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Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: Esteban Calderone ()
Date: January 12, 2012 01:13PM

Why is it that when a drug dealer wants to kill another drug dealer he sends out his muscle with pistols, MAC-10's or shotguns (proximity dependant weapons) and they sit in a car and wait for the target and then bum rush him and gun him down?

How come none of these mopes ever think to get a hunting rifle (ranged weapon), find a high roost and have a 2 man team with one serving as a spotter and hit their target from the protection of cover?

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: TheMeeper ()
Date: January 12, 2012 01:21PM

Ever try concealing a hunting rifle?

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: BEH ()
Date: January 12, 2012 01:25PM

Maybe a good part of the effectiveness of killing a drug rival is making a point, thus maintaining a reputation. In the hood, being a sniper may not be considered appropriate, possibly even cowardly. The up close killing is high profile, everybody knows who is responsible , and the dominant drug dealer is recognized as someone who is serious and not to be trifled with.
Of course what you are suggesting makes perfect sense. But part of the drug dealers success, as fleeting as it may be, is the murderous reputation, even if it does seem savage and ignorant.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: January 12, 2012 01:26PM

Esteban Calderone Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why is it that when a drug dealer wants to kill
> another drug dealer he sends out his muscle with
> pistols, MAC-10's or shotguns (proximity dependant
> weapons) and they sit in a car and wait for the
> target and then bum rush him and gun him down?
>
> How come none of these mopes ever think to get a
> hunting rifle (ranged weapon), find a high roost
> and have a 2 man team with one serving as a
> spotter and hit their target from the protection
> of cover?

A couple reasons:

1. They're drug dealers and hired muscle, not military sniper teams.

2. The killings aren't just to eliminate a rival, they're also to send a message to other actual or potential rivals.

3. Accuracy. Hitting a moving target a couple hundred yards away with a difference in elevation and possible bystanders surrounding the target isn't as easy as it looks in the movies. If the first shot doesn't hit the target, it's even harder to shoot someone actively running for cover.

4. Escape. You can flee the scene quicker from street level than you can from a rooftop.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: eesh ()
Date: January 12, 2012 01:27PM

1.) It takes skill and practice to sharpshoot, your average hoodrat or meth-lab white trash doesn't have the discipline or foresight to snipe someone.


2.) Hunting rifles and their ammo cost money, which again, your average hoodrat or meth-lab white trash doesn't have.



FYI, most crimes that you are describing happen with little pistols chambered in .22LR or .25ACP. Only in places like Mexico or Columbia where they have paramilitary drug cartels will you find weapons and soldiering like you see in movies or Grand Theft Auto.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: its true ()
Date: January 12, 2012 02:08PM

The above people are right. Its not just about the killing, but how its done. They want it to be public, and violent and them to know that it doesnt matter where you are they will gun you down if you cross them. Its their way of having deterrents and how they build a name for themselves. The more public the better.

Not to mention even if they could make the sniper shot just the logistics of it would be much harder. Buildings arent going to just let them on the roof or have them walk through the lobby with a sniper case ect

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: Esteban Calderone ()
Date: January 12, 2012 04:17PM

For the record, I am writing a crime novel...or trying to...

Meeps, good point on concealing a hunting rifle. However, you've identified where your target sleeps and EVERYONE'S got to sleep. You find a position nearby that gives you a good field of fire. You load up some beater pick up with junk lookin' like a Sanford and Son pickup and then slide your rifle and ammo under the junk. Then you roll this truck to the shooting position and unload in darkness.

BEH, also a good point about establishing a reputation however...If a hit order is given? Why leave witnesses? Why leave anyone to see what happened? No witnesses helps reduce prosecution. So, if a crew rolls up there and the target's hangin' with their boys and a couple of shortys...oh in-DEED...they should ALL be gettin' got.

Mr. Mephisto:

1) You don't need to be a military sniper to hit a target standing in a doorframe or sitting in a chair, do you?

2) (See my response to BEH)

3) The crew has waited a long time to get their target. Again, in the doorframe or in a chair or otherwise stationary. They're paid well so, they'll do as told.

4) Motorcycles...possibly dirtbikes. An extra rider in the alley who starts all the bikes once he hears the shots. Leave the gun, don't forget the cannolis.

Eesh:

1) (See my #1 response to Mr. Mephisto)

2) No where in my op, did I indicate these were and I quote "average hood rats" or "meth-lab white trash". These are shooters who have demonstrated they've done it before. Rifles and ammo cost, yes. And the head of a major narcotics ring can afford them and will provide them. Again, I'm not talking about a military-grade sniper rifle...a mid to premium level hunting rifle with scope and a laser/optical range finder for the spotter.

It's true...well, traditionally as the other posters have mentioned yes, you want it public you want it known. But, what's more of a competitive deterrant? The enemy you can see or the knowledge that there's a "force" out there that can reach out and snatch a life when and where it pleases without warning. Now THAT? Is some scary shit, yo... As for building access, everyone has their price. If the building is occupied, the super is paid off for roof or a street-facing unit access. If the building is vacant (a much more likely scenario in the ghetto), then access isn't really an issue.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: January 12, 2012 04:46PM

Shadowy snipers would make for a good fictional story, but are hardly practical in real life. Your OP indicated you were asking about the practicality of point blank vs. sniping.

Esteban Calderone Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mr. Mephisto:
>
> 1) You don't need to be a military sniper to hit a
> target standing in a doorframe or sitting in a
> chair, do you?

No, but it takes a lot of practice to know how to compensate for the wind, train your body to relax so you can take the most accurate shot possible, etc. If you're talking about a Mexican drug cartel with enough resources to hire sharpshooters and buy the high-end hardware (read: military) they need, then sure, it's plausible, I guess. If you're talking about a gang like MS-13 or the Bloods, forget about it.

Do you have much experience with firearms? If you're shooting a pistol at a target from 20 feet away, moving the gun even a tiny bit when you fire (anticipating the shot, jerking the trigger, etc) can put your shot off by a couple inches. It gets exponentially worse the further out you go.

Point is, it takes a lot of practice to be good with a rifle at sniping distance.

> 2) (See my response to BEH)

You say "no witnesses helps reduce prosecution," but then in #4 you say, "leave the gun." Terrible idea.

Take the gun with you and leave any witnesses too afraid to say anything. Better idea.

> 3) The crew has waited a long time to get their
> target. Again, in the doorframe or in a chair or
> otherwise stationary. They're paid well so,
> they'll do as told.

Unless they have a military sniper background or grew up as a good ol' boy shootin' turkeys and deer on his daddy's ranch since he was 4 years old, I'm not buying it.

> 4) Motorcycles...possibly dirtbikes. An extra
> rider in the alley who starts all the bikes once
> he hears the shots. Leave the gun, don't forget
> the cannolis.

The shooter still has to get down from the roof. Fire escape is too slow, and the elevator is used by potential witnesses. They could rappel down the side of the building, I guess, but it's unnecessarily complicated.

> Eesh:
>
> And the head of a major narcotics ring can afford
> them and will provide them. Again, I'm not talking
> about a military-grade sniper rifle...a mid to
> premium level hunting rifle with scope and a
> laser/optical range finder for the spotter.

The guns are just tools. You could have the best gear in the world and still wildly miss your targets without extensive practice and training.

> It's true...well, traditionally as the other
> posters have mentioned yes, you want it public you
> want it known. But, what's more of a competitive
> deterrant? The enemy you can see or the knowledge
> that there's a "force" out there that can reach
> out and snatch a life when and where it pleases
> without warning.

The enemy that I know for a fact will kill me and my family if I talk to the cops about them. A shadowy life-snatcher certainly has an air of mystery, but if you know snipers are out there gunning for you, there's steps you can take (like not standing by a window).

> Now THAT? Is some scary shit,
> yo... As for building access, everyone has their
> price. If the building is occupied, the super is
> paid off for roof or a street-facing unit access.
> If the building is vacant (a much more likely
> scenario in the ghetto), then access isn't really
> an issue.

The more people involved, the more likely someone is to talk. Sure, you could pay off the maintenance guy to give you roof access, but how much pressure do you think the police would need to apply to get him to talk? If fear keeps him quiet, why pay him at all?

I think you need to do some more research.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: √úbermensch ()
Date: January 12, 2012 05:27PM

This whole thread is mistaken from the start - criminals and organized crime syndicates have been using rifles since the invention of the rifle.

Bombs also work for keeping a distance.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: 6X ()
Date: January 12, 2012 06:08PM

I think someone was sending a message here.
Attachments:
four-men-beheaded-mexico-01-crop.jpg

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: freshly dead ()
Date: January 12, 2012 06:27PM

Those heads look so fresh. Like barely even dead. The last one even gives the look of awareness...

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: Esteban Calderone ()
Date: January 13, 2012 11:45AM

MrMephisto Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Shadowy snipers would make for a good fictional
> story, but are hardly practical in real life. Your
> OP indicated you were asking about the
> practicality of point blank vs. sniping.
>
> Esteban Calderone Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Mr. Mephisto:
> >
> > 1) You don't need to be a military sniper to hit
> a
> > target standing in a doorframe or sitting in a
> > chair, do you?
>
> No, but it takes a lot of practice to know how to
> compensate for the wind, train your body to relax
> so you can take the most accurate shot possible,
> etc. If you're talking about a Mexican drug cartel
> with enough resources to hire sharpshooters and
> buy the high-end hardware (read: military) they
> need, then sure, it's plausible, I guess. If
> you're talking about a gang like MS-13 or the
> Bloods, forget about it.
>
> Do you have much experience with firearms? If
> you're shooting a pistol at a target from 20 feet
> away, moving the gun even a tiny bit when you fire
> (anticipating the shot, jerking the trigger, etc)
> can put your shot off by a couple inches. It gets
> exponentially worse the further out you go.
>
> Point is, it takes a lot of practice to be good
> with a rifle at sniping distance.
>
> > 2) (See my response to BEH)
>
> You say "no witnesses helps reduce prosecution,"
> but then in #4 you say, "leave the gun." Terrible
> idea.
>
> Take the gun with you and leave any witnesses too
> afraid to say anything. Better idea.
>
> > 3) The crew has waited a long time to get their
> > target. Again, in the doorframe or in a chair
> or
> > otherwise stationary. They're paid well so,
> > they'll do as told.
>
> Unless they have a military sniper background or
> grew up as a good ol' boy shootin' turkeys and
> deer on his daddy's ranch since he was 4 years
> old, I'm not buying it.
>
> > 4) Motorcycles...possibly dirtbikes. An extra
> > rider in the alley who starts all the bikes
> once
> > he hears the shots. Leave the gun, don't forget
> > the cannolis.
>
> The shooter still has to get down from the roof.
> Fire escape is too slow, and the elevator is used
> by potential witnesses. They could rappel down the
> side of the building, I guess, but it's
> unnecessarily complicated.
>
> > Eesh:
> >
> > And the head of a major narcotics ring can
> afford
> > them and will provide them. Again, I'm not
> talking
> > about a military-grade sniper rifle...a mid to
> > premium level hunting rifle with scope and a
> > laser/optical range finder for the spotter.
>
> The guns are just tools. You could have the best
> gear in the world and still wildly miss your
> targets without extensive practice and training.
>
> > It's true...well, traditionally as the other
> > posters have mentioned yes, you want it public
> you
> > want it known. But, what's more of a
> competitive
> > deterrant? The enemy you can see or the
> knowledge
> > that there's a "force" out there that can reach
> > out and snatch a life when and where it pleases
> > without warning.
>
> The enemy that I know for a fact will kill me and
> my family if I talk to the cops about them. A
> shadowy life-snatcher certainly has an air of
> mystery, but if you know snipers are out there
> gunning for you, there's steps you can take (like
> not standing by a window).
>
> > Now THAT? Is some scary shit,
> > yo... As for building access, everyone has
> their
> > price. If the building is occupied, the super
> is
> > paid off for roof or a street-facing unit
> access.
> > If the building is vacant (a much more likely
> > scenario in the ghetto), then access isn't
> really
> > an issue.
>
> The more people involved, the more likely someone
> is to talk. Sure, you could pay off the
> maintenance guy to give you roof access, but how
> much pressure do you think the police would need
> to apply to get him to talk? If fear keeps him
> quiet, why pay him at all?
>
> I think you need to do some more research.

Ok, I'm shifting gears a bit Mephisto...here's my pitch...

Reggie Daniels is a marine sniper with 27 kills. Sean MacLean is his spotter. They have returned to Reggie's boyhood home of Northern Virginia to start a restaurant. After a 20 year absence, Reggie finds his old neighborhood overrun with MS-13 operating an open air drug market. Sean suggests they "clean up" the neighborhood themselves. Will they singlehandedly put an end to MS-13's reign of terror or will Lt. Ervin Washington and his team at FCPD's Major Crimes unit slap the bracelets on Daniels and MacLean first? Or will Washington look the other way while his reported crime statistics decrease...?

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: TheMeeper ()
Date: January 13, 2012 12:05PM

Esteban Calderone Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Ok, I'm shifting gears a bit Mephisto...here's my
> pitch...
>
> Reggie Daniels is a marine sniper with 27 kills.
> Sean MacLean is his spotter. They have returned to
> Reggie's boyhood home of Northern Virginia to
> start a restaurant. After a 20 year absence,
> Reggie finds his old neighborhood overrun with
> MS-13 operating an open air drug market. Sean
> suggests they "clean up" the neighborhood
> themselves. Will they singlehandedly put an end to
> MS-13's reign of terror or will Lt. Ervin
> Washington

This was sort of the plot to a Tom Clancy novel (I forget the title). Some ex Special forces guy secretly takes on a criminal gang. I remember he captured a gang member and used a decompression chamber to torture the guy by inducing the bends on him. at the end, the govt fakes his death and he become a CIA officer. good book IIRC.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: January 13, 2012 01:10PM

Esteban Calderone Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ok, I'm shifting gears a bit Mephisto...here's my
> pitch...
>
> Reggie Daniels is a marine sniper with 27 kills.
> Sean MacLean is his spotter. They have returned to
> Reggie's boyhood home of Northern Virginia to
> start a restaurant. After a 20 year absence,
> Reggie finds his old neighborhood overrun with
> MS-13 operating an open air drug market. Sean
> suggests they "clean up" the neighborhood
> themselves. Will they singlehandedly put an end to
> MS-13's reign of terror or will Lt. Ervin
> Washington and his team at FCPD's Major Crimes
> unit slap the bracelets on Daniels and MacLean
> first? Or will Washington look the other way while
> his reported crime statistics decrease...?

That makes more sense in context. It's easier to believe that a Marine sniper would have the training necessary for long-range kills than some hired thug.

For the rest of this, let me preface by saying I'm not being a dick, I'm just providing feedback.


You still have some logistical problems, though. Think about how the population centers in NOVA are laid out. There's not exactly a lot of rural areas where a sniper's ghillie suit would come in handy or even be practical. In the suburbs, there aren't a lot of tall structures to use as a vantage point. The urban areas have tall structures for a rooftop vantage point, but they're too close together to engage a target at sniping distance.

That means Reggie will have to meticulously research every target; where they live, their travel patterns, associates, vehicles they drive, etc. Then he'll have to marry that data to a place to shoot from. The place he picks has to be accessible, not too visible, and easy to escape from while simultaneously providing a clear field of fire to his target.

It would probably take Reggie two weeks per target to work out all the angles so he A) eliminates the target and B) doesn't get busted by the gang, the cops, or the feds. On top of that, he needs to maintain a cover story and an alibi, so he'll probably need some sort of day job (which will cut into his available time to do the necessary recon).

Finally, the spotter. A sniper team's spotter identifies the target for the shooter. If Reggie is going after specific targets and planning the kill to happen at a certain time in a certain way, then the spotter becomes unnecessary. A spotter would come in handy if Reggie's plan was to post up on a water tower and start picking people off, but that would make for a very short novel.

I think you'd be better served by not limiting the main character to a sniper role, but that's just my opinion based on what you've said so far.

Again, not trying to be a dick. Just trying to help.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: Norvell ()
Date: January 13, 2012 01:47PM

Esteban Calderone Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Reggie Daniels is a marine sniper with 27 kills.
> Sean MacLean is his spotter. They have returned to
> Reggie's boyhood home of Northern Virginia to
> start a restaurant. After a 20 year absence,
> Reggie finds his old neighborhood overrun with
> MS-13 operating an open air drug market. Sean
> suggests they "clean up" the neighborhood
> themselves. Will they singlehandedly put an end to
> MS-13's reign of terror or will Lt. Ervin
> Washington and his team at FCPD's Major Crimes
> unit slap the bracelets on Daniels and MacLean
> first? Or will Washington look the other way while
> his reported crime statistics decrease...?


From your second post, it sounds like you're already leaning towards this, but all that's needed for your plot to work is a variation on the Beltway Sniper technique, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks#Logistics_and_tactics.

An IRA sniper used a similar approach, shooting from a Mazda 626, for over 5 years before being caught. http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=79818&page=1

Maybe they could set up their rig in a low-rider meat truck with bouncing hydraulics, which makes it a big hit in the neighborhood.

To avoid monotony, you'll probably want to mix it up with different kinds of kills. They have to live dangerously, and take huge risks, improvise, and narrowly escape getting caught. Also some up close and personal knife kills, strangle kills, etc. It's a guerilla war.

Halfway through they're captured by the gang, and manage to escape with all the gang's cash, but then the gang kidnaps a family member whom they have to rescue. Climax is the trade of the money for the kidnapped girl, with each side trying to outwit the other.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: Ka Pow ()
Date: January 13, 2012 02:01PM

MrMephisto Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ...There's not exactly a lot of rural areas
> where a sniper's ghillie suit would come in handy
> or even be practical.

Uh...ghillie suits are tuned for the environment:

Mailbox.jpg

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: January 13, 2012 02:02PM

Ka Pow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> MrMephisto Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > ...There's not exactly a lot of rural areas
> > where a sniper's ghillie suit would come in
> handy
> > or even be practical.
>
> Uh...ghillie suits are tuned for the environment:
>
>

OMG REALLY?!

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: Understanding the Drug Culture
Posted by: Esteban Calderone ()
Date: January 13, 2012 08:39PM

This is all great feedback. Thank you. I did think about the Malvo sniper shootings from a few years back and having my main characters in a mobile sniping rig, but I wouldn't sell many books in the area where the story takes place, I guess.

As I continue to flesh this out, I'll post more content. I'm not trying to write the great American novel...just enough to quit my day job...one day.

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