Skip to comments.Where Angels dare to tread (Vanity)
Posted on 09/04/2007 7:36:50 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter
Many of you will know me as DieHard the Hunter. I am a Guardian Angel. And this is a Vanity, with apologies to all of you and to the Moderator: I hope I've done this right! If not, please flame me gently...
Three years ago, I was a private individual, a father of two kids, a husband to a wonderful woman married for thirteen years. I was and am a salesman and about as ordinary as they get. I drive a ten-year-old Chrysler and I pay my taxes regularly and otherwise lived an ordinary life.
My life changed permanently one day, and it can never be the same again. You see, I discovered in a moment, like a bolt-out-of-the-blue, that I am a Citizen and that I have responsibilities to help deliver the outcomes that I expect from the Society that I live in.
New Zealand's TV3 covered a milestone in this walk last night. It is found here: http://www.tv3.co.nz/VideoBrowseAll/NationalVideo/tabid/309/articleID/34002/Default.aspx
Three years ago, I was minding my own business in New Zealand, driving between Client sites and listening to the radio. The news was running, and top of the news was the discovery of a P-Methamphetamine lab -- a huge one -- right across the street from where my wife teaches music part-time. Luckily, the cops busted the lab before it could explode. Had it exploded, it would have taken out the school and possibly killed people in it. Including my wife and kids.
I was badly shaken.
A few days later, the cops busted a P-Methamphetamine lab just down the street from where I live. It, too, was huge. And a bit too close to home. And so I got angry. Really angry: pig-biting mad.
I picked up the phone and was about to call our Mayor, Bob Harvey. Because that is what Citizens tend to do when they get upset.
But I never made the call. Somehow, in midair, I came to a realization. It was an epiphany. The Mayor was doing his best to curb Crime in our community, and so were his Councilors. Our Police were doing their best: they had, after all, busted two labs within a few days. And even our Government was doing its best with my money, and if I wanted them to do better they would surely oblige, by raising my taxes.
The person who wasn't doing their best was me: the average Joe Citizen.
I recalled an interview with Barbara Walters, back in 1983, with a guy named Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels, and I remembered being impressed by the vision that he had: ordinary Citizens taking responsibility and cleaning up their neighborhoods. So I hopped onto the Web to see if the Guardian Angels organization was still around. And lo! It was!
I made my phone call, but this time to New York City. And thus began the most amazing journey of my life.
Folks, you do not need to tolerate crime in your community. Crime is entirely optional. The criminals took over bit by bit, piece by piece, because we let them. We listened to the siren's call of "don't get involved". We listened to the advice of the experts to "call 911 and let the police handle things. Don't get involved or you could get hurt." And in this process our give-a-dam'n got busted.
Your neighborhoods can be taken back incrementally, too: bit by bit, piece by piece.
I am not Bruce Lee, and I am not Chuck Norris. I am an ordinary guy, fat and overweight (in the video, I'm the fat guy in the khaki BDUs). About as average a Citizen as we can get. But my journey with the Guardian Angels has been a life-transforming event.
The day came for me to launch my Chapter, having taken my training by e-mail and correspondence: it is a long swim from NYC to Auckland and so there was nobody who could easily train me -- I had to do it on my own -- and many a midnite hour was spent reading The Manual.
At last I was ready to go.
My press release was loaded into the fax machine, with all the media outlets programmed in. And my hand couldn't quite press the green "GO" button: it was an irreversable step. From that day forward, my life would change permanently if I hit the "Go" button. I was about to become the New Zealand National Spokesman for an organization formed in the Bronx in 1979...
...and then I remembered what had happened that day. I had been in Taupo on business, about a hundred miles away from my family. My wife and two kids had been driving thru Henderson to do some shopping. And a nut, probably strung out on P-Methamphetamine, had gone into my friend's sporting goods store, carved up my friend giving him serious injuries, and run outside and stabbed an old-age pensioner to death. Right in front of my wife and kids while she sat waiting for the traffic lites in her little van. The cops had attended, and one officer had shot this crook several times with a Glock. And he still kept coming. Finally, a heroic parking warden crash-tackled the guy to the ground...
...all of this in front of my wife, who was talking to me on the cellphone, terrified, giving me a blow-by-blow account of what was going on.
I had never felt so helpless in all my life!
And so, naturally, I closed my eyes and hit the "Go" button on the fax machine. Never again would I be powerless against criminals. Never again would I want to feel like I did that day, in Taupo, on the end of a phone desperately wanting to be able to do *something* and being physically unable to do anything.
Two years on from our launch, and we are opening our second Chapter. The Lads have stopped two knifings, two riots, one kidnapping, multiple domestic disputes, and multiple drug deals. We have resussitated multiple street people and prevented two beatings. We have cleaned up our neighborhood.
The first time you save someone's life, it is addictive. Better than any drug, better than any opiate.
And we have only used force once.
Folks, you do not need to tolerate crime in your neighborhood. Get involved!
Wow....your story is inspiring....it takes one person with an idea and the guts to run with it.....Good on ya mate !!!!
thank you for sharing your story
Good on ya’, Mate.
We need to bring it home, all ‘round the world, if we expect to enjoy civilization once again.
You aint that fat.
Nothing wrong with them at all, but a well-armed citizen who looks and dresses just like anyone else is about as effective a weapon against crime that you'll ever find!
Yay for you! God bless and protect you ... keep up the good work!
You made the right choice.
Bully.. Meth as a drug is worse than crack.. as hard as that is to believe.. The stuff eats the brain up even worse than crack does.. Hopefully if your Org. spreads into small towns also Meth addiction can be slowed down..
BUMP TO THE TOP!!!! Excellent, DHTH!!!
The Angels came to Dallas for a bit but they didn’t last. A morning Radio show host summed it up the best:
“Don’t they know this is Texas? Everyone has a gun here, and they’re only armed with Radios? I’ll tell you what folks, a lot of Guardian Angel radios are going to be showing up in pawn shops, bet on it.”
True enough, here we are two years out and the TX GA chapter is folded up and sent back to New York.
Thank you, DieHard the Hunter and the others who have decided to act, you are good citizens.
> Nothing wrong with them at all, but a well-armed citizen who looks and dresses just like anyone else is about as effective a weapon against crime that you’ll ever find!
The problem is, here in NZ we do not have a Second Amendment. And our “Use of Force” provisions in the Crimes Act 1961 Sections 39-48 are very, very prescriptive as to what we can and cannot do.
You have a rare privilege in the US to arm yourselves, and in many states you have the right to defend your homes with deadly force. It is not that way elsewhere.
Indeed, there is a farmer in NZ currently facing charges for firing *warning shots* at a couple of bad guys who were ripping off his farm. And there is a fisherman who is facing charges for firing his shotgun at a fleeing vehicle carrying scroats who had gone on a robbery rampage in the village he lived in.
Guardian Angels patrol unarmed, on foot. We rely on our people skills to deter crime: combined with some handy and pragmatic martial arts skills, the sort of skills that can win bar fights and street fights, but without causing permanent injury. We train our Volunteers for free in the martial arts, first aid and CPR.
After two years, I am proud that our Auckland Chapters have only had to use force once: I did it. I was on Patrol providing security for a club for returned Veterans. One Vietnam vet had too much to drink, and began a fight. I intervened and broke it up. He decided to punch me in the head, but I caught his fist in mid-air, gave it a hard shove, and told him to never do that again. Or Else. I then frog-marched him off the premesis.
And at the end of Patrol, I went home safely to my Family.
Deterring crime does not require massive violence, and it does not really require guns or armed citizens. An armed citizenry is highly desirable for other reasons. But stopping Bad Guys is very achievable with ordinary folk, patrolling unarmed. I know this as God’s Truth, because I do it.
Thank you for your example, DieHard!
You truly are an Army of One!!!!
The best to you from my corner of the world, Southern Delaware, USA.
> Dont they know this is Texas? Everyone has a gun here, and theyre only armed with Radios? Ill tell you what folks, a lot of Guardian Angel radios are going to be showing up in pawn shops, bet on it.
Then sir, this is your fault, not theirs. You, as an average Citizen, had the opportunity to make it work. You didn’t. Good one mate, own-goal. The citizens of Dallas should be ashamed.
My Auckland Lads patrol in places just as dangerous as Dallas. Except most of our criminals are all built like linebackers.
I am saddened to hear from you that the Dallas Chapter didn’t last. If this is so, it is because of Apathy, and not from want of effort.
I heartily agree!
> Bully.. Meth as a drug is worse than crack.. as hard as that is to believe.. The stuff eats the brain up even worse than crack does..
Methamphetamine is a really nasty drug. It makes the user hyper-alert and super-strong and ultra-violent. It takes three Angels to control one user. Not funny at all!
Much worse than crack, as you say.
> Hopefully if your Org. spreads into small towns also Meth addiction can be slowed down..
The Guardian Angels will spread to wherever there is a need: big town, small town. The only thing that is required are a few Citizens who want to make a difference. If you want Angels in your town, FReepmail me and I will get the ball rolling. All the way from New Zealand.
No flames from me! Great job!
Gidday, Kiwi....good job, taking back your neighborhood, one piece at a time, bit by bit.
> Gidday, Kiwi....good job, taking back your neighborhood, one piece at a time, bit by bit.
Cheers, Kathy! Did you like the video coverage? The day actually belongs to “Kimodo”, our newly-appointed CBD Chapter Leader. She is an amazing woman who has brought her entire Medieval Martial Arts club into an effective Patrol. What they do not know about bladed weapons isn’t worth knowing!
She is currently teaching a group of elderly ladies from the Henderson RSA’s women’s section how to defend themselves against muggers and rapists. They learned about knives last Saturday. Crikey!!!
I thought TV3 did an awesome job of the interview: they are welcome to Patrol with us anytime they like. Not all of the MSM are bad: there are some of them that will go out and do the job properly, like Simon and his crew from Campbell Live. They have always, always been fair with us.
For that reason, for as long as they like, the TV3 crew will have exclusive access to the Guardian Angels in NZ.
> Thank you, DieHard the Hunter and the others who have decided to act, you are good citizens.
Cheers for that, mate!
I’m just an ordinary guy, so are the rest of The Lads (that’s what we call ourselves in NZ, even the girls. We do not differentiate or discriminate in any way. We do not make any effort to be PC. So we are all “The Lads” or “The Brotherhood-of-the-Wing”)
I have been blessed with the opportunity to lead some truly amazing New Zealand Citizens. These are folk who have Dared to Care, to be Role Models for Life, Beyond the Streets.
Me, I’m just a fat salesman who one day decided that he’d had enough.
Anyone can do this, it’s not hard.
It was good video coverage...the best of luck to all of you.
> Wow....your story is inspiring....it takes one person with an idea and the guts to run with it.....Good on ya mate !!!!
(Big grin!) Thanks for that! Anybody can do this: it isn’t difficult, and it doesn’t take alot of time. I get to do the Guardian Angels thing using the same time I’d otherwise watch the Rugby with a warm beer and cold pizza on a Friday evening. It is *that* easy.
Do you want your neighborhood back, no crime, no graffiti? It is as easy as a couple hours per week.
You want excitement? Go on Patrol: you will live off the adrenaline for a week. Real Life is much, much better than anything TV can dish out.
Folks, this is easy! Really, honest-to-God! The Bad Guys have taken over because we have all become mesmerized by “Sex in the City” and “Dancing with Stars” and “The Sopranos” — instead, all we really need to do is spend a couple hours each night scaring the Bad Guys away. That’s all.
(and I do mean “scaring” — to my experience, the Bad Guys are all cowards and cretins. They are afraid and they will flee if opposed by resolute law-abiding Citizens. We frighten them. They are like hyenas: lots of noise, pretty scary and sharp teeth. But there is nothing there underneath the noise and snarl.)
This is our Country, not theirs. Let’s take it back. The Bad Guys probably don’t even pay taxes! Whoever said that they get to call the shots???
Don’t wait for the Government to fix things. You each personally have a responsibility to help deliver the outcomes you expect from the Society in which you live.
You must not take the Law into your own hands but by Crikey you must take the Law and run with it. That is what good Citizens should do.
By Crikey, we must all, at very least, be good, active Citizens. We owe that much to each other.
Get involved. And if anyone tells you not to get involved, tell them where to go: they are part of the Problem, not part of the Solution. Get involved. Get stuck in.
I’ll help you do this, as much as I can.
*DieHard the Hunter*
GOOD WORK MATE!
Bah, we have armed groups that I put more faith in. Sorry. Them’s the breaks.
Btw, I carry a gun daily. IMHO, I do more to prevent to crime by joining my fellow armed citizens than the angels ever will. Call it a Texan thing.
> Bah, we have armed groups that I put more faith in. Sorry. Thems the breaks.
Good luck to you and your armed groups. I hope you never have need to draw down on someone or they on you: they tell me death is an irreversable thing. Not exactly something I’d want to wear on my conscience.
I’ll stick with the Angels, thanks. There’s something appealing to chasing away bad-guys as an unarmed Patrol.
Learning how to throw a good left hook is a heaps more practical life-skill than learning how to hit a bullseye: my left is always loaded, always with me, doesn’t require oiling or even a license.
Yet my left is accurate and decisive, and highly unlikely to put me in the dock in front of the Beak if I have to use it to defend myself.
Nope — unarmed is a much better way to Patrol.
> Btw, I carry a gun daily. IMHO, I do more to prevent to crime by joining my fellow armed citizens than the angels ever will. Call it a Texan thing.
If carrying a gun makes you feel tuff, great: whatever feeds your self-esteem, mate. Just don’t point that thing at me.
Guardian Angels don’t need to carry weapons, and we don’t. We do, however, train in taking weapons off armed yahoos, and some of us are pretty good at it. Call it a Guardian Angel thing.
> Bully.. Meth as a drug is worse than crack.. as hard as that is to believe.. The stuff eats the brain up even worse than crack does.. Hopefully if your Org. spreads into small towns also Meth addiction can be slowed down..
P-Methamphetamine is scary, scary stuff. In New Zealand we have the largest per-capita consumption of this filthy drug in the entire world! And most of it is made in my neighborhood: West Auckland. Crikey!
I particularly hate what it does to the user: it “uses up” his entire Being: he literally wastes away while gaining super-powers: all of his life-force is being crammed into a few moments, sucking the very juice out of his existence. That is why P-Meth addicts lose weight so quickly: it is an unsustainable addiction.
And, naturally, when they are on P-Meth, they are invincible. It takes three Angels to control a P-Meth addict. They become horribly violent and amazingly strong and quite resistent to pain.
God, I hate the stuff! Whoever invented P-Methamphetamine ought to rot in Hell.
Amazing the stuff humans can get addicted too.. You name it somebody is addicted to it.. Humans can obsess on most anything.. even religion.. Who ever came up with the meme obsessive personality was right on.. I've seen people kick some drug only to obsess on something else.. even something "legal".. or another drug.. even FOOD..
Meth and crack is bad but so is some other drugs.. heroin, other opiates and alcohol..
Why do you people always assume that those of who armed don't know how to throw a punch? I happen to have studied martial arts all of my life, holding belts in Judo, Karate, Modern Arnis, and Tae Kwon Do. I can go toe to toe as well as anyone, but you're a lunatice if you think any of the above equals a yellow belt in gun fu.
Btw, is that a bit of liberalism seeping through in your obvious contempt for an armed populace?
> Btw, is that a bit of liberalism seeping through in your obvious contempt for an armed populace?
You live a privileged life, with a Second Amendment to a Constitution. In NZ we have neither. A good left hook is the best I can manage, legally: if that makes me a “liberal” in your books, fine.
> Why do you people always assume that those of who armed don’t know how to throw a punch?
I have said nothing about your capabilities to throw a punch, one way or the other. I have merely stated a preference for an unarmed response to use-of-force. This is something positive that every Citizen can do — with the added bonus that they are also able to sleep at nights with a clean conscience. For all your big talk about guns I doubt you have ever killed someone. If you have, what was it like?
> I happen to have studied martial arts all of my life, holding belts in Judo, Karate, Modern Arnis, and Tae Kwon Do. I can go toe to toe as well as anyone, but you’re a lunatice if you think any of the above equals a yellow belt in gun fu.
All of this may be so: I have no way to check your macho claims and no desire to. If you point your firearm at me, or at any innocent party in my vicinity, I shall arrest you. So keep it in your pocket, mate.
(in the video, I'm the fat guy in the khaki BDUs)Is that you at 2:30?
You live a privileged life, with a Second Amendment to a Constitution. In NZ we have neither. A good left hook is the best I can manage, legally: if that makes me a liberal in your books, fine.You know where I stand on armed versus unarmed self-defense, mate. I'm not out for a fair fight, I'm out for a fight that I win. If guns make me win (most likely) then I'm sticking with the gun. There is a far greater number of situations in which the ability to harm an individual outside arms-length is necessary. Most self-defense altercations occur within 15 feet, and very few people (certainly very few criminals) can cross this distance and neutralize the armed citizen without getting shot. Even fewer will try.
For all your big talk about guns I doubt you have ever killed someone. If you have, what was it like?Many will admire the desire not to take a life - a desire I share, by the way. But the dangerous criminals that most of Americas arm against will exploit that desire, not admire it. Being averse to taking a life (out of necessity) is one thing, being incapable of doing so in a pinch is quite another. The former is a healthy ethical preference, the latter a weakness.
If you point your firearm at me, or at any innocent party in my vicinity, I shall arrest you. So keep it in your pocket, mate.This is a crime in America too, mate.
So glad I stumbled on this!
Great story & video Die Hard.
It’s wonderful works that you & the Angels are doing. Thank you!
NITPICK ALERT!! NITPICK ALERT!!
It's not a privilege. It's a human right.
Other than that, great story my friend.
Gidday Dave, great to hear from you as always. That’s me at 2:30 You write:
> Most self-defense altercations occur within 15 feet, and very few people (certainly very few criminals) can cross this distance and neutralize the armed citizen without getting shot. Even fewer will try.
I should check that if I were you: there is a well-accepted theory that 21 feet is about as close as you would ever want to allow a Bad Head to get, because he can probably cover that distance in 2.5 seconds. Here is a link to an article I generally agree with: http://www.usadojo.com/articles/21-feet-valid.htm
Also, check out the techniques taught by Applegate in that manual I sent you — the Bad Heads know how to do these things, and you only have to get a little bit off-line in order to have the bullet miss entirely. And a miss is as good as a mile.
> But from what you say here, you indicate that the 2nd Amendment is preferable, when other posts and communications indicate to me that you consider unarmed resistance superior.
This may seem like a dichotomy: it’s not. I believe that an armed populace is healthy for government, and so it has proven in America for over 200 years.
And I don’t really have difficulty with the idea of the average Citizen having firearms available as a weapon for self-defense. I wish we had that right in NZ. We don’t.
And, as you know, I believe that having the ability to defend yourself with-or-without weapons is highly desirable.
I definitely believe that you should not be carrying a firearm unless you also possess the capability of defending that firearm with your bare hands if necessary. Because of the 21 foot rule, it is possible that one day, it becomes necessary.
If I was a Bad Head, and I suspected that you were untrained in self-defense, and that your pistol was your only means of protecting yourself, I would rush you 100% of the time and take your gun off you: why not? The odds would, perversely enough, be in my favor.
I say again: you should not carry a firearm, concealed or no, unless you can defend that firearm with your bare hands. Otherwise you risk arming a Bad Head, and having your firearm used against you and against others.
> The GA’s are very visible with their bright-red jackets and berets. Airplane companies, when they put federal marshals on board plans, put them in plain (or, if you like, PLANE, ha ha) clothes so that anyone intent on making trouble won’t know if they’re in for opposition.
That’s the whole idea: being a visible deterrent. I’m not into playing mind-games with the Bad Heads: I like them to know that there are Angels about, and to be deterred. That is why we dress in red berets and gleaming scarlet jackets: we stick out like dog’s bollix. The end justifies the means: if crime is deterred — perfect.
And people know that anyone dressed in a red beret and gleaming scarlet jacket is someone who will help them. We try to visibly be one of the Good Guys.
When we fly on planes, we wear our berets and jackets, too, and we make ourselves known to the flight crew. I don’t mind if the Bad Heads know that there are a couple of big burly martial artists in seats 12 A and F dressed in scarlet that they are going to need to neutralize if they want to take over the plane. Good luck to them! I hope they think twice, and then once again. Mission accomplished, crime deterred.
Because we are an unarmed foot patrol, we cover the ground pretty quickly and quietly: just because we are visible doesn’t necessarily mean the Bad Heads see us coming — often they don’t. And so far, in NZ we have only had to use force once: mostly it comes down to people skills.
I could tell you a story about a child molesterer who got the shock of his misbegotten life. One moment he was alone in the bush, lurking for kids and reading kiddie porn and drinking beer and munching KFC. The next moment he was surrounded by six Guardian Angels with very stern experessions on their faces, encouraging him to leave the area immediately and to never return. And after he had peed himself in fright, he left!
Or about the young punks who had gotten together for a nite out bashing Street People. You should have seen the look on the old fella’s face: one minute he was about to get a bashing. The next minute, seven Guardian Angels in gleaming scarlet had made a wall of safety around him, facing down the punks, tipping out their alcohol (they were underage) writing down their ID and encouraging them to leave. Now.
Or I could tell you a story about how twenty gangstas having a knife fight ran from three Angels who had materialized out of nowhere. “@#%%!! It’s the Guardian Angels! Run!!!” — and so they did.
I could tell you these stories because I was there for each of them. Visible deterrence is a very good thing.
> Just from most of our perspectives, armed resistance can be and is a superior and more effective form of defense or deterrence.
In New Zealand our cops patrol unarmed, and they actively resist every attempt to arm them. Why is that, I wonder?
Also, check out the techniques taught by Applegate in that manual I sent you the Bad Heads know how to do these things, and you only have to get a little bit off-line in order to have the bullet miss entirely. And a miss is as good as a mile.Methinks New Zealand sees more sophisticated "bad heads" than we do. The techniques you suggest require training. Most bad guys here don't train.
If I was a Bad Head, and I suspected that you were untrained in self-defense, and that your pistol was your only means of protecting yourself, I would rush you 100% of the time and take your gun off you: why not? The odds would, perversely enough, be in my favor.2.5 seconds to cover the space (assuming the armed citizen remains stationary), that's still plenty of time to squeeze off a round. If not as a deterrent, and if it doesn't function to stop the fool, it's still a very effective first line of defense before the hand-to-hand combat begins.
Otherwise you risk arming a Bad Head, and having your firearm used against you and against others.Like I said, I scour headlines from across the globe on a daily basis, and I've seen more situations where a criminal's gun is taken away and used against him than the opposite.
Visible deterrence is a very good thing.Agreed.
In New Zealand our cops patrol unarmed, and they actively resist every attempt to arm them. Why is that, I wonder?You tell me.
>> In New Zealand our cops patrol unarmed, and they actively resist every attempt to arm them. Why is that, I wonder?
> You tell me.
Apparently, they believe that arming themselves “ups the ante” with Bad Heads, making every confrontation a potentially armed one.
I’m not convinced of the validity of this argument, but on the surface it does make a certain degree of sense.
> Methinks New Zealand sees more sophisticated “bad heads” than we do. The techniques you suggest require training. Most bad guys here don’t train.
Now that surprises me. I would have thought it a career pre-requisite for a Crim to spend at least some time learning his craft. What else is there for him to do whilst in gaol, except buff up at the gym and run away from his cellmate?
...all of this in front of my wife, who was talking to me on the cellphone, terrified, giving me a blow-by-blow account of what was going on.
My wife and I have an agreement. I go to war zones and she stays safe. She isn’t happy about it but that’s too bad.
Stay safe out there!
Might want to wear a vest beneath that jacket in the winter time to keep warm:
yes, but do you wear the shirt “honk if you’ve never seen a gun fired from a moving harley”? :)
I tripped across this thread, somehow....?
I HIGHLY commend you for what you’re doing in YOUR COUNTRY!!! And, for recommending we too, do something similar in ours...
Stay safe out there, OK?
And everyone else...knock off with the macho comments. Sheesh.
He's obviously doing the best he can with the law as it is in where he lives. Can't blame him personally for the anti-gun laws over in his country any more then you canbe blamed for President Obama. Majority rule has the say.
You are a good man DTH!