Somebody Else Defend Me, Once More

By John Farnam

The Thin Man
“The Thin Man” is a far cry from the VCAs that exist today.
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(  In the 1950s, Dick Powell played “Nick Charles,” lead character in the dramatic series, “The Thin Man,” in the days of dramatic radio.

Nick Charles was a dapper, itinerant detective who, with his ever-curious wife (played by Myrna Loy), effortlessly solved criminal cases that were otherwise baffling to local police. In the 1960s, now on black-and-white television, the lead roll was played by a good-looking Kennedy in-law, Peter Lawford. His saucy wife was played by the very attractive Phyllis Kirk.

The television series only lasted two years, but replays carried it into the early 1970s. I remember watching it as a teenager.

The formula was always the same: Bad guy was invariably a good-looking, well-dressed, well-groomed, clever, articulate upper-class gentleman who committed an almost perfect crime, forgetting only one small detail. That detail represented, of course, his fatal flaw. In the end, when undone by Nick, he graciously conceded, chivalrously, almost as if he had just lost a tennis match. It was all very collegial, and it made for appealing drama!

Clever, good-looking gentlemen ingeniously solving crimes committed by other clever, good-looking gentlemen!

Yes, great drama, but complete fantasy. VCAs (violent criminal actors), now and then, are not gentlemanly, nor good looking, nor well-dressed, nor well-groomed, nor inclined to engage in “professional courtesy!” And, the naive expectation that they are and will, continues to be anything but conducive to good health!

Recently, in Charlotte, NC, members of a vicious street gang attempted to kidnap the local prosecutor who had put their leader in prison. The convicted leader himself actually directed the entire operation personally, via cell phone, from his prison cell!

They ended up kidnaping the prosecutor’s father instead, as he was the one who answered the door when they came calling. He was ultimately rescued, but only a short time before has was to be murdered. His captors were arrested.

As the whole story subsequently came out, the imprisoned gang leader had also planned on kidnaping his court-appointed defense attorney, and members of his family. He was eager for barbarous revenge any way he could get it!

If you were wondering if there is a point lurking in all this, here it is:

Over the years I’ve been able to speak to a number of attorneys about personal protection issues. I’m under the impression that many attorneys buy into a muddled idea of medieval chivalry, or law-school honor system, when it comes to potential retribution by their “clients“. They don’t want to confront the fact that truly evil people, like rabid dogs, will attack whomever they choose, regardless of ostensible professional, nor community, standing.

Consider the mind-set of the many attorneys:

1) Products of naive, liberal indoctrination

2) Generally work in supposedly “secure areas”

3) Live in “nice” neighborhoods, with “nice’ neighbors and friends

4) Live and work in a strata of society that prefers the social game of golf to serious weapons training.

5) Assume that criminals are not smart, nor brazen, enough to successfully attack them and their families physically

6) Naively believe that someone else (police, security, doorman) can adequately handle all the dirty work of dealing with less-than-savory types.

7) Tend to believe and mindlessly obey commands like ‘shelter in place” in the presence of an active murderer, passively accepting deadly results of an immediate, dangerous threat, unwilling to honestly confront the fact that real VCAs are “really that bad.” Trouble is, they’re not “that bad.” They’re worse, and they’re anything but glamorous!

One hundred years ago, this is what a trained Soldier or Marine would have been expected to shout when an “active murderer” posed a threat to innocents:

“To arms! Follow me!”

Today, (for lack of a better term) prim and proper “Somebody-elsers,“, otherwise nice, polite persons, now instinctively and nervously look for ” somebody else” to take action whenever danger threatens.

  • Somebody-elsers do not want their families, their neighbors, nor unwashed masses to own guns, but they definitely want armed police camped-out on their front porch!
  • Somebody-elsers enable and applaud the election of unstable, feckless, incompetent politicians to whom ideology is king, and to whom pragmatic outcome to protect freedom, protect anything fro that matter, is irrelevant.
  • Somebody-elsers pose no threat to VCAs, except perhaps that they consume valuable ammunition when they, at long last, feebly try to put up a “fight!”

Of course, for now they get by, until a coordinated and dedicated attack by genuine VCAs pierces their bubble, as happened in NC.

“Gentleman” criminals?

Only in movies!

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limits.” ~ Einstein


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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Interesting read! Just BTW, I remember seeing a question on a Marine Corps OCS test that asked:
“What is the correct order for an infantry officer to issue to initiate an assault?”

The right answer was: “Follow Me!”


“Somebody-elsers” and their great expectations. LOL