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Old October 11, 2005, 08:58 PM   #1
butch50
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How Cool is this?

Quote:
Lt. Colonel Grossman writes in his introduction to The Bulletproof Mind:

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident."

This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million total Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf." Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, "We intimidate those who intimidate others."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath--a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog. As Kipling said in his poem about "Tommy" the British soldier:

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that,
an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir,"
when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys,
there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir,"
when there's trouble in the wind.

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

While there is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, he does have one real advantage -- only one. He is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.
How cool is that? But I believe that there are sheepdogs everywhere, willing to fight when needed, and will survive - they are the CCW people....
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‘‘The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.’’ ~ Patrick Henry
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Old October 11, 2005, 10:40 PM   #2
kozak6
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I guess. But this is so old and it's been posted dozens of times on all the forums I visit.
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Old October 11, 2005, 11:12 PM   #3
GooseMn
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Butch50, I'm comparitively new here and I've never seen this posting before. Thanks.
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Old October 11, 2005, 11:17 PM   #4
Blind Tree Frog
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meh, i disagree with most of what he says. I feel he's trying far too hard to group everything into the fewest nujmber of groups possible.
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Old October 12, 2005, 08:00 AM   #5
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You left out us goats.
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Old October 12, 2005, 08:36 AM   #6
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Nice Post, I like it. Makes some good analogies.
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Old October 12, 2005, 05:25 PM   #7
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His classification of the sheep as unwilling to acknowledge or accept danger is both presumptuous and seriously over generalizing. A good way to put himself on a pedestal, but otherwise a bad analogy.

I don't want to be a wet blanket, it's still entertaining and well written and he does have some good points.
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Old October 12, 2005, 08:02 PM   #8
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Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

Col. Grossman has written several books; On Combat which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, On Killing, and Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill. Might make interesting reading prior to passing any judgment on him.

He also wrote the foreword to Terror at Beslan which should be required reading for anyone with children in school.

John
Charlotte, NC
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Old October 12, 2005, 08:23 PM   #9
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Then there's us crocodiles.
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Old October 12, 2005, 08:26 PM   #10
281 Quad Cam
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Quote:
Then there's us crocodiles.
Oh Oh! I wanna be the turtle so I got super cool tough shell action - can't no mutha eat me!
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Old October 13, 2005, 11:53 AM   #11
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Me, I am primarily a virus with a high mutation rate and feed on sheep, wolves, sheep dogs, goat, crocs, turtles, and everything else as the opportunity presents itself.

I live by the mantra of "Adapt, mutate, migrate, or die." I strive very hard to avoid the the last choice.
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Old October 13, 2005, 05:57 PM   #12
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Never seen that before, but I like it.

Woof- Woof!
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Old October 13, 2005, 07:12 PM   #13
butch50
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I think it is a fine piece of writing.
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‘‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.’’ ~ Mahatma Ghandi, "Gandhi, An Autobiography", page 446

‘‘The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.’’ ~ Patrick Henry
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Old October 14, 2005, 08:26 AM   #14
Blind Tree Frog
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Quote:
His classification of the sheep as unwilling to acknowledge or accept danger is both presumptuous and seriously over generalizing. A good way to put himself on a pedestal, but otherwise a bad analogy.
I didn't want to be the first one to say it since I wasn't sure if I was just reading him wrong, but yeah, add this to my comments above.
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Old October 14, 2005, 08:27 PM   #15
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I've read two of his books. Grossman has some informative and helpful things to say, but that does not make everything he says correct.

Take the classification here, sheep, wolves, sheepdogs. This is a grossly over simplified classification of human behavior that is really pretty pathetic. In other terms, there would be victims, villans, and heroes. All of us CCW folks would like to think we are sheepdog heroes, like butch50 mentions, but that is hardly the case.

What happens to CCW people when they don't have guns? According to several posters on this forum and The High Road, if they don't have a gun, they are defenseless. So those guys must be the part time sheepdogs and part time sheep? No, they are just sheep who are sometimes armed, but arming them doesn't make them sheepdogs.

In fact, there are a lot of sheep that are armed. They are armed because they are scared. They have no intent to help others and no misgivings about not helping others. Their goal is to remain alive. Is that bad? Not really. Most didn't buy guns to be sheepdogs. They bought guns to stay alive. If they wanted to be sheepdogs, they would be cops. Both cops and sheepdogs are supposed to protect the herd and they do so because it is their jobs, not because they look like a sheep and wonder around with the crowd of sheep. It is what they do for a living. Both are to protect the sheep and fight to keep the sheep safe.

Few of us want to be cops, but a lot of us think we are sheepdogs.
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Old October 16, 2005, 01:33 PM   #16
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00S, I wholeheartedly agree with what you've pointed out. Being a guardian, a sheepdog, means being ready regardless armament. Having a gun makes you no more of a shooter than having a piano makes you a pianist, and all too many gun owners forget that.

Working in the security field (armed/armored transport) for the last six years, I would say that 95%+ of the armed "professionals" I have encountered (incl. police) don't practice with their weapons any more than they have to, and certainly don't practice at empty-hand techniques or workout in a gym. Are they going to be classified as sheepdogs? Are they really going to be of any help when the bad day comes?

While the above quote is rather poetic and serves to somewhat glorify those that try to be dogs of war, the truth is something altogether different.
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Old October 16, 2005, 02:38 PM   #17
281 Quad Cam
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DNS and Vaughn point out my sentiments exactly.
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