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The following is a transcript of the 7/14/2013 broadcast of Ballistic Radio highlighting guest William Aprill.

The podcast for this episode can be heard at http://ballisticradio.com/2013/07/14/podcast-ballistic-radio-episode-19-july-14-2013/

Announcer: The views and opinions expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect those of 55KRC The Talk Station and Clear Channel Worldwide.
Announcer: Welcome to Ballistic Radio, Cincinnati’s only gun talk show. Join Us. We’re going to explore the topic of firearms and your rights as a law abiding citizen. Ballistic Radio, brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown, your source for premium firearms and ammunition. Now here’s your host, John Johnston, on 55KRC The Talk Station.
John: Good evening, and welcome to Ballistic Radio brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown, your source for premium firearms and ammunition. I’m your host, John Johnston. As always, check us out at ballisticradio.com and facebook.com/ballisticradio. Co hosting with me tonight is Mr. Andy Ulrich. Andy, how you doing?
Andy Pretty good. I know you’re a little -
John Under the weather?
Andy I was going to say “worn.”
John Well yeah, that too. I just drove back from Pittsburgh, for those that don’t know. Great training class this weekend with Cecil Burch who was a guest on the show. Really, really a lot of fun and for those that can, try and make it out to one of his classes. Our guest this evening is William Aprill, a man who needs no introduction, or pants, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I added that to the outline so it would be a surprise to everyone.

So, anyway, you hear a lot of people make definitive statements about what the bad guy is going to do, especially when they are confronted with, you know, an armed citizen. The problem, of course, being that most people aren’t equipped to think the way the bad guys think. We’re going to be talking about that in a little bit.

Now, obviously, in gun related news, and I’ve tried to keep mainly silent on this, and this is the one and only time I will talk about it, George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Now, there’s all sorts of things that we could say about that situation. My official position on this is that - For those that listen to the show, you’ll notice I harp on the concept of avoiding a fight whenever possible; avoidance is key. And the reason why I say that is, ok, he’s found not guilty and that’s the right outcome in my opinion. I honestly don’t think it ever should have gone to trial with the evidence that I’ve seen and the evidence that’s been presented now. Whatever. The thing I’ll say, though, is that Zimmerman is going to pay for this for the rest of his life.
Andy In spades.
John Yeah, in spades. Now, he’s not going to do it in jail, but, you know, his life is effectively over. The only thing the trial was about was whether or not his life was over in jail or if it was over out of jail. You can say whatever you want to say about politically motivated or what have you. Not going to talk about that. I don’t do politics. I’m not qualified to. I will say this. If he had stayed in his truck, this would not have happened. That’s not to say that he was legally required to stay in his truck. You know, whatever. Point being: if you think there’s a problem, call the cops. Let them deal with it. You know. If you absolutely have to handle something, then go ahead. But, if you can, if can stay out of trouble, it’s good.

Anyway, enough about that and I will answer whatever emails I get after the fact from making that statement.

But, anyway, going back to the point of the show. You hear stuff like “You rack a shell into a shotgun, they’re going to run away. Bullies only fight when no one fights back.” You know, that’s not true. I could go on and on, but I’m actually let our guest kind of do that for us. And I’ll get him on the line here. We’ve got about four and a half minutes before commercial. Joining us tonight, Mr. William Aprill. William, are you there?
William Aprill I am, John. How are you?
John Very good. Hopefully, that wasn’t too much of an introduction.
William Not at all. Not at all. It’s funny that most Americans list their worst fear as public speaking. And, I do a lot of public speaking. So, my greatest fear is being introduced. I just can’t stand it.
John Well, I did the best I could, so -
William Not at all.
John Do you mind? I’m kind of familiar with your background just because I’ve sat through a couple of your lectures, but can you tell the listeners a little about yourself?
William Well, sure. I went to - I’m a career mental health professional, I guess that’s the most important point at this point, but I got into it in a round-a-bout way. After three years of college, I was kicked out for the oldest reason in the book: too much Guinness and not enough mattress. And, so, I went to work for my local Sheriff’s Office. I worked there for a while, then was lucky enough to get appointed Special Deputy US Marshall for the Eastern District of Louisiana. And, after a while, I figured out that Law Enforcement really wasn’t for me and went back to college in psychology and graduate school in social work and psychology and post graduate work in psychodynamics psychotherapy. Since then, I’ve had a career working at the junction between the mental health arena and the courts. I’ve worked in court systems and been involved in court cases for about twenty years now.
John Nice. Very nice. So, it’s safe to say that you get to deal with a lot of people that most of don’t even know exit.
William Yeah. Often not fun, but yeah.
John I guess my first question for you, William, is, you know, what do criminals and apex predators have in common, that you’ve discovered?
William Well, if you think about an apex predator, it’s an animal that can eat whatever it wants, whatever is present in its environment. There’s really nothing that can pose it a serious threat: a polar bear, a tiger. But, they’re, by and large, trying to get the most calories for the least effort. They’re lazy in an adapted way. So, tigers don’t eat other tigers. There’s too much risk involved. Could they kill and eat it? Sure.

Well, a criminal is, if you will, a violent criminal actor is an apex predator on other humans. By and large, other humans can’t pose it much of a threat. And so, in the name of efficiency, getting the most outcome for the least effort, they’re looking to make some very savvy decisions about who to pick. And that’s what apex predators and criminals have most in common.
John So. And, obviously, there’s a bit of a difference between a professional career criminal and someone that’s just either starting out or stupid. Obviously, the stupid ones get caught earlier, or do stupid things, but for the most part the ones that successfully do this for a while have gotten really good about not getting caught?
William Very much so. They’ve used up their mistakes early on. Otherwise, they’d be inside looking out.
John Right. So, I guess key to that being victim selection.
William Very much so. Victim selection is the end-all and be-all of making a living as a violent criminal actor.
John Ok. We got about a minute and a half left. What, and we’ll get into it a little bit more once we come back from commercial, but as far as victim selection goes, there’s a lot of people that, you know, say don’t get selected, don’t get selected, deselect yourself and all that. Very, very briefly, what are your thoughts on that?
William Well, as Einstein said about the universe, it’s not only stranger than we know, it’s stranger than we CAN know. So, a lot of things people presume to be true about getting yourself deselected, are simply not. So, the process is really counter intuitive on a lot of points, and I’m glad we have a little time to go into it tonight.
John Ok. Is there, we have about 50 seconds left. Is there one - we’ll tease everyone so they stay on and listen to the next segment - one really interesting thing about all this, what would you say? That people don’t think of?
William The most interesting thing is how much of people’s version of themselves goes out to the public completely unawares. And, how much of it is consumed by people that don’t have our best interest at heart in a process that just happens below our level of conscious awareness. We’re sending out messages about ourself. I call them unconscious want ads if you will. If the want ad is “Looking for someone to beat me to death and take my stuff,” someone can answer that without us really knowing that the process has even started, much less reach to conclusion.
John Geez. So, ok, we’ll talk about that a little bit more about how we sometimes invite a violent criminal attack without meaning to after the break. We’ll be talking with William a little bit more about that. Right now, you are listening to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station.
John Welcome back to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station, brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown, your source for premium firearms and ammunition.

So, we are talking with Mr. William Aprill. He’s got quite a bit of background dealing with violent criminals and the psychology thereof. Are you still there, William?
William I sure am.
John Excellent. So, you were just saying how we, we as individuals, sometimes put out things about ourselves without meaning to, and you call them “want ads?”
William Yeah, I think of it as an unconscious want ad, a message about yourself.
John Ok. And, I guess the criminals pick up on that. Now, how do they do that? What’s that about?
William Critical safety and security decisions are often made under incredible time pressure. The old joke is you are not going to learn to do something important on the fly; you are going to use what it is you know.
John Ok
William Well, criminals have to make those same sorts of decisions, but they are looking at it through a very different lens. If I am a rapist, and I am looking for a woman who is vulnerable to sexual assault, if I choose badly - I pick someone who will shoot me to death at the drop of a hat - so the penalty for poor victim selection is at the least incarceration and I might get killed. So, they’re making decisions about safety and security for themselves in the context of crime, not safety and security decisions for a law abiding person.
John Ok
William But, their decisions are still incredibly relevant to their own safety and security, and they have to do them very, very quickly. And, they do it by pruning the decision tree down to just the trunk.
John Ok
William Preplanned series of moves, if you will, that constitute the crime that I’m going to commit, and my decision has to be “Go” or “No Go.” And that “Go” or “No Go” decision is based on my very quick, we call them thin sliced, decision about this person. Is this a “Go” person or a “No Go” person?
John Ok. What’s thin slicing? What’s that about?
William Well, I got a bone to pick with the guy who made the most money off of that term. A guy named Malcolm Gladwell, in about 2005, started using that decision making moniker in a book called Blink. But, it was actually about 13 years earlier, two guys named Ambady and Rosenthal first coined it. It’s decision making in an environment of impoverished information.
John Ok
William If you wanted to pick someone to mug, you’d love to have their training CV in front of you. Oh, well, geez he’s a two-time red pin winner at Rogers, I think “no.” But, you don’t know anything about them, and as a violent criminal actor picking, they have to boil down what they can detect quickly, very, very quickly, into this decision. And so, it’s a matter of making what I call kind of a demi gloss of information. You know, the mugger’s perfect storm would be a single attribute that tells me that the person is wealthy and rich beyond belief, and stupid. Well, those things can’t be really deduced, but they come as close as they can by looking at demeanor, movement, method of interacting with the world and quickly boiling that down into “Go” or “No Go.”

The bias is always going to be toward “No Go” because they have time on their hands. They have time to do repeated trials, over and over and over again, until they get to the point where it is almost unconscious for them.
John Ok. So, essentially, if they’re biased toward that “No Go” posture, anything that we can do at all to give them any sort of hesitation is a plus on our side?
William Absolutely. Anything that can derail a process even slightly at the onset yields a different result. It’s a little bit like tamping with an explosion. Even a little bit of tamping redirects the force of an explosion. And if you can redirect the decision process even slightly, the bias, anyone’s safety bias, whether it’s a violent criminal actor or a “normal” person, is going to be towards safety. So, if you can make them think, even for a second, a rule kicks in. The rule is, “If there is any doubt, there is no doubt.” And so, I’ll wait.
John Ok
William A fighter ace was once quoted as saying, “I look down at the planes arrayed against me. If I have an advantage, I take it. If I don’t have an advantage, I go get coffee.”
John There you go.
William Because there will be another potential victim right around the corner.
John Ok. So, and obviously, are there exceptions to that? Obviously, or -?
William It’s tempting. Where thin slicing fails is when you add too much information to the mix. I know that sounds paradoxical, but people, non violent criminal actors - let me rephrase that, people who are not violent criminal actors - also have excellent thin slicing skills. We’re able to look at people and very readily figure out things about them that we shouldn’t be able to.
John Ok
William There are skads of research about this, and we can talk about that all night. But, like, if I asked you, can you look at one person fire one round and decide, “Does this person need a lot of attention from me during a training class?” And the answer is “yes.”
John Oh yeah.
William Watching someone draw and fire a single round, and you might go, “No, ok, he’s alright.” or you might say, “Ooo, he needs, he’s going to need a lot of my attention.” So, we’re all good at thin slicing. We’re all good at making decisions in impoverished information environments. They’re just doing it in a particular and anti-social direction.
Andy They’re applying their skills in a nefarious way?
William That’s right. And it’s a very acute decision: “Go” or “No Go.” Is this person going to be receptive, so to speak, to what I have planned? If I’m an ATM robber, my skills are honed at robbing people whose backs are to me, and I have strategies that will work with that population. And, I have to decide, “Is this person going to get the treatment I have in mind, yes or no?”
John Ok. When I was first presented with this information, it was just kind of like a lightbulb moment, as far as when I heard you present it. Now, just backing up for a minute, and we’ll kind of get to the base of it, but what is violence as far as, to you, from a psychological standpoint? And why are some people so willing to resort to it to get what they want and you see other people that won’t even hurt somebody to defend their lives?
William Well, the World Health Organization has a ten line definition with a lot of commas, and you can just tell it was made by a committee, but my sense of violence is “the use of force or the threat of the use of force to get a desired outcome.”
John Ok
William And, if you think about it, it’s terribly efficient and it’s terribly effective. But, there’s sort of a, you like to think there’s residual goodwill left in humanity, so most people are not willing to prioritize themselves over others to that extent. But, once it’s been done, once it’s been seen by a person to be done, and enacted by them and gotten results, like any other kind of economic modeling, if it works and it profits, you’ll see it again.

Now, why people won’t do it - let’s say that the law abiding citizen, why won’t a law abiding citizen become violent, it’s not that the abstract notion of when violence should be used is alien to people. You’ll hear the most, you know the kindest people you know say things like, “Well, that guy should just be strung up.” And, by and large, they’re right. They’re not saying that about their great aunt. But, going back from that position of when it should be to doing it myself -
John Ahhh.
William There was a wonderful example. You saw the active shooter, I’m sure, guidance from the federal government a few months ago?
John Yeah
William And they recommended that the office workers in the federal system use scissors. But, what they didn’t say was that you were going to have to grab someone by the back of their hair, pull their head back, stick the scissors in their eye socket, stir it around until you see brain matter. They didn’t say that, because it highlights the gap between “use scissors to protect yourself” and the reality of what it would take.
John Right
William And a normal citizen just simply can’t make that gap. They don’t have what I call a parking spot in their head for themselves doing that. And, if you can’t imagine it, you will not do it.
John Ok. So, I guess, how do we get over that? How do we get people to realize that (a) violence might be called for, (b) it’s not some sterile concept and (c) get them willing and able?
William Right. Well, it’s tempting to say training. But there are several provocative studies out there that show that a little bit of training is quite a bad thing. There was a study done of women’s resistance to sexual violence, and what they showed was that women who had taken a rape defense course - a good one, you know, RAD is quite a good program - they actually rated themselves more at risk and feeling more vulnerable after having taken the course. A little sip didn’t do it. A little sip just made them aware of the risks they had heretofore been ignoring.
John Ok
William Not only that, but it made them aware of their own limitations. And so, a little training is, in my mind, more dangerous than none, and certainly more dangerous than quite a bit. We’d love it if everyone were well trained multi-modally and able to fight and protect themselves and those who they love in all kinds of environments, but as Claude Werner points out over and over again, people with no training at all, but with a pure heart and the strength of ten, manage to defend themselves all the time.
John Right
William Because, they have not been taught that they can’t.
John Ok
William So, I would, my feeling is that the danger zone is in the range of a little training, that none is actually better in some cases.
John I’m sorry. Just when you use “danger zone” in a sentence, I immediately hear Sterling Archer in my head. Completely derails my thought process.
William There’s medication for that.
John I know there is, I just, you know, it’s expensive and health insurance and blah.
Andy He’s going to get a tattoo of Archer on his ...
William I’m going to have to come back with an anecdote. I was team teaching a part of Masad Ayoob’s great course LFI 1 and I overheard two students on a break. One turned to the other and said, “God, I hope I never have to shoot someone.” And, I remember thinking, “That’s a fantastic takeaway message. He’s had enough training to recognize that this is not something he wants to be involved in. And so we’d like to think that his attentions will thereafter go to what Andy Stanford use to say your number one option for personal security: a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterence and deescalation.
John Well, that’s it. I suppose that’s why you see, obviously this is in the news right now, but you see certain folks - it’s not that they’re looking for trouble and out looking to shoot someone, but they put themselves in situations where they’re more likely to have to do it because they don’t fully understand the ramifications of what they’re doing, I guess? I don’t know.
William Well, that’s a classic example, and I promise, this is my only Zimmerman comment of the night. I don’t get the impression that George Zimmerman went out looking to be beaten to death.
John No.
William He went out - this is just me making this up, of course, but it seems to me he went out looking for a problem that he would be able to solve in an heroic and socially beneficial manner. He didn’t quite come across one, and almost died for it and wound up having to kill someone for it. Certainly a failure of the avoidance, deterence and deescalation model.
John Right.
Andy And the possibility that a lack of training, or a small amount of training on his part put him in a bad position.
William Exactly. If you’re planning on catching a great white shark, you don’t bring a little bamboo pole. And, he went looking for something that would fit in his boat, so to speak, and didn’t find it.
John Right
William He went looking for trouble, so to speak, but found a different variety, I think.
John I guess you never know how deep the rabbit hole goes when you start crawling down it, and that’s a really, really important takeaway. I’m going to interupt right now, William, just because it’s that time again. But, when we get back, we’ll talk more with William Aprill about what motivates criminals - things of that nature. Right now, you’re listening to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station.
John Welcome back to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown. We are talking with William Aprill about what motivates criminals. If you’d like to talk to him, you can call us 749-5500 or 1-800-823-8255 if you’re out of the area. We’ll try to take your calls at the end of the evening if we’re able to.

Andy, I guess I’m worse off than I thought, because there’s vultures outside waiting to get me.
Andy They smell death upon John.
John Oh, God. Anyway. William, are you there?
William I am. I got to tell you, I’m jealous. This Kyle’s Gun Shop sounds great. I want to come over.
John Well, hey. It’s a great place to go. They’ve got a lot of cool stuff over there. If you ever make it up, I will be more than happy to show you where it’s at.

So, Mr. Aprill is intensely familiar with the inner workings of bad, scary people. Or, something like that. So, anyway, we were talking about how too little training can be worse than no training at all as far as it makes you aware of a problem but doesn’t give you any tools how to solve it?
William And we sort of skipped over one of the, I would say, attendant difficulties with it. Some people are made more aware of their vulnerability, by a little bit of training, but the flip side of that coin is some people presume that now they can handle things - handle things above their weight class, so to speak - by a little bit of training. It sounds strange to get two mirror images of each other out of a little bit of training, but they’re pretty common. Back in the old traditional martial arts world, we used to refer to brown belt syndrome. People assumed, “I know enough to do pretty well in class, I’m good to go.”
John I always called that, “I know enough to get myself in trouble, but that’s about it.”
William And, if we had to pick, we’d pick the person who says, “Wow, this is really scary and I don’t want anything to do with it.” I prefer that to someone walking around with a false sense of confidence.
John Yeah, exactly. And that just, I don’t know. It’s that whole everyone feels invincible until they’re not anymore, I suppose.
William Mike Tyson’s great line is “Everyone has a plan; then they get punched in the mouth.”
John Right. That’s so true. I can’t even begin to tell you.
William I was about to say, I can hear your Cecil ice packs melting in the background.
John Oh. Geez. I tell you what the problem, and Cecil Burch is awesome, and the class was awesome. I can’t even speak anymore, I’m so tired. The thing about yesterday that was fun was it was about ninety degrees out, there was not a cloud in the sky and there was no breeze. And, when you get a sun burn, the way I got a sun burn, and then the next day, you spend it rolling around on Judo mats, it’s all sorts of fun. But, I don’t want to take away from your show talking about how awesome Cecil is. I’ll do that some other show.
William And, he is awesome.
John Oh yeah. I try to just have awesome people on the show. It’s worked out pretty well so far.

So, I guess a couple questions about the whole unconscious want ads that we’re sending out that are maybe inviting trouble.
William Sure.
John I guess first off, do think people are sometimes confrontational without meaning to be?
William I would say grossly no. But in effect, yes. You know that the notion that people are going to become sort of bullies, that I wear this gun and that makes everyone bend to my will, that was a fantasy of anti CCW advocates. Before, the streets will run red with blood. And, it didn’t happen. People don’t become avenging angels by and large.
John The whole kneel before Zod syndrome?
William Exactly. Some {??} You now, it just didn’t occur. But, you’ve got to remember, you can offend a certain kind of person with gestures that would seem perfectly normal to the average citizen. If we’re at the mall, and we’re in parking spots at right angles to each other and both backing out, we bump fenders. If you get out and smile, and say “dog gone it,” and have your cell phone and insurance card in your hand, we’d like to think that that would take care of everything.

But if that, let’s say that driver, the other car’s driver, is, you know, a violent criminal actor whose been through an extreme process of violentization we call it, well, you haven’t just bumped into his car. You’ve ruthlessly assaulted and damaged his entire life’s worth.
John Huh!
William The money that he makes selling drugs pays for that car. The friends of his that were killed selling drugs, commiting crime, that’s what the car symbolizes. And, you haven’t just bumped into his car, you’ve assaulted his entire being. And, he will respond exactly as you would if someone assaulted your entire being. And, so, has he been given great offense, life changing offense? Not through my eyes, but the problem is he doesn’t see it through my eyes. He sees it through his eyes.
John Right.
William And so you can be confrontational in a way that is completely unavailable to you, inaccessible to you. “Alpha males” tend to do a lot of eye checking of people. When someone enters a room, they tend to look them in the face very briefly to get a thin slice decision about that person. Well, there’s a ton of people who will respond to that as if it were a physical assault because you have given them a cue that they interpret as meaning that you are about to physically assault them.

When I worked with gang kids in upstate New York, they would fight at the drop of a hat. They had a sort of ESP communication, and after we pulled them apart, we’d ask, “Why do you fight with so and so?” And the answer was always, “If he didn’t want to fight, why did he look at me crazy?”
John (laughs)
William And so, did someone give offense? In his model, yes, yes, very much so. If you think about, we’ve got to recalibrate your sense of what your gestures might mean, what your actions might mean. I mean, if someone went Josie Wales on you and killed your wife and kids and killed your dog and salted the ground around your home, well, of course then they’ve assaulted my entire way of being, my entire way of life. That same intensity can be boiled down into a much lesser scope if the person’s life is taking place in a much lesser scope.
John Ok. I guess we can never be the judge of what someone else holds valuable to themselves.
William Exactly.
John Ok. And I personally would be pretty mad if someone salted my earth.
William Hmmm.
John Because it would be hard to grow things then. I was going somewhere with that, and it just completely trailed off. Anyway, I’ll wait. I’m not funny. I’ll stop now.
William Meanwhile, in sports -
John Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. I’ve been reminded repeatedly the last day or so that I’m not as amusing to everyone else as I am to myself, but, anyway. You’d have to follow on facebook to know what I’m talking about.

So, back to the reason why we’re here, Mr. William Aprill talking about violent criminals, how they act and how they don’t act.

So, you brought up the eye checking thing as far as - you hear that a lot: be aware of your surroundings, you know, look around and all that. What’s a good way to do that?
William Well, it’s funny. Having a lot of experience of a coffee shop environment (I tend to wind up in those quite a bit), I’ve tried to experiment with what I call belt checking people. And I’ve talked with Craig Douglas, as you know South Narc, about this quite a bit. You can get just about as much information from somebody’s belt line and hands as you can from their face. And, you can belt check someone without really raising their attention. I’ve actually sat there in a coffee shop (the is the sad life of a mental health professional) alternating as people walk in the door eye checking and belt checking. And, they tend to notice when you eye check them and not notice when you belt check them. It’s kind of a strange little experiment to do, but it seemed to work because you are not entering into that person’s sphere of awareness with something they might consider an affront or even worse, a sign of imminent assault - a sign that I am about to attack them.

You got to remember, for most violent criminal actors, their violence through their eyes is defensive.
John Huh!
William You are about to hurt me, so I hurt you.
John That whole pre-emptive attack?
William No, it’s not pre-emptive at all. In their mind - I mean if you and I were standing in the parking lot of the Cosco, and you suddenly swept your coat aside and reached behind your hip, I would certainly interpret that as you are about to draw a pistol on me.
John Right
William Well, if I interpret some other gesture of yours that you don’t intend to mean as an invitation to violence, but I do, it really doesn’t matter how you send the message. I’m telling you how it’s being received. It is my right to defend myself against that. It’s the hardest thing for kind of lay audiences to grip is that it’s not that there is an immoral presence at play. There’s morals and ethics and standards of behavior. They’re just not ones that we share. The “normal” population doesn’t share those same boundaries, the same bars for behavior, the same hurdles to be cleared.
John Do you think that’s why you hear so many of the - and you hear them a lot at certain gun stores or certain Internet forums, or things like that - but you hear definitive statements made about how someone will or will not act when presented with, whatever: armed resistance, being shot at, something like that, just a stern talking to, whatever it is, and you hear these statements made definitively. Is that a bad idea? Because of that?
William I think it’s just not an idea at all. I think it’s a myth. You know, the notion of the presence of a firearm will scare a career criminal is laughable. They are around firearms all day. If you listen to John Hearn’s fantastic lecture about the FBI data, career criminals that assault police officers shoot guns all the time. They practice all the time.

I wish I could remember who to contribute the quote to, but the line was, “Criminals don’t fear guns, they fear resolute people behind them.” And so, the goal isn’t to have a gun as if it were a magic wand and the violent criminal actor will turn and run, but to give the instant and compelling message that the gun is just an expression of your will and your will is opposition.
John Ok. That presenting as a determined front?
William Very much so. But an authentic determined front. You know, not like, “Don’t make me use this,” but “I am about to use this if necessary.”
John Ok. That’s -
Andy Interesting
John Yeah, it makes a lot of sense, too. It’s - I’ve kind of run into that, too, where when I’ve been showing people things in the past, and, you know, I’m kind of looking at them, going, “There’s no way in the world you would ever, ever, ever use this in anger.”

We’ll talk about that a little bit more. It’s about time for that commercial break again. But after the break, we’ll have Mr. Aprill answering your questions. Right now, no one on the lines, so if you call us at 749-5500 or 1-800-823-TALK T-A-L-K, we’ll try and get to you, depending on what you want to know. Anyway, right now you’re listening to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station.
John Welcome back to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown. Right now, we are talking to Mr. William Aprill. William, are you still there?
William I am.
John We have a caller on the line: Paul from Batavia and I want to get to him in a minute. But, I just want to make sure we have time. Just to illustrate the point of the people that we’re dealing with are not normal human beings, can you tell the “I had some time” story?
William Yeah, it was a death penalty mitigation case, and when the death penalty is on the table, the State of Louisiana requires that a mental health mitigation case be prepared - things that would argue against sentencing a person to death. And I interviewed a guy who was facing first degree murder charges and he was a very successful, high end residential property thief - tremendous amounts of effort, tremendous amounts of skills went into these very, you know, very, very lucrative robberies. And, he broke into a home in New Orleans and he was successful in stealing what he wanted to steal. And, as he was exiting the home, he noticed that the homeowner had been there the entire time, asleep on the couch. And, he killed the gentleman, and killed him by stabbing and skinning him alive.
John Nice.
William When asked why he had done that, he said, “Well, I had some time, and he was there.” He had succeeded in the crime. I mean, walking out the door would have been the thing that would strike most of us to do at that time. But, it was important enough to him, then that’s what we call the use of expressive violence vs. instrumental violence.

Instrumental violence is violence necessary to achieve an end. If I hit you on the head with a pipe wrench, it’s to get your wallet not to hit you on the head.

This gentleman on the other hand was a true psychopath and expressed himself through his violent acts. And, that became a bonus. The material end had been achieved. He had stolen the things he was there to steal, but the violence itself expressed his character - as he put it, his artistry.
John Huh! The whole I only feel good when I’m hurting other people?
William They don’t even feel particularly good about it. It’s not a form of joy. It’s an expression of his superiority.
John Huh!
William As he once said to me, “Do you think about what ants are thinking as you walk over them?” And, I don’t. And, since he’s superior to me, he doesn’t care what I think -
John Neither does he.
William Or his victims think.
John I guess that’s why the people that say, “Well, if you give them what they want, they’ll go away” are not always correct.
William Yeah. And, if you think about it, you know, that used to be the advice about hijacking planes, too. Just wait, survive the initial hijacking and you’ll be fine.
John Yeah.
William That turned out not to be the case. And, with that apex predator, that true sociopath, excuse me, that true psychopath, their violence isn’t instrumental. It isn’t designed to produce an end. It is the end in and of itself, much like terrorism, an end in and of itself.
John Alright. Are you alright taking a phone call real quick?
William Of course, as long as he’s ok calling into a mental health professional.
John Ha, well, hey. Never hurt anybody. Right now, we have Paul joining us from Batavia. Paul, how are you doing tonight?
Paul I’m doing well, thank-you.
John No problem. What’s your question?
Paul My question is, Mr. Aprill was talking about being in a coffee shop, cafe, whatever, and he doesn’t look the person in the eye. He’s looking at the beltline, hands, and I would like for him to describe what it is he is looking for - what movements, what gestures, things of that nature that he is looking for. And, I’ll listen to you off the air.
John Thanks.
Paul I enjoy your show.
John Hey, no problem. Appreciate it. You have a good night, Paul.
Paul Thank-you.
John Yep.
William That’s a great question. I tend to eye check people a lot as a habit, you know, a way of getting a quick sort of core sample of what the person’s like as they walk in. But, it does send out a message to the kind of people that I’d rather not get a message that I am about to assault them. So, what I’m looking for around hands and the beltline is that’s where weapons are stashed.
John Right.
William We are looking for an asymmetrical gait, we’re looking for someone using a hand to stabilize a weapon. Let’s say they’re not wearing a particularly good belt and holster set-up and the gun tends to move around a lot. You’ll see the hand stabilize the weapon over the clothes. These are sorts of things that you can pick up very quickly - the little furtive gestures, a little bit like when someone gets out of a car and they’re not wearing a good rig and they’ll pull the holster up.
John If you’re fat, that happens, too, William, I have to say.
William Allegedly.
John Trust me. Please continue.
William No, and so, there was a study done in California asking police departments, “Where are people carrying weapons?” and it got boring because over 90% of the time, they’re carrying them around the beltline. And so, the hands and the beltline tell you a lot about the presence of weapons.
John Right.
William And, most likely, even if I were to detect some motion that I thought indicated a weapon, I’m going to think that’s a very careless CCW person. But, I would then pan back and take a broader look at that person because then I’d be justified doing it, I think.
John Right. I guess it’s that whole, it’s almost hard to explain sometimes, but sometimes you just, you’re looking for something and you know it when you see it?
William Mm Hmm, and that’s exactly right. That is a thin slicing decision. And we owe it to ourselves to trust that feeling, “oh, there’s something wrong about this.” Figuring out what that something is, that’s a later decision.
John Ok
William Not being around if you’re right is a NOW decision.
John That makes a lot of sense, actually.

We don’t have anyone else on the line right now, so if you’re listening and would like to ask a very quick question: 749-5500 or 1-800-823-8255.
William But now, to get directly to the gentleman’s point, there is, there was an infographic released by the New York Police Department of non-verbal gestures that indicate that someone’s carrying a weapon, and that can be readily found on the Internet. It was very interesting. Things about asymmetrical gait, if the person has to break into a jog, let’s say to catch a bus or something, how would they move if they’re carrying a gun, and that I think is exactly what the gentleman was looking for.
John Right. And, Google is everyone’s friend. So, I wish I could do the “Let me Google that for you” sometimes, but my listeners probably would cease to like me, assuming they do.
William One thing that I thought about when we first talked about doing the show is kind of a one - you know, people want to know all the time, “Well what am I doing to make myself be selected?” And, as strange as it sounds, things that draw predator gaze are things that things that a lot of trainers have been railing about for years. Some we can’t do anything about: a young appearance or what we call baby-facedness.
John Ok
William You can’t do much about that. But, dithering, as John Farnham calls it, appearing to be confused, overloading yourself with things, task fixation, cell phone in one hand, grocery bags, shopping, trying to open to open the door with your teeth. All of these things send the message, “I am not paying attention to my environment.” And these are the things that not only get you selected, but don’t get you deselected. Our goal is to get ourselves deselected, to look, for just an instant, unpalatable, so to speak.
John Right
William The old line is, “If you look like food, you will be eaten.” Well, can you not look like food? And, the answer is “yes.” But, the things to do it are not terribly romantic and they hardly ever involve velcro or helicopters.
John Right. We got a couple callers on the line. I’m kind of waiting to see who’s doing what, because they all called in at the same time. Real quick, though, while that’s coming up on my screen, if someone would want to see you somewhere - I know you did the Paulapalooza thing last year, which was a benefit for Mr. Paul Gomez who passed away -
William Yeah, our great friend Paul Gomez, who’s famous for the line that “Most civilians don’t get aggressive enough fast enough.”
John Right.
William That is an ultimate truth.
John Yeah, yeah.
William But we will be putting on Paulapalooze again to raise money for Paul’s beloved children, next August, right around the weekend of his birthday.
John Ok. Real quick, we’ve got, let’s see, I’m going to only have time to take one call, and I’m sorry for everyone else, but you alright taking one more, William?
William Absolutely. Absolutely.
John Alright. We’ve got about two minutes, so we’ve got Brenda on the line. Brenda, real quick, what’s your question?
Brenda Well, he had kind of interjected something about the George Zimmerman issue and said that there was kind of a failure of avoidance there. And, I wondered if he can explain, elaborate on that just a little bit more. Like how he thought you know, that could have been, you know, it could have been avoided?
John Ok.
William Sure. I promised not to get into too much Zimmerman, but if you think about it, he could have exercised the duties he was trying to exercise, reasonable duties to watch out for his neighborhood, to watch out for his neighbors, over a telephone and from a car.
John Yeah.
William I’m not advocating he barricade himself in the door. He was doing perfectly normal person stuff. Leaving the car, he didn’t avoid a problem; he sought out a problem, and he found one that nearly killed him. And that’s what I mean by a failure of avoidance, deterence and deescalation.
John Yeah, I just don’t think that he had a full concept of the fact that this could be a life or death struggle.
William No. Like we said, the famous quote is, “We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.”
John Right
William And so, as he steps into the world, he imagines encountering problems that he can handle.
John Right. The thing to keep in mind, Brenda, is that as a concealed, someone that has a concealed handgun license, say this real quick then we have to go. If you have a gun on you, any fight you get into is a gun fight whether or not the gun comes out. But thanks for calling in tonight, ok.
Brenda Thank-you so much.
John Yeah, no problem. William, it went really fast. I really appreciate you coming on the show tonight. Thank-you so much.
William Not at all. Thank-you for having me.
John No problem. I’ll talk to you, I’m sure.

So, next week, the AR-15, love it or hate it, it’s impossible to deny its place in American culture as the quintessential evil black rifle. We’re going to be talking to Jack Leuba, former Marine and now military government product liason for Knight’s Armament, all about the AR-15. So, check out next Sunday.

Make sure you check out our web site, ballisticradio.com and like our facebook page at facebook.com/ballisticradio.

Thanks for listening, everyone. Be safe. See you next Sunday, 7 PM, right here on 55KRC The Talk Station.
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