Society is similar to an egg. The core of an egg is soft and gooey. However, this core cannot exist or maintain its shape without being surrounded and protected by a hard shell. Society cannot exist and maintain its shape without being surrounded and protected by a hard shell of warriors.
What are warriors? Warriors are those who wage war. No matter your personal beliefs about war, whether you think it is ever good or whether it is ever a solution—war is inevitable—and anytime there is a war, warriors are needed to wage the war.
In every war, there are several categories of citizens:
- Those who are afraid to fight and run away.
- Those who refuse to fight for various reasons including it would interfere with their lifestyle.
- Those who accept war but do not believe in fighting, so they serve in other ways.
- Those who will fight if called but do not volunteer.
- Those who feel a duty to fight and will volunteer.
- Those who love to fight and will seek any opportunity to fight.
Warriors are those in the last two categories. Warriors not only feel a duty to fight, they love to fight.
Merely fighting does not make one a warrior. A warrior is a person whose calling is to fight. Just as some think they have been called to become ministers or priests, some think they were born to be warriors or were called to warriors.
People are not born warriors; they must become warriors. Becoming a warrior is not as easy as completing a couple of months of basic training. Although basic training is the first step in warrior training, it is not when a warrior’s training first begins. Training to become a warrior begins in infancy. Everything a child experiences and learns during his or her early years and years of growth helps determine whether the child will grow into a warrior, or just another ordinary person. Warriors know early in their life that they are protectors.
Practically anyone may be trained to be soldier, marine, sailor, etc. but only an elite few can become warriors. Warriors are the ones who are trained to fight, are able to fight, have the will to fight, and, most of all, they view fighting as what they were always meant to do. Ordinary military personnel carry out their assigned duties to the best of their abilities, and, if those duties involve fighting, they will fight to the best of their abilities. Sometimes during their fighting, they are thrown into situations that demand heroic acts. When this occurs, most will do what is required and thus become heroes, either while alive or posthumously. Whereas, warriors to not wait to be sent into harm’s way, they joyfully put themselves in harm’s way, volunteer to fight, and relish the time when they are able to fight. Warriors fight because that is what warriors do.
Most people in the United States realize that warriors are needed to wage wars but some people have a distorted view of cause and effect. They think that warriors cause the effect of war. They think that if warriors were to cease to exist, there would be no war. A saying heard during the Vietnam War era was “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” However, this is not a valid assumption. Warriors exist because there is a need for them. War causes the effect of the existence of warriors. War is not declared by warriors, it is not funded by warriors, and warriors cannot declare an end to a war. All this is done by politicians, some of which may have once been warriors but have now have become pure politicians, Senators John Murta and John McCain for example. Warriors neither seek war nor do seek peace; they do not start wars or end wars; they merely wage war.
Many have never been in war, have never been trained for war, or have never been in an armed service, but they still have a warrior spirit. Their knowledge, experience, and sometimes training (such as training in some martial arts) have developed this spirit within them. They feel an obligation to fight against evil and against bad things in general. They think must get involved; they cannot turn away. They realize there are human predators that must be kept at bay, stopped, or even eliminated. These predators will attack anyone, sometimes, even themselves, but they prefer to attack the helpless, meek, and timid. Warriors protect everyone against human predators, without any regard for the race, religion, status, etc. of the persons they protect, or of the predators they fight.
All this may be compared to a sheep/wolf/sheepdog analogy
Most people are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who only hurt one another by accident. They are peace loving, avoid violence, and it takes a lot to provoke them into violence. They may fight back if directly attacked but they are oblivious to the predators that hunt them. Even if they do fight back, they lack the skills or the will that it takes to fight effectively. They are at the mercy of predators.
Surrounding these sheep are wolves, fierce predators that hunt, attack, and feed on the helpless sheep. Sometimes there may even be wolves in sheep’s clothing that may seem to be a part of the flock, but at the first opportunity, they will kill and eat sheep. After all, they are wolves, not sheep.
The only thing that protects sheep from wolves is the sheepdogs. The sheepdogs help keep the sheep organized and content, and when needed, they confront the wolves, run them off, and if necessary, fight them to the death. Sheep tolerate the sheepdogs because they need them for protection, but they do not associate with the sheepdogs. The sheepdogs do not care if they are not accepted by the sheep; just continue to do their duty, most times unnoticed.
If you have no capacity for violence and feel compassion for others, then you are a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and feel no compassion for others, you are a wolf. If you have a capacity for violence and feel compassion for others, you are a sheepdog. Sheepdogs are the warriors of the pastures.
Just as sheep are a little afraid of the sheepdogs that protect them, society is a little afraid of its warriors. Sheep need not be afraid of sheepdogs because sheepdogs will not harm them; it is not in their nature. However, sheep see a little of the wolf in the sheepdog and it reminds them that there are wolves out to get them, and they do not like being reminded of this because it interferes with their idyllic concept of life. They would rather spend their days in ignorant bless, living in comfort, while being protected by the sheepdogs to which they show distain. As Edmund Burke once said, "There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men." Then the wolves come! The sheep run around in circles, crying out in vain, begging for protection. However, they have little to fear, the sheepdogs they loathed during so much during their peaceful times are still there—willing and ready to protect them.
On September 16, 1999, Larry Gene Ashbrook, armed with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun and a .380-caliber handgun, and shouting anti-Baptist rhetoric, opened fire in Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, killing seven and wounding seven others before killing himself. In his article, On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, Lt. Col. (Ret) Dave Grossman, author of the book, On Killing, writes about an off-duty police officer who was attending the church on this day with his family. The officer’s son was shot and all the officer could do was throw himself on his son's body and wait for him to die. Grossman says the officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been allowed to carry his gun into the church.
Before the massacre occurred, some church members would have been horrified if they knew any member was carrying a weapon in church. They would have called him paranoid and demanded he either leave the church or not carry the weapon in church. During the same month of the massacre, Vice President Al Gore was attacking George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, for signing legislation that permitted guns to be carried into Texas churches as concealed weapons. Throughout his presidential campaign, Gore constantly asked, ''How can we allow guns in churches?''
On Sunday December 9, 2007, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a group of church going sheep gathered for service at the New Life Church. They too were peace loving, and felt safety in numbers, especially since things such as “evil” guns were not permitted in a church. Then a wolf named Murray came hunting for prey! He had an assault rifle, lots of ammunition, and a desire to kill. Luckily, for the sheep, there was a sheepdog present. After an early morning shooting at a local missionary school, Jeanne Assam, a church member with a concealed weapon permit, had volunteered to carry her gun and be on the alert for trouble. Although, Murray did manage to kill two young girls coming out of the church before Assam arrived, once she arrived, she shot Murray several times, causing him to take the usual mass murderer way out and kill himself—except her actions caused Murray to take his life before he had originally want to, thus saving numerous lives. How did the sheep feel about the sheepdog protecting them?
At first, all were thankful, but after the shock of the events wore off, some again began to express their disdain for the sheepdog, digging into her past to find she was an ex police officer who had been fired, and by saying she had only “wounded” the wolf and did not really kill him. Then they revived their call for a ban on guns.
When danger threatens, the sheepdog comes out of the shadows, protects the flock, and then fades into the shadows until needed again. The sheep gradually forget what happened, resume their disdain for the sheepdog, and live in ignorant bless again until the next wolf attacks.
To sheep, sheepdogs are strange creatures. Sheepdogs are always alert, sniffing the air for danger, and reacting to the slightest sounds. They are lovable animals, kind to the lambs and respectful of older sheep, and always obedient to their masters. Though not violence by nature, they love to fight to protect their sheep and will do so until the death of the wolves or themselves. While sheep pretend that wolves do not exist or that they are in another forest, the sheepdogs know that wolves exist and are always ready for them.
In the 1920’s, Shoeless Joe Jackson, a phenomenal baseball player for the Chicago White Sox and a hero to many young fans, was caught up in the Black Sox Scandal, where he and a few teammates conspired to throw the 1919 World Series. As Shoeless Joe emerged from the courthouse on day, a young fan called out the immortal line, "Say it ain't so, Joe!” The line is now quoted whenever people are in denial about the downfall of something which they once believed, such as headlines during the 2007 baseball steroid scandal. When faced with a potential a threat, many people deny the threat and cry out “Say it ain’t so! Then, if the attack occurs, their denial leaves them defenseless. Even if they survive the attack or the threaten attack never occurs, they psychologically shattered by the fear and feelings of helplessness they experienced when they had to face reality. Deniers think they are getting by, by saying it isn't so, but denial is a buy-now-pay-later scheme. You may feel content for the moment, but at some point, you will have to pay the price.
When there is news of some wolf attack where a sheep was killed, other sheep say, “I am glad I was not there.” However, the sheepdog says, “I am sad I was not there.” Sheepdogs protect, that is what they do. Just as the sheepdogs, warriors do not seek violence, but they are not afraid of it and they train to confront it whenever and wherever it occurs. When there is gunfire, just as Jeanne Assam on that cold December Sunday, warriors run toward it, not away from it. Warriors protect, that is what they do.
There is nothing wrong with being a sheep, and there is nothing wrong with being a sheepdog. Sheep tend to think they are morally superior to the sheepdogs, but the sheepdogs do not think they are morally superior to the sheep; they realize they have the ability to survive and thrive in situations that would kill most sheep and they just accept that it is their duty to protect sheep.
In nature, sheep behave as sheep, wolves behave as wolves, and sheepdogs behave as sheepdogs; they do not have a choice in what they are or how they behave. From birth, they instinctively behave as their species behaves. As humans, we have control over how we behave; we have a choice as to whether we will be sheep, wolves, or sheepdogs.
Grossman, D. Are You A Sheepdog?