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.