09 May 2013

Blackjacks, and Saps for police and the citizenry



For some time now the big discussion in this community has been gun control, or more importantly the government trying to infringe on our personal freedoms.  I believe the larger issue at hand is the war being waged against our inalienable   right to protect ourselves against anyone that would attack us.  Inalienable rights given to the individual by the Creator are not for any man or government to infringe upon.  It has nothing to do with guns, it has to do with removing our ability to be able to defend against criminals and tyrants.  There should be no laws governing the mere ownership or carry of any weapon by the citizen, but instead simple, just, and swift punishment for misuse that may include future ownership.

Even though I agree that firearms are the best mechanical equalizer yet invented, I also know that not anyone can afford one, nor are all those inclined to defense at peace with their only option being deadly force.   The one weapon that fills this gap like no other are black jacks and saps.  Outlawed in many places due more to reputation than actual criminal use, most associate them being carried by law enforcement.  Even though they began disappearing from law enforcement use in the early to mid 90’s, many police are still wearing uniform pants with “sap pockets” that now carry knives or flashlights instead.

The reason they disappeared from police work was because of their effectiveness, have you ever heard of such a thing?  With their heritage coming from the days when a patrolman hand to drag a suspect back to the call box to call for a wagon, they gave way to police that are more and more technology reliant day by day.  But as I say during my Total Officer Survival course, the one thing that no technology will ever change is that sooner or later the bad guy has to be handcuffed.

These tools caused to many excessive force complaints, and more importantly the payouts stemming from them.  My feelings on that have never changed, the bad guy , even if he believes he is innocent of the crime, since they all do, should head verbal commands, or get what he has coming.  People will get upset by these comments and say that I am giving the police a free pass to beat people.  The truth is that in my experience “citizens” seldom have the occasion to have a hostile interaction with law enforcement, much less a struggle.  

At the root of the issue is not what tools cops carry, but what kind of cops we hire and how we train them.  More and more we get recruits that have never been punched in the face, or even played a contact sport.  They get hired and receive training based around liability and checking boxes.  Their firearms training is not realistic, so how do you think there combative/force on force training would be any difference.  They learn about what will get them and their agency sued, not about what options they have to deal with out of control scenarios.  Then they hit the street, guided by confusion, fear, and timidness.  Some will be able to avoid conflict for a while, but sooner or later they will be tested.  

Old time police did not have time for bullshit, nor did they tolerate it.  They knew that the job was violent and their success and survival was based on knowing how and when to use violence.  That is missing from our police, they are not intentional, and they have been neutered by being made to feel that using force is always bad.
Blackjacks, saps, and training can provide a legitimate force option that fills a void.  

 The first things we have to admit is that pain compliance does not work, to stop people from doing bad things the need to attack the structural system for control, and the Central Nervous System for deadly force.  If you are a citizen reading this, next time you get a chance to talk to a cop ask him how he feels about pain compliance.  You will find that they have little faith in it, but some people are making a ton of money on it so they keep teaching it.  So what happens is that they panic and do ineffective things over an over again resulting in more injury that if they had used a damage tactics sooner.

Back to the use of the blackjack and sap by the citizen, why we fight to keep our gun rights we should work to restore our ability to carry all weapons.  Jacks and saps have an interesting characteristic not found in other weapon, they can allow someone with little to know training to defend themselves against a much bigger attacker by concentrating force, while at the same time lessen the level of force needed in the hands of a trained person.

In my next article I will discuss the selection, carry, deployment, and use of jacks and saps as an option for the police officer and citizen alike.

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