This interview was first published on Breach Bang Clear on November 18th, 2015.


Jim Webb is no longer running for president as a democrat. He may, however, run as an independent. On November 9th, I interviewed him. Near the end of the interview, in response to a question I hadn’t even planned on asking, he said The Most Presidential Thing Any Candidate Has Ever Said. I can’t even imagine the other candidates saying it. Hell, it was more presidential than anything an actual president has ever said.

The entire interview was interesting, and started really well. Webb asked what I did in the military, and we discovered we both taught pistol marksmanship in the Marine Corps. He talked about his love for the Colt 1911. I joked that I’m partial to pistols designed within the last century. He laughed and bragged about his beloved H&K P7, a gift from the German Army.

If Hillary ever touched a gun, she’d probably amputate her hand in shame. Give Bernie Sanders a gun and he’ll automatically assume the triumphant pose of a socialist propaganda poster. Offer Ben Carson a gun and he’ll call it a grain dispenser made by The Adversary. I’ll never know what Trump would do with a gun, because if I see him armed I’ll run for my life.

But Jim Webb? He’s trained with a pistol, used one in combat, and to this day loves his .45. That’s just cool.

As the interview progressed I learned a few things about Webb. He is in fact as serious as he comes across in public, although levity does lurk beneath the rough exterior. He has an experience-based, gut-level understanding of subjects that are theoretical to other candidates. He doesn’t back down from aggravating questions, even when he gets defensive and his voice goes all “get off my lawn”.


I freely admit trying to trick him; at the beginning of the interview I asked if any topic was off limits. I did this specifically to probe for a soft spot in Webb’s armor, to look for weakness his political opponents could identify and exploit. I also wanted to know if Webb was only gruff and straightforward on the surface, but behind the scenes engineers interviews like any other politician.

“Nah, nothing’s off limits,” he answered. “We can just have an open discussion. If any questions make me uncomfortable, I’ll let you know.”

Well, I did make him uncomfortable. Obviously uncomfortable. Especially when I asked the unplanned question that prompted him to say The Most Presidential Thing Any Candidate Has Ever Said. But even when I got under his skin he didn’t shut down the interview, or change the subject, or tell me to shag off and slam the phone onto the receiver.

After the interview, I planned to write about our entire conversation. I thought I’d mention his hesitant defense of his Obamacare vote, his novels’ innocuous cultural and sexual references that one political opponent twisted into a smear campaign, his heated exchange with President G.W. Bush during the Iraq War. I was going to outline Webb’s very reasonable belief that an independent can win a presidential election, and explain that he doesn’t have to pretend to come from a working-class background because he actually does come from a working-class background. I planned on writing at length about his famous comment during the presidential debate, when he seemed to joke about an enemy soldier he killed in combat.

I expected to mention that he’s twice left political parties because he chose principles and country over partisanship, that he intentionally quit the Senate after one term because he isn’t a career politician, and that he has decades of relevant experience as a statesman. I was going to point out that he wrote the Post-9/11 GI Bill, something I wasn’t aware of until we spoke. I thought I’d give examples of Webb working with his political opposition to get things done for the entire country. I was even going to point out that unlike a certain candidate who claims to “stand up for the little guy” while simultaneously taking millions of dollars from Wall Street and asking for two billion dollars in campaign donations, Webb doesn’t even have a “Super PAC” and won’t accept million-dollar donations.

Then, on November 13th, ISIS attacked Paris. And I realized the most important part of the interview was my unplanned question, which produced The Most Presidential Thing Any Candidate Has Ever Said.

So what was the unplanned question?

Of all things, it was about the screenplay he wrote for the movie Rules of Engagement. I asked it on a whim, when we were already way past his time limit. I mentioned the controversial scene where Marines fire into a crowd of civilians, the American audiences that cheered when they saw it, and asked if he was worried that it broadcast an unintended message. And I obviously pissed him off.

He was immediately defensive. He rambled a bit. He even questioned why he should have to respond.

“I worked on Rules for nine years,” Webb said. “But I actually didn’t write the final screenplay. The director owns it, and he went with a slightly different version for the film. I don’t even remember the particulars of that scene, since it’s been fifteen years since I watched it. I think it was a crowd shooting at Marines, and they shoot back. And look, I don’t want to go on and on about this, and I don’t think I need to sit here and defend or attack that movie. That’s something you should take up with the director.”

The movie looked like it portrayed mass murder. Webb seemed to be trying to distance himself from it. I was pretty sure I understood; Webb worked on a project for years, but someone changed his work into something he didn’t want it to be. Instead of telling him that, I stayed quiet and just listened. Eventually, he talked through the anger and explained why he wrote Rules of Engagement. 

“You know, the inspiration for that scene was the time I spent as a journalist in Beirut in 1983. I left about a month before the building was blown up and hundreds of our troops were killed. I spent a lot of time with the Marines, and was just amazed at how restrictive the rules of engagement were.”

Webb in Beirut, 1983

Webb in Beirut, 1983

This was thirty-three years ago. Webb is not an emotional man, and he kept an even tone as he spoke. But his frustration, even decades later, was obvious.

“At one point I was on the perimeter with the Marines, and they had a building about three hundred meters away. And we see three guys with rifles walk into the building, go up a couple floors into a room and start shooting at us. I was with the company commander, and I told him, ‘Get a TOW [antitank missile] and blow those guys away.’ He said, ‘If they’re shooting at us with rifles, we can only shoot back with rifles. We can’t escalate.’”

Seconds later, Webb said something that floored me. I’m positive no other presidential candidate has ever said anything remotely like it. It was The Most Presidential Thing Any Candidate Has Ever Said.

“And when the three guys stopped firing, the Marines had to stop firing,” Webb said. “The guys walked out of the building at sling arms, and just walked away. I said, ‘Shoot the motherfuckers!’ But the Marines couldn’t. And not even a month later, the building gets blown up.

“So when I was originally thinking about Rules of Engagement, that’s what was on my mind. I was asking how much we’re going to restrict our people from defending themselves. It’s crazy that we do that, and the other side learns our restrictions real fast. When you put people into harm’s way there are laws of war, and you respect those laws of war. But you don’t tie your people’s hands like that.

“I learned a lot in Vietnam. I operated in populated areas constantly, and there were tough moral decisions. I made some of the hardest moral decisions of my life at 23 years old. But, you have to take care of your people.’”


Shoot the motherfuckers. And take care of your people.

These aren’t the words of a jingoistic warmonger; Webb not only opposed the Iraq War, he wrote an impassioned (and prophetic) warning about its consequences. No, these are the words of a President. Not a professional politician, not an egomaniac, not a Utopian idealist, not a nice guy with no experience, but a Commander in Chief. Isn’t taking care of his people a President’s most basic responsibility?

Maybe I’ll tell you a story.

One bright sunny day a few years ago, there was this firefight in Afghanistan. American and Afghan troops in a remote valley were ambushed. A Marine captain died a hero’s death, engaging enemy with his carbine while calling for support. Three brave Afghans fell, mowed down as they scrambled for cover. The Taliban outnumbered us, and were using civilian homes as fighting positions. No civilians were in the valley; we couldn’t see any, and intelligence reports said they evacuated before the fight. But we couldn’t hit those dug-in Taliban with mortars, artillery or air strikes. Because a civilian might have been hurt.

We lost that fight. Not because we couldn’t win. Not because we were paralyzed by our losses. Not because we on the ground lacked the will. But because rules imposed from above ripped victory from our hands.

I strongly suspect the War on Terror is about to intensify. I think our last fourteen years of combat will someday be regarded as only the opening shots in a generations-long battle. I believe Paris shows us the existential threat posed by terrorism. I have to accept a bitter truth: my wartime service didn’t ensure peace in my children’s lives, or my grandchildren’s lives. Their generations will have to step forward and take up arms, just as mine has.

Someday, my son might find himself under fire from an enemy who wants to kill him, his fellow soldiers and every American citizen behind him. Maybe he’ll have to get on the radio and request permission to return fire. Maybe that request will go all the way to the White House.

The president might say that returning fire would affect the next election. Or remind my son that climate change is a bigger threat than the people shooting at him. Maybe the president, despite believing he’d “be so good at the military your head will spin”, would really have no idea what to do. Maybe he’d even answer with “I can’t lose the whole democratic party,” as one unnamed current president said about the Afghanistan War. Maybe the president would leave my son and his troops hanging, because the political fallout from letting them fight would be worse than letting them die.

But we know how President Webb would answer. Because unlike any other candidate, he’s been in my son’s hypothetical boots. He’s been under real, not imaginary, sniper fire. He didn’t just make an unverifiable (and unbelievable) claim that he tried to join the Marines, he actually joined the Marines. Rather than seek student deferments, he faced combat’s horrible moral quandaries in Vietnam. In Beirut he saw our troops figuratively crippled by politically-driven rules of engagement, before those troops were literally crippled by an enemy who had learned not to fear them.

President Webb wouldn’t put politics over his troops. He’d give two orders:

Shoot the motherfuckers. And take care of your people.”

That’s what every president should say. And it’s why I, and any American who understands the threat we face, should vote for Jim Webb.


Read the original article at

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (


Maybe you’ve heard of a recent Slate article, in which the writer rails against the horrible evils of spooning. This writer is suffering through a year-long separation from his partner, and while soul-searching his loneliness realized he was wrong to miss spooning. I’ve always loved spooning; my wife has a great butt, and I fall asleep every night pressed against it. But this Slate writer informs me I was wrong to enjoy this; apparently, spooning is practically a form of physical torture.

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“After about 10 minutes, spooning becomes horribly uncomfortable…
And even if you do manage to sort out a configuration that works (for a time), the heat—the hateful, pajama-soaking heat—will soon build to intolerable levels.”

I had no idea I was suffering so badly the last twenty-two years. Crazy me, I actually thought I enjoyed holding my wife close every night. But not only was I suffering, I was sinking into a horrible moral quagmire.

“If the argument against spooning were only a physical one, I would not feel so strongly…But there’s a deeper issue here, a troubling aspect of spooning that emerges in the dimension of ideology, of what it all means.”

And what does spooning mean? Sexism, of course. And shocking cultural privilege. And, as an added bonus, violence.

“Big spoons are manly and will take care of you (provided you let them use you to take care of themselves); little spoons are fragile, passive creatures that need to be held and kept safe. This, of course, is fundamentally a sexist arrangement, one that casts the big spoon as ‘the man’ and the little spoon as ‘the woman.’ To say that this power imbalance is built into all acts of spooning—whichever the sexes engaged—is not, I think, an overstatement. Indeed, I would argue that spooning is always already a power play, a perverse strategy by which we nightly enact the unjust relations of ‘big’ and ‘little’ privilege that plague our society on every level…Vertical cuddling…removes much of the risk of physical discomfort and all of the semiotic violence that spooning conveys.”

That’s right. I’ve been inflicting violence on my wife all these years. And not just violent violence. Semiotic violence. Which I think means, like, really bad violence.

To be fair, this article hasn’t been well received even by regular Slate readers. Despite the strong backlash, Slate hasn’t pulled the article or deleted the approximately 500 negative comments (out of approximately 500 total comments). And the author surprisingly didn’t mention racism, the old Slate standby, in his article. Maybe it was an editorial oversight.

One or two Slate commenters have asserted the article was satire. Sounds like wishful thinking to me. In the recent past, Slate published the ridiculous rant of a man who hates himself for enjoying grilling, because grilling is stereotypically masculine. So no, it’s not likely this article was a joke. And if Slate claims it was? Sorry, bro. Calling this article satire is like writing a “satirical” article about Ben Carson believing evolutionary science comes from the devil. Fact isn’t satire.

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Trust me, I wanted it to be satire. As I read the article I searched for humor/irony/sarcasm, found nothing to smile at, and instead felt a wide range of other emotions. They weren’t solely along the lines of “is this dude serious?” What I felt was more like hatred, pity, mildly homicidal rage, more pity, immeasurable disgust, bemusement…and, eventually, gratitude.

Yes, gratitude. Slate, which has published numerous ridiculous, moronic, “help help, I’m being repressed!” articles over the years, actually did something good this time. They thought they were identifying yet another unforgivable inequality of modern society; what they actually did was collect, in one place, every reason we should despise the Far Left.

The Far Left is personified by the hand-wringing, hysterical little twit of a Slate writer quaking with outraged moral indignation over the way I sleep with the woman I love. He embodies the Far Left’s Desperate Desire to be Offended. Like all leftist extremists, he assumes his beliefs are morally superior to evil spooners (i.e., all regular people). He showcases the mix of arrogance, hypersensitivity, and urge to control others that marks the cult of the Far Left.

Don’t get me wrong. The Far Right pisses me off A LOT. But if, say, a scrawny criminal attacked me with a knife in a subway train, at least conservatives would likely take action to save my life. Far Left Beta males would not only flee in terror, they’d post online about how they feel justified in refusing to risk their own lives to save an innocent man.

Slate’s article makes me grateful I was raised around men – some conservative, some liberal, but all actual men – who worked hard, crafted valuables with their own hands, killed and ate animals, fixed engines, got farmers’ tans, shot Nazis, beat up neighborhood punks, and provided a blanket of childhood security I didn’t even know I had. I’m thankful those men weren’t sad, spoiled victims going fetal with grief over normal life. I’m proud my role models weren’t, like Slate’s writing staff, the functional equivalent of angsty pre-teen girls. I’m happy the men who raised me were polar opposites of this Slate author, who’s pretty much Pajama Boy but without the masculinity.

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But mostly, I’m grateful to Slate for showing the true meaning of “privilege”.

Slate has spent considerable time railing against the evils of privilege. White privilege, straight privilege, male privilege, cis privilege, ableist privilege, and now spooning privilege. The one privilege they failed to mention, but perfectly described in this article, is Whiny Bitch Privilege.

Whiny Bitch Privilege (psychiatrists call it WBP) happens when someone is so safe, so sheltered, so free of actual problems they create them out of thin air. Whiny Bitches, even if they’re actually white and privileged enough to attend an Ivy League University, are microaggressed when fellow students joke about their southern accents, or need “safe spaces” when a guest speaker threatens to present an opposing viewpoint. When a Whiny Bitch is traumatized by something like anxiety-triggering applause instead of non-anxiety-triggering jazz hands, they assert their Whiny Bitch Privilege to demand others stop conducting benign, innocuous, nonthreatening acts of human normality.


Slate has shown us real privilege: a life so worry free, one can choose to be offended to tears by absolutely nothing.

Let’s all thank Slate for showing us what Whiny Bitch Privilege looks like. Let’s ponder how WBP affects all our lives. Let’s think on it. Matter of fact, let’s sleep on it.

No, let’s spoon on it.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

This essay was published yesterday on Breach Bang Clear.


You will recall the two recent female Ranger School graduates. Not long ago I published an essay about them and the allegations of lowered standards. I argued that evidence shows they attained THE school standards, not adjusted or lowered standards. I also said people claiming they were given special treatment had no facts, and were only offering “I don’t have any proof but I heard about it from someone so I know it’s true” to substantiate their argument. I ended my essay with,

“Lieutenant Haver and Captain Griest, congratulations. I hope to shake your hands someday. I have nothing but respect for your drive, dedication, and effort. Well done, Rangers.”

I took a ton of crap for my stance. Some readers correctly pointed out I’m not a Ranger (which I stated at the beginning of my essay) and had no understanding of how Ranger School works (also true). Several people accused the Ranger School instructors of being boot-licking career chasers who don’t have enough integrity to admit they were ordered to lower standards, and berated me for not acknowledging it. Some readers criticized my use of photos of Rangers at Normandy and in Somalia, saying there is no connection whatsoever between the school and Ranger Regiment. As one reader put it, because I don’t have firsthand knowledge of Ranger School I was out of my lane to talk about this subject.

Fair enough. So instead of listening to me, how about we hear from someone smack-dab in the middle of the female Ranger lane?

I’ve been around the military a long time, and I know people. One of those people served with me in Afghanistan. He’s now out of the regular Army, but his wife is an Army civilian. Through my friend and his wife I was connected to someone who knows all about Ranger School, all about the female Rangers, and everything that happened behind the scenes. You should probably listen to this other soldier’s opinion, because he knows facts. Not theories, not maybes, but actual facts.

I’d like to introduce you to Sergeant Major Colin Boley. SGM Boley served fifteen years in the Ranger Regiment, from 1999 to 2014, and deployed with the Regiment fifteen times. He was awarded a Silver Star and multiple Bronze Stars for valor in combat. He also happens to be the Operations Sergeant Major of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, which runs Ranger School.


SGM Boley won the Best Ranger Competition and served in every leadership position up to Operations Sergeant Major within the Special Operations community. He’s been the Brigade Ops Sergeant Major for eighteen months. Because of this position he knows all about how females were integrated into Ranger School, how they performed, what standard they and every other student were held to, and whether or not they graduated fair and square.

Sergeant Major Boley is far from a boot-licking career chaser. He’s got his twenty, plans on retiring in a few years, and has no plans on leaving his current assignment before retirement. “Since there’s no such thing as an E-10,” he said, “I’m not concerned with being promoted.” He has what I call a magical superpower: he can say or do what he wants, drop his papers and walk whenever he feels like it, and has no reason to hold back the truth.

It’s worth noting that SGM Boley originally didn’t like the idea of females attending Ranger School. In fact, when he first heard about the plan to allow females into class 6-15, he “thought the idea would die”. “Over the last fifteen or twenty years, there have been several attempts to get females into Ranger School,” he said. “All the previous plans were shelved. I thought the same thing would happen this time.”

This time, obviously, the idea didn’t die. SGM Boley was involved in every phase of planning for the first female Ranger students, and eventually realized it was going to happen. Even though he personally opposed the plan, he said, “It’s not my job to agree or disagree, it’s my job to make sure the Ranger School standards are upheld.” And according to SGM Boley, they were. “The females attained the same standards as the males, which are the same standards that have been in place at least since I got here a year and a half ago, and have probably been in place for a lot longer than that.”

I’m going to list a few accusations/conspiracy theories about the females at Ranger School, and let SGM Boley respond.

The females were given unfair prior training to prepare for Ranger School.

Sergeant Major Boley thinks that’s a pretty stupid accusation. “Everyone who goes to Ranger School should get extra training before they show up,” he says. “Before I went to school my team and squad leaders in the Regiment gave me extra training in land navigation and everything else. There are soldiers in the Regiment who get two years of training and preparation before going to school. The females trained for the course, but never observed the training before starting the school. Some people are saying they practiced on the Darby Queen [obstacle course] before their class started. As far as I know they didn’t, but if they did, who gives a shit? The Darby Queen isn’t a drop event anyway, and anyone can go through Darby Queen if they get prior permission through land requests. If a soldier arrives at Fort Benning to attempt the Ranger Course and doesn’t have prior trainup, his leadership failed.”

Bottom line? “Did the females get extra trainup? Yes,” SGM Boley says. “Did they get unfair trainup? No.”

The standards were lowered so the females could pass.

SGM Boley was emphatic about Ranger School standards being maintained. He clearly stated nobody was ever ordered to lower standards for the females, and contrary to a really stupid article in People Magazine, no General ever said, “A woman will graduate Ranger School.” Despite suggestions that the females should only have to pass female PT standards, the decision was made early on to hold them to Ranger standards because, as SGM Boley says, “the Ranger standard is the only standard.”

SGM Boley didn’t expect any females to make it. He thought, and still thinks, female Ranger students should have gone through a pipeline before Ranger School: infantry basic, infantry Advanced Individual Training, and then Ranger. He didn’t think it made sense to send females without prior infantry training, and unlike others, he wasn’t sure a female would even make it through RAP Week (Ranger Assessment Phase, a difficult week of physical events at the beginning of the school). But the two female graduates made it through the entire course, upholding the same standards as every other graduate.

A General walked patrols with the females to make sure they passed.

Major General Scott Miller did indeed walk a patrol while the females were at Ranger School, and spoke at their graduation. “Major General Miller was celebrating his thirtieth anniversary of attending Ranger School,” Sergeant Major Boley said. “He was scheduled to walk the patrol and speak at graduation months before we knew females were going to be in the course. As the Operations Sergeant Major, I have to know months in advance if a VIP is coming. We knew MG Miller was coming, long before we knew females were coming.”

SGM Boley also says General Miller intentionally stayed away from the females. “He didn’t go to any event with a female student. He made sure not to, in order to avoid accusations that he was influencing anything. He probably never saw a female. And he definitely didn’t ‘grade their patrols’ like some people have been saying. He’s not an RI [Ranger Instructor], so he’s not authorized or certified to grade their patrols.”

“President Obama was scheduled to attend their graduation! That proves the females were going to graduate no matter what!”

Even though it was a phone interview, I could almost hear Sergeant Major Boley roll his eyes in disgust when I mentioned that particular conspiracy theory. “The President was never scheduled to come to the graduation if a female was to graduate,” he said. “I’m the Operations Sergeant Major and would have to know if the President is coming. A presidential visit is a big deal, and takes a lot of preparation. If he had planned on being there, I would have known about it. That story is completely false.”

This accusation seems to piss Sergeant Major Boley off more than most others, probably because it was created out of thin air, with absolutely no basis in reality, and won’t go away. SGM Boley is obviously getting tired of all the conspiracies. “I’ve tried talking sense to people who say things like that,” he says, “and it never works. There are guys who won’t believe the facts, no matter what. I’ve seen comments online like, ‘Even if there’s an investigation and all the training records say the females made it, I still won’t believe it because I know the Army is lying.’ So what’s the point of even trying to convince them? I know what happened, and I know they made it.”

The females were offered two Day 1 Recycles, which males are almost never given.

According to some critics, the two female Rangers who graduated were given two chances to start over, which males wouldn’t have received without extraordinary circumstances. “That’s ridiculous,” SGM Boley said. “Just this year we’ve had more than twenty males take Day 1 Recycles. And that’s just the ones who accepted the offer. We’ve offered Day 1 Recycles to way more soldiers than that. When a soldier doesn’t make it through a training phase, a board looks at all the factors involved and decides whether or not to give them the opportunity to start the course over. If the board believes in the soldier, thinks he’s doing his best and is physically and mentally able to succeed, he gets the chance to start over.”

This isn’t new. When Sergeant Major Boley went to Ranger School in 1997, he met a student who had been in the course almost 300 days (the course lasts 62 days if the student passes everything first try). “That guy had to have been given several chances,” SGM Boley says. “And even in the females’ class males were given the same chances. Some male students started with the females in class 6-15, and were still in the school after the females graduated with class 8-15. Maybe those males have graduated by now, but they were still there long after the females graduated. They got extra chances too. The females didn’t get any opportunities a male didn’t get.”

Read the rest at

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

This was published Tuesday on Breach Bang Clear


Since Dr. Ben Carson – who I DO NOT support for president, by the way – gave his eminently sensible and reasonable opinion on gun control, he’s been painted as a moron by the left. He said,“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.” This is such an obvious truth to anyone who understands history that opposition to it is unbelievable rather than simply ridiculous. Disagreeing with his statement makes about as much sense as insisting the earth is flat.

As a police officer, I know for a fact that an armed suspect is far more dangerous to take into custody than an unarmed suspect. As a combat veteran, I know for a fact that an armed population is far more difficult to control than an unarmed population. The insurgents in Iraq and Taliban in Afghanistan didn’t simply roll over and submit to our control. They took up weapons and fought back.

But many voices on the left, GQ and Funny Or Die prominent among them, now insist people are actually safer being unarmed when an armed murderer is trying to kill them. And the people who believe that nonsense, despite generally having zero understanding of weapons, lethal force encounters, combat or anything else remotely related to the subject, refuse to listen to cops, combat vets or others with actual experience. So I’m going to share an account of genocide that even the most ardent critic of Ben Carson shouldn’t be able to argue with.

The following is a passage from the book Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning. The story can be found on pages 93 and 94. It is an account of German Reserve Police Battalion 101 (not a military unit, but regular police), which was part of the “Final Solution”, and its operation to clear Jews from the Polish town of Miedzyrzec. It’s worth noting that this operation was witnessed by one police captain’s pregnant wife, who had come to visit her new husband.

The usual orders were given to shoot anyone trying to escape, as well as the sick, old, and frail who could not march to the train station just outside town.

While the men waited for [Captain] Wohlauf ‘s return, they encountered a Security Police officer already quite drunk, despite the early hour. It was soon apparent that the Hiwis [Lithuanian, Latvian and Ukrainian volunteers] were also drunk. They shot so often and so wildly that the policemen frequently had to take cover to avoid being hit. The policemen “saw the corpses of Jews who had been shot everywhere in the streets and houses.”

Driven by the Hiwis and policemen, thousands of Jews streamed into the marketplace. Here they had to sit or squat without moving or getting up. As the hours passed on this very hot August day of the late summer heat wave, many Jews fainted and collapsed. Moreover, beating and shooting continued in the marketplace. Having removed her military coat as the temperature rose, Frau Wohlauf [the captain’s pregnant wife] was clearly visible in her dress on the marketplace, watching the events at close range.

About 2:00 p. m. the outer guard was called to the marketplace, and one or two hours later the march to the train station began. 

The entire force of Hiwis and policemen was employed to drive the thousands of Jews along the route. Once again, shooting was common. The “foot sick” who could go no farther were shot and left lying on the side of the road. Corpses lined the street to the train station.

Members of Police Battalion 101 with Jewish victims. Cover photo from the book Ordinary Men.

Members of Police Battalion 101 with Jewish victims. Cover photo from the book Ordinary Men.

One final horror was reserved to the end, for the train cars now had to be loaded. While the Hiwis and Security Police packed 120 to 140 Jews into each car, the reserve policemen stood guard and observed. As one remembered: 

When it didn’t go well, they made use of riding whips and guns. The loading was simply frightful. There was an unearthly cry from these poor people, because ten or twenty cars were being loaded simultaneously. The entire freight train was dreadfully long. One could not see all of it. It may have been fifty to sixty cars, if not more. After a car was loaded, the doors were closed and nailed shut.

Once all the cars were sealed, the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 quickly departed without waiting to see the train pull away.

The clearing of the Miedzyrzec ghetto was the largest deportation operation the battalion would carry out during its entire participation in the Final Solution. Only 1,000 Jews in Miedzyrzec had been given temporary work permits to remain in the ghetto until they could be replaced with Poles. Thus some 11,000 were targeted for deportation. The policemen knew that “many hundreds” of Jews were shot in the course of the operation, but of course they did not know exactly how many. The surviving Jews who collected and buried the bodies did know, however, and their count was 960.

Did you read any mention of resistance in that passage?


Read the rest at

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (




I’m well aware of how horrible and tragic school shootings are. I’ve studied school shootings, trained as a cop on how to respond to school shootings, and trained other cops on how to respond to school shootings. As a father of two elementary-age children, one high schooler and one college student, and as the husband of a former teacher, son of a retired teacher and brother to a current teacher, I’m extremely concerned about the safety of school students and staff. I’m well aware that easy availability of guns is a significant factor in the seemingly endless stream of school and mass shootings. I’m aware that a lunatic pounding on a computer keyboard in his mother’s basement is a simple nuisance, but a lunatic with a grudge against the world and a gun is a guaranteed tragedy.

But I oppose new gun control laws.

The anti-gun side needs to understand something. Pro-2nd Amendment people like me aren’t pro-mass murder. I have a hard time imagining a bigger piece of human excrement than a man who would intentionally murder even one innocent, terrified, defenseless child. One of the hardest things I’ve ever read was a survivor’s account of a little boy’s last words at Sandy Hook: “Help me! I don’t want to be here!”, to which the shooter responded, “Well, you’re here,” before killing him. I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if my child had been in that school.

Unlike many fellow 2A supporters, I don’t blame parents of murdered children for demanding stricter gun laws. They’ve just lost a child, in one of the most horrible ways possible. They’re going to lash out. They’re going to pick the easiest and most obvious target for their rage, frustration and grief. I understand why those parents feel the way they do, and why they say the things they say.

But I still oppose new gun control laws.

Here’s a sad, crappy fact: laws don’t do anything by themselves. Actual humans are required to take actual actions to make people follow laws. For example, any legally-declared “gun free zone” (GFZ) can only be made gun-free if access is controlled by people, usually people with guns, who ensure anyone entering doesn’t have a gun (an airport, for example). But if we declare a school a GFZ, then don’t establish airport-like security, we’re not keeping guns out. We’re simply wishing them away. And no child will be protected by a Gun Free Wish.

Likewise, any suggestion for regulating gun sales, possessions or transfers from this point forward won’t magically eliminate the hundreds of millions of guns already in existence. If a lunatic has a gun today, and a law banning lunatics from having guns is passed tomorrow, the lunatic will still have the gun the day after tomorrow. Legislation doesn’t change the laws of physics. It doesn’t alter reality.

This isn’t just my opinion. Even Vice President Joe Biden, gun control champion, admitted it during the push for new gun laws after the Sandy Hook shooting.

If we’re going to make a real effort to stop mass shootings, let’s at least acknowledge reality. A man intent on mass murder and suicide isn’t going to be deterred by jail time, or signs on walls, or even locked doors (the Sandy Hook murderer easily shot his way through a plate glass window). The only thing that can prevent a mass murderer from entering a school is heavy security and people with guns; if we’re not going to make every school half prison and half airport (and we’re not), then any aspiring murderer who wants to bring in a gun can bring in a gun. If that murderer gets in, and starts shooting, the ONLY sure way to make them stop is the immediate application of overwhelming force.

At Sandy Hook, the shooter shot through this window to bypass the locked door

At Sandy Hook, the shooter shot through this window to bypass the locked door

Police who arrive five minutes after shots are fired can’t apply that force quickly enough. SWAT teams who arrive thirty minutes later can’t do it. Only the intended victims, the people who are eye to eye with the murderer, can react in seconds and put the murderer down.

Antoinette Tuff talked Michael Brandon Hill out of committing mass murder at an Atlanta school in 2013. She was a hero, and Michael Hill was a pathetic loser who wasn’t committed to murder. He had a murder fantasy, found out the reality of facing terrified teachers and being shot at by police wasn’t as much fun as he expected, and gave up. Plenty of wishful idealists rightfully praised Tuff, but wrongfully concluded “you don’t need a gun to stop a mass murderer with an AK-47.” Anyone who thinks we should make a policy of “let’s talk the killer out of killing us”, to put it mildly, is an amazingly dedicated idiot.

Sometimes unarmed people have stopped mass killers, like at the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona. Amazingly dedicated idiots at Slate, Mother Jones, Addicting Info and other sites have repeatedly pointed out incidents where unarmed people took down mass shooters, and concluded victims are better off unarmed against a mass shooter. But untrained and unequipped people sometimes put out fires too. Untrained and unequipped people save lives in medical emergencies. That’s not because it’s better to be untrained and unequipped. It’s because sometimes trained and equipped people aren’t there, so people with no training or equipment have to do something. None of those situations are made better by the lack of firefighters or doctors, and no mass shooter incident was made better by the lack of armed good guys willing and able to immediately fight back.

Hero Chris Mintz, who was unarmed and tried to block the Oregon college shooter from entering a room. Mintz was shot seven times. Bravery is not enough.

Hero Chris Mintz, who was unarmed and tried to block the Oregon college shooter from entering a room. Mintz was shot seven times. Bravery is not enough.

The bottom line is that the only sure way to quickly stop a mass shooter is for the intended victims to draw, take careful aim, and engage until the shooter is no longer capable of committing murder. That’s it. Laws can’t do it. Signs on walls pronouncing “Gun Free Zone” are about as effective as signs that say “Mass Murder Followed by Suicide is Not Allowed on These Premises”. Policemen like me who arrive long after the murders commence can eventually stop a mass shooting, but not before many innocent lives are lost. The only sure way to quickly stop lunatics with guns from committing mass murder – the ONLY sure way – is to allow and expect the innocent to defend themselves.

I have an honest, reasonable message for the anti-gun side: I get your point. I understand what you’re trying to do. I want to prevent murders just as much as you. It sucks that innocent people, especially our children, might be targeted by an armed lunatic. It sucks to think average, decent people in schools, malls, churches and elsewhere need to carry guns to defend themselves and others from the unthinkable. It sucks, and life shouldn’t be that way.

You know what sucks worse? What sucks worse is to look back at a long history of mass shootings, realize that laws and passive measures failed to prevent them, and then demand more laws and passive measures that we already know won’t prevent the next one.

If we’re serious about stopping the next mass shooter, let’s make sure he knows he won’t face a room full of defenseless victims. Let’s not give him total control during the long police response time. Let’s make him fear his intended victims, instead of allowing him to feel godlike power over them. Let’s make sure any pathetic, cowardly loser who thinks he’ll “be somebody” by committing mass murder has to factor in the likelihood of being shot down like a rabid dog within seconds of drawing his gun.

Let’s allow and expect the innocent to carry a gun and protect themselves from a murderer. That’s the only way we can prevent another massacre.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (



This essay was cowritten with fellow Iraq veteran author Steven Hildreth Jr.

We aren’t blind to the past.

Yes, many Americans have suffered horrible, unforgivable racism. Some Americans continue to suffer today. Yet we two soldiers, one black and one Hispanic, chose to risk our lives for this country. We served in combat, alongside soldiers of other races, against an enemy who cared nothing of the color behind the American flags on our sleeves.

We didn’t do it because we believe America is perfect. We deal in brutal realities, and we know those realities. One of us grew up with a family legend about Texas Rangers executing a great-great grandfather and his brothers. One of us was introduced to racism by being a rare minority in a majority-white school, and dealing with racial epithets. One of us had his parents kicked out of a restaurant, while his father was serving in the military, because “we don’t serve your kind here.”

We acknowledge those sins. But we don’t believe, for a moment, that those sins define our country today. We refuse to poison our children’s minds with the lie that their race lessens their value as citizens, or restricts their boundless opportunities. We choose to embrace what we know to be right about America, rather than dwell on what was wrong.

Let’s discuss facts. Slavery was terrible. But no white person in America alive today owned or sold African slaves. Jim Crow was terrible. But most of those responsible for Jim Crow are dead, and those few who aren’t wield no power. Holding any white person today responsible for the wrongs of the past is not just illogical, it’s wrong and stupid. Redefining racism as “systemic,” effectively giving a pass even to those minorities who openly advocate murders of innocent whites, isn’t just wrong and stupid. It’s wrong, stupid, and pathetic.



You want to be considered equal? Then demand to be held to the same standard as whites. And live by that same standard.

Over fifty years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it is clear that race relations have regressed rather than progressed, particularly with racial subcultures who more often than not opt to self-segregate in cultural, political, and day-to-day fashions. Homogenization is the antithesis of American multiculturalism; America is about osmosis of culture, of appreciating and celebrating our differences while realizing we’re in the same boat and must work together to advance as a nation and a culture-at-large. People so focused on the past that they actively blame people today, for yesterday’s mistakes, are actively opposed to the American “melting pot.”

To that end, there are people, of multiple races, who seek to “erase” the past and its symbols. Those people should stop. Seeking to ban symbols one may not fully understand only serves to foment racial tensions and deepen the chasm.

One thing that actually closes that chasm is what we two authors have in common: military service. The military is one of the greatest mechanisms for making people realize we’re all Americans. The kind of people listed in the two paragraphs above would not fare well in the military, particularly if they were to work outside the wire (as we authors have). There is something about an enemy trying to kill you that hammers home a message: we’re all Americans of the same cloth and we must work together, not only for advancement, but for self-preservation. That may come off as a cavalier sentiment, but it is one to which any combat vet will attest.


Of course, there are several reasons why people join the military: family tradition, college benefits, thirst for adventure, what have you. But at the end of the day, it is rare that a veteran hangs up his uniform for the last time without a sense of patriotism. Regardless of their race or any other background factor, they come to appreciate that the sweat, blood, and tears they and their mates spilled counted for something greater than themselves.

The lessons learned patrolling dusty third-world streets and dodging gunfire in remote valleys carry over to civilian life. Those who fail to study the past are doomed to repeat it, but we should have more sense than to blame people in the here and now for mistakes of yesterday. We study those mistakes as a form of after-action review: how can we do better and move forward? That’s not just for blacks to move forward, or for Latinos to move forward, or whites, or Asians. We’re concerned with how Americans can move forward.

We’re concerned with how Americans can move forward because we believe in the principles established by the Founding Fathers. We believe in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We believe in the rugged individualism embodied by our Constitution. We acknowledge that our government has not always abided by those principles in practice, but we know the American people, through the work of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, have eventually held the government accountable to those promises.

We also fervently believe in defending what has been built, in defending the progress our nation has made. To that end, both authors have put on a uniform, picked up a weapon, and answered the nation’s call to service. We are not the first. The Japanese internment was one of our nation’s greatest mistakes, yet the Japanese-Americans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team answered the call during the Second World War because they believed in the nation’s principles, even if the government failed to live up to them. Over nine thousand Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations, and twenty-one Medals of Honor were awarded to the 442nd, a testament to the ferocity with which they defended their nation.

The 332nd Fighter Group (also known as the Tuskegee Airmen) also answered that call during the Second World War. At the height of Jim Crow these men opted to not only serve their country, but did so by breaking color barriers, proving that blacks were just as competent at dogfighting as their white counterparts.


A more recent example is Team 2/6, Company F, 51st Infantry LRP (Airborne), a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol that consisted entirely of black men in Vietnam. In a time where the ghost of Jim Crow was still extremely strong and Muhammad Ali refused to serve because “no Viet Cong ever called [him] nigger,” these men not only answered the call but volunteered for Airborne and then for the LRRPs, one of the most dangerous combat roles in the Vietnam War. They believed in their nation and believed in defending it and its principles from the enemy, even as the nation struggled to live up to those principles.


Our nation has made many mistakes in the past, some minor and some grievous. We can acknowledge mistakes made and still love this country. Unlike the “blame America first” crowd, we know our nation has done more good than harm. We love our nation. We love the principles upon which it was founded. We embrace the amazing accomplishments of previous generations, and stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.

Hernandez with Mr. Richard Overton, America's oldest known WW2 veteran

Hernandez with Mr. Richard Overton, America’s oldest known WW2 veteran

So here’s our message to America’s grievance merchants: while you’re busy with your desperate quest to find racial offense, we two are busy living happy, fulfilling lives with fellow Americans of all races…even white ones whom you automatically consider evil.

We are certain some will view us as Uncle Toms or “sellouts to the white man” for our opinions, for daring to think for ourselves, for the stark offense of being Americans first and color-indifferent rather than aligning on racial fault lines. To those people, in closing, we have a quote:

“We must not seek to use our emerging freedom and our growing power to do the same thing to the white minority that has been done to us for so many centuries. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man. We must not become victimized with a philosophy of black supremacy. God is not interested merely in freeing black men and brown men and yellow men, but God is interested in freeing the whole human race. We must work with determination to create a society, not where black men are superior and other men are inferior and vice versa, but a society in which all men will live together as brothers and respect the dignity and worth of human personality.”

Did you find yourself saying that the quote must be from an Uncle Tom sellout?


It’s from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who endured more hardship and injustice than anybody claiming grievances in the here and now. Dr. King obviously felt that racial supremacy was wrong, and humans banding together for self-betterment was the answer.

We two authors have chosen to band together for self-betterment. Others, of all races, have chosen the path of the racial supremacist. If the racist shoe fits, wear it. But don’t expect us to believe you want fairness, equality, or progress.



Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (


Steven Hildreth, Jr. is an author, Iraq War veteran and firearms enthusiast who has written for Ranger Up’s Rhino Den and the Force 12 Media Network. He resides in Tucson, Arizona.


There are actually several reasons.

1) Have we not realized yet that just because someone is named Ahmed, that doesn’t mean they’re a threat, or sympathize with those who are threats? Here’s a news flash: in every place we’ve fought Muslims, we’ve had Muslim allies. There are some Muslims who hate ISIS or Al Qaeda more than any average American, because they’ve had to deal with terrorism face to face. A whole bunch of Jordanian Muslims watched ISIS burn one of their brave young pilots to death, and they were pretty pissed about it. Think a Jordanian named Ahmed is automatically suspicious? Then you’re an idiot.

2) At a school, can’t we expect to find at least one person who knows that “jumble of wires in a briefcase” doesn’t necessarily mean “bomb”? One sane, responsible adult could have said, “Hmmm. That looks odd, but it’s just a bunch of wires, a circuit board and a digital display. If it was a bomb it would contain actual explosive material, but there isn’t any. And the kid says it’s a clock. By golly, I think it’s a clock too.” But, of course, no sane, responsible adult was willing to do that. Does everyone in America, even our teachers, base their reactions on what the movies tell them a bomb is supposed to look like?

3) Why would the cop make that arrest? You have a kid in a NASA shirt who sure as hell looks like a science nerd, with a device that clearly isn’t a bomb, which the kid says isn’t a bomb. By all accounts the kid never said it was a bomb. I can’t imagine by what reasoning the officer decided, “I need to arrest this kid for having a clock that isn’t a bomb and doesn’t look like a bomb and that he never said was a bomb.”

4) How did we get so terrified of litigation that a teacher would say, “I know that’s not a bomb but I’m reporting this to the principal anyway, because if something happens I’m not willing to be responsible for it,” and the principal would say, “I know that’s not a bomb but I’m reporting this to the police anyway, because if something happens I’m not willing to be responsible for it,” and the responding officer would say, “I know that’s not a bomb but I’m arresting this kid anyway, because if something happens I’m not willing to be responsible for it.”? Having worked in local government for decades, I can almost guarantee that’s what happened. Everyone up the chain probably knew they were overreacting, everyone knew it was just a clock and no action should have been taken, everyone thought it was stupid to report it and call the police, but everyone up the chain took unnecessary action anyway. Because nobody had the balls to say, “This is bullshit and everybody needs to calm down.”

5) God dammit. Why do legions of social justice warriors act like they figured out some amazing conspiracy? “We knew it! They never thought it was a bomb! But they arrested him anyway!” Well, no shit. He was arrested for possession of a hoax bomb; that literally means, “fake bomb”. Yes, they knew all along it was fake. They didn’t arrest him because they believed the bomb was real, they arrested him for (allegedly) trying to trick people into believing his clock was a bomb.


The issue isn’t “they knew all along it wasn’t real and they lied so they’d have a reason to arrest this kid.” The issue is, “they knew all along it wasn’t real and they could have just ignored it like the non-event it was, but everyone is so scared of violating some policy and getting sued later that they’d rather pass the buck as far as possible, even if it means arresting an innocent kid for doing nothing wrong at all.”


Maybe I’m wrong about this. Maybe Ahmed the science nerd is actually a fourteen-year old ISIS commander. Maybe he ran the halls shouting “kill the infidel” before pulling his clock from his backpack. Maybe he made bomb jokes. Maybe there is some damn reason, somewhere, that would make this arrest reasonable.

Maybe. But if there is a reason, the school and police sure aren’t letting us in on it.

So unless and until we find out more information, I can only reach one conclusion. This was a ridiculous, moronic, cowardly overreaction by people who’d rather sacrifice a good kid than take responsibility for doing the right thing. And the right thing, of course, would have been to say, “That’s an awesome clock. What else can you build?”

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (




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