In a recent post, I interviewed Paul Markel. The Marine gun guru decried the woeful state of police gunfighting skills, berating the majority of forces for failing to embody the warrior spirit. Some commentators took Mr. Markel to task, suggesting he was advocating [more] recklessly aggressive law enforcement.
Knowing that this was not the case, I asked Mr. Markel to clarify his position on police training and the appropriate use of force (including firearms). Markel took the high road, penning a philosophical treatise on the subject which puts policing into its proper context. It’s an astounding mission statement, which should hang in the locker room of every police force in this country . . .
The true definition of what it means to be a warrior—or possess the warrior mindset— eludes most people. That’s because humans have a natural tendency to define all things by reducing them to the simplest, most easily digestible level. The oversimplified definition of a warrior is merely a fighter, a member of an organized military or fighting force or simply a brute or barbarian. While a warrior might be a fighter or part of a military unit, mere membership does not make one a warrior . . .
A true warrior possesses a mindset or an ethos that guides his daily action in all things, not just conflict. A warrior understands and accepts that life is conflict and that overcoming conflict requires effort on his part. This effort may involve a physical confrontation and force of violence. He accepts this and prepares his mind and body for the conflict.
Both the warrior and pacifist desire peace. The warrior desires peace and stability so that his family may grow and prosper and his community may thrive. The warrior realizes that peace is not simply the absence of conflict but the presence of victory over those who would harm his family and destroy his community. He understands that his strength and arms are gifts from God and with these gifts come a solemn responsibility. The warrior does not take this responsibility lightly.
The pacifist sees peace as a lack of conflict or war, but life is conflict and denying this truth does not make it so. When conflict arrives at the pacifist’s door he has no recourse for he is unprepared and weak in his mind and soul. Only after the wolf is eating his young the pacifist cries out for the warrior to come and save him. A warrior understands that only the strong can give mercy. The weak are helpless and in no position to be merciful.
A warrior prepares his mind and body for conflict and arms himself in a vain hope that he will not need those arms. A warrior fiercely protects his own life, for if his life is lost, who will protect his family? The warrior values his family, his community, and his nation. He swears a daily allegiance to their protection and preservation. He is a protector of life, not a death worshipper.
A warrior sacrifices and makes hard choices. While his peers are lounging, imbibing in spirits and chasing after the fairer sex the warrior is sweating in the training arena. The warrior doesn’t need to be forced or coerced to train and hone his skills. He understands that the edge of the finest sword will eventually dull if not honed properly.
The warrior walks quietly amongst the masses ever armed and ever vigilant. The warrior seeks not fame or glory. He seeks neither the approval nor the support of the pacifist. His only request is to be unhindered by the sheep.
The warrior’s reward comes from a deep sense of accomplishment and purpose, the smiling faces of his family and prosperity of his community. Warriors seek out like-minded individuals and only in their presence dare to relax. The warrior relishes the kinship of his fellows and he recognizes them as his brothers.