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You ARE the Help

The now infamous North Hollywood bank robbery has been analyzed every which way and beaten to death.  Dozens of cops pinned down and absorbing fire from two sedated robbers was a disgusting, pathetic situation.  But this isn’t about that.  Seeing the History Channel documentary on it again the other day only reminded me of the larger point.  What triggered this post was the comment that these dozens of cops were waiting for help.


Help?  Dudes; WTF?  You ARE the help.  As Ron White pointed out; any teenager having experience with a hunting rifle could have ended the bank robbery standoff with two shots from a concealed position.


It comes down to mindset.  Sure, some people have more capabilities and resources than others, but in your everyday life, you, the reader, ARE the help if you have your mind right.  Bringing a pistol to a rifle fight is just one of countless examples of going through life, and even responding to an on-going situation, unprepared and oblivious.  Condition white.


You Do have fire extinguishers in your house and garage, right?  You do carry one in your vehicle, and you do carry jumper cables, tools, a working jack, water, a first aid kit, a spare coat, a good spare tire, a tow strap, a phone and a carbine, right?


I don’t have to try to display a complete list.  That’s not the point.  It starts with the mindset.  After that, the list comes along naturally.  Nor does preparedness come solely from hardware and supplies.  You can have all the goodies and not the mindset that tells you, everywhere you go, that you are the help.  Backup is another matter.  You are the first responder in your own life.  You choose either to face up to it or shirk your duty.


The current crop of weasels in government would have you do the latter.  They fear and hate the strong, the self reliant and the charitable, as threats to their relevance.


Tam’s recent post provides further study.


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19 thoughts on “You ARE the Help

  1. Did anyone TRY for a head shot? COM @ 7 yards is good rapid fire training with my cheap Makarov, then we toast clay pigeons on the 25 yard burm. Slow fire.

  2. I am originally from a small town in the “gold country” of Kalifornia. The entire county when I was a kid, was made up of self reliant people. There was no “dial 911” mind set. Everyone took care of their own “issues”. People did not lock their homes when they went away. We did not have a lockable door on the house.

    Now, the cops need to dial 911. What the hell is going on? I’ll tell you what the hell is going on. This country is being degraded to a european socialist, nanny state and the protection (fire and police) beauracies are helping to lead the way. These donkies have big guns, big fire trucks and zero common sense.

  3. “As Ron White pointed out; any teenager having experience with a hunting rifle could have ended the bank robbery standoff with two shots from a concealed position.”

    Who is Ron White? The gunmen had head to toe body armor and were far away from any “concealed positions” throughout most of the shootout. Even the SWAT teams weren’t able to do much until the robbers tried to take their car down the residential street next to the bank.

    I always love the people who offer analysis with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and lacking a good number of facts.

  4. ubu, http://lmgtfy.com/?q=ron+white seriously.

    2nd up, most body armor is only rated for handgun and shotgun fire. Most center-fire hunting rifles will punch right through them.

    3rd, you have police engaging the robbers from behind their cruisers, and in a dense urban environment and you say “far away from any ‘concealed positions'”

    You’re not even trying, hon. I appreciate the fact that you come her to offer a contrary view to things, but I wonder if you have any desire to garner any respect, or push any credible argument.

  5. Lyle,

    The North Hollywood shootout was local to me. I’ve been to that particular BofA branch about a hundred times, both before and after the shootout. There are a lot of things that get to me about it and about the reporting that has emerged from it.

    Many of the videos showing people running around, establishing position, were taken from BEHIND the shopping center across the street. That shopping center ran for three blocks at that time. There are videos of people running like heck to get to the Sears Auto area. Why? That’s a long way away from where the shooting was taking place. They seemed to have a particular fear of running across the streets that separated the sections of the shopping center. These streets are not really close to the BofA where the shots are being fired.

    There is video of a Spanish language reporter reporting from the parking lot. He was in the front parking lot of the shopping center — pretty far from the shooters but still on the receiving end of the bullets. He also was far away from them. His cameras can zoom in on the shooters, but he was not that close to them. He was in a much more dangerous position than all of the videos of people running because he was at least in the area where shots were being fired.

    There is also video of a sniper on top of the shopping center roof. If he couldn’t hit the gunmen, why would a teenager with a rifle have been more successful? In one of the videos, a cop says they have groin protectors and neck protectors. What do you think a teenager is going to hit that the police wouldn’t try to hit? I think that Ron White person is an idiot, personally. You are welcome to come back and argue with me. 😉

    I had a coworker at the time…. He had a handgun and he liked to carry it. He also went into that same BofA often. He used to have dreams of stopping a robbery in a bank. Thank god he wasn’t in that bank on that day because his bullets would have bounced off the bad guys and the bad guys might have been inspired to spray all the folks laying on the floor. He realized it too, after it happened. Guns are great until they hurt you.

    And that brings me to my final thought: Yeah, a gun could have stopped this quicker, but a different gun could have made it worse — so which are you going to pick?

  6. Gah, and here I am derailed by Ubu’s nonsense!

    This shows that the only person you can depend on is yourself. Its nice to have police, fire fighters, EMTs, AAA, ect, but in the end none of these sources are infallible, and we all run the risk of them being unavailable when we most need them.

  7. What nonsense? I’m talking the truth and you are becoming irrational.

    Perhaps you need hormones?

  8. According to reports, they used Aramid fabric to create body armor — plus they used metal plates to protect other body parts.

  9. Weer’d Beard,

    Like you don’t present enough nonsense of your own? People who don’t know either of us are billing this as “When Morons Collide.”

    Way to go, Moron.

  10. Ubu,

    I don’t know enough about the shootout to know whether a sniper (or a hunter who knows how to hit his target at 100+ yards) could have done better.

    But I do know this about rifle-marksmanship:

    (1) a stable shooting platform, with a clear line-of-sight, is required. I would assume that the mall roof should have provided that.
    (2) a skilled marskman, with a good rifle and a spotter, can put bullets on a human-sized target in the 100-to-500 yard range.
    (3) Unless the bad guys were wearing military-style helmets, they were vulnerable to head-shots
    (4) a skilled marksman who has trained to hit human-sized targets has likely also trained to hit 10-inch circles and/or head-shots.

    There may have been specific problems with getting the sniper/spotter into a good position, or there may not have been a good backstop. There may have been other confounding factors in the on-the-ground communications, logistics, and backup. There may have been lack of training for such confrontations.

    Any and all of these might have made it impossible, or challenging, to bring the right man with the right tool in. But that doesn’t mean that the right man with the right tool is non-existent.

  11. Also note, Karrde, if their armor they had on was capable to stopping just about any FMJ .30-06 or similar rifle round that’s the bread-and-butter of hunting-rifle world, I’ll be VERY surprised.

    But I think its obvious that Ubu doesn’t actually want to discuss anything.

  12. The news footage of President Obama throwing out the first pitch for the Nationals game (available on you tube) shows him wearing really bulky clothes. Presumably he is wearing the most advanced, lightest body armor that can stop rifle rounds. Watch how much trouble he has walking and throwing a ball.

  13. Ubu; Having just come from a long distance shooting event in which we were hitting 4 inch targets at 500+ yards. Having served as the spotter for three relatively inexperienced long distance shooters, I walked each of them onto solid hits at 400 yards within a few shots, I’m inclined to dismiss the assertions coming from someone with virtually zero experience. I don’t bloody care what the bank looks like– in a properly armed society, someone, or several someones, could have been within 400 yards with a high powered rifle and a spotting scope within minutes.

    My son is one of those “teenagers having experience with a hunting rifle” and he can hit a 10″ target at 700 yards nearly every shot. The 280 Remington caliber loaded with VLD bullets has enough energy to penetrate all but the most advanced body armor at that distance, and there are common hunting loads that deliver FAR more down-range energy than that. Furthermore, I shoot ~4 inch clay targets, traveling about 25 to 30 miles per hour, out of the air with an M1A (.308 caliber semi automatic) and I’ve had several other people try it and make several hits in a row.

    You’re talking to experienced shooters here, trying to tell us what we can’t do. That’s not a winning strategy. Besides all that, you have completely and utterly failed to get the point of the post, which has very little to do with ballistics or marksmanship.

    It seems to me you’re clinging to the fantasy that there are other people more capable of taking care of your interests than you. It may give you a nice warm feeling, much like a stiff shot of whiskey or a pipefull of opium, but it has nothing to do with reality.

  14. Our employee, Dan, used a military grade rifle designed in 1891 and updated in 1930 (the Nagant 91/30) with Russian steel cased, steel jacketed ammo (the cheapest rifle with the cheapest ammo – the rifle was 80 Dollars at Big 5 sporting goods) at the Boomershoot last Sunday to hit a reduced size silhouette at 600 yards. It took him nine shots and a time span of about ten minutes. He used the factory open sights (no optics). At my suggestion, he set the rear sight elevation at 600 meters and aimed under the target, so he could see the target at all (seeing the target was a trick in itself). Hit it solid in the ‘head’ portion.

    ‘Course, this was after we’d taken the rifle out several times, with a brass punch and using a wrench for a hammer, to calibrate the sights at distance – no California cop rifle range, no check-in, check-out horseshit like we’re in fucking kindergarten or something, and no department armorer here. With practice, I think he could do a might better.

    This has gotten waaay too focused on shooting, but this is based on a much more general principle that says; you don’t know what you can do until you actually try it. Don’t let your ego, or your internal naysayer or whatever it is, tell you can’t do something you haven’t tried.

  15. Lyle,

    I get the point of your original post: That we should be prepared for anything that happens.

    My point is that I get tired of the rehash of the North Hollywood bank shootout. I’m sure plenty of skilled people can hit targets far away with rifles, etc. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), targets don’t shoot back at you with automatic weapons. Cars provided no cover against the bullets they were using. (You can see in the videos where the bullets went through the cars and through walls). The sniper on top of the grocery store had the best chance of anyone and yet he didn’t get that headshot. There were 400 police at that incident and I think they were all trying to put these two guys down. It’s remarkable that no one was killed except for the two bad guys.

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