A Litmus Test for True “Color-Blind” Racial Justice?



Well, most all CO’s know that True Constitutional Government died a horrible, painful death in this country over 150 years ago, never to be seen again, but is True Constitutional Justice also dead? The kind of Justice that is truly blind to every bias, including the color of our skin or the ethnicity of our heritage? Call me an eternal pessimist, but I personally feel it is, given the track record of this current Justice Dept. over the past 6 years.

But maybe, just maybe, I can be proven wrong. The only way to find out is to put the SYSTEM to the test, and whata-you- know, we have a bona-fide, true-blue, LITMUS Test to challenge my belief that JUSTICE is not truly COLOR BLIND under the Obama/Holder administration.

The Case:

On April 2nd in Detroit, Michigan, a 54 Year old white male, Steve Utash was driving when he accidentally hit a 10-year-old African-American boy who stepped out into the road. When Utash stopped to render aid, he was accosted by a mob of African-American’s who proceeded to beat him unmercifully. Utash was beaten so severely that his brain started swelling  he had to be put in a medically induced coma to save his life. To add insult to injury, Utash was also robbed during the beating, having his paycheck and tree trimming equipment stolen from him. Utash is self-employed and has no medical insurance. To date $120,000 has been raised to help cover medical bills. Detroit Police have so far made 4 arrest in the Assault and Detroit Police Chief James Craig stated recently he is attempting to determine if this was a Hate Crime. Read the entire story HERE.

The Litmus Test has two Parts:

1. To see if the Detroit Police Chief actually charges these 4 black men and any other he arrest for this crime with a HATE CRIME.

2. To see if Eric Holder and his Justice Dept. get involved to help prosecute this case as a Federal Hate Crime, as it should have been done from the start.

To further qualify my pessimism, let me bring a couple of cases to your attention and memory:

  • The first was the ludicrous attempt of Holder and his Justice Dept. to try and charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime for defending himself against Trayvon Martin, after he was found Not Guilty in a court of law. This was a blatant attempt by the Obama Administration to try and bring the subject of race into a clear cut case of stand your ground self-defense.
  • The “Knockout Crime” case in Houston, TX in December 2013 where a 27 year old White Man was charged with a hate crime for blatantly punching a 79 year old black man and filming it on his cell phone. Read that HERE.

The tragedy of this case is not that the White man was actually charged with a hate crime, obviously, YES, this was a clear cut case of a HATE CRIME, the tragedy is the SPEED in which Federal Hate Crime Charges were filed and a GUILTY verdict rendered. All of this done with help, no doubt, from Eric Holder and the Justice Dept.

I ask you, where is the Justice for Steve Utash and his family, as he lay’s in that Hospital Room suffering? Why is this Detroit Police Chief dragging his feet in this investigation? Why the delay in declaring this a HATE CRIME? Where are the Federal Prosecutors? Where is the Justice Dept., swinging it’s proverbial weight around as it did in the case in Houston in 2013?

No friends, because of all this and much, much more, I don’t hold out much hope to be proven wrong in this Litmus Test. I sure wish I wasn’t but I don’t think I will.

No, Like our Constitutional Model of Government, Justice without bias is Dead in this Country, and by all indications, will Never be Resurrected Again, I fear.

Stay Armed, Stay Aware and Stay Dangerous.




No other case in modern American Legal History Polarized the Right to Carry a Firearm (and by Executive branch political manipulation) Race Relations in this Country than the George Zimmerman/Treyvon Martin Case in 2012. It was amazing to see how quickly the majority of the RKBA community all across the United States got behind Zimmerman so publicly. The amount of “fan mail” and financial support that poured in for Zimmerman was astounding. Of course on the opposite end were the folks that thought Zimmerman acted out of racial hostility rather than self-defense and that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin because of his race and the “hoodlum” type clothing he wore. In the end though, a jury of Zimmerman’s peers found him Not Guilty in a Court of Law and Zimmerman walked away a free man.

You would think that a man who had been through all that Zimmerman had just experienced, would be anxious to disappear out of the public’s all-seeing eye for a while, right? Not so. Fast forward to present day and correct me if I am wrong, but it seems ALL I have seen on the News and You-Tube since this trial ended is George Zimmerman acting a giant ass.

Consider George’s record as of current:

  • 7/13: Speeding in Texas (Warning Issued)
  • 9/13: Speeding in Florida (Ticket Issued)
  • 9/13: Zimmerman’s Estranged Wife Shellie, Dials 911 and tell the dispatcher that Zimmerman has punched her father and is also threatening her with a gun (Shellie later drops the charges as does the DA).
  • 9/13: Zimmerman is pulled over by Florida Highway Patrol for a vehicle tag cover and windows being too darkly tinted (Warning Issued).
  • 11/13: Zimmerman is Arrested for Felony Aggravated Assault, Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Battery and Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief in Seminole County, Florida. His then Girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, alleged Zimmerman broke a glass table and then Pointed a Shotgun at her “for a minute”. (Note: Several news outlets reported Zimmerman had “barricaded” himself in from the Police and had refused to come out. This was NOT TRUE. When Police arrived, there were several pieces of broken furniture against the door (in no way forming a barricade) and Zimmerman was cooperative with the investigation.) His former Girlfriend also alleges that a week and a half before this incident, Zimmerman had attempted to choke her and had talked about suicide, although no call to police or other authorities were made at the alleged time. Assault Charges are Pending on that matter.
  • As conditions of his $9K bond, Zimmerman is not allowed to possess or carry a firearm and all of Zimmerman’s firearms and ammunition were confiscated. He has to also wear a tracking device on his ankle and obey the terms of two protective orders filed by both Scheibe and Zimmerman’s ex-wife, Shellie.
  • Zimmerman at the time of the incident, was living with his girlfriend and had no other residences. It is reported he is unemployed, has $150 to his name, no other reported assets to speak of and he is $2.5 Million Dollars in Legal Debt.

OK, before I continue, let me be clear to the point of this article, in case some of you out there are wondering if I have went over to the “yellow side” and became an egg sucking liberal overnight! THIS IS NOT AN ATTEMPT TO CAST DISPERSION on GEORGE ZIMMERMAN!

My point is to make you guys realize that if you decide to exercise your Constitutional Right To Carry a Firearm for Self-Defense, your character and actions MATTER! Add to this the fact that if you have to KILL ANOTHER PERSON to Defend your Life, like it or not, YOUR LIFE (BEHAVIOR AND ALL) WILL BE SCRUTINIZED BY THE PUBLIC FROM THAT POINT ON. Not only your Behavior during the incident, but your Behavior Before and After (if in fact you are acquitted and walk free, as Zimmerman did).

So, having said that, if we were to realistically look at George Zimmerman’s life since this trial ended, the only word that comes to my mind (and the mind of the general public, no less) is “TRAINWRECK”. Now ultimately in the big scheme of things overall, how does this reflect on how people see Mr. Zimmerman’s character? Do you think it helps or hurts his overall credibility? The answer is obvious guys: Zimmerman’s credibility as a rational, level-headed human being is just about ZERO with most people.

Now so as not to be unfair, let’s give George the benefit of the doubt and consider that when a man is put in the position he was put in, that is, having to defend himself with lethal force, kill another human being and then be put on trial for his very life, and then as if that was not enough, have to go through a very messy public divorce with a less than amicable spouse, that undoubtedly there will be some emotional baggage and fallout from that and that person should be cut a break. Without question, I agree on that. But if we dig a little deeper, say before the shooting incident, and look at Zimmerman’s Actions in 2005, things start to come into focus. This is not just “emotional fallout” but a distinctive pattern of destructive behavior and bad choices that seems to be on”repeat”.

Ultimately, People are defined by their actions. I remember the advice of my late grandpa: “You will have to live or die by the choices you make in life son.” The Choices YOU MAKE are the only ones that matter. In my Experience, The Armed CO needs to devote his life to 3 things in order to make good choices and keep his character intact:


Listen, the lesson here is that if you choose to carry a weapon either concealed or openly for self-defense, you MUST hold yourself to a HIGHER MORAL STANDARD than the rest of society. Because ultimately, your behavior reflects upon all of the RKBA Community as a whole. Most importantly, if you ever have to use that weapon to defend yourself and have to kill another person, your ENTIRE LIFE will be ripped apart and your PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE ACTIONS and CHARACTER examined under a finite microscope. Would you like what people found if that occurred?

As I have said, I am not here to cast Dispersion on Zimmerman, or say that all of us have to be Saints, I certainly am not! I am only trying to make you guys realize the importance of using Discretion in EVERYTHING YOU DO. It cannot be understated; Good Behavior  (that comes from using Discretion) can Ultimately JUSTIFY or INCRIMINATE a person’s Credibility, Character and Good Name, and that after all, isn’t that all a man really has to show he was here?

George, you may have been found Not Guilty in a Court of Law, but in the Court of Public Opinion, the Verdict is Not Looking Good my man…. C’mon bro, get your head on straight!

Stay Good but Stay Dangerous all the same!

Positional Shooting

 I like listening and learning from guys who have BTDT (Been There, Done That)…they give it to you with no bullshit. They have seen the Elephant and lived to tell the tale. One of the many men for whom I hold in high regard is the late, great Police Officer Jim Cirillo. I won’t dishonor Jim and try to give his biography, but I will give you the readers digest version..(do yourself a favor and look him up..there are tons of good stuff out there, including his teaching DVD’s and books some of which are in our store).

Jim was part of the NYPD Stakeout Squad in the 70’s and 80’s, when the drug war was in full tilt. Jim survived countless gun battles, some as close as 3 feet! Jim’s teachings are in stark contrast to most “gun school” dogma, which is based mostly on competition shooting skills rather than how to save your own skin!

One of the many thing Jim promoted was Positional Shooting with both pistol and rifle. Learning to shoot from any position other than standing, including awkward positions you might find yourself in is a tool we all need in the toolbox. Besides the obvious “other” positions you should be incorporating into your drills like kneeling and sitting, here is the short list:

1. Supine

There are two variations on this, the first mimics you getting knocked on your ass and shooting laying flat on your back. You should be incorporating this into your force on force scenarios already… The second variation is flat on your back and shooting behind you,  drill one and two handed, with left and right hand. Drill at standard distances 7-20 yds.

2. Fetal

This was a new one to me, and when I first saw it I discounted it’s usefulness, but when Jim explained it in detail, it made sense. In a fetal position, on your side with your knees tucked up into your chest, shoot one and two handed at standard distances. With your knees up, this gives a decent amount of cover to  your vitals, all except your head obviously, but as Jim explains it, he was almost always behind cover when in this position!

3. Spetsnaz Prone

This position comes from Sonny Puzikas, former Spetsnaz Operator, not Jim, but none the less it is a very useful position to drill on. Go to one knee and with your opposite leg  stretched out in front of you, lean back slightly on your back  leg and bring your  upper body horizontal to the ground (sideways). This is a great position for shooting under or around cover. It changes your position both on the horizontal and vertical plane, and also gives you 360 degree coverage, as you can turn very easily when you are that low to the ground. When drilled on going from the standing position, it can be a very useful tool.

In closing, we need to integrate position shooting into our courses of fire if we have not already..an example drill is shown below.

(All shots are to Center of Mass unless noted)

1. Target 10 yds..Begin with full magazine. From Standing: fire 2-3 rounds, go to kneeling, fire 2-3 rounds, go to prone, fire 2-3 rounds, roll over on back, shooting behind you fire 2-3 rounds.

2. (2) Target’s at 10 yds..Begin with full magazine. From Standing: fire 2-3 rounds, go to Spetsnaz Prone in one motion, fire 2-3 rounds into second target.

3. Target 3 yds..Begin with full magazine. From Standing: fire 2-3 rounds(gun held tight to body for retention)..go to Supine (Flat on Back) Fire 2-3 rounds Center mass and 1 round to head (failure to stop).

Integrate mag changes and malfunctions by letting partner load mags with less rounds and dummy rounds.

The Discretionary Mindset

With the recent headlines of the neighborhood watch shooting of Treyvon Martin by Martin Zimmerman in Sanford Florida, I thought it pertinent to touch upon the topic of discretion in relation to Concealed Carry and personal defense. Since the gun-prohibitionist movement wants to use this case to demonize ALL people who carry concealed firearms, I will be commenting on what we need to do as RESPONSIBLE gun owners and Concealed Carry License Holders to combat the type of behavior Mr. Zimmerman exhibited that night, as documented in the Sanford PD report. The bottom line is Zimmerman was within his legal means OWNING and CARRYING the weapon, but not how he USED the weapon. This I believe is a training and education issue that each individual concealed gun owner needs to address. We will reverse engineer this scenario and discuss in detail how we do that.

Firstly, let’s define Discretion from Webster’s:

“Quality of being discreet; careful in speech and conduct; prudent, cautious.”

I am going to start out with a credo that was taught to me when I first started carrying a gun concealed. These three basics are taught to Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and security personnel worldwide. They are simple and easy to remember:

  • Avoidance:  Stay Away from Stupid People and Stupid Places and DO NOT Start Fights (“Rambo Syndrome”).

  • Deterrence: The act of detouring bad behavior

  • De-Escalation: If a fight starts, try to walk away at all cost from it and eat your pride, because if you have the only gun in the fight, on moral grounds alone, you are required to use more DISCRETION than the other guy because ultimately, you have the option of LETHAL FORCE if certain criteria are met.

Since we are using someone’s bad example of what NOT TO DO, the blatantly simple ideal of not starting confrontations needs to be discussed.

Most all States self-defense penal codes are clear on “Verbal provocation never being justified grounds for force against another“(Texas PC 9.31). Simply put, a civilian confronting somebody on suspicion (because of the type of clothing they are wearing for instance) or verbal accusations alone, is pure stupidity and NEVER legally constitutes USE OF FORCE.

People notice what type of clothing you are wearing, as we have already discussed in a previous article. Often first impressions of people are often deduced from the type of clothing alone and not their actions.

We need to exercise EXTREME caution in this area, both in how we dress and how we perceive others, as this is one of the factors that got Zimmerman in trouble.   The “Rambo Syndrome” typically stems from people who think they are the self-appointed “law enforcement” in their community or neighborhood.

Trayvon Martin

Let me be clear on this: If you don’t have a badge, you are not a cop. Don’t be a Hero! Report the crime (or suspicious behavior) and let the police do their jobs. Even if they fall short in this area, let the blame squarely rest on their shoulders and not yours. Be Smart and objective, not hotheaded and trigger happy. As a sidebar to this warning I will also say being “level headed” does not mean being STUPID and depend on the Police to protect you when some crack head has beat down your door and entered your home…the laws regarding Use of Force are not rocket science guys, just read them frequently and if you are not clear on them, have your lawyer explain it to you.

Deterrence can be readily defined as:

“The act of making someone decide not to do something. The act of preventing a particular act or behavior from happening.”

Although it is a hotly debated topic whether firearm carry laws actually deter or stop violent crime, anybody who is willing to look at the statistics honestly must give CCL some credit for the reduction in crime I feel. Although the actual numbers vary, since each state issue those statistics seperately. Texas for instance between the years of 1994 and 2008 had a reduction in violent crime of 6,274 and 648  homicides. I believe Carrying a gun legally deters crime. The more people who have a CCL, the better off we are as a nation.  The case in question in Florida is the exception and not the rule IMO. It is simply a case of a person who was poorly trained and overly enthusiastic to “fight crime”.  A very wise man once told me “Never confuse ENTHUSIASM for CAPABILITY.” Words to live by.

De-Escalation can be defined:

“To decrease the size, scope, or intensity of  a conflict (a war, for example).”

Once you have tried all the above and you still find yourself in a situation where violence is about to occur, your last obligation is try to diffuse the situation by all means. The two areas to diffuse are  language and gesture. If you have ever been in a fight, the verbal part of it, on both sides, is often the final straw.  We have to be the adult here and swallow our ego. We can start off by saying “I don’t want to fight, please, just leave me alone…I am walking away.”

Say this LOUDLY and within EARSHOT of any bystanders. While doing this, put your hands in a non-threatening posture, above your waist, but in a position where you can defend yourself and access your weapon.  Never take your eyes off your attacker; find a clear route of escape and start making your way there. If the “hostile party” wants to block your escape, now we have entered an area that technically (and legally) can be defined as Assault, and we need to now cross the bridge of taking action.

 Always consider the flip side of this coin also; are YOU, by your immediate actions, PROVOKING the other party? Zimmerman gave chase to Martin after being advised not to do so by the PD Dispatcher. Take into account this was at night and Zimmerman was yelling commands and expletives while running after him. This clearly is not “Standing your Ground” as set forth in the Florida Penal Code, so was use of force justified? We will come back to that.

Granted, we do not yet know the full story or Martin’s motives during this time, but put yourself in Martin’s shoes at that moment; you are holding a soda and a bag of candy walking down the street and a stranger starts chasing and yelling at you at night, would you be on the defensive? Would you react to defend your life?

When we reverse engineer a tragedy like this, we can readily identify where doing ONE thing differently could have changed the outcome and  POSSIBLY made the difference between life and death. That one thing in this scenario is Zimmerman chasing Martin.

When we look at the Penal Code Statute, as soon as Martin fled, Zimmerman was obligated to stop; it was no longer a Use of Force Situation. When Zimmerman pursued, he was “PROVOKING” Martin (Texas PC 9.32) and therefore, in the authors opinion from all the information available, Zimmerman  WAS NOT justified in the Use of DEADLY FORCE.

We would be amiss here not to discuss the use of “less than lethal” options as a deterrent and de-escalation tactic. Having this tool in your toolbox could prove invaluable when lethal force is not yet needed. Since the laws of each State vary dramatically in this area, I am going to once again, add this caveat:

Check with your local and State laws before carrying any device! This article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for training by a qualified and licensed instructor.

The primary less than lethal option that I would consider is Pepper Spray or OC. In Texas, it clearly states in Penal Code Section 46 (14) a small Chemical Dispensing Device for personal protection is legal. A small 2 oz can of OC can easily fit into your front pocket or a key chain, which I recommend since your keys are with you 24/7.

Just like any other weapon, you need to realize the potential of harm that OC can inflict and you need to practice with it as often as you practice with your gun. The only way to realize the potential is to get sprayed, just like cops do in Police Academies across the nation. You also need to buy a few “inert” (harmless) cans to practice with. We will be doing an in-depth piece on OC coming up, so I will not go into the specifics of training here. Please visit our store for OC that we would recommend and also some excellent non-lethal training DVD’s.

In closing, there is no doubt that the recent shooting in FL was a tragedy. A young man was shot and killed due to another man’s poor judgment. Sadly, poor judgment shoots are more common in Law Enforcement than in Concealed Carry cases, but never the less, in either case, the subject of TRAINING and EDUCATION needs to be openly discussed. I am aware that Hindsight is always 20/20 and “tactical quarterbacking” situations like these can be unfair, but we have to learn from these debacles if we are not going to repeat them. I am not an advocate of the State’s or Federal government re-examining Florida’s Concealed Carry laws and instituting tighter restrictions or training, ultimately making it harder for somebody to get a CCL by more bureaucratic intrusion. The last thing this country needs more of  is bigger Government telling us how to live our lives.

I am an advocate of more PERSONAL responsibility in Concealed Carry License holders seeking more open source training for themselves and also being Educated on all of their State’s specific Personal Defense STATUTES. Knowing what “Stand your Ground” and “No Duty to Retreat” really means is every CCL holder’s responsibility.

Texas Penal Code Section 9.32(c)

“A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against who the deadly force is used and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is NOT REQUIRED TO RETREAT BEFORE USING DEADLY FORCE AS DESCRIBED BY THIS SECTION.”

Most States Concealed Carry License Class only teach the fundamentals and is never intended to be the ONLY training the licensee receives. I always tell new license holders…”Always budget for a GOOD Advanced Concealed Carry Class from a reputable teacher after you get your CCL… A good gun is useless without a GOOD plan.”

We can never prepare for all the eventualities in life. We can only train for the worst and hope for the best. But make no mistake, when you legally carry a gun, you are  making a choice to always take the moral high ground, meaning you have to be the one to know the LAW regarding self-defense, exercise self-control, good judgment and a cool head, without exception. You owe it to yourself and your family to train regularly and educate yourself to NOT get into the type of situation that happened in Sanford, FL.

Stay Safe and Stay Dangerous!