6 Deadly Assumptions About Violence

by Todd Walker

The Zombie Treadmill Defense Concept

Photo credit

The “Treadmill Defense” made me laugh. Great idea! If it were only that simple. I think we all make dangerous assumptions about how to defend our property and person.

Social upheaval and “peaceful protests” are increasing and not likely to decline anytime soon. Let me say upfront that I’m not an expert in self-defense. Never allow anything I write (or anyone else for that matter) override your real-life experience and common sense.

Most people have never faced a life-threatening, violent encounter. The more I think I know, the more I begin to see how little I know. I’ve always heard that the majority of shootings happen up close and personal. How close? Two yards are less. David Nash over at Shepherd School shares some real world stats:

These FBI-compiled numbers have been pretty much the same for many years: 50% of LEOs killed are killed at five feet or less, and 75% killed are killed at ten feet or less.   The second source is the Police Marksman Association survey done in 1992 showing the average police gunfight was won at about 20 feet seven yards (but note that this conclusion was from a pretty small sample.)   Finally, there is the data from NYPD’s SOP-9 that indicates that from 1994-2000, 69% of their shootings (of all types) were at two yards or less, and 88% were at seven yards of less.  These numbers are pretty consistent from year to year.

Priorities dictate that we address our most immediate threats. Evidently, they’ll be too close for comfort. Spending range time shooting handguns at paper targets 25 yards away is not the best use of time or ammo. Statistically speaking, long shots (over 10 yards) are not likely. It’s not so ego-boosting to shoot silhouettes that you could almost touch with your outstretched hand. Could I hit that target when a chemical dump occurs in me when facing a kill or be killed violent encounter?

I’ve been guilty of preparing for home and self-defense based on theory. I’ve been in fights growing up and one legitimate street brawl that Mama caused (not really). There were no rules. Nothing fair. Just complete mayhem. Do not assume real-world violence will be anything close to what you see in scripted Hollywood fight scenes.

6 Deadly Assumptions

1.) I live in a “safe” neighborhood

We’ve had several car break-ins in our middle class neighborhood over the last several months. Two of our locked vehicles were broken into just recently. Nothing of great value was taken except loose change. My truck ax, hatchet, two knives, and a limb saw valued at over $300.00 were untouched. This still doesn’t negate the fact that some thug violated our space and sense of security.

Never take for granted that your surroundings are safe. Assuming you are secure is a myth.

2.) Violent encounters in the real world are similar to Hollywood versions

The good guys never run out of bullets and are able to summon superhuman strength to beat the bad guy. This thought process is similar to today’s Hollywood survival shows. They are entertaining but nothing like a real survival scenario.

The theory is only helpful if it works – which is usually not the case. Let’s erase the visions of mall ninjas and Rambo action heroes. Predators don’t fight fair. There won’t be a referee to stop the guy before you lose that last breath of air trying to “tapping out.” All the black belts moves you learned in class won’t save you in real violent encounters.

3.) Rules of engagement apply

There are no rules in violent encounters. If you are fighting fair, you’re doing it wrong. Criminals intent on violence don’t worry that you’ve had years of martial arts training or achieved top-gun status at your gun range. Predators pick the time and types of bad stuff to do to you. Their advantage is the element of surprise. It immediately puts us in the  mode of self-defense. Self-defense is reacting and recovering from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In my coaching days, I worked on both sides of the football. I made my living on the offensive side. I liked the advantage of knowing where we would attack. The defense was always guessing even though they knew our tendencies. I’ve always been told to go on the offensive in any unavoidable violent encounter. Take the violence to the attacker.

This is not a school yard chicken dance with kids bumping chests and talking smack. In life or death situations, do whatever it takes to stay alive. This will require losing our moral codes and social niceness and do unthinkable violence to our aggressor. That’s what thugs plan to do to you.

4.) The police will help 

Even if you have time to dial 911, the response time is usually so slow they have to make a report and inform the next of kin. The police are not obligated to protect individual citizens no matter what the motto on the black and white cruiser says. NEVER delegate responsibility for your safety to someone else. With cities going bankrupt, we do indeed need to lock our doors and load our guns. San Bernardino has seen a 50 percent increase in murders this year.

Don’t be a statistic.

5.) I am trained to handle violence

This has been a difficult article to write. Being a civilized, moral person, it’s depressing to delve into the mind of violent thuggery. Unless you’ve experienced this kind of violence and lived to tell about it, I don’t think it’s possible to fully wrap our minds around what it takes to flip the switch and become violent.

From everything I’ve read (people with actual experience) and seen in real life, no one single act of violence is the same. No amount of controlled training in a class can prepare us for real world violence. Yes, Chuck Norris groupies are included here. You are a resource to predators. A piece of meat. There are no training facilities that I know of which allows students to destroy and kill each other. But that’s what it takes to stop predators hellbent on their mission – destroy, rape, pillage, and kill.

Will our social training and martial arts classes save us? I’m not anti-martial arts. Get all you can get. I just don’t want you to assume that you’re trained for real violent encounters when your attacker has no rules.

Knowing how to perform roundhouse kicks is not enough. Being mentally able to flip the switch from controlled, moral, socialized citizen, to a primal eat-or-be-eaten violence machine is necessary – and dark – and outside the paradigm of who we say we are.

6.) I’m safe because I carry a gun 

While I highly recommend this tool, it offers no guarantee of safety. Carrying my weapon gives me some sense of security. I’m not overconfident or cocky when carrying. Being aware of situations and surroundings is helpful. It’d be convenient if predators could be identified by external appearance. We simply can’t tell sometimes.

I’ve never shot another human being with a gun, unless BB gun wars count. They don’t. A higher standard is imposed on legally armed citizens. To quote Boston T. Party on why to pull the trigger, “You shot to stop – not to kill. Any kill is incidental, unless the only way to stop his lethal actions was to kill.” This is not to say aim for extremities and not vital organs.

Mr. Royce does a great job explaining your responsibility and liability when pulling the trigger in Boston’s Gun Bible – a must read for anyone legally carrying weapons and concerned about liberty, personal safety, and defense. A gun is designed to put distance between you and those intending you harm. After a certain distance, the threat is no longer a threat. Guns are the great equalizer. A 110 pound female has an advantage over a 250 pound thug if she has her gun in hand.

A human being is the most dangerous animal in the world as it alone has the ability to strike a deadly blow at a distance. ~ Boston’s Gun Bible, p. 4/1


Are you guilty of any of these deadly assumptions?

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness, Self Defense, Shooting/Marksmanship, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Post navigation

19 thoughts on “6 Deadly Assumptions About Violence

  1. Good stuff. I think that the condition white mindset that most of us get when we’re growing up tends to come back over us, so these assumptions tend to creep back up even when we try to do our best to stay focused on the reality of the situation. Lulled by peaceable months and years, as it were. So, the only addition I can make is that you need to run your life so that you don’t fall back asleep if fortune’s been kind enough to give you easy street.

    “I’ve been in fights growing up and one legitimate street brawl that Mama caused. Sounds like the making of a great country song.”

    For shame, blaming Mama. 🙂


    • No joke man. She called down a guy for using profanity at my brother’s football game. He and his peeps were waiting outside the gate. Things got ugly.

      Good point SB. It’s so easy to get lulled into white. Stay on yellow. Be ready to go to orange….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article. I love the 6 deadly assumptions.


  3. Pingback: 150 Yard Shot With A Handgun ! « YouViewed/Editorial

  4. Pingback: 113 Notable Prepper Links in December 2012 | Prepperology

  5. At times I carried a gun for a living.. I once was deliberately shot at. I have never deliberately shot at anyone. I have , also as a living, “taken down” a number of violent drunk, psychotic or criminal individuals which number I will not mention as no one would believe me. I am now retired ,nearly 70,, but am 5’8″ and never weighed more than 150#. I had only very minimal hand to hand training, What you say about take the violence to them is so true. In my professional positions, I HAD to do that,, it was my responsibility to protect others,, therefor I did develop that “flip the switch” mindset you speak of. (in my mind I called it the “nuke bomb”) There is a great danger in doing that repeatedly,, that it might alter You.. but it works,, you just “unload” on the guy,,, not randomly,, you need to be totally aware and calm , no anger, no fear .You must size up instantly, and go for his weakness, depending on weapon , position, size etc.. You must remain detached from emotion while being focused on energy , on the target..,, and Confident, you Must assume You are in charge and that “he” is going down… All that said,, I maintain shotguns at the ready,, to defend my family,, but the very very last thing I ever want to do is to have to shoot a person, no matter how evil their intent was….not out of any sentimentality,,every one dies sooner or later, and for a whole bunch of people , sooner would be better for the rest of us… but because it is a legal mess,, time and money consuming , and there is a good chance that there would be a miscarriage of justice..and I would be found at fault. …btw, I am a gentle guy who carries spiders outside rather than squish em and mows around the violets on the lawn.. LOL I am no rambo…you do what you got to do.. when people are depending on you. But most folks need to really think about this.. most folks cannot unleash the bomb,, including some of the bad guys,, ..otherwise, I would not have succeeded so often… LOL


    • Hi Jimbo, thanks for sharing your insight and experience. I subscribe to a non-violent lifestyle as well. I never plan on violating any other person’s right to be left alone. I only seek the same for me. But when the line is crossed, and that line is sometimes blurry, I have a right to defend myself.

      I appreciate you’re comment! Take care.


  6. Linda

    Sorry but when I carry a gun I go by what my Daddy taught me when he taught me to use one. You never aim a gun at a person you do not intend to shoot to kill when they obviously have the idea to kill you. That does not mean shoot for a leg or their arm holding their gun to slow them down but at their heart in their chest or if they are behind cover their head.


    • Thanks for chiming in, Linda. Your daddy taught you well. “Putting distance between” you and your attacker is what you should do. Not meaning to shoot at appendages – chest and head shots are best on someone intent on killing you. However, from what I’ve heard, in the heat of battle, hitting those vital areas are easier said than done.


  7. Linda, i said nothing about “wounding”. Your Daddy taught you right, if you believe someone intends to kill or seriously injure you, shoot them. and shoot to kill… if the brain is still working,, a determined wounded assailant, even shot in the torso can continue for a number of minutes..one of my partners once took one in the back and once took one in the chest and he is still rockin and rollin.. Shoot for the biggest target available to you.. i.e.: center of mass i.e. torso.. but be aware,, guys can soak up a lot of ammunition in the torso and still kill you. A head shot , if you are fast and accurate and they are not bobbing and weaving is the only sure kill,,and an immediate kill is the only certain & sure “Stop” available to most people, —that said,,, I have not yet had to shoot a BG..( & the numbers are well into the 3 digits)—.As to distance, Yea, if you can,, but the BG’s gun, (and knives within 6 or 7 paces.. ) can negate the distance . I personally have always succeeded by getting INside the weapon, be it fist , gun, knife or club.. as I said , by Taking Extreme and immediate Violence to them.. up close, personal and painful.. but that is not what I recommend to my daughters. Anyone threatening a female human , child or elderly person should simply be shot.


  8. Pingback: Security Advice to My Daughter: Essential Pillars of Preparedness Series | Survival Sherpa

  9. Pingback: Don't Assume You're Safe! | one AWESOME article

  10. MariaEllena Stewart

    28 years in law enforcement (highest crime district in the city) and you are 100% right….the bad guys DO NOT play by the rules. The biggest problem is that honest, law abiding citizens cannot wrap their minds around the type of people that will do anything to make a buck and killing you in the process is just in a days’ work to them. The “Blue Line” is thin and getting thinner. Police can no longer do their jobs without being being judged by Monday morning quarterbacks safe in their armchairs. The “job” does not attract as many quality people and my city was so desperate for bodies that they ignored the fact that known gang bangers were joining the force. Gangs recruit them young, keep them in line with a spotless record, indoctrinate them into the gang mind set and then have them join the police force. We are now being destroyed from within.
    I am a single woman in my early 60’s. I retired, sold everything, but my guns and ammo and moved to a very isolated farm. I raise my own chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows and goats. They are then butchered and what is not used fresh it turned into smoked jerky. I grow fruits and veggies, dry them, vacuum pack them and store them. Do the same with grains, etc. I have shored up an old cave on my property that has a spring in it, set up ventilation runs far from the entrances and have been outfitting it just in case. It is far back in the wooded area and I never take the same route to it twice as to leave a clear sign as to where I am going.
    My motto has always been prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Although raised in the city, I have a preppers hears….a country can survive.


  11. Reblogged this on Food for Thought and commented:
    I think this is well worth the time for me to pass it on, and for you, kind readers, to read it. This gentleman makes some very good points, it seems to me. I frequently make the mistake of feeling “safe” in my little town. Comparatively, we ARE safer than we used to be. My ex can no longer find us. My children can walk to the library, the store, the park, and the pool without fear. Maybe some fear is warranted, though. This past weekend, information was shared in our community that at least one person had surprised burglar(s?) upon arriving home. People have been advised to be watchful. We’re feeling a little shell-shocked, to be honest. Stay safe, all. Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance, right?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: