Gun Safety and Personal Responsibility

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Scott Adams looks at the American gun problem and suggests how a master wizard of persuasion could fix it:

Stop calling it a gun problem. Stop talking about gun control or even common-sense restrictions. Start calling it gun safety and personal responsibility. (High ground maneuver.) Ask the NRA to propose a gun safety plan that addresses the nation’s legitimate concerns. (Ask them to take responsibility for their freedom.)

That looks rhetorically strong, but we obviously have two sides that have dug in, and neither side wants to concede anything.

Adams suggests that there’s a simple explanation for this absurd situation:

We make the same mistake every time when it comes to domestic issues: We look at averages and pretend those averages are useful for anything but starting fights. We do the same thing with all of our social issues.


All gun arguments are based on average people doing average things in average places. I agree that the average person should live in a world with far fewer guns because that guy is an idiot with no common sense, no gun safety training, and no gun locks. Luckily, the average person does not exist. Instead, you have some people who are smart enough to safely own guns, people who are far too dangerous or dumb to own guns, and a lot of people in the middle.

Every individual has a different risk when it comes to guns.

His list of potential policies is hopeless, of course. Gun safety measures don’t help against common street criminals or uncommon mass murderers.

Mass Murderers Fit Profile

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

When we look at the alienated angry young men who go on killing sprees, we have to accept that many non-murderers fit the profile, too, as the New York Times recognizes:

“The big problem is that the kind of pattern that describes them describes tens of thousands of Americans — even people who write awful things on Facebook or the Internet,” said James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University who has studied and written about mass murderers. “We can’t round up all the people who scare us.”


Those who study these types of mass murderers have found that they are almost always male (all but two of the 160 cases isolated by Dr. Duwe). Most are single, separated or divorced. The majority are white. With the exception of student shooters at high schools or lower schools, they are usually older than the typical murderer, often in their 30s or 40s.

They vary in ideology. They generally have bought their guns legally. Many had evidence of mental illness, particularly those who carried out random mass killings. But others did not, and most people with mental illness are not violent.

“They’re depressed,” Dr. Fox said. “They’re not out of touch with reality. They don’t hear voices. They don’t think the people they’re shooting are gophers.”

They do not fit in. Their most comfortable companion is themselves. According to Dr. Fox, mass killers tend to be “people in social isolation with a lack of support systems to help them through hard times and give them a reality check.”

“They have a history of frustration,” he went on. “They externalize blame. Nothing is ever their fault. They blame other people even if other people aren’t to blame. They see themselves as good guys mistreated by others.”

Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine, said these individuals often feel they do not belong, yet frequently live in “smaller town settings where belonging really matters.”


Research does show that people with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder, pose a modestly higher risk of violence. But most people who are mentally ill are not violent.

Dr. Swanson of Duke said studies indicated that only 7 percent of people with a diagnosed mental illnesses might do anything violent in a year, “and that is something as minor as pushing or shoving somebody.”

With many of the killers, the signs are of anger and disappointment and solitude.

“Sure, you’ve got these risk factors, but they also describe thousands of people who are never going to commit a mass shooting,” Dr. Swanson said. “You can’t go out and round up all the alienated angry young men.”

For every alienated angry young man who goes on to kill people, there are thousands who won’t.

Interestingly, the New York Times does not do the same math on the other key ingredient in a mass shooting, the gun.

There are roughly 300 million guns in the US, and roughly 10,000 gun homicides per year.

So, for every gun that goes on to kill people, there are tens of thousands that won’t. For every gun that goes on to kill large numbers of strangers, there are millions that won’t. (Annually.)

Oregon Shooter Had Many Guns

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

The Oregon shooter had many guns:

Six weapons were found at the scene of the shooting at Umpqua Community College, while another seven were found at the suspect’s apartment, said Celinez Nunez, assistant special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Seattle.

In addition, authorities found a flak jacket with steel plates and five ammunition magazines at the scene of the mass shooting, she said. The weapons were purchased by Mr. Mercer and relatives, from federal firearms licensed sellers over the past three years, said Ms. Nunez, who clarified that they had purchased 14 in all, but traded one back in buying another.

Plenty of people collect guns without killing anyone, of course.

Records showed Mr. Mercer lived in Torrance, Calif., before moving to Oregon in 2013. He was one of five students listed in the 2009 graduating class of the Switzer Learning Center, a school for students with autism, emotional issues and other learning disabilities, according to a published notice in the Torrance newspaper, The Daily Breeze.

Neighbors at an apartment complex in Torrance where Mr. Mercer and his mother had lived told reporters that he liked to shoot firearms.

“Every day I’d come home from school, I’d see Chris, shaved head, combat boots, camo pants and a plain brown or white shirt,” neighbor Bryan Clay told NBC4 in Los Angeles. “He kept to himself.”

Who helps a young man with autism, emotional issues or other learning disabilities acquire weapons?

Mass shootings are senseless but not mysterious.

South African Rape Study

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

A new survey says more than 1 in 3 men admit to rape:

A 2010 study led by the government-funded Medical Research Foundation says that in Gauteng province, home to South Africa’s most populous city of Johannesburg, more than 37 percent of men said they had raped a woman. Nearly 7 percent of the 487 men surveyed said they had participated in a gang rape.

More than 51 percent of the 511 women interviewed said they’d experienced violence from men, and 78 percent of men said they’d committed violence against women.

A quarter of the women interviewed said they’d been raped, but the study says only one in 25 rapes are reported to police.

A survey by the same organization in 2008 found that 28 percent of men in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces said they had raped a woman or girl. Of the men who had committed rape, one third did not feel guilty, said Rachel Jewkes, a lead researcher on both studies.

Two-thirds of the men surveyed in that study said they raped because of a sense of sexual entitlement. Other popular motivating factors included a desire to punish women who rejected or angered them, and raping out of boredom, Jewkes said.

Naturally, this is all a legacy of Apartheid.

Henry Dampier on The True History of the American Revolution

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Henry Dampier reviews Sydney George Fisher’s The True History of the American Revolution:

Essentially, the patriots were able to mobilize a highly ideological minority to suppress loyalist opinion and keep moderates on the sidelines:

But the mobs went on with their work in spite of [John] Adams’ protest. All through the Revolution the loyalists were roughly handled, banished, and their property confiscated. Even those who were neutral and living quietly were often ordered out of the country by county committees, because it was found that a prominent family which remained neutral deterred by their silent influence many who otherwise would have joined the rebel cause. Few loyalists dared write about politics in private letters, because all such letters were opened by the patriots. In many of them which have been preserved we find the statement that the writers would like to speak of public affairs but dare not. A mere chance of most innocent expression might bring on severe punishment or mob violence.

These mob techniques are not so different from today’s technologically-enabled mobs, except perhaps the old kind were more eager to use tar and feathers.

This is not, then, a new factor in American life, but instead is a founding tendency which we see periodically re-emerging throughout our history. It also meant the ruination of countless loyalists, who either lived on in poverty or otherwise had to flee back to the home country:

The disastrous effects of the rise of the lower orders of the people into power appeared everywhere, leaving its varied and peculiar characteristics in each community, but New England suffered least of all. In Virginia its work was destructive and complete, for all that made Virginia great, and produced her remarkable men, was her aristocracy of tobacco planters. This aristocracy forced on the Revolution with heroic enthusiasm against the will of the lower classes, little dreaming that they were forcing it on to their own destruction. But in 1780 the result was already so obvious that Chastellux, the French traveler, saw it with the utmost clearness, and in his book he prophesies Virginia’s gradual sinking into the insignificance which we have seen in our time.

When the British began to prosecute the war in earnest after the replacement of Howe in 1778 by General Clinton, it was essentially too late to prevent the entry of the French into the war and the eventual conclusion.

What Our Primate Relatives Say About War

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Inter-group conflict may be important among chimpanzees, but Homo sapiens turned it into an art:

Although the details remain highly controversial, a series of new studies in archaeology and anthropology have debunked Rousseau’s myth of the peaceful savage. Death rates (as the percentage of adult males killed in intergroup conflict) among indigenous and prehistoric societies make the wars of the 20th century seem like skirmishes. Although humans were not always at war, human societies were always organized around its ever-present threat.

A sensitivity to human evolution and the behavior of chimpanzees and bonobos forces students of modern students of conflict to face two hard truths. First, we evolved in conditions of resource competition where fear of others, aggression and violence offered adaptive solutions to protect and provide for ourselves and our kin. We therefore need to amend Clausewitz. Humans do indeed wage war for political purposes, but long before war for raison d’etat there was war for resources. International politics is therefore not the root of war but merely an example of it—the continuation of seeking access to valuable resources by other means. Accordingly, when we consider “Why war?,” we have an answer: war is one of Mother Nature’s solutions to compete successfully for resources.

Second, the human traits of egoism, dominance, and in-group/out-group bias are at least partly adaptations to the ecological conditions prevalent in human evolution. It is not assumed that we simply inherited these wholesale from a common ancestor, or the common ancestor we share with the chimpanzee. Clearly, we have undergone many physiological and behavioral changes since then and ecology has been as or more important. But although humans and chimpanzees appear to have travelled much of the road to war together, we have gone far further. The particular socioecological setting in which humans evolved meant that aggression and war were significant behavioral adaptations. These same settings led to remarkable levels of cooperation as well, but note that this cooperation is selectively directed towards in-group members, the better to avoid exploitation by rival groups and organize for war. These adaptations, lamentably, remain with us today and influence our behavior, politics and society.

Marines’ Small Arms Modernization Strategy

Monday, September 21st, 2015

The Marine Corps’ Small Arms Modernization Strategy includes some long-overdue elements:

The Corps is considering allowing camouflage painted rifles for every Marine and suppressors for rifle squads, Woodburn said. It’s part of an effort to help Marines blend into their surroundings and communicate better. The moves could also give every Marine an “operator” look, although both initiatives are just now being researched.

Driving the effort is the idea to bring rifles in line with the rest of Marine gear. While millions of dollars have been spent developing and fielding Marine Pattern digital camouflage in desert and woodland color schemes, Marines still carry black rifles with a distinctly mechanical shape.

A near-term fix could give commanders the authority to allow Marines to paint their rifles to match the environment to which they’re deploying, Woodburn said. It is something many civilian hunters and members of elite units like Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command already do. The Army has also authorized the move since 2010, when the service recognized the need for better concealment in Afghanistan.

Some achieve the effect with commercial spray paints, while taking care to properly mask optics and other sensitive parts of a rifle. However, Woodburn said the Marine Corps is working with the Office of Naval Research to develop something that can withstand high temperatures and possibly provide other benefits, like concealment in the non-visible spectrum.

The more photos of American forces I see, the more it bothers me that perfectly camouflaged troops are carrying black rifles, while wearing black sunglasses, with black night-vision goggles mounted on their helmets.

Pancor Jackhammer

Friday, September 18th, 2015

I had never heard of the Pancor Jackhammer before, but Ian of Forgotten Weapons got hold of the only existing example, an early prototype, and took it apart to explain its unusual action:

When I first heard of the Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver, I thought, that might be a good action for a combat shotgun. I didn’t realize someone had already done it.

Tin Pacifists Won’t Do

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Not long after Hitler invaded Poland, George Orwell reviewed Mein Kampf — which had been published in English a year earlier, edited from a pro-Hitler angle. This passage stood out:

Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life. The same is probably true of Stalin’s militarised version of Socialism. All three of the great dictators have enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples. Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,’’ Hitler has said to them “I offer you struggle, danger and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet. Perhaps later on they will get sick of it and change their minds, as at the end of the last war. After a few years of slaughter and starvation “Greatest happiness of the greatest number” is a good slogan, but at this moment “Better an end with horror than a horror without end” is a winner. Now that we are fighting against the man who coined not to underrate its emotional appeal.

Crime-Misery Index

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Back in 2005, Steve Sailer worked out a Crime-Misery Index, combining homicide rates and imprisonment rates, with both normalized so that 100 would be equal to the average of the 1950s:

Crime-Misery Index Sailer

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Black Family in the Age of Incarceration presents a similar graph, using violent crime rates instead of homicide rates:

Crime-Misery Index Coates

To Coates and his editors, the graph proves that locking violent criminals up doesn’t deter crime, while Sailer suggests it means just the opposite:

Yet, by eliminating the pre-1960s years, their graph does a better job than mine of making the obvious more obvious: liberals wrecked the cities in the 1960s and 1970s by being soft on crime.

In the Sixties, the imprisonment rate went down as the crime rate went up, meaning that, increasingly, crime did pay. According to The Atlantic’s own graph, the imprisonment rate was no higher in 1970 than in 1960 even though close to 3.5 [times as many] violent crimes were being committed. In other words, assuming all else being equal, your chance of doing time for committing a violent crime was only about 2/7ths in 1970 of what it had been back in 1960.


It would be easier to take the fashionable conventional wisdom about how we have to let so many felons out of prison more seriously if it were first offered with an apology for what happened the last time liberals were handed the key to the national criminal justice car: “We’re sorry about what we did to America in the 1960s and 1970s. We really, really messed up. But we’ve learned from our mistakes and we promise not to do it again.”


As you probably have noticed by now, “conversation” is SJW for “I’m going to lecture you some more, and I don’t want any of your impertinent backtalk.”

A Nation of Enemies

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

The imprudence of Valens and his ministers, Edward Gibbon explains, introduced a nation of enemies into the heart of the Roman empire:

[Emperor Valens] was informed, that the North was agitated by a furious tempest; that the irruption of the Huns, an unknown and monstrous race of savages, had subverted the power of the Goths; and that the suppliant multitudes of that warlike nation, whose pride was now humbled in the dust, covered a space of many miles along the banks of the river.

With outstretched arms, and pathetic lamentations, they loudly deplored their past misfortunes and their present danger; acknowledged that their only hope of safety was in the clemency of the Roman government; and most solemnly protested, that if the gracious liberality of the emperor would permit them to cultivate the waste lands of Thrace, they should ever hold themselves bound, by the strongest obligations of duty and gratitude, to obey the laws, and to guard the limits, of the republic.


An undisciplined and unsettled nation of Barbarians required the firmest temper, and the most dexterous management. The daily subsistence of near a million of extraordinary subjects could be supplied only by constant and skilful diligence, and might continually be interrupted by mistake or accident. The insolence, or the indignation, of the Goths, if they conceived themselves to be the objects either of fear or of contempt, might urge them to the most desperate extremities

… a spirit of discontent insensibly arose in the camp of the Barbarians, who pleaded, without success, the merit of their patient and dutiful behavior; and loudly complained of the inhospitable treatment which they had received from their new allies. They beheld around them the wealth and plenty of a fertile province, in the midst of which they suffered the intolerable hardships of artificial famine. But the means of relief, and even of revenge, were in their hands; since the rapaciousness of their tyrants had left to an injured people the possession and the use of arms.

The migrants went on to kill Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople.

Boys with Sticks

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Simcha Fisher tells a tale of boys with sticks:

Several years ago, a nice family came over our house. It was partly for a social call, and partly to see if our family would do well as a daycare for their two kids when the mom went back to work. The girl was about four, and the boy was about six.

As we adults chatted, the kids explored the house. At the far end of the living room were the toys, including a tidy bucket full of weapons belonging to our sons and daughters. There were bows and arrows, swords of all kinds, scimitars, light sabers, pistols, slingshots, rifles, daggers, and machine guns. I watched a little nervously, because I knew this mom leaned progressive, and was raising her kids to be non-violent.

Her little girl immediately found a baby doll, sat down, and put the doll to bed. The little boy scuttled over to the weapons, and before I could say more than, “Um–” he had grabbed two swords and swung them, with a natural expertise, in a gleeful arc over his head.

“HAHH!” he shouted, and held that pose for a moment, swords raised. Eyes on fire, happiest boy in the world.

I slewed my eyes over to his parents, not sure what I would see. Horror? Disgust? Outrage? Dismay?

They both looked . . .  immensely relieved. “Well, there goes that,” said the dad, apparently referring to the no-weapons policy they’d followed strictly for the last six years. I tried to apologize, but they both said, “No, no, it’s fine.” And it was fine. There was no tension in the room. Their son had hands made to hold weapons, and now he had some.

I wasn’t surprised to see the boy taking so naturally to swordplay, but I was fascinated to see his parents taking so naturally to the rules of our house, which were so different from the rules in their own home.  Once their son’s unsullied hands first made contact with the weapons of war, the whole family relaxed into that reality immediately.

There’s a larger point:

It doesn’t make violence go away when we always tell boys, “Put that stick down.” Instead, it’s making a world where people, boys and girls alike, have no idea what to do about unjust violence.


Boys who are never allowed to be wild are boys who never learn how to control that wildness.


Don’t banish fighting; banish cruelty.

In the issue of violent play, as with so many other issues, we’re forgetting there’s such a thing as balance and middle ground. Parents believe that there are only two choices: we can raise our sons to be quiet, passive, nurturing empaths who could easily slide into a princess dress without making a ripple — or we can raise them to be swaggering, slavering beasts who exist only to give orders and mow down anything in their path.

There is, of course, an in-between. There are men who are strong and tough and in control of their strength, and these men were once boys who grew up with both weapons and rules.


Violence doesn’t take over when boys are allowed to have sticks. Violence takes over when no one tells boys what sticks are for.

Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Some 400 Marines, including about 100 women, signed up to be test subjects in the Marine Corps’ Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force experiment:

Cpl. Janee’ Sheffield knew she was done when she kept rolling the same ankle on daily hikes, leaving her in constant pain. She dropped on request from the provisional rifle platoon — made up of Marines who had not attended ITB — six days before the unit completed its round of assessments at Twentynine Palms and traveled to nearby Bridgeport for mountain warfare exercises.

Like the other rifle platoons, the provisional platoon was on a repetitive cycle that alternated between two assessment days: a movement-to-contact exercise in which Marines would charge 1,000 yards up a hill with weapons and 30-pound packs, scramble over an 8-foot shipping container and maneuver together toward simulated enemy fire while shooting at pop-up targets; and a hike day involving a roughly 4.5-mile march followed by two arduous hours digging fighting holes.

Before opting out of the task force, Sheffield, 23, had decided the infantry wasn’t for her.

“It sucked; it really sucked,” she said. “I wouldn’t do this experiment again.”


While videos and photographs released by the Marine Corps show women excelling at combat tasks, Bradshaw said they omitted the moments of failure. He watched a four-woman team struggling for more than seven minutes to move a 200-pound dummy, without success, he said. Another time, he said, female Marines failed to clamber over the top of the shipping container during movement-to-contact assessments.

One lance corporal who entered the experiment “believing that women should get a shot at service in the infantry as long as they could meet existing standards” changed his mind after he saw what happened in the light armored vehicle platoon — where the physical demands weren’t extreme:

Over time, he said, discipline broke down because some noncommissioned officers were hesitant to hurt the feelings of more junior female Marines with orders or correction. Romantic relationships and friendships between male and female unit members also became a distraction, he said.

“The female variable in this social experiment has wrought a fundamental change in the way male NCOs think, act and lead,” Augello wrote in the 13-page paper he presented to Marine leaders, which he shared with Marine Corps Times. “A change that is sadly for the worse, not the better.”

Physically, both the men and women in Augello’s platoon fared well. No one was dropped due to injury over the course of the experiment, unit members said. But the lance corporal said he became frustrated during group assessments, such as an exercise in which platoon members had to work together to haul a dummy weighing nearly 200 pounds out of the vehicle turret and to a designated recovery spot dozens of yards away. When partnered with the platoon’s female Marines, he said he frequently had to compensate for their smaller frames and lack of upper body strength by hauling more of the load.

“I told myself, ‘I don’t know how much longer my back will have after doing this,’” he recalled.

During one assessment, Augello said he found himself paired with the smallest male Marine in the platoon — one who was physically shorter and slighter than a number of the unit’s female Marines. But the Marine’s build and musculature made a significant difference, he said.

“I didn’t feel a lot of stress on my back because he was able to actually help me,” he said. “His upper body strength made the difference at the end of the day.”

The Marine Corps’ data findings included the following:

  • All-male squads and teams outperformed those that included women on 69 percent of the 134 ground combat tasks evaluated.
  • All-male teams were outperformed by mixed-gender teams on two tasks: accuracy in firing the 50-caliber machine gun in traditional rifleman units and the same skill in provisional units. Researchers did not know why gender-mixed teams did better on these skills, but said the advantage did not persist when the teams continued on to movement-under-load exercises.
  • All-male squads in every infantry job were faster than mixed-gender squads in each tactical movement evaluated. The differences between the teams were most pronounced in crew-served weapons teams. Those teams had to carry weapons and ammunition in addition to their individual combat loads.
  • Male-only rifleman squads were more accurate than gender-integrated counterparts on each individual weapons system, including the M4 carbine, the M27 infantry automatic rifle and the M203 grenade launcher.
  • Male Marines with no formal infantry training outperformed infantry-trained women on each weapons system, at levels ranging from 11 to 16 percentage points.

Female Marines often struggled with routine tasks:

In scaling an 8-foot wall obstacle, researchers wrote, male Marines would throw their packs to the top of the wall, while female Marines “required regular assistance” to do the same. During simulated casualty evacuations involving a 200-pound dummy, mixed-gender groups were notably slower at the task, except in cases when a single Marine would move the dummy using a fireman’s carry. And in those cases, “it was most often a male Marine who ‘evacuated’ the casualty,” according to the findings analysis.

Some of the biological data surprised me:

  • The average male Marine volunteer was 178 pounds with 20 percent body fat; the average female volunteer weighed 142 pounds with 24 percent body fat.
  • In anaerobic power and capacity, female Marines averaged 15 percent lower levels than their male counterparts. In anaerobic power performance, the top 25 percent of female performers and the bottom 25 percent of male performers overlapped.
  • In aerobic capacity, female Marines demonstrated levels 10 percent lower on average than male Marines.
  • Over the course of the assessment, musculoskeletal injury rates totaled 40.5 percent for women, more than double the 18.8 percent rate for men.
  • In all, female Marines sustained 21 “time-loss” injuries which took them away from task force duties for a day or more. Nineteen of the women’s injuries were lower extremity injuries and 16 percent took place during a task that required movement while carrying a load. Officials said they could not immediately provide the comparable injury rates for men but said lower extremity injuries were the most common among male Marines as well.

I wouldn’t expect young male Marines to carry 20 percent body-fat.

The real problem is injury rates:

High injury rates among women were also a problem at the Infantry Training Battalion, the Marines’ basic infantry training school for enlisted troops that temporarily opened to women between 2013 and 2015. Researchers found that female ITB participants were injured at more than six times the rate of male participants, and nearly one-third of their injuries occurred during movement-under-load tasks, while just 13 percent of male injuries did.

Overall, women graduated ITB with a 36 percent success rate during the evaluation period. Male Marines had a 99 percent graduation rate during that same window.

Learning to Fight and Win from a Book

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

You’re not going to learn to fight and win from a book, but Mountain Guerrilla nonetheless suggests some professional reading to serve as a useful reference for developing a training program, as well as keeping your mind in the game.

He starts with SH21-75 The Ranger Handbook, the bible of small-unit tactics, and FM 7-8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad, the non-Ranger bible of small-unit tactics, before moving on to some insurgency and counter-insurgency classics, Nagl’s Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife and Mao Tse-Tung’s On Guerrilla Warfare.

I loved his mini-review of Paul Howe’s Training for the Fight and The Tactical Trainer:

MSG Howe was a SFOD-D gunslinger. He’s a horrendous writer, God bless him, and needs a seriously talented editor. That having been said, despite my background, and having attended many of the same schools, I managed to learn quite a bit from both of these books. There is now a second edition of Training For the Fight available, that combines both titles into one volume and is readily available through mainstream booksellers like Barnes and Nobles.

A Career, Not an Adventure

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

The Pentagon’s elite forces lack diversity, unlike the military as a whole:

African Americans made up 17% of the 1.3 million-member armed forces in 2013, according to a recent Pentagon report. Whites made up slightly more than 69%.


For the SEALs, the problem extends beyond the officer corps into the enlisted ranks. Of its enlisted men, 45 SEALs are black, or about 2% of the 2,242 members of its elite force. There are more SEALs — 99, or 4% of the enlisted force — who are Native Americans or Alaska natives.

Steve Sailer suggests that blacks tend to see the military as a career, not an adventure:

And that’s fine. To a lot of blacks of respectable families, the military is not a place to play Rambo for four years before going to college like it is for a lot of white enlistees, it’s a place to have an orderly life for 20+ years doing something involving logistics or the like and then getting a similar white collar job involving paperwork in a corporation or government agency and collect two checks. It’s a good way to get away from the chaos of much of African-American life into a huge institution staffed solely by people who can pass tests and follow rules.