This was published yesterday on Breach Bang Clear. I don’t know that I’ve ever enjoyed a training class as much as this one.

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So there I was, finger on the trigger, stock in my shoulder, left hand on the monopod adjustment, staring through a scope at a thousand yard target. And our instructor, that bastard, didn’t just want me to hit the target. He wanted me to hit its head. Everyone knows thousand-yard head shots only happen in bad novels and action movies.

This was on day two of 1MOA Solutions’ (1moasolutions.com) Precision Rifle Course, held at Red Stag Tactical’s range in Eagle Lake, Texas. When I heard about the class I got all excited at the prospect of making long-distance shots like I had in Afghanistan. The problem was, I don’t own a good long-distance rifle. So my options were borrow whatever I could get, or take my WWII Enfield to the course.

I borrowed an AR-10 clone from an Army buddy. It had a badass new Trijicon scope on top; unfortunately, it was a badass Trijicon scope with a hunting reticle, no mil or MOA lines. And I only had 75 match rounds instead of the required 200, the rest was whatever craptastic ammo I could find at Academy. So while I expected to learn a lot at the course, my personal performance expectations were low. I figured I’d be able to hit out to 600 or so, and would watch other shooters hit at a thousand. I was just there to have a good time.

Day one, zeroing

Day one, zeroing

The other students were all civilians with no military background. I was the only one who had been downrange, been shot at, and shot at people. That DID NOT mean I was the most skilled or well-trained shooter. I went through Marine boot camp, picked up a secondary MOS of range coach (8531) and fired expert six times during my enlistment. In the Army I was lucky enough to attend the Squad Designated Marksman course and fire to 600 yards with M16A4s using optics and irons. In Afghanistan I was able to hit at 900 meters with my M14 and at 980 meters with a French .50 once. So yeah, I had some experience.

Firing a PGM .50 French sniper rifle in Afghanistan, with a French Marine sniper talking me on

Firing a PGM .50 French sniper rifle in Afghanistan, with a French Marine sniper talking me on

But I didn’t have a good grasp on the science behind long-distance accuracy. I had never used a Kestrel or other small arms ballistic computer (although I was familiar with the basics from my time as an Abrams tank gunner). As far as rifles went, I had pretty much been spoon fed whatever the Corps or Army wanted me to know, which wasn’t much more than the basics. In Afghanistan I was able to make long distance hits on static targets, always under ideal conditions, usually with French snipers talking me on.

But in this class I was going to have to get way in depth on accuracy. On that first day Adam sat at a table with us, passed Kestrels around and talked us through ballistic calculations. Two students were engineers, had really studied ballistics and had a level of knowledge way over my head. They and Adam had an intense, hard-to-follow discussion about mil versus MOA adjustments, G1 versus G7 scales and the ballistic coefficient of a laden swallow; my contribution to the discussion was something to the effect of “I like tacos.” If I had any illusions about my mastery of shooting, I lost them at that table.

So I went into the class with an open mind and tried to stay humble. And I learned a LOT. And shot far better than I expected. This two-day class consisted of a short period of classroom instruction on ballistic calculations, zeroing at 100 yards, a few accuracy drills at 100 yards, range estimation class, unknown distance engagements on steel targets, known distance engagements on steel to 1000 yards, unconventional position training, and a short discussion on useful accessories.

We had one slight problem: rain. No offense to the townsfolk, but Eagle Lake only has that name because “Buzzard Swamp” was taken. Heavy rain drenched the area for weeks before the class and the first day was a partial washout. Because we lost valuable range time we had to give up the planned range estimation class. The rain also flooded roads, prevented placement of some targets, got trucks stuck and created a pool deep enough to trap a tractor and nearly drown Adam Wilson (from the tower several hundred yards away we saw him standing on the tractor bumper singing “The heart will go on” while the driver yelled “I’ll never let go!”). That all sucked, but 1MOA and Red Stag are making up for the lost instruction time at a later date.

The instruction we did receive, however, was friggin’ fantastic. Here’s what I learned: The right gear makes a huge difference. Prior to this class I thought my Afghanistan M14EBR was the One True Rifle. I expected my borrowed AR-10 to be decent, nowhere near as good as a 14.

Then Adam Wilson looked through my AR-10 scope and said, “This isn’t going to work. Use one of my rifles.” And he handed me his Ashbury Precision Ordnance Tactical Competition Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor with a Surgeon action and Leupold Mk 8 3.5 – 25 x 56mm scope. It was kind of like telling a high school boy, “Your prom date is just so-so. Here’s Sasha Grey, take her instead.” I’ve never handled a rifle that accurate, and my eyes have been opened. A 7.62 anything just isn’t as accurate as a good 6.5; we had one 7.62 shooter, and as predicted he just couldn’t make the same shots a 6.5 shooter could (although he did hit at a thousand).

Shooting a precision rifle is a lot different than firing a carbine. Duh, right? Don’t get me wrong, the principles are the same. But little things make a huge difference. For example, during CQB-type carbine training we’re death-gripping our weapons. At SDM school I’m pretty sure I did the same thing. But in this course we learned to not strangle the pistol grip. In fact, Adam had us lightly hold the grip with just three fingers, without even wrapping our thumb around it. One student barely even touched the pistol grip; just about the only part of his strong hand touching the weapon was his trigger finger. And he was accurate to a thousand yards.

To be a good distance shooter, you might have to shotgun breach a tree. WTF do I mean by that? Well, when we were on the known distance range we fired at 300, 500, 700 and 1000 yards. Everyone hit at 300 and 500 with no problem. Then one student was nowhere near the target at 700. Adam couldn’t spot his trace or see a splash, so he had the next shooter try it. That shooter hit. Then I tried 700, and again, Adam couldn’t tell where the hell I was hitting. We went back to the first shooter. I was watching through my scope when he fired; I heard his rifle go boom, a small branch fluttered down and his round splashed into the mud far short and far right of the target.

I hadn’t paid much attention, but a few branches were hanging over the range. I thought they were too high to make a difference, and I had that tanker mentality about brush anyway: “Brush? Who cares? Just shoot through that shit!” Well, you can’t just shoot through that shit. Even light brush can totally jack your mojo. I wound up riding in a tractor bucket onto the range and blowing the branches down with a shotgun. Maybe someone thought that would remind me of my glory days on a tank. No, they didn’t make me do the gardening because my last name is Hernandez. I swear.

Read the rest at http://www.breachbangclear.com/1moa-solutions-precision/

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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 BreachBangClear.com 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 chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


This was published yesterday on Breach Bang Clear.

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The NCAA championship is currently going on. Apparently Kentucky was just eliminated (I’m not a sports guy and really couldn’t give a rat’s ass what team wins). So students at the University of Kentucky rioted over the loss, just like they rioted last year.

The rioters threw bottles and burned sofas in the street, police used tear gas on them, and people got arrested. But there are no reports of looting, or businesses being destroyed, or gunfire, or murders. It seems like a bunch of spoiled college morons acted like spoiled college morons, and the police treated them the way they deserved to be treated. No big deal, right?

Of course it’s not that simple. There’s a serious problem with the Kentucky riots: there were no National Guard troops, “tanks” or militarized police like there were in Ferguson. Police responded to the Kentucky rioters differently than they did the Ferguson rioters. Wanna know why? The Kentucky rioters were white. It was all about race. I know this because the Daily Kos says so.

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/05/1375772/-Riots-Looting-Fires-Break-Out-in-Kentucky-Don-t-Worry-It-s-Mostly-White-Kids

Unfortunately, as a cop and card-carrying member of the Official Oppressed Minority community, I kinda see it differently. I’m probably the only person in the world who realizes this, but there are actually little tiny differences between the Kentucky rioting and the Ferguson riots. Differences like, “the Kentucky rioters didn’t loot, burn down businesses, throw Molotov cocktails, shoot at cops or murder anyone, but the Ferguson rioters did.” (As an unimportant side note, the Daily Kos mentioned looting in their headline but made no mention of it in their article, and I can’t find any other reports of Kentucky students looting.)

A few brave warriors against racism have also made much fuss about Kentucky students posing with police officers before the riot.

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Those pictures lead to one inescapable conclusion: “That’s racism! And it shows white privilege!”

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I guess they have a point. A police officer would never, ever have taken a picture with a protestor in Ferguson.

Missouri State Police Captain Ron Johnson making fraternity hand sign with Ferguson protestor

Missouri State Police Captain Ron Johnson making fraternity hand sign with Ferguson protestor

But actual evidence has no place in this discussion. So let’s not bicker about who killed who, or who burned businesses instead of sofas, or the fact that protestors in both places took pictures with cops, or any other minor unimportant details. A riot is a riot. Dang it, there was a different response in Kentucky because of racism!

Let’s look at the results of the Ferguson riots:

Twenty-five business destroyed

Two police cars burned

Twelve civilian cars burned

Hundreds of shots fired by rioters

Thirteen people injured

One person murdered

And now the Kentucky riots:

Eighteen injuries

Unknown number of couches set on fire

And in Kentucky there was also… well, actually, I guess that’s it.

Sure, it seems like the Ferguson riots were much worse than the Kentucky riot. But look closer. In Ferguson rioters merely murdered someone, attempted to commit multiple capital murders and torched over two dozen businesses. In Kentucky they didn’t murder anyone, or try to kill cops, or destroy businesses, but they burned seventeen couches.

UK_burning_couch_cake

That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but ask yourself this: where are people going to sit now? Did you think about that, smartass?

So the Kentucky riot was nowhere near as large or destructive as the Ferguson riots, but that unimportant fact should be dismissed. The only difference between the riots was racism. In fact, the Daily Kos and its adherents have suggested authorities dismissed this as “kids blowing off steam” because the rioters were white, which has led some people to believe no rioters were arrested in Kentucky. In fact, thirty-one rioters were arrested. Again, I apologize for confusing the issue by introducing facts.

Read the rest at http://www.breachbangclear.com/white-people-are-allowed-to-riot/

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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 BreachBangClear.com 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 chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation:

People of several different races are having a public event. Two people of one specific race show up to cover the event. Someone at the event says, “We don’t want that race here.” The two race-offenders are escorted out of the event, despite the fact that they had personally done nothing wrong. They were journalists, and were kicked out of the event simply because of their skin color.

Now let’s say there was a backlash. The event organizers took some heat for barring one race from the event. You might think the event organizers would apologize, promise sensitivity training, insist the two people were kicked out because of one person’s mistake instead of any discriminatory policy, and claim the entire thing was just a misunderstanding. Or maybe they’d immediately fire/exile/expel/charge whomever kicked people out because of their race. Isn’t that what always happens when an organization does something blatantly racist?

ryersonian.ca

ryersonian.ca

In this case, no. This event was at Canada’s Ryerson University, hosted by the Racialised Students’ Collective (and the mentality displayed by the “Racialised Students” would be at home on any number of American universities). The people kicked out were white journalism students. So no harm, no foul, no widespread outrage.

http://www.ryersonian.ca/white-students-barred-from-funded-rsu-student-group-event/

It gets better than that. Shortly after the somehow-not-racist-event, the Huffington Post published an essay from Ryerson journalism student Aeman Ansari titled “Ethnic Minorities Deserve Safe Spaces Without White People”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/aeman-ansari/ethnic-safe-spaces_b_6897176.html

In her essay, she makes a few interesting points:

“These [safe] spaces, which are forums where minority groups are protected from mainstream stereotypes and marginalization, are crucial to resistance of oppression and we, as a school and as a society, need to respect them… Segregation was imposed on people of colour by people of privilege, not the other way around. The very fact that individuals organizing to help each other get through social barriers and injustices are being attacked and questioned for their peaceful assembly is proof that they were right to exclude those [white] students… Racialized people experience systemic discrimination on a daily basis, on many levels, and in ways that white people may never encounter. The whole point of these safe spaces is to remove that power dynamic.”

She also says, “I am a person of colour and a journalist and so there are two conflicting voices inside my head. But in this case one voice, that of a person of colour, is louder and my conscience does not allow me to be impartial. I have to take a side.” This is a sentiment I strongly suspect many journalists with “social justice” indoctrination share. Perhaps that’s why they shy away from any story that might reinforce negative stereotypes about a minority, yet embrace any story that portrays whites as racist. “Hands up don’t shoot”, anyone?

As a minority and supposed “person of color” (if I ever actually use that phrase to describe myself, please punch me), I guess I should be thrilled that my fellow coloreds are now free to put white people in their place. I should cheer the Racialised Students and embrace my dark-skinned sister for being courageous enough to accuse – in the Huffington Post, where blatant racial pandering is never welcome (yuk yuk) – all white people of being oppressors.

Long live the revolution. Kill whitey. Power to the people. Four hundred years of oppression. Whoop.

But I just ain’t feelin’ it. Maybe I wasn’t oppressed enough as a child; I grew up in Texas, “the America of America”, in a mixed white and Hispanic neighborhood. I was around whites all day every day. We played, went to school, and grew into adulthood together. I’m obviously Hispanic, but somehow was never oppressed by whites (or maybe I just didn’t notice). At seventeen I joined the Marines and served with men and women of all colors, but most were white. As a cop I’ve risked my life with and for whites, and whites have risked their lives for me (likewise with blacks, Asians and others). As a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan I experienced the same thing.

Were some whites I knew racist? Of course. So were some blacks. So were some Hispanics. My parents were discriminated against, as were my grandparents. One family story even had the Texas Rangers murdering my great-great-grandfather and his brothers in retaliation for one of Pancho Villa’s raids. If the story is true, I’m pretty sure the Rangers who committed the murders are dead, as are most of the people who discriminated against my parents and grandparents. The country has changed, for the better.

I embrace that change. I see Americans of all colors treating one another as equals every day. And I heard of this guy once, who said something like, “Don’t be a dumbass and judge someone just because of what color they are.” That actually applies to whites too, not just supposedly oppressed minorities.

And whites shouldn’t be viewed as the world’s only oppressors. Slavery among blacks was so common in Africa it remained legal in Nigeria until 1932, in Ethiopia until 1942, in Niger until 2003 and in Mauritania until 2007; even now a huge portion of Mauritania’s population is still believed to be slaves. Black Africans were heavily involved in capturing and selling slaves, and some historians estimate “… Africans captured and then sold to Europeans around 90% of those who were shipped in the Atlantic slave trade” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Africa).

Here in America, where our default is “whites were slave owners, blacks were slaves and that’s the end of it”, free blacks owned slaves as far back as 1654. Free black slave owners in Louisiana even requested, and were granted, permission to serve in the Confederate Army (http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2013/03/black_slave_owners_did_they_exist.html). And Arabs, now automatically considered oppressed, were well-known and enthusiastic slave traders for centuries. Here’s just one example: “Periodic Arab raiding expeditions were sent from Islamic Iberia to ravage the Christian Iberian kingdoms, bringing back booty and slaves. In a raid against Lisbon in 1189, for example, the Almohad caliph, Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, took 3,000 female and child captives, while his governor of Córdoba, in a subsequent attack upon Silves in 1191, took 3,000 Christian slaves” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_slave_trade).

Native Americans, our most revered “peaceful” population, weren’t always so peaceful and non-oppressive either. I’m not just referring to Native American attacks on whites: “…among the indigenous peoples of the Americas, only 13% did not engage in wars with their neighbors at least once per year. The natives’ pre-Columbian ancient practice of using human scalps as trophies is well documented. Iroquois routinely slowly tortured to death captured enemy warriors… at Crow Creek in South Dakota, archaeologists found a mass grave containing the remains of more than 500 men, women, and children who had been slaughtered, scalped, and mutilated during an attack on their village a century and a half before Columbus’s arrival (ca. 1325 AD).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Before_Civilization)

With this historical context, how does anyone arrive at the “white = oppressor, nonwhite = victim” conclusion so beloved by Aeman Ansari and Ryerson’s Racialised Students? Maybe I’m breaking the inviolable Oppressed Minority Code of Silence by saying this, but every race has its share of historical horrors. White people shouldn’t defined by past slave ownership any more than African blacks should be.

I’d also like to point out an inconvenient fact: If all white people are evil because of slavery, then all white Americans are heroes for ending it.

Maybe I’d be the only person on the typical University campus who’d know this, but in America we actually fought a really bad war to end slavery. Over 350,000 white Americans died fighting to end slavery. White Americans burned white American cities to the ground to end slavery. White Americans completely destroyed other white Americans’ ways of life and forced them to abandon slavery. American slaves weren’t powerful enough to rise up and free themselves; white people freed them. Why do whites seem to get all the blame for historical oppression, but none of the credit for fighting it?

Yes, I realize it’s pathetically stupid to credit all whites for the actions of those who fought to end slavery. And it’s just as stupid to condemn all whites for the actions of those long dead. I’m not saying all white people are great; plenty are absolutely scumbag (I’ve arrested a LOT), and many are racist. But those people should be judged on their own merits. Am I wrong to view whites, or anyone else for that matter, as individuals who should be judged as individuals?

When I was in Kosovo I had a conversation with a local about her ethnic enemies. “The adults commit crimes against us. The old ones used to, and the young ones will someday. So they should all be killed, from one until the end.” It was a stupid, destructive mindset that always, always, does horrible damage to those who hold it. In modern America, and Canada, everyone should reject the notion that all people of any race are the same. Or that we need to keep any race out of our “safe spaces”.

Oddly enough, this is one thing I loved about being in combat; under fire, you are who you are. Nobody cares about race. All that matters is whether or not you can do your job and cover your brothers’ and sisters’ backs.

On its website, the Racialised Students’ Collective says it “…opposes all forms of racism.” Then it excludes students for being white. I’m sure the Racialised Students don’t see the irony in that. Aeman Ansari, I’m sure, tirelessly campaigns against racism. Then she supports keeping white students away from minorities, because a white person’s mere presence allegedly makes them unsafe. I’m sure she sees no irony. The Huffington Post published Ansari’s essay praising racism against whites, then added a slideshow to the page showing “9 people who think casual racism is okay.” But they didn’t add Ansari or the Racialised Students to the slideshow.

The Huffington Post probably doesn’t see the irony either.

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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 BreachBangClear.com 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 chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


Guys,

This absolutely sucks. My daughter is married to a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. Another young Marine and his wife are friends of theirs, and had a ten month old daughter named Lilah. Lilah unexpectedly died two days ago. The couple is devastated, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing one of my children. My daughter is really shook up as well. One of her daughters is almost the same age as Lilah.

A friend of Lilah’s parents started a GoFundMe campaign to help them through this. I don’t know exactly what the money will do, other than remove financial stress they don’t need right now. If you can, please consider helping out. Thank you.

http://www.gofundme.com/lilahAnderson

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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 BreachBangClear.com 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 chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


All,

I just confirmed an appearance at the Barnes and Noble in The Woodlands, Texas on April 4th from 2-4 pm. I’ll be signing and selling copies of Line in the Valley. If you’re in the area please stop by and visit, even if you don’t buy anything.

Conspiracy theorists and open carriers, feel free to come out and confront me about being a government shill or anti-gun “butter”. :)

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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 BreachBangClear.com 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 chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


This was published last week on BreachBangClear.com

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Stolen_Valor003

We’re losing the fight against Stolen Valor. It seems like every week we hear a new military poser story, involving a range of people from homeless bums to senior politicians. Many veterans, myself included, have personal stories of poser encounters. Web sites like Guardian of Valor and This Ain’t Hell continually expose egregious Stolen Valor cases, and aren’t likely to run out of story subjects within my lifetime.

Here’s evidence of how bad the problem is: approximately 3,400,000 Americans served in Vietnam, off its coast or in the Vietnam Theater. But according to the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, nearly fourteen million have lied about serving in Vietnam. “During [the year 2000] Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE Vietnam vets are not.” (http://www.nationalvietnamveteransfoundation.org/statistics.htm)

Stolen_Valor005

The scope of the Stolen Valor problem is enormous. I think there are two main reasons why. First, so few Americans today know anything about military service that tricking them with unbelievable war stories is ridiculously easy. And second, fewer and fewer Americans care at all about military honor or integrity.

Military lies are easy to pull off

Last year I met an old Army buddy, Dave, for dinner. We were friends before deploying and later served in the same company in Iraq. He did two notable things in Iraq: after his convoy was ambushed and stopped one night, he ran around in the open under fire trying to get it moving again. And he – literally – dug up an Improvised Explosive Device with his bare hands during a patrol.

The IED thing deserves explanation. While patrolling Dave saw wires leading to a pile of trash beside the road. He called it out and moved up to investigate, but wasn’t certain it was an IED.

“They always told us not to waste EOD’s time with false IED reports,” Dave said. “I figured I better make sure it really was one before I called it in.”

He dug into the trash and saw the wires going into the dirt. So he dug into the dirt until he found an artillery shell. But it wasn’t connected to the wires, so he kept going until he uncovered a second one. Wires were going into this one. He finally stood and announced, “It’s an IED!”

Dave told me about it a few days later. Long before he finished the story, I interrupted him with “WHAT THE FUCK COULD YOU HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN THINKING?” I was sure some frustrated insurgent had been screaming “Allah dammit!” while watching him and furiously touching a wire to a car battery.

So last year when I met Dave for dinner, an old high school friend joined us. My high school buddy was a Navy veteran who served in the 90s. When he sat down, I introduced them.

“Joe, meet Dave. We served in Iraq together. He’s all messed up because an IED went off in his helmet. He would have been okay, but a secondary went off on the other side.”

Dave burst out laughing. I joined him. But my high school friend flinched, waited for the laughter to die and quietly asked, “Are you doing alright now?”

My high school friend is no dummy. He’s an educated, intelligent professional, and is involved in organizations and activities that support veterans. He just didn’t get our Army humor, and because he never served in Iraq he didn’t know how ridiculous the IED-in-the-helmet joke was.

A Navy veteran was that easy to trick, if that had been our intent. How easy do you suppose it is to trick someone who knows nothing of the military?

Read the rest at http://www.breachbangclear.com/stolen-valor-is-no-big-fucking-deal/

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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 BreachBangClear.com 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 chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


A certain strain exists within American society, a portion of our population who believes evil’s root causes are all white, male and Christian. This culminates in the amazing belief that Muslim terrorist organizations like ISIS, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people over just the last several years, warrant no special attention. Adherents of this belief continually downplay the blatant and obvious international threat posed by ISIS and its ilk, while simultaneously bringing up long-ago atrocities in a desperate attempt to find moral equivalence between Islamic terrorism and American culture. This desire to find something, anything, comparable to ISIS evil led even our own President to talk about the Crusades during a recent prayer breakfast.

Consider that for a moment. An army of Muslim fanatics is killing thousands of people, invading an allied country, executing prisoners in unspeakable ways and even televising the brutal decapitations of American citizens. And for no reason I can think of, our President brings up events hundreds of years old. Maybe in an attempt to convince us, “We’re just as bad.”

A few days ago the Huffington Post, mouthpiece of the “we’re evil too” crowd, published something – and I know this is nearly impossible to believe – far more ridiculous than normal. This is the title of their article:

KKK Was Terrorizing America Decades Before Islamic State Appeared

“For David Pilgrim, the founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University, the actions of ISIS and other extremist groups are familiar — no better, no worse than the historic stateside violence against African-Americans. ‘There’s nothing you’re going to see today that’s not going to have already occurred in the U.S.,’ he said. ‘If you think of these groups that behead now — first of all, beheading is barbaric but it’s no more or less barbaric than some of the lynchings that occurred in the U.S.’”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/27/kkk-terrorist-organization_n_6764866.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

On its face it’s a ridiculous comparison. ISIS is a huge, well-funded and powerful organization full of fanatical zealots willing to carry out the most brutal crimes imaginable in order to bring about their prophesied Muslim apocalypse. In barely a year ISIS has invaded a country, captured cities and besieged others, massacred many thousands of innocents, taken at least hundreds of slaves, forced young girls to become “wives”, attempted genocide and is now destroying the historical treasures of the cradle of civilization.

Yes the Klan was, and is, a repulsive organization responsible for many horrible crimes. But how can it possibly be “no better or worse than ISIS”?

I’m a literal guy. As a writer, if I say “the car is red” I don’t mean “the red car represents the angst and polarization of humanity throughout millennia.” I mean the car is red. As a cop and combat soldier, I can’t indulge in hyperbole; I have to understand actual, literal realities. So when I read the HuffPo’s comparison between ISIS and the Klan, I had to check myself. “Maybe this isn’t as stupid as it seems,” I thought. “This has to be some non-literal point. If I look deeper, I’ll see the validity.”

So I looked at it with an open mind. And I concluded, “This is even stupider than I originally thought.”

Differences of scale

HuffPo’s article was, I think, trying to say the Klan and ISIS were no different in principle. Fair enough. But differences in scale matter too.

According to the HuffPo article, “[A] study [by Alabama’s Equal Justice Initiative] found almost 3,960 African-Americans were lynched from 1877 to 1950 — a number that supersedes previous estimates by at least 700.”

So for 73 years, the Klan lynched about 54 people per year. That’s horrible. The Klansmen who committed those murders deserved death. Those who assisted deserved to spend the rest of their lives in prison. But the Klan, when sheer numbers are compared, doesn’t come close to ISIS.

Two articles from the Daily Beast, hardly a conservative news source, highlight just how powerful and dangerous ISIS really is. The first article reports that “Iraq Body Count”, an organization that’s tracked Iraqi deaths almost since the beginning of the Iraq War, tallied 15,883 ISIS-caused Iraqi deaths from January 1st to November 30th, 2014.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/05/isis-fighters-are-killing-faster-than-statisticians-can-count.html

The second article cites a UN report detailing ISIS’ brutal treatment of Muslims. ISIS fighters have, among other crimes, executed women for refusing to care for wounded ISIS fighters, killed a female doctor for not covering her face while treating patients, executed Muslims for refusing to swear loyalty to ISIS, and destroyed mosques led by imams who wouldn’t swear loyalty to ISIS.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/07/isis-s-gruesome-muslim-death-toll.html

Oddly enough, this August 2014 article is from the Huffington Post. It cites several important numbers: soldiers from five nations have been directly engaged by ISIS fighters; 300 Yazidi women are known to have been taken as slaves by ISIS; and 1,922 Iraqi civilians, soldiers and police were killed by ISIS in June 2014 alone. Zero is listed as the number of openly practicing Christians left in Mosul since ISIS seized control.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/11/isis-iraq-numbers_n_5659239.html

Yet after all this, HuffPo writes that ISIS is no worse than the Klan.

As bad as it was, the Klan was always a regional threat that lacked grand global aims. It didn’t launch mass assaults or capture hundreds of slaves, nor did it proudly televise mass executions. The Klan’s evil was nowhere near the scale of ISIS’ evil. And unless you believe a thousand murders are no worse than a single murder, scale is important.

If scale isn’t important, if “any bad” equals “the worst bad”, then we can make these Huffington Post-like comparisons:

Slavery by blacks in the United States was just as bad as slavery by whites.

In a very interesting and widely ignored article, the black website The Root reports that free blacks owned slaves “in each of the thirteen original states and later in every state that countenanced slavery,” and had owned slaves since at least since 1654… “Free blacks owned slaves in Boston by 1724 and in Connecticut by 1783; by 1790, 48 black people in Maryland owned 143 slaves.”

Some free black slave owners in Louisiana even requested, and were granted, permission to serve in the Confederate Army. Just before the Civil War’s outbreak the black slave owners wrote, “The free colored population [native] of Louisiana … own slaves, and they are dearly attached to their native land … and they are ready to shed their blood for her defense. They have no sympathy for abolitionism; no love for the North, but they have plenty for Louisiana … They will fight for her in 1861 as they fought [to defend New Orleans from the British] in 1814-1815.”

http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2013/03/black_slave_owners_did_they_exist.html

And black Africans played a huge part in the slave trade. “Several nations such as the Ashanti of present-day Ghana and the Yoruba of present-day Nigeria were involved in slave-trading… Historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood have provided an estimate that Africans captured and then sold to Europeans around 90% of those who were shipped in the Atlantic slave trade. Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard Chair of African and African American Studies, has stated that ‘without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred.’” It’s also worth pointing out that the African nation of Mauritania just outlawed slavery in 2007, although about 20% of its population is still thought to be slaves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Africa

Since scale doesn’t matter, the HuffPo staff should agree that blacks are just as guilty of perpetuating slavery as whites. I’ll hold my breath waiting for them to publish an article decrying the “black privilege” legacy of black slaveowners.

Black racist organizations are just as bad as white racist organizations

In 1973 and 1974, a small group of black racists in San Francisco called the “Death Angels” murdered fourteen mostly white victims and wounded eight others. The attacks were usually random shootings of unsuspecting whites, but some were complex and horrific. One white couple was kidnapped and hacked with machetes after two of the killers fondled the wife (her husband survived). A homeless white man was kidnapped, bound and dismembered while still conscious. The killers were eventually arrested after a member of their group turned on them in exchange for immunity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra_murders

And then there’s the New Black Panther Party, which even some original Black Panthers disavow as violent and racist. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the New Black Panther Party as “a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.” One of their leaders, King Samir Shabazz, was quoted saying this in a 2009 National Geographic documentary: “I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate it… You want freedom? You going to have to kill some crackers! You going to have to kill some of their babies!” Another leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz, in 2002 shouted outside a synagogue, “Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel! Goddamn little babies, goddamn old ladies! Blow up Zionist supermarkets!”
http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/new-black-panther-party

The Death Angels and New Black Panthers accomplished nothing on the scale of the Klan’s reign of terror over southern blacks. They committed nowhere near 3,960 lynchings. But following HuffPo’s logic, they’re “no better, no worse”, than the KKK. Which makes black racist organizations no better, no worse, than ISIS. Since, you know, scale doesn’t matter.

I’m sure HuffPo’s next article will be headlined, “Black Racists were terrorizing America decades before Islamic State appeared.”

I can only think of one possible defense for HuffPo’s article: “They just published it. That doesn’t mean they agree with it.” Which makes sense, and explains why HuffPo has published the following articles:

“Why George W. Bush was the best president in American history”

“The Iraq War: blueprint for perfection in all future wars”

“The Democratic party should abandon Hillary Clinton for lying about being under sniper fire”

“A friendly chat with the head of the Tea Party”

Wait…maybe HuffPo hasn’t published those articles, since they obviously don’t agree with them. All web sites publish articles the staff and readers agree with. It’s safe to assume HuffPo and its readers agree that ISIS is no worse than the Klan.

That opinion is ridiculous, and ultimately useless. If in a thousand years the “Christian State of America and Canada” is doing exactly what ISIS is doing today, what purpose would it serve to point out “but others have done bad things too”?

Nearly every culture that ever existed committed some type of atrocity against someone. That doesn’t mean we dismiss atrocities committed today, simply because someone want us to feel perpetually guilty about long-ago crimes. The proper response to ISIS’ evil isn’t self-loathing from moral weaklings riddled with White Guilt.

Sorry HuffPo, but White Guilt won’t win this war. You and your readers keep responding to ISIS by berating yourselves for crimes you never committed. The rest of us will be too busy fighting evil to worry about things we’re not responsible for.

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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 BreachBangClear.com 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 chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).




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