America: a Nation of Cowards? So.. Are YOU a Sheep or Sheepdog?


About the author: Dennis Kennedy is Director of Training for the Counterterrorism Institute of America, LLC. Dennis is a 25-year veteran law enforcement Instructor and military special operations weapons NCO. He is a Utah POST certified Firearms Instructor as well as NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor He can be ... [read 's FULL BIO]

I am a product of the Baby Boomer crowd. Like most other Americans, I was taught and trained since the 1st grade, that the way to deal with any emergency was to DUCK & COVER. Probably most of you have had this same experience. I never questioned it as a child. I thought the adults knew what they were talking about. They were all WRONG.

America has raised a population of COWARDS.

We teach and train everyone that the OSTRICH protocol is the way to deal with fear. We teach our children to DUCK & COVER if anything scary happens. We train adults to go into LOCK DOWN if an armed intruder comes into the building.

Business Owners, College Deans and school Principals teach everyone to hide under the desk and wait their turn for execution. At this time, almost all Americans have been trained this way since birth. Why does it surprise anyone that is how they respond during an Active Shooter incident?

In some other countries they teach and preach a protocol of Hyper-Aggression against such attacks. I am going to call this the SHEEPDOG method. I will refer to the American protocol as the SHEEP method. Let’s break these down and look at some aspects of each one.

SHEEP Method
Becoming the victim seems to be the goal
No aggressive action is to be taken, even if your life is threatened
Victims must not fight back
Victims must HIDE and be quiet and wait your turn for execution
Victims must not make the killer MAD
Victims must run away if possible

Survival and defense of those on the scene is the goal
EVERYONE in the space is TRAINED and knows what to do
EVERYONE knows that in order to survive, they must act together
EVERYONE understands that Aggression beats surrender
ATTACKING the Killer beats hiding every time
The mindset is that the only victim will be the KILLER

That being said, let’s look at the outcome of a couple of common Active Shooter situations and see how they might play out with either protocol.

Scenario # 1 in a SCHOOL- A deranged stranger enters a high school and immediately starts shooting everyone in sight. The first person murdered is the School Resource Officer in the front office. He is the only armed person in the building. The WOLF is on the prowl for blood. Hearing the gun shots the teachers lock the doors to classrooms and hide inside. They herd the children under desks and tell them to be quiet. The Wolf approaches each door and shoots out the small window, reaches in and unlocks the door. The moment he enters he shoots the teacher and most of the kids. He then proceeds to the next classroom and the next. He hears the police entering the building and shoots himself in the head, ending the carnage.

Scenario # 2 in an Office building- A mentally unstable former employee enters his previous workplace heavily armed with a sawed off shotgun, handgun and a hunting knife. He immediately shoots the unarmed security Officer in the front lobby. The sound of the gunfire initiates an Emergency Action Plan the company has in place. The fire alarm is pulled. The building empties. Hundreds of calls pour into 911. The Killer roams the now mostly empty space looking for more victims. He finds a door to a small conference room unlocked and tries to push it open. The terrified employees have barricaded the door with furniture and filing cabinets. He is able to push his way partially inside. As he does, one employee grabs his gun hand and jerks him to the floor. The others in the room instantly attack him with chairs, lap top and pencils. He is knocked unconscious and bleeding. They disarm him, restrain him and wait for the police. The ordeal is over for them.

A major training organization in the USA teaches a few simple defensive terms. They are;

Evacuate the building if safe to do so

Call out to 911

Hide out if escape is not possible

TAKE OUT the attacker as a last resort if you are trapped. Use whatever is at hand as weapons to defend yourself or others.

Weapons of Defense

Since we now live in a most non permissive society where guns and other weapons are prohibited, they have mostly become SELF DEFENSE FREE ZONES. Whatever you end up fighting with is going to be tools of opportunity or improvised. Let’s look at some. Most of these can be found at most schools and offices.

Screwdrivers (stabbing)
Scissors (stabbing/cutting)
Box cutters, as in 9/11
Coat/hat racks (used as clubs)
Chairs (impact weapons)
Lap top computers (impact weapon)
Wire coat hangers (choking) and also used to LOCK DOWN the room
Books (corners used as impact weapons) also thrown as a distraction
Belts and clothing (used to trip, distract, choke) also used to tie doors closed
Ammonia, bleach and WASP spray (used to blind the eyes)

The list is almost endless. Look around your school or workplace and find your own. What is near you right now that you can use as a weapon? Play that game with yourself wherever you go. Say to yourselves“if I had to FIGHT right now what could I turn into a weapon”?


America has not always been like this. The first so-called Active Shooter incident in Austin, Texas was pretty much stopped in place by armed citizens. Texans saw the danger. They went and got rifles and shotguns out of their trucks and kept his head down until the cops could get up the Tower.

Where is that FIGHTING spirit now? Every week we seem to have some little weasel with a gun walk in and shoot the hell out of a bunch of folks. What would happen is everyone went after him and open a severe can of ‘whup ass’ on him? He can’t shoot all of us.

The Israelis learn from experience. We do not. After Terrorists attacked a school in Maalot, Israel, they started allowing Teachers and School Officials to carry guns to protect the kids. What do we do? We hide and wait for death. We teach our kids to do the same. I say that it is way past time that we get back some of that Pioneer spirit and FIGHT BACK whenever we are threatened. Tody Keith put it well. “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way”!

About the author-,Dennis Kennedy is Director of Training for the Counterterrorism Institute of America, LLC. Dennis is a 25-year veteran law enforcement Instructor and military special operations weapons NCO. He is a Utah POST certified Firearms Instructor as well as NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor He can be contacted via his company web site at www.combat-terror.com

Posting Policy
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.
  • Couldn’t agree more! You know, when I speak of this very thing with people, they cast me a strange eye. Some think me mean, aggressive, high strung, crazy, and a plethora of names/descriptions I can’t summon from memory.

    I simply cannot understand a culture that accepts, and in essence, promotes carnage and destruction being enacted against them with no struggle or fight. In situations such as you speak of, I do not believe in simply accepting that my fate may be to die due to a situation or issue that I have no part in.

    In a scenario such as school/work, I agree about using what you have at hand. I try to teach my family to not look for a weapon, but become the weapon…one that accepts any kind of ammunition they can lay their hands on. One should get very aggressive…make the perp think “YOU” are the crazy one, and level the playing field (when confontation is eminent).

    When a snake comes into my home, I crush it’s head and feed it to the dogs!

    • Me too Darrell! Thats one of the reasons I luv ya so much! You have been with me on facebook for several years now.. I always look forward to your input on my posts! Good to see ya here!

  • John V. Rigdon

    “A coward dies a million deaths. A Man only dies once!” Victims ARE trained. Wolf Hunters are made! Great Article. Thank You.

    • Thanks John for your feedback.. yes.. Dennis writes some good stuff.. love his work.

  • There is not a cell in my body that will go down without fighting and I’ll take any assailant with me. That’s a promise.

    • This I have learned about you already Dora.. I see you reposting much of my stuff.. that takes some guts! luv ya!

  • Steve Elsholz

    Can’t I be somewhere in between Sheep and Sheepdog (picture puppy dog eyes)?
    Of course I’d like to be the sheepdog, but sadly I’m very fearful, and in any event
    in human history nobody knows how someone will react when faced with danger
    (I’m speaking of people who don’t do that for a living, policeman, soldiers, etc
    are of course trained for that) until it happens; we hear stories of meek, wimpy,
    nondescript people who become lions, and big strong buffoons who cower, that’s
    part of the problem. Training may help, but you’ve covered that already, i.e., it’s
    not the norm. I love you to death Jan (what man wouldn’t?) but how does a school
    fight off an attacker, especially middle and elementary schools? Those children
    couldn’t do what you suggest, and training them could give them nightmares.
    Adults at the school could carry a gun, but you know that would never happen
    in America (except Texas, lol), especially with how uber-liberal teachers have become.
    I’m not tryng to be difficult, I just don’t see what can be done at secondary schools;
    what say you, Jan?

    • Steve, I did not write the article.. Dennis Kennedy wrote it. I stand by him in what he has written. The basic premise is that we are raising a nation of cowards and it is a mindset that we are in and the way we are teaching duch and hide as opposed to stand up and fight. I was raised to stand up and fight. One day that mentality may cost me my life, however, Steve, I would rather die fighting than live as a coward.. but.. thats just me.. Thanks for your input. I appreciate your interest in my site and we don’t always have to agree on everything. 🙂

    • Steve, I think you’re overlooking the facts. We train our little ones for all kinds of other emergencies like earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and even tsunamis. Why shouldn’t we train them to deal with human emergencies, like saving thier own lives? It makes no sense to teach them to wait for thier killer to come for them and just take it. You should think about the reality and stop letting petty things bother you. I don’t see how training for human cause emergencies would give them nightmares any more then trainig for the others. I agree with Jan and Dennis too.

  • Sagebrush6

    Everyone should be armed. An armed society is a polite society.

  • Kioga

    Dennis, an exceptional article that should be sent to schools, businesses and I guess anywhere that it’d be allowed in today’s society. I never did wait for the hat to drop before fighting if I sensed it was needed. Today’s kids grow up much more sedate than I did and are taught just as you pointed out, and also have to fear reprisal from some adult pacifist if caught defending themselves, even in bullying situations, or as you know, even as an adult end up going to jail or court for defending against an intruder in your own home. I , maybe unfortunately, grew up shooting first and asking questions later in a different era it seems. Thanks for the lesson and asking the questions as you did for kinda showing how things have changed in today’s political environment’s demise of wimpyness.

  • Tom from Tampa

    A good article keep em coming Jan, I am a Sheepdog, one of many that are out there, prepared to defend the sheep. “We must remember that one man is much the same as another and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.” Athenian General Thucydides

  • Louise

    I’m 82 years old and I can’t run, but I won’t go down without a a damn good fight

  • bartmansan

    Similar post from 2010. From my good pal SilenceDogood2010. Feel free to share if so inclined.


  • Steve White

    I myself am a Wolf…and even though we like them sheep…we watch out for them Sheep dogs…they are bad asses

  • j.r. ragalyi

    always had the thought that if given the situation,.i would,and could do my level best to,.take out my attacker,.with the idea in mind he was going to kill me anyway

  • marklks

    40 years ago, in the military, we were trained that in an ambush we should always attack. Charge the ambushers. It worked.

  • OzegrlExpat

    Wow! First and last time on this page. Any wonder why Americans have a bad reputation as aggressors, war mongerers and backward. And you want to vote in a candidate who has single handedly pissed off the USA’s 2 closest allies (Eng & Aust). Just look at David Cameron’s comments aimed directly at Romney earlier this year (unheard of from the Tories) and Wayne Swan’s recent press conference citing “lets be blunt…the greatest threat to the world’s economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the American Republican Party…”

  • OzegrlExpat

    And shame on the candidates (both sides) for unconscionable waste of money on ad campaigns, the lobby groups, and the media in the US who either serve the left or right and do nothing to inform citizens of facts and hold their civic leaders accountable on both sides of the fence. I came here – the right way – because my husband is American (I didn’t want to leave Aust). The people here are lovely – but I am appalled at the lack of objectivity in reporting and the blatant disregard and most often exclusion of facts (again – on both sides).

  • Steve E

    My bad on missing who the author is. Glen has changed me into thinking we should train children into fighting an attacker, I just have a hard time imagining little unarmed kids attacking an animal with a gun, but I agree, better that than nothing. I totally agree with the article, I don’t think we differ on anything Jan 🙂

  • George B. Taylor, Sr.

    Sheep – if you do not wish to become a “sheep dog” – I would strongly suggest you vote for any existing Republican who is running on 11-06-12 – and definitely vote for a new Republican candidate opposing a democrat (vet them first on their 2nd Amendment stand – though). Liberty is a precious thing – men and women die for it – I always refer to the famous “Virginian” Patrick Henry – who stated “give me liberty or give me death” – do you share his thoughts or would your prefer slavery administered by bureacrats? VOTE 11-06-12 or don’t complain about the death to constitutional governance – Sheep!