Sam Harris Talks Guns, Gun Control and Police Violence

Sam Harris speaks with Scott Reitz about guns, gun control and police violence.

Sam Harris is a thought leader on a variety of topics. His writings on self defense and violence are well worth looking through.

Scott Reitz was a great guest to have on his podcast as he certainly represents what one could consider to be a subject matter expert regarding the dynamics and nature of close quarters violence involving a gun (highly experienced cop and firearms trainer - see the podcast for more of his Bio).

One part of the podcast I found hit the nail on the head for me regarding a self defence related aspect that I would like to mention is as follows.

Scott was talking about appropriate ways to control people inside a car following a typical highway stop in a rough area where the cop doesn't know who he has just pulled over. He talks about command presence and controlling the suspects, distances, angles and actions etc in order to generate safety and control risk.

Numerous occassions over the years during these sorts of incidents it turns out the people in the car had firearms in the car that were sometimes within reach. Scott always made the point of asking why the perp didn't go for the weapon. What the frequent answer was is very important. They would often say:

You had me.

That's great.

That is exactly what you want a potential attacker in a mugging or similar situation to think about when they are sizing you up. You want them to know that you know what is going on, you have seen the situation, seen the risk they pose, have adjusted your position, are ready and prepared to act if forced.

Remember it is much easier for a potential mugger to let you go by than it is for a perp to get arrested knowing they will be thrown back in prison. There is no consequence if the mugger lets you go by. A perp with a firearm and outstanding court cases and wanted by police has a lot to lose by not attempting to get away from police. There is often more incentive to act. But in many instances, as we have seen, they don't if they think you have them.

Scott remarked cops are not gonna be there when u most need them. He was talking about a situation like a home invasion. He was talking about why something like self defence skills is important in the 21st century when we are about as safe as we have ever been.

Scott made an off hand remark that he had never had to use force when he was off duty, he often carried a concealed firearm off duty, in 40yrs. This is important to highlight. Sometimes those in the self defence or training industries can overstate the actual risk or likelihood of being caught up in violence - sometimes scare mongering. On the other hand Scott may not have had to use force over that period because perps could tell he had them.

They covered much more ground than just the above. It was an interesting conversation. The part about gun violence in the US was lacking a little I thought but there is only so much time I guess.

Check out the podcast.