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The first phase of surrender is failing to be armed, trained and committed to fight. We are prepared to surrender when we are unprepared to resist. The second phase of surrender is failing to be alert. You must see trouble coming in order to have time to respond. The warning may be less than one second but it will be there and it must be recognized and acted upon immediately.
The Third phase of surrender is giving up your weapons.
The last phase of surrender is up to the monsters who have taken control of your life and perhaps the lives of your loved ones. The last phase of surrender is out of your hands.
Surrender during war
During the American Revolution 12,000 Colonists captured by the British died in captivity on prison ships, while only 8,000 died in battle. Had the 12,000 who surrendered continued to fight, many would have survived and they could have done great damage to the British and likely shortened the war.
Civil War prisoners were treated so badly that some 50,000 died in captivity. More Americans have been killed by Americans than by any foreign army in any war. Six hundred and eighteen thousand Americans died in the Civil War.
As many as 18,000 captured American and Pilipino prisoners died or were murdered at the hands of the Japanese during the six days of the “Bataan Death March.” Had most of these soldiers slipped into the jungle and fought as guerrillas they could have tied up elements of the Japanese Army for months or years and perhaps more of them would have survived the war.
Of the Americans who actually reached Japanese prison camps during the war, nearly 50,000 died in captivity. That is more than 10 percent of all the American military deaths in the entire war in both the Pacific and European theaters combined.
In addition to the 50,000 captured Americans who died in Japanese prison camps an additional 20,000 were murdered before reaching a prison camp. If those 70,000 Americans had continued to fight, they could have provided time for the United States to build and maneuver its forces, perhaps shortening the war and saving even more lives. Some of them would have likely survived the war. If they had all died in battle their fate would have been no worse.
During the early stages of the “Battle of the Bulge” American soldiers were massacred by the German troops who captured them.
During the Vietnam conflict many American Prisoners Of War were tortured daily for years by the Communist North Vietnamese. Many Americans died during the process. Only Officers (Airmen) held in North Vietnam were ever repatriated. Enlisted Americans captured in South Viet Nam were routinely tortured, mutilated and murdered by the Communists. As a combat soldier and knowing my fate should I be captured, I was committed to fighting to the death. I made specific plans to force the enemy to kill me rather than allow myself to be captured.
In recent years, American troops captured by Islamic terrorists groups have virtually all been tortured and murdered in gruesome fashion. If I were fighting in the Middle East, I would make a similar vow and plan to fight to the death. Under no circumstances would I allow myself to be captured by our Islamic enemies.
Death by Government
RJ Rummel, who wrote the book, “Death by Government” states that prior to the 20th Century; 170 million civilians were murdered by their own governments. Historians tell us that during the 20th Century perhaps as many as 200 million civilians were murdered by their own governments.
Some of the Nations where the mass murder of civilians occurred during the 20th Century include Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, The Congo, Uganda, Armenia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nigeria, Laos, China, Cuba, Manchuria, Iraq, Iran, Biafra, Rwanda and many others. The slaughter of civilians by governments appears to be as common as not.
Most of these slaughters were only made possible by disarming the victims before killing them. Had these people resisted, their fate would have been no worse and perhaps better. Resistance is much more difficult after the government has already taken the means of resistance away from the people. Planned genocide has been the primary reason for weapon confiscation throughout history.
Jews and others who surrendered to the Nazis were murdered in slave labor camps by the millions. Had all the Jews in Europe resisted when the Nazis started rounding them up they could have made the Nazis pay an enormous price for the holocaust. The fact that Hitler confiscated guns in 1936 made resistance far less feasible.
Had the Jews in Germany resisted, the outcome may have been the same but the world would have learned about the holocaust years earlier and may have intervened. Most people would prefer to die fighting and trying to kill their oppressor, than be taken off to a death camp and starved to death or murdered in a gas chamber.
William Ayers, former leader of the Terrorist organization “The Weather Underground,” and close friend of Barack Obama, told his followers in the Weather Underground, “When we (Communist Revolutionaries) take over the United States, we will have to kill 25 million Americans.” He was referring to those who would never submit to a Communist takeover. Those who would refuse to deny and reject the Constitution would have to be murdered. If this sounds impossible, remember that Genocide by Government was the leading cause of death in the last Century.
Surrendering to Criminals
The “Onion Field Murder” in California was a wakeup call to Law Enforcement Officers everywhere. On March 9, 1963, two LAPD Officers were taken prisoner by two criminals. The Officers submitted to capture and gave up their weapons. They were driven to an onion field outside of Bakersfield.
One Officer was murdered while the other Officer managed to escape in a hail of gunfire. The surviving Officer suffered serious psychological problems, having been unable to save his partner. As a result of this incident, the LAPD policy became, “You will fight no matter how bad things are.” “You will never ever surrender your weapons or yourself to a criminal.”
Consider the Ogden, Utah record store murders. Read the book if you do not know the story. The manner in which the criminals murdered their young victims cannot be described here. Resistance might have been futile. Compliance was definitely and absolutely futile.
The courts in this country have ruled that the police have no legal obligation to protect anyone. Why do Law Enforcement Officials always tell civilians not to resist a criminal, while they tell their Officers to always resist and never surrender? Police administrators fear being sued by a civilian victim who gets hurt resisting. Furthermore, the police, like all government agencies derive their power by fostering dependence.
According to Professor John Lott’s study on the relationship between guns and crime, a victim who resists with a firearm is less likely to be hurt or killed than a victim who cooperates with his attacker. His book is titled “More Guns, Less Crime.”
The Doctor and his family in Connecticut complied and cooperated, meeting every demand of the home invasion robbers to whom they had surrendered. The Doctors wife and daughters were tortured, raped, doused with gasoline and burned alive. How did surrender and cooperation work out for them?
In another home invasion robbery, a kindly couple with 9 “adopted, special needs children,” surrendered to the robbers. The victims opened their safe and did not resist in any way. When the robbers where finished ransacking the home and terrifying the children, they shot both parents in the head several times before leaving. How did surrender and complete cooperation work out for them?
Handing over your life by surrendering to someone who is in the process of committing a violent crime against you is a form of suicide. Some survive but many do not. The monster gets to decide for you.
We have heard brutalized victims say, “The robber said that he would not hurt us if we cooperated.” Why would you believe anything that someone who is committing a crime against you says? He will be lying if he speaks. As we say in law enforcement, “If a criminal’s lips are moving while he is speaking, he is lying.” Criminals by definition are dishonest and should never be trusted or believed.
You have no doubt heard friends say, I would not resist a criminal, after all why would he kill me? This is stupid and naive. In law enforcement, we call these people “Victims by Choice” (VBC). There could be a long list of reasons why a criminal would kill you despite your cooperation.
You may be of a different race, thus a different tribe. Only members of his tribe are actually human in his mind. He may feel hatred toward you because you have more than he does. Gratification from being in a position of total power is reason enough for some.
Criminals are sometimes members of a Satanic Cult who worship death such as the “Night Stalker” in California. Eliminating a potential witness is often cited as a reason to kill a victim. Sometimes criminals simply enjoy causing suffering and death. There are people who are in fact, pure evil. I have heard criminals say, “I killed her just to watch her die.”
A victim who begs for mercy can give his attacker a tremendous feeling of power which many criminals seem to enjoy. You cannot expect mercy from someone who does not know what mercy is.
We each have a duty to ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, our community, our city, our state and our country to resist criminals. Reasoning with a thug who believes that his failures are because of people just like you is not likely to be helpful. Pleading with a terrorist who has been taught from birth that his salvation depends on murdering people like you is a doomed plan. Resist!
Resist! His gun may not be real. After you are tied up it will not matter. His gun may not be loaded. After you are tied up it will not matter. He may not know how to operate his gun. After you are tied up it will not matter. Resist!
Statistically if you run and your assailant shoots at you he will miss. Statistically if you run and he shoots and hits you, you will not die. Bad guys shooting at the police miss 90 percent of the time. The odds are on your side. Better to die fighting in place than to be tied up, doused with gasoline and burned alive. There are things worse than death. Surrender to a criminal or a terrorist and you will learn what they are. Resist!
If you resist with a commitment to win you may well prevail, especially if you are armed and trained. If you lose it is still better to die fighting in place than to be taken prisoner and have your head cut off with a dull knife while your screams gurgle through your own blood as we have witnessed on numerous videos from the “Islamic practitioners of peace,” as well as the Mexican drug cartels.
Some who have refused to surrender.
History is filled with brave people who refused to surrender. Some of these men and woman have won their battles despite what seemed to be insurmountable odds. Others have gone down fighting and avoided being tortured to death. Some fought to the death to help or save others. Many have fought to the death for an idea or a belief.
When General Santa Ana (also the President of Mexico at the time) ordered 180 “Texicans” to surrender the Alamo, Col. Travis answered with “a cannon shot and a rebel yell.” Eventually General Santa Ana was able to build his troop strength to ten thousand. The Mexicans then swarmed the defenders and killed them all.
The battle of the Alamo delayed the Mexican Army long enough for Sam Huston to build his Texican Army, which met and defeated the Mexican Army and captured General Santa Ana. General Santa Ana traded Texas for his life and the sacrifices of the Alamo defenders changed history.
Frank Luke was a heroic aviator in WWI. Shot down and wounded he refused to surrender when confronted by a German patrol. He killed 4 German soldiers with his 1911 Pistol before being killed. Luke was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
When his unit was pinned down by German Machine Guns and all of the Officers and non commissioned officers in his company were killed or wounded, Alvin York never considered surrendering. Instead, he attacked hundreds of German soldiers killing about 25 with his rifle and pistol and then captured 132 others by himself!
Most of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto (Poland) surrendered to the German Army. They were taken off to death camps and murdered. Between 400 and 1,000 Jews refused to surrender and armed with only a few pistols, revolvers and rifles, they held off the German Army for three months before dying in battle.
During the “Battle of the Bulge,” the 101st Airborne was surrounded by the German Army and ordered to surrender. Faced with overwhelming odds, the Commanding Officer of the 101st sent this reply to the Germans. “Nuts.” The Americans refused to surrender and they stopped the German advance. Most of the Americans troops survived.
On Sept 2, 2010, 40 armed criminals took over and robbed a train in India. Some of the robbers had guns, others used knives and clubs. When they began to disrobe an 18 year old girl for the purpose of gang raping her, one of the passengers decided to fight. He was a 35 year old retired Gurkha soldier. He drew his Khukasri Knife and attacked the 40 robbers. He killed three of the robbers and wounded 8 more despite his being wounded in this 20 minute fight. The remaining criminals fled for their lives leaving their stolen loot and eleven comrades dead or wounded on the floor of the train. The eight wounded robbers were arrested.
How does one man defeat 40? How does he summon the courage to fight such odds? He utilized all of the Principles of Personal Defense: Alertness, Decisiveness, Aggressiveness, Speed, Coolness, Ruthlessness, and Surprise. He was skilled in the use of his weapon. Most importantly, He refused to be a victim and allow evil to triumph!
If this one inspirational soldier can defeat 40 opponents using his knife, it would seem that we should all be able to defeat a group of armed criminals by using our firearms if we are professionally trained as was this heroic Gurkha soldier.
How will you respond if you are confronted by evil as some of us have been in the past and some of us will be in the future? If you have not decided ahead of time what you will do, you will likely do nothing. Those who fight back often win and survive. Those who surrender never win and often die a horrible death. Have you made your decision? Remember, no decision is a decision to do nothing.
Larry Mudgett is a long time Rangemaster and Instructor at Gunsite. Larry and his wife Stacey also run classes in Utah through their own school, Marksmanship Matters. Larry retired from the LAPD after nearly 35 years where he served as the Chief Firearms Instructor at the LA Police Academy for 13 years and the Chief Firearms Instructor and team member for LAPD SWAT for 14 years. Larry also served as an Infantry Light Weapons Sergeant in the First Air Cavalry in Viet Nam 1967-1968. Larry trained the first USMC Special Operations Training Group at Camp Pendleton and was an adjunct firearms and hostage rescue instructor for the DOE Central Training Academy for 10 years. He currently teaches Rifle, Carbine, Pistol, Double Action Revolver and Single Action Revolver.
Learn more at marksmanshipmatters.com.