August 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm #23015
Selco has said in his blog that there are people, people who have the capacity for extreme violence, who have a certain something, and others who have that something recognize it. I can’t define what it is. Maybe it’s a posture, maybe a microexpression, maybe just the way the eyes look when assessing the environment, but I know it when I see it.
There is controversy surrounding them, but studies of soldiers from the Civil War to the modern day have shown even trained soldiers have a hard time crossing that line. Civil War muskets have been found with several bullets loaded in the barrel. That means the soldier would load a bullet, not fire it, then load another. It’s impossible to determine now, but was that because the soldier thought he had fired when he hadn’t? Was it battlefield confusion? Or was he going through the motions so his comrades would think he was contributing to the fight?
A British Lieutenant wrote that he would have to walk the lines of his troops and literally strike them on the ass with the flat of his saber and give them direct orders to fire low, otherwise they would fire over the heads of their enemies. Gen Marshall wrote a similar theme among soldiers in WWII and Korea. In Viet Nam, there are numbers floating around like for every enemy KIA, 50,000 rounds were fired. In my own experience, I saw a young soldier in a squad pinned down behind a dirt berm under enemy fire. The squad was returning fire. This young man was curled in the fetal position, eyes shut tight, and he was blindly shooting his rifle into the air. His squad leader kicked him and yelled “Soldier! What the **** are you doing?!” The soldier’s reply, “Returning fire, sergeant!”
The first time I drew my weapon, I was in the kneeling position, behind concealment (there was no cover nearby), weapon drawn, finger on the trigger, slack taken out, before I even realized that I had reacted.
It’s a strange thing. I’ve heard today’s soldier is better prepared to shoot an enemy because the targets they qualify on are (roughly) man-shaped, whereas in the past targets were the old bullseye type. I’ve even heard it applied to Star Wars. Ever notice how the Storm Troopers were terrible shots, but the Rebels were apparently all sniper qualified? Applying the lessons from previous comflicts, it’s because the Storm Troopers could see the faces of the Rebels, and couldn’t cross that boundary of taking their life, but the Rebels could dehumanize the masked Storm Troopers because they looked like robots. Obviously that’s a parable, but it’s certainly thought provoking.
I’ve heard plenty of kids talking about wanting to go downrange so they can kill the terrorists. I’ve seen at least as many come home with that certain defeated, haunted look. You’ll never know for sure what you’re capable of until you’re faced with it, until it’s you or them. And I hope for everyone who doesn’t know that you never have to find out.August 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm #23016
Ever notice how the Storm Troopers were terrible shots, but the Rebels were apparently all sniper qualified? Applying the lessons from previous comflicts, it’s because the Storm Troopers could see the faces of the Rebels, and couldn’t cross that boundary of taking their life, but the Rebels could dehumanize the masked Storm Troopers because they looked like robots. Obviously that’s a parable, but it’s certainly thought provoking.
Our side dehumanizes the enemy, whoever that might be, just as much as the other side does… and you’re talking about a trope called “The Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy“…
“When only the Bad Guys suffer from A-Team Firing. Also called The Principle of Evil Marksmanship. The good guys (the non-Red Shirt ones, at least – and sometimes even them, too) can stand in the middle of the firefight and never get hit, and can pick off any bad guy with even the most casually-aimed shot while the bad guys seem unable to hit the broad side of a barn.”
From a few years ago… goes to folks who think they have sniper-like improbable aiming skills and that a couple thousand rounds will be good to go for SHTF..
US forced to import bullets from Israel as troops use 250,000 for every rebel killed
“US forces have fired so many bullets in Iraq and Afghanistan – an estimated 250,000 for every insurgent killed – that American ammunition-makers cannot keep up with demand. As a result the US is having to import supplies from Israel.
A government report says that US forces are now using 1.8 billion rounds of small-arms ammunition a year. The total has more than doubled in five years, largely as a result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as changes in military doctrine.”
Edit: I find it ironic that you would say that the Imperial Stormtroopers were terrible shots in the face of US forces blowing a quarter million rounds for every dead Hadji… heh…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1August 23, 2014 at 12:42 am #23019
When you talk to soldiers who are in combat when you fire off 1000,of rounds and there are dead people you can say i didnt shoot them mentally, this gets more acute when there are non combatant deaths. It takes you to lose part of yourself to knowing go and kill another no matter how justifiable it is, until you do it you can never understand it, those who have more confirmed kia than people on death row fall into 3 types ghouls, psychopaths and the haunted.August 23, 2014 at 1:54 am #23025
I just read the last three post found them very interesting and learned that we maybe close to the biggest test of our life’s.I pray for all of us and for our sons and daughters. Hope we are all wrong and nothing ever happens.August 23, 2014 at 2:21 am #23026
All – a tad bit about military ammunition accounting. There is no such thing as a separate account numbers for actual combat, combat training (in country) or operational weapons checks. They are all accounted for with the same combat expenditure codes. I supported several helicopter units and believe me, they blew through multiple thousands of 7.62, .50 cal. and 20mm during any training evolutions, combat validations and weapons checks. We had small ranges outside most bases and they were used frequently when the units were not on actual combat missions. Because the ammunition was essentially “free” – or not accounted like back in CONUS – the expenditures were way up. More than once I had to tell leadership that continued expenditures may not be replaced in a timely manner and be there when they really needed it. Okay, back to the accounting – when coded as a combat expenditure ALL of these were considered “combat” – when in reality, probably only 3-5% or less were actually fired against enemy forces. Some months, not one enemy was killed, but 50K in ammo was blown. You can see how this would drastically skew the real numbers that it took for each enemy kill. Don’t believe that the military are that poorly trained that it takes multiple thousands of rounds to have effective target engagement.
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
- Thomas PaineAugust 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm #23238
I was actually using the trope you reference as an allegory. The article I derived it from is:
I disagree with your assertion that we dehumanize the enemy just as much as they do. I’m sure some of our troops do, but our thinking is, in general, completely different than theirs. They see us as kafirs, lower than believers, less than humans. Short of true psychopaths, few Westerners can muster up the same kind of rationalization for killing another person. Dr. Keith Ablow wrote a pretty good article on it: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/08/21/inside-mind-james-foley-isis-executioner/. Violent criminals here in the States generally fall into the sociopath category.August 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm #23239
warpedrazorback, good article on Fox, agree that they look at us lower than believers and would have no problem killing us.August 26, 2014 at 4:32 am #23310
in the end, I can only hope I have the heart.
and if I do, I pray I won’t like it.August 28, 2014 at 8:17 am #23512
im just saying right now if any one is planning on hurting me or my family i will not have a problem with putting one of my 9mm rounds through his chest. there will be no hesitation or thought about it, and selco is right in the end its either you or him.
Survivors aren't always the strongest,sometimes they're the smartest, but more often than not they are simply the luckiest.August 28, 2014 at 4:18 pm #23524
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>Ogre206 wrote:</div>in the end, I can only hope I have the heart.<br>
and if I do, I pray I won’t like it.
There is something disturbingly satisfying in the hunting of men.
Charlie Askins spoke of this in his book, “Unrepentant Sinner”.
It’s worth a read if for no other reason.October 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm #26580
I’m new here. Middle-aged woman. Been (kicked) around the block a few times. Had to confront helping some people who were suffering & not going to get better who asked for the help I could give. I did what I could. That was hard; they were good people in bad situations. I’m not sorry but it does haunt me. Have also had to confront a man I was in a relationship with who pulled a gun on myself & my son. We sat for a day “watching TV” while he watched us with this .45 cal. semi-auto on us. At bedtime that’s when the fight for the gun happened. Still got a scar on my arm from where he bit me and another in the web space between my thumb and 1st finger where I jammed it to keep the hammer from falling and shooting…somebody. When we got the gun from him, I was just watching him like a hawk. I know if he’d have twitched an eyelid wrong, I’d have killed him. I don’t know if it would have haunted me the way the others do but I am absolutely sure I’d have pulled the trigger. You did what you had to do. He wasn’t a good man in a bad situation–YOU were the good man in a bad situation. He was a bum without regard for life. BTW, the guy who pulled a gun on us was also robbing me blind. After I booted him (took me awhile, had to figure out how to get him out without confronting him & causing another standoff) my son & I spent 6 months without food, water, money, anything. I learned a lot about survival through that but that’s another story for another day. The important thing is to forgive yourself and understand that you did what you had to do. Be comforted knowing you are a good man who handled a bad situation with grace and dignity.
Keep your powder dry,
SeleneNovember 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm #29405
in refrence to ,could you pull the trigger,as i said earlier we come up ruff, my home was a battle field daddy was a mean drunk with ordances coal miner lot of gun play and jelly and earthmover terror was what you breathed day in and out their right for a time in my life i did some serious self medicating to survive when i figured out why i was doing it ,and alot of prayer and a great deal of help from the good lord i quit sticking needles in my arms but i was still messed up in the head took alot of years to get it copesitic had to change playmates and playgrounds if u get my meaning during that time i made bad desicions and payed the priceone was after many days of calls and begging one of our old friends that i knew was trouble persuaded me and my x to come meet his new ole lady very hesitantly i went along [first mistake should have trusted my gutt] upon arrival were introduced our friend wants to go to mountains take pics of leaves changing for a friend who had to get outta dodge on the car ride back friend says he just got back from florida didnt say with another woman that looked a lot like me pulled back up to his home we all go inside new ole lady walks in with laundry basket says his dog ate one of the pups upon returning from other room brandishes weapon starts shooting at me kinda pee’d me off then shot at my husband really got me upset so i tried my best to kill her pretty big gunfight but barley had enough bullets second lesson learned carry plenty extra ammo this was off the wall violence mistaken idenity but ide of been just as dead if hit lesson three stuff happens best be prepared ive been in several gunfights never hesitated to pull trigger im not saying theres not a terrible price to pay for the snatching away of a human life its immesurable but if they come to steal my life or my loved ones life they better know they have put theirs in forfit for the opportunity and like i say what ever you can afford i know what ill do just sayinNovember 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm #29504
Malgus, your comment describing our lives as a gift from God is exactly what I believe. Given that, we have a responsibility to protect that gift, not only ours but those we love and sometimes, even of those we may not know or may not like.
Gypsy, I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how you feel. May you find peace in knowing you were not to blame, and knowing that you son is at peace.
For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!November 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm #29505
however much one trains mechanically for a fight, it is my opinion that one cannot fully prepare for taking the life of another human. As an example, I have been hunting where I killed a deer, then tried to reload for a shot on a second deer. My hands were shaking so much I could not work the bolt to eject and reload a cartridge.
So while I try to prepare physically and mentally, I honestly cannot say what I will do when that time comes. For the sake of my family, friends, and myself, I would like to think I could do whatever was necessary to defend my people without hesitation. Only time will tell what I will actually do as I have never had to kill anyone.
For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!November 17, 2014 at 5:14 pm #29511
Goes to The Ammo Issue vs. Do You Have The Heart….
Just saw a documentary about our guys in Afghanistan.
About a dozen guys in a puny little outpost whose sole mission appeared to be to keep the convoy/supply road open. Along comes a supply convoy that is 400 trucks long…
The Hadjis decided that they the only way to attack the convoy successfully was to take a separate group and also attack the puny outpost to keep the Americans busy.
The firefight lasted 12 hours. The Americans spent most of their time “trying to achieve fire superiority” – which is just mil-speak for “we overwhelmed them with bullets”. The Americans also had air support – attack helicopters and fighter aircraft.
At the end of the firefight, the Hadji KIA body count was +/- 30 bad guys…. even with air support. In fact, the Apaches fired everything they had, went home to reload, came back and fired everything they had again… And they still only ended up greasing about 30 bad guys. Most probably from the air attacks.
The Americans had to count up and report all the rounds expended during the 12 hour firefight. Their Battalion asked for a recount because they didn’t believe the number reported. They were incredulous that less than a dozen guys could smoke off that much ammo in one firefight…
The Hadjis learned how to more or less neutralize air attacks – or at least keep attacking during air attacks while taking minimal casualties. Instead of attacking in squad or larger sized elements, they broke down into 2 or 3 man teams and attacked from multiple directions. They also fired from loopholes about the size of a playing card and exposed very little of themselves – the helicopters could not see something that small. Sure, they could bomb the crap out of a building, but which building?
The Hadjis had no air support or resupply and fought smart – attacking in small groups, they kept the Americans from piling all their defenses in one spot.
Second, they would fire a little, which caused the Americans to hurl back a wall of bullets in response – make them spend their ammo. One of the defending Americans said at the end that “if the Hadjis knew how low they were on ammo, they could have walked across the street in complete safety and taken their little fort”… they burned off the vast majority of their ammo trying to “achieve fire superiority” and accomplished very little doing it…
– No matter how “awesome” your fort is, given enough time, someone will figure out a way to attack it.
– No matter how much ammo you have, you need more.
– Don’t fire unless you have a target to shoot at.
– You won’t have any air support.
– You won’t have any resupply.
– Fight smart.
– If the Bad Guys have enough guys, resources and time, the “Fortress” mentality will get you killed, eventually.
Oh, and the convoy was going by the whole time… many of the trucks were shot to pieces, and a few got taken out down the road (judging by the columns of thick black smoke), but most made it.
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1
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