Today’s host is Jeremy Stone. You may recognize him as the guy who does many of the product showcase videos you see on the GunMag Warehouse social accounts. Jeremy is interested in doing some podcasting, so today he’s hosting The Mag Life Podcast, with Daniel Shaw as his guest. Listen in as Jeremy and Daniel discuss the Marine Corps, the current political climate, and how to strengthen the Second Amendment community.
Host: Jeremy Stone
Guest: Daniel Shaw
Introduction/Timeline: Stephanie Kimmell
0:50 Jeremy starts out by asking Daniel some questions about his military service. The first question is “Why did you go into the Marines, specifically?”
Daniel says that he grew up in a religious household and he was allowed to read military books with Christian leanings. He mentions long spells without television when he’d pick up some books. In those military books, he kept seeing Marines pop up who people seemed to really respect. He looked into it more and discovered it’s known to be difficult recruit training and the challenge drew him in.
Jeremy comments that it probably sucked at the time to have the TV taken away, though it was probably pretty good for him. Daniel says, “Oh yeah, nothing wrong with it. Especially now. It’s probably the best thing we could do right now is turn off the news and go outside.”
3:25 Next question: “What did you learn in the military that you could not learn in the civilian world?”
Daniel asks, “How long is this podcast!”
Then he says, “The biggest thing is… how to learn.”
He reflects on his time in school as a youngster and how he did all the things he was supposed to do and he hated it. Then he got to recruit training and he had to check all the boxes and do what he was told and it was really pretty simple, as long as you give 100 percent and you’re not completely dumb. Then he started getting into different fields where he was required to teach and people were really listening to him and paying attention to what he was saying, taking notes like he did when he was a younger Marine. He found out that he really needed to make sure he was getting things right.
So he dove into some research and he didn’t even know how to research, so he learned how to research and evaluate information sources. Later on, during his time in the Marine Corps, he started and finished college and then started using what he’d learned. Understanding what the objective is that he needed to learn in order to increase his capabilities allowed him to increase the capabilities of others around him — to make his Marines better warfighters and himself a better leader.
So, he read, researched, and tested a lot — whatever he needed to do to increase his capabilities in any given thing. So now when he runs into something, he studies the details of whatever it is to try to get an edge in any way that he can just through gaining knowledge and understanding.
Jeremy comments on how important it is to put in the effort if you want to get good at something. As an example, in high school, he didn’t like math and didn’t think he was good at it. But when he got to college and took an accounting class, his mindset switched. All of a sudden, it was valuable to him. He could see the value behind accounting, he could see the numbers behind it. The difference between the two scenarios is that in high school, he didn’t understand the reasons behind the study. So, the information he learned in high school didn’t seem as valuable as what he learned in college.
07:13 Was the training the best part of Daniel’s service — training other guys to get ready, or something else?
Daniel says the best part of his time in the Marine Corps was the exposure to so many different people from different walks of life, from different areas, different cultures He talks about the new knowledge that is gained when you get a bunch of like-minded folks together that all signed up to join the Marine Corps in a time of war.
“You could be out somewhere, on deployment in Iraq — we had a tanker who was a chemist and he made us some blasting caps. If you need something built or something done and you can scrounge some wood, there’s a guy who was a carpenter right there… just so many skills and so many things that people brought from their life before they joined the Marine Corps. And you end up doing something; maybe you’re in charge of all these Marines, but… because of what you’re doing, you’re the overall project manager… but a smart leader would say, “Hey, this guy that’s four ranks under me knows a lot about this thing so he’s going to make all the technical calls on this.” And [you] learn things in the process. I thought that was beneficial …. it’s a broader worldview that’s created because you… might be living in a hole with them for three, four months.”
9:59 What is the glue that binds Marines together?
Daniel thinks trauma bonding is what causes the camaraderie amongst Marines to be so strong.
“It’s just embracing the suck, all day long, every day. You could be deployed or you could be back in the rear in the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps does a really good job of making your life miserable. You have this misery that often loves company and it just so happens that you have a lot of company — in fact, you’re in a company. Misery loves that and it comes to see you every day, all the time. ”
Daniel thinks that trauma bonding is part of the warrior culture. He points out that not everybody is as much of a warrior as that person who is just all about it — trains all the time stays fit, eats right, thinks well, stays healthy, and is always trying to increase his or her capabilities. Those things have a big impact and they are also contagious, but on the other side, bad attitudes or cowardice can be contagious as well.
He describes what he thinks is the most interesting part of the camaraderie that happens in the Marine Corps: it is “…the only place that I’ve seen in my life where you’ve got these kids who went to recruit training and they’re together for a few months and… you’ll see them out at the mall and there will be somebody dressed in the baggiest pants, tees to the knees… sideways flat-bill. And then you’ll have a guy in cowboy boots with them, tight wranglers, a vest and a button-up shirt, and a cowboy hat hanging out with that same person… And then you’ll have an Abercrombie model-looking dude wearing his American Eagle and Abercrombie… and these are best friends! And they became best friends before they even saw the way each other dressed — they were all wearing cammies in recruit training, or PT gear. Suddenly they meet at the mall and they go grab a pizza and hang out together, and you’ve got the craziest group of people together that you’ve ever seen in your life!”
Jeremy remarks that in the civilian world, those people shouldn’t mesh.
14:45 Comparison to the culture outside of the military.
Jeremey comments that in a dark kind of way, our civilian world is devoid of a lot of trauma, and because of that, we don’t really have much to bind us together. At least, right now, there’s more division than Jeremy has ever seen. He feels like we are kind of looking for stuff to get mad at. Waiting for it. “But whatever you look for you find, right?”
Daniel says, “Yeah if you’re looking for negativity you’re going to find it all day long. You look for positivity— you’ll find it.”
Jeremy notes that from a civilian standpoint right now, we’ve got a large logistics pileup. We’ve got economic impending instability; we are already seeing the inflation.
15:44 Is there something that civilians, or Americans in general, should be preparing for?
Daniel says, “… what I’m seeing in the country right now is a great recipe for the patriots and just good people who believe in America, who love America, and believe in the founders, and the documents that they wrote… I think we have a perfect recipe to begin coming together. I think we’re at a very important part in American history where liberty has been attacked more than it’s ever been in so many ways. We could talk for hours about that.”
He says that even though there is a loud minority that easily accepts what the government (or whatever master) tells them to do (because they don’t really possess the ability to think beyond that and they don’t know that there is potentially a better way), there are a lot of folks who have been quiet and they’re starting to be loud. He points out recent instances of regular folks getting involved, like parents going into PTA meetings and really pushing back on a lot of this agenda that’s being targeted toward the children. People are going in front of governments and not holding anything back and really voicing their opinion, sometimes not in a polite or tactful manner, because they are really fed up.
And it continues to grow and build. It’s happening on campuses all over the country right now. Usually, we see the other side of things on campuses. But now, the people who are for liberty and truth and for what America really means, the real American dream — they’re starting to really stand up even in areas where they have been, historically, the most oppressed. We haven’t seen that in many years, but we’re seeing it now.
Daniel is very optimistic about the potential direction that we could be going in the very near future if this steam continues to build at the grassroots level.
“We’ve got a lot of uphill battle to go but I think that we’re in a great spot right now to start moving in the right direction if we can get some good leadership. And I don’t mean one person as president, I mean multiple people at the local level, the state level, and the federal level… There are a couple of states setting some solid examples and hopefully, that continues.”
19:20 What about regular civilians training with combat gear, running drills, preparing for future threats?
Jeremy points out that some people believe that civilians who train like this are training for some ‘non-existing threat,’ that we have no reason to fear the government or foreign powers and that that kind of training is unnecessary.
In Daniel’s opinion “Saying civilians shouldn’t do that or that they don’t rate to do that because they weren’t in the military — I think it’s the most un-American thing you could possibly say. This is the second amendment. It’s not written for deer hunting, competition shooting, or sporting purposes. It is for defense against everything from terrorism to tyranny and self-defense of your family and yourself.”
Daniel thinks it’s awesome for civilians to train.
” I’ve been teaching out here since 2013 in the civilian world and I’ve had tons of people come just because they’re hobbyists. They’re an accountant, they’re an attorney, the chances of them having to use the skills they’re coming out there to learn is absolutely next to zero… But what better thing could somebody be doing for a hobby? You’re out there in the sun getting some vitamin D all day. You’re out there getting some exercise… You’re getting a little more regulated with handling and manipulating your rifle and being safe for yourself and your family that you bought that gun to protect.
“And you’re getting a little more lethal for the bad guys that you might need to be lethal for. I don’t care why anybody is in the class as long as it’s not for nefarious reasons. I’m happy they’re there and I want them to get the skills. I don’t care what they do every day. I don’t care what shape they’re in or their fitness level. They’re going to increase their capabilities and hopefully get inspired to get a better level of fitness mentally and physically.”
Jeremy says it’s the same as asking somebody why they train jujitsu as if they think they’re going to get into a fight.
“Well, I’m not planning on it necessarily but life can kinda throw that at you sometimes and it also makes people like me feel a lot better whenever I’m already prepared for a worst-case scenario – when I’ve thought it out, done training… if anything happens, I know what to do. And I don’t have to panic and hope that the government is going to come save me. Because, historically, that’s never been the case. They’re not really going to come for you. It’s going to be you on your own at least for a little while, and you’re going to have to take care of yourself and your family. So why you wouldn’t be prepared?”
That’s not something that really computes with Jeremy. He also believes that an armed society is a polite society. Furthermore, he says there’s nothing in the world that he thinks would level the playing field more for women than being armed and he thinks it’s a strange idea to think that a person has to be in the military in order to learn how to run a rifle
22:58 Daniel continues on with that concept of leveling the playing field.
“I teach a lot of females. They come to classes for widely different reasons, but in a lot of cases it’s because they had an event they were scared of… they want to not have that event again, or at least have control and some strength to maybe stop such an event if it ever were to occur for them or someone else that they care about.”
He further applies it to the reason the second amendment was written: “It’s to level the playing field. It’s so the citizens of the country do not become subjects to what may become a dictator or a monarchy where we’re basically just told how things are going to be.”
He continues, mentioning how we are seeing a lot of that happening now that is very concerning, but, “…like the founders, I think that we need to make sure that we are doing absolutely everything that we can politically, legally, in anything that we can do until all resources run out. They set a very strong example for us when they penned the Declaration of Independence and the steps that they took before they got to that point. ”
Jeremy says, “I think it’s only as bad as it is — because we have guns. It would be much worse. You can look around the world and see that things could be a lot worse. Look at Australia, for example, during all of this, it’s not going very well for them.”
They discuss how it’s appropriate for the government to have a healthy respect, or even fear, of its citizens. For example, recent memos came out saying that parents who attend PTO meetings could be domestic terrorists, which caused a big problem — justifiably so. They discuss the censorship that’s happening all over social media and search engine results. In a lot of ways, there is a vast effort to contain the strength of the people, but they’re still not able to do it.
He moves on to talk about the current controversy over vaccines.
“We had this vaccine mandate — it’s not a law — it’s not even really a mandate, for companies that have over 100 employees. We’ve seen companies say, “Look, if we do this, all of our pilots are going to quit working. All of our employees are going to quit working.” These companies are coming out saying “Hey, we’re not going to follow this mandate.” They’re more scared of their employees… and that they can’t push them around and tell them what to do… (to take the vaccine)… This is a perfect example of the government losing a little bit of control that they have falsely acquired. I’m loving seeing people taking a stand right now. I hope to see it… those regular citizens down there, those are the ones driving that and I think that’s awesome.”
Jeremy points out how in this situation businesses have been put in the position as the scapegoats and the inflictors of the punishment. So, in effect, the government set a rule but doesn’t require individuals to follow it. Instead, the government requires businesses to follow it.
30:20 Is there something lacking with our military at this point? Has it changed since Daniel got out?
Daniel says, “Marines are still Marines. I was very proud of them and what they were doing at the airport in Afghanistan… I had tears in my eyes a few times. I was proud of those guys and girls that were out there. I don’t think people realized what it takes to go in a crowd of people like they were in the Kabul airport and start searching people and processing people… knowing that at any moment you could be blown up by someone with a suicide vest on. They knew that but they laced up and went out there and did the same thing anyway and they looked out for each other and they did the best that they could. Then when things went bad there were people acting very heroically and saving lives, civilian lives, Afghan national lives, and other service members.”
He does think that somewhere at the top we have some issues that are driven heavily by politicians in the federal government.
“But the marines, the soldiers, the people at the mid and lower ranks — they are the same. They haven’t changed and every time I see them doing something, I see that a marine’s always going to be a Marine, no matter what era…”
The conversation shifts to the equipment and technology left in Afghanistan and ending up in Taliban possession. Jeremy points out the irony, “We’re not allowed to have any of that stuff here as citizens… They’re more equipped than a lot of countries so all we did was give them a leg up… — But American citizens can’t own SBR’s. In fact, ‘we’d rather you just didn’t own any guns at all.’ But they just armed our greatest enemy, arguably, and gave them black hawk helicopters and gave them the ability to come here to the US. Wouldn’t you want your citizens to be trained and armed?”
Daniel agrees, “The contrast is crazy. They’re trying to disarm the good guys here… but we armed one of the worst organizations on the planet with absolutely state-of-the-art and superior equipment.”
36:15 Do you think there’s ever going to be a time where it’s (the real-world applications of the Second Amendment) established, set in stone?
Daniel says he thinks it’s established and set in stone as much as it could ever be right now.
“We continually win when we go to the supreme court, we do have some things that get shot down in court like the bump stock ban that President Trump did. They’re really working on the pistol stocks right now, or pistol braces. So we have these small losses that we should not be losing and shouldn’t be conceding, but we win in a lot of cases.
“One of the most dangerous things that could happen to the second amendment is if the majority of the country actually believed that it shouldn’t exist anymore. I think we’re a very, very long way from that. I think we’re a lot further from that than anybody tries to portray in the media or government. The majority of people in this country, from everything that I’ve seen, are owners of firearms, no matter their political leanings.
“I think we need to be very careful and do things better as a community because I don’t believe there’s any mortal man who should be able to tell me what kind of weapons I should or shouldn’t own, what kind of ammunition or anything else. What kind of capabilities those weapons should have. But as a community, we should be helping people and encouraging training, and encouraging them to get better because every time there’s an accident… it really sets us back.”
We are one of our own biggest threats, by not being good members of the Second Amendment community. It’s part of our duty as Americans and responsible owners of firearms for defensive purposes to get out there and do things like take a class with our friends if we see that they’re not handling a gun well.
Daniel stresses the importance of encouraging people to get more training.
“I try to encourage them to be safer with the gun around those people that they bought the gun to protect. As a trainer, I find that there’s a lot of people who just don’t know what they’re doing is dangerous, that there is a better, safer, more efficient way. Sometimes they just don’t know that they need to learn those things.
“I think we could do a better job as a community defending the second amendment just by encouraging our friends to get more proficient, safer, and better at what they are doing and better able to articulate why they’re doing it.”