KILLOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
infoigkilialogy.com PH 870.931.5172 FAX 8/0.931.3077 P.O. Box 92B0 • Jone..9boro, At? '7403
On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs
(From the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman)
"Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age, It does so because honor is, finally, about defending
those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean
social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains:
What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?"
- William J. Bennett
In a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep.
They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember,
the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, arid the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this
means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.
Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering
number, perhaps an all time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means
that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year.
Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is
considerably less than two million. Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may
well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are
kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation.
They are sheep.
1 mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and
gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell.
Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow
into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you
believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil
men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you
become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and
|On Sheep, Wolves And Sheepdogs
|by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
|This passage is from the book "On Combat" by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Reprinted here with permission of Dave Grossman Killology Research Group.
Dave Grossman lectures on and has published articles and many profound texts on the subject of healthy
people in killing circumstances (such as police and military in combat) and the factors that enable and restrain
killing in these situations.
You may get more information on Dave Grossman and his publications
at the web site Killology.com. I encourage you to check it out.