mindset and how it will help you both day to day and when you experience a life changing combat situation:
THE WARRIOR MINDSET
“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”― Heraclitus
This section concerns developing and maintaining the right warrior mindset, and how to action that in your life.
Warrior Mindset concerns more than aggressiveness and determination; it is about overcoming challenge and adversity. It’s about possessing, understanding, and being able to utilize a set of psychological and physical skills that allow someone to be effective, adaptive, and persistent. It also allows someone to use optimal decision-making, psychological techniques, physical and tactical skills learned in training and by experience.
The goal of the Warrior Mindset is to integrate the psychological with physical and tactical training to add a dimension that is often overlooked, but necessary to achieve maximal performance of a skill. If you only talk about mental toughness, but don’t actively train it, you haven’t developed into a complete warrior….regardless of what physical skills you have developed. You’ll find, with proper training, that you can possess the power to overcome any obstacle and change your outcomes if you train yourself mentally. This is the point in which you will truly bring out the Warrior Mindset within yourself.
If you consider yourself a self-reliant and capable individual, then you need to action the warrior mindset. By your thoughts, actions, training and capabilities, you are working to become an embodiment of the warrior mindset. This is not something that you need to be concerned about only if you are in a martial profession, because in the great American tradition of individual self-reliance, we should all be capable self-reliant individuals. Thus, you are a protector of yourself, your family and your children. However, what is mostly missed is the fact that the utility of developing the warrior mindset and associated tactical skills, is not simply tactical capability. In fact, development of an effective warrior mindset is a positive character building process and will filter across and benefit all areas of your professional and personal life.
If we dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of tactical training in order to develop a warrior mindset, then we are directly concerned with developing:
- Physical Fitness and Strength.
- Hand to Hand Self-Defense Skills.
- Skill at Arms.
- Tactical Skills & Knowledge.
- Physical & Moral Courage.
What is often missed, but is essential to a true warrior mindset:
- Problem Solving & Decision Making Ability.
- Performance Under Stress.
- Psychological Resilience.
- ‘Will to Win.’
- Leadership Qualities.
- Situational Awareness.
- Communication Skills.
These are the character building qualities that are essential to a warrior mindset and which will bleed across into your personal and professional life.
You need to be actively pursuing these skills, training and qualities in order to invest in yourself. Those of us who developed these qualities by joining the military and serving had to do so by hard work. There are other professions that will also develop these qualities, perhaps in a less directly tactical method. Those of us in relevant professions may have been pushed to develop these qualities, but we will not maintain the mindset without continued hard work. No one can rest on their laurels. All we can offer you is training, hard work, and continual striving to do better by yourself and your family. Anything less than a commitment to that, and you are wasting your time.
If you wish to progress to a full warrior mindset you must see firearms manipulation as simply a progression to more complex tactical range training. In essence, many are stuck in a training zone that is going to be detrimental to them, and also does not allow them to develop the skills and qualities mentioned as part of the warrior mindset.
At MVT we have a cadre of returning alumni who train not only to be prepared for that rainy day, but also because it is part of their character, they have a warrior mindset, and they are truly investing in themselves. These students, if you like, come from the ten that Heraclitus refers to, the nine fighters and one warrior.
It is due to misunderstandings of the nature of the warrior mindset, its development, the true tactical training progression, that we developed the training classes and concepts here at MVT. The primary misunderstanding among those that ‘shoot’ is not realizing the ability to ‘shoot’ is necessary but not sufficient to develop the warrior mindset and real tactical ability; it imparts no tactical competence in and of itself. Shooting in itself is not hard to teach or learn; you can spend a lifetime getting better, but it does not take long to teach it well enough to be tactically competent. In very simple terms, what is really needed is to be able to shoot, move and communicate in a tactical environment. Those are very simple words to write, but they describe in essence the complexity of tactical training. When we put you in a live fire environment and have you shoot, move and communicate, it is not easy to do at first. When we put you in a force on force environment, it is also not easy to do. That is why this training develops those qualities referred to above. To be able to even execute these skills effectively at a very basic level, with others, requires training and practice. The more, the better. It is a process.
The above section on the Warrior Mindset is taken from the MVT Tactical Manual : Small Unit Tactics: