Maggie Von Schnauzer (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Before we begin know this: I haven’t been drinking. I’m sitting in TTAG’s secret above ground bunker on Christmas Eve, sober as a judge, puffing on a Rocky Patel, wondering how many TTAG readers will read that and go “heh.” I’m only by my lonesome provided you exclude Maggie Von Schnauzer. Which would be quite rude, given the holiday season. That said, there are times when I doubt both of my dogs’ utility. Last night at 1 am . . .

my alarm system went on the fritz  – an expression the Schnauzers tolerate, knowing that it’s derived either from The Katzenjammer Kids (Fritz was always ruining the Captain’s plans) or the lip fart sound pfrrrit, indicating something mechanical has gone kaput. The expression has nothing to do with anti-German sentiment, I assure you. And the dogs. Repeatedly.

Anyway, that’s not all the girls tolerate . . .

Last night, the alarm system signaled a failure – not a breach – with a continuous tone. It was loud enough to give my Nick Leghorn-derived tinnitus (“It’s hearing safe!”) a run for its money. Speaking of running, the schnauzers didn’t. They didn’t even stir. Nor was their slumber interrupted when I tumbled out of the small section of bed they deign to leave their master, and wondered what the hell.

I put on my glasses, grabbed my GLOCK 19 [not shown because it’s incredibly boring], disarmed the alarm system, scrolled through the display and discovered that the garage sensor was to blame. Now what? I briefly, groggily considered what the black helicopter folks might think about TTAG. And the skill set their operatives possess. I decided to investigate . . .

C’mon girls! Nothing. Maggie! Rosie! Treat! (A despicable ploy, but you could buy 24-hour armed security with the money I’ve spent on vet fees.) Nothing. Truth be told, Rosie’s John Houseman-class eyebrows twitched. In fact, I felt like paraphrasing the stentorian actor’s immortal words at that very moment. “You want holistic Blue Buffalo kibble? You have to eaaaaaaarn it.” Very funny. Well it was to me. But then I’d retired after drinking two glasses of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and a Zzzquil chaser.

Before I reveal that nothing happened – save the fact my high-speed, low-drag on-off flashlight technique almost induced an epileptic fit and aggravated an incipient hangover – I want to provide a more illustrative example of how a dog bred by European royalty to be a four-legged alarm system turns into a stuffed animal when the lights go out.

On another memorable night, an epic wind gust blew open the bedroom’s patio door, slammed shut the door to hallway and triggered the alarm. Maggie and Rosie woke up – and regarded me with the same disdain that my sixth grade math teacher displayed whilst contemplating my “solution” to the equation on the blackboard.

Don’t get me wrong. My Schnauzers go mental when anyone enters the house during the day. As the TTAG team will attest, this they do even after they settle down, the visitor leaves the room, and re-enters a few seconds later. (I swear they were crossbred with goldfish.) But in daytime mode, the dogs serve the purpose for which they were intended. Right after Schnauzer breeders gave up on that whole rat catching thing.

On the positive side, Maggie and Rosie help develop my ideas about guns and gun ownership – in their own special way.

Earlier today, I took the girls for a walk on the trails surrounding my suburban enclave. As I struggled to keep Maggie from running up to dogs ten times her size clearly intent on ending her life, I wondered if I’d be more appreciative of the beauty of my surroundings if I was more Schnauzer-like. You know, more in-the-moment. Less bothered by trivial things, like subsidizing my daughters and ex-wives in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed and not overdosing on French wine and sleep meds.

Thinking about the latter, it occurred to me that the very thing that made Maggie Maggie – her abject inability to consider the possibility of death – made me, me. In reverse. I never forget that my life is precious because death is inevitable.

I carry a gun because I don’t want to die at someone else’s hands. Gun control advocates don’t want me to carry a gun because they don’t want to die. Or they don’t want other people – mostly people they’ve never met whose kids don’t go to the same school – to die. But I don’t believe they’ve thought that through. If they really didn’t want to die, or innocent life to be taken, they’d carry a gun, too.

Every time I put my Wilson Commander into its holster or place the GLOCK on the bedside table, I’m admitting to myself that something terrible could happen that would leave my beneficiaries bereft. I’m accepting the possibility of violent death and preparing to defeat those who would inflict it. It’s not the same as putting on a seat belt, turning on the alarm or avoiding sommeliers. It’s direct. Visceral. Immediate.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m afraid of death. I carry a gun because I cherish life – knowing full well that I can only forestall it. Gun control advocates argue for civilian disarmament because they hate the idea of death at the hands of others and . . . that’s it. They want to disarm people because they don’t want to think about death, or at least violent death at the hands of an attacker. They just want to feel “safe.” By which I mean oblivious. Like my Schnauzers.

I find it interesting that most Christians celebrate the birth of their savior more than his death and resurrection. I don’t believe in life after death. But I do believe death gives our life meaning. It’s up to each of us to decide that meaning. Just as it should be up to each of us to decide whether or not to use a gun to protect it.

Merry Christmas y’all.

65 Responses to Random Thoughts On Christmas Eve

  1. Well THIS Christian celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ more..ya’ sure you haven’t had a few? Anyway Merry Christmas!

  2. The schnauzers are slowing down. Who isn’t? They deserve to sleep soundly. So do we all. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Or if not angels, then Israeli supermodels.

    Merry Christmas, everybody.

  3. The trick is to learn to be alone without being lonely. Sometimes takes awhile to achieve, but being your own best friend is priceless.

    Nice article; enjoyed it.

    Merry Christmas to All,
    And to All a Good Night !!

  4. Merry Christmas all. I hope all have a safe and happy holiday.

    Put your mind at ease about the gubmint, Robert. They’re more 3 stooges than anything else. And if they’re serious about doing you harm it’s not a wet team you have to worry about. It’s the friggin’ IRS.

  5. We have an assortment of guns and dogs we rely on here at the compound. The best watchdogs are our 2 Chihuahuas. They can hear the Fedex or UPS trucks over a mile away, and immediately alert the Cane Corso and Tosa who are the muscle. I’ve even read on prepper sites that Chihuahuas are an excellent value as far as watchdogs go, not eating much and being able to hear a mosquito fart 100 yards away.
    The wife went to bed early, the kids are grown and out in CA, so this will be a nice quiet, go out for Chinese Christmas. Well, unless Pico and Tuco decide to wake us up.
    I sure hope Santa brings me that PTR-91

    • Nice breed the Cane Corso. Researched them for a long while before we bought our first, now we have two. Love ’em.

    • I have a Chihuahua mix, a Corso, and a Boxer. And it’s exactly the same scenario. The mix will wake up and freak out, then you hear that long terrifying Corso howl, then the indignant Boxer bark. With the loaded Px4 under the bed, the Mossberg in the closet, and soon to be two homebrew side-charging ARs (one for me, one for the warrior princess), our security is pretty solid.

  6. Schnauzers sleeping peacefully and you puffing away on a nice stogie is a whilst waxing eloquent on gun-ownership is a Christmas Image suitable for a mass-produced Hallmark card.

    You’re right: life’s inevitable end is what makes it precious. Merry Christmas, Robert.

  7. Today our doorbell rang and knowing it was unlikely to be UPS our Aussie went nuts. I went to the door and it was a maybe 9 year old cute as could be with cookies she and her grandmother had baked. She heard the dog and said she did not now we had a dog. I said do you want to see her…dog was going nuts barking and I let her out of the bedroom and she ran around me barking like a crazy person was at the door. When I got there the girl was kneeling on the doorstep and she was hugging the Aussie. The dog knew she was not a threat and put her head on the girls shoulder. It was a great moment and I wish I had been really quick to get a photo. Merry Christmas to all. A non gun related post.

  8. And on this magical night, as your anti-gun neighbors enjoy their federal holiday in a country that was tamed by men with guns, know that they asked Santa to take the guns right out of your safe and throw them in the ocean, while your only wish is to be left alone by fat pedophiles and beaurocrats alike.

    Yeah; “humbug.”

  9. At least in the Catholic calendar, Easter is more important than all other holidays because it is defining to the central tenet of the faith

    • I am not Catholic and I agree completely.

      Our Savior’s death and resurrection, which atoned for all mankind’s sins and reconciled us to God, is singular an unique from all other faiths and world religions.

      The joy of Christmas lies not in giving/receiving presents or celebrating some person’s birth. Rather, the joy of Christmas is recognizing the birth of the Christ child who would ultimately reconcile us to God.

      And on that note … merry Christmas!

      • Lol. His proof is in the pudding.

        I understand Robert’s position on no life after death, but I disagree with it. If there is no life after death, then there is no point to this world. The catechism states that man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him FOREVER. That’s why I’m here. Why are you here?

        • To have some fun with good friends and to meet death with a smile, because I have lived a good and fun life, and done my job on this earth. There will be no one to meet me, but with some luck there will be many who wish me farewell. Requires no magic, and is subservient to no charlatans, popes, reverends, bishops, your majesties or whatever. I’m closer to the end than the beginning, and days like today bring me so much joy it’s difficult to express. People who think there is some strange magic presided over by people in funny outfits, who must be supported and appeased before we can have any fun, are themselves amusing to me, twisting and turning to make sense of nonsense. You all have fun tonight and tomorrow, forget the guilt for once, and see if you can’t wake up with a smile on your face!

          And WTF is a “catechism”? Are these words of magic?

  10. I’d bet money that your dogs WILL go nuts if anyone actually does come in at night. Its just that they know its a fake positive. During that eye twitch she was probably thinking; “There’s no strage human smells or sounds. What’s your problem? Probly just some stupid human s**t again…”

  11. As far as your dogs go, Keep in mind dogs have an extremely advanced sense of smell and hearing, far, far more than humans do, so they really might just know the alarm or concerning sound is nothing to be bothered with well before a human makes sense of it. I have two dogs and regularly get way more concerned with noises and they always can sense when and unknown person is near the house. Not saying dogs are perfect but they are far from worthless. I’d take a good dog over an alarm system any day.

  12. Yo Robert….
    Haven’t seen the Katzenjam Kids comic in years. Brought back memories of the stories.
    Great comments…
    Wishes for a safe and healthy Merry Christmas to you and the TTAG Gang!
    ….Remember to leave some cookies for Santa!! …and to all, stay loaded!!

    • “Remember to leave some cookies for Santa!!”

      Our family must have gotten a different Santa than most kids.

      About a week before Christmas we got a letter in the mail from Santa.

      He said he was getting really tired with all the milk and cookies and would we just *please* leave him a six-pack and a bag of pretzels?

      Christmas morning, we found six empty crumpled cans and the pretzels half eaten.

      Yay, Santa! 🙂

  13. Merry Christmas y’all. And for those the don’t celebrate it religiously, happy holidays. Mine are looking up. Someone noticed the hints I dropped…a box from Eagle Grips arrived today.

    As for the canines…If the wind changes direction, my iams powered alarms are up and barking…

  14. Having had several Mini-Schnauzers, my first was a runt that chased a German Shepard down the street and survived being mauled by a Rottweiler. I’ve had one that was a hard wired watch dog, barking at everything, real or imagined, of course he weighed in at 24# and no, he was not fat, just tall for a Mini. Sadly he left us last June with cancer of the spleen and abdominal bleeding. His buddy, also 24# who is comfortably stretched out next to the Mrs. on the couch is much quieter. He does do his job of annoying me at the sound of a door bell or someone coming into the yard if he’s out. Beyond that, only noisy when it’s time for a walk around the park. I’ve always wanted a Mini (watch dog) a Standard (Guard Dog) and a Giant (Intimidating Attack Dog). But Ammo is cheaper. Merry Christmas to All

  15. Merry Christamas to Robert and the TTAG posse.
    Extended also to the POTG, brothers and sisters all.
    And Buster, the Wunder Schnauzer.
    A pure breed mini, but at a ripped 28#’s, too big for AKC.
    (Perfect proportions I might add.)
    ((And, WAS the runt!))
    Great protection day or night.
    Just not as fast as the GP100.

  16. The way I see it and the way my pastor likes to say it is If he wasn’t born then he couldn’t have died and be resurrected. Anyway these were some interesting thoughts and thanks for sharing.

  17. Seems like my sandlot friends have managed to silence their inner bicker and express concern for each other’s well-being for at least one day. May we all have more days like this one.

    Peace on earth and goodwill to men.

  18. Merry Christmas to all at TTAG, and thank you Robert for your continuing contributions to the veterinary community!

  19. Merry Christmas to all the TTAGers out there.
    Hope the coming year brings everyone lots of ammo (22lr would be super-nice), some good range time, and that special firearm that’s been lurking on your wish list!

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