Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Concealed Carry: Be Polite, But Have A Plan To Kill Everyone You Meet

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
General James N. Mattis, USMC, Commander US CENTCOMM

Why do you think this General gave this advice to Marines in Iraq? And how does this apply to you and I as concealed carry civilians? Should we plan on killing everyone we meet? Actually, that is not completely the way we should think or act. But when you go out into public armed you are in essence living by this saying.
In a combat zone that advice will keep you alive. In this country under rule of law the same advice will keep you alive also. The difference is that in the United States under the rule of law there are many less people who are trying to do you harm. The problem is the same as in Iraq. Which person that you see or meet is the one trying to do you harm? Many people in law enforcement go through an entire career without drawing their weapon to defend themselves or others. In a combat zone there are numerous times you will pull your weapon up with the intent of defending yourself and your mates.
There are very few people who want to kill another human being, but there are many who are prepared to. I met guys in the military who were “itching for a fight”. Most of them thought they were ready and had a lot of vibrato about “greasing Charlie”. One of the things I noticed about being in the military and having the potential of having to kill is that human beings don’t want to really do that. Even the toughest soldier is still human and so it isn’t in his nature to kill.
My Father fought in the Pacific in the Navy during World War II. I noticed the captions written on the back of his pictures during that time has a reference to the Japanese, our enemy during that war. My Dad was on a ship that was sent to Sasebo, a Japanese island that we paid dearly to take from the Japanese. Many died on that island during the battle to take it. My Dad had taken pictures of a Japanese soldier sent to his ship to help them navigate into the Sasebo harbor. On the back of the pictures of the Japanese soldier it says, “Nip soldier in Sasebo harbor”. I never knew my Father to be even remotely a racist yet he referred to a Japanese as a “Nip”. The reason we come up with these derogatory names for the enemy during war time is so we can kill them. It’s too difficult for the human mind to think of the enemy as a father, husband, Uncle, or a kind, decent human being. Most enemy soldiers are just that, decent human beings. So in war we have to save our sanity in an insane situation so we call the enemy “Nips”, “gooks”, “ragheads”. This way we can live with ourselves when we must kill. We do it even today. Criminals aren’t people, they are animals. Most criminals are not upstanding citizens where enemies on the battlefield may be good people.
A mindset that you may have to kill someone because they are trying to harm you or your family in many ways is like the mindset of combat. To protect yourself you must understand that you may have to take another person’s life. Does this mean you look for a fight? You must be more vigilant than others to ensure you do not get into a fight. Because every conflict you get into if you are armed is an armed conflict. You know there is at least one gun there. With that knowledge comes the realization that your weapon can be taken from you and used against you. This happens to trained police officers far too often. Being vigilant means possibly having to change some things about yourself. There are many things in life that we can’t control but we can control ourselves. Most of the time we can control where we go, what we do, and what we say. Conflict has 3 elements: You, The Circumstances, and the Attacker.
The first element you have complete control over. If you think you can bar hop or go to questionable places and not have a conflict, you are mistaken. Most problems can be avoided if you have the discipline. If you carry a gun, you should have the discipline. Most shootings occur because people are at a place they should not be doing things they should not be doing.
Do not engage in illegal or immoral activities if you don’t want to get into trouble. Exercise good judgment. Many times those who carry guns think that it is magical and will keep them away from evil. As a result they are quick to shoot off their mouth and try to push others around. Remember if you are armed, every conflict is an armed conflict. There is an old saying from author Robert Heinlein that says:
“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
Being polite is not a sign of weakness. It can save you a lot of trouble in your life, and possibly save your life.
You control what you say and how you say it. You control where you go and when. You are different because you have the responsibility of a weapon. Be wise in your self control.
If you must go to a place that is questionable, choose the best time to go there. That would not be at 3 AM. There is another saying that says “Nothing good happens after midnight.” This is usually true. Be law abiding and conduct your legitimate busy in daylight hours. Along those same lines, situational awareness is always needed if you carry. Know what is going on around you and who is around you. You can control some of your circumstances but it takes effort.
The last element is a little tricky. Keep angry, dangerous people away from you. First of all you don’t need that in your life, second, those type of people cause trouble for themselves and everyone around them. If someone makes you uncomfortable with the way they are acting, get as far from them as you can. If it feels bad it probably is. Don’t get on an elevator or go into a garage if you are uncomfortable with someone. This can be called instinct, but as LDS members we know this is the Spirit. Trust in the Spirit.
Leaving a situation is not cowardice, it’s smart. If you have to and can, run! If you are alone and can get out of a situation safely, do it!
Make sure you carry, always, everywhere you can legally.
What follows this advice is always, train. Jeff Cooper said “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” So become a shooter by getting training and practicing.
In the military they teach that the enemy is not a person, but a thing. Something to be conquered. This mindset helps when it comes to criminals. Many criminals have the idea that if they can take something and get away with it, that it’s OK. Some feel like the world owes them something. For whatever reason, a bad childhood, mental problems, it doesn’t matter why, for some reason criminals don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Or they just don’t care. These will be the criminals that intend to just rob someone, then one decides to kill someone in the process. There is something that is wrong in their mind that processes things in a skewed way. It’s not just a difference of opinion, it’s recognizing right from wrong.
Most people know right from wrong even though some have different degrees or interpretation of their actions. When it comes to killing or injuring someone without provocation, the average American recognizes this to be wrong. Defending yourself is usually acceptable.
This takes us back to the above quote:
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
Being realistic is important. Everyone you meet doesn’t have a violent way of thinking. The problem is it’s hard to tell the sheep from the wolves. You may have to shoot someone someday. Thus, have a plan. Be prepared. But above all, don’t forget the first thing mentioned in the quote, “Be polite.”
Semper Paratus