This is the concluding part of this series of articles. The previous four may be found at these links:
I'd like to close by summarizing things that a mutual assistance group will find useful, and warn of the inevitable risks that will arise. In doing so, I'm forced to be circumspect. Free speech may be a right, but that won't stop the extremists, the politically correct and the moonbats from seizing on anything one might say in opposition to them and their agenda, and warping and twisting it into some sort of criminal offence. I'm doing my best to avoid that trap while still providing useful, worthwhile information. Discussing what I saw and experienced in other countries has been useful from that perspective, because I'm not mandating that people try the same techniques here. As I've said before, if they're legal and appropriate here, that's all well and good; but if they're not, they shouldn't be used. It's up to each reader to determine that for themselves.
Your group needs to be able to function in the face of organized mobs of rioters and looters, as we've seen in many US cities over the past year or more. Each individual and their family member(s) should already have taken any and all lawful steps to arm and equip themselves to defend their lives and property. If this can be coordinated to have everyone use the same ammunition, so much the better - it makes resupply that much easier.
Less-than-lethal options for protection of one's life, property and neighborhood are one's first line of defense. We should not escalate an encounter to the use of lethal force unless it's both legal and appropriate under the circumstances. The lawyers tell us that it should not be employed unless we're in immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of serious injury or death from an unlawful attack. It's worth keeping that firmly in mind. If we start shooting blindly at a mob that has not attacked us, we're the criminals; we're the aggressors. The law will treat us as such. On the other hand, if the mob shouts slogans threatening us harm, displays weapons that can do so, and relentlessly moves towards us, we can legitimately take the rioters at their word, and accept that the threat they offer is real. At that point, all bets are off.
As a first line of defense, deploy less-than-lethal options. Teargas and pepper spray munitions are useful, provided the wind and weather are suitable for their use. They can be in the form of sprays and gels, or even grenades, all of which can be purchased by civilians. I don't recommend small containers; they don't contain enough to be effective. I'd want a larger, belt-holster-size container. In fact, I'd make sure that every member of a responding or protective group is equipped with one or two large, long-range canisters (as an example, this one). I don't recommend bear spray: it's very effective, but it's not made or intended for use against humans, and its manufacturers print warnings to that effect on the canisters. This may lead to aggravated assault charges if you're identified as having used it. Remember, too, that winds are variable things. If the wind is towards you, gas will affect you rather than the rioters. That's why gel, rather than gas, may be a better option in windy areas - it's less vulnerable to being blown back. Proper training in the use of such tools is essential, IMHO. Turn to members of your group with law enforcement backgrounds for such information.
We've seen how, in Africa, things like caltrops were used to deny attackers easy access to less readily defensible areas. If similar tactics are employed here, it's important to remember that innocent persons may also use the areas where they're used: so we need to be able to retrieve them as easily as we deploy them. Put up warning signs, and recover the caltrops when the situation stabilizes. (Magnets on the end of a stick are very useful for this purpose. You'll find them at places like Harbor Freight. Some even come in the form of preassembled magnetic sweepers, which can make cleanup much faster and easier if the terrain allows.)
If the fight escalates, something more may be needed. Firearms are all very well, but may be overkill, and may not be legally warranted in all circumstances. However, slings and slingshots are very effective, and can inflict serious injury (as we learned in a previous blog post). They can launch ammunition ranging from lead sinkers to ball-bearings to beer cans. I've seen police launch teargas and pepper-spray grenades using them, and rioters firing Molotov cocktails with them. They're more than powerful enough to take small game, and can take out someone's eye, or break teeth or skulls, if they hit hard enough. They're not toys, and not to be regarded as anything less than a potentially lethal weapon. They have the undeniable advantage of being very quiet in operation, making it more difficult for rioters to locate them by sound.
If the rioters are using potentially lethal force, this implies we can do likewise in our own defense. Remember, if prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in your area are likely to side with the rioters, rather than with citizens defending themselves, such a step is fraught with added risk. In Africa, as we discussed earlier, less detectable, less noticeable weapons such as bows and arrows or crossbows were sometimes deployed. They were a safer choice, from the point of view of their users not being easily identified or located. They can still be legally bought in most jurisdictions. However, once they've been used, efforts will undoubtedly be made to identify anyone who's bought them in the past, as a way to trace those who fired them. Untraceable cash transactions, not recorded on store security cameras, would be less susceptible to such efforts. Their users would probably take great care to avoid being observed or recorded using them.
Close combat protection may be needed. I recommend that every member of a reaction squad in your group should be wearing protective clothing, including a helmet, elbow and knee guards, leg and chest protection, etc. Much can be obtained from sporting goods stores, where it's sold for use by hockey and football players. Shields can be home-made (as we've seen Antifa rioters do in impromptu outdoor "factories"). Avoid bright colors, and darken light ones (spray paint cans are your friend here). If you have to use such equipment the hard way, change its appearance by re-spraying it using a different color and/or pattern. This will make it difficult for rioters to identify you in future conflicts, in case they're out for revenge.
As for close combat weapons, I don't recommend options such as knives, spears, etc. They may have worked very well in Africa, but we're operating under a different legal system here. Also, they're seen as typical criminals' weapons, and we don't want to appear to be criminals or rioters. Therefore, I suggest the use of clubs, padding them wherever possible to avoid delivering a blow so hard it might cause serious injury or death. If the rioters are wielding potentially lethal weapons such as knives or firearms, obviously, that's an escalation that legitimizes our own use of deadly force in self-defense. However, that's a last resort, and (rightly) subject to very stringent legal conditions and restrictions. We should never be the first to use lethal force, if at all possible, and then only in response to an immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat of lethal force against us. That's an important legal aspect of self-defense.
You should study, train and practice tactics, so that you and your loved ones know what to do if an emergency arises. Don't be trapped in your houses by a rampaging mob wielding Molotov cocktails - that's a sure recipe for disaster, and you'll almost certainly not escape unscathed. If the situation is that dire, you should have evacuated beforehand to a safer place. If you're caught unawares, then of course you'll have to decide for yourself what level of force is justified to escape the threat. Sadly, by then it may not be possible to escape. That's a worst-case scenario where all your options are likely to be bad.
I've seen suggestions in some quarters that it's not illegal to possess a flamethrower in most states. That's probably true: but from a public relations and legal perspective, I can't think of a worse weapon to use against a mob (except perhaps explosives or Claymore mines)! Quite apart from moral issues, visualize a vengeful prosecutor showing photographs and video of the hideous injuries inflicted by such a weapon. I can't imagine a jury letting you walk away from that, no matter how you try to proclaim that the circumstances justified its use. (There's also the very real risk that you might burn down your own neighborhood in the process. Talk about overkill!)
Your group should have people standing by to treat injuries, and to fight any fires started by the rioters. Some might be ready with vehicles to take seriously injured people to hospital, or - if worse comes to worst - to evacuate your group if it becomes clear that the rioters are too numerous and too well-armed to be stopped. (You should, of course, already have evacuated vulnerable individuals from the risk area, and removed critical documents, valuables, etc. to safer locations.)
If you're not part of a group, and are looking for ways and means to defend yourself and your family in a riot or unrest situation, I have bad news. There are few options open to you, and most of them will fail in the face of a determined mob. Your primary safety lies in distance. Get away from the situation before it becomes unavoidable. Take your family and run like hell! If you lose your house and possessions, I'm sorry, but that's preferable to losing your lives. Make sure your insurance policy covers loss in such an event, and/or store valuable items in another, safer area if possible. (I know a number of people who live in vulnerable areas, who've rented storage units in safer suburbs and moved their most valuable possessions there, just in case. Yes, there's a greater risk of theft while they can't keep their eye on them, but it's still less than having them burn to the ground in a riot.)
If you encounter a riot or demonstration on the street, again, there are few good options open to you. Don't try to confront the rioters, or reason with them. There's no reasoning with a mob that's convinced it's right, and has strength of numbers on its side. Look well ahead as you drive, and listen to the radio (to a police scanner, if you have one - it's a useful investment) to identify trouble spots before you reach them. If you find yourself caught up in a traffic jam, be prepared to abandon your vehicle and evade on foot. Once you're caught up in the mob, there's no easy or safe way out. If you have the space to do so, don't hesitate to put your vehicle in low gear and drive through the mob, refusing to stop, and ignoring those striking your vehicle with sticks or clubs, trying to break your windows or stop your progress. Your vehicle offers you more protection than a suit of armor, so use it. Keep going, even if it means potentially injuring those trying to harm you. Your safety, and that of your loved ones, is far more important. Yes, you can expect to be called to account by the law after the fact; but if you're crippled, maimed or killed by the mob, you're worse off. Deal with the problem first, then worry about the aftermath.
Again and again and again, I emphasize: avoid the problem rather than having to confront it. If you're not there, you won't be a victim. If you have no choice but to be there, or you and a group of like-minded people have decided to defend your homes and your neighborhood from mob violence, understand the risks involved - from left-wing prosecutors and their law enforcement agencies as well as from rioters. Go into it with knowledge of what you may be facing, and a determination to do what it takes to defend what's yours. I'll be doing the same thing, if that becomes necessary, as will millions of Americans. Work together, and work smarter rather than harder, and you stand a good chance of getting through this.
Just remember that discretion is important in a progressive, left-wing environment. Avoid observation and detection wherever possible. Avoid being caught on camera doing anything that an over-zealous prosecutor might twist and use against you. We're not just fighting rioters, but the entire system of thought that's spawned them and given license to their criminal behavior. It's an uphill battle.
Remember, too, that the current US administration is illegitimate. The November 2020 elections were stolen by massive, overwhelming electoral fraud, as is becoming clearer with every investigation and each passing day. Those responsible will not want to relinquish the power they've illegally seized, and they'll deploy their bully-boys and their mobs to threaten ordinary Americans and scare them into compliance. If they succeed, our constitutional republic is dead. It's up to us to not be afraid, to stand up for what's right and lawful and constitutional, and refuse to be intimidated. That will inevitably mean standing up to the mobs and riots that will be deployed against us. Things are going to get worse before they get better. Expect that, be prepared for it, and be ready to resist.