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By David “Jager” Burnell
Founder and CEO, OPSGEAR®
Why do some people join the military or the 911 community and lay their lives, limbs and futures on the line for complete strangers, while others seek diligently to find ways to steal from their fellow man and deprive others of freedom, property and peace?
This is a recurring dilemma that has again been recently brought to the forefront of my world with powerful personal reminders.
On the 19th of August at about 0400 our Retail Store located in North Salt Lake, Utah was victimized for the second time by at least three people who evidently preplanned the burglary with malice aforethought and intent to steal. these are the same kind of people that would most likely greet you with a smile and cut your throat to drink your blood.
While my heart is at peace regarding the lessons I am and will continue to learn spiritually from a loving Father in Heaven who chastens those whom he loveth, there is no doubt in my mind that God grants us experiences to soften, harden, make wise and inspire us to new heights.
I have a solemn responsibility to do all in my power to aid those who seek training, wisdom and experience that will enable them to fight against the evils of this mortal place and preserve their lives, property and peace.
The contrast of these two types of peoples can be found in the story that took place on a Saturday while I was working in the OPSGEAR retail store with my good buddy, veteran and business partner John West. We had been open for a few minutes when we noticed a man struggling to get to the front door of the store.
We had only had the place open for a few weeks and he was a new visitor with a mission… move his body through the doors and enter the store. He labored heavily to make his way into the building.
I greeted him with a smile and enthusiasm. He shyly smiled a warm return and began to slowly peruse the isles of military and police-style gear, gently touching certain items as if he were caressing memories. I couldn’t help but to be struck by his movements of pain and discomfort.
I recognized the masked confidence with the reality of deep and persistent pain. Being the open fellow I am I decided to ask him some pointed questions that led him finally to tell us his story. The circumstances of his personal incident are not unique to the casual listener, but his story was. Let is suffice to say that after 20 plus years in the Marine Corps he deployed to Iraq. After several months in the country he was caught by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that destroyed his mortal body.
He was somewhat cryptic at first as he related the details of his injury, but as we developed our quick and genuine relationship eye to eye with sincerity and real interest he began to tell more. He knew that we didn’t just want to hear a war story, but were interested in him personally. After telling briefly of the buddies lost and loved, he mentioned that he had been through many surgeries and for a few years had been trying to get his life back both physically and mentally. The reality is that he will never have his life back the way it was.
This wonderful man went to war for you and me regardless of who you voted for or how much you think he did not need to be there. He went for you. Some will say “he is a warrior and likes to fight” and that is why he went. I will say to that, anyone who has ever fought and lost someone or something does not really want to fight again unless deep down inside they are a bit tweaked in the brain or have a worthy cause.
The first casualty is one’s own youth and innocence. Most of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are prone to doing their duty for their mates first and then their country. Politics and your personal views about them do not weight in. They stand the watch and do it for next to nothing… why are they like that? Why? Seek to know them personally and learn about their early motives and how those motives often changed into the things mentioned heretofore. After they had been in for a while they realized it is for their families, friends and mates. They did it for you. They wanted to make a difference and in many cases will never know what you and I have.
Contrast this man to the dirtbags that violated our store and you can easily get the picture of good versus evil, yin, and yang or right versus wrong. Our purpose here on earth is to learn the difference. Many times the line becomes blurry, but at times like these, it is so clear that you can see your reflection in it.
We all have a right to peace and the pursuit of happiness. We also have the right to protect our families, friends, property, and peace by all means necessary. I find humor in the liberal banter about the use of force in times of personal preservation. I have a solution to teach this principle to even the most liberal of people. As you begin the discussion with the anti-gun owner or absolute nonviolent person… smash them in the face. You can use your hand, fist, stick or another object. As they begin to object, do it again and again… as soon as they begin to fight back or go unconscious your mission is accomplished.
Seriously… the reality of our dilemma at OPSGEAR is that even with our training, experience and motivations the real worlds problems are not solved in 30 minutes like on TV. We are subject to gravity and time as the rest of the world. We do however have at our disposal a genuine deep burning motivation, not unlike that of the veteran that slowly came into our store and our lives that day. For him moving is the life challenge, but he does it every single day and will never quit. We know this and will use it to our advantage. The other thing that the bad guys lack often and we will use to prevail is the kind of patience that allows us to outlast them. They cannot make a mistake, not one.
We come from a culture of commitment and loyalty where they are often sold by their friends to the highest bidder. We will use this glitch in their character, we will also use every legal means at our disposal to find these guys and bring them to justice… even if it takes years and they are already in prison for some other crime. Watch and witness what steady, slow, methodical men can do when violated. Unlike these bad guys that brag of their deeds… we do not. We will wait, send out the word and watch… then when the time is right… POUNCE like 400-pound Gorillas with speed, surprise, and violence if needed.
Beyond this written yarn from an old warrior, I would say this to my friends and family: harden your homes. Put lights outside, get an alarm system, lock your doors, never leave main floor windows open, get a firearm and training on how to use it – the war is now and it will be getting much worse. It is fine to say “no violence for me” come to my class where I smack you in the face until you realize the only way to remove the threat is to act upon it with equal or greater violence, then you will understand. having said that the world does need victims… it’s good for the bad guys’ business… so if you disapprove then just go on your merry way and perhaps God will bless me or one of my conscientious friends to be in the right place at the wrong time and we will blow your assailant into the next life for you…