There is a phrase familiar to most in the firearm and Second Amendment community. “I Am the Sheepdog” is proudly displayed on shirts, bumper stickers and various other items.
Most people have heard the quote in the movie “American Sniper,” but not many know it comes from a book that is referenced below.
“One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: ‘Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident…’
“‘Then there are the wolves,’ the old war veteran said, ‘and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.’ Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
“‘Then there are sheepdogs,’ he went on, ‘and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.’
“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed….
“If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door…
“The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
“Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land...The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, ‘Baa.’
“Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.”
— condensed and edited summary from the book "On Combat" by Lt. Col Dave Grossman.
Some reject it as propaganda or oversimplification, but in nature there exists two kinds of animals: predators and prey. As humans have evolved as a species with the intelligence and foresight to buck nature we've created a third, the protector. There are some species who do have an “alpha male” or “alpha female,” but those attaining that role receive the ultimate respect in their group dynamic.
Humans conversely regard the average-citizen, “good guy with a gun” as the sheep regard the sheepdog. They treat him like a wolf merely because of appearance. Even with our evolutionary advantages of thoughtful reasoning and complex analysis, the liberals of our country (“sheep”) revert to the primal instincts of fearing what they don’t understand. They cannot process the sheepdog mentality of using one’s strength to only protect others, not to hurt them or gain something.
This primitive outlook disregards the fact that the men (law enforcement, military or civilian) who stop spree killers, terrorists or thugs are armed with firearms also. For an ideology that coined the phrase “don’t blame all X for the actions of one X,” their hypocrisy regarding armed citizens is obvious to all but themselves.
Making things harder for “good guys” to get guns, restricting where or what they can carry, or outright banning all guns together will not stop the “evil” men intent on breaking higher laws anyway. Someone who is intent on the ultimate crime, murder, is not going to fear a misdemeanor or lesser felony for illegally owning or carrying a weapon.
There are countless tales of armed citizenry stopping homicides, rapes, or robberies by using their guns. That behavior should be respected and rewarded. Don’t turn other potential sheepdogs into sheep because you fear the wolf.
The most logical thought is to prepare more sheepdogs for when the wolf appears, because he eventually will. That is one fact that cannot be argued.
John Cylc is a conservative Christian and eight year U.S. Army veteran who primarily speaks out on the Second Amendment, gun rights issues, and contemporary topics. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he currently resides with his wife and youngest son in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in beautiful East Tennessee. He is the founder of ThirteenFox.com and a contributor to LifeZette. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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