Thursday, November 18, 2021

On Nonsense


From JKb at Gun Free Zone:

"In a civil society such as ours, violence is discouraged.  It’s possible to live a happy, successful life never having gotten into a physical fight.  I’d go so far as to say that except for professional pugilists, a key feature in being a happy and successful person in modern society is not having gotten into a physical fight after grade-school.

We are so conditioned to be peaceful people that most good people are hardly capable of engaging in serious violence.

I have talked about the 80/20 rule, where studies conducted by the military after WWII showed that 80% of soldiers could not consciously line up their sights and kill an enemy.  To get good people to kill, they either can’t see their targets (such as artillery or aerial bombardment) or you have to break them psychologically and recondition them to be shooters (such as the military’s reflexive shooting training)."

Yeah, no. Throwing the b.s. flag on pretty much all of that.

Let's be honest with ourselves on this point.

Killing isn't hard. Not killing  the @$$holes who are overqualified for deserving it is what's hard. And that resolve, in otherwise "civilized" society, is what's melting like an ice block on a hot grill, with each passing day. Most good people are simply capable of restraining themselves from doing that which every fiber of their being screams out to undertake. Far from being "hardly capable", they're ready, willing, and able, as 2,000,000 successful firearms defenses per year, for half a century, just in the U.S. alone, demonstrates, once every fifteen seconds. The mere demonstration of the obvious capability to kill someone is sufficient, in most cases, to obviate the need for follow-through, but rather than proving incapability to kill, it proves exactly the opposite is true. And GFZ knows this, because the site frequently heads all such stories as "Another failure in the victim selection process", i.e. what happens when a hyena attacks a Cape Buffalo it thought was a rabbit.

Those "studies" vaguely referenced were numbers pulled solely out of S.L.A. Marshall's hindquarters, and so is all extrapolation based on them, most particularly the eructations of the blithering idiot Grossman who wrote the book On Killing* based on them to any degree, which in actual scientific (and military) circles is regarded as a dorm room bull session that got out of hand, and should have been printed on toilet paper to be functionally useful.

There are webpages and pages devoted to debunking his
nonsensical bullshit, and the dubious statistical
underpinnings upon which compost heap it's built. 

Humans have been knocking each other off with little compunction since Cain and Abel's time, and anything that ignores that fact is quite simply counter-factual wishful thinking. If murder was hard to do, rather than all too easy, there wouldn't have been a Commandment about that, nor even any need for one. Reality is rather exactly the opposite then, isn't it?

80% of WWI soldiers didn't find themselves unable to pull a trigger, nor those in the Civil War, nor the Revolutionary War, nor any other war before and since, and they were obviously standing far closer to their targets the farther back in time we travel, until we get to Romans in ranks with pointy gladii. The reality is that 80% of soldiers in WWII weren't combat troops to begin with, and didn't need to shoot at anyone, ever, not once, nor had much firsthand experience with actual war, let alone the shooting part.

The fact that most of the defenders at Bastogne on the front lines were down to a few rounds, or just bayonets, puts the lie to all that "didn't shoot" nonsense. On the contrary, all military training and logistics supply - since ever - was geared towards getting soldiers to shoot less, not more. That's why they didn't want repeating rifles in most armies at the outset, FFS, and why the British were slaughtered at Isandlwana - because of rules expressly trying to limit ammo expenditure. You could look it up.

Kyle Rittenhouse had no military "reflexive shooting" training, yet capped three bad guys in seconds, with a 66% kill rate, and other than a few minutes on the witness stand, appears none the worse for wear. The actual "trauma" is the guy with his heart blown open, or the idiot minus a bicep now, both much wiser, and one happily too late for it to matter. Good riddance.

Ditto for the guy (in OK? IIRC) who knocked off a mess of home invaders with his AR as well, and then dialed 911 to report the fact, in a similar manner. People fight, and kill, when they have to, and it requires overcoming nothing but mentally flipping the switch in the head saying "It's okay to do this" at a given moment. Like the national use of nuclear weapons, we have built-in safeties. But anyone who thinks that either bullets or missiles won't fly at the appropriate time, because "good" people are too hesitant to do it, is going to die with one helluva surprised look on their face.

The entire idea that it's hard to get people to kill each other has only been contradicted by all human history since ever, and by the most elegant expedient negative feedback loop ever devised: those who feel thusly are dealt with rather harshly and brutally by Darwinian de-selection from the future breeding pool. Forever. The kill-hesitant gene was crib strangled some millennia ago. The only people left are those least hesitant.

And as any foole knows, "vegetarian" was an Indian word for "lousy hunter".

The biggest change in modern times is the fact that one's dinner is pre-loaded onto trays at the butcher shop, rather than needing to be harvested by hand with rifle, shotgun, bow, or a hatchet out back of the chicken coop, but to listen to the ninnies, that lack of experience is more than made up for by Tom and Jerry, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, and Call Of Duty blasting away. Yet the overall societal murder rate has plummeted like a stone even as pretend violence has multiplied like rabbits on Spanish Fly, which undermines their whole silly thesis.

Wise people curb those urges until it's legally justified, foolish people "just do it" for the lightest of slights. But the idea it's a hard barrier to cross, for anyone, is quite simply recockulous, based purely on the statistics. People don't follow through on the urges, for good and prudent reasons and enlightened self-interest, but those urges are in our DNA, and always have been. The actual divide is between high IQ and low, and prosperity vs. hardship, not stable vs. psychotic, but it's overwhelmingly been politics that have turned most people into killers, and the politics that lead the parade is one of the stupidest ideas and forms of government yet devised. Even religion can't hold a candle to Marxism, and when you combine the worst of both worlds, you get the political-religious abortion that is Islam, at war with everyone for 1500 years and counting, and when they run out of infidels, they start knocking off each other, because that default response is baked into their fruitcake.

People are not pacifist salad-eaters, outside of Berzerkley (and look what happened to that plan, in five minutes in Kenosha). We're bloodthirsty omnivores. Any protestations to the contrary are self-delusional.

If it were otherwise, Catholics would be the small cult, and vegan Quakers and Buddhist pacifists would be the worldwide norm.

The actual miracle is that we choose to kill so rarely, rather than every day being a Killing Fields obstacle course. If life were consequence-free, just going to work would be an amalgamation of The Purge and The Walking Dead, and you'd find that Rick and Darryl were the arch-types in life, not the outliers. Thank a merciful deity or blind chance that it isn't so. Yet.

So please, let's bury that bullshit about killing being aberrational in humans in the compost heap it should have stayed in, and where it rightly belongs. It's good for nothing but rose fertilizer.

*[To be completely fair, the portions dealing with the physical experience of life-threatening moments is worth the price of the book: auditory exclusion, extreme tunnel-vision, etc. You should read those as gospel, to learn beforehand what you'll be dealing with in the moment. Any of the rest of the psychobabble in the book telling you how difficult killing is, and why violence in movies, cartoons, and video games is so dangerous, can be accurately and succinctly described as so much horseshit.]


Mike Austin said...

I am 68 years old. I do not fully trust any man who has not been in a fight with another man. There is something about being punched in the face and punching back that clarifies things.

EasyCompany said...

If it wasn't so easy, I don't think God would have made the Commandment of "Thou shall not murder".

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

I read the book some time ago to try to understand some things. It was not about what I thought it would be, but still good.

I never questioned it until I read your last comment about it some time back. I wonder about how my brain would process the trauma of it, based on the trauma disclosed in the book.

I think the change in training regiment in the military was for all the right reasons but wonder about the impact on the individual we see, hear and read about these days.

Is the trauma due to daily exposure on the frontline as opposed to one self defense act? I don't know.

Your perspective today was a good source of a lot of things to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

we're gonna find out pretty soon from the looks of the nation as it stands today. After the dolla crashes, people are truly desparate, for the first time in the majority or their lives, they will unleash that basic tendency to kill as needed. And the need will be many as the dipshits en masse scour everything, looking for water, food,drugs, pussy,weapons etc.. We would be advised to have your group ready, trained hard as fuck and ready to fight at night. That's where the rubber meets the road. Most will die in the dark once the killing season begins in earnest. Those ready and equipped for that time will live longer for sure.
Sheer violence of action and a true understanding of humans will keep more alive.

Tick tock motherfuckers.

Good piece Aesop, long time reader never a commenter.

Get hard boys it almost time for "fucking Irene"

Anonymous said...

Even SLA Marshall didn’t argue that men were hesitant to kill. His main point in re the unfired guns was that troops had not been trained for the emptiness of the modern battlefield. It was not that troops didn’t shoot because they didn’t want to aim at human beings. They weren’t shooting because they couldn’t SEE any human beings to aim at. Modern riflemen need to aim and shoot where the enemy seems likely to be, even if unseen. WWII troops were initially mistrained. In a nutshell, “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes” is for smooth bore muskets.

Greer Trice said...

I just want to again say thanks for putting out the truth!



Aesop said...

Marshall's point was pointless, because he pulled his alleged statistics out of his ass.
If we're going to use out-of-the-ass "statistics", we can prove anything.

James said...

I was made a participant in a daylight home invasion in April 2007 by two men who came through the screen door of a house where I was visiting a woman of short acquaintance. I stood, turned, and drew my pistol without thinking, still don't actually remember doing any of it. The only reason I didn't shoot them was that they started to run before the gun was level. I suffered no hesitation and was perfectly ready to kill at that moment. Auditory exclusion and tunnel vision are real. The woman said that they spoke, but I heard nothing, I only saw the three little white buttons on the maroon shirt the first guy was wearing, and was planning on hitting the middle one.
I was 56 years old at the time, never served in the military, never took a dedicated self defense course, only practices visualization scenarios over the years. Never had a flashback or nightmare, after it was over, we sat down and finished the movie. (She was pretty shook up though) Just another incident in the life of a killer ape.

Unknown said...

I used to subscribe to the "most humans are hesitant to kill BS" until I was involved in 3 on-duty shootings (2 fatalities) and began to question the theory. I had read all Grossman's stuff and been to his seminars even, but after my personal experiences and 30 years of seeing people kill each other on the streets of a major mid-western city the disconnect was real apparent. When I questioned my own sanity after the last incident when I was both happy to be alive and GLAD the bad guy was dead, a more senior and wise fellow officer said "some folks just need killin', it's no more complicated than that." The amazing thing is not that normal, sane people are hesitant to kill, it's the remarkable restraint they exercise against killing. .

Anonymous said...

Mike true. The world would be a much better place if EVERYONE got to participate in fisticuffs. I can guarantee you one thing, people who have had their shix rocked in a fight are aware of the consequences of their actions.

Anon AT 754...The US dollar won't crash...US dollars generated by debt are by definition DEFLATIONARY. I realize this is hard to understand. I realize my comment may not be published because of this statement. Too bad for the uninformed. The world is screaming for MORE DOLLAR DEBT. When debt is destroyed during bankruptcy, those dollars go to dollar heaven. THE CENTRAL BANKS ARE CREATING BOOM AND BUST EVERY DECADE...INHERENT IN THE BUST IS THE DOLLAR DESTRUCTION THAT MAKES DOLLARS VALUABLE AS ONLY DOLLARS CAN REPAY DOLLAR-BASED DEBT. The central banks TRY to generate inflation...they can only do so temporarily in things that matter because the cure for high prices is HIGH PRICES. I promise you, for example, restraint in the oil patch is only TEMPORARY.

For the author. Great article. THEY HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONVINCE US OTHERWISE FOR SOME you have to wonder to yourself, "what is the reason?"...EVERYTHING YOUR ENEMY DOES IS FOR A REASON...unintended consequences abound...and finally...



Anonymous said...

"Not killing the @$$holes who are overqualified for deserving it is what's hard."

I can't tell you how many times in the last 15 years, I've had to invoke that principle. Come's from the same place that the quote "some people just deserve killing" comes from. it's societaly ingrained restraint that prevents it in most people.

Lately, now being in my mid 70's, I've given some brain cell time to the "the older you get, the less 'life in prison' has real meaning".

As to actually having to do the deed, I think that a mental exercise, practiced enough (visualization), goes a long way toward decreasing the socially ingrained hesitancy to moving on the situation that requires it.

Who knows, I'm probably FOS. But, not thinking about this stuff is why a lot of sheep die every day.


Joseph said...

The guy in OK, if I recall, was 18 and took out 5 attackers with his AR. It was Broken Arrow, OK, abutting Tulsa.

Anonymous said...

This was good reading ... I was like "yeah - yes - agree with that."

Somewhere down deep if we all face our inner thoughts we realize that we can kill another person. The circumstances that would bring it about are the mystery. But at some point it's not killing "another human" -- it becomes an abstraction. Much of our existence is abstract because we are an advanced species.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Grossman never read heart of darkness, if he did he didn't understand it.