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The “Perfect Day” by LTC Dave Grossman, USA, ret.
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By Lt.Col. Dave Grossman, USA, ret.
Author of On Killing, and On Combat
The “Perfect Day” and our terrorist opponents’ possible plans for future attacks
I have been told (by those conducting interviews with captured enemy combatants) that when we ask them “What is coming next?” they sometimes refer to the “Perfect Day.” You cannot understand what they are talking about if you do not understand the historical reference.
The Sepoy Mutiny in India, in 1857, is an example of a Perfect Day. This was a spontaneous uprising by Muslims (and Hindus), with everyone giving the British their “best shot.” Nannies killed the kids, cooks poisoned the food, and shop owners murdered the British ladies as they came into the shop. And soldiers (sometimes complete units) killed their British officers and then used their weapons to attack the British.
The current politically correct term for the Sepoy Mutiny is “The First Indian Rebellion.” (You can look it up on Wikipedia, where the event has been completely PC filtered and revised.)
The First Indian Rebellion is, to them, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and the Alamo all rolled into one. And 99% of Westerners have never heard about it.
In their dreams and fond imaginations, this is what will happen across all of the “Crusader nations” who are in Afghanistan. Pick a day, and everyone gives it their best shot. If just one in 1,000 of the Islamic people in our nations answer the call to Jihad, it will still be thousands of attackers … Some will opt for a “John Muhammad/Malvo,” whacking people from the trunks of cars, others for a Virginia Tech lone gunman in the school. Others will attack school buses, nannies will kill the kids, clerks will kill customers, cooks (in the elementary school?) will poison the Kool-aid, etc., etc.
The enemy thinks big, and we (with wishful thinking compounded by ignorance of their history) keep thinking small. The goal of this Perfect Day, in addition to terror, is to make us imprison (intern) our Islamic populations (as we did to the Japanese in WWII), thus making this a “war against Islam” instead of the current war against terrorist groups and Islamist fundamentalists.
The idea of the Perfect Day goes way back in their culture. Look at the Book of Esther in the Bible. It takes place in Iran (ancient Persia), where the Jews are in captivity. Haman gets permission to kill all the Jews on a certain day. The whole book is about how they turned that around and killed all of Haman’s people on that day.
This is the terrorists’ dream. Our goal is to prevent it through careful study and understanding of their history and culture, assimilation (the French are an excellent example of what not to do in this area), and (most importantly) deterrence and detection, which is what I teach in my classes.
The enemy can be deterred! They fear one thing: They fear failure! They are not afraid to die; some of them want to die. But they desperately do not want to die for nothing! And our goal is to win a battle in the minds of millions of potential terrorists in our nation, who are asking the key questions: Can I succeed? Can I get a body count?
The key question we should ask is, Why don’t they do this to Israel? The answer isthat the terrorists would love to! But Israel is an armed society. The terrorist is largely deterred from this action by Israel’s level of preparation. Until we reach the level of armed citizenry represented by Israel (and the sooner the better!) we are very vulnerable to this kind of attack.
In particular, we can see that states like Illinois (the only state with absolutely no concealed carry for anyone, anyhow, ever), or California, Massachusetts, Hawaii and others (with very stringent and limited concealed-carry laws) are the most likely targets for this kind of attack.
The time may come when, like Israel, we need armed riders on every school bus and armed guards in every school and every day-care center. And the only way that we can do so is, like Israel, to depend on armed citizens and armed teachers to protect their children.
The millions of Americans who are buying guns are not foolish. I would submit that they are doing the one thing that individual citizens can do, and that is to arm themselves.
This is America. When faced with a threat, we don’t take away rights; we give you more rights! But with rights come responsibilities. We give you the right to purchase and carry weapons, and you have the responsibility to train with these weapons!
So, let me conclude with a series of quotes from national leaders who have been in similar circumstances.
“Cogito, ergo armatum sum: I think, therefore I am armed.”
Our forefathers knew that it is not enough to just have a weapon, it is also vital to be trained in the proper use of that weapon. In 1349, King Edward III of England told the citizens of London that their “skill of shooting” was being neglected, and he proclaimed that “every one of the said city, strong in body, at leisure times on holidays, use in their recreation bow and arrows, or pellets or bolts, and learn and exercise the art of shooting … that they do not, after any manner apply themselves to the throwing of … handball, football, cambuck, or cockfighting, nor suchlike vain plays which have nor profit in them.”
In 1457, King James II of Scotland banned the game of golf from the hills on which it was created. He argued that golf was a danger to national security as it distracted his soldiers from practicing their archery.
His grandson, James IV, a keen golfer, lifted the ban in 1502. Eleven years later, in the battle of Flodden against the English, Scotland suffered its worst ever military defeat.
Wall Street Journal, 18 Aug ’09
In 1636 a frustrated General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony unanimously passed an ordinance that said:
Whereas many complaints have been made to this Court, of the greatest neglect of all sorts of people of using the lawful and necessary means for their safety, especially in this time of so great danger from Indians, it is therefore ordered that no person shall travel above one mile from his dwelling without arms; upon pain of twelvepence for every default.
Being unarmed was considered negligent! Self protection was not just a personal responsibility, it was a duty to the community! And for over a century after the danger from hostile Indians was eliminated, there was no suggestion that this ordinance be repealed. A century and a half later, those people were the leaders of the armed rebellion that created the United States!
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind.
Games played with the ball and others of that nature are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.
Thomas Jefferson to his nephew Peter Carr,
August 19, 1785
Teddy Roosevelt said, while he was President, that:
We should establish shooting galleries in all the large public and military schools, should maintain national target ranges in different parts of the country, and should in every way encourage the formation of [shooting] clubs throughout all parts of the land… It is unfortunately true that the great body of our citizens shoot less and less as time goes on.
To meet this [challenge] we should encourage … practice … by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving the peace of the world. Fit to hold our own against the strong nations of the earth, our voice for peace will carry to the ends of the earth.
Unprepared and therefore unfit, we must sit dumb and helpless to defend ourselves, protect others, or preserve peace. The first step — … to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come — is to teach our men to shoot.
Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. The cause of liberty, the cause of America, cannot succeed with any lesser effort.
President John F. Kennedy, 1961
A golf course is a willful and deliberate misuse of a perfectly good rifle range!
Col. Jeff Cooper
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