This last weekend we were treated to the annual Christmas Party for the Special Forces, Chapter 78. In attendance were members of our active Green Beret A-Team who had recently returned from Afghanistan. The Sergeant Major of A Company, who regaled us of their exploits, gave us a report and the truly extraordinary news that all members of the company returned home safely to their families.
These young gentlemen, all in their Class A uniforms, are an extraordinary sight to behold. They truly embody the persona of the Green Berets: “Quiet Professionals”.
So now I have to juxtapose that with an email that we received today on our blog from last week.
You may recall that last week’s blog referenced the concept of evidentiary exclusion when the evidence being presented would be deemed more prejudicial than probative. The case at bar involved a dust cover on an AR-15 that had been personalized with an “off color” saying.
Apparently, the “off color” saying that I used was spelled incorrectly; I improperly used “Your” as opposed to “You’re”. This might have been a factor of auto correct, or frankly, just plain laziness on my part. Regardless, the many eyes that proof these blogs also missed the mistake.
Not so with our critic who emailed us.
He was deeply offended at our grammatical error, and evidentially missed the larger point of the article. That is unfortunate, since the article was actually quite important.
Worse… this individual felt the need to offer his own prejudicial mindset by referring to the defendant as a “pig”. (I am assuming this is in reference to the defendant’s role as a police officer, but I cannot be certain that the writer is not under the mistaken belief that the defendant is, in fact, a farm animal.)
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here…)
His prejudicial verbiage got me thinking though.
We have had clients, CCW clients nonetheless, who have referenced their need to keep their passion for firearms and firearms training from their coworkers, friends and in some cases family members. Many of them lament that this integral part of their lives cannot be shared with those that are closest to them.
“So many of the people I know, and work with, are anti-gun. If I let them know that I own a gun, let alone carry one, it could jeopardize my career!”
I have heard that refrain far too frequently. Imagine if that were another enumerated civil right?
“I cannot let anyone know that I vote. If I do it could hurt my career!”
Worse… “I cannot tell anyone that I am Jewish; if they knew, I might lose business.”
We would not stand for that type of discrimination. But when it comes to our gun rights, we do.
But, I digress…
The issue here with this emailer was how he perceived us as trainers, as well as police officers in general. I have no idea about his political persuasions, but from his vitriol one could probably safely assume that he is antagonistic to gun rights, and deeply resentful of law enforcement. (He also has a phobia about misspelled words.)
His attack, and that is probably the most charitable way of defining his email, was not directed at a singular individual; rather, it was against a perceived stereotype.
(As an aside… I remember a law professor I once had who had what could only be described as a phobia when it came to poor grammar. His writing was technical and literally perfect when it came to punctuation and spelling. His legal reasoning and teaching skills were pathetic. Sometimes grammar and spelling do not exactly translate to cogent arguments.)
Crap… I’m digressing again.
Back to those Green Berets… They, as I mentioned, are the embodiment of quiet professionals. They did not need to wear their martial accomplishments on their sleeves; they are more than happy to work with lethal proficiency in the background. That said, when asked, they are more than willing to “talk shop” and discuss how they train and the weapons they use.
Last week we had a young man, Chris, in our CCW class. Chris came into my office to have his guns checked. He had the bearing and demeanor of someone that had the same quiet confidence as the Green Berets I deal with.
I checked the serial number on his gun, and sent him into the classroom. Before he put the gun away he did a quick chamber check, then placed it in his bag.
I approached him while he was in the classroom.
“You military, Chris?”
“Yes… I work with Ivan, and he told me to take this class.” (Ivan, as many of you know, is one of our instructors, and an active Force Recon Member and Instructor down at Camp Pendleton.)
“You with Force Recon?”
“Yes, sir. I understand from Ivan that you are a JAG officer… I won’t hold that against you.”
“Thank you, son. I appreciate it.”
Chris, and the other members of the Special Forces community, have a quiet dignity and bearing that screams who they are without shoving their status down the throats of those around them. They don’t need to. But when asked, they will not shy away.
We can learn from their behavior and their demeanor. So can our emailer… though I highly doubt he surrounds himself with individuals of such strong character.