Perspectives: Wishful Thinking & Playing Dead is Not a Plan (Part 3)

November 19, 2015  
Categories: Op-Eds

Raven Concealment Systems 2

Here is Part 3 of our ongoing Perspectives series about what we can do at the individual and family level to prepare for an event like the Paris attack (or for that matter an active shooter who didn’t like his pancakes at the Village Inn). One thing we’d ask – share this around. Set politics aside. Regardless of what you think about Syrian refugees, the border or foreign policy, this advice could save lives. Help us get the word out to people who don’t “already think like us.” Help us reach the soccer moms and the guys who don’t carry a gun but could benefit from these SMEs. Seriously – we’re talking to some of the smartest, most seasoned and dangerous dudes in the world. Today we start with the truth about a willingness to do violence, then hear from 2 more SMEs; Derrick Van Orden and CK Redlinger. Help us proselytize. Mad Duo


This article is continued from Part 1 and Part 2. Part 4 is here.


Perspectives: Wishful Thinking & Playing Dead is Not a Plan (Part 3)

David Reeder

It is perhaps no surprise that the ability to defend oneself has figured prominently in the advice of the SMEs we’ve heard from in this series. This should, hopefully, be taken as a respectful chastisement to those of us who can carry but don’t, or only do so sometimes. It should also, we hope, make those who cannot or will not carry a gun sit up and take note.

This isn’t to stir up yet another gun control debate – that’s not our purpose. Don’t have a concealed carry permit? Don’t want a concealed carry permit? Fair enough. It’s a free country, but get it in your mind now how you will defend yourself or your family. That is your obligation, unless you have considered the matter and surrendered such responsibilities to the authorities (a choice we believe is a poor one, for reasons we’ll happily cordially discuss). Are you paying attention to implements that can be used in extremis? Have you reconciled yourself to the fact that violence may in fact be the only answer you have, and if so can you get your mind to a place where you can commit to bludgeoning someone to death with a folding chair or the chain looped around the restaurant patio tables? Yes, that sounds melodramatic…doesn’t make it any less true.

According to ABC News two years ago [after the mass murders in Nariobi, Kenya], the Secretary General of Interpol addressed the very issue of an armed citizenry. Interpol is the world’s largest and best known international police organization. Secretary General Ronald Noble said (regarding open societies from attack),

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem. One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security…

How do you protect soft targets? That’s really the challenge. You can’t have armed police forces everywhere…Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Colorado, if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly? What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”

It’s not a new idea. Terrorists prefer soft targets, which is no doubt one reason why the Mayor of Jerusalem (who carries a gun) recently advised citizens of that city to go abroad armed if at all possible. The person most likely to be able to defend you is you. Start planning for that now.

mumbai-attacks 1

The first, mostly like person who will be available to save you is you. Someone will come eventually, but it will be long after it matters to you personally.

Derrick Van Orden 3 

Derrick Van Orden

 Practical Steps To Get You back Home To Watch More Television. 

The previous SMEs have done a great job discussing mindset and medical preparedness, so I will simply say this:

It is better to either run or fight when something hinky is taking place and it is best to have some idea of which one you will do prior to having to make that decision.

On to other practical things. The two things that will get you killed in a civilian setting are 1) not understanding when something is taking place around you that you should, and 2) not understanding the true nature of the threat.

It has become common in many cultures, and in American culture in particular, to move through life oblivious to our surroundings because of the integration of technology into our lives. This is most notably due to our smart phones. As it is impractical to think Americans will get rid of smart phones, we need to use them and the awesome technology they possess to our advantage.

I downloaded an app for this article and have only partially tested it, so try it for yourself, I can’t recommend it yet. It is called: Breaking News +For privacy conscious folks, I can tell you right now you won’t like this because in order for it to work, you have to allow it to track you.

In a nutshell, this little fella will follow you and alert you to anything crazy that is happening within the radius you set around your location. This proximity alert can be set from 1 to 100 miles.  I consider myself a techtard and figured this out in less than 5 minutes.

So, before you leave your house, get on your phone and check to see if there are any incidents taking place in your local area. If there is something going down, decide if you want to move into that particular space, choose another store to go to, or sit at your house on your hands like a coward and watch Navy SEAL movies until you grow a spine and a great attitude.

Once you leave your house, get your face out of your phone. Stay alert to your surroundings. If you have an alert app on the phone, it will –wait for it– alert you. If you get an alert, react appropriately.

Balloon when you walk to prevent being hit by a sniper’s bullet and barrel roll around corners.  Duck into storefronts often.

If you considered any of those three things for even a moment, I want you to smash your face into your computer and admit defeat.

The majority of Americans do not understand the nature of threats because they are unfamiliar with firearms and watch too many action movies.  Guns are really loud when you shoot them. Bullets snap really loud when they are near you.

Derrick Van Orden 2Learn what gunfire sounds like. You can do this by enlisting in the military, going to boot camp and waiting until you go to the range or, get on the Google machine and hit: “What a bullet sounds like.” There are several great examples out there on YouTube.

If you hear gunfire, try and locate where it is coming from. This can be very difficult in urban settings due to echo, but at that point you really don’t have much else on your plate to take care of.

Locating the source of the gunfire may be best accomplished by looking for the muzzle flash. Unless the gunman or woman is using a suppressor, there should be a bright flash.

Remember a couple of things: If you are hearing more of a boom than a snap or crack, and see flashing, the shooter is probably close to you. And, bullets go a very long distance, like many, many blocks. A good rule of thumb is that if you can hear the gun being fired and/or see a flash, the bullet can hit you.

So there you have it. Check to see if there is anything crazy happening where you are planning to go, keep your face out of your phone in public, learn what guns sound like, and have an idea of what you are going to do before you find yourself in a situation that calls for a short reaction time.

Last thing; remember there is strength in numbers. The art of GangFu is powerful. If a gunman is surrounded by a crowd, they are surrounded by a crowd. You can’t outrun a bullet.

Sack up and get in there. 

DDerrick Van Ordenerrick Van Orden is a retired Senior Chief and combat veteran who spent 26 years in the Navy, the majority of them in NSW [Naval Special Warfare], the SEAL Teams. A vastly experienced SOF sailor and Corpsman, he has conducted missions around the world, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has served in every United States military Combatant Command (COCOM) as a SEAL including in the European Command as a Joint Commissioned Observer (JCO) under the NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) in the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Africa Command, and with U.S. Central Command for multiple tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

He is a founding member of the organization responsible for training West Coast SEALs for combat where he was instrumental in the development of both the Land Warfare and Special Reconnaissance curriculums that are now the foundations for the advanced training SEALs receive prior to deployment. He has served as the Senior Enlisted Leader (Troop Chief) for a 120+ Task Unit deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq simultaneously, the lead contingency operations planner for all Special Operations Forces in Europe, and the senior SEAL career specialist responsible for shaping the SEAL force to meet the challenges of a constantly changing world. Van Orden is the author of the best selling book: Book of Man: a Navy SEALs Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood and the star of the hit movie Act of Valor (you may remember him as Senior Chief Otto). And he’s a great dancer. On Facebook at sealbookofman. On Twitter: @sealbookofman


Mumbai Attacks 2

Voltaire said, “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only the truth.” People have paid with their lives for lessons that remain too often ignored.

Charles K. Redlinger

CK Redlinger 3Since the beginning of my professional career (27 years ago), I have always understood the importance of mindset and how it can tip the balance in your favor. Eons ago, when I was a U.S. Marine CQB instructor and had the task of teaching the lesson on mindset, I would always start the class with the following from John Steinbeck’s The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights:

“The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain, all else is supplemental.”

It can be difficult to teach or train a person in such a concept as it’s not a tangible thing you can see or touch. However, this mental advantage is invaluable to the warrior and can go far in aiding citizens in preparing for the worst case scenarios. For example, here is an exercise that I still do to this day. It has simply become a ritual that automatically occurs whether I enter a restaurant, drive down the road or even walk through a parking lot. Basically, you use your imagination to play out a scenario in your head. Try to capture the details of whatever challenging or deadly encounter that you could imagine happening in that scenario, then see yourself taking immediate action. Most importantly, visualize yourself winning! When I was a uniform cop bouncing between 911 calls, I would constantly run relevant scenarios through my head in order to prepare for violent encounters, and it worked. It’s almost like cheating because you are getting a look at the answers before you take the test. Just like we use repetition to train our body to automatically react to a threat, we can do the same with our mind. Next time you walk into a movie theater and take your seat, pause for a moment to assess and “what if” the situation. What if a gunman came in from the rear of the cinema and began shooting? Make a plan and walk yourself through it step by step.

CK Redlinger 2Whatever your plan, I highly suggest a version where you take violent action against the threat. In other words, the attacker becomes your prey. Prepare for that situation where you are afforded the chance to use a weapon of opportunity to kill the attacker. Visualize yourself surviving and winning at all costs. Even imagine yourself being shot and injured, yet still driving forward to survival. This exercise will not only help prepare you mentally for a deadly encounter, but it will assist you in building a ritual of assessing your area and creating situational awareness.

Congratulations fellow citizen, you have taken the first step to becoming a lion. Remember, good people seek peace but there is true merit in Shakespeare’s words;

In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility,

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger:

Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage,

Then lend the eye a terrible aspect…

CK Redlinger 1C.K. Redlinger was first a Marine infantryman then a Marine Security Forces embassy guard. He served as a FAST [Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team] assault team leader, breacher and MCSFTC [Marine Corps Security Forces Training Command] CQB instructor before leaving the Marine Corps after 6 years and becoming a police officer. He has worked detectives, Robbery/Homicide, patrol, SWAT and Vice, receiving over 20 commendations for line of duty actions before leaving law enforcement shortly after the invasion of Iraq to work PSD missions for high level US Diplomats (including the regional ambassador in Basra) as a contractor overseas. There he served as the Security Manager for General Petraeus at Multi National Security Transition Command in Baghdad and as the training director for several other programs. He is one of the original team members to open the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center in Amman, Jordan and was a driving force behind the Annual International KASOTC Warrior Competition. Though he still works overseas today, he and former SAS Trooper Harry Taylor run Mission X, a special operations adventure and film consulting company. Redlinger also serves as the Philanthropy and Campaigns Director for the Endangered Species Protection Agency.

This article is continued from Part 1 and Part 2. Part 4 is here.

That’s it for now. Go forth and conquer.

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Mad Duo David

Reeder Profile Picture 5About the Author: Someone has to corral the writing team, handle business expenses and bail the Mad Duo (and their minions) out of jail. For years the Pentagon, JSOC and the International Association of Chiefs of Police sought an impeccable man to lead the pedagogic and frequently obstreperous team of Breach Bang Clear writers. They needed someone charismatic, a warrior, able to maintain mental acuity under the worst stressors. Unfortunately the program suffered severe budget cuts so they ended up with David Reeder. Reeder founded Breach-Bang-Clear quite accidentally at his young son’s behest several years ago. He is the Mad Duo’s Chief Wretched Flunky and Breach-Bang-Clear’s HMFIC. A LEO for many years and former AF Security Forces SNCO, he was an O/C at the National Homeland Security Training Center for many years a MOUT instructor at the Bold Lighting UWS. Reeder has appeared on Fox News Business and written for a number of publications, from US News & World Report and to OFFGRID Magazine. You can read more about him here. Follow him on Instagram, @davidreederwrites.

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David Reeder

David Reeder

About the Author



    Damn. Seeing that arsehole walk up and point his weapon down to shoot those people on the pavement made my blood run cold. I’m assuming he had a malfunction or he was out of ammo rather than an act of kindness.

    • Steve

      He forgot to praise god before pulling the trigger.

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