What if I told you that guns do NOT preserve your freedom? I can hear your thoughts now:
"Alex, what are you saying? I thought you were pro-second amendment and an advocate for the right to self-protection?"
"Are you seriously posting this on the 4th of July? A day we won our freedom precisely because we had guns and arms?"
Yes, I am posting this on the 4th of July - and yes, I most certainly am a staunch believer in the 2nd amendment and the right to self-protection; that is never going to change. Yet, I maintain that guns do NOT preserve freedom. What do I believe is the best way then? If rifles don’t preserve freedom, what does? Before I reveal my answer, let me explain why a rifle is not the answer.
WHY NOT GUNS?
As we are fond of telling our fellow regressive leftist citizens, a gun is an inanimate object. It cannot ensure the freedom of anyone unless it is wielded by a person. Or, I suppose, an AI robot. But the bottom line is that the gun must be wielded by someone or something designed with agency and the ability to act. In most cases, this means a human being.
Is the human being then the most essential element to ensuring freedom? Yes, but that's only part of the equation. Do we trust regressive leftists to ensure freedom? No, because they lack the necessary element to ensure freedom - the thing more powerful than any gun. That thing is virtue.
A virtuous man or woman is the best "device" ever conceived of preserving freedom. Some might call a virtuous man or woman who is willing and able to fight to preserve freedom and truth a warrior. That is what I call them. The warrior, the virtuous warrior, is the most important element to ensuring freedom. They, in fact, are the only thing which can preserve freedom. A gun is just a tool. Without virtuous, skilled warriors to wield them, they are useless.
We need virtuous warriors who are skilled in the use of arms to preserve freedom. I know it's cliche, but freedom isn't free. How do you ensure the preservation of freedom? By being the most virtuous person you can become. Why is this true? Let me explain.
Men and women who are consumed in vice are easy to control. Gluttony, laziness, lust, greed, etc. these things make you a prisoner, a slave. Slaves are, by definition, owned and controlled by a master. In this case, the master is your lack of self-control, your lack of virtue. Vice is a cruel master - merciless and pitiless.
On the other hand, the more virtue you acquire, the more difficult you are to control and the more likely you are to do the right things. Virtue breeds virtue and vice breeds vice. If you are a virtuous warrior, you are more likely to use your weapons justly and appropriately. A gun in the hand of a virtuous warrior who is skilled is the greatest enemy of tyranny. An army of such men and women is even better.
If you are a reader of mine, you are likely well aware of how viciously our right to self-protection is under attack. While this is true, don't let them distract you from what really matters - DEVELOPING YOUR PERSONAL VIRTUE! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF FREEDOM! This is what the regressive left seeks to destroy - your personal virtue! Why? Because an unruly, viceful, and evil populace cannot retain freedom. Tyrannical leaders and governments arise to subdue such populations. Precisely because,
1) such people are easy to control
2) vice leads to anarchy and chaos
Such anarchy and chaos invites tyrannical leaders who think they can mold civilization according to their own will - it invites psychopaths who live to control everything. Civilization literally cannot stand without virtuous warriors - men and women willing to do the right things who are skilled enough to fight back against evil.
Vice also erodes skill and ability as all vices are unhealthy (which effects your skill level). Vice also inevitably leads to meaninglessness and purposelessness which also kill your desire to strive for greater virtue and skill acquisition. For if life has no meaning, why strive for virtue and for skill?
MY PLEA TO YOU
My plea to you is to acquire skill in the art and science of self-protection and strive for virtue! Don't let what you can't do stop you from doing what you can do. You don't have to become a Jason Bourne operative to make a difference. Even if all you can do is acquire more of the virtues of a warrior (Courage, Love, Justice, Humility, Prudence, Faith and Temperance) you will prevent violence and chaos. If you pair up your pursuit of virtue with the acquisition of some real skills with firearms, self-protection, first-aid, medicine, and physical conditioning, you will become an even greater force for preserving freedom. If you teach these things to your family and friends, you have done an even more immense good.
WHAT THE ENEMIES OF FREEDOM ARE REALLY AFTER
Never forget that the primary reason Japan did not mount a land invasion of the US during WWII was because our population was armed and skilled enough and healthy enough to fight back. Japan saw too many guns in the hands of too many skilled warriors who loved their families and nation enough to fight evil. We need to return to such a time.
Guard against the degradation of your virtue at all costs. This is the true battle. The battle is not for your guns, the battle is for your hearts - the source of your virtue. For if your heart (or the hearts of your children) are conquered, the guns will naturally go away and be relinquished without a shot being fired.
Do you see now how nothing is more important than guarding your heart and gaining virtue? The enemies of freedom know this and have known it for thousands of years. This is the true battle. The enemy is at your doorstep in countless forms. From music, politics, movies, TV, radio, even from many churches and corporations, you are being programmed and indoctrinated to slowly give up control of your heart. This is done so that you will be unwilling and unable to resist the tyranny that inevitably fills the void left by vice.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THIS?
Personal virtue ultimately means self-control. You gain control over your heart instead of being controlled by it. Vice is when you are a slave to your impulses and passions. You have only 2 options: control yourself (pursue virtue and learn to master yourself) or you will be controlled by others.
Your importance in this fight against evil cannot be overstated. You know and influence dozens of people. How you choose to live (with virtue or vice) affects all of them. You have a purpose, meaning, and significance in this fight. Do not give up. Fight on. Pursue virtue, lead by example, and teach it to whoever is willing to listen. If you train and prepare for violence, some around you will follow. If you strive to lead a virtuous life, some in your circle will strive a little harder too. Your life is NOT meaningless and you have a purpose! You are a crucial soldier in the war to preserve freedom! If you were not aware of this, I invite you to the battle now! You are either a net positive (virtuous force) or a net negative (viceful force) in this war - and the good thing is, whichever one you wish to be is entirely within your control. It is your choice.
INDEPENDENCE DAY, 2018
On this 4th of July, 2018, resolve to take up your role in the war to preserve freedom. If you have already been fighting, I encourage you to keep going! If you have been waiting to get involved because you don’t think your contribution matters, I am exposing that lie now! Your contribution does matter. Just as every link in a chain is necessary for a strong chain, you are necessary.
Keep before your mind and heart the real source of freedom - Virtue! Never allow yourself to be distracted from this truth!
Always remember, virtue should be your goal. Strive for it, gain it, keep gaining it and fight to keep it. The regressive left and all other enemies of your freedom are not truly after your guns, they are after your hearts. For if they can gain your heart, you’ll forfeit your guns without a fight. Then, you will truly be a slave.
Live with virtue so that freedom may be preserved!
Alex Lanshe, the Warrior Millennial, is a committed activist for the right to self-protection, defender of the 2nd amendment, personal protection trainer, national speaker, author of 3 books including the acclaimed Anatomy of a Warrior: 7 Virtues All Warriors Must Live by to Successfully Protect and Serve, blogger and podcast host of the Anatomy of a Warrior Show. You can follow and support him by:
Truth. That is it. Capital T, Truth. Objective truth. Otherwise known as, reality.
I see countless people following ideas and personalities that are not truthful. This is a major issue if your concern is the preservation of life and the defense of human lives. Lies, false information, half-truths, deception, etc. are all reasons why people die in war, on the streets and in our homes. An attacker of pure malice, who enjoys murder for it's own sake, still cloaks his malice and attempts to conceal that truth from his potential victim until the moment is right to reveal his intent. A charlatan selling you "how to be a warrior" or "how to fight" will tell you that what he/she is selling is based on truth, when in reality, it is not. Your quest then, should be to develop the prudence, the discernment, to ascertain and perceive the truth as effectively as possible.
The most insidious lies you must guard against are the lies you tell yourself. Easily the most consequential liar you will ever combat is the man who looks at you in the mirror each morning. A warrior must guard against self-deception. How can you protect yourself or others if you tell yourself lies?
This is why Justice, or in other words, the Truth, was one of the most commonly referenced virtues in my book, Anatomy of a Warrior: The 7 Virtues all Warriors Must Live by to Successfully Protect and Serve.
I am coming up on the anniversary of discovering that a group that I was a part of for 12 years was actually a cult of personality. Because of this, I know first-hand the power of deception that other people exert over you and the greater power of self-deception. I didn't see the truth for so long because I didn't want to. I was willingly blind. I implore you, do not make the same mistake I did, lives are at stake and they depend on you being honest enough to face the truth.
How can you do this? The way to focus on the truth is to always remind yourself that the truth is more important than WHO. Who is saying something is 100% irrelevant to the truth of what they are saying. 2+2=4 no matter who says it. Especially when it comes to your self-protection, do not fall in love with PERSONALITIES, rather, always measure what a person says by asking yourself, "IS THIS TRUE?"
Of course, if you don't believe in objective truth, it will be a bit harder to ask "is this true?" Start with math - 2+2=4 regardless of whether you believe it or not. Truth is 100% independent of your opinion. Believe this, then measure all people against it.
Why am I writing this today? Because I continue to see the deleterious effects caused by people falling in love with personalities over substance. Celebrity over truth. Image, flash, and pizzazz over reality and facts. Loving the truth first will allow you to not be fooled; by others or yourself. This is the best safeguard against violence and chaos.
Be of the truth. If you don't think you know what the truth is, keep searching. It exists, it is possible to know it, and you will find it if you search hard enough with genuine sincerity.
Live with virtue!
If the content resonates with you, I invite you to support my work by investing in one of my books - CLICK HERE! - Because I believe in free choice, I provide you with an option to invest in the book by providing me with your contact information or a way to invest in the book without providing me with your contact information. I respect your choice either way. Live with virtue!
What if I told you that the Left is not anti-gun? What if I told you that they couldn’t care less about your guns? What if I went even further and told you that not only does the Left not hate your guns, but that they don’t hate any other weapons either?
“Alex, this is nonsense! Of course the Left hates guns! Don’t you see how the 2nd Amendment is under attack these days?”
This is true - the 2nd Amendment is under attack. It has been under attack for some time. But what if I told you that what the left really believes is far more sinister and diabolical? It’s time to reveal what the Left truly hates …
In this article, I’m going to tell you three things:
Let’s dive in!
I submit to you, that the Left hides and conceals what they really believe behind terms like “gun”, “weapons of war”, “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons”, and other such monikers. These are not the things they truly hate. Here is what the Left truly hates:
YOUR ABILITY TO PROTECT YOURSELF
I submit to you, that the left isn’t anti-gun, they are anti-self-protection. They don’t hate guns, they hate your ability to protect yourself.
The big question here is, why? How on earth could anyone be anti-self-protection? How does that even make sense? I’ll tell you why - your ability to protect yourself is a painful affront to some of their most basic beliefs about the world. Your ability to protect yourself condemns fundamental presuppositions of their entire worldview. The dogmas of the Leftist religion and theology are contradicted by your ability (and need) to protect yourself. These contradictions cannot be tolerated, so they lash out and say that they “hate guns”, “assault weapons”, etc.
They lack the honesty to admit what they really hate (or they have never examined what they truly hate) so they say things like, “we need common sense gun reform”, when what they really mean is “we need common sense self-protection reform.”
But again, why are they anti-self-protection? It doesn’t seem like something anyone could be against. As I said, they are anti-self protection because your ability to protect yourself exposes shatters, and condemns two fundamental presuppositions of the Leftist worldview. It violates two, key dogmas of Leftist religion and theology. Here are those presuppositions/beliefs:
Why do Leftists believe this? Because they tend to be cultural marxists and social constructionists who make a living denying human nature. They truly believe that man is inherently good and all that is required to make him perfect is the perfect social conditioning and environment. If we can get that just right, so the theory goes, we can create utopia - peace on earth. The only problem with this theory is that it is utterly false and completely rejects human nature.
Anyone who has ever raised children has seen firsthand that man is not inherently good, he is inherently evil. You don’t need to teach your children how to lie, bite each other, slap each other, or take things that don’t belong to them. You spend the majority of your time teaching how and why to be good. The Left denies this reality. More on the Left’s denial of reality a little later...
Tied up in this dogma however is another core dogma of leftist theology:
This is a FIRMLY held dogma of leftist theology. Sadly, they get quite angry when you point out that it has no basis in truth or fact. Your ability to protect yourself violates this dogma because it means you are not beholden to the almighty “god” of government.
Why do they want you beholden to the government, their god? Because then you will be forced to accept their other dogmas, beliefs and social engineering. If you can protect yourself because you have the will, skill and weaponry to do so, you might reject their social engineering and policies if you don’t like them. Your ability to protect yourself means you are not beholden to the state for safety, security and peace. They hate this.
They want everyone to be a slave of the system because they firmly believe that only by enslaving the masses can they create utopia. Only if you and your family follows “god” - the government/state - will peace on earth be achieved. Your ability to protect yourself forces them to confront the reality that not everyone wants or needs their “god” of government to be moral and righteous human beings. They hate the fact that people like you even exist. Why can’t you just be a good little slave and trust “god” to take care of you?
If you need to protect yourself from criminals, government, or any other person, it shows that man is not inherently good. Public massacres in particular, perpetrated on people who the attacker doesn’t even know, exposes their belief most acutely. Why would someone murder a bunch of people he doesn’t even know? That is pretty evil. All you need to know is that the murderer didn’t commit his act because he is evil; he committed murder because the social conditioning and environment he was subjected to were not optimal and the state has the remedy to fix that - you don’t.
This brings us to our third and final dogma of Leftist theology:
The reason they don’t come right out and say this is because it exposes them for what they really are - elitists who want to shape the world according to their vision. You are fodder to them and you are greater fodder if you don’t believe in their moral superiority and if you don’t blindly trust them to take care of you. Your ability to protect yourself confronts them with the reality that they cannot simply do with you as they please. This infuriates them - Because they know what is best for you; you are just too stupid to realize it. They want nothing more than to be able to use the state as a tool to mold you according to how they see fit. Your ability to protect yourself stops them from accomplishing this and this is what they truly hate.
How did we get here?
How has the Left been able to fool so many into thinking they are anti-gun when they are actually anti-self-protection? Well, as it is with all things, language shapes our reality. One thing the Left is extremely good at is setting up the terms and definitions by which everyone else then argues and debates about. If they can get us arguing and debating about things that are not truly at the heart of the issue, they win by default. We spend all our energy fighting ghosts and meanwhile, in the shadows, they make progress on the real issue.
I submit to you that “Gun-Control” is precisely such a misdirection. Why do you think they push for “gun-control” instead of “Self-Protection control”? Because it’s easier to justify the former than the latter. It takes the focus off the real issue. Think about it: guns don’t need controlling, they are inanimate objects. PEOPLE need controlling. They have free will and agency - a gun does not. They are not anti-gun, they are anti-self-protection. Do you see it now?
They do not believe you should have the right to protect yourself from anything - run of the mill muggers or a tyrannical government. Your ability to protect yourself with weapons violates all three of their core religious dogmas. They believe the state should decide who lives and dies, more specifically, they wish to be able to decide who lives and dies.
In their theology, the state is god, and they are the angels who do “god’s” bidding - dealing his justice as divine instruments of truth. The only problem is, their theology does not match reality. They believe in so many things that just aren’t so. Highly knowledgeable men and women whose knowledge has not led to wisdom.
What does all this mean?
Do you want to know why it seems like you often cannot make any headway when speaking to Leftists? It’s because they sincerely believe in their theology. They KNOW in their deepest heart that their way is the best way, that their religion is the true religion. If you would just listen to them, and go along with disarming yourselves, they could bring about peace and utopia. You are evil because you are resisting them from creating peace on earth. Their god, the “state”, is a monolith, a massive corporate entity and each person within it is only important inasmuch as they are a cog in the machine of bringing about “peace” and “utopia”.
They don’t hate your guns - they hate you. They hate that you are standing in their way of “progress”. They hate that you don’t conform to the dogmas of their religion. They hate that you are standing in their way of creating a “better world”. You and your silly notion of protecting yourself. Just sit back and trust that “god”/government will take care of you. This is the fundamental disagreement. This is why it is so hard to find “common ground”. Our fundamental starting points, our worldviews, our religions, are totally different.
What can you apply to your life and what I most want you to take away from this article
Take back the language. We can win the debate and bring more people to our beliefs by clearly talking about and using the proper definitions and terminology. Clear language and terms root us in truth and quickly identifies the enemy. Names are immensely powerful - it’s why the Left uses names (racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, etc.) to control you. In light of this, I am not “pro-gun”, I am pro-self-protection. I am a Pro-Self-Protectionist (PrSP). The Left is not anti-gun, they are Anti-Self-Protectionists (AnSP). Guns happen to be one of the primary tools we use to protect ourselves from criminals and tyranny. If we didn’t have them however, I’d still be pro-self-protection. It’s not the guns I care about, it is my ability to protect myself.
So what should you do? From now on, when someone says they are anti-gun, politely correct them and tell them that they are anti-self-protection. Do not allow them to control you by playing into the language game they have chosen. Make no mistake, they are seeking to control you. If they can get you to focus on the wrong ideas, or deceive you through manipulative language, they will do so. Do not give in to this. Speak the truth.
A Call to Action!
Now is the time for bold action in the defense of your God given right to self-protection. Now is the time to boldly reject the worldview and religion of cultural marxism, leftism, and postmodernism. It leads to untold suffering and death. It defies God, nature, and all that makes human beings happy. No matter what any of them say, never lose sight of what their goal is - total disarmament of the American people. Today it’s just your “assault” weapons. It will be other weapons once those are gone. Because they are not after your weapons, they are after your ability to protect yourself. Their goal is for you to wake up completely defanged and bereft of any ability to resist the tyranny and control of the state which awaits.
A practical example to close the article and illustrate my points
Let’s put everything we just talked about into a practical example that is happening right now - you’ve likely seen the graduation photos of Kaitlin Bennett going around online. She is the girl who open carried an AR-10 on the campus of Kent State University to make a statement against Kent’s anti-gun (scratch that … anti-self-protection) policies. She has appeared on Fox and Friends, and far left anti-self-protectionist Jim Carrey is using twitter to blame her for the recent mass murder in Santa Fe, Texas as the caption photo for this article illustrates.
She has received a TON of support but she has also received some serious backlash - even received death threats. Why? For carrying a gun on campus? For writing, “Come and take it” on her graduation cap? No. Those are all the superficial excuses. Why are they really upset with Kaitlin Bennett and why did some of them send her death threats? Because her photos contradicted the dogmas of Leftist religion. Kaitlin isn’t really “pro-gun”, she is pro-self-protection. The gun is merely the tool. If we had better tools for self-protection, Kaitlin would be pro whatever that is. She believes that it is her right and duty to protect herself and that relying on the state to do that for her is foolishness.
She has received so much vitriol because people don’t like being told their religion is false. Make no mistake, AnSP attack PrSP with religious fervor. They proselytize for their religion and their faith and they get quite angry when you tell them they are wrong or when you stand in their way of making “converts”.
Never forget, the left does not hate your guns, they hate you for wanting to protect yourself. They hate you for rejecting the state as your savior. They hate you for rejecting the dogmas of their religion. They are anti-self-protection and believe the state should have ultimate power in deciding who lives and who dies and why. If you do not believe as they do, they will hate you. If you reject their religious dogma, they will hate you for it. They seek total disarmament of all private individuals and if you oppose that, you are the enemy, a non-believer.
How can you help combat Leftist hate?
If you agree and share in my beliefs, I want you to share this article as far and as wide as you can. Social media, emails, carrie pidgeon, etc. Share if you believe that all individuals have the right to self-protection. Share if you believe that being anti-self-protection goes against God, nature and morality. Share if you believe truth is greater than lies.
This Op-Ed was written by Alexander Lanshe, The Warrior Millennial. He is an author, writer, podcast host, 2nd Amendment Advocate and a staunch Self-Protectionist. He has been training and teaching people just like you how to protect themselves from interpersonal violence for over a decade. A 4th degree black belt who has studied with and been mentored by some of the greatest fighters of our time, Alex’s passion is in passing down the protective and fighting skills and knowledge he has acquired so that you can protect your body, mind, and heart from violence. He has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and philosophy which he applies in his work - creating a unique blend of teaching, speaking, and writing, giving his work great potency and efficacy.
P.S. - If you believe that the Left’s anti-self-protection stance must be stopped, you can grab a copy of Alex’s latest book by clicking here now - Anatomy of a Warrior: The 7 Virtues All Warriors Must Live by to Successfully Protect and Serve - Based on 120 interviews and over 2.5 years of research which answers a powerful question - “If we could clone the perfect warrior and protector, what kind of virtue would we instill in them?” Alex gathered his information from military, police, survivors of violence and legendary experts in the field of personal protection such as: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (author of the book’s Foreword), Gavin de Becker (author of the book’s Afterword), Ron McCarthy, Carrie Lightfoot, Chuck Taylor, Massad Ayoob, Julie Golob, and more!
This book is perfect for anyone who believes they have the right to self-protection and those who seek to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe from violence. It also ideal for anyone serving in a professional warrior role seeking to their job as best they can.
P.P.S. - You can bring Alex and his message of liberty, self-protection, and moral virtue to your company, organization or private group in the form of a speech or self-protection-seminar here: Apply to Work with Alex - click here now!
If You Don’t Care About the Babies Murdered by Abortion but You Claim to Care About the 17 Teens Murdered in Parkland, FL - You Are a Hypocrite
Ever since the Parkland, FL massacre, I have been writing blogs exposing far left, gun-control advocate arguments that have been put forward to disarm the American people. In the past 3 weeks, I have exposed how to never let a gun-control advocate (GCA) take the moral high ground by saying you don’t care about dead kids, exposing how the government cannot protect you, and the outrageous hypocrisy of how the far left preaches diversity but doesn’t believe in the diversity of gun ownership. Today, I am going to explore the “dead kids” angle again but from a different perspective.
WARNING! If you are a GCA reading this, what I am about to write is highly likely to ruffle your feathers and might even “trigger” you. I am also going to be writing quite graphically and there is a heavy dose of truth coming up. This issue boils my blood and if you don’t want to read about it, turn away now.
Many GCA’s are still pounding the drum of “don’t you care about the dead kids?” They beat this drum tirelessly after every media-approved massacre with a gun. Here is another argument you can make and another question you can ask to totally demolish and expose their hypocrisy on this issue. The next time one of them asks, “don’t you care about the dead kids?” Ask them very calmly and straightforwardly, “Do you support abortion?”
If they answer yes, then it’s time to lay a little truth on them. Ask them how many people are murdered each year by ALL firearms. According the FBI, in 2015, there were 9,616 homicides committed by firearms. Of note, only 252 of those were committed with rifles. That is 0.026% of all firearm homicides. Handguns accounted for 6447 or 0.67%. But here is where the hypocrisy will be exposed…
According to the CDC, there were 652,639 abortions in 2014 alone. You should tell the GCA who supports abortion these facts and then ask them, “Why don’t you care about dead kids?”
To put that abortion number in perspective, the math comes out to 1,788 abortions PER DAY or 74.5 murdered babies PER HOUR in this country! All of this death and carnage occurs in one year! Can you imagine the GCA’s outrage if that many children were being murdered each day and hour with guns?
To put it in perspective, only 26 people are murdered every day with a gun but that includes all people, not just children. Abortions kill ONLY children, babies, infants. 1,762 MORE babies are murdered each day in abortion than are killed with firearms. Do GCA’s and far leftists really care about dead babies or do they only care about the method of their execution?
To give you more perspective, at our current gun homicide rate of 9,616 per year, it would take us 67.8 YEARS for guns to murder as many people as we murder via abortion EVERY SINGLE YEAR! In other words, if we stopped all abortions in this country from now and forevermore, it would take us nearly 68 years for gun homicides to equal as many people as we murdered via abortion in just 2014 alone. Math doesn’t lie and this math is damning for any GCA who also advocates for abortion.
DISCLAIMER: I of course would love to see our firearm homicide decrease. I am not saying that 26 homicides with firearms per day is meaningless or inconsequential - it is very consequential and horrible. However, one of my primary goals as a warrior and protector is to decrease unjust violence committed by all people with all weapons - I don’t discriminate. I want to save as many lives from unjust violence as possible. Period. This includes abortion forceps and suction tubes as well as firearms. It also includes vehicles, knives, poison, and natural disasters. Savings lives is my goal, irrespective of the tools or means used to murder them.
Why don’t you hear more GCA’s stand up for the pre-born? Why don’t more of them vigorously defend the most innocent and defenseless citizens of our nation? Especially since many GCA’s are far lefties who claim to love women, minorities, and other “oppressed” groups, I am shocked that so many of them are also voracious advocates for abortion which murders women and minorities in heinous numbers. Do they think that evil, white male babies are the only victims of abortion?
“Don’t you care about dead kids?” They ask you. Yes, you do. But they don’t. Not if they also support abortion. In my last blog about the dead kids, someone commented that I was “taking the moral high ground”. My reply to that is, of course I am. My worldview is logical and consistent and I abhor the murder of any human being - pre-born or 100 year old adult. The far left, GCA worldview treats abortion like a procedure and sees it as “healthcare” but then has the audacity to tell you that you don’t care about the dead kids in Parkland, FL? The arrogance and audacity is astounding.
I encourage you to firmly point out these facts to people who lob this personal attack against you. Point them out and inform them that their worldview is morally reprehensible. Inform them that if they support abortion in full knowledge of what it is and its consequences that they are an evil person - because they are. Aborting children is murder. Murder is evil. If murder is not evil, then why are GCA’s crying about the dead kids in Parkland?
Murder is either evil or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then murdering anyone is perfectly acceptable - at least morally. If murder is evil, then any murder is wrong. If you want to see who among the GCA’s really believes in protecting dead kids, ask them if they support abortion. If they are in favor of abortion, they are one of the worst hypocrites they can possibly be. You should point this out to them because none of their far-left GCA friends will. GCA’s claim to believe that murder is evil - at least when it is committed with a gun by a man. But when a woman allows “doctors” to dismember her baby with forceps or crush her baby’s skull and suck it’s brains out with a suction tube, that is perfectly acceptable and somehow does not rise to the level of murder. That is the height of hypocrisy.
You should feel every bit morally superior to someone who advocates for abortion and the disarming of American citizens. Both positions are evil. Abortion is murder and disarming American citizens will lead to murder, rape, and all kinds of property crimes such as theft and arson if the citizen does not have the means to protect themselves.
Crying about the 17 dead kids in Parkland, FL is noble - but if you don’t shed one tear for the 652,639 babies that are murdered EVERY YEAR in this country, then you’ll have to excuse me for calling you a hypocrite. It’s time to re-evaluate your worldview if this is you. It’s time to be a man or woman of virtue and stand up for the truth - defend and weep for all the murdered kids. The pre-born and the born. That is the only consistent position you can take on this issue.
Do not accept or tolerate the “Don’t you care about dead kids” argument from ANYONE who also supports abortion - i.e.: the murdering of pre-born babies by dismembering them with forceps, crushing their skulls and sucking their brains out with tubes or injecting scalding saline to burn the baby alive. If you think I am being unnecessarily graphic, read the actual names of abortion methods and how they are performed - it is infuriating and diabolical.
The time for passively accepting these far-left, GCA talking points is over. The time for “tolerating” these murderous positions and worldview is over. You and I must stand up for Truth and fight the evil in our time. All generations have had evil to fight, we have ours. Abortion and the disarming of our Nation are two evils that must be resisted. It begins by demolishing their claims and arguments. You have been called “evil” by the far left GCA’s for long enough, the time has come to lift up a mirror and reflect the truth of what they believe back to them - they are the evil ones advocating for murder. If that makes them uncomfortable, so be it. Perhaps it will shake some of them from their stupor and bring them to the light. That is all we can do - present the truth, demolish their bad arguments and then pray they see the Truth, repent of their error, and amend their ways.
Live with virtue my fellow warrior!
Are you sick and tired of the hypocrisy of those who are still clamoring for gun control? There is one particular piece of far left hypocrisy which is even more outrageous than usual. An insidious bit of hypocrisy that didn't dawn on me until today. What is this bit of hypocrisy? Let me explain. In order to do so however, I need to set the stage first - stay with me!
To start, I and many others who write on these issues believe that some people desire a total gun ban from the civilians of our great nation. Can we agree that there are SOME people in our country who desire this? I am not naming names, or making specific accusations. But it seems to me that only a complete liar or totally uninformed person could argue that there are zero people in this country who want a total gun ban for civilians.
This being true, that some are out to ban guns entirely, I want to submit the quote below for your consideration. This quote will set up the central premise behind the outrageous hypocrisy I mentioned. Here it is:
Firstly, I blurred the name of the person who said this and the Facebook site which promoted it because who said it and where it came from is irrelevant to the truth of the statement. If you really need to know who said it, I can tell you, but why does that matter?
Is the quote true? Yes, the quote is true. How would the government enforce a gun ban or any gun control legislation on non-compliant citizens? They would enforce it with … FORCE. enFORCE. The answer is in the word, almost as if words have meaning … but I digress. The point is, the government will have to use force to compel non-compliant individuals to comply with gun control legislation. A total gun ban would require the same – government use of guns and arms to force you and I to disarm. This is a fact. Because if the government completely disarmed first, they would have no way of compelling you or I to follow their laws. Therefore, gun-control advocates are all for guns, they love them, just the centralized ownership of guns though - not when you or I own guns.
Which brings us to our main point in exposing their hypocrisy: Diversity. The far left is violating their "sacred" principle of diversity by espousing a gun ban or gun control. How so?
If guns are centralized, this means that they are all located in one place. This centralization completely goes against diversity which means to have things spread out, to have many things interacting together in various places, times, locations, etc. The far left doesn't want this when it comes to gun ownership. In other words, they hate diversity. More specifically, they hate diversity of gun ownership.
But I thought diversity was our strength? I thought extreme diversity in all things was a moral imperative of our times? Oh, just not in this instance? I see. In this instance, gun ownership should be centralized and guns should only be in the hands of people who all believe and think the same – i.e.: that government should be the sole possessor of guns. Disagree on this, and you step outside the group-think. Disagree, and your diverse opinion will not be tolerated (another moral imperative of regressive leftism they contradict in this debate) and they will use force and guns (ironically) to take your guns from you.
This blatant hypocrisy should be pointed out to anyone who espouses gun control at every opportunity. It should be exposed to all who are on the fence on this issue and don't yet have their mind made up. As always, ask the gun-control advocate questions and allow them to bury themselves with their own argument. Here is the question you ask them:
“Since you are for gun control, do you think all government officials, military, police, and agencies in the DOJ, should have to abide by your proposed gun control legislation? Yes or no?”
If they say “Yes” at least they are being consistent. I can respect the logical consistency of such a view. In theory, if the government also had to follow their gun laws like we do, we may be on equal footing with them (but we all know this theory would not play out in reality). However, if they answer “no” then I invite you to point out how ridiculously hypocritical this is. Show them this quote, ask them, “I thought diversity was our strength though? You want to centralize gun ownership which removes diversity? I thought you were a defender of diversity?” Ask them to justify this centralizing belief against their own dogma of diversity. Then get ready to hear the crickets...
All you have to do is ask the gun-control activist, "How would you go about enforcing your laws if certain individuals deliberately disobeyed your laws and refused to comply?" They can only answer two ways: They wouldn't enforce them or they would send government agents to visit those people and force them to comply.
Just to be clear - there is no argument against this quote or this line of questioning a far leftist can make without admitting defeat or throwing their sacred cow of diversity under the buss. Either they would choose to not enforce their gun laws (which means they wouldn't get their way on gun control) or they would choose to send in the government agents to use force against their fellow citizens (admitting that diversity is not a paramount principle or virtue they believe in). This is the fact and reality of the situation.
No one believes the government should disarm, that the police should put away their weapons, and that bodyguards and security teams at major corporations should patrol with nothing but their bare hands. They believe that gun ownership should be centralized in order to keep us all safe. Their solution to things like the Parkland, FL massacre is to centralize all guns into the hands of government. The only problem with this communist utopia is a pesky little thing called history. History bears witness to the horrors of centralized gun ownership - untold horror where millions of lives were and still are slaughtered without mercy. This is why arming the people and the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed - it is the best way to prevent genocide and mass slaughter.
If you think Parkland, FL was a massacre, imagine what a person like that could do if entire neighborhoods were completely disarmed? States? The nation? What could bad men do if the rest of us had no weapons? Bad men from foreign nations and bad men from within the bowels of our own nation. This is why the 2nd amendment is non-negotiable. All of your other rights and the peace we currently enjoy depends on it. It all hinges on whether or not we, the people, take responsibility to protect ourselves.
You have only two choices - take responsibility for yourself, your family and your own circle of influence, or trust someone else to do it for you. If that someone else is government, you may want to brush up on your history. Because you are not safer when gun ownership is centralized - you are at your greatest peril.
Why is this important - aside from trying to prevent mass genocide? Why not just leave gun-control advocates alone? Because there are young people out there who are watching. They are listening. They are trying to ascertain who has better ideas. If we do not give an answer and point out hypocrisy, we may lose more young people to the gun-control camp. We may lose more young people from the camp of liberty and personal responsibility into the camp of government regulation and hand-outs.
The bottom line for this argument is that if “diversity is our strength” and a moral imperative that is not to be violated in our day, then why do many of the people who preach this, simultaneously, hypocritically preach that gun ownership must be centralized (AKA – non-diversified)? It’s because they only want diversity where THEY want it. It isn’t a principle they believe in. They only want it where it helps them. If it was an inviolable principle, they would be arguing that gun ownership should be diversified - but they don't.
In closing, I’ll give you a simple analogy to make the point even more clear:
When we go to invest our money in the stock market, we all understand the importance of diversification. If we bet all our money on one stock, and the company goes out of business, we’ve lost everything. Hence why we spread our money out and “diversify” it. This “diversity” gives us security – it prevents us from losing our shirt in one fell swoop. Well, think the same way when it comes to gun ownership. If all the guns are bet on one “stock” (the government) and the government goes belly up, where does that leave you and I? Screwed. That’s where it leaves us.
This is why gun ownership should be “diversified” and spread out over the whole population – in case one “stock” (government, state, agency, person, etc.) goes bad, we are protected as a whole. The diversification of gun ownership brings us security and peace. When it comes to guns, diversity really is our strength.
In defense of your God-given right to self-protection, I feel something very important must be said. In this article, I am making a case for why you should NEVER relinquish your right to self-protection – and it is a fully practical argument without invoking any higher or deeper theology, philosophy or principles (though there are an abundant of arguments to be made from those perspectives too). I am not even going to invoke your rights being unalienable (though they are). This argument is fully practical and based solely on one, simple fact. Here we go!
In this past week or so, you have no doubt seen the utter barrage of attacks, arguments, and talking points spewed by the media and even by your long-lost college friend about gun control. “It’s time to do something!” What do they mean by something? Chip a little further away at your right to self-protection. It's been all over your social media and there has only been one way to escape it: turn off all electronic devices. That's not a bad idea, but before you do, please finish this article.
Among the many “solutions” being proposed by those who do not believe you have a right to protect yourself is a common theme – let the government help you. Give the government more power to stop and prevent mass murder like we saw at Parkland, FL. “Pass laws” is essentially one of the favorite solutions. “More Federal and State Laws!” They clamor. Even if you and I assume that all of these calls for more government “help” are coming from a place of good intentions, it doesn’t matter. Because there is one, tiny problem with these proposed “solutions” – the ultimate, practical reason why you should never, ever give up your right to self-protection:
THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT PROTECT YOU!
The police cannot protect you. The military cannot protect you - not in your daily lives. Unless the police or military follow you everywhere you go and guard your home and business while you sleep, they cannot stop anyone from murdering you. Even if we turn our public schools into prisons with maximum security, inmates in those prisons still manage to get drugs, create shanks, and still murder other inmates in those facilities. Even if they have to use their bare hands. The only person who can ultimately stop you from being murdered is you.
The cold, harsh truth of reality is that you must take responsibility for your own self protection. Period. Unless you can afford a private security detail to follow you everywhere, and protect your home 24/7, you are in charge of keeping you and your loved ones safe. The time has come to face this reality and to start doing something about it.
You are the first responders. Professionals arrive on scene AFTER there is a scene to arrive upon. You must do what you can to make your circle of influence a little safer. Whether that means you carry a gun or you simply take a CPR class, it is up to you to decide how prepared and trained you want to be to combat and prevent violence.
Another harsh reality is that you cannot stop or prepare for every threat. This is another practical reason why you should cede your right to self-protection to the government. There are too many potential threats. No one person or government can possibly prevent all threats from being enacted. For example: If a Navy SEAL team decided to raid my home with the sole purpose of executing me, I’m dead. I could be standing in the doorway with an automatic rifle ready for them and I’d still be dead. There are threats you cannot prevent or overcome – this is reality. The nature of life is that it is dangerous, it is fraught with risk. The best way to mitigate your risk is to take personal responsibility for your own self-protection. The government cannot save you.
Think about it; what LAWS could the government pass that would stop CRIMINALS (i.e.: people who don’t follow laws) that would PREVENT said criminal from murdering you? Zero. Nada. Zilch. The laws exist so we can punish a perpetrator if we catch them. They cannot PREVENT you from being murdered by someone who is committed to murdering you. People prevent crimes. Free-will agents with the ability to fight stop violence already in progress – aka individuals. Laws do not prevent or stop anything by virtue of their existence. Especially mass murder. Someone who is bent on doing such a thing has likely already broken numerous laws leading up to the murders and murder itself is already illegal. That fact won’t save you. The government passing more laws won’t save you.
This is why you should never relinquish your right to self-protection and should fight tooth and nail to preserve this right. Because the more personal responsibility you relinquish to the government, the more unsafe you become. This has nothing to do with rights, this has everything to do with what is the most practical step you can take to ensure you are safer and to minimize your risk to deadly threats. Taking personal ownership of your safety is the best way. Giving the government that ownership is not.
Let me be clear, I do not like this reality anymore than you do. I wish it wasn't this way, I really do. But reality is what it is. If we deny it, we will get more people killed. Turning over personal responsibility and trusting government laws to keep you safe does not make you safer. You must take control of what you can control, yourself. And you must face the reality that you cannot defeat, prepare for, or prevent all threats. There are too many of them. You must do what you can. Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.
Persist and stand your ground. Do not third-party out any more of your personal responsibility to government - not in the realm of self-protection. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Do your best. No matter who you are, you have a part to play in your own self-protection and the protection of those around you. Always remember, the government cannot save you. They cannot protect you. You must do that yourself. Start taking ownership now!
How to Never Let a Gun-Control Leftist Get Away with Taking the Moral High Ground after a Deadly School Massacre Ever Again
“Don’t you care about the dead kids?!”
If you have been following the recent mass murder in Florida, and are someone who publicly engages in debates or discussions in which you voice your belief that God has given all mankind the fundamental right to self-protection (which our Founding Fathers supported by writing the Second Amendment of the US Constitution), you have probably had this phrase lobbed at you like a grenade from members of the regressive left, “Don’t you care about saving children?”
You calmly, and rationally explain to them, “Yes, in fact, I do care about saving children’s lives but I do not believe that passing more gun control legislation will prevent these horrific atrocities.” Odds are, at this point, some of the regressive left have gone full rage mode on you and called you names such as “Monster!” or “Murderer!” They also may stomp their feet and assert that you actually do want children to be murdered in the school (even though you just explained to them that isn’t the case). In short, they take the moral high ground. Their argument basically boils down to this:
Does this sound familiar?
To illustrate this, I want to share a few screenshots I took from an online debate I was having with an acquaintance. It will illustrate quite nicely what I am referring to – NOTE: I have blurred out any identifying information because I do not want to dox this person. I am simply sharing to highlight my point that this type of rhetoric exists.
Here comes the moral high ground...
I’m sure you can spot many flaws in this person’s argumentation however, for the purpose of this article, I want to focus on just one point. This is how to never let them get away with taking the moral high ground ever again – I’m about to give you the argumentative tool to sink their ship forever – here we go! Let’s lay this all out:
This person claims they have compassion for all the dead victims of these listed massacres. In fact, they claim to have the moral high ground - i.e.: "Where is MY compassion?" Bottom line, they empathetically care, you do not. When faced with this, the solution is very simple: inform them that it is in fact their position which is morally evil.
How so? Depriving someone of their ability and right to self-protection is evil. Such a position communicates that those people’s lives expendable. It is condescending and degrading to their autonomy as a free human being. The gun-control leftist has decided to make the decision that works best for someone else's ability to protect themselves. You must stop allowing a gun-control lefties to pretend that their positions are virtuous and moral. They are not. Show them the emperor has no clothes.
How do you do this? When having discussions or arguments, do not allow their claims of moral superiority to go unchallenged.
STOP CEDING THE MORAL HIGH GROUND TO REGRESSIVE, GUN-CONTROL LEFTISTS WHO MAKE THESE ARGUMENTS!
Do not simply explain to them with facts why they are wrong, they don't care. They only care about their own feelings. I am encouraging you to tell them, straight up, in a polite, civil, but firm tone, that their position is morally evil and that if they support their position in full knowledge of the consequences it would cause, they are reprehensible human beings.
As you saw in the photo, this person admits that teenage women, 18-20, who live alone, should not have the ability to own an AR-15 rifle for self-protection. That is evil and authoritarian. Do not allow these regressive leftists, liberals, post-modernists, insert-label-here-disciples to get away with making this argument. Appropriately and civilly accuse them of espousing a morally evil position.
When they lob the grenade of “Don’t you care about dead kids?” at you, tell them that you love those dead children in Florida enough to put aside your own feelings, and rationally evaluate reality and how to actually make things better. Tell them you love those dead kids enough to not make silly emotional appeals that won’t help anyone. Tell them you love the dead kids enough to avoid making appeals to emotion because the issue isn't about you, it's about saving more children. Tell them you are not morally reprehensible enough to make this about your feelings because real children are dying.
Here is a great way to separate true gun-control leftie ideologues from people who are genuinely just ignorant and only know what CNN has told htem. Say this to them point blank, “I believe you want to save children just like I do, because we are both caring people. In light of this, can you love those dead kids enough to put aside your emotions and feelings so we can analyze reality objectively and create some real solutions together?”
If they say “No!” to this, they are not actually looking for solutions. They are a gun-control ideologue. People who say “No” to this are on a personal quest of virtue signaling and moral grandstanding and could not care less about those dead kids. If they say “No” to your question, I would tell them straight up:
“Wow, I can’t believe you said ‘no’ to that. So you admit you are not actually interested in finding solutions? You admit that you do not care about those dead kids enough to put aside your own feelings? I don’t think you care about those dead kids at all, I think you just care about your own feelings and opinions and the attention you receive for them - and that is utterly detestable and wicked."
Say this to them with civility but without remorse. The left and regressive post-modernists call people on the right, conservatives, and anything that doesn’t fit into their worldview, evil, all the time. They constantly take the moral high ground. No more. Take back the moral high ground because YOU HAVE THE HIGH GROUND! They do not. Your position is the one of virtue, theirs is the one of evil.
They are standing in a quicksand while you stand atop a mountain, yet they are bragging about how much higher up they are than you. It isn’t evil for you to say, “Not to be mean brother, but do you know that you are sinking in quicksand?” Pointing out reality is not evil. You can point out reality in a mean way but I wish for you to avoid this as much as possible. Be civil and courteous but be ruthlessly firm and never waver from speaking the truth simply because someone said, “You don’t care about dead kids.”
The real truth is, all the information to debunk these tired gun control arguments exist. They have been expounded upon ad nauseam. They are readily available online. If these regressive lefties were genuinely seeking the truth, they could easily find it. Most are not on a truth quest however, they are on a happiness quest. Consequences be damned.
Make no mistake, the positions espoused in the screenshots seem to be coming from a place of love and compassion, but it is false love and compassion. As I expound upon in my book, Anatomy of a Warrior: The 7 Virtues All Warriors Must Live by to Successfully Protect and Serve, true love comes from a place of selfless care and empathy for another human being paired with rationality so that you can deal with reality.
True love protects someone from evil. How can you protect someone from evil if you are not aware of reality? How can you love someone appropriately and within proper boundaries if you throw away rationality? “I love you with my feelings only” is not love; this is an immature expression of what someone thinks is love. True love requires order and structure – feelings or “empathy” alone, is not enough.
You must have empathy paired with logic. You must love the other person enough to face reality, regardless of how scared, sad, terrified, or uncomfortable it makes you. Why? Because unless you are aware of reality and have the courage to face it, and love people enough to face it, how are you going to be able to help them solve their problems or combat threats? You can’t. Virtue signaling regressive leftists do not love with this love – tell them that. Many of them are not aware of this. They think they are loving and compassionate but they are not. They have been fed a false view of love and think what they are doing and espousing is loving – it isn’t.
When you point out their positions are evil and they may be evil too, you are loving them enough to speak the truth. Hardly anyone else will. I am calling on you to love them enough to tell them the truth. You just might plant a seed that eventually blooms into a beautiful flower of self-awareness and reformation.
If you are utterly tired of regressive leftists moral grandstanding, virtue signaling and unearned moral superiority, please share this article on your social media and send it to friends and family.
Live with virtue my fellow warrior!
Alex Lanshe is a 22 year practitioner of martial arts and sciences, has trained thousands of civilians across the country in self-defense and is the author of 3 books, including his recently released, groundbreaking book on warrior virtue - Anatomy of a Warrior: The 7 Virtues All Warriors Must Live by to Successfully Protect and Serve. The information in this book was acquired by interviewing 120 professional protectors and warriors over a 2 and ½ year period from the military, police, first responders, government agencies and the private sector. Interviewees include: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (wrote the Foreword), Gavin de Becker (wrote the Afterword), Massad Ayoob, Carrie Lightfoot, Ron McCarthy, Chuck Taylor, Dave “Buck Savage” Smith, Patrick Van Horne, Julie Golob, Rory Miller, and more! The book can be found on Amazon by clicking here.
Visit https://www.alexlanshe.com/anatomy-of-a-warrior.html if you’d like to find out how you can help Alex support injured veterans and get your name listed in the acknowledgements of his upcoming book diving deeper into the virtues and traits of a warrior!
In my pursuit of virtue, I have made a personal discovery that I wish to share with you. It is a subtle trick that the enemy plays on you once you really begin to strive to live a virtuous life and to discover what virtues you should strive for are. This trick leads to the title of the blog, the death of skill. What is this trick?
The enemy attempts to trick you into believing that LEARNING about virtue is all it takes to be virtuous. This is a lie. Virtue is practiced, daily, and can only be earned through being and doing. Tied in with this trick, is the subtle implication that good intentions are all you need. This is false. While studying and learning about virtue is very important, you should put what you learn into practice. Your pursuit of virtue should be progressing you towards the gaining of skill, in some area or another. This belief, that good intentions and learning is all you need, has led, I believe, to the death of skill.
I am defining 'skill' here in a very broad sense. Listening is a skill. Speaking is a skill. Fighting is a skill. Parenting is a skill. Fixing a car is a skill. Treating someone's illness is a skill. A skill, to my mind, is any human activity that produces a desired outcome. Listening well can give you the outcome of understanding someone. Speaking well can give you the outcome of communicating an idea or belief successfully to a person or group of persons. Successfully applying medicine to heal someone leads to the outcome of a healthy person, etc.
Why am I writing this blog? Because I firmly believe that you and I must double-down on practicing virtue to acquire true skills again. Have you noticed that many people in the world seem to lack skills of every kind? I think the death of virtue (i.e.: the culture deliberately casting aside the notion of virtue and it's intentional pursuit) has indirectly led to a culture where fewer and fewer people possess any real skills. Virtue is not simply the realm of the academics, it is the realm of you and I, the common man, to live out and pursue.
As a philosopher by training (I majored in it at University), I am just as guilty as anyone for keeping virtue in the realm of study, thought, and academia but leaving it on the bench when it comes to doing, being, testing, experimenting, and working. I believe that you and I must always remember to put virtue into action. Yes, thinking and philosophizing is important, but it must be in harmony and balance with work and action.
Why is the death of skill something you should be concerned about? Skill, true skill, is your ability to add value to human relationships and enterprise. If you literally have no skills, you will find it very difficult to get a job, or have a loving relationship, or to find anything meaningful to do.
The young people especially have been sold this trick - that good intentions are all you need. It isn't necessary to develop any true skills. To my view, this has created a tremendous number of people who cannot find their way in the world because they have so little to offer. On a potential level, they have a great deal to offer. But on an actual level (a measure of their current skill-sets) they have little to offer. I believe this leads to discontentment, and feelings of purposelessness. Both of which bode ill for the pursuit of virtue and keeping people safe from violence. What does the death of skill have to do with perpetrating violence against another human being? Let me explain:
Gavin de Becker wrote in his iconic work, the Gift of Fear, that one reason someone could resort to violence is when they perceive that they lack any other options of achieving the goal that they want. In fact, a person is much more likely to resort to use violence to achieve a goal precisely when they feel they have exhausted all other options (or that no other options exist). This is why the death of skill is so important - because if you, as the potential user of violence, have other skills of persuasion, reason, communication, influence, or talents and skills or resources to barter for what you want, you will be (in general) less likely to resort to use violence to get what you want.
Please note there are always exceptions to any rule or issue. I am not referring to certain people who commit violence for it's own sake. Some of those people do in fact have other skills but they enjoy being violent anyway. Some people have no goal with their violence other than to enjoy the act of doing it. Gaining other life skills would likely not stop such a person from being violent. But for other people, they commit violence because they see no other choice. No other way to get what they want. And for some of them, they may see the world this way because they either lack the skills to achieve their goal without violence or they perceive themselves to lack the skills necessary to give them options besides violence.
All of these things are tied together intricately - virtue, skill, violence, etc. If you allow and focus on your pursuit of virtue to be philosophical and application-based, that can lead to the acquisition of skill. Courageously apply yourself to become good at something or somethings. Love yourself and your fellow man enough to commit to this. Humbly and honestly admit where you currently stand today to realize where you need to improve. Discern how you can remedy the problem. Have faith that if you diligently apply yourself, you will get better. Take responsibility and control over your behavior and the little actions you take each day to get better.
I believe that the world and marketplace is not a zero sum game. Both have niches that need your skill or future skill. It is plenty big enough for you and everyone else. Be practical, wise and discerning in what skills you pursue and why. But I encourage you to use the virtues of a warrior to pursue a skill. It will bring you much more personal satisfaction that simply relying on your good intentions. Don't believe the trick that good intentions are all you need.
To illustrate my point: Would you rather drive across a bridge that was designed by someone with purely good intentions and no skill, or by someone who had good intentions and the skill to design a sound bridge? Skill matters - go become virtuously skillful.
The Least Addressed Element in All Self-Protection that is Most Critical to Staying Safe from Violence
I have spent 22 years in the martial arts, personal protection, and staying-safe-from-violence world. I’ve seen and heard and trained in A LOT of things. Weapons, tech, gear, tactics, techniques, forms, teaching theories, how to gather information, etc. All good stuff to be sure. However, something is missing from this list. Can see what is missing?
Ok, so a lot of things are missing. But I am thinking of one thing in particular. I was reminded of this thing several nights ago when I was speaking about the 7 virtues of the warrior heart to the Columbus OH, Well Armed Woman Chapter. It was something I said off the cuff in the moment of the talk (thank goodness I have begun recording all my presentations). This missing element that I have seen few trainers or experts address is very simple: meaning.
In order for you to even want to protect yourself in the first place, you must attach meaning to your life. Does your life mean anything? If your answer is “no”, then the next obvious question is, “Why go to any trouble to protect it then?”
When mass murderers like the Columbine killers visit death and destruction on a school, what meaning do you think they believed their lives and the lives of others had? We can’t know this for certain, but studying their lives and how it led them to that point could give us clues or indicators as to what meaning they placed on human life (theirs and others).
In the Western World, we see incidents like Las Vegas or Columbine and we demand answers. “Why did these people or person do this?” “What was the motive?” Motive, many times, flows directly from what meaning you believe a thing has. What meaning you place on things leads directly to another crucial element of human existence: Your identity.
With no meaning, what identity could you have? If all your meaning is bad, is it likely you will have a good identity? An interesting phenomenon of being human is that even if we have a terrible identity and ascribe little meaning to anything, we continue to strive to be consistent: to have our thoughts and ideas match reality and behavior. Let me tell you a story to illustrate this:
A few years ago, I had a neighbor who was a married man with 3 young children. He and his wife seemed to get along well enough and the children seemed well adjusted and successful. By all outside appearances, they were doing well. This neighbor had a skeleton in his past though, alcohol. He had overcome that demon years ago, but he was fond of saying, “If I ever fall of the wagon, I won’t make it.” Most chalked it up to humor or simply a saying people say. However, it was not so. He fell off that wagon one day, and plunged back into alcoholism. After fighting it for a while and not overcoming it, he did what anyone would do if they wanted to be consistent, he took his own life. He had told himself for years that if he ever fell of the wagon he “wouldn’t make it.” If he failed to take his own life and he recovered, he would be a liar. In order to avoid being a liar, he killed himself.
Let me be clear, do I know this was his final, true motivation for killing himself? No. If it was, do I believe he consciously thought, "I really don't want to be a liar so I'd better kill myself"? No. I can never be sure one way or another. But I do find it interesting and submit the story for you to ponder. I find it interesting that he programmed himself for years that he would be unable to succeed at battling alcohol a second time. What meaning do you think he put on his life? How much of that meaning morphed his identity into something that felt he could never overcome alcohol a second time? He had conquered it once; that is evidence that he could conquer it again. But that isn’t how he saw it.
It is my personal opinion that one reason we are seeing the types of extreme violence we are seeing (events like the Vegas massacre) and the increase in suicides, opiate drug use, etc. is because we have raised a generation that has no meaning. This leads some to ask simple, logical questions that eventually lead to devaluing human life and nihilism. If life has no meaning, why protect it? Why value it? How is anything about it sacred? Where do human rights come from and do they even exist if life has no meaning? Many, not finding good answers to these questions, turn to a life of addictions designed to distract and numb them from the fact they don't know or have any objective meaning for their life.
At a foundational level, everyone is a protector. Because everyone is trusted with protecting at least one person - themselves. Some are trusted to protect more people than just themselves, but all of us at least have been given the duty of self-protection. In order to do this task well, it really helps if you believe your life has value and meaning.
The inescapable truth of reality is that your life either has objective, transcendent meaning, or it doesn’t. Your life either matters in some ultimate, significant sense, or it doesn’t. I firmly believe that those who see no meaning to life are more likely to commit self-harm, suicide, or pass on similar beliefs to their friends, children and loved ones.
In the personal protection world, we don’t talk about meaning too often – because it can make people uncomfortable. Many of us spend so much time avoiding finding out whether or not our life has meaning, and if it does, what that meaning is. We are too busy. Facebook needs browsed. Instagram followers need to see what food we are eating. Drugs, alcohol, porn, or some other addiction needs satisfied. We are too busy to figure out if our life has meaning and what it is.
I am writing this blog not to condemn you but to encourage you to look at your own life and ask, “What ultimate meaning do I believe I have?” Do you believe your life actually matters and why? These are the types of things you should be taught as a child by parents or in school. The answers you come up with are not insignificant. They matter a great deal. They especially matter for the warriors and protectors.
For why do you continue to do what you do? Sacrificing your own time and life for the safety of others - if there is no meaning? If there is no objective meaning then the task of warriorship is not praiseworthy or noble – it is simply another thing that exists. In my book, Anatomy of a Warrior, the 6th of the 7 virtues is the virtue of faith. I ask the reader in the book, “Where do you place your faith?” Similarly, I ask you now, “Where do you place your meaning?” Do you have any meaning? Have you ever thought to ask the question? Just as your faith, what meaning you believe life has is of tremendous importance to being a warrior and a protector. Almost all issues, political or otherwise, boil down to a dispute about meaning.
In all your warrior ways, do not neglect to discover your true meaning. Train hard, get better gear, clean your weapons, study the tactics of great warriors who went before you, but don’t forget to ask yourself the big questions either. What is your meaning, why do you believe that, and how do you know your life has any meaning? Why did you choose to become a protector at all? Why do you keep doing it? What does it all mean?All good questions that we must not forget to ask. Your life and the lives of others ultimately rest with your core beliefs on meaning – for what you think things mean determines your behavior and your behavior determines the outcomes of real world events with real consequences for real people.
Live with virtue!
Let me share with you a personal story of something I have been struggling with for some time now:
I have been struggling with the notion of "sales", "discounts", "promotions" and other such business terms for some time now. As a young business owner, I have been told that you must do and offer such things - especially on Black Friday.
"Alex, you gotta run sales, provide discounts, and offer special, limited-time promotions." This was the advice I received by many people in business. Men and women who to this very day, I respect to a large degree. When I was younger, I took their advice and did these things. But the longer I have been in business, the more I have started to ask one simple question, "Why?"
Why must I do these things? What does doing these things achieve? The obvious answer is that you must do them to make sales - to get people to give you money. Ok. So if my goal is to get money, is that the best way to go about doing it? The answer I have come to discover is, it depends on what your goal is.
Simon Sinek, in his iconic book, Start with Why, talks about this very thing. When I re-read his book recently, I thought he was speaking directly to me. He discussed how all these things - sales, promotions, discounts, etc. - are, at the end of the day, manipulations to get people to give you money. Tactics to separate someone from their green stuff. He described about how these tactics do work (i.e.: they get people to give you their green stuff) but they are short term goals that cannot provide sustainable results. So if your goal is short term sales, these tactics work great. If however, your goal is to achieve long lasting loyalty, these tactics stink. I used to do things like offer sales and discounts on my services - no more.
From now on, I am going to be doing business another way: believing in and sticking to setting a real price for a real and reasonably valued product or service. If I agree to do a seminar for you for $100.00 because we negotiated that price, then that is fine. I'm always open to negotiation. But I'm not going to "discount" something for you. I am no longer going to attempt to bribe you with deals, discounts, tokens, promotions etc. I am no longer going to insult your intelligence with such an obvious method of trying to separate you from your cold hard cash.
Why will I no longer be offering discounts, deals, promotions, sales, etc.? Many reasons. Let me explain:
1) I feel like shit when I do it. I feel it insults your intelligence and it makes me feel like shit. I feel like I am manipulating you for money, even though I don't even have a clue or a care as to whether or not you can benefit from, want or need what I have to offer or sell. Until I re-read Simon Sinek's Start with Why, I could never figure out why offering deals and discounts made me feel so badly. I do now.
I recently had this discussion with my friend, Ted, on his show, Social Selling TV. We talked about being authentic and sticking to your core values and then doing business with people who believe what you believe. Simon Sinek speaks of the same thing in Start with Why.
My friend whom I greatly respect, Dr. David Phelps, has created a tremendous business and community with his Freedom Founders Group. I asked him how he created such a large and consistent support group - they are actually friends at Freedom Founders, not just business associates. How did he do it? Dr. Phelps told me that it was by building the business slowly and by sticking to his core values. He told me, "You will be very tempted to take short cuts to make quick sales and to make money fast - avoid this at all costs." I had a great time talking with him about this on his show, the Freedom Blueprint Podcast.
Sinek captures why I had this feeling perfectly on page 34 of his book. I didn’t realize this consciously until reading his book: "With every price drop, promotion, fear-based or aspirational message and novelty we use to achieve our goals, we find our companies, our organizations and our systems getting and weaker." "With perfect irony, we, the manipulators, have been manipulated by our own system."
Wow. I now understand why all these things always made me feel like shit - none of it communicates true love or care for you nor myself. None of it breeds trust. When I offer you these manipulations, I don't even like or trust myself so how could you? When I use these manipulations against you, I feel non-authentic because I now that are just that, manipulations.
2) I hate being manipulated in this way.
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, but if I don’t enjoy when a business manipulates me in these ways, why would I perpetuate the very things I hate? Why would I assume that you won’t mind it when I hate it? Maybe you don’t care, but I shouldn’t assume that.
3) Manipulations or freebies do not cause you or I to value the work or product.
I used to complain when people would ask me for freebies. If you're a business owner, someone has asked you for free products or services. I know people have asked me. I used to get mad at people who did this - but now I realize they were only doing what I gave them permission to do. It is my fault. I would capitulate and give freebies, run promotions, etc. No more.
Let me be clear, if you want to negotiate something, I am all ears. A negotiation involves both parties trying to add value to each other and come to the most satisfactory conclusion for both sides. A negotiation is not, "I can't pay so give me free shit." Sorry, move along.
On the flip side, it is not a negotiation if I try to bribe you with "Black Friday Deals" to get you to buy my book or services. That is me trying to manipulate money out of your pocket. I am done doing that.
I want to tell you a story that a speaker mentor and friend told to me a long time ago. When this friend was a young speaker starting out in the business, he knew he wanted to write a book. He found out about a man named Dan Poynter who taught people how to self-publish a book. My friend wanted to take his course but, being a young man, didn't have the money. He told this to Dan Poynter when he saw him at a live event. He was about to ask Dan if he could join his course for free when Dan stopped him mid-sentence and said, "Well then I guess you don't want it badly enough." And he then turned and walked away.
I used to think this was cruel for Dan Poynter to have done to my friend - I no longer believe this. Dan denying him and cutting him off mid-sentence motivated my friend to save his money and invest in the course. He then had more reason to value the knowledge Dan gave him. My friend went on to self-publish many books using the knowledge he learned from Dan's course. Would my friend have valued the course as much if Dan had given it to him for free? No.
You have experienced this as a teen or as a parent of a teen very profoundly: How does a teenager treat a car they had to buy (or at least partially buy) compared to someone who was given the car for free? The treatment is not even close.
Similarly, if I use these fancy manipulations to get your money, I don't value my own work or product. You don't value it either. Tell me if you can relate - the customers or clients who have given you the biggest hassles are the ones who get freebies, deals, discounts, or took advantage of promotions? Is this your experience? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know this has been my experience. Friends who I gave free or discounted items to were always the ones who gave me the hardest time.
In conclusion, I will no longer be engaging in these types of manipulations to get your money. They make me feel bad, they insult your intelligence, and they cause a devastating loss of value in your perception and in my perception. I don't respect myself when I offer these manipulations and if I do not respect myself, how can you respect me?
I am going to continue putting out free content and I will be doing exclusive content for paid members and patrons. Those who believe what I believe and wish to benefit from what I am doing will become paid members and contribute, even if just $1.00/month, to receive all the videos, blogs and interviews I do in the future. Those who wish to stick with the free blog posts, that’s ok too. People who don’t want to follow me at all, I wish you well.
My book, Anatomy of a Warrior, is $19.99 on Amazon. The eBook is $7.99. Those are fair prices for a book that involved 2.5 years of work, and required me to interview 120 people. I believe those prices to be fair and sufficient. I am not going to “discount” the book for Black Friday, nor am I going to tease you with “THIS IS THE CHEAPEST YOU CAN EVER GET MY BOOK!” I now respect myself too much for that and I respect you too much for that.
If you have the appropriate funds and believe that buying it and reading it would be a good thing for you, then by all means, get your copy. If you think a friend or group of friends would benefit from it and they can afford the price, by all means, I desire you to share it with those friends. If you lack the resources or do not believe it would be helpful, 3 choices remain: Do not buy it ever, save up the money and then buy it or, negotiate. Make ME an offer - don't ask for free stuff. Because the answer from now on, will be "You must not want it badly enough."
What will I be doing instead? How do I plan on surviving and making my business thrive without doing these manipulations? That will described in detail in Part II of this blog series which will be released soon! If you've read Simon Sinek's book, Start with Why, you know the answer lies within the Golden Circle...
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.