The “Perfect Day” by LTC Dave Grossman, USA, ret.

Updated: September 26, 2012

Editor’s note: We at the Rhino Den have been given special permission to post a couple of amazing essays written by a warrior.

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 You cannot understand what they are talking about if you do not understand the historical reference.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!

John Farnum


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

JFK Library


A golf course is a willful and deliberate misuse of a perfectly good rifle range!

Col. Jeff Cooper


For more information visit  Killology Research Group





  1. Harry the Horrible

    September 27, 2012 at 11:43 am

    So, how many Moslems do you think will be left the “Day After” the “Pefect Day” when killing people BECAUSE they’re Moslem become a really, really, good idea?

    • Jerome Wilson

      October 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Hopefully none.

      I will only place my rifle on the ground in order to pick up a shovel the next day.


  2. SGT B

    September 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    working side by side with Afghan National Army in a prison we develop bonds with them as we “TRY” to mentor them to become self-sufficient. over many cups of chai and meals shared it is easy to become complacent and not see the potential threat a non-US presents. In jest, i’ve asked what would the ANA guards do if the prisoners rioted and broke out, would they help the outmanned and outgunned US inside. Without skipping a beat, they say they would be the first to kill us. In their mind it is showing mercy. It wasn’t as much eye-opening as it was disappointing.

    • Army Mom

      September 30, 2012 at 3:10 am

      My son just came back from Afghanistan a very angry person. It’s almost like we are all trying to sway each other into the “correct belief”…but killing for mercy
      is so terribly sinful when people have their lives still ahead.

      • m m-wolf

        October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        I am a veteran of 5 combat deployments in various infantry jobs. I have done extensive research into why we come back angry. Part of it is caused by Traumatic Brain Injury, and other parts of it is because of a divided nation. Some applaud the guys in harm’s way while others oppose it. The reason your son is angry is because the war isn’t over in his head. What did he risk his life for and why did his friends die? In his mind, whether he realizes it or not is because he is still fighting to win that war and aggressiveness and bitterness towards an enemy is natural. When he gets out he will drink more than he ever has before and will get severely depressed because he has no one to fight but the war still is not over for him so he fights himself which is essentially the definition of depression. Put yourself in his shoes completely and do it from his perspective and not your own and you will see more clearly what is going on and you will be able to support him better.

        • cinja

          October 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

          That paragraph has summed up all of the research into the mind of the veteran. Too bad academia is not satisfied with this concept and is search of the “Holy Grail” of the issue that effects Veterans.

        • jj

          October 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

          Great post m m-wolf. You nailed it. The “divided nation” anger/depression is affecting many more soldiers, sailors, airmen and contractors than we know. I know for a fact a lot of our warriors don’t understand it. The public certainly doesn’t get it. I don’t even think the VA gets it. Our warriors have seen fallen nations, anarchy, insurgency and know it can happen here just as well as anywhere.
          The sheep….they live in an alternate reality by virtue of not having these experiences as they wait for the next iphone release.
          We fight for freedom abroad, while our freedoms at home are being decreased and marginalized.

        • Pat

          October 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

          As a still wounded vet of Lots of fighting in Vietnam I found that the only ones who truly understand are those who have benn there & done that. While talking with a vet of the Frozen Chosin I found I had more in common wiith him than I did with many vets who were in Vietnam but not in combat. Combat vets understand each other like no one else can.


  3. bruce

    September 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    you should note what the british did to the ragheads for this uprising and it was not pretty because the brits killed thousands of the rebels.

    • Rotti

      September 28, 2012 at 9:24 am


    • Gunship Load

      September 28, 2012 at 9:34 am


      Those were VERY different days. Do you think what the Brits did then would be allowed today?

  4. Quickburn

    October 2, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Be vigilant, for something wicked this way comes. Great post, LTC Grossman. It is indeed amazing how much history we ignore or don’t understand (from revisionist efforts?) and the fact that this is the latest chapter in a book of unfinished business beginning with Zoroastrian religion (forerunner of Islam).

  5. DAShrink

    October 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Agree absolutely with LTC Grossman. With one exception – golf can be made into an excellent firearms training exercise by placing shooters on the sided of the fairway. The golfer only gets to move ahead if his ball survives.
    We are in an increasingly precarious position when we refuse to see the world as it really is.
    I think I’m going to paste a “COEXIST” bumber sticker on my next range target.

  6. Robert Whiteside

    October 2, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Great article…articulate and powerful!

    Thank you for it.

    All good wishes,


  7. $4NDM4N

    October 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Love your articles and this one is very insightful; however, can we exercise a little more OPSEC. We don’t need to give these douchers any more ideas on how to inflict more damage on our brothers and sisters in arms, let alone those here in the US who don’t have a clue what is coming. If our enemies didn’t have these ideas before, they do now. Just saying.

  8. CVWRescue

    October 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Lt. Col Grossman continues to educate and try to get our attention. As usual, spot on…thanks & “Sheepdog Up”

  9. John Weimer

    October 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Great article, I am one of the many who did not know of the mutiny. I shoot as much as I can when I can, to me it is very fundamental. I think the whole point of these types of articles is to show an unseen enemy that we will not back down. We will stay vigilant. I am one of many sheepdogs.

  10. Mike C (MP USMC)

    October 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I carry everywhere I am able. I carry in my home, to the gas station, to the movies, everywhere. I work in DC and despise the fact that I cannot provide for my own defense in the Nation’s Capital. Until we recognize the Constitution in every city in these United States, we will be susceptible to the murderous whims of monsters.

  11. Mel

    October 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Wow. Ignorance, fear, and hate. It’s not 2000 B.C. anymore. The way we fight terrorism in 2012 A.D. is through education, understanding, and peace. Was this written by a seven-year-old on the playground?

    • gdog

      October 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      I am feel sorry for you Mel. Very insightful article maybe you should reread it.

      • Adam

        October 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

        Maybe Americans can take a lesson from General Pershing. By dipping our bullets in pig blood and fat. Then burying the executed with pig remains. Haha no more Muslim heaven. However one must always be left to tell the tale of how WE terrorize terrorists.

    • Gunnr

      October 5, 2012 at 2:04 am

      Mel, Id be glad to educate terrorists and teach them their ways are intolerable,they should understand dead is dead and a traitor of the USA will die. I will not ignore the fact they are pure evil that kill for no reason other than they read it in a book. The calm and peace felt after its all over will be our reward here on Earth as their demon souls burn in Hell. I am a patriot and love my country. I will not stand having my family terrorised and killed for Jihad and God will surely reward me and others like me when our time comes and freedom rings loud from the chapels throughout the land. God bless America, the land of the free and home of the BRAVE. I will even fight to save you… It’s time you got educated. I prefer peace but wont retreat in fear of any religon.

    • carla

      October 20, 2012 at 12:03 am

      You want to know who wrote it? Do your own homework on Grossman. The very fact that you don’t know anything about him tells me which bubble you live in.

  12. RU Rob

    October 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Quite honestly I was wondering when a “Sheep” was going to wander into this thread. No worries Mel, there are plenty of “Sheepdogs” here that are willing to protect you from the wolf. Just keep chewing up that grass thinking that the world is all rainbows and unicorns and that there aren’t men and women out there willing to kill you in an instant to progress their own ideas.

    I am sorry but your “education, understanding, and peace” is only half the picture and that is fine, we have the rest of it covered.

    If you don’t get it now, you never will.

  13. Erik Gunnerson

    October 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks Rob for setting the ignorant gentleman ( or woman if she goes by ” Mel ” )

    I am sure he/she is still buying into ” Hope ” and ” Change “.

    The minority that is our ” Sheepdogs ” will continue to protect them regardless of their opinion or misguided rationalization. Hopefully their eyes aren’t opened by their life or the life of the ones they love being ended on a ” Perfect Day ” by Terrorists…. Be ready / stand ready or face the consequences of letting your vigilance lapse…I couldn’t live with myself if someone I loved died because I was too lazy ( or even worse lacked the heart ) to protect them

  14. Zu Gelb

    October 3, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I think Teddy summed up the whole picture welll, “walk softly, and carry a big stick.” While I acknowledge, applaud, and appreciate this wisdom, I have to remind the crowd that Muslim does not equate extremist. Every religion has had their heyday and carry pretty significant scars (the crusades anyone?).

    The Sepoy Mutiny was not only a rebellion of religion, but also of nationalism and liberty. A basic read through of Machiavelli’s The Prince would have given the Brits a proper ‘Idiots’s Guide to Conquering A People.’ The only way a terrorist ideology can unify the Muslims of the world in a ‘Perfect Day’ is if they are all attacked as indiscriminately as they would attack their targets; thereby negating the neccesary additional components of nationalism, etc. Education and tolerance are very big keys in keeping this kind of wide spread attack from happening, but only from those would-be Muslim attackers that are as open minded as well. For those bent on destruction anyway, armed citizens is the only solution; because that is the mentality and world they live in, brute force.

    In all reality our happy blue globe will remain in this kind of turmoil until something comes along that can supersede, borders, gods, and color. I’m figuring alien attack. Zombies can be quarantined to continents for the most part. So basically… keep your weapons handy.

    • Mike C (MP USMC)

      October 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      I completely agree that Muslim does not mean extremist. I have worked with / do work with Muslims and have known good and bad just the same an any other group of people.

      That being said, I do appreciate one of the first things I learned as a MP: “Be polite, be professional but have a plan and the ability to kill every single person that you meet”

      That goes for both the Muslim gentleman in the next building as well as the blonde lady that lives next door (and anyone in between). You would be surprised how quickly someone can turn from a normal human being to a blood thirsty murderer.

  15. BoBo

    October 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

    You can not negotiate, be diplomatic, or convince some one who has been steeped into a beleaf system from birth. That is not only niaeve but arrogent on your part as well, it is, and always has been from the begining of Islam a religious fight to the death .

  16. dave

    October 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Mel? Mel? Obama is that really you? Ignorance like yours is wht gets good solldiers killed

  17. m m-wolf

    October 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I really enjoyed that piece by Lt. Col. Grossman. I have enjoyed most of his work. My only fear with the nation being prepared is the ignorance that is so prevalent throughout the nation among ourselves as Americans. Blacks Vs. Whites, Reds Vs. Blues, Republican Vs. Dems. I see our prepared nation ready to fight an exterior enemy as a tool the exterior enemy will use to get us to destroy ourselves. I am all about personal protection, but I do know a ton of untrained, armed Americans is a recipe for disaster. I like the idea of being like Israel because everyone has to serve in the military, so everyone is trained under the same standards to a minimum. Some will receive more training than others because of job selection, but everyone will be prepared and the nation will be united in preparing for war. Unfortunately, it will take a massacre to get the nation united. Fortunately, we do have qualified Sheepdogs who are willing and able to defend the nation. Semper Fi

  18. Donald - If It Hits The Fan

    October 4, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Just the other day I put up the Glenn Beck specials from 5 or 6 years ago about “The Perfect Day.” Timely reminder here from Col. Grossman


  19. snoopy

    October 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Does Dr. Grossman remember trying to be and expert witness for the defense team defending a cop killer in Pierce County Washington?

  20. Marine101

    October 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Mel, you have obviously ever had to defend yourself or a friend for someone trying to kill you. Let’s hope you never do because you will lose. On second thought, it might do you some good. Try a walk through Watts for starters. Day or night, makes little difference.

  21. Haley Charriez

    November 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    That seems very good nonetheless i am still less than certain that I prefer it. Anyways will look even more into it and choose for myself!

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