Sheep Dogs
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  1. #1
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    Sheep Dogs

    I just received this from a Good Friend, I don't know if it has been posted before, if it has it is worth posting again.


    Chuck,
    I thought you might enjoy this. A liberal will could never relate to what LTC Grossman says. When I hear the crazy things that liberals are trying to do I reread this paper by LTC Grossman. It really helps me to put things in perspective.
    Charlie



    On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs
    (From the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman)
    "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.” 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.

    The gift of aggression
    "What goes on around you... compares little with what goes on inside you."
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Everyone has been given a gift in life. Some people have a gift for science and some have a flair for art. And warriors have been given the gift of aggression. They would no more misuse this gift than a doctor would misuse his healing arts, but they yearn for the opportunity to use their gift to help others. These people, the ones who have been blessed with the gift of aggression and a love for others, are our sheepdogs. These are our warriors.

    One career police officer wrote to me about this after attending one of my Bulletproof Mind training sessions:

    "I want to say thank you for finally shedding some light on why it is that I can do what I do. I always knew why I did it. I love my [citizens], even the bad ones, and had a talent that I could return to my community. I just couldn’t put my finger on why I could wade through the chaos, the gore, the sadness, if given a chance try to make it all better, and walk right out the other side."

    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 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. 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.

    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.

    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.

    There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory acts of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

    However, when there were cues given by potential victims that indicated they would not go easily, the cons said that they would walk away. If the cons sensed that the target was a "counter-predator," that is, a sheepdog, they would leave him alone unless there was no other choice but to engage.

    One police officer told me that he rode a commuter train to work each day. One day, as was his usual, he was standing in the crowded car, dressed in blue jeans, T-shirt and jacket, holding onto a pole and reading a paperback. At one of the stops, two street toughs boarded, shouting and cursing and doing every obnoxious thing possible to intimidate the other riders. The officer continued to read his book, though he kept a watchful eye on the two punks as they strolled along the aisle making comments to female passengers, and banging shoulders with men as they passed.

    As they approached the officer, he lowered his novel and made eye contact with them. “You got a problem, man?” one of the IQ-challenged punks asked. “You think you’re tough, or somethin’?” the other asked, obviously offended that this one was not shirking away from them.

    “As a matter of fact, I am tough,” the officer said, calmly and with a steady gaze.

    The two looked at him for a long moment, and then without saying a word, turned and moved back down the aisle to continue their taunting of the other passengers, the sheep.

    Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

    Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers--athletes, business people and parents--from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

    “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”

    "There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men."
    - Edmund Burke
    Reflections on the Revolution in France

    Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.
    If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

    For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to slaughter you and your loved ones.

    I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a police officer he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas, in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down 14 people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”

    Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them. Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”

    The warrior must cleanse denial from his thinking. Coach Bob Lindsey, a renowned law enforcement trainer, says that warriors must practice “when/then” thinking, not “if/when.” Instead of saying,“If it happens then I will take action,” the warrior says, “When it happens then I will be ready.”

    It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

    Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: You didn’t bring your gun; you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by fear, helplessness, horror and shame at your moment of truth.

    Chuck Yeager, the famous test pilot and first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, says that he knew he could die. There was no denial for him. He did not allow himself the luxury of denial. This acceptance of reality can cause fear, but it is a healthy, controlled fear that will keep you alive:
    "I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit."
    - Brigadier General Chuck Yeager
    Yeager, An Autobiography

    Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation:
    "..denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling. Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level."

    And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.

    If you are a warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7 for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... “Baa.”

    This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-grass sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
    Last edited by Debray; 04-03-2011 at 04:52 AM. Reason: miss spelled words
    “Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

  2.   
  3. #2
    I've always thought being a sheep was a great thing. Why else do so many churches call their parishioners a "flock"? Yeah, think about it. Sheep have a great life. They get fed, they get taken care of, they don't have a care in the world.. When their coat gets too big and heavy, it gets shorn by their keepers. They don't have to do anything for themselves. They get told what to think and do by their leaders, both political and religious. Yeah, being a sheep is a sweet, easy life.




    Until it's time for slaughter.

  4. #3
    very good read. Thank you.
    Ed
    "The tree of Liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Debray View Post
    If you are a warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7 for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... “Baa.”
    Great piece. Should be required reading and thanks for posting it.

  6. #5

    Talking Sheepdogs


  7. #6
    G50AE,

    I will call your (well my) sheepdog, and raise you a badge:



    You know, that is kind of like anteing up with someone else's chips!
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  8. #7
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    Grossman’s “Sheep, Sheepdogs and Wolves” was mainly directed at professional soldiers and police officers it was never intended to be a Raison d'être for concealed carry permit holders. It’s an analogy and like all analogies its flawed and you don’t have to take it too far to find the flaws.

    Sheep are herd animals that are kept not out of the benevolent goodness of their owner’s heart but because they produce goods that benefit the owner and only the owner. Where do you think the term getting “fleeced” came from? Unproductive sheep are killed.

    Sheepdogs are not part of the flock they are employed to impose the owner’s will on the sheep, by force if necessary. They guard the flock because it is of benefit to the owner and they have no qualms about herding the flock to a slaughterhouse if that is what the owner commands. Sheep dog is not an appellation I would care to have applied to me.

    It has been my experience that those, in the permit holder community, who seek the title of sheepdog, tend to be authoritarians who use it as a means of self aggrandizement. They tend to derive their feelings of self worth from the position of quasi authority they assume their permit gives them. This is, of course, my opinion but I have also seen posters on gun boards state that our status as permit holders makes us defacto auxiliary police officers. As such I believe the sheepdog mythology is very, very dangerous to the gun owning community and I speak against it at every opportunity.
    See, it's mumbo jumbo like that and skinny little lizards like you thinking they the last dragon that gives Kung Fu a bad name.
    http://www.gunrightsmedia.com/ Internet forum dedicated to second amendment

  9. #8
    As with every analogy, a literal interpretation and analysis will reveal flaws. The sheepdog representation is obviously an analogy and must be read that way, with the understanding that a literal application to anyone--LEOs, military, CCLs--would be foolish.

    However, it is a good reminder of the mindset (and necessity) of people who take a stand in life, defend the innocent when necessary, and try to avoid becoming a victim unnecessarily. For that, it's perfect. Thanks again to the OP.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by diannabill View Post
    However, it is a good reminder of the mindset (and necessity) of people who take a stand in life, defend the innocent when necessary, and try to avoid becoming a victim unnecessarily. For that, it's perfect. Thanks again to the OP.

    That right there is the problem. I wasn't issued a CHP to "defend the innocent" I carry a gun for my self defense not to intervene in situation that I really know nothing about.

    IMO the whole sheepdog myth is nothing more than CHP elitism. It's a way for CHP holders to aggrandize themselves and pretend that their CHP gives them some type of police authority. I've read too many posts on various gunboards by posters who actually state that having a CHP makes us "the brother to the LEO" ( Direct quote) or some type of Adjunct police officer. I've also read posts in which it is opined that we have a "solem duty " to protect the weak imputed to us by our status as permit holders. I've also read threads in which it is opined that being permit holders makes us some kind of "elite sheep dog fraternity". I've even heard it stated that we have an obligation to get life insurance so that if we are killed (intervening in some sitution that we shouldn't be involved in in the first place) our family will be taken care of ( the idea being that I'm somehow obligated to sacrifice myself for you)

    That to me is why the whole "Sheep dog" meme is dangerous to us a permit holders when people start buying into it they start believing (and soooner or later acting like) they are more than they are. It leads to the kind of behavior that is regularly mocked on this, and other, boards let it grow and sooner or later people are buying CHP badges and playing cops and robbers.

    I have never met anyone who takes this "sheepdog" crap seriously that isn't a mall ninja at heart
    See, it's mumbo jumbo like that and skinny little lizards like you thinking they the last dragon that gives Kung Fu a bad name.
    http://www.gunrightsmedia.com/ Internet forum dedicated to second amendment

  11. #10
    What's wrong with Mall Ninjas?


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