pincus house

Well-known firearms instructor Rob Pincus of I.C.E. Training drove up to his wife’s old home yesterday, and found out that the home—which was supposed to be vacant—wasn’t.

Rob was armed, had the skills and training, and did what any intelligent person in his situation would do.

He called the police, and let them handle it.

Had one of those “Practice what you Preach” moments today.

People who don’t belong at the supposed-to-be-vacant wife’s old house? Have property potentially at risk? Have a gun? Have training? Have emotions? Have anger? ….. Control yourself. Deep breath. Drive to the end of the block, call the police. Let 4 Denver PD cars respond, with 5 officers, and handle the squatters who have been there for a week or so…. And their drugs, weapons and outstanding warrants. Far too many people would’ve confronted them… Maybe it would’ve worked out… Maybe I would’ve gotten into a justified shooting today and had a long arduous legal and emotional aftermath… Maybe I would’ve gotten killed. We’ll never know because I did exactly what I and every responsible self-defense instructor I know advises: Avoid Conflict. Let the police do their job… Which the senior officers and new hire on FTO Status all did very well.

Someone with no firearms training (and a reasonable amount of intelligence) is going to see people in a home that is supposed to be vacant, and once they get over the shock of what they are seeing, are compose themselves, are going to back off and call police.

Professionals who truly know their craft and have a level head are going to process the same scene by recognizing and processing lot more detail and a much wider range of possible responses than our shocked clueless citizen, but will do so a lot faster (it’s all in the software programming) and reach that decision to back away, establish a good position for observation, and call in the police much quicker and with a rapidly formulating plan in mind. You’re going to see them provide the dispatcher with a much more useful and precise batch of information than our clueless citizen, which will give responding officers a much better idea about the incident their walking into than you would get from a rattled layperson.

Unfortunately, there is a very dangerous space in the educational process between known ignorance and mastery of a subject where some people may think they have enough knowledge/training/toughness, etc to handle the situation on their own.

Hospitals, lawsuits, and funeral homes often follow.

Competence_Hierarchy_adapted_from_Noel_Burch_by_Igor_Kokcharov

There are folks out there encounter situations like this, and figure that they could or should confront the people in their home. In their righteous indignation, they interject themselves into a situation where they simply cannot sanely hope to prevail.

Are the people inside the home some mostly-harmless teenage hooligans looking for a place to get high? Or are they stone-cold violent criminals, who don’t care that this is your house, or that you feel you have the right to kick them out. They will just see someone challenging their dominance over this space that they have claimed, and they may just as soon kill you as argue with you.

Which group is inside your home in this situation?

You don’t know. You won’t know. You can never know.

The only sane response is to call law enforcement and provide as much relevant detail as possible, without putting yourself at undue risk, so that when officers arrive, they do so with sufficient information and numbers to take the offenders into custody with as little problem as possible.

rob pincus 3

Rob Pincus was entirely right here. He made the right decisions, without question.

Sadly, there are a lot of folks out there on the knowledge spectrum who have a little bit of training.

They may have had basic firearms safety classes, picked up a concealed carry permit, and based upon this small bit of knowledge, they think they’re suddenly qualified to run into an unknown threat scenario.

They’ve learned just enough to be a threat to themselves and everyone else.

This rarely ends well.

The same thing applies in reverse in a more conventional home invasion or property burglary scenario.

If you hear someone rattling doors on your home to see if they are unlocked, or your dog starts barking because someone is in your yard, or attempting to get into your car, do not wander outside against an unknown number of people to confront them.

At best, you may scare them away. At worst you could be walking out against foes that are better armed, better equipped, and more ruthless than you are, who have suckered you into an ambush.

Some of the best advice my father ever gave me growing up was something in line with the general theory of “don’t let your mouth write a check that your butt can’t cash.” He simply meant that I shouldn’t let my pride and ego draw me into a situation that I can’t handle.

It sounds like the most basic advice of all, and it is.

It’s a darn shame that so few people bother to actually think in situations like these, and instead let their primitive minds take over, sending them rushing into situations that they simply are not capable of handling physically, emotionally, morally, legally, or financially.

Be smart, folks.