Peace officers, counselors and others - recommendations please : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Something I have not seen discussed here in the context of personal/family security are methods and techniques for the non-violent resolution of of conflict, i.e. the skills that can be applied to prevent tense situations from becoming violent ones.

I am appealing to law enforcement and similar types primarily because it is part of your training. Police officers must frequently deal with tense situations and, if trained, have a tool set for doing so. Typically, unholstering your firearm is your last option. It is far better to keep the situation from escalating in the first place.

So, some of the same techniques that professionals apply could be useful to the masses in any disruptive situation.

Other professionals, such as those who work with family violence counseling, etc. may wish to chime in here. Are there any books/web sites you'd recommend? Are there techniques you've been trained in that might apply?

My point is simply this: If the only tool in your security toolbox is a firearm, then that's always the tool you'll reach for. It may not be the best tool for the job. "When your only tool is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail" A toolbox containing a single tool is not nearly as useful as one containing dozens.

Such recommendations could be of assistance to a large number of people, including those who choose not to own firearms.

-- Arnie Rimmer (, September 16, 1999


Timely thread, Arnie, thanks. I think about this frequently. I supervised a shelter for battered women and their children for about 6 years, a residential program that included "training" in subjects such as "conflict resolution". As many know, the interpersonal skill level of many people is poor to none. Our goal was to add to the residents repertoire of available choices. (the hammer and nails analogy is wonderful, and one I've used.)

I'll try to find some of my materials from the Conflict Resolution workshops, and post some specifics ASAP.

--She in the sheets

-- Donna (, September 16, 1999.

Here's at least a start online. A bibliography of material on conflict resolution:

Conflict Resolution Bibliography

More to follow...

-- Donna (, September 16, 1999.

To begin with you need to generate calm by
being calm yourself. Your inner peace can be
essential in some situations. But don't make
the mistake of using this as your only tool in
your toolbox. Using physical self-defense is
sometimes the best path to resolve conflict. A
broad range of skills increases your ability to
counter violence. Those with little skill will tend
to use the most violent response. Always choose the
most non-violent tool from your toolbox that will

General Guidelines
1. Don't be there!
2. Avoid
3. Check
4. Strike
5. Maim
6. Kill

-- spider (, September 16, 1999.

spider, the list items you posted are certainly a part of the repertoire of conflict resolution. (in zero-sum terms, they might be called: "win-lose", or "lose-lose" situations ) However, conflicts at every level have very significant common characteristics and dynamics, and, therefore, it makes sense to examine them together and comparatively, and have as a goal the most "win-win" situations possible.

It is important to remember that people get involved in conflicts because their interests or their values are challenged, or because their needs are not met.

--sheet billowing in the wind.

-- Donna (, September 16, 1999.

Arnie, When I took karate, the emphasis was on avoiding a fight. Self-defense teaches that physical resolution should be the last resort. In all of his years our Instructor only encountered two minor incidences. I have been out of karate for three years and I cannot remember all twelve steps for handling a bully. They are great to teach kids, but great for adults as well. I'll have to dig it out.

Also as a Pastor I took conflict resolution training from Dr. John Savage from L.E.A.D Consultants (found with a search engine). He explained how little any of us were taught how to listen. He taught 11 different listening skills that are the key to resolving conflict, dealing with anxiety and tension in interpersonal communication, and handling anger and strong emotions without getting hooked and/or becoming defensive.

The biggest thing is to stay calm and give a person with a weapon what they want. "A soft answer turneth away wrath." is important.

The above is primarily for one on one encounters. In a panic, social breakdown situation like E. Timor, or an L.A. riot, I believe Isa. 26:20 helps. If someone is caught breaking into my house Ex.22:2 applies.

I love Psalm 91 and 46. They promise divine aid. I believe in my Father's protection and care. He promises wisdom to handle any situation. Phil. 4:6,7,13. James 1:5.

Blessings, Now where are those 12 techniques for handling a bully? Hmmm....

-- BB (, September 16, 1999.

Arn, Many other tools are available for the defense of one's homes, property and life. Many of them are non leathal by nature. Many people I know swear by the industrial-grade mace/teargas/peperspray available to the law-enforcement community. Unfortunately, many of the less-lethal toys out there are subject to the same restrictions as a loaded gun. Stunners, mace and pepper spray in many parts of the country are limited severely by the law enforcement community. I swear by hollow points and buckshot personnally, but I still possess nonleathal means of defense as well. There are companies that sell non-leathal shotgun loads, rubber bullets and the like... Why don't you try a big dog? A well trained dog is one HELLUVA deterrent. My Shep/Rottie mix at 114LBS scares the hell out of me, let alone a potentially hostile individual. Either all you non-gun-owners out there, understand that defense is key in survival, and if all else fails, "...he who runs away, lives to breathe another day!"

-- Billy-Boy (, September 16, 1999.

There are differsnt types of conf;ict requiring different levels of response. Not all situations can be solved non-violently. Y2K could present situations that cannot be solved without violence. That is possible. There are people who can't be reasoned with. Some starving people, especially ones with dependents, may not believe that you only have one week or one month of food for your famoly and if they are armed and you are not they may decide that you should share. Say 95% for them and you keep 5%. After all that is a peaceable solution. The situation dictates the possible solutions. He is armed. You aren't armed. Both are armed. Two different situations. When both are armed there is a better chace of negoiation and a better chance of a non-violent solution. Most pollies will be unarmed and unprepared. What they have to trade will be worthless. If it is a 8 to 9 what will they do. Beg, attempt to steal, become slaves or die. Stupidity is its own reward. At least doomers will have options if it is a 8 to 9. Being armed opens more options. The weapons do not have to be used. But you are in a better negoiating position with weapons.

-- Mr. Pinochle (, September 16, 1999.

"The biggest thing is to stay calm and give a person with a weapon what they want. "A soft answer turneth away wrath." is important. "

With all due repect BB, that statement REALLY hits a nerve with me. I think this is a great topic and I'd like to see some suggestions on how to avoid, minimize, or resolve conflicts before they escalate to the level of physical violence.

But why bother preparing at all if you're not willing to defend yourself and your family's well being? Are you suggesting that I open my door and invite the first person who threatens me with a weapon inside my house to help themselves to whatever they want? Why don't I just give all of my preparations away now, then shoot myself and be done with it?

I subscribe more to the "Walk softly and carry a big stick" philosophy. People have a right to defend themselves.

-- Clyde (, September 16, 1999.


Sorry. I (obviously) read some of your references after my post - particularly Ex. 22:2. That's cool. Just as long as I can shoot 'em if they try and take my stuff.

Now, about the other comment about staying calm and giving a person with a weapon what they want. I guess I can see the sense in that too: As soon as they turn around you can plug 'em in the back and take your stuff back without getting shot yourself.

-- Clyde (, September 16, 1999.

Now, about the other comment about staying calm and giving a person with a weapon what they want. I guess I can see the sense in that too: As soon as they turn around you can plug 'em in the back and take your stuff back without getting shot yourself.

A nice idea, but this would probably never happen. If they're at the point where pointing a gun at you, they're not going to walk away until you and any witnesses are dead. Maybe they'll be stupid enough to let you live, but you shouldn't count on it when your life and that of your family is at stake.

-- (its@coming.soon), September 16, 1999.

Quick thoughts...

Start with listening...

...To their upset, and then helping them voice "what's wrong" by rephrasing or paraphrasing exactly what they said, so you give empathetic voice to what they are saying. (Also helps them "hear" themselves).

Then the real guidance skill comes in with a "listening/coaching" type interaction, to help them realize they are the keeper of their own solutions.

Avoid giving advice.

Always go for the win-win. Help them see what that is... in their words.


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 16, 1999.


If a person believes in being defended by the military who kills, and also believes in police protection who kill, then it seems hypocritical to me to not believe in doing it yourself in self defense. It is similar to people who let the butcher kill their cows and chickens but would never go out and kill a deer or turkey. Not very consistent.

In Luke 22:36, Jesus told His disciples that the time would come after He left to go buy a sword (or weapon).

My thought about giving a man with a gun what he wanted is common sense. But MANY die because they do something stupid. If a person asks for something he probably won't shoot you. If you take self-defense and are close enough, you can disarm a person. Bottomline though, you are at the mercy of an armed person. An armed man can have my possessions but he cannot touch my wife. I will die first, it is that important to me.

Sorry, but I wouldn't "plug" a person as soon as I had the chance. Who knows what greater evil you would bring upon a revengeful brother. Do we value our possessions so much that we would kill to get them back? Heb. 10:34 is instructive. The early Christians 'joyfully' accepted the plundering of their goods. Jesus said, "If a person wants your jacket, give him your coat as well. Here we have no lasting city. Our treasure is in heaven.

Martial law and a national emergency is declared primarily to deter the criminal. After that a person would be wise to have a solar spotlight (, a noisy pet, a fence, watchful neighbors, locked doors and windows, a security system, evidence of weapons like NRA decals, a haystack with a shot up target still on it.

Now if I wake up and catch a person in my house, I will be ready to kill, because most burglars are armed today. If a person comes knocking on my door, I can ignore the person or answer the door. If I do and things escalate then I best have the communication skills to deal with the person. The ability to see who is knocking is important. If there is ANY doubt just talk through the door or a chain latched door. I trust my God to give me and mine wisdom in the evil day.

-- BB (, September 16, 1999.

Arnie Rimmer,

Thank you for posting a topic of great value. "Domestic disputes" are well known to be the deadliest situations that peace officers try to prepare for.

Even the public schools here are trying to give 'conflict resolution' training to teams of interested kids. After I read your post this morning, I put out a quick search for 'conflict resolution' material. I was shocked and saddened to see that no resources turned up.

Often the posts on this forum leave me with the feeling that I got from volunteering at our local co-op preschool. No throwing sand, period. How about a time-out in the kitchen {horrors!- the precursor to KP?}.

A friend told me that one tip is to separate the disagreeing parties and have them turn their backs so they can't see each other as they explain their perception of events.

I seem to remember a public service announcement by "Peacekeepers"? that put the process of conflict resolution into five steps that you could count off on your fingers. Something like ' name the problem...' at the end hopefully the parties shake hands. Can anyone help me fill in the blanks?

-- flora (***@__._), September 16, 1999.

(1) I agree that self-defense usually starts with avoiding the physical conflict. (My sensei always said that our first defense against a knife was your feet. You should run like hades!) You then move upward through various options, selecting the least necessary force. I've had to disarm three individuals with knives (at different times). Two I had to move in on and physically disarm, at risk to myself. The third I was able to "talk down," but that could be due to the fact that I am somewhat larger than the average bear (6'2", under 300#).

(2) If they are mad enough, desparate enough (don't back them in a corner!), or crazy enough, you may not have a choice. Knowing self defense gives you additional options. Some psychotic individuals or those on drugs (especially crystal methamphetamine) will not respond to reason (and maybe not to pain, as well!).

(3) Separation (cooling off time) is a classic conflict resolution technique. Allowing time to defuse a confrontation is critical. However, the question becomes who leaves? In most family cases, the police will immediately remove the male...WHETHER OR NOT HE IS AT FAULT. This has the effect of destroying much of the police's credibility, which can set the stage for dangerous confrontations in the future.

(4) Mediation. Bring in an outside, credible, impartial mediator who will be an go-between for the disputant parties.

(5) Above I briefly alluded to not backing disputant individuals into a corner. This is critical...both from physical and psychological standpoints. They must feel that they have an option other than violence.

(6) I take a personal stand: I am not a willing target of violence...and I will excercise reasonable rights of self-defense.

-- Mad Monk (, September 16, 1999.

Non-violent dispute resolution depends on, variously:
1) The stronger party being benevolent and reasonable. This does not describe government and law enforcement vs. peons.
2) The weaker party not being cornered. This does not describe peons' relationship with government.
3) Parties of similar strength being reasonable. This does not apply to religious conflicts (whether international, national or local, including abortion disputes.)
I've probably left out several things, but you get the idea. If one or more of the parties are arrogant, irrational, or fearful, or all of the above, you've got problems. All the "Cain't we 'jes git along" handwringing and jawboning ain't gonna do diddly. Look at history.

-- A (, September 17, 1999.

This is a very valuable thread, one I will print out when it appears all contributors are complete, for future reference. I agree with all the foregoing suggestions for conflict resolution, and it would be my earnest wish to see all men everywhere always be able to use non-violent means to a peaceable end. My training to work with violent mental patients who could not be released into society when the ACLU got the law passed that put the defenseless ones out onto the streets (greatest fiasco ever!) enabled me a couple of years later to save my own life in my parking lot when a man who turned out to be a multiple murderer held me there for 45 minutes. So I am the last one to gainsay this preferred method of resolution.

However, that being said, when we speak of a time period in which widespread social upheaval may be the order of the day, we are looking at a different situation entirely...not one in which we can expect to reason intelligently (or otherwise!) with rioters/looters, nor have a mediator help us. We certainly will not have the luxury of TIME or CIRCUMSTANCE in which to do much, if any, negotiation.

When we look at the results of rioting and looting in other cities, we have case history facts to support the truth that ONLY those Asian merchants in LA who had big guns and sat in the doorways of their stores were not looted. In Florida, ONLY those houses in looted neighborhoods who had spray-painted signs on the exterior saying "HAVE GUN, WILL SHOOT," or words to that effect, were spared from looters who came from as far away as NYC to do their dirty work.

In addition, historically those who run amock do not only help themselves to the goods of those they loot, but also to their wives and female children in rape, then murder of the entire family. How many survivors who were left for dead beneath the bodies of their loved ones have told this tale, right up through Kosovo.

A realistic look at these sad facts of human nature tells us that precaution and preparation to defend ones' life and limb in such times is not only prudent, but may be the only means to survival. It is very easy to SAY that you would do all of the lovely things suggested in the New Testament, which I try to live by and read daily. It is another to have been, like me, raped by a predator. I am lucky to be alive. The before/after of that experience produced the difference from a pacifist to a person prepared to defend my person from attack. When the alarms and lights and dogs and other deterrents fail, one must still face the question: what now?

-- Elaine Seavey (, September 17, 1999.

The question of security is a good one. I looked at y2k and researched it very carefully. I have come to the conclusion that it will present various degrees of security risk. I agree with one of the abve threads that you should put many tools in your y2k security tool box for your family.

# 1 come to an agreement when lethal force should be used without question. I agree with the bible. If some one is breaking down my door in the middle of the night this qualifies for the immediate use of lethal force no questions asked. If someone breaks down your door while you are sleeping they are most probably going to take your life.

# 2 Any display of a gun in regards to an armed robbery must be acessed, if robber just wants stuff give it to him, how you find out is just ask. this will give you discernment about weather he just wants stuff or is unbalanced.(From a man's heart comes his words, troubled man, troubled heart.) Remeber material stuff can always be replaced. Life is presious dont take it over just losing stuff, only the protection of you and your families life safety is the only reason to deploy lethal force.

If they are hungry feed them, God will provide for you another day.

If they try to pysically assualt you mace, pepper spray, and stun guns are quite effective to give you time to run. Common sense approach to security is important.

There is safety in numbers,(we dwell in safety by our neigbors). Dont make you or your house an easy target.

If war erupts get out of town. Dont be a hero. Hide in plain sight. Remeber bullets go around trees and through walls. Trust has to be earned. Be observant of your surroundings and monitor for things or persons that are strange.

Above all trust in God to give you the wisdom in what ever might come. If the Holy spirit tells you it's cool to stay then stay if He tells you to go, leave your unimportant stuff and go and dont look back remember lot's wife. God bless you all, pray for wisdom and guidence daily in the name of our Lord.

-- y2k aware mike (y2k aware mike@ conservation . com), September 17, 1999.

y2k mike: It si important to understand the specific laws in your state that deal with the use of deadly force. For example, in Iowa where I live, it is not legal to use deadly force 'just' because someone breaks down your door in the middle of the night. Even if they have a gun, the law in Iowa does not permit you to employ deadly force on that reason alone. In Iowa, personal property may never be defended by use of deadly force.

Whether or not I agree with these laws is irrelevant. This is where I live and I'm not going to be moving in the next 3 months. Therefore, it is my responsibility to understand and follow them lest I end up the defendant in a legal and/or civil action.

That's part of what lead to this question in the first place. If I am not permitted to use my firearm to defend myself in all but the most unusual circumstances, then I need additional tools that may legally be employed to defend my home and my family.

I've often thought that having a clone of Robin Williams sitting in my security toolbox for just such circumstances might be useful :)

-- Arnie Rimmer (, September 19, 1999.

Arnie, You make an excellent point, one not fully understood by most y2kers. You better understand your state laws. I can't believe your state has that law. It seems to almost invite breakins.

y2k aware Mike, Your thoughts are right on target and mine. Isa. 30:21

-- BB (, September 19, 1999.

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