Baby Boomers Security. Part 1.
Old men don’t fight; they just kill you. We know this to be true as the news, always dreadful when it comes to the state of the world, regularly bring a smile on the face when we read that a not so young man or woman got rid of some bad guys either sending them to the morgue, the hospital or running for their lives.
History has a few legendary examples from Leonidas leading his Spartans from the front at 64, to the unbelievable Andrea Doria who took to sea for the last time at 84 to fight the Barbary pirates and decided only when he was 89 that he was too old to be fit for battle. This after a life time as a soldier of fortune and with whatever medical support one could have at the beginning of the 16th century.
More recently we have the awesome example of Billy Waugh who starts his book,” Hunting the Jackal”, talking about his age: “On December1, 2001, I celebrated my seventy-second birthday on the ground in Afghanistan, with a chitrali on my head and an M-4 carbine slung over my right shoulder. I was beyond cold, and I stunk in a way civilized humans are not meant to stink… The Vietnam-era shrapnel that resides in my knees and ankles felt like a bunch of frozen coins, and I was losing weight as if it were falling off my body.”
So for those who would believe white beards are not meant to fight should take heart; all is not lost, far from it… In 2010 John Williams won his MMA pro debut at 70!
Let’s look at the good news:
- The first good news has to do with the difference between defensive and offensive tactics. Those with a military or law enforcement past, or both, will remember when they had to travel by very uncomfortable means, then walk, and finally run like mad to confront the bad guys. These times are over, now we do not have to bring the hurt to the bad guys; they are actually coming to us to get hurt! That makes things so much easier and explains why aging is not as much of a problem in security as it is in the military. The young lions have to be fit to attack; the old lions simply have to be ready to defend. The corollary of the fact that the bad guys are the ones attacking is that they bring us at the same time the right not only legally, but morally to defend, as opposed to the days when we had to make sure we followed rules of engagement and every single standard operating procedures. And that means that there is no need for gallantry, nor to be fair in any way; the old lions only need to provide the hurt the attacking hyenas came to get.
- The second good news is that the element of surprise is likely on our side. Weaknesses have the advantage of distracting the opponent from strengths, and younger people will be prompt to underestimate “the old guy”. Sun Tzu insisted on the element of deception; “Though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear ineffective”. Napoleon based his finest victory, “Austerlitz” on what is now our best strategy: switching from apparent desperate defense to devastating attack. One of the oldest tricks in the book is so much easier to pull when we actually have no other alternative but to defend desperately and thus launch a devastating attack at the right time.
- The third good news is that we have a habit to pay attention as we learned to drive with stick-shift transmissions and did not have mobile phones. Our minds are not cluttered with the number of likes we got and we are not overly busy “following” people we know are not any smarter than we are. All of us would rather stop texting rather than die driving and texting. So it is unlikely that we will be surprised with earphones listening to a playlist, while the back door is forced, or the carjacker approaches the car. In fact the reverse is true and we start seeing some wannabe bad guys distracted with their mobile while they try to do their deeds. Well; after they get the hurt as they deserve, we could oblige the most addicted by taking a picture of them they can put on their social media…
- Last but not least of the good news is about the purpose of the fight. Young people fight to fight; that is what stamina is all about. But as we have already said; “old men don’t fight they just kill you”, and decent marksmanship and enough ammunition should help level the playing field. There is a lot to ponder here, the younger people are still trying to prove something to them and their associates, wiser people instead will simply outwit them in any way possible in order to either defeat them soundly or destroy them effectively.
In the next post I shall cover the caveats of not being as young as the opponents; there obviously cannot be only good news. But all in all it truly looks like 60 is the new 40 and 70 is the new 50, thank mostly to our grandparents who fought so that we would be free, to our parents who worked to provide us valuable education and quality food, and to our doctors who helped avoid the debilitating consequences of the injuries we got when we were young and thought we were invincible. The picture on the left is WWII vet Earl Jones who at 92 shot and killed with a single shot a violent intruder, all the while sitting in his favorite armchair in Sept. 2012.
Take care and keep training.