So each month, the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (I’m a member) emails the announcement that their latest “eJournal” is available for perusal.  The good news is this is available for everyone to enjoy.  Inside each month’s issue are all manner of nuggets to make you a harder target to kill and harder to convict after a self-defense incident.

This month, Gila Hayes interviews the great Michael Bane…

Here’s the video.  We’ve also reprinted part of the transcript for those who don’t want to watch the video (1:09 hours).

Before we get started, ACLDN is one of three self-defense “coverages” (some might call them insurance, but most don’t quite fit that niche) we at GSL “endorse.”  What are the three?  Armed Citizens, USCCA, and US Law Shield (not in any particular order.) We don’t get paid for our endorsement as they aren’t for sale.  We don’t get commissions or kickbacks under the table.  We don’t even get an envelope full of attaboys.

In the case of Armed Citizens if you mention GSL or John Boch, they’ll knock $25 off your first year’s membership (which makes it about $130ish).  GSL membership also gets a 15% discount at USCCA (if you sign up through group sales) or monetary savings if you sign up with US Law Shield.

In today’s environment, it behooves you to be prudent and get this coverage, even if you don’t have a carry license.

Here’s a teaser from a very long interview.  Enjoy.


An Interview with Michael Bane

Interview by Gila Hayes

Perhaps the latest symptom of the deterioration of law and order, is the evolution of what a Los Angeles County deputy chief termed “Flash Robs.” Multiple thieves coordinate to loot stores in a matter of minutes before police can arrive. Two common variations are multiple looter smash-and-grab robberies of smaller stores like 24/7 convenience markets or the neighborhood Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy, often carried out by teens or even homeless recruited shortly before the attack or, as occurred several months ago in the Topanga Mall flash mob robbery in CA, well-organized mob crime targeting high-end merchandise, which can profitably be resold.

In response to Network members concerned about getting caught in flash rob violence, we sought the perspective of a long-time journalist and commentator, Michael Bane. We now switch to Q&A so readers can learn from him directly. Browse to to view a lengthier video of our interview or click on the adjacent picture.

eJournal: Readers may remember you, Michael, from the Outdoor Channel’s The Best Defense or Shooting Gallery television programs to which you brought a wide range of experience – from journalism, writing magazine features, to extreme sports like cave diving, mountain climbing, competitive shooting, and probably other adventures you haven’t told us about.

These days, I absorb a lot of your programming on video and podcasts ( For me, much of the value is your perspective on current events. Michael, how does today’s civil unrest differ from the protests that turned violent while you were a young journalist?

Bane: There are a lot of similarities as well as differences. Over the years, I have found civil unrest riots to be absolutely fascinating. If I could put just one description on modern civil unrest, I’d say it is damn well organized. Social media serves, for lack of a better word, as an organizing engine. The demonstrations, the protests, the unrest, the riots are controlled at a level that wasn’t done back in the early 60s-70s. Riots during those periods tended to be more anarchic because there was much less command and control. Social media gives the ability to have a higher level of command and control.

eJournal: The common misapprehension about “flash mobs” is that they’re spontaneous. I listened with great interest to your Michael Bane TV podcast recently on the topic. I have to ask, what motivates flash mobs to hit retail stores? Is it merely property theft – resource predation? Is it tribal violence? “Let’s sack and burn the opposing tribe and obliterate them completely.” Or what else is it? How does that fit in to the violence we train to defend against?

Bane: I think it’s all the things that you just said, and in a sense it’s also a new animal because it is an attack coordinated through social media. Initially, flash mobs were a ritual tribe members all did together. Essentially, we’re in the process of retribalizing the United States. It always ends up badly, nonetheless that’s the track we’re on now.

When the concept of flash mobs started, it was fun. Normal people go, “That’s sick. Destroying other people’s property, shoving people to the ground, beating people up: that’s sick.” You want to find out if violence is fun? Talk to any three-year-old when they’re tearing up every toy they have.

I saw that in major riots in Washington, D.C., including the uber-violent Weatherman above ground action assault on the South Vietnamese embassy, the Overtown riots in Miami, riots in LA and Memphis. I graduated from college the year Dr. King was killed and friends and I broke curfew and went into the riot zone of one of the most hellish urban riots in the United States. I consistently saw in the Washington riots and the Overtown riots that they’re fun.

If the entire police department was there with sticks and beat the people involved in a flash mob robbery into the ground when they come running out, it might not be as much fun. In one of the Washington riots, I was beaten to the ground by a cop on horseback with a long stick, and I can assure you, it isn’t fun.

Flash mobs became organized crime when they discovered they could make a couple of bucks off it. MS 13, Latin Kings, pick a gang, any gang, said, “Hey, when you run out of that store if you grab a handful of small electronic games, we will buy them from you for X dollars and you can do wherever you want with that money.” You’re in, then you’re out, no one person has responsibility. Defunding of the police, the demoralization of the police, the absence of qualified immunity all creates a situation where flash mobs evolved into a very sophisticated armed robbery model. The police aren’t coming, and I don’t blame them.

eJournal: The government used to arrest, prosecute, and jail gangsters for shaking down businesses.

Bane: We are seeing civil unrest that is government-sanctioned violence at a level we have never seen before in the United States. I’ve seen it in Central and South America. I was in a tropical rainstorm in a South American country. It was pouring down rain and a military unit was walking down the sidewalk. A friend said, “Step off the sidewalk.”

I said, “I don’t want to, man. It’s running like a river down there. If I step off the sidewalk, I’m going to be soaked.”

He goes, “You got one of two choices. Step off the sidewalk or die. The military guys will shove you down and kill you.”

I said, “But…” And he goes, “But what? Welcome to our world.” The sanction delivered by the military, which was involved in smuggling drugs, was beyond the civilian authorities or was sanctioned by the civilian authorities.

With the rise of Antifa, we see what are essentially shock troops. I’ve talked with trainers like John Murphy and Ed Monk about this. Watch video of the first Antifa riots. They were very anarchistic, very much like you might see in 1969, 1970. More recently, I was watching one with my girlfriend and I said, “Watch that guy way over on the right-hand corner of the screen.” She goes, “The guy just standing there with the headset on?” I said, “Yeah, that’s command and control.” That was an organized riot. He was moving troops around a prepared battlespace.

That is more sophisticated than we saw in the early days. I got to spend some time with Jerry Rubin and Abby Hoffman, who were famous figures back then. They wanted that kind of command and control of big demonstrations, because they knew that a big demonstration, like a march on Washington, was going to turn into a riot. The problem in riots is that you light the fuse and run, because it’s going to go off.

Back then, you didn’t have much control over the guys on the frontlines who were going to light it up. You need control or at least communications with those guys. You need communications to be able to bring in med-evac; you need communications to move troops from one area to the other. Unfortunately for us, they have all that now and it does work.

Another thing Ed Monk has talked about is that in this environment, if you have to defend yourself against a politically-sanctioned violent actor, he isn’t going to jail. You are. It’s terrifying.

Read the whole thing.  Or watch the interview.

2 thoughts on “MICHAEL BANE: Surviving ‘Flash Mobs’”
  1. Thank you Mr. Boch for the article. You put out a lot of good information. Here’s something people need to see:

    The ISP put out a video on the “assault weapon” registration which is available as of today, October 1st via the FOID portal. So if anyone doesn’t want to click the disclose button they can still watch this video to see what’s under the hood, so to say!
    I do NOT recommend registration because today’s peace of mind is tomorrow’s fear of confiscation………now that your make, model and serial numbers have been handed over to Pritzker’s Brownshirts and foot soldiers.

    I also do NOT recommend even clicking on the button to register. The state needs to see that the masses are thumbing their nose at this.

    People need to see what the registration looks like anyway just to see what we are up against. This video does that.

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