On US Capitol Security—By Someone Who Manages Arena-Rock-Concert Security

Smart commentary:

…I was floored on Wednesday when, glued to my television, I saw police in some areas of the U.S. Capitol using little more than those same mobile gates I had ­ the ones that look like bike racks that can hook together ­ to try to keep the crowds away from sensitive areas and, later, push back people intent on accessing the grounds. (A new fence that appears to be made of sturdier material was being erected on Thursday.) That’s the same equipment and approximately the same amount of force I was able to use when a group of fans got a little feisty and tried to get backstage at a Vanilla Ice show.


There’s not ever going to be enough police or security at any event to stop people if they all act in unison; if enough people want to get to Vanilla Ice at the same time, they’re going to get to Vanilla Ice. Social constructs and basic decency, not lightweight security gates, are what hold everyone except the outliers back in a typical crowd.


When there are enough outliers in a crowd, it throws the normal dynamics of crowd control off; everyone in my business knows this. Citizens tend to hold each other to certain standards ­ which is why my 40,000-person town does not have 40,000 police officers, and why the 8.3 million people of New York City aren’t policed by 8.3 million police officers.

Social norms are the fabric that make an event run smoothly—and, really, hold society together. There aren’t enough police in your town to handle it if everyone starts acting up at the same time.

I like that she uses the term “outliers,” and I make much the same points in Liars and Outliers.

Posted on January 13, 2021 at 6:06 AM45 Comments


Winter January 13, 2021 6:29 AM

“which is why my 40,000-person town does not have 40,000 police officers”

I wonder whether 15,000 State Troopers will be enough?

Carl Fink January 13, 2021 7:26 AM

@Winter: there will also be many thousands of others, from all over. My own home state, New York, has sent 1,000 National Guard troops. Bureau of Prisons officers are being used.

Clive Robinson January 13, 2021 7:27 AM

@ ALL,

There is a reason why it’s called “The thin blue line” because in reality there are not enough police to form let alone hold a line.

In the UK back in the late 1980’s certain politicians decided to change things… Thus in spring 1990 we had the “Poll tax riots”, they were uterly devestating[1].

On the day I was with a young lady friend and we had better things to be concerned with than an anti-tax rally. We did not have the TV or the radio on we were after all busy doing other things. Well we decided to go upto China Town for an evening meal. So washed and dressed and looking smart we went up to town.

On the underground we heard announcements that certain tube stations were closed, but they did not realy say why.

We got out at an earlier station walked up the road and turned a corner.

We might as well have stepped into a War Movie set, there was carnage and desolation every where, police officers sat wide legged on the ground slumped up against vehicles and buildings, shattered glass everywhere and police veihcles with scafolding poles right through protective screens, windscreens and embedded into drivers seats. Smoke hung hazily in the air mixing with the acrid smell of chemicals and burned out vehicles. There were some police officers still standing stumbling with haunted looks in their faces. Then we turned into Trafalgar Square and it was as if a pitched battle had been fought…

Both of us “wore the green” and we knew viscerally what we were looking at. The police had lost not just control, but the battle, the only reason they were still alive is that those who had won were not interested in killing them, or much beyond “having a bit of fun”. They had simply gone home or gone on to do other things and left the police where they sat or stumbled. Those involved did not outnumber the police, they were not armed they just went for it… We turned around and went far away, it was not our fight and as my father used to say, “The best place to be when there is trouble, is somewhere else”.

Policing is actually an illusion of power, even heavily armed well trained infantry troops know the balance of power in action. If there are more than three times as many enemy as there are you, you don’t get close because you will get creamed, especially in FIBUA where you need a ten to one advantage atleast to clear an area and casualties will be high.

Thus you use stand off tactics. In war this is not generaly a problem you use heavy weapons, a machine gun can cut a wall down if you do it right, anti tank rockets and guided missiles will take out close together groups. But the police do not have such weapons politically they could not use them, thus they get creamed.

[1] Video news footage of the event,


yates January 13, 2021 9:04 AM

… after 9/11 key Federal facilities were ‘supposed’ to be heavily secured against severe ‘terrorist’ attack.

The Capitol Building obviously lacked such security — a loosely organized, basically unarmed mob easily penetrated the entire building.
Imagine what 10-30 foreign terrorists could have done … well-trained, well-armed/equipped, on a fanatical mission.

Congress always spends lavishly upon itself, but money does not compensate for managerial incompetence in Congressional leadership.

Chelloveck January 13, 2021 9:34 AM

@yates: And yet there are photos from one of the BLM protests of guards standing three deep around the capitol. If accurate, it suggests that whoever is in charge was not unable to mount a defense, but was unwilling to.

JonKnowsNothing January 13, 2021 9:41 AM

@Clive @All

re: In war this is not generaly a problem you use heavy weapons, a machine gun can cut a wall down if you do it right, anti tank rockets and guided missiles will take out close together groups. But the police do not have such weapons politically they could not use them, thus they get creamed.

In the USA, the police do have such weapons. Over the last decades “used” military equipment has been “given” to police departments all over the USA. Nearly every police department has such equipment now, even if at the beginning they rejected it. It’s a very popular set of Police Toys.

In theory, there was no purpose for police anywhere in the USA to have such items, but they found a use for them. There have been some occasions where it came very close which way the .50 caliber was pointing or if the officer was going to pull the trigger.

The same program brought more “army style” clothing, heavy riot gear, and tactical training. You can see the effects of such training where the “police” walked past an injured civilian bleeding out on the pavement. Only 1 officer broke ranks and was reprimanded sharply for doing so, then he got back into line. The cohort marched on past the 80yo man on the ground with all their gear, shields, helmets ready to rumble.

Many police departments (there are various jurisdictions so using “police” as in general term) in my part of California have stated they will not enforce X,Y,Z laws or refuse to provide requested services. There really isn’t any way to get the police to do so, they have the guns n stuff.

It will be interesting to find out which way they will point the .50 caliber in the next days and if they pull the trigger.

yet another Bruce January 13, 2021 9:43 AM

I got a chuckle out of this anecdote from the article:

“… many ushers outright refused to be scheduled for country shows, even if they far preferred the music. They’d learned that some people would come prepared (or even determined) to get kicked out”

I am a bad person.

Norio January 13, 2021 10:59 AM

@yates: And yet there are photos from one of the BLM protests of guards standing three deep around the capitol. If accurate, it suggests that whoever is in charge was not unable to mount a defense, but was unwilling to.
@Chelloveck, good point.
Unfortunately we all know what that means–that was racism at work. Imagine what would have happened had the mob that broke into the Capitol been mostly black. There would have been no concern about the “optics,” and many more protesters would have died.

bcs January 13, 2021 11:27 AM

Those social norms are very important, because the alternative is a police force that can “handle it if everyone starts acting up at the same time”.

Fear of a future state that would attempt that is why the 2nd amendment was included: the founding father found the prospect of such a state literally worse than the prospect of a population that outguns the government (and they knew very well what that looked like).

What I fear now is the possibility this is a harbinger of things to come; that people are loosing faith in the ability of the established institutions to hear and address their concerns and enact a equitable result, that people are seeing our insinuations of government as becoming a grand game of winner-take-all capture the flag where the winner-of-the-moment tries to hold on as long as possible and destroy as much as possible of what “those crazy stupid un-reasonable opponents” erected. If that is what it becomes (or is seen as having become) then the logical endpoint becomes removal of your enemies by any means possible including violent force.

If that is where things are going, I’d almost rather not live to see it.

Winter January 13, 2021 12:06 PM

“that people are loosing faith in the ability of the established institutions to hear and address their concerns and enact a equitable result,”

I did see BLM protests, but I cannot remember that they somehow refered to the second amendment. But I agree, the established institutions did not all acknowledge that they heard them and would address their concerns, on the contrary.

On the other hand, how can established institutions address the grieves of people who simply refuse to accept that their candidate lost the elections? Just overturning the results and letting the candidate with the least votes at all levels become the next president is obviously no equitable solution.

AL January 13, 2021 12:16 PM

While there is racism in law enforcement, I don’t think that completely explains why there was such a lax police response. If this had been protesters objecting to the Iraq war, or white environmentalists opposing global warming, I don’t think such a warm response would have occurred.

I think that there was something about the political agenda of this mob that the chain of command was receptive to. Now, while some of the chain of command has resigned, we still need some answers about this.

Security Sam January 13, 2021 12:41 PM

Locks are meant to keep
The honest people honest
And law and order to keep
The bees safe from hornets.

jb January 13, 2021 1:01 PM

The author overstates police requirements by 100%. For 1:1 security, you only need 20,000 police in your 40,000-town.

keiner January 13, 2021 1:35 PM

This was an insider job, otherwise the whole story is not plausible post 9/11. It would be an invitation for anything between a suicide bomber and a hostage-taking…

Wayne January 13, 2021 1:46 PM


the prospect of a population that outguns the government

I worked for a police department doing IT. The big difference between law enforcement (and military) and the mob is that the mob is not trained as well. Most of the mob does not train regularly and does not train under stress situations. When they see people around them falling with bloody wounds, most of them will break and run.

Now, I specifically say “Most of the mob”. There are some of these people who train seriously, some are current and former military and law enforcement. They might shoot accurately and with good discipline. But they’ll also make themselves targets if the bulk of the mob folds and runs.

I just hope we don’t see mass combat like this. I really don’t want any more deaths over this, six dead are six too many.

Winter January 13, 2021 3:26 PM

” The big difference between law enforcement (and military) and the mob is that the mob is not trained as well.”

Trained military have an objective, a plan to reach their objective, they coordinate their actions, they have trained the actions, and act in predictable ways for their comrades. Mobs have none of these.

Mobs have multiple incompatible objectives, no agreed plan, act uncoordinated, are incompetent in their execution, and are unpredictable in their actions.

To summarize, the mob is like Trump, but just many times over. And like Trump, they end up doing much more harm to their cause than good.

Etienne January 13, 2021 6:17 PM

Many people do not realize how much these “outliers” are coordinating their movements. They know how to merge surreptitiously with innocent well mannered crowds.

I don’t think even Parler knew how they had been commandeered as a tactical warfare communications system.

But Parler was burned to the ground, so you know these tactical warfare units are using something better (non-cloud). I suspect Signal will be the next communications system, and in that case will be used by the far right and far left radicals.

Their goal is probably not to kill anyone, their goal is purely anarchy.

If they can hit a bunch of people over the head with bicycle locks, and shoot napalm rockets, then the victims will run like ants when their fort is breached.

What the police and security need to do, is quickly identify the pressure points, and have a response team that can encircle them, take them to Cuba and provide them with orange jump-suits for 20 years.

SH January 13, 2021 9:06 PM

Why not just use COVID19 as an excuse and pre-record the Inauguration and/or do it virtually. Many things have been changed due to COVID19 so WHY NOT CHANGE THIS as well? What kind of idiots are running/planing this event?
Zero creativity! I can’t believe it. I just can’t. I want to, but I can’t.

SH January 13, 2021 9:14 PM

replying to this post:

Sir, with all due respect, the “mob” here are (many of them) US Military Veterans, and many are also either current or former/retired/resigned/fired Law Enforcement officers/employees that have been brainwashed. Basically, many combat trained and ready/able/fit to take on ANYONE in their way. My country has a much deeper issue/problem to deal with if in fact 75 million people voted for Vladimir’s puppet.

JonKnowsNothing January 13, 2021 10:38 PM


re: where did they go?

Another app of course.

The audio and chat logs are chilling. How they got them is a good question.

note: MSM report, ymmv, theirs will be the longer road.

We have a good group: 30 to 40 of us. We’re sticking together and sticking to the plan. The police are doing nothing. They’re not even trying to stop us.

ht tps://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/13/zello-app-us-capitol-attack-far-right
  walkie-talkie app Zello hosted far-right groups who stormed Capitol

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons January 13, 2021 11:49 PM

@ jb
From the looks of it you have professional police state experience, were you in or near East Germany before 1989? Asking for a friend.

Thomas Sewell January 14, 2021 1:02 AM

Less than 1% of the crowd entered the capitol, let alone was involved in anything violent/destructive. That was probably closer to 0.1%. Everyone who died on/near the capitol that day was an outspoken Trump supporter (yes, including the single police officer and the people with medical issues).

Security was likely poor due to expectations. All previous similar Trump rallies had been peaceful and respectful, so no one (including Trump) thought this would be any different. Also, past protestor incursions into the capitol (which average every couple of years) were generally dealt with a minimum of force, just arrest and removal. That likely also informed their expectations.

If you watch the videos of the event, even among those who entered the capitol, the majority cautioned others not to damage anything and not to get too close to the police. A minority started the damage and the mob pressure from behind caused a lot of the pressure on the police, not the specific people standing next to them. That said, there were at least two (and likely more) locations where the people willing to do damage interacted negatively with the police.

In terms of capitol police, their communication was terrible. Don’t forget that they shot an unarmed woman who had half-a-dozen tactical police standing a few feet behind her. If they had been in communication, one of them could literally have reached out and pulled her out of the broken window to arrest her. Instead, they were the first to reach her bleeding out on the floor.

Tatütata January 14, 2021 1:14 AM

many ushers outright refused to be scheduled for country shows, even if they far preferred the music.

That explains this scene from the Blues Brothers.

Jake: What kind of music do you usually have here?
Barmaid: Oh, we have both kinds: country and western.

Re Capitol: I note that the blast resistant windows were an unexpected blessing.

Goat January 14, 2021 1:32 AM


re:Another app of course.

And that is why hammering apps isn’t the solution, spreading harmony and culture of peace. Though I am not against banning trump’s tweeters, the idea at best is a friction in the process, much more a marketing gimmick.

That said if I was a Trumpist, I would use free software.. But I am not, and mobs are always mindless in the words of shakespere.

Winter January 14, 2021 1:43 AM

“Their goal is probably not to kill anyone, their goal is purely anarchy.”

“We have a good group: 30 to 40 of us. We’re sticking together and sticking to the plan. The police are doing nothing. They’re not even trying to stop us.”

So they are terrorists. We already knew that. There are good studies about how ineffective terrorism is. But their ideology rejects science, so they wouldn’t know.

How effective is terrorism? This question has generated lively scholarly debate and is of obvious importance to policy-makers. However, most existing studies of terrorism are not well equipped to answer this question because they lack an appropriate comparison. This article compares the outcomes of civil wars to assess whether rebel groups that use terrorism fare better than those who eschew this tactic. I evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of terrorism relative to other tactics used in civil war. Because terrorism is not a tactic employed at random, I first briefly explore empirically which groups use terrorism. Controlling for factors that may affect both the use of terrorism and war outcomes, I find that although civil wars involving terrorism last longer than other wars, terrorist rebel groups are generally less likely to achieve their larger political objectives than are nonterrorist groups. Terrorism may be less ineffective against democracies, but even in this context, terrorists do not win.



Winter January 14, 2021 1:46 AM

“And that is why hammering apps isn’t the solution, spreading harmony and culture of peace.”

Spreading to get hippie culture at MAGA followers seems an uphill battle to me. But pore power to you if you succeed.

Winter January 14, 2021 1:55 AM

New year’s resolution: Improve proof reading skills. Second try:
“And that is why hammering apps isn’t the solution, spreading harmony and culture of peace.”

Spreading hippie culture at MAGA followers seems an uphill battle to me. But more power to you if you succeed.

Clive Robinson January 14, 2021 5:22 AM

@ Winter,

There are good studies about how ineffective terrorism is.

The study you quote from is not a particularly good one due to it’s base choicr of “civil war + Terrorism”.

The trick to terrorism that works is not to offend your core support it’s why 9/11 is both a fail and a major success.

As a terrorist you need what all can see is a clearly defined target. Such as,

The Invading army, or their hierarchy or collabarators or those brought in to take over land etc.

That way your core support is accepting even when occasionaly there is collateral damage (provided it’s limited and does not involve children).

That is there needs to be a clear “Them and Us” split.

You realy do not get that with civil war and terrorism. Because in civil war without terrorism the targets are pretty much the same as with other types of terrorism. That is,

The opposing army, or their hierarchy or collabarators or those brought in to take over land etc.

Which means that the “+ terrorism” is a rather different type of terrorism, in fact nore align with the original meabing of terrorism which is what a state uses against it’s OWN citizens.

That is in effect the tools of a police state or worse.

Such behaviours generaly do not have core support in the population for obvious reasons and that is why they failt to meet the political objectives.

9/11 in terms of it’s basic objectives (get the US out of Saudi and the Middle East) failed entirely and achived the opposit. However it was a major succecce in that it’s made the US sprnd trillions on fighting it’s own citizens and making the citizens distrust the US Government. It’s also had a success in another way, it has caused US troops to become available to be slaughtered. Because the US troops are seen as invaders (which they are) the terrorists are in effect seen as heros fighting the invaders so the collateral damage they cause more acceptable.

We’ve actually known this for decades and some military acadamies and war colleges actually teach it. You can usually find it under “Hearts and minds” teaching.

The thing is 9/11 was seen as a victory by those supporting the terrorist because it was “new” the attack method quickly soured because of “women and children” thus later attacks by Richard Reid etc even though they failed as attacks failed as propaganda because of the women and children present that the media played strongly on. It’s kind of heard to get sympathy and support when you are seen as a “kiddy killer” or more acurately “A slaughterer of innocents”. It’s that more than taking your shoes off at airports or having most of the other security measures such as liquid bans etc that have stopped the aircraft bombing.

The basic dynamics as “freedom fighters” is you take the war to the enemy, not the citizens. Because if you attack the citizens they instinctively know you will become a tyrant, so they will side with what you see as the enemy.

Winter January 14, 2021 6:01 AM

“The trick to terrorism that works is not to offend your core support it’s why 9/11 is both a fail and a major success.”

Obviously, the boundaries between Terrorism and (Civil) War are fluid. But the general definitions of terrorism involve “Using random violence against civilians to stoke terror in the hearts of the population to achieve a policy change”. This only works during a civil war if the two sides are separated geographically.

What I have seen in publications about terrorism is that the policy goals of terrorist groups are very vague. With few exceptions, terrorist acts are more chosen to recruit new members than to achieve defined policy goals.

I see IS as a perfect example. The terrorist campaigns they waged in Europe did two things:
1) Toughen the lives of Muslims in Europe
2) Draw recruits to Syria for the war there

The one policy goal the Islamic terrorist groups achieved was to hinder integration of Muslims in the West. And I agree, that is a very important goal of Islamic Fundamentalists. But it was clear from the start that the whole campaign was aimed at recruiting cannon fodder for the war in the Middle East. And the same can be said about Al Qaeda, whose officially stated goal was to drive Westerners out of Saudi Arabia but did little to nothing to actually progress on that front.

And recruitment is all the Islamic Terrorist Groups achieved. The West did not withdraw from the Middle East. On the contrary, they destroyed the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and SA is more strongly aligned with the USA than ever.

Goat January 14, 2021 8:35 AM

@Winter indeed it’s nearly impossible but it can be made better by algorithmic transparency and other measures that actually stop extremism of both left and right.

Winter January 14, 2021 9:01 AM

Telegram also blocks right-wing radicals

Telegram confirmed to TechCrunch that it has removed dozens of channels over the course of the last day, citing concerns that the accounts were inciting violence.

“Our Terms of Service expressly forbid public calls to violence,” Telegram spokesperson Mike Ravdonikas told TechCrunch. “…In the past 24 hours we have blocked dozens of public channels that published calls to violence for thousands of subscribers.”


JonKnowsNothing January 14, 2021 8:53 PM

@vas pup

re: LRADS could be installed around ANY government and critical private buildings and activated and other military designated armament

In the USA, we have very distinct separation of Police from Military. This is not the case in other countries.

LRADs are designated for Military use and not for Civilian use.

A good deal of military equipment, guns, uniforms and such have been given to Police; all of these items were technically downgraded to surplus or similar.

The military has specific areas where they operate and areas where they cannot. There is a difference between Military and National Guard and Police. They can work together but they have different rules and different jurisdictions.

In other countries they may be one and the same, or selected civilians maybe give access to advanced military hardware (1)(2).

Part of the discussions have been over which arms are permitted and which ones are not under our constitution. The definitions may seem trivial but all those AKs hanging off the necks of protestors are all legally allowed.

1, The militarization of the police force in the USA has been going on for some years. There are local police, county police, state police, federal police and a lot more under the banner like Wild Life Park Rangers and some bus, rail or subway transit police. It’s not one size fits all.

2, iirc(badly) such military hardware was placed on the Japanese Whaling Fleet to counter the rancid-butter-bombs thrown at them by the anti-whaling groups. These military weapons could severely disable a person. They also had the ability to knock out the helicopter used for watching the on-board slaughter of the whales. It became too dangerous to protest the activities, especially after the fleet got military advanced tracking systems that permitted them to evade the old tub used by the protest group.

Similar systems are now deployed by the massive Chinese Fishing 100% Take Factories Fleets that have been spotted hoovering up the oceans.

SpaceLifeForm January 14, 2021 11:20 PM

@ ALL, Winter, name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

“Both name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons and Winter are consumed with hatred.
Out it comes.”

I hope you all see what that is for obvious reasons.

Someone is clearly missing Mirror Neurons.

Winter January 15, 2021 12:35 AM

“Both name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons and Winter are consumed with hatred.”

How so? Hatred for what or whom?

Aren’t you projecting your own feelings?

Winter January 15, 2021 12:39 AM

“Successful terrorist groups that come to mind”

Most of these groups were not terrorist groups but part of an ongoing (civil) war, sometimes even against foreign invaders.

The others did not achieve any of their goals.

Winter January 15, 2021 1:00 AM

Facebook knew about violent extremists before insurrection, reports find [Updated]

Facebook COO downplayed company’s role in the insurrection; reports show otherwise.

The New York Times today published a report looking at individuals, including at least one who attended the January 6 rally at the Capitol, who were radicalized specifically on Facebook and Instagram. Simply put, many users whose earlier content tended toward the bland and anodyne saw massive spikes in engagement—way more likes and comments—from other users when they began sharing conspiracy theories alleging the 2020 election was “stolen” or other Qanon-style content.

Many users “transformed seemingly overnight,” according to the NYT review. “A decade ago, their online personas looked nothing like their presences today. A journey through their feeds offers a glimpse of how Facebook rewards exaggerations and lies.”


name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons January 15, 2021 4:05 AM

Somehow my description of statements made by Josh Hawley have disappeared, as well PART III of my own tirade titled COMPLICITY AND CONTEMPT.

Oh well, editorial discretion was assumed.

JonKnowsNothing January 15, 2021 7:40 PM

@vas pup

re: responding to riots or civil disturbances

The issue is not whether LRADs would be effective, there are lots of things that are effective, like Gatling guns.

It’s about the separation between CIVIL vs MILITARY responsibilities. Once you make the Military part of the Civilian aspects of day to day governance, you no longer have a CIVILIAN government.

Military (in USA)(2) is outward pointing. It means gunning AT anyone we chose outside our borders. US Military is not supposed to point inside the borders.

We provide for military-style internal support by the National Guard. Each State has one, and it’s controlled by the Governors of those States. They have their own gear, own bases, own weapons and own rules. They may get training from Military Specialists but they have plenty of their own.

One thing about the USA Constitution, is that the folks who put it together had a lot of experience with a variety of governments that they did not like and they did not want to experience again.

So they put it in writing.

It is a piece of paper. It is unique in the world. There are many ideas incorporated but the form is unique. It’s not like the ones in Germany, Japan, Brazil, Mexico or Canada or anywhere else(afaik).

Anything the violates these principles requires rejection: complete and total.

We do have methods to change the Constitution and we have done it a good number of times. It’s not easy to do, that’s intentional and it’s not easy to do and not violate any other part, even more intended.

We have a situation that’s unpleasant and no one really knows how it will end. It should be noted: We have had similar before.(1) We dealt with it. Sometimes we make things worse and sometimes we get lucky and make things a bit better.

One significant different this time: The objectives were:
  The Representatives and Senators representing ALL the people of the USA.

This may have frightened a good number of them and emboldened others. We have seen it before, when the powerful are threatened they fall back into old discarded habits.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatling_gun

1, ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army

The Bonus Army was a group of 43,000 demonstrators – made up of 17,000 U.S. World War I veterans, together with their families and affiliated groups – who gathered in Washington, D.C. in mid-1932 to demand early cash redemption of their service certificates. Organizers called the demonstrators the “Bonus Expeditionary Force”, to echo the name of World War I’s American Expeditionary Forces, while the media referred to them as the “Bonus Army” or “Bonus Marchers”. The demonstrators were led by Walter W. Waters, a former sergeant.

2, The US Military reports to the President of the USA. The National Guard reports to their respective Governors. There maybe some misunderstanding when people read about the President and the National Guard. The President (via Congress) can issue a declaration of emergency. This opens a pathway for the Federal Government to provide funds and support to those Governors that request it. The Governors have the say-so.

Right now, in California, there are a good number of military medics and doctors attempting to save who they can, and let those they cannot save die humanely.

They have been requested by the Governor of California, and the request was Granted by Federal Government and relevant departments.

vas pup January 16, 2021 5:38 PM

Read the link below, please, before responding in Ping-Pong style without attempt to deeply understood the issue. Thank you.


“Less-than-lethal weapons were developed to provide
===>law enforcement, corrections, and military personnel with an alternative to lethal force.
===>They are designed to temporarily incapacitate, confuse, delay, or restrain an adversary in a variety of situations.
!!!They have been used primarily in on-the-street confrontations and suicide interventions, but have
===>also been applied in riots, prison disturbances, and hostage rescues.

Less-than-lethal weapons are most often used when: (1) lethal force is not appropriate, (2) lethal force is justified but lesser force may subdue the aggressor, and (3) lethal force is justified but its use could cause collateral effects, such as injury to bystanders or unacceptable damage to property and environment.”

“It Is Difficult to Get a Man to Understand Something When His Salary Depends Upon His Not Understanding It.” (Upton Sinclair).

I always remember this quote when somebody is deaf to the logical and reasonable points. Nothing personal. Respectfully, VP

Clive Robinson January 17, 2021 1:11 AM

@ vas pup,

That NIJ report is a joke, basically it’s a request for a couple of million USD very loosely wrapped in a précis of previous carried out and notably incompleate work.

For instance the use of what are “radiant energy devices” for neural stimulation or overload just mentioned sound and light, which known organisms have aclimated to for longer than than humans have existed[1]. Thus humans have at best a logrithmic response to[2] and therefore have very distinct issues with the energies involved.

There are other radiant energy deterant devices that work in the lower ends of both EM and sonic spectrums which organisms are either not well acclimateed to or that induce flinch or startle responses. This includes heat energy (IR( and heat inducing energy (Microwave HERF) and subsonic devices that cause “gut churning” and similar responses.

But what the report failed to mention is not only are all radiant energy devices problemattic for close in work due to the nueral logrithmic response, but they have significant power issues requiring impractical power storage and delivery issues.

These two reasons are why radient energy nonlethal deterants have only realy been developed for “long range” use from protected positions with clear fields of operation which friendly forces can easily determin and stay out of, and opposition forces have to cross (think World War One tactics developed around the machine gun with kill zones and safe corridors).

But directed energy weapons also have another issue, to get the desired narrow field of projection needs the emitter to be part of a collimating device. Which are the equivalent of a large lenses, parabolic reflector or phased array antennas. That are not just physically large as they are inversely proportional to the frequency in use, they also tend to be quite fragile thus highly susceptible to kinetic weapons such as hand guns or rifles or even stones from catapults, that have effective ranges many times that of equivalntly usable directed energy weapons.

But there are more disadvantages, with few exceptions the generator system tend to be quite inefficient lasers for instance tend to be in the low percent range, RF generators are better at upto 60% with some microwave generators up above 80% which with power levels in the kilowatt region and above makes heat a very significant problem as well as shielding for the opperator.

Which is why most usable less than leathal weapons tend to be kinetic in nature, in effect a gun/cannon with a low velocity large diameter often high mass but low density projectile to deliver high energy in a non penetrating way. The need for large diameter puts a significant range limitation or operational exclusion zone around all less than or non leathal weapons.

Some thinking in this area is to use feedback mechanisms to minimise exclusion zones and maximise range. However if the feedback mechanism becomes known to a potential opponent they can design methods to interfere with the feedback mechanism making it either compleatly ineffective or significantly aproaching lethal depending on the opponents aims and objectives.

You can co-opt the laws of physics to a certain extent. Kinetic weapons have a 1/r range, radiant weapons have a 1/(r^2) range and volumetric weapons a 1/(r^3) range.

So if you then consider an active payload you can seperate it into a delivery system and a payload system. So if you consider a gas grenade it’s delivery mechanism has a 1/r range but the payload only has a 1/(r^3) range. If it were not for other factors such as wind, density, humidity effects on the payload deployment they would be considered to have ideal precision non leathal weapon characteristics. Then if you go on and consider a “flash bang” grenade these likewise have a 1/r delivery range but a 1/(r^2) payload range but the energy levels are very high and there have been fatalities with them. As for fragmentation grenades they have a 1/r delivery range and a 1/r payload range, which is not very desirable from an operators perspective.

[1] It’s not known when creatures first started to respond to sound below 30kHz or light in what we call the visable spectrum, but it was long before “the fish came on land”.

[2] The neural system is difficult to saturate and safe energy levels between effective debilitating and permenent physiological, injury or lethality are quite small. Thus unless very highly directed are more likely to cause significant harm to those close to any emitter (own forces) than to those in the longer distance (opposing forces). In the main such devices are more a “movie plot” device to get around a scripting issue such as the Startrek “stun setting” and “transport”.

JonKnowsNothing January 17, 2021 10:17 AM

@Clive @vas pup @All

re:Underwater Sonar Damage

There have been reports and studies over a number of years that link US Navy Sonar pulses with mass beaching of whales and dolphins.

The studies have indicated that certain frequencies affect different species and causes disruption in their navigation ability. Overtly there are few indications of physical damage, internal damage has been found.

The hallmarks of Navy induced sonar damage:

1, Mass stranding of animals, numbers of animals involved outside the normal range for local beaching.
2, No marine occurrences that might have explained the mass beaching
3, Fewer successful attempts at rescue (the animals ram up on the beach again)
4, Acknowledgement by US Navy that they were engaged in underwater military exercises and used these devices.

iirc(badly) Some years back at least one device in use had a very long range ping. It causes mass beaching of animals far away from the submarine or ships using that device. For years the US Navy denied they were causing the mass beaching. Now, they admit it. They continue to use the device even though the physical effects of having 10s of whales throwing themselves on the beach and decomposing gives away their use of the device.

Nothing like the stink of rotting whale to clear the sinuses and point out: Kilroy was Here.

ht tps://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/16/left-stranded-us-military-sonar-linked-to-whale-beachings-in-pacific-say-scientists

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonar

Two types of technology share the name “sonar”: passive sonar is essentially listening for the sound made by vessels; active sonar is emitting pulses of sounds and listening for echoes.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_mammals_and_sonar#Early_confusion_between_fin_whales_and_military_sonar

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_mammals_and_sonar#Naval_sonar-linked_incidents
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Clive Robinson January 17, 2021 12:02 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

There have been reports and studies over a number of years that link US Navy Sonar pulses with mass beaching of whales and dolphins.

Yes active “SOund NAvigation and Ranging” (SONAR) uses one heck of a lot of “peak power” like RADAR it can be thousands of times the mean power emitted. Such energy over such a short duration can do quite a bit of damage when it transitions from a near imcompressible medium like salt water into a quite compressible thus energy storing medium like the organs of living creatures.

Some may not remember but the crew capsules of early US space missions carried what was in effect a sound bomb[1].

So sound energy trapped in various salt water layers hardly attenuates and travels immense distances the energy initially diminiting at 1/(r^2) untill trapped by the layer boundries then effectively diminishing as a spreading circumfrance of a circle 1/(Wr).

As can be appreciated such a shock wave is not going to play nicely with organics.

The SOFAR bomb was developed during WWII to help locate downed pilots, later it was used so that underwater vessels could at a prearanged time set of such a device so that their position could be reported without having to surface to send radio communications.

But the US Navy amongst others use “towed arrays” which are basically syrings of sensors and emitters upto 2kM long like a Very Long Base Line telescope system the array using different phases and amplitudes can transmit and receive from very narrow angle disks/beams.

What the peek and mean powers are I guess is still classified but approximations can be made based on commercialy available parts.

I don’t have sufficient data to hand to do so but if other people want to have ago it’s not exactly difficult OSINT.

[1] The purpose of the “Sound Fixing And Ranging” (SOFAR) bomb was if the capsule sank it would explode and send out an underwater pulse that could be picked up upto 4800kM away. The only capsule that did sink was Gus Grissoms Liberty Bell 7, which was eventually recovered and brought to the surface in 1999 on the 30th anniversary of the lunar landing, extra care had to be excercised as the SOFAR bomb had not gone off as intended, thus the whole capsule had to be treated as unexploded ordinance untill it was removed.


TM January 25, 2021 3:25 AM

Come on. That comparison is ridiculous. What happened on January 6 was planned and announced in advance. It was not some kind of spontaneous crowd behavior that nobody could possibly have foreseen.

Sure there is always a tradeoff between threat profile and security measures. A concert operator probably doesn’t plan for an unlikely worst case but for most common situations. Conversely, the police are normally quite capable of taking extreme security measures when they (resp. their political leadership) think it is necessary, and they do often think it necessary – just not when the threat comes from White Nationalist groups as opposed to BLM.

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