Thursday, August 11, 2011

Col. Jeff Cooper's advice on the London riots

Via Foseti, we find this example of how Brave Sir Robin ran away:

It was posted at a site that had a very interesting analysis (pp. 202-203):
Observe, four unarmed, unarmored rioters confront eight cops armed and in full armor.  Some of the cops show fear.  Emboldened by this, a large horde abruptly materializes to support the four unarmed rioters.  Police rapidly become so non threatening, non confrontational, and non provocative that a cynic might think it looks remarkably as if they are running like rabbits. Compare and contrast with Jason Rodrigues’ account of two young men facing down a large gang with the threat of deadly force.
Jeff Cooper mused on riot control in his excellent 1998 book To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak The Truth:
It would seem desirable to devise a system which would make sure, first, that the riot would stop; and second, that only the leaders would feel the weight of social disapproval.

Let us consider such a means - the 22-caliber rimfire rifle.  This weapon, properly sighted and equipped with a noise suppressor, may be used with surgical delicacy to neutralize mob leaders without risk to other members of the group, without noise and with scant danger of death to the subject.  A low-velocity 22 bullet in the lung will not knock a man down, and in these days of modern antisepsis it will almost never kill him if he can get to a hospital in a reasonable time.  It will, however, absolutely terminate his interest in leading a riot.
Now watch that video again, and pick out the two or three leaders of the riot.  Ask what would happen to the rest if those leaders didn't lead.

Of course, this will never happen in Her Britannic Majesty's Scepter'd Isle.  That's why we don't call it "Great" anymore.


TJIC said...

I have NEVER seen such a perfect example of animals smelling fear and being emboldened by it.

ZerCool said...

The only thing coming to mind is that classic line from "Demolition Man":
"We're police officers! We're not trained to handle this kind of violence!"

Boat Guy said...

Was just now describing Mr. Cooper's idea for riot control to a colleague.
Not sure if a single .22 would "absolutely" terminate the ringleader's interest, but I'd certainly be willing to have the hypothesis tested in a real-world "lab" like London.

WoFat said...

I guess the UK now stands for UnKnown.

Isegoria said...

I didn't realize that the Israelis got the idea from Cooper.

NotClauswitz said...

Good call! I'm re-thinking the wife's plan to use her Winchester Model 90 pump .22 on looters when the Big One hits.
I had ix-nayed it as mere incitement to more aggression and thought to substitute low-power for high-power with a .223 or better, but crowd convincing could go a long way.

jetaz said...

I started to write a comment, and it got too long. So, my comment is at my blog.

kx59 said...

There's a crowd control strategy for ya. Let's keep backing down so the combatants can keep re-using the stuff they just threw at us.
As to terminating the leader's interest in leading, I suspect that depends on how much PCP or Meth he's recently taken.

Dave H said...

@DirtCrashr: Discouraging a mob and repelling looters is two different things. Col. Cooper's idea may work on a mob that's taking cues from a leader, but if they're just a random press of thugs I think it'll be less effective.

Also, looters (in the house, anyway) don't have as many escape opportunities if they see you're armed, and may fight back. In that case heavier ordnance is your friend.

Kerry said...

As I recall Col. Cooper somewhere also said ".22 in the tear duct" when caliber and stopping power were the topic.

Six said...

I've been there. 1000 of them and 25 of us. Rocks, bottles, a-frames, the missiles were flying (I took a rock to the hand, 5 stitches worth). When they started breaking windows and vandalizing businesses enough was enough. We formed up, tossed a smoke grenade and charged. They scattered like the rabbits they really are. Riots aren't as hard as those people would have you think. They're frightening but if you have a spare pair of big boy britches no amount of rioters can stand against well led, well trained and courageous officers.
Too bad England seems to be short just such.

Cybrludite said...

Pity the guy filing this had a camera instead of a Lee-Enfield.

al fin said...

Decapitation strikes are most effective against a mob attempting to mobilise against a particular target.

But in terms of widespread looting, arson, vandalism, and random assault, the mob doesn't really have a head to decapitate.

Containment is the first step against such a headless mob, but the UK police treated containment as the first AND last step. Big mistake, since they were not even prepared to make containment work, much less the crucial rapid follow-on steps.