Pro Tips: Avoid Stupid Places, People, And Things

Written by Greg Hopkins on November 1, 2017

Today I’d like to reissue a warning that your parents probably taught you about the time you entered on your teenage years: Don’t go to stupid places, doing stupid things, with stupid people. Specifically, don’t show up at any of the ANTIFA and BLM rallies planned around America for Saturday, November 4, this year. Like Mama always said, “Nothing good ever happens after midnight” (or at a riot). Psalms 36:1-4.

Don’t go to Stupid Places. Would you go to a party at a club or a building if you knew there was going to be a fire or a terrorist event there? Well, a terrorist event is exactly what these little Commie dopes have planned. Their publicity says, “Protest Until It’s Gone,” meaning this is just the beginning of a campaign of anarchy. They plan for it to be ongoing, like “Occupy Wall Street.” It will occur around public areas such as parks, statehouses, and city halls. If you go down to watch, you put yourself and any companions in a tactically dangerous situation. First, any car in the area could be driven by a nutcase from either side who wants to express his warped opinion by running over a few folks. Or, it can be a panicked Grandma that cluelessly drove into the area and tries to get out by “making a hole” in the crowd. It can happen in an instant, and you have no control. With all the other noise, a car can be on top of you before you know it. Ever hear the phrase, “He never even knew what hit him”? Even if you come armed, it’s improbable you’ll instantly stop a vehicle with handgun fire.

At a riot, the situation becomes extremely fluid. You and your innocent friends can easily get tangled up in events. Your halo that says, “I’m neutral. I just brought my popcorn and came to watch,” is visible to no one. Cops tend to assume that if you show up at potential flashpoint, you’re NOT there to help. They will consider you part of the problem and a potential danger to them. As Paul tells us, “Evil companions corrupt good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). ANTIFA is ordering that many of its members show up disguised as right-wingers (wearing MAGA hats, III%er symbols, etc.). Inevitably, the problems with “Identification: Friend or Foe” may get hilarious as Commies beat up their disguised Comrades. However, they are clearly there to do damage to anyone who isn’t on their side. If you don’t look like one of them, you’re prey for them. If you do look like them, you’re prey for the cops or any counter-protestors. The “fringe” of a riot from where you safely observed it a moment ago can suddenly become Ground Zero. Escape routes that were clear moments ago are now blocked, and people are charging you and your buddies with bad intent. As Karl Malden used to say, “WHAT will you do? What WILL you do?”

Don’t go with Stupid People. If you’re going to personally observe what you either know or hope will turn into a riot, you’re stupid. You need to get a life and a REAL job! If you have friends who think that riot watching is just another adrenaline kick like whitewater rafting or skydiving, you need a better class of friends. Skydiving is a FAR more controlled risk than the environment around a riot. People get killed when crowds stampede. Don’t be surprised if your “good buddy” suddenly decides it’s “every man for himself” when things get sketchy. If your friends are treating this thing as a lark and downing a few brewskies beforehand to nerve up or loosen up “for the fun”, that’s a flashing light and a siren telling you to excuse yourself. Folks, ANTIFA and BLM will not be there to play, nor will any counter-protestors or the police (except for cops in certain liberal jurisdictions who have orders to let the Commies do as they please).

The second category of Stupid People are the counter-protestors. “We’re here to let you know we citizens are behind you, Officer.” Dude, NOBODY ASKED YOU! If you aren’t an EMT, cop, firefighter, or other emergency personnel, you DON’T need to be there. I don’t care if your militia group “wants to help keep order”! Unless you are deputized, or your Governor has called out the militia, stay home and watch sports! If you are deputized, you will be given specific tasks and places to be. You will be under supervision and control of law enforcement and in their communication loop. That is the ONLY way you will be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Psalms 37:7-11.

Counter-protestors are going to be idiots with their own agendas who, like individual ANTIFA and BLM, are “bipolar cud-chewers” (thanks, David Codrea) and punk barroom sweepings whose idea of a good time is to get into a fight. There will be a few Neo-Nazi and KKK types whom nobody respects, let alone listens to or defends. They live for days like this, and they won’t be too particular as to whose skulls they try to crack. Bystanders won’t be bystanders for long. Even in defensive use of force, your actions will be judged by the law. Expect to be arrested. Have money available to bond out, or you’ll be sitting in jail for a while with a bunch of folks you never really wanted to meet. Then there’s lawyer’s fees, court dates, and a lot of missed work. And all this fun may not start until your visit to the ER is over. Are you looking forward to paying extra bills? Are you fond of concussions?

Don’t go with Stupid People doing Stupid Things. “What did you go out to see, a reed shaken in the wind?” asked Jesus of those who went to hear John the Baptist (Matt. 11:7). What do you plan to accomplish by going to a riot? Are you going to preach the peace and love of Jesus to them? Folks, no one is there to listen to you or anyone else. They passed “talking it over” three stations back. They are there intending to break the law and bust heads. The goal of both sides is to bring down society and its laws, so they can then rebuild it in the image that they desire. I have seen undercover videos with ANTIFA folks who say they are bringing military-type knives, acid, guns, clubs, and items both blunt and bladed, to throw and strike with. The Nazi nutjobs will be similarly armed. Neither side is planning a political science seminar with questions, croissants, and coffee after; they are coming to fight, disrupt, maim, and kill anyone who gets in their way including, law enforcement and the other side. Proverbs 1:10-19.

Now, if you have friends who have businesses in the area and want to stay in their store to help them protect their investment, fine. We know looting and wanton destruction is all part of ANTIFA and BLM’s modus operandi. However, your friends have insurance, so maybe it’s a good idea for them to close their shops and just stay home that day. In addition, before you come riding up on your white charger to defend your buddy’s bodega, have you studied the law of defending yourself, third parties, and property? Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that you know the legal rules on how much force is reasonable in specific situations? For instance, where is your state’s legal line when mere looting stops and robbery begins? Not sure? Then stay home! Most states don’t allow use of deadly force to protect “mere property.” You will be judged by the law after any use of force. Every punch or bullet has a lawyer riding on it, both for criminal law and getting sued. Think again about the ER, jail, and court visits and their costs in time and money. Finally, remember that you’re putting your life at risk for your friend’s stuff. What if a bomb crashes through the window or the block where your friend’s store is located and set ablaze? Do you have a foolproof escape plan?

Maybe November 4, 2017, is a good day to just stay home. Take care of your own family first (1 Tim. 5:8). If you must go out that day, avoid crowds, go armed, have Mommy and all kids on a short leash, and watch your back! Be alert for any flare-ups of violent behavior and clear the area as fast as you can! Avoid stupid people, in stupid places, doing stupid things.

photo credit: KarlaAnnCoté Charlottesville via photopin (license)

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Greg Hopkins
Greg Hopkins is a recovering lawyer, city prosecutor, police Use-of-Force law instructor, former city judge in two towns and criminal defense lawyer. He’s been teaching the Bible to teens and adults for 40 years. He now trains CCP holders and armed church security teams in self defense law. He also does expert witnessing in firearms and self defense cases. His book is A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism, on the Bible and Self Defense.