February 25, 2005

I'd Say They Were Back In Condition White But That Would Imply They Left It

If you're not familiar with them take a look at Jeff Cooper's color codes. There won't be a test at the end of this but try to pick out what those color codes mean in the real world.

To start things off the Denver PD believe they've captured the man responsible for the serial rapes of last week. The residents of that community & I think all of Denver itself appear to be greatly relieved. Ya see it's not just that a vicious criminal is locked up but that now they have no excuse not to change from Condition White - as if they'd have been able to make it to a true Condition Yellow.

"Brents appears in court, learns of likely charges"

"Hunched over and shackled, accused serial rapist Brent J. Brents appeared Sunday in court, where a judge told him why he's being held on $25 million bail and hinted at charges he's likely to face this week.
Brents was taken into custody Friday night in Glenwood Springs after police canvassed the metro Denver area for three days looking for him..."

So it would seem that a very bad man has been removed from society. At least temporarily. Scroll to the bottom of that article for a list of what he's allegedly done since he was released from prison in July of 2004.

"One victim's family sat in the front seats and cried.
'I wanted to see him. I wanted him to look at me,' said the stepfather of an 8-year-old Aurora boy Brents allegedly molested last fall. 'No one has a right to touch a kid.'
'He just needs to grow old somewhere in a cell until the end of his days,' the stepfather said."

If I were in his place I would have wanted to see him too. Whether he saw me or not wouldn't matter. But the stepfather's attitude is typical. He asserts that no one has any justification for touching a kid in a harmful way (which I agree with) but then says the molester should grow old in jail (which I do not agree with). Personally I think he should be killed outright if it can be proven he did a fraction of the things he did. There's little hope for rehabilitation in any meaningful sense & honestly I don't want to pay for his upkeep. But killing someone is probably abhorrent to most people even when they agree that person's actions were abhorrent.

"The brother of another victim said Sunday that Brents' capture 'gives us some closure.'
'There's still a lot of mental healing, though,' he said from his home in North Carolina. 'We're hoping that it (Brents' trial) is treated properly.'
The North Carolina man's sister, who was assaulted in her home, is among five victims sexually assaulted in the last 10 days in the Cheesman Park area."

Being from NC I can only assume that by closure he doesn't mean some touchy feely "arrived at a special place emotionally" nonsense but that they can nail the coffin solid before they put him in the ground. Then again NC is not immune to the effects of the disease that has other places writhing in its grasp.

"In the east Denver neighborhoods where Brents allegedly committed at least five assaults, residents Sunday said there is still a chill in the air."

& there damn well should be. Brents is behind bars & even in the liberal refuge on Denver it's unlikely that he'll get out. But Brents is not the only bad person in existence. He probably doesn't even come close to the worst. What Brents proved was that the police, no matter how well meaning, cannot protect each & every person. What scares people about Brents isn't that he's bad; it's that when it comes to bad people most of the time you're on your own.

"It just seems like a bad dream. That's all,' said John Andrews, who was walking his golden retriever down Marion Street on Sunday."

Not a dream; an alarm clock. The question is how many people will just hit the snooze button & roll back over?

"Capture brings relief"

"A palpable sense of relief prevailed in besieged Denver neighborhoods Saturday after the capture of alleged serial rapist Brent J. Brents, and police urged any other victims to come forward and hold him accountable."

What exactly is there to be relieved about? Yes a bad person is locked up but only after he walked through any semblance of defense that his victims had the illusion of maintaining. Congratulate the cops for a job well done (for a change) but don't assume that everything's fine when it was clearly demonstrated that everything's not fine.

"No city can live enveloped in fear,' Mayor John Hickenlooper said. 'I'm delighted to say this nightmare is over."

It's not over as long as people don't take responsibility for their own defense & asshats like Hickenlooper discourage & persecute those who attempt self defense.

Maybe I missed it but when the cops couldn't find Brents did Hickenlooper advise citizens to arm themselves? Did he mention that they & not he or the Denver PD was the first & possibly last resort to providing for their own safety? No. That would have undermined his sense of power. He assured everyone that the Denver PD would handle things & eventually they did, but not in time to prevent some people from being assaulted.

"Friends, officials rally for victims"

This article opens with the recounting of how a lady was awoken by her son calling at 3 a.m. to tell her that Brent's had been captured.

"Mom, you can relax now. ... They've caught him,' Perez said her son told her.
The grandmother of twin girls lives near the 6th Avenue Pet Source, where Brents allegedly sexually assaulted the owner Feb. 11.
'He's a pretty scary guy, and I haven't slept in a week,' a weary Perez said Saturday."

Contrast that with how another lady dealt with similar circumstances:

"I would have used a shotgun, but I had just had new countertops done and I didn't want to tear up the kitchen."

She opted for a .357 revolver to shoot an intruder who was caught by the cops laying in a yard a few blocks away complaining about abdominal pain.

This lady would have been worried about having a serial rapist in her neighborhood but I have little doubt that she could have taken care of herself.

Also look here & here & here & here & here & here for more examples of people defending themselves.

The rally Saturday turned into a celebration of sorts over the news that Brents was captured.

Some in the crowd held signs, and motorists traveling east on East Sixth Avenue responded by honking horns.

"Some of the signs read: 'Women and children. ... Revere them not rape them' and 'Violence not welcome in this neighborhood."

"Violence not welcome in this neighborhood"? Exactly what are they going to do; politely ask violence to leave? The honorable Col. Jeff Cooper once said, "Evil is not overcome by fleeing from it". I'd venture to guess that he'd agree that violent predatory people aren't subdued by asking them to play nice or leave.

Violence may not be "welcome" in that neighborhood & that's part of the problem. Violence should have been welcomed & encouraged. Not predatory violence, but defensive violence. The people seem to not understand the difference. They really need to read The Smallest Minority's thoughts on the matter.

"This guy has terrorized an entire community,' said George Lang, who attended the rally with his dog, Princess. 'I'm so glad they caught that creep."

This may seem a bit unfair but what exactly did Mr. Lang do to help catch the creep in question? Did he try to use "Princess" to track him down? Did he offer to sit up with the elderly in case there home was targeted? If Brents had broken into Mr. Lang's house could he have done anything other than sick 'Princess" on him while trying to dial 911? Odds are Mr. Lang, like everyone else relied on the cops to do their job. To clarify Mr. Lang delegated his duty to the cops. He did so wrongfully. & it was just as wrong for the police to let anyone think they could delegate such duty to anyone else.

In The Smallest Minority post You Can't Do That! You're Not Qualified! Kevin points out Sir Robert Peel's Nine Principles. They center on the idea that police are merely extensions, not substitutes of the people. They simply do full time what everyone else should do when they are able.

But it's in the interests of the police to not encourage that mindset. When the people rely on themselves then the power of the police & the state become diminished. It's just harder to convince people to pay more taxes for services they don't need. I'm not saying that the police are totally unnecessary; they provide a great service when they're not being sent out to collect revenue for the city or county. But the over-reliance on the police (or government in general for that matter) does not accomplish any of the goals it purports to accomplish while having some undesirable side effects.

To not stray too far off the subject the police cannot protect you no matter how good their intentions may be. Even in NYC with 60,000+ police officers on duty they cannot protect everyone. To accomplish that you'd have to have three cops assigned to every person. For a multitude of reasons that's undesirable as well as impractical.

The residents of the Denver community relied on the police. & the police did a decent job of catching this guy. But despite their efforts they could not prevent him from attacking people. The people on the other hand could have but they were too enamored with relying on others for their defense. They didn't want to leave the dream world of Condition White.

Instead they prefer to concentrate on being the best victims they can be.

"Victim speaks out to show others that they are not alone"

"More than 200 people were at a rally Saturday organized by the store owner's friends and her fiancé, Robert, who spoke about the need to redirect the community's anger into something positive like getting to know your neighbors - a message the woman shares."

I'll agree that becoming aware of your surroundings is a good thing. But it's not how anger should be redirected. I'm not even sure that anger should be redirected at all. A man forcefully raped women & children. The anger should remain where it probably was in the first place - on the sick bastard who did these things.

"The world would be a better place," she said. "We would recognize when there is danger when something is not right. We could say: 'Who are you? What are you doing here? I don't recognize you."'

& what if his response was to pull out a knife & tell you to lie down? What if he simply smacked you & pushed you down by your head?

I've seen this type of thing before; this type of "empowered attitude" with nothing to back it up. I admit it's better than simply bowing to an aggressor but the results aren't pleasant. You've probably seen it too. A person will sometimes try to use a forceful tone to compensate for a lack of any physical prowess. I know a lot of petite women who will tell you in a heartbeat that you're going to or not going to do something. & when they deal with benevolent people who care about them it usually works to their favor. But now let's switch things around & imagine that approach on someone who planned on forcibly raping &/or abusing them in the first place.

It's called bluffing. It might work on decent people or halfway decent people but it won't do a thing when used against bad people.

Gandhi developed a very successful strategy for using non violent resistance to accomplish political goals. MLK & the civil rights movement in the u.S. during the 60's used that in part to do some of their work (although violence played more of a part than most people like to admit). But imagine if 10,000 Jews had attempted that with Hitler.

Different situations call for different tactics. You can't use non-violent means on someone who wants to be violent. Most of the time passive compliance isn't even enough to keep you from being harmed. I'm sure every woman & child that was attacked last week did exactly as Brent said they should. Yes; they're all alive but far from unharmed.

Now contrast the non-violent approach to Hitler with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Do you think the Klan was stopped by marches? No; they were stopped by black men with guns who protected their homes & communities. Likewise Brent wouldn't have been persuaded by a forceful tone or requests to stop being violent because that would be unacceptable behavior. Brents was stopped by the force wielded by cops. That force can & should be wielded by the people in the community he terrorized: protective violence. But that requires moving far away from Condition White.

The people in Denver are worse off than they were before. Now instead of just ignorantly wandering around oblivious to danger they know danger is out there but choose to ignore it. Sure, they'll talk about it & maybe have 911 programmed into their speed dial but as far as actually preparing to deal with it that's as far as they'll go.

Earlier in this post I listed some links that show people that aren't happily in a permanent Condition White. They were confronted with violent confrontational criminals & responded appropriately. Any one of those criminals could have, if not stopped, went on to terrorize a community just as Brent did. But in each case a person decided that they were responsible for their own defense & as a by-product took responsibility for the defense of their community. Many of those stories happened in the south where self reliance & self defense is held in perhaps more esteem than other regions, but one happened in Aurora, Colorado which is right next to Denver.

One of the reasons I moved to Colorado was that it seemed to have a culture that was not too different from the south as far as self reliance was concerned. In the rural areas this is accurate. But in the urban areas like Denver I find that self reliance is shunned in favor of reliance on the government. If a criminal harms someone else the people of Denver (among other places) look to the police. They don't think that if they'd have stopped the burglar that broke into their house last week that the attack of yesterday might not have happened. They fail to see their duty to themselves let alone each other & instead walk around in a white out. Not of snow but of situational awareness & the ability or even the mental capacity to provide for it.

We are humans. Human nature hasn't changed in a few thousand years. I doubt it will anytime soon. There are always going to be people prepared to harm you for reasons that may not even make sense to you. There is no excuse for not at least being on the verge of Condition Yellow at all times. Being in Condition White is dangerous. Most of the time that danger is not realized, but that's chance acting in our favor. We can never be truly secure; if someone wants to harm us bad enough he'll succeed. But we can make it as dangerous for aggressors as it is for us. We can do so by being aware & being prepared. Neither of those things can happen while you're in Condition White.

If Denver is very lucky another Brent won't come along anytime soon. If the people of Denver were smart they'd rely on proven methods to deal with a potential Brent rather than relying on luck. I won't hold my breath for them though - I'll be too busy watching my back.

Posted by Publicola at February 25, 2005 03:47 AM

Quote for the day.

Posted by: Fûz at February 25, 2005 10:36 PM

I agree with you. People are not aware of anything anymore. It's alarming how dependant our society is on a system of protection that's not really that strong anyway. I'm on the other end of the spectrum. That it I trust myself to look after myself more than anyone else. I may take it to an extreme by assuming more often that ordinary people may be predators.
Quick question: I appreciated the links you included cited instances where people defended themselves against attacks. I didn't see any that dealt with sexual assault. Do you know of any instances where a woman fought back and stopped her attacker?

Emily Sullivan

Posted by: Emily Sullivan at March 10, 2005 01:45 PM

We had a serial rapist in town, 20 victims we knew of. His penultimate victim fought back, when he laid his screwdriver down she picked it up and stabbed him with it.

He escaped, but when he attacked another woman and was stopped on the street nearby, the police knew to look for the injury and he was caught.

Posted by: staghounds at April 1, 2005 02:57 PM
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