2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Facial hair...combat multiplier?

Take a look at this bad butt monkey....


Bet you wouldn't want to mess with him in the wee hours of the morning now, would you?

Now lets take a look at that same mug minus the goatee....

Well, not as intimidating..to me at least...but then again considering it is me maybe I am a little bias....lets change guns and see what happens...

Nope, no change, still not as threatening as in the first pic.

Does facial hair really cause a person to appear more threatening or intimidating?  In the shooting world many well and lesser know folks are sporting facial hair...

Chris Costa...

Massad Ayoob..

Ken Hackathorn..

George "Mad Ogre" Hill (co-founder of WeTheArmed.com and Crusader Weaponry)..and yes, there are three shameless link plugs there for him...he's a friend and I am not being paid to do it, so there...

A lot of other gun related bloggers got the beards and 'staches going...James from Hell In A Hand Basket (top) and Carteach0 (bottom), just to name a few...



 Operators all over CENTCOM are going ZZ top...


Local friends of mine rock the face hair.. (Kev is on the right and Eric in the really horrible looking shorts running steel plates)

Facial hair has even worked its way into our popular culture in movies and sports as a sign of being a warrior...Gerard Butler worked the coarsest looking beard ever to grace a leading actors face...

A viking? No you idiot...a Steeler...

What is it, if anything, that makes facial hair so "frightening" when applied to shooting? I mean nobody every took this beard as being a threat....

But add a firearm and look what you get...


All of a sudden you got a deranged madman on your hands (at least in the media, I see a resident of the North Pole on guard against polar bears).

I mean, after all, we're just talking about some hair and whiskers here.  Its not like a mans beard is made of magic stuff that causes his aim and rate of fire to magically improve, right?

I conjure the power of marksmanship and cast it on thy pistol....

Man has been rocking the face with a beard ever since Adam and Eve begat all those folks.  Yes, even in the Bible there are stories of warfare involving some of your most beloved Old Testament types...Abraham?  pure unadulterated bad ass..most of his family too.  Tough times and tough living cause to form tough people and especially tough warriors. Back then any conflict between tribes and the like were pretty fierce, hand-to-hand style affairs fought with clubs and stabby-stabby style stuff.  Maybe having a beard (and matching long hair) would of been an advantage by making the warrior look bigger than he may have been, or possibly even allowing him to partially mask his emotions during battle.  I dunno, that was a long time ago and way before anyone actually studied the psychological affects of war on the soldiers involved.  For a long time in history man had commonly worn a beard because the technology to make a blade that could safely and comfortably remove it to the skin was not available.  Until that was invented it was common for a man to visit a barber to have his beard trimmed neatly to his face and preference.  Indeed the tonsorial parlors of the ancient world may of been the de facto "back rooms" of power where Greek and later Roman Senators could "talk shop" in an environment where the normal political protocols and grandstanding could be put aside.

Some cultures took the wearing of the beard to be a sign of manhood and the mark of a warrior.  Such men would often be away from home hunting or engaged in battle and the act of shaving would not be a luxury allowed in the field.  Such men as the vikings would take pride in their beards and often braid them as both a practical way of grooming but also for the way the appearance may frighten a enemy.



It really wasn't until the modern age where companies like Gillette could mass produce razors of such quality and keenness to take a hair off right at the surface of the skin that a clean shaven face was "the norm" for the common man.  Even then certain men have still chosen to wear their facial hair in a style that suits their personality or chosen profession.  At one time great lengths were taken to cultivate facial hair befitting of ones place in an organization or society, especially in the military. Who can forget this guy from the movie Zulu, a color sergeant has to look their best don't they?


The common perception that cops and highway patrolmen wear mustaches has to be founded in some basis of fact, right?  Just take the following picture, notice how the two troopers with mustaches are smiling the and one without, not so much...


For me the wearing of facial hair was off limits most of my adult life from 18 - 39 as I was in the military is some capacity for that period.  The wearing of any facial hair other than a mustache (itself having to conform to certain restrictions among them not extending outside or below of the opening of the corner of the mouth and not being waxed or shaped into a thin "pencil" appearance) was prescribed as to not affect the wearing of a chemical agent protective mask.  The presence of a beard would affect the ability of the mask to seal against the wearers face and allow agents or smoke to seep in (in the case of a fire fighters or damage control mask), not good if you are dealing with agents ranging from simple CS tear gas to VX nerve gas.

Two relics of my military service, both a PITA to wear but necessary, the M40 was a much better mask than the M17...

In some nations military the beard is still allowed, but in the US all branches have made it against the regs to have one, save some of our "high speed low drag" folks that wear them not only to blend into local populaces but also to conform to some of their customs and traditions about men wearing beards..


I recently grew a goatee (as in the first pic) after going on vacation earlier in February and being too lazy to shave.  After it grew in a couple of days I used my wifes razor to shave off the sides of the beard to form the goatee.  Got to liking it after a week so I let it keep growing.  Thought it was both funny, cool, and sad that it grew in red and grey...almost like it was a Buckeye beard (Ohio State's colors are scarlet and grey)..then it started to grow too long...hair started to get itchy around the corners of my mouth.  Thankfully Kev aided me with his immense experience with the goatee and told me (to wit) "hey dumbass, you got to buy a trimmer and scissors and clean that stuff up".  So I did, and all was good for about a week.  Then my "newbness" caught up with me and I accidentally trimmed off too much until it looked like crap, so I shaved it off and am starting all over again..hence the second set of pictures.  This time it looks like my beard is growing in even grayer than before...weird, and again somewhat sad.  I'm not THAT old for crying out loud..
My shame is an internet meme....

Anyway, does all of this mean that having a mustache, beard or some other form of facial hair make you a better warrior?  Of course not!  Hey if you are spending all of your time trimming and taking care of your facial hair and expect it to win a fight your all messed up like a fart in the wind or a football bat!  Training is the only way to ensure you are prepared to face any type of adversary in an armed encounter.  Sure they look cool on certain folks and can be intimidation, but once the "GO" button is pushed the advantage of the mighty beard and mustache is gone. There are plenty of posers out there with the coolest looking beards and such that are just itching to show off their fancy black tactical ninja pistols at the range or on YouTube, but without training they are only doing two things...

  1. Giving their future adversary a nice trophy of a fancy black tactical ninja pistol.
  2. Giving the guy or gal at the funeral parlor one more thing to worry about by having a beard to trim and clean up for your viewing.

So while simply having a beard or mustache may not indicate directly a persons abilities..they sure are pretty damn neat to be able to grow.  Speaking of which, mine should be long enough to trim into shape in a day or two.....

So here's to you my mustached and bearded brothers (and sisters, I don't judge like that)...a musical salute from arguably the best beards ever in the music business...


2 comments:

The Zombie Hunter said...

awesome!

so if you add leather boots, a gun, and chest hair. you can't go wrong!

http://famewatcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/sean-connery2.jpg

wait, I think my eyes are bleeding...

coyotesfan97 said...

Color Sergeant Bourne rocks! Quiet sir you're upsetting the lads.