Tuesday, July 9, 2013


By Dave Dargo

Colonel Dave Grossman writes in On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society about the conceptual sheepdog:

"One veteran I interviewed told me that he thought of most of the world as sheep: gentle, decent, kindly creatures who are essentially incapable of true aggression. In this veteran's mind there is another human subspecies (of which he is a member) that is a kind of dog: faithful, vigilant creatures who are very much capable of aggression when circumstances require. But, according to his model, there are wolves (sociopaths) and packs of wild dogs (gangs and aggressive armies) abroad in the land, and the sheepdogs (the soldiers and policemen of the world) are environmentally and biologically predisposed to be the ones who confront these predators."
I highly recommend Colonel Grossman's book. It is one that is likely to surprise you about killing in society and in war. Colonel Grossman's conclusion is that humans, generally, will avoid killing another person if at all possible. The percentage of soldiers, throughout history, who were actually willing to kill "the enemy" is actually a low percentage of all soldiers assigned that task. Training has been tailored over the many years to condition soldiers to kill.

Even though few are willing killers, we can all recognize the "wolves" and "packs of wild dogs" of whom the veteran speaks in his interview with Colonel Grossman. In his book, Colonel Grossman concludes that about 2% of the population is able to kill without regret or remorse. In War, Gwynne Dyer writes:

"There is such a thing as a "natural soldier": the kind who derives his greatest satisfaction from male companionship, from excitement, and from the conquering of physical obstacles. He doesn't want to kill people as such, but he will have no objections if it occurs within a moral framework that gives him justification - like war - and if it is the price of gaining admission to the kind of environment he craves."
Asiana Flight Attendant
from nbcnews.com
Modern armies and police departments have moved from simple training to conditioning within their charges the desired reaction to specific circumstances. The conditioning is designed to get soldiers and police officers to react, almost instinctively, to dangerous situations in order to produce a greater chance for the desired outcome.

We saw the value of such conditioning in the plane crash at San Francisco International Airport just a few days ago when the flight attendants so efficiently and heroically "became robots" in getting their charges out of that plane.

There's good news and bad news in all of this. The good news is that your fellow man, for the most part, does not want to kill you.

The bad news is that we are seeing an increase amongst us of "wolves" and "packs of wild dogs". These predators not only choose to prey on society, they relish it, they live for it. These predators look for the slowest, easiest sheep upon which to prey and are ruthless in executing their task.

At the very least you need to keep from being a sheep; the prey for those packs of wild dogs.

Whether you decide to be a sheepdog or simply choose to not be a sheep then you should condition yourself to react appropriately in critical situations.

It's not enough to just buy a gun and get a concealed handgun license. Choose to train and condition yourself to respond appropriately. Train with us or with another company but train and practice and learn if you are capable of being the sheepdog.

No comments:

Post a Comment