Sunday, June 12, 2016

"MUPPETS" outline for staying safe in a dangerous world.


My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and community affected by this horrible massacre in Florida. Sadly this loss will haunt many of them for the rest of their days. Clearly this is the act of a radicalized operator acting to advance the Islamic-based terrorism goals. Whether he was a "Lone Wolf" or received support, training, and encouragement remains to be seen.

I listened to the PRN broadcast feed while working today and I just shake my head at how we dance all around the fact that our country is much less safe than it was pre- 9/11. We continue to act like it's "life as usual". Ignoring violence will not make it go away.

I served 33 years in a law enforcement agency, and if there is one thing I learned, it is that violence is a part of nature. It occurs amongst wild animals and the human animal as well and has since the dawn of time. There are archaeological sites that reveal Neolithic "massacres" perpetrated by other tribes. The American Indians commonly warred with each other, sometimes siding with Europeans when it benefitted them to gain advantage in destroying a neighboring tribe. And of course we continue to see evidence of man's inhumanity to his fellow human in countless conflicts, ethnic cleansings, and political purges around the globe.

That the FBI was aware of this most recent perpetrator, had investigated him , twice?...thrice?, and how he wasn't flagged for an alert on an attempted firearms purchase seems a tragedy.

I keep thinking of the Israelis who have lived on this type of terror awareness footing for decades and likely would've had armed guards in a club to deal with such threats. They have no false illusions about their safety, having learned the hard way many times. Or the Russian people who were attacked at the Moscow theater and Beslan School hostage situations. They too understand this enemy is ruthless and cunning.  

Now, this was an attack that was directed against an LGBT segment of society, but could easily have been any one of a number of "at risk" groups....churches, synagogues, schools, workplaces, & etc. We all need to face the sad fact that we are all "at risk" in todays world...but we don't need to live in fear; we just need to learn to live in the new reality.
I only just recently heard this "RUN-HIDE-FIGHT" slogan get introduced and I have to say, it's a start, but we need to do more. Every workplace and every school should be educated on dealing with an active shooter situations. It is not enough to educate officers on response....too much damage can occur during the LEO response time gap. Everyone needs to get in the fight.

We live in a society [and world] that is becoming increasingly unstable. On a personal level, family, tenants, or even co-workers can come unwound and become a threat. In 1992 I helped investigate a spree killing with 6 dead and 1 wounded that started over an eviction. It can happen. One of the victims had no idea he'd even made an enemy and left his front door unlocked, allowing the perpetrator easy access into his home.

Think of life as a series of concentric circles. You are at the center. Moving outwards we have a PERSONAL ring of friends & family [potential conflicts... arguments, divorces, estate disputes, & etc.]. Next is our COMMUNITY ring of co-workers, strangers, acquaintances [Firings, evictions, random encounters]. Next comes a REGIONAL ring of events occurring within our State or Nation [protests, Civil unrest events, & etc.], and finally GLOBAL [Terrorism, armed conflicts, & etc.].
My point is, we all need to practice safety and awareness in these times. You can be passing through a community and suddenly find yourself at "Ground Zero " for some event [earthquake, Civil Disturbance, etc.]. Social order and rule of law will deteriorate quickly and it may be that the only thing that will get you through are your skills, tools, and preparations.
I've been working on an easy to remember acronym ["MUPPETS"] to help you remember basic steps you can take to ensure your personal safety. these principles are just as applicable whether at home or traveling abroad. It is as follows;

"M U P P E T S"

M - Mindful. Be situationally aware. Life is a tactical situation, and your operational period is 16 hours. It begins when you wake up each day and concludes when you go to sleep.

U - Utilize. Acquire and use whatever defensive tools are financially and legally available to you. Tools [i.e., weapons] can be nonlethal/less lethal/ lethal, production or improvised, Tools expand your sphere of defense.

P - Preparation, not Paranoia. Over time, paranoia weakens your natural sense of danger, putting you at risk. Prepare for confrontations and encounters, but don't live in fear of them.

P - Practice personal safety at all times. This means keeping doors locked so you aren't caught off guard, parking in well lit areas, making a route change to avoid suspicious person.

E - Exercise. Actively try to stay fit to the best of your physical ability. Do whatever you can.

T - Train. Attend defensive courses & seminars. If you cannot afford them, practice with friends. But no matter what, DO train!

S - Survive!  Adopt a "Never Give Up!" mindset.

Anyhow, there it is. You are free to adopt and use it. I only ask that you not try to reprint it or claim it as your own work]. If "MUPPETS" works for you, great. If not, fine. I am a big believer that if something doesn't work for you, discard it and cast around for another system that does fit your needs. Then get out and TRAIN!

Stay safe! 

Bushcraft Woods Devil
[Goblin Ranger]

Copyright © Manny Silva, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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