Friday, January 2, 2015

Avoiding violent death

I had a great chance to talk with Kubota tonight.  We had just given a person a ride into Lansing, about 25 minutes away by vehicle.  The conversation on the way in had been, "What do you fear?"

Kubota confided that he was fearful of a violent death.

On the way back home I coached him up on avoiding a violent death.  It was a great stroke of fortune that I had just read a post over at Eastern Iowa Firearms Training on this very subject.

Good advice is often unwelcome because it goes against people's natural inclination.  One rarely needs to counsel people to not put their hands on stove burners or to not fall backwards off of tall objects.  So I am not surprised when Kubota resists my advice.  But something was different tonight.  He listened.

The short list (for teenage boys)

Stay away from crowds.  Crowds are like the Dresden firestorm. They are self-energizing due to internal positive feedback loops.  They churn out adrenaline and testosterone and produce an emotional high.  That emotional high has the same effect on judgment as a fifth of tequila (to-kill-ya). Keeping some young men away from crowds is about like trying to keep moths from flames.

Shut up
Keep your mouth shut.  Nothing good happens by trash-talking.

Hat tip to "L" for the graphic.

Crazy Chicks
Avoid crazy women.   Young men assume hot correlates with crazy.  Maybe "crazy" works harder at being "hot" because that allows them to get away with more "crazy".  More likely, the young girls who are most permissive are not well regulated, i.e., they are crazy.  That early pattern is unthinkingly accepted as fact by young men as they start navigating the shoals of "dating".

Sadly, a high percentage of the young women with "issues" were sexually abused when they were younger.  If they were abused by a family member or by their mom's boyfriend then you have a whole family of "crazy" to deal with.

Life is too short to spend it on "crazy", especially when "crazy" can make life much shorter.  I shared the story of a family friend whose fifteen year old son was stabbed by his girlfriend's not-so-ex-boyfriend.  She had been playing him against the not-so-ex and it got a little out of hand.

Binge Drinking
Read the Darwin awards and note how they always start, "Billy Bob and his buddies had been drinking...."  The effect of half-wits is multiplicative.  Four half-wits = (0.5)^4.  Drinking turns people into half-wits.

Be ready to walk
How many violent encounters happen because the victim was not willing to walk three miles...or even three blocks? 

Tam presents an outstanding vignette of a woman who was shot because it did not occur to her to walk three blocks down the street to the next bus stop. 

Heinrich's Law suggests that severe accidents are random events that differ from minor accidents by inches and fractions of seconds.  A corollary is that the only way to prevent fatalities and severe accidents is to eliminate hazard.  Don't attempt to finesse with inches or fractions of seconds.  Separate by city blocks or miles.  Separate by days or weeks.

That may mean that you abandon your car.  So be it. 

That means you must be physically capable of walking for an hour.  It means that you must wear practical footwear (or have it quickly accessible) and clothing suitable for an hour in the weather.

Situational awareness
Listen to your gut.  Our brains process far more information than we are consciously aware of.  Did you know your eyes "see" and process light in the Near Infrared spectra?  How often have you been made uneasy by something that did not smell right?  And then there are the patterns that may be difficult to articulate or explain to others but you recognize as the precursor to a tragic climax.

Use that situational awareness to put time and distance between you and that tragic climax.

1 comment:

  1. Amen to ALL of those, and it's not just for kids either!