I have some thoughts on my mind and want to share them here, but it’ll take some time before I can put everything on the table. So bear with me while I do that. I’ll try to let it all make sense in the end, even though it might not seem that way in the beginning. Here goes.
First, please read this article if you haven’t done so already. It has become a classic in certain circles, primarily those of self-defense advocates and practitioners, gun rights advocates and many more. Please note that I am not disparaging these groups. In many ways I’m a part of them. Nor am I critiquing the article, I understand the intent behind it and agree for the most part. Even more, I believe On Combat and On Killing should be required reading for everybody.
Second, there are all sorts of people in these groups. Some are men and women who have a certain mindset and belief system that values human life and thinks preserving it is important. Even if that means using violence. I get that. In essence, I agree with it (depending on certain conditions, which is a long article in and of itself.) and applaud them for it. I have nothing against those folks, on the contrary. If only there were more of them, I believe the world would be a better place.
Unfortunately, those groups also have a bunch of douchebags and assholes in their ranks, just like all other groups. People who use the belief system I just described as a punch line. Others do it to make themselves look tough/cool/smart/whatever. A final portion of them just doesn’t know any better and spouts nonsense out of ignorance. It’s those people I am talking about for the most part in this article. I’ll add a second group later.
Third, I’m generalizing with all this, I know. Here’s the thing though: I’ve consistently seen the behavior I’ll describe here below for years on end. So to me, it’s real. If your experience is different, then I’m happy you haven’t encountered the assholes I have.
Fourth, the sheep/sheepdog/wolves analogy works. It’s simple to understand and it gets the point across well enough. My only issue with it is that “sheep” inherently has a negative connotation. In most cultures that I know of, sheep are regarded as “dumb” animals. So comparing people to them isn’t really like giving them a compliment. Even though Lt. Col Grossman clearly states he doesn’t mean it in a negative way, it’s hard to see it as a positive term.
And that brings me to my point: [Read more…]