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By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER, Ph.D., author of “On Killing.”

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains:
What is worth defending?
What is worth dying for?
What is worth living for?

William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy
November 24, 1997 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 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.” 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? What do you have then?

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 thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose 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, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who 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.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero? 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. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.
 

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Brownie, good stuff; thanks .....
 

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An oldie but goody from Grossman. He was either playing to his audience or is unaware that he missed a category. We used to call them "men", but now seemed to be characterized as "wannabes". I've run with them my entire adult life. We raised our sons to carry the torch.

These men have no desire to wear a uniform or bear the label of "warrior", but these men will not allow the innocent to be harmed in their presence. The code is simple, and best expressed by, "it's what men do."
 

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Very good read and thanks Brownie. And for the sheepdogs here, much respect and appreciation.:clap
 

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How long did they wait before they went into the high school again?
 

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By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER, Ph.D., author of “On Killing.”

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains:
What is worth defending?
What is worth dying for?
What is worth living for?

William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy
November 24, 1997 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 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.” 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? What do you have then?

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 thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose 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, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who 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.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero? 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. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.
Always a good read and reminder...........Grossman has a way with words from interviews he has done. Dave was an instructor at West Point, but his writing comes from interviewing warriors or ummmm sheepdog.
 

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Excellent read, Brownie! I think I'd read it before but always good to read again.
 

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Great read. Thanks!
 

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ive never been fond of the labels and how theyre used by those who have no idea who they really are....but in this context it makes perfect sense and is well stated....
 

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Grossman's, "On Killing," and "On Combat," are worthy of any concealed carriers reading list.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Again although I respect Dave Grossman, the reality of this article comes from a man he interviewed as Dave has not been a sheepdog. Let me address this. On the internet there are many who claim to be sheepdogs. The reality is, they have no clue. Let me give you an example. Of all the military out there, and I mean all, there are only 3% that have seen the elephant. So the other 97% may or may not be sheepdogs. They only THINK they are, but are not tested yet. Of all LEO only 5% of the breed have seen the elephant. Of the 3% and 5% only 25 % of those are truly the sheepdog that stands up and kicks the wolf in the arse. If you have not been tested, and ran to the sound of gunfire or the sharpness of the blade and come away the victor, you ASSUME you are not a sheepdog. You are not truly sure till you have been tested and honed. Sadly we have seen grown men who have cried for Momma when the time came for them to play the flute or curl up in a ball and wilt. We have seen the weakest of the breed man up and actually become the alpha male of the pack. There is no magical or scientific equation that makes a man step up to the call of guns and gunpowder. It comes from the heart and not from the body. The man (148 lbs)that is soft spoken with a handshake that is un-noticeable (Carlos Hathcock) can be the most vicious sheepdog that history has ever found. Or you can have the biggest and baddest attitude (Goliath) who in reality was slayed by a true sheepdog that had had enough (David). We train hard in hopes that we are that person, we believe in our heart that we are that person. We hope that when the day comes and our number is called, that we step up to the plate and be the sheepdog that the herd deserves and desperately needs. But how do we know? The truth is we don't. We train, we pray, and we practice. But the reality is we may go a lifetime without ever being tested. Our number may never be called. And in that case, we have been gifted............That not being the case, then we pray that God gives us strength to handle the issue as only a sheepdog can.......We step up for our honor, our duty, our community and for all that is sacred and right. Then and only then do we know if we are the warrior sheepdog or the sheep............My prayer is that if your number is ever called, you will answer the gunfire, gunpowder or blade with the heart and mind of a sheepdog. And may we all at the end of the day pray for the sole of your wolf.
 

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Again although I respect Dave Grossman, the reality of this article comes from a man he interviewed as Dave has not been a sheepdog. Let me address this. On the internet there are many who claim to be sheepdogs. The reality is, they have no clue. Let me give you an example. Of all the military out there, and I mean all, there are only 3% that have seen the elephant. So the other 97% may or may not be sheepdogs. They only THINK they are, but are not tested yet. Of all LEO only 5% of the breed have seen the elephant. Of the 3% and 5% only 25 % of those are truly the sheepdog that stands up and kicks the wolf in the arse. If you have not been tested, and ran to the sound of gunfire or the sharpness of the blade and come away the victor, you ASSUME you are not a sheepdog. You are not truly sure till you have been tested and honed. Sadly we have seen grown men who have cried for Momma when the time came for them to play the flute or curl up in a ball and wilt. We have seen the weakest of the breed man up and actually become the alpha male of the pack. There is no magical or scientific equation that makes a man step up to the call of guns and gunpowder. It comes from the heart and not from the body. The man (148 lbs)that is soft spoken with a handshake that is un-noticeable (Carlos Hathcock) can be the most vicious sheepdog that history has ever found. Or you can have the biggest and baddest attitude (Goliath) who in reality was slayed by a true sheepdog that had had enough (David). We train hard in hopes that we are that person, we believe in our heart that we are that person. We hope that when the day comes and our number is called, that we step up to the plate and be the sheepdog that the herd deserves and desperately needs. But how do we know? The truth is we don't. We train, we pray, and we practice. But the reality is we may go a lifetime without ever being tested. Our number may never be called. And in that case, we have been gifted............That not being the case, then we pray that God gives us strength to handle the issue as only a sheepdog can.......We step up for our honor, our duty, our community and for all that is sacred and right. Then and only then do we know if we are the warrior sheepdog or the sheep............My prayer is that if your number is ever called, you will answer the gunfire, gunpowder or blade with the heart and mind of a sheepdog. And may we all at the end of the day pray for the sole of your wolf.
 

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The one thing that turns us into Sheepdogs (for want of a better word) is threat! And funny enough, not threat to ourselves, but threat to our charges.

Be they our Life partner, Child, or Grandchild.

Tough guys walk the streets/stores/parks, etc. Wearing the trappings of their trade/tribe, tat's on the neck, underpants over there lowered pants, whatever.

We older folk, tend to be task oriented, from House to Store, for instance, or to Library, go for Service of one kind or the other, to a vehicle or to us (hair cut?) even Dr.'s visits, more and more (maintenance!)

This travel we get involved in, tends to be vehicle mounted, Car, Van, SUV. An other responsibility. But one over riding responsibility we can never shirk, reference instant threat, as has been said by many.

The buck stops here! Take heed, take care, carry enough gun.

911 is a communication system, not a fix it system.
 

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Good read. One of the important points that he makes, that a lot of people seem to miss, is that the sheep generally don't like sheepdogs and are almost as afraid of them as they are of the wolves. They don't distinguish between "good guys" and "bad guys." They only see "sheep" and "not-sheep," and they are very afraid of all of the "not-sheep."

We all need to keep that in mind when we are talking to the antis.
 
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