Quote of the Day: Life’s Lupine Lesson Edition

Wolf (courtesy meettheslavs.com)

“I have learned that violence must be met with violence. I have learned through hard experience that I can fight, and that I can win. I can also lose, and so I take steps to minimize that risk. Part of that is the carry of a weapon. The gun is an extension of who I am. It is the tool of my identity. It is the symbol and the instrument of my personal inclination to face whatever comes. The basic duty of man is the responsible application of violence to counter the less responsible. It is who I am, who we are. Because there comes a time when philosophizing is counter-productive. When the wolf comes, will you contemplate his true nature, try to reason? Or will you put him down?” – TTAG commentator Tarrou underneath Quote of the Day: Self Awareness Edition

comments

  1. avatar Albaniaaaaa says:

    I liked that, especially the “extension of who I am” part. It’s funny because that is often said when one is talking about swords and training with them. That they are like an extension of your arm. Yet, those same people will often get all pissy if you say the same about a firearm. However true it is.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Tools, especially frequently used ones, literally are extensions of yourself as far as your brain is concerned.

      I can’t find it now, but there was a very interesting study done on neurological reactions to malfunctioning computer mice. When your hands are manipulating a familiar computer mouse (or a gun or hammer or…), your brain treats it like an extension of your body. Manipulating the object to affect your environment is neurologically no different than simply moving your hand.

      I did find this, however: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/you-are-what-you-touch/

      It may not be a big stretch to see that as one of the reasons why we get so fired up about the thought of people taking away our guns: our most familiar tools are part of us in a very real sense.

  2. avatar Alex says:

    Beautiful…

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Agreed.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Yes, it was well written and stated. I’m not entirely sure that the wolf as implacable enmy to be destroyed was the best metaphor, however.

      Keep in mind that all wolves carry their arms (their teeth) with them 24/7. The majority of wolves also form or join militias (wolf packs) for survival and protection. Furthermore men found a way to reason with wolves and in so doing brought them to our side as “man’s best friend” – the dog.

      Perhaps a Hyena or a Grizzly would have been more appropriate?

      Still, well written piece.

      1. avatar Will Sahli says:

        Please don’t anthropomorphize wolves. Wolves are not wonderful and noble creatures. They devour their pray alive. They run down animals, take a bite or two and leave them to die. Ask any rancher how noble wolves are. After you pick yourself up after the deck, ask the rancher why he punched you out. There are almost no native Grey wolves here in the lower 48. What’s been released into the wild are Alaskan and Canadian Greys. They weigh up 190 lbs as compared to the 90-110 lbs of the native Grey. They are like imported livestock death squads.

        Respect the wolf, that makes sense, but to enshrine the wolf as something we should emulate is just silly. I think most of us would say that we”re Sheepdogs. What do Sheepdogs guard the flock against? Wolves. Duh…

        1. avatar Paelorian says:

          Wolves are ignoble because they run down animals and eat them alive? Well then, by that logic all carnivorous and omnivorous animals are ignoble. Only humans are humane.

          I’m not disagreeing with you that wolves can be a problem that requires lethal force. But they should also be respected. There are situations where a dangerous wolf confronts a person, or endangers their livelihood, and the only acceptable option is violence. But there are many more situations where people live peacefully among wild animals capable of violence without being disturbed. Generally, only a desperate or diseased wolf would attack people, and wolves are smart enough to know that attacking protected animals and exposing themselves to danger for humans is to be avoided if they have alternatives.

          Wolves are neutral. They can be good or bad depending on your point of view. There’s a balance to the hate of ranchers for wolves. In agricultural cultures without much animal husbandry, such as Japan, wolves were traditionally admired. They thinned out the numbers of animals that ate the crops, such as wild boar, and as such were useful to humans. They were left offerings and said to guide travelers home. The Japanese wolf was only exterminated after ranching had become popular in Japan and it was deemed a threat, and the complete eradication and extinction of the subspecies was a crime against nature, God, and even humanity.

  3. avatar David says:

    Amen, brother!

  4. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    Love it.

  5. avatar sampson says:

    As an Leo we are taught this lesson from day one. That, we are the guard dogs. We are those who stop the wolves when they show up. And we see every lamb they kill. We see the sheep complain about the guard dogs. Because we look a lot like wolves to them. And yet we know that they will return for their prey. Because they cannot survive without prey. And when we see another guard dog who takes a lamb we mourn the loss of both the lamb and the former guard dog who must now be put down as a wolf. But we continue to be guard dogs. Because that is our nature, to stopthe wolves.

    1. avatar Joe says:

      Ummm, yea, but as a sheep myself I’d rather be armed and not need the guard dogs for me and mine, for this farm’s court system has decided that the guard dogs’ primary responsibility is not to protect the sheep, but to clean up the spilled wool after the slaughter… Romantic ideal though Sampson

      1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

        If you arm yourself and prepare to face the wolf, you are no longer a sheep. To be a sheepdog does not by any means require you to put on a badge or a uniform. All it takes is your decision not to go blindly to the slaughter, not to wait for death at the hands of the wolf or to watch as he takes your loved ones.

        Since you seem to have crossed that line and made the commitment to be ready, anyone who counts you as one of the sheep is in for a surprise.

    2. avatar webpawn says:

      How do the guard dogs feel about Joe and his sheep growing some fangs and not being totally dependent on the guard dogs for their own protection? Will they accept them as being in their right and acknowledge them as part of the solution to the wolf problem, or will the fanged sheep be a source of fear and worry among the guard dogs?
      The quote in the article is written by such a fanged sheep, and it is about that sheep being comfortable with personally having those fangs and the capabilities that they give him. It does not mention guard dogs, since the sheep knows that those cannot always be counted on when the wolf comes. Important, especially when even the guard dogs know that sometimes the guard dog becomes the wolf.

    3. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      Since I have time to contemplate the true nature of the Wolf at this moment, I might infer that the writer could also be saying LEO are the wolves.

      Citizens are the wild things. Not sheep for you to “watch” over.

    4. avatar vioshi says:

      There is a difference between a sheep dog and a guard dog. I believe the original poster is talking about sheep dogs, or rather sheep that choose to become sheep dogs.
      The quality of a good sheep dog is that they never use fear or violence to influence the sheep. Violence is reserved for the wolves. As such they can coexist with the sheep peacefully.
      The qualities of a guard dog is that they respond to any threat with escalating violence. They are conditioned to respond to any intruders with fear and intimidation. They sometimes confuse the dirty sheep for wolves. And other times, they become wolves themselves. They deal with everyone outside their circle of trust with an alpha attitude.
      This ok, because it is suited to their purpose. A guard dog is an offensive protector. It seeks out threats and neutralizes them. A sheep dog Is a defensive protector. It won’t chase down a wolf, but it won’t back down from a pack of them either.

    5. avatar Mmmtacos says:

      This would be the argument of retired LTC Dave Grossman, “On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs”

      http://www.gleamingedge.com/mirrors/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html

    6. avatar dudebro says:

      thank you for this comment. it is good to hear from LEO on this subject. my one question: what will be your position should you become ex-LEO?

  6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “The gun is an extension of who I am. It is the tool of my identity. It is the symbol and the instrument of my personal inclination to face whatever comes.”

    And that is why politicians hate us.

    Politicians hate us because we are not so easy to manipulate, exploit, use, abuse, and consume for their pleasure.

    Sadly, I see the same characteristics in criminals … is there any difference?

  7. avatar Denny says:

    Beautiful Wolf!

    Reminds my of our dear family friend WAYA we lost him back on Sept 27 2013

  8. avatar Wood says:

    Eloquent. Thanks for that.

    This Truth will be lost on those who expect someone else to protect them. In fact they will think it supports their faulty arguments against gun ownership, but that is only because they have rejected personal responsibility in all aspects of their lives.

  9. avatar DanRRZ says:

    Well said my friend.

    Your words describe the American spirit in a beautiful way. Our character has been developed through the hard experience you mention. From carving our independence from Great Britain, settling our vast and rural continent, and defending freedom in the World Wars we have been shaped as a society by these challenges. Furthermore, guns have been instrumental every step of the way.

    What troubles me is that this character is being bred out of our population at an alarming rate. Urbanization has surely hindered this steely resolve, as the challenge to carve your living from the land has become a rarity. Feminism and political correctness have frowned upon the traditional American machismo. Schools have taught our children that competition is wrong, simple games like dodgeball which allow the physically dominant to excel are banned, and athletic leagues favor giving every participant a trophy regardless of performance. To top that off, athletics are also being replaced by the preference for video games and technology.

    I’m going on 27, and I have seen this decline accelerate in my time on earth. I plan on being here for a good while longer, and with that I am dismayed to consider the future trajectory of this trend.

    1. avatar Mk10108 says:

      I’m ok with the herd moving this direction. Opens more opportunities for my kids. My 5 year olds are competition game junkies and will enjoy guiding them why it’s important to win.

  10. avatar Tarrou says:

    My thanks for the compliments all. I thought I might have overdone the verbiage a bit. 😛

    I guess the NPR line riled me up a touch. It is annoying to have it assumed that thoughtful people cannot also be violent when the situation requires it. Or vice versa. Socrates was a hoplite, Marcus Aurelius a general, Ben Jonson a soldier and champion (a literal one). To paraphrase the wisest man, there is a time for everything, a time to think and a time to act. The trick is distinguishing the two.

  11. avatar Mk10108 says:

    The end of violence is a cerebral goal for a nation. It’s interrupted by the brain stem of criminals.

  12. avatar David says:

    The sheepdog is merely the wolf brought close to man and the jackal is merely the dog set free.

  13. avatar Guy From V says:

    My mind went directly back to my old Werewolf: The Apocalypse RPG days.

  14. avatar Lauderdale Vet says:

    TRIBES (by Bill Whittle) is the first article I ever read that put a voice to the sheepdog mentality.

    http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000129.html

  15. avatar LJM says:

    Post of the month.

  16. avatar silverwarloc says:

    I love going to TTAG. The readers here are very well-informed. The fact that the responses here are pretty outstanding, especially with the analogies, keeps me coming back here everyday without failure.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      I was about to post something very similar. Such good company here.

  17. avatar El Mac says:

    Preach it!

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    Why all the hating on wolves? Wolves form a community. They take care of each other and their young. They kill when they are hungry. They rarely if ever attack people.

    Human predators destroy communities. They sell each other out and neglect their young. They kill when they are afraid, or sometimes they kill just for the sake of killing. They attack people without provocation.

    Comparing wolves to human predators is an insult to wolves.

    1. avatar Shenandoah says:

      Ralph, I was about to say the same thing.

    2. avatar Tarrou says:

      It’s a rhetorical device, dating from the days when wolves were a clear and present danger to children and livestock. It refers specifically to the human “wolf” and not the literal one. I do apologize to all Lupophiles, and assure you that no wolves were harmed in the making of this blog post! 😛

    3. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      While I agree with you on the virtues of wolves, things change if you look at it from the point of view of the sheep.

      The wolf comes and goes when he pleases, and takes what he wants because he is stronger and willing to kill. It is in his nature to use violence without remorse against the sheep. He cannot be stopped, for it is not in the nature of the sheep to fight back. He can only be feared, and the sheep can only flee or watch as their weakest are taken, knowing that the wolf will come again when he is ready.

      The sheep will never understand the internal morality of the wolf. They only understand terror and death.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        We have an economic contract in our society. We agree that if we are going to destroy someone else, even for sport, we do it by taking their money and impoverishing them. Banking. Gambling. Frivolous law suits. Taxes. Drugs. It is legal to shear the sheep relentlessly, but not to actually kill them, because that would reduce the fleece available in the future.

        There’s a lesson in that, even for gun owners. Maybe especially for gun owners.

    4. avatar ThomasR says:

      The wolf analogy is completely appropriate. Wolves in the old world were a clear and present danger to human populations. They were used to eating off the dead humans massacred during the thousands of years of mass warfare and because many humans living under tyrannical rule were denied the use of effective weapons of war to defend against wolf attacks.

      The wolves in this country never had the chance to acclimate to humans as food because the humans mostly properly cared for their dead not allowing them to become scavenged food by wolves and the live humans carried effective weapons for self-defense.

      But never doubt for one moment that as wolves are reintroduced to the wilderness here in the states; that if they become acclimated to humans and the humans are not allowed to kill the wolves that show aggression towards humans, the wolves, just as coyotes have shown in populated areas; will start hunting humans as food as they did in the old world.

  19. avatar JaxD says:

    This should be printed on black velvet, and sold at every flea market. Right next to the dream catchers and dragon incense burners.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      That’s an interesting view. In contrast to your view I’ll point out the Chinese best-seller, “Wolf Totem,” by Jiang Rong. If you google it, several detailed reviews will appear in the list. It was, is, a very popular book, and among the elites, not the velvet Presley masses:

      “There are laments about how timid Chinese peasants fell prey to canny Westerners who, as “descendants of barbarian, nomadic tribes such as the Teutons and the Anglo-Saxons,” have the blood of wolves in their veins. Chen concludes that the Chinese “are in desperate need of a transfusion” of such “vigorous, unrestrained blood.” This sort of parade-ground bellicosity echoes the rhetoric of China’s neocon intellectuals, eager to see their country beat the West at its own game. Yet Jiang Rong, who was jailed as a democracy activist after the Tiananmen Square massacre, also mentions “freedom and popular elections” as among the salutary “traditions and habits” contemporary Westerners inherited from their nomadic ancestors.”

      Hunting of the wolf, wolf-like pursuit by humans, inspires many socio-political thoughts, or serves as ground for a parable.

  20. avatar DaveL says:

    I really hate the whole “wolf, sheep, sheepdog” analogy for so many reasons. First, both armed defenders and police (and most criminals as well) are full members of the public. They are “of the flock”, not external influences. For a police officer to forget he and his colleagues are drawn from among the citizenry is toxic to his relationship with the public. Armed citizens who are fond of the metaphor should remember that as well.

    Of course, the other reason I hate this metaphor is because I actually own sheep and sheep dogs. There are many kind of sheep dogs. Herding dogs are not there to protect the flock, they are there to move or contain them for the convenience of the shepherd*, and they DO use intimidation and occasionally violence to that end. There are guardian dogs, who are raised among the sheep from puppyhood and live among the flock permanently. They do not disturb the sheep, and often they’re bred so as to blend in with them. They’re even known to display submissive behavior to the sheep, especially when young. Guardian dogs are expected to tolerate the herding dogs just as the sheep do and follow along with the flock. People also use donkeys and alpacas as guardians, and often find them to be more effective than dogs.

    And let’s not lose sight of the fact that wild sheep get by just fine with neither sheep dog nor shepherd. Sheep will fight, especially the rams.

    *Whose ultimate goal, let’s not forget, is to exploit the sheep economically, including taking their young to slaughter.

    1. avatar Ole'Wolf says:

      Dave while I agree with much of what you as far as the sheep go, and my family has run a herd of 700+ Dorsets & Suffollk out in Oregon for years… I “know” a couple Rams far too well. No, I utterly disagree with your point about a police officer forgetting he and his colleagues are drawn from among the citizenry. As a 31 year police officer I started back in the days of S&W .38 cal six-shooters and no vests….back then the police were ALWAYS apart from the rest. Oh, our kids went to school with others, but we didn’t mix socially and set ourselves apart ON PURPOSE. If you served in the military you’ll understand… but those that do certain jobs, follow some professions MUST be separate to be effective. Think of it this way- what would you do to a police officer that didn’t treat their non-police friend the same as Joe-nobody for the same offense. Human nature wants to the take care of your friends and less for strangers.. Just as a young soldier who gets promoted over men and increasingly, women CAN NOT TREAT THEM THE SAME WAY AFTER THEIR PROMOTION. Americans have a historical bent toward buddy-buddy relationships but when a new officer said, “you can call me–” I said, “Thank you Lieutenant, Captain, Master Sergeant- but that wouldn’t be right-” even off-duty there HAS to be a divide for it to work. Several thousand years of military history back it up. Same rules apply to Police in a local community. They HAVE to stand apart so EVERYONE just KNOWS they are fair and impartial. Now, I KNOW some people reading what I just wrote are snickering and saying, “-yeah, right… fair and impartial” and therein lies the rub… back when we did it this way as a society our kids KNEW if they were hurt, or lost, or needed help… they could run to a uniform and be protected. Nowadays we hear constantly about how cops have no “Duty to Protect” and there have been cases where the cops went the other way. With Authority comes Duty like it or not… and when you fail to teach those being given the authority they act as we see them doing.

      As for the “herd” parallel… it’s used because it works. You raise sheep? They tend to group together… move in the same direction when in a group… ever watched some Hollyweird star walk out on the red carpet in some god-awful outfit… or so Rap star hang his pants across his ass and defeat the whole purpose of the bill of his has (only to wear $500 sunglasses)? Oh yeah, humans run in a herd. The parallel falls short in one point, just as there are a great many herd animals there are a great many different human types that congregate- herd together. Like the four-legged parallels on the plains of the world (that are left) look at the herds in a mall or at the beach. Same rules, drives, and ideas apply.

      Lastly, I disagree with your comments about sheepdogs… yes, we used Border Collies back then and I breed Aussie Shepherds now (got 8 myself) but while they were born and raised/trained in and around a herd THEY DO NOT “live among the flock permanently.” They go with us, do their job and then go home. On the ranch they lived in a fenced kennel completely apart for the flock/herd in the barn… just like we do. This also goes back to the base idea that the dogs are from the herd… if you’ve really spent a lot of time around a flock you know the sheep are NEVER 100% at ease with the sheep dogs. They may ignore them and tolerate their presences… but as soon as that sheepdog stands and trots over- they react. If the dog shows an interest in something out in the grass or the edge of the trees they react. Heck, if the dog just decides to trot down for a drink of water they flock or herd gets out of the way. Faster they trot- the faster even more get out of the way. Which goes right back to Police officers placing themselves apart from “regular” people. If they know you’re a cop they’re NEVER 100% comfortable around you. They will tell the host that invited you to BBQ they just couldn’t relax when you were in earshot and they had to keep looking to see if you were anywhere near… just in case you heard Joe telling his story about getting home from the ballgame last Saturday… he always talks about how many Molson’s he killed that night…

      Hey, BTW – Damn good note about the role of the Shepherd… as you point it out it’s one of the reasons I tell the padres and minister calling themselves Shepherds sends the WRONG message to their “flock.” Face it, a shepherd controls their flock not for the flock’s purposes but for their own which includes “fleecing” the flock…. bad example…

      1. avatar DaveL says:

        we used Border Collies back then and I breed Aussie Shepherds now (got 8 myself) but while they were born and raised/trained in and around a herd THEY DO NOT “live among the flock permanently.” They go with us, do their job and then go home.

        Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are both herding dogs, which live with and primarily bond with the shepherd. If you read my post again you’ll see I was talking about the livestock guardian dogs as living permanently with the sheep.

        And while it’s true the sheep are never really at ease around the herding dogs, it’s also true the herding dogs are not there to protect the sheep. They’re not comfortable with the herding dogs for good reason. They are comfortable with the guardian dogs.

        And I HAVE served in the military and now I’m a civilian, just like everybody else. So I still disagree with you about setting the police apart. It’s an honorable line of work, but it is a line of work, not a title of nobility meant to set one group of people above another.

        1. avatar SomeGuyInNC says:

          Herding dogs intimidate the sheep (by barking, encroachment and even nipping) to move them, guardian dogs intimidate threats to the herd to move them, guardian dogs move with the herd they don’t move the herd. Guardian dogs live with the heard and do not “go home” at the end of their “shift” like herding dogs.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livestock_guardian_dog

          I have two Great Pyrenees, but I don’t have livestock, so may family plays the role of “sheeple” for the dogs. Guardian dogs don’t wait for commands like a herding dog. Pyr’s were breed over thousands of years to react instinctively to threats, they are independent thinkers who don’t require a Shepard’s direction. I don’t need a security system, I have two polar bears on patrol, even “house pets” of this breed don’t lose their instincts as detailed here:

          http://www.great-pyrenees-club-of-southern-ontario.com/Great-Pyr-and-Bear.html

  21. avatar Ole'Wolf says:

    Beautifully said… he put together everything I’ve hedged around and said plain badly when I’m asked.
    on the other hand…
    Can y’all knock it off! This is 1000 years of blaming Wolves for the actions of wild dogs. This cultural bias is crap. LTC Grossman was right in his essay but as a 31 year sheep dog… YOU CANNOT TURN A SHEEP INTO A SHEEPDOG. Even a Ram will still act like a Ram… and they do, just look at politicians in general… POWER over the herd not the PROTECTION of it. Not they’re fault they don’t know how. No, You find a Wolf that never attacked sheep and turn them into an ally… a sheepdog. Just like our ancestors did… In point of fact, compare the number of attacks by dogs, wild and tame to the number of recorded attacks on humans by wolves. (I know, I know Europe, middle ages and some in WWI- but come on, fresh meat laying everywhere!) Now compare the number of attacks on the sheeple by our societal wild dogs and compare that to attacks by true sheepdogs brought in to the profession the right way. Ain’t happenin’ -so blame mangy, wild, flea-bitten dogs two-legged and four… shoot THEM, I have…

  22. avatar DaveL says:

    YOU CANNOT TURN A SHEEP INTO A SHEEPDOG.

    Which is one reason this is such a crappy metaphor. It imagines immutable characteristics where they do not exist. Every man who fancies himself a “sheepdog” was at one time a sheep, even if only in childhood. Many “sheepdogs” have turned out to be “wolves”.

    Even a Ram will still act like a Ram… and they do, just look at politicians in general… POWER over the herd not the PROTECTION of it.

    Rams do protect the herd. I don’t know what “power” they’re supposed to have over it.

    1. avatar Ole'Wolf says:

      And a Politician will protect his or her herd… often to expence of the herd al a the Shepherd… but for the purposes of the RAM NOT THE HERD. hence power over the herd. You raise sheep… never seen a ram kill or maim a young rival for control over the herd?

      AS far as your point that “Every man who fancies himself a “sheepdog” was at one time a sheep, even if only in childhood.” Sorry, doesn’t work … not every child fancies themselves a sheepdog… and honestly if a child were to say to daddy ” I want to be a policeman” or “I want to be a G.I.Joe” MOST would try and talk them out of it. Often for good reason given the way some Police and Soldiers act. When you say this you are making the same mistake as I see in your earlier argument about using the “Sheep, Sheepdog, and Wolves” parallel… and I agree… humans are NOT sheep… we just act like sheep, cows, horses, and yes- some like pigs. The sty kind not the cop kind.

  23. avatar DaveL says:

    And a Politician will protect his or her herd… often to expence of the herd al a the Shepherd… but for the purposes of the RAM NOT THE HERD. hence power over the herd.

    That doesn’t make ANY sense. How does a ram standing up to a predator benefit the ram, not the herd?

    You raise sheep… never seen a ram kill or maim a young rival for control over the herd?

    No.

    Sorry, doesn’t work … not every child fancies themselves a sheepdog

    That doesn’t matter one bit regarding my statement. The fact is that every person passes through some period of childhood in which they’re not fit to protect themselves. They follow where they’re told, they depend on others for their needs, they’re oblivious to danger. If that doesn’t qualify as “sheep”, nothing does. Yet some of them grow up to become adults who fancy themselves “sheep dogs”.

  24. avatar Ole'Wolf says:

    Well gentlemen I guess we’ll just agree to disagree. I make my decisions, my statements and based my way of life on what I’ve seen and done in the last 57 years. Dave L- I have seen one Ram butt heads with a younger Ram – why? So HIS genes pass on the next generation not someone else’s. I had to pull Lambs out of the fold before a Ram could tell it wasn’t one of his. Had the same problem with horses.

    From some of what you and others have said you’re short changing herding dogs vice guardian dogs. Our collies and my shepherds have driven off coyotes, dogs, coydogs and even managed to keep raptors too worried to snatch a lamb On the other hand- your point is valid, just missing the target. Dogs like the Great Pyrenees were bread to defend the herds and flocks from wolves yes, but two-legged and four. Given our genocide toward the wolf, they’re defending more against

  25. avatar Ole'Wolf says:

    Whups – power went out. Sorry. Given our genocide against he wolf, in New Mexico and later Oregon
    Coyotes were THE problem and then it evolved into Dogs and finally a mix of Dogs and Coy-Dogs. Herding dogs do well against them and honestly, how many ranch herds actually have Guardian dogs living among them and those that do- the dog remains a wholly separate entity within that herd or flock.

    In a sense Dave, we’re arguing the same point from two different places of experience. Think of it this way- you were military- was keeping officers, warrants, NCOs and enlisted separate a good thing for the military you served? I thought so and still do. It goes back to my point about the police. I NEVER SAID OR IMPLIED POLICED WORK WAS IN ANY WAY SUPERIOR. Police officers DO live among the herd and while I consider it a higher calling it is not superior just a PROFESSION vice a job. I grew up in a separate sub-culture of policemen with parallels over in the Fire Department and EMTs- even within the military. Back then that separation ensured the human sheep dog treated everyone in the herd the same and took great pride in that defence just as we did in being the NCO… and please let’s not go down the race path. Yes cops were idiots in the past in many if not most places but they just reflected the society they were serving. I gave the guy who just got promoted but drank a few too many and had no record a ride home rather than bust them. That’s why I left the profession and now am back ranching- tho horses this time. After 31 years I was ridiculed for being a “Peacekeeper” instead of “Law Enforcer” or “PeaceMAKER.” In my vernacular now, too many sheep try and take the sheepdog’s job and can’t do it.

    If you’ve not read LTC Grossman’s “On Killing” please do, while it’s not the whole or only reason for it, it does explain a lot of why I believe what I do.

    Oh, and for those of you snickering right now and typing the snarky e-mails I’ve been getting, curriculum vitae available upon request.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Excellent comments here tonight.
      Great hearing folks perspectives.
      I have a couple of Dave Grossman’s books and have been to a couple of his seminars. Really good information. He is a very dynamic speaker.

      Tip of the respect hat to the above commenters.

  26. avatar int19h says:

    A gun is just a tool, period. If you define your personality by the tools that you use, well… it’s sad, but I suppose some people are weird.

    1. avatar Tarrou says:

      Where did you get “define”? I said “extension”. My personality is not “defined” by anything so mundane, but my choice to be armed is part and parcel of who I am. If I could not be armed, I would be the same, only the risks would be higher. There’s nothing special about guns per se (as opposed to other weapons), except that they are the most effective. What defines this mentality is a willingness to face up to violence.

    2. avatar Paelorian says:

      Would you begrudge a samurai for considering the sword always within arm’s reach an essential part of his identity? As Tarrou writes above, it’s not any tool in particular, but what that tool represents: the choice to be armed, prepared, willing and able to fight if necessary. The power of life and death. That’s why the sword was called “the soul of the samurai”. Not because it was a sword, or more than a tool, but because it was an effective weapon carried by a man always prepared to fight.

  27. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    When the wolf comes I’m hoping I can run faster than the guy I’m hunting with. OK thats an old one. I think of what my TKD instructor said “the only fight you win is the one you walk away from”, Randy

  28. avatar Phil says:

    The Wolf/Sheepdog analogy is a good one, IMO.

    Criminals being the wolves and we legal gun carriers the sheepdogs.

    But in fact when we look at history, there is always a sheepherder who does what he/she can to protect his charges. We never hear about taking their arms from them. i.e. slings, spears, bows, arrows, guns, and knives. All of which are in current use in some part of the world!

    Wish the gun-grabbers would read this stuff instead of just our sympathetic ears.

    Got into a discussion with my daughter the other day through email. She countered my sending her emails that showed the facts with gun-grabbing propaganda site addresses.

    None of it makes sense to me.

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