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Dear Scumbag: An Open Letter

By Greg L | 28 January 2018 | Crime, Prince William County | 8 Comments

First, I’d like to thank you for the unscheduled home defense drill late last night.  I certainly don’t get enough opportunities to exercise these drills, and you volunteering yourself to participate is quite an unexpected blessing.  I hope your nerves aren’t too shattered by the experience, but if it’s any comfort to you, I found the event to be absolutely thrilling!

My experience has taught me the immense value of a proper post-combat after-action report, and in return for your kindness last evening I’d like to share a few findings that might help make our next encounter even more productive for you.   Take these to heart, as I’m sure after some reflection you’ll find them immensely valuable:

What Went Right: After midnight on a Sunday morning is an excellent time to initiate one of these drills, as you get not only the initiative but a rather substantial element of surprise. I’d have never expected this, and I was quite astonished when you came through the door.  As for your entry, it certainly was quite bold which is a good thing.  Being committed to a course of action is absolutely the right way to initiate an attack.  Keep that up.  You also did a fine job of egressing after the attack, as I was quite unable to locate you afterwards despite my best efforts.

What Went Wrong: As soon as you triggered the dog, you hesitated.  Yes, he’s a ninety pound Doberman Pinscher with an inconvenient and almost irrational hatred of strange men and his barking and snarling is a bit intimidating, but it seems clear you have no contingency plan for dealing with something like this.  Seriously, backing out and slamming the door shut demonstrates not only that you were unprepared, but that you were also inadequately committed.  We were only about ten seconds away from the marksmanship portion of the drill and by terminating the exercise early, you robbed not only me but yourself from a brilliant opportunity to see how well I can still put .45 ACP into center of mass, as well as your opportunity to employ whatever tools and equipment you had.  That was a deeply tragic loss of a very valuable training opportunity.

What Can You Do Better Next Time:  I can’t stress how important it is to train under stressful conditions to hone your skills, as I’ve found during my service in the infantry. Skills are perishable, and you have to constantly work to maintain them if you’re going to have any confidence in them.  Never pass up an opportunity for tough, realistic training as you did last night and run every exercise to final completion.  Secondly, make sure you have good contingency plans for dealing with potentially unexpected situations, like an encounter with a vicious dog that is determined to rip your windpipe out of your neck and use it as a fun plaything.  Encountering an unanticipated situation can cause hesitation, and hesitation during an attack can be a profoundly dangerous thing.  Had you hesitated only a few seconds longer we would have gotten to the marksmanship portion of the exercise and you may not have been in the correct posture for this element, which would have been unfortunate.  The better and more thorough your well-rehearsed plan is, the more likely it will be that your attack goes smoothly and according to plan.

I’d also like to provide some input on the planning and execution of the exercise, if I may. It’s quite unrealistic to exercise a one-on-one encounter in a home invasion.  Military doctrine is rather specific that you need to plan at least a three-to-one advantage, and in this case you were actually conducting a perimeter breach with a numerical disadvantage when you consider my dog.  The element of surprise does give you quite an advantage, but in this case it clearly wasn’t anywhere near enough.  Next time bring as many buddies as you can round up.  I promise that I will continue to maintain plenty of reloads and won’t run out of ammunition, so the extra effort on your part won’t at all be wasted.  I really would appreciate a good, thorough marksmanship portion of the exercise and only one target seems like a bit of a wasted opportunity.  So let’s get it right next time.

I do dearly hope that we’ll have the opportunity to run this exercise again once your nerves calm down and you’ve thoroughly considered my input.  I’m looking forward to it.

Oh, and make sure your will is up to date.  Don’t forget the details!

Best regards,


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  1. Joe George said on 28 Jan 2018 at 4:11 pm:
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    Even though you and I rarely see eye to eye on many topics, and you’re making light of the situation, I’m of the rule of thumb of being able to defend your home and being able to hold the culprit(s) in your custody until the authorities arrive.


  2. Greg L said on 28 Jan 2018 at 4:29 pm:
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    Here’s the thing about that: my training and experience defines “defend” as rapidly, accurately and hitting center of mass until the threat is neutralized, after which “detaining” becomes an exercise in observing a perpetrator’s temperature approach ambient values. Any other result indicates a colossal failure in the “defend” task.

    Of course any one else is welcome to try to “shoot to maim” or “shoot to scare” or even “play police officer” if they really want to, provided they understand the enormous risk involved. I don’t know how to do any of those things, so I’m not going to even try. It is absolutely not an approach I would recommend to anyone.

  3. Joe George said on 28 Jan 2018 at 6:11 pm:
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    No POWs?

  4. Greg L said on 28 Jan 2018 at 8:18 pm:
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    Well, that would mean they’re conforming to the requirements of the Geneva Convention, including wearing a distinctive uniform, have an identifiable chain of command and are a signatory to the Convention, among other things. Unless they’re in full compliance, they’d legally be considered an unlawful combatant, and I kinda doubt anyone trying to force unauthorized access to my house in the middle of the night would be in compliance.

    No, I generally don’t take prisoners of war.

  5. Edward said on 29 Jan 2018 at 8:11 am:
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    I know your not scared of a confrontation, actually I’m sorry he got away.

  6. MAGA said on 29 Jan 2018 at 9:11 pm:
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    Too bad you didn’t get to see the temperature of the invader reach the ambient! I would kick that guy in the nuts repeatedly so he would know you do not invade a man’s castle!

  7. Mason said on 30 Jan 2018 at 12:41 pm:
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    Glad you are safe Mr. Greg. You’re a great American and thank you for your service.

    You think the perp was a ‘Dreamer’……mistakenly thinking your house was a 24-hour Democrat voter-registration field office?

  8. Greg L said on 30 Jan 2018 at 8:21 pm:
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    I have no idea, unfortunately. If there was some evidence, not only would I have a better understanding of the threat environment, but it would have been useful to involve the police to investigate. As such, all I know is that the threat is close and real and that maintaining constant vigilance remains a good course of action.

    I have to wonder though whether someone else in the neighborhood who doesn’t have a big, crazy dog will be seen as a softer target and may end up the focus of some future attempt. I hope they’re at least as vigilant as I and pray no harm comes to them if someone out there is probing for weaknesses in the neighborhood. Lord have mercy on anyone who tries to bring harm to any of my neighbors.

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