On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs (from the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

NinjaJax

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I thought that this was a good article. It explains why some of us become police officers and why we continue to be police officers. It also shows how most of the citizens view the police that watch over them and how their views change when they need them. It is a bit of a long read, but worth it. Its called "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs" (from the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm
 

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There may be some truth to it, but the lesson most people seem to take from it is self-congratulatory.
 

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With all due respect the Colonel stepped on his tallywhacker with this one.


  1. It divides people up into three rigid types. Anyone who steps out of the neat little box "just ain't right".
  2. It sets up cops and soldiers - the "sheepdogs" as something outside the law of the flock. After all, why should a wolf or a guard dog behave the same way as a sheep.
  3. More on the cops and soldiers thing. If you're don't wear tin or carry an M-16 you're not a 'sheepdog' as far as the Law is concerned. You're a coyote or a sheep.
  4. It means that "civilians" - and if I ever hear a cop talk about civilians and cops as two different things it'll be hard not to drag him down to the recruiter, shove an M-16 and a map of Iraq in his hands and say "Go Be All You Can Be" - are doing something unnatural when they defend themselves.
  5. At the end of the day sheepdogs and coyotes have one thing in common. They both eat sheep. I'm not real comfortable with that metaphor.

I've been hearing this self-serving nonsense from cops for decades. It's mostly a way for them to pat themselves on the back. It has diddly to do with self defense. Self defense isn't about being part of the Elite. It's something that everyone can do, something every able-bodied person must do. And with inexpensive repeating firearms it's not that hard to be "able-bodied" for purposes of self-protection.

Forget the ******** that turns most of us into stupid, defenseless, unarmed things to be fleeced and turned into lamb chops. Think monkeys. Think apes. Every monkey in the troop is responsible for the safety and security of every other member. Everybody watches for danger. Everybody raises the alarm. The bigger, stronger ones guard everyone else's retreat but even a little monkey turns into a little biting scratching chainsaw when it's cornered. There's no crap about "Well, you're a sheep and I'm a sheepdog, so it's your natural place to eat grass while I boss you around (and eat you when Master kills one of you for me)."
 

Rich Parsons

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I thought that this was a good article. It explains why some of us become police officers and why we continue to be police officers. It also shows how most of the citizens view the police that watch over them and how their views change when they need them. It is a bit of a long read, but worth it. Its called "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs" (from the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm


If one is not a LEO or in the Military and not a Wolf, does that automatically make them sheep?
 

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If one is not a LEO or in the Military and not a Wolf, does that automatically make them sheep?

More to the point, if one is clearly a wolf-but has managed through whatever means not to victimize any sheep, or get the attention of the sheepdog, does that make them a wolf in sheeps clothing? :lfao:
 

Rich Parsons

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More to the point, if one is clearly a wolf-but has managed through whatever means not to victimize any sheep, or get the attention of the sheepdog, does that make them a wolf in sheeps clothing? :lfao:

Yes. And you can have some Wolves in Sheepdog Uniforms as well. ;)

But, the question I asked and how it is answered by the original poster will tell me a lot.
 
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NinjaJax

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There may be some truth to it, but the lesson most people seem to take from it is self-congratulatory.

I will agree that there are cops that are looking to get themselves into the limelight for their actions, but most will do their job because it is their job, not because of the possibility of praise afterwords.
 

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I think it was intended as a "mantra" of sorts for cops rather than a "back patting". The new rubric for LE is to go in after active shooters and terminate the threat...that and the risk of Mumbai type attacks means that we have to get cops to go into gunfights and get the BG, vs just responding to a random street attack.

I think Grossman uses this (and I have seen him give his presentations so I have some first hand experience to base this opinion on) to plant the seed of "I have to be the one to go in and get the BG...I cant just sit outside and wait" in his audiences minds...and that audience is predominantly cops. HOWEVER he explicitly named armed citizens as "sheepdogs" when I attended his "Bulletproof Mind" seminar...so some of your gripes are baseless. As a matter of fact he mentioned that in the event of a Beslan type attack in the US that LE should consider utilizing armed citizens (GASP!) in their response plan.

I think the critics of this piece fail to take where its said, who its said to and why its said into consideration before they get all bent out of shape over it.
 
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NinjaJax

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With all due respect the Colonel stepped on his tallywhacker with this one.


  1. It divides people up into three rigid types. Anyone who steps out of the neat little box "just ain't right".
  2. It sets up cops and soldiers - the "sheepdogs" as something outside the law of the flock. After all, why should a wolf or a guard dog behave the same way as a sheep.
  3. More on the cops and soldiers thing. If you're don't wear tin or carry an M-16 you're not a 'sheepdog' as far as the Law is concerned. You're a coyote or a sheep.
  4. It means that "civilians" - and if I ever hear a cop talk about civilians and cops as two different things it'll be hard not to drag him down to the recruiter, shove an M-16 and a map of Iraq in his hands and say "Go Be All You Can Be" - are doing something unnatural when they defend themselves.
  5. At the end of the day sheepdogs and coyotes have one thing in common. They both eat sheep. I'm not real comfortable with that metaphor.
Tellner...I respect your opinion but would like to comment on it. I will number my comments in accordance with your comments:

1. The author divided people up into 3 groups, but I didn't see where he said that if you don't fit into one of them, then you're just not right. What I took from this article was that there are 3 groups (broad groups) that most people fit in. It would be silly to think that someone would say that you are 1 of these 3, period. Of course there are going to be people that fit somewhere in between.

2. Nowhere did the article say that the "Sheepdogs" are outside of the law of the flock. It just stated that the sheepdogs are charged with protecting the flock. As the article says "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."

3. The law does not say that if you're not a sheepdog then you're a wolf or a sheep...The law recognizes a citizens’ right to protect themselves. That was the whole idea behind the 2nd amendment.

4. As I stated in #3, The law recognizes a citizens’ right to protect themselves. That was the whole idea behind the 2nd amendment. I did not get the impression from this article that civilians are doing something unnatural by defending themselves. Also, I agree with you (if I am understanding your comment correctly) that a soldier is a completely different animal from a cop and they should not be categorized as the same thing.

5. As the article stated, "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." As far as sheepdogs and wolves having one thing in common, that being eating sheep, you're taking the metaphor a little too seriously. Yes there are some bad cops out there, but you cannot judge all police by a few bad ones. Just like a majority of the citizens in the world, a majority of police are good people who care about their community.

Again Tellner, I respect your opinion about this article and I am in no way putting your opinion down. I just wanted to take the time to respond.

Thank you.
 
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NinjaJax

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If one is not a LEO or in the Military and not a Wolf, does that automatically make them sheep?

I don't believe that is what the author means. I certainly don't feel that it automatically makes you a sheep. As I stated in one of my other replies, the government recognizes a citizens' right to defend themselves, which is where the 2nd amendment comes into play. You do not have to be a police officer or a soldier to be a "sheepdog."
 

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I will agree that there are cops that are looking to get themselves into the limelight for their actions, but most will do their job because it is their job, not because of the possibility of praise afterwords.

I'm not even talking about cops. I see a lot of internet jackasses patting each other on the *** for being such a big, tough, mean group of sheepdogs.
 

elder999

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I'm not even talking about cops. I see a lot of internet jackasses patting each other on the *** for being such a big, tough, mean group of sheepdogs.

And I'll pat myself on the back, for being one big, tough, sneaky, wolf......in sheep's clothing.
uptonogood.gif
 
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searcher

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If one is not a LEO or in the Military and not a Wolf, does that automatically make them sheep?



If that is the case, this sheep grew the fangs of a vampire.


And what about thoseof us that have served? When we rotate back to civilian life do we turn into sheep? I don't think so bub.
 

elder999

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To be fair, I think it was originally in On Killing, not On Combat.

"On Killing" was a good, important book, though I don't always agree with Col. Grossman's point of view on certain things, I appreciate many of his insights. The whole "sheepdog" thing has been overblown, though-an ex-girlfriend identified me as a "sheepdog," never realizing she was sleeping with the wolf.....there's a real danger in believing everything you read... :lol:
 

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I think it was intended as a "mantra" of sorts for cops rather than a "back patting". The new rubric for LE is to go in after active shooters and terminate the threat...that and the risk of Mumbai type attacks means that we have to get cops to go into gunfights and get the BG, vs just responding to a random street attack.

I think Grossman uses this (and I have seen him give his presentations so I have some first hand experience to base this opinion on) to plant the seed of "I have to be the one to go in and get the BG...I cant just sit outside and wait" in his audiences minds...and that audience is predominantly cops. HOWEVER he explicitly named armed citizens as "sheepdogs" when I attended his "Bulletproof Mind" seminar...so some of your gripes are baseless. As a matter of fact he mentioned that in the event of a Beslan type attack in the US that LE should consider utilizing armed citizens (GASP!) in their response plan.

I think the critics of this piece fail to take where its said, who its said to and why its said into consideration before they get all bent out of shape over it.
I've attended Grossman's Bulletproof Mind training twice now. I think it's absolutely clear that he considers anyone who accepts the responsibility of taking action to protect innocents to be a sheepdog. Those who prey on the innocent are the wolves. The large part of the population that lives with rose-colored glasses on and assumes that bad things will only happen to someone else are the sheep.

But it's an analogy -- not a true formal classification. To answer Tellner, there are times when we all move through different roles. If I'm out with my infant son, and I look up and see someone being beat to death -- I may just call 911 and be on my way! Why? Because I've got a greater responsibility to my son than to the other person. Sometimes, I choose not to carry a gun, for any of several reasons. At those times, I have to realize that my ability to act in the face of violence may be severely limited.

In fact, I think I'll let Dave speak for himself:
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.
 

Rich Parsons

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I don't believe that is what the author means. I certainly don't feel that it automatically makes you a sheep. As I stated in one of my other replies, the government recognizes a citizens' right to defend themselves, which is where the 2nd amendment comes into play. You do not have to be a police officer or a soldier to be a "sheepdog."


But as a LEO yourself, what is your answer not what you belief the Author meant?
 

Rich Parsons

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If that is the case, this sheep grew the fangs of a vampire.


And what about thoseof us that have served? When we rotate back to civilian life do we turn into sheep? I don't think so bub.


Searcher,

If you took my post as saying what I think you are saying which is that everyone not in uniform is a sheep then I apologize. For that was not my intent nor my post.

I was asking to see if we had another LEO onboard who was into placing himself above everyone else because of his job choice.

I could do the same, with Mathemathics and with the exception of the few PhD's on this site I would be in an elite group.

I could do it with engineering and also make points about the average person not knowing anything about the "MAGIC" they use every day in ther life. i.e. They push a button and it goes from their phone to a tower to a satellite to ..., where ever and then back in just a couple of seconds. The time lag for comm from here to the moon is very measurable, so it may seem like a long time, but they no longer appreciate the value of their tools or toys. So, I coudl separate many people out as well.

I could also ask questions about fights, numbers of people, numbers of weapons, how many times being stabbed or cut, or hit or swung on by bats and golf clubs and bottles and axes and then even those that use vehicles against me, from trucks to cars to SUV's to ..., to even firearms, and being shoot at. No I have never been shoot. So, I cannot be in that separate group.

I have found that those that do not search this site for other posts similar to this (* which there shoudl be at least one thread *) and post it with an excitement like it is new theory and that they are special for being part of the elite group. So, I asked my questions to get a read on the original psoter.

I hope that explains my posts here.

I also agree that serving and returning to civilian life (* non military - for Civialian can be used by anyone to designate a mamber of an elite type group *) does not make any one a wolf or sheep or a sheep dog. It all depends upon their actions that they make every day in their life. And that is my opinion on the subject. :)

Thanks
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I think Grossman makes an interesting analogy but in the end it is just that. Take what you will from it but do not place that much value on it or it defining you.
icon6.gif
 

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Theres nothing wrong with believing you are in an "elite group"...the Marines have made a way of life of it yet Army soldiers go into battle and die just the same. But I dont begrudge them that. Its part of morale building. And if you believe you are "elite" you should act like it and be held to a higher standard because of it. Being "elite" (if you really deserve the title) is a burden, not a benefit.

The difference comes when you "throw your weight around", when you treat OTHERS differently or expect special treatment from others. Bottom line is that LEO's DO have powers and responsibilities that "civilians" do not. If believing that they are "elite" and have the responsibility to protect the herd helps them go into dangerous situations...BFD. As long as they treat the public with respect and dont expect special treatment I could care less if thats how a cop feels.

The bottom line is that this hurts the EGO's of people who think that others feel less respect for THEM when that Cop, Soldier, Marine, Boss, Black Belt, etc. enters the room....get over it...who cares what the OTHER guy thinks about himself as long as he is doing what he is supposed to be doing? Your feeling is called "insecurity".

I find it funny how people feel like they can spout off about the law and all things law enforcement and throw "just because you are a cop you dont know everything" around or get offended when the resident cop disagrees with them...I wonder if they would argue mathematics with a mathematician or circuits with an electrical engineer with the same tactic.

I want my cops believing they are "special" and have responsibilities that other dont. It makes it easier to order them into danger and it makes them easier to discipline..."What did you think you were doing? You know that more is expected of you! When you do that you dishonor the badge?...the "badge"...that thing that makes you GASP! ...DIFFERENT....from others who dont have one. Screw up, loose your job. Have a domestic with your spouse and loose your gun and get punished at work. Get a DWI and have work punish you. That's the way it SHOULD be...the public expects better behavior from you because of the special position you hold.

Just dont go around thinking that you are special though...that pisses people off.

Press hard three copies....
 
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[/list]Tellner...I respect your opinion but would like to comment on it. I will number my comments in accordance with your comments:

1. The author divided people up into 3 groups, but I didn't see where he said that if you don't fit into one of them, then you're just not right. What I took from this article was that there are 3 groups (broad groups) that most people fit in. It would be silly to think that someone would say that you are 1 of these 3, period. Of course there are going to be people that fit somewhere in between.

2. Nowhere did the article say that the "Sheepdogs" are outside of the law of the flock. It just stated that the sheepdogs are charged with protecting the flock. As the article says "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."

3. The law does not say that if you're not a sheepdog then you're a wolf or a sheep...The law recognizes a citizens right to protect themselves. That was the whole idea behind the 2nd amendment.

4. As I stated in #3, The law recognizes a citizens right to protect themselves. That was the whole idea behind the 2nd amendment. I did not get the impression from this article that civilians are doing something unnatural by defending themselves. Also, I agree with you (if I am understanding your comment correctly) that a soldier is a completely different animal from a cop and they should not be categorized as the same thing.

5. As the article stated, "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." As far as sheepdogs and wolves having one thing in common, that being eating sheep, you're taking the metaphor a little too seriously. Yes there are some bad cops out there, but you cannot judge all police by a few bad ones. Just like a majority of the citizens in the world, a majority of police are good people who care about their community.

Again Tellner, I respect your opinion about this article and I am in no way putting your opinion down. I just wanted to take the time to respond.

Thank you.

I think it's a moot point either way since the SC ruled that the Police are not legally binded to protect the sheep, they are here to protect society in general, but not individual and since sheep now can get a CCP in most states, the argument is moot in my view.
 

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