|Mountain Guerrilla Blog by John Mosby|
A few days ago, during rioting in Kenosha, WI, a young man named Kyle Rittenhouse ended up shooting three people, killing two of them. The response to this has been interesting. It has ranged from people on the Left calling him a “baby Fascist” and “murderer” to people on the Right labeling him everything from “hero” to “criminal.” I’m not going to rehash the blow-by-blow of what occurred. I’m going to talk about some generalities, as they apply to our context. (1) From watching several of the available video recordings, it is crystal clear to me, the kid “did work.” With the exception of the one shot to the arm, he got good, solid, CoM hits with the rifle that, according to his attorneys’ statement was not his, and was simply handed to him to borrow. It’s safe to assume he’d not fired that particular rifle, to confirm zero, etc. There is a great deal of photographic evidence to indicate that he did have some familiarity with the AR15 of course, and judging by his execution of the fundamentals, under stress, it’s probably safe to assume he had SOME training, of some sort. At one point, it appears he suffers a malfunction that he quickly and competently clears, before getting the gun back into the fight. None of the shots he took were from ideal firing positions either, and at least one of them was while he was fighting for control of the gun with his attacker.I’ve seen, and heard, a number of people point out that “he did it with a cheap DPMS and a cheaper Chinese red dot.” That is possibly—probably—true. It was a loaner gun. This is the reason that—despite harping on people to buy the best gun they can afford—I’ve insisted that people needed to train with other weapons that might not be their first choice, and it’s why I’ve insisted that changing anything on your gun that changes the basic manual-of-arms, is foolish. You don’t KNOW what gun you’re going to have in your hands, when it’s time to do work. (2) Despite initial claims that he was in violation of some Wisconsin law limiting the ability of minors to carry guns in public, it appears that he actually was not. More critically, IT OUGHT NOT FUCKING MATTER. He’s a human being, and he was being attacked by larger, more aggressive, more experienced, older, and more numerous attackers. That’s the fucking point of having guns!(3) The argument can be made (my mother actually made it the other day) that a 17-year old “kid” had no business being at a riot in a town that he didn’t even live in, regardless of whether he worked there or not. That may be. But…unless he was engaging in violent or criminal behavior, he had just as much right to be there as any other American citizen did, at that moment. “Oh, but he was breaking curfew!”
Fuck you. Curfews are bullshit, and every other motherfucker on the streets that night was also “breaking curfew.” It doesn’t matter if he was there to support the protesters, or to defend the businesses, or just to hang out and watch the crowds, he had as much business being there as anyone did.(4) I’ve seen a number of people claim “He’s lucky he came out alive!” I’m calling bullshit. The ease with which he handled his gun tells me he had some training, at least. He’s not lucky. He did the work, and when it came time to drop the hammer, he didn’t stop, worrying about jail, or his mortgage payment, or getting spanked or grounded by his parents. He did the work.It’s easy for people to sit around and talk about “well, sure, but he’s too young to really grasp what was involved and at risk.” I’m calling bullshit on that. When he was done, he tried to turn himself in to the local police, and they (presumably not realizing what had just happened), told him to just go home, where he turned himself in to the cops there (where he WAS arrested). I think that kid knew EXACTLY what he was doing. He had just already made up his mind about what he was willing to do, and what he was willing to go to jail for. ————————————————- I’ll probably be called to task for calling him a “kid.” To be clear, I call him a kid, not out of any disrespect, but simply because of the age difference. I also call young men in their early 20s, who have been downrange in the military “kids.” That’s because they are—literally—young enough to BE MY KIDS. There’s nothing disrespectful about it. He did man’s work that day, and if he walked up to me and said, “Hey, don’t call me ‘kid,’ I think it’s disrespectful,” I’d concede the point to him and wouldn’t call him “kid” anymore. ————————————————- I have long advocated for people providing local security, in their community, when the police and city government seem unable or unwilling to do so. However, I’ve also advocated for people going as groups, with people they know and have trained with, in order to do so, and this event is an example of WHY we advocate that. We “know” that Rittenhouse went to Kenosha to provide security for the businesses, with a friend (who loaned him the AR15). They—or he—apparently didn’t know any of the others. So, at some point, Rittenhouse became separated from the others, and found himself alone, surrounded by hostiles in a mob. A trained crew could have maintained accountability and communications, and prevented this separation (granted it still MIGHT have happened, but it would have been far less likely). This is why the military institutes the idea of Ranger buddies (battle buddies, swim buddies, etc) from Day One. It’s why organization and communication are critical core concepts operationally. If you’re going to provide security for local community, when you arrive, figure out the task organization and chain-of-command. If there’s not one, start organizing one. If the others there refuse to do so, leave. Period. If there’s no organization and order, there’s no way you can work together effectively. The fact that it “has worked” so far is largely because nothing has happened yet. The first time it did, we saw a 17-year old get separated and have to smoke check three fuckers. ———————————————————— The Process is the PunishmentThe late Col. Jeff Cooper famously wrote, “A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic. It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view.”That’s a quaint, idealistic perspective. It’s also total bullshit. One of the lessons we’ve learned over the years, fighting transnational terrorists, is the power of “doxxing.” There’s a reason high-speed counter-terrorist units wear fucking masks. There’s a reason we use pseudonyms. It’s to reduce the effectiveness of hostile intelligence operations, including the ability to harm our families and loved ones at home. If you’re going to go provide security for local businesses at a riot? Wear a fucking mask. I don’t care if it’s a surgical mask, or a M40 protective mask, or it’s a fucking (gay-as-fuck) skull half-mask. Wear a mask, and wear headgear that helps protect your identity. If you’re working with people you don’t know—and trust—to protect your identity, use a fucking pseudonym, and don’t share personal data and information. There are two reasons for this.(a) it reduces the chances that someone with a camera phone will be able to dox you, afterwards, and it keeps people from leaking information about you to hostiles.(b) if you DO smoke check someone, it reduces the chances of the government identifying you. Here’s the reality. Rittenhouse is getting really stellar legal assistance, pro bono. A large factor in that is—inarguably—the fact that he is 17 years old. If he’d been 27, or 37, I would almost bet a year’s salary that he would not be getting nearly as much assistance. If you have to shoot someone, you’re not going to want to—probably not going to be able to, without sending yourself into lifelong poverty—face the costs of the legal adventures that will follow it. That seems abhorrent to many people on “the Right.” The idea of intentionally circumventing the law clashes with their “law-and-order” self-identity. Fuck that. The reality is, that kid should never have even been charged. 30 seconds of watching available video, online, clearly shows any thinking person, that he was—at the time of the shootings—protecting himself from lethal threats. But, the system IS broken, and you WILL get arrested, and you WILL spend hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars defending yourself legally, if you’re successful. If you’re unsuccessful, you end up in prison. The system exists to convict people, not to exonerate them, regardless of what the “ideal” may be. Don’t willingly surrender yourself, ESPECIALLY if you know you were justified. If they come after you later, because they figure out who you are, then deal with it, but turning yourself in is just fucking stupid. Work with people you know and trust. Mask up and use a pseudonym. These are Guerrilla 101 things. ———————————————————- Stand-off is a guerrilla’s friend. We discussed this in The Reluctant Partisan, Vol. 1. If you’re going to defend a physical location, have an overwatch, preferably with suppressed weapons. If I were defending a fixed location, like a business, from rioters, I’d take a page from Applegate’s book. I’d have my front-line, visible people sling arms behind themselves, and I’d hand them axe handles and shields, for cracking heads. I’d have a security element in overwatch, with suppressed rifles. If someone in the hostile crowd appeared to be getting ready to use any sort of deadly force, I’d have my overwatch drop them where they stood. The visible security element that might be caught on camera isn’t doing anything wrong, and obviously isn’t shooting anyone with their rifles behind their backs. A suppressed weapon isn’t “silent,” but under the noise of a screaming, yelling, chanting crowd, at 50-100 meters, nobody is going to hear the suppressed report. Applegate, of course, recommended using suppressed .22LR and shooting the “ring leaders” in the knees. I don’t know that I’d be so generous, but it’s one option. If I showed up to help provide security, and there was no organization? I’d probably camp out nearby, and provide that overwatch myself, with my people. Imagine, for one moment, if the local community, trying to provide security for their homes and businesses, had established OPs, throughout the area, with armed riflemen, with suppressed weapons. Rittenhouse still might have gotten confronted, but he’d have not had to shoot anyone, and there’d have been no video evidence of him shooting anyone. ————————————————— Some of us have been trying to express to people, for several years now, that the War had already started, it just wasn’t obvious yet. It SHOULD be a lot more obvious, to most people, right the fuck now. (Incidentally, I am writing this on Sunday, 30AUG2020. Apparently, last night, a counter-protester, in a “Trump 2020” hat, was shot and killed by an Antifa operative in Portland. If you’re going to a protest now, even just to “provide security” you better be ready to drop the fucking hammer, or get killed yourself.)Trying to bathe in your normalcy bias now, and expect “things to go back to normal” any time soon is beyond silly now. It’s fucking retarded. My buddy, Kit Perez wrote an article the other day, about Rittenhouse, that was published on Victory Girls Blog. In it, she wrote, “It’s not just the Left that’s having a conniption about Rittenhouse’s actions. Some on the Right are too; that subset of ‘conservatives’ who fancy violence to be a gross business that is always, in any situation, somehow ‘beneath us.’ They’re choosing to focus on his age and the fact that being a few months shy of 18 made it ‘illegal’ to carry an AR in Wisconsin—an open carry state—as if he next birthday would somehow bequeath the requisite maturity needed to carry a rifle in a deadly situation. Never mind that there are soldiers and Marines who are Rittenhouse’s age serving in Afghanistan right now, carrying far more firepower and making the same kinds of decisions Kyle did.” She also wrote, “Regardless of what your opinion is about what brought him there, the die is cast. There is no avoiding a civil war now; if the charges are dropped, the rioting and violence we have seen thus far will pale in comparison to what BLM and its minions will attempt against any of his supporters. If he is convicted, patriots will understand that the paradigm has officially shifted. There will be no quarter given.”It is important to preface my comments with the fact that, while I do consider Kit a pal, we don’t agree on many things, and we stand in stark opposition on some others, neither being a secret to Kit or myself. We’ve discussed these in the past. Like adults though, we recognize the ability to disagree as a key component of freedom. It’s also important to note that I did contact Kit, right after I read the article, and pointed out my contentions with it. It’s also important to point out, for new readers, or those too obtuse to have figured it out yet, I’m not particularly “conservative” in my political beliefs and convictions. I’m certainly not “leftist” or “socialist,” but I’m not any sort of “flag-waving Republican” either. (1) There are absolutely people on the Right—and in the Middle—who think Kyle did wrong. I’m not among them. I think that kid should never have to buy a beer or lunch again, in his life. I will gladly offer him a free slot, in any class I ever teach, any time I teach a class, forever. Whatever else he did, he defended himself, successfully, against lethal threats, and rid the world of a couple of shitbags.My issue is, there are a whole lot of people who should know better, who still think this is all just going to go away. “When Trump gets re-elected, he’s going to clamp down hard!” “People are going to elect new municipal leadership, because they’re tired of this nonsense being tolerated.” It’s bullshit. These riots and protests aren’t going away. It’s an insurgency, but it’s an insurgency that was bound, by human nature, and the realities of history, to happen. The government isn’t going to save you or your community. (2) Kit was mistaken. There are, in fact, no US soldiers, airmen, sailors, or Marines, serving overseas, at the age of 17. It is fact, codified that, while you CAN enlist, and even attend training, at 17, you cannot be deployed prior to your 18th birthday.That doesn’t detract anything, from anything, but being factually accurate is important. It also doesn’ detract from the reality that there is no lower age limit on self-defense, or on protecting your community and neighbors. While Rittenhouse didn’t LIVE in Kenosha (and thus, as we’ll discuss below, could not be part of a “militia” in Kenosha), he did work there, and had a vested interest in maintaining the security of the community. (3) The die was cast, long before. Rittenhouse simply has the distinction of being a John Parker for his generation. When grown men have allowed themselves to be beaten to death by these mobs, he said, “Fuck that!” and shot back. He tried to avoid the fight, until it was no longer possible, then he went to work.It’s probably about time for others, in communities that are facing these riots, to man the fuck up and do likewise. Quit waiting for others to do your goddamned job for you. Quit lying to yourself about what is happening. Either stay the fuck on the porch, or, if you’re going to do work, do it the right way, instead of adding to the hostile victories. I can tell you this: every time those mobs burn down a business, or beat some poor bastard to death, and even one of the actors gets away with it, it emboldens all the others. When (I really don’t see any way that he’s going to actually go before a jury for any of it, based on the legal analyses I’ve seen thus far) Rittenhouse is released, the Left is going to lose their fucking shit, more than they already have. I’ve watched conversations in “moderate” Leftist groups online, where they’ve already convicted him of “being a fascist” and “murdering innocent protesters.” (Seriously, if you’re a “conservative,” and your social media feed doesn’t include at least a half-dozen Leftist groups, you’re a damned fool). The Left is armed, and they are training with their firearms, at the individual and collective level, at least as much as gun-owners on the Right are. If you’re still sitting around talking about “When we get mad enough to step off the porch, they’re gonna be sorry,” or “Silly Leftists, we have all the guns!” you’re a fucking moron. If you’re convinced that there’s nobody on the other side with combat experience in the GWOT? You’re fucking delusional. ————————————————— So, John’s recommendations?(1) Don’t go where there are riots going on. If you live in an urban area where riots are happening, get the fuck out for the duration. If you can’t, because you need to protect your property, then view it as counter-insurgency and do it right. If you need to travel INTO a dangerous area, the same rules apply. (2) If you leave your house, you’re going outside the wire. Be armed, and have made your decisions about where your lines are. Have a plan. Where are you going, what are you doing when you get there, how long are you going to be there, and how are you leaving? Hell, write a fucking OpOrder if you have to.(3) If you’re visibly defending someone else’s property, wear masks and hide your identity. Work with a trusted team of people that you know. Don’t just Willie Nillie yourself in with a bunch of people you don’t know. You don’t know their level of training. You don’t know their level of ability. You don’t even know what their real purpose is.(3) If you’re visibly defending your own property, have a hidden overwatch element to do the actual work, and use the visible elements as distraction for cameras/witnesses. If you have volunteers showing up, take command and put them in places where they won’t fuck anything up. Make them keep their weapons slung, except in immediate self-defense, and give them actual ROE to follow. If they don’t follow instructions, or won’t accept your ROE, send them elsewhere.(4) Work in buddy teams and fire teams, and don’t allow yourselves to get separated.