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A Sheepdog’s Perspective: A Commentary on Firearms and Gun Control

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”
-- Benjamin Franklin

With the Virginia Tech tragedy, there has been renewed conversation as to firearms, and the usual call for the creation of new laws to control guns. Terrible news is often the basis for passionate conversation.

It is worthwhile to discuss such matters passionately and peacefully. Still, in my experience as a Police Officer and gun owner for several decades, it is my observation that emotions are precisely what drive the “gun control” argument, even when there are absolutely no facts to support its effectiveness.

With a nod to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, I repeat the notion that our world is comprised primarily of sheep, sheepdogs and wolves.

Yes, the analogy may be simplistic, but there is great truth in it. I am a sheepdog. I work with many other sheepdogs. The sheepdog is the only one who acts in the interest of others – both the shepherd and the sheep.

Sheep are nice. Sheep are peaceful. Everyone likes sheep. Sheep are afraid of wolves, because wolves have fangs. Wolves kill and eat sheep. Sheep are also afraid of sheepdogs,because sheepdogs also have fangs and often bark a lot to herd the flock. Sheep do not enjoy being controlled, and yet, being controlled is what sheep do best. It is the nature of sheep to be herded, controlled, fleeced and harvested. Sheep will do nothing to protect themselves, as they are not equipped to do so. Without the sheepdog or shepherd, sheep can only hope to be in the middle of the flock – so when the wolves come, the sheep on the perimeter will be eaten first. Sheep are equipped only to congregate to the middle of the flock, where they hope it is NOT their turn. Often, when a sheep is killed and eaten, the remaining sheep will bleat, “If we can just get rid of fangs, maybe we won't die!”

Wolves; however, NEVER turn in their fangs. Fangs are part of the wolves’ nature. Unfortunately, that wolves never surrender their fangs – is a fact sheep consistently deny. Sheep will never understand the wolf. In such denial, sheep will try something – anything – that often includes enacting rules requiring sheepdogs, which the sheep also fear – to turn in their fangs, and failing that, implore the shepherd for the sheepdog to be chained. Sometimes, the shepherd grants such requests. The sheepdog complies, because it is the nature of the sheepdog to act in behalf of the shepherd and the sheep. Then, the sheep bleat happily, because now, they can see the results of their collective efforts. Now, the sheepdog is either without fangs, or chained. Thus “empowered,” sheep feel and believe they can roam more freely about the pasture. Confidently, the sheep post signs for a “FANG FREE ZONE.”

Yet, the wolf waits, licking his fangs...


The sheep are wrong. The sheep will be wrong...again. Virginia Tech was a GUN FREE ZONE. Apparently, Cho Seoong Hui did not heed the sign. It would appear that wolves do not stop their attacks to read the signs that sheep post. Sadly, because of wolves, we need sheepdogs. So why, when so many sheep are killed and eaten – do sheep insist on bleating that somehow, the solution is to regulate the fangs of the sheepdogs? It is the nature of sheep to never let the facts change the way they feel. Folks, it is not “gun control” we seek. We want PEACE.

Good people pray we never have to use our guns in defense of life. We want peace, too. Yet, it is the terms of such a peace upon which many of us will differ. Those who would suggest new laws to regulate miscreants and the mentally disturbed have missed the facts yet again. Today, we have more laws restricting and regulating the purchase, ownership and use of guns than ever in America's history. A lone wolf, Charles Whitman, attacked people at the University of Texas in 1966. The first Gun Control Act was in 1968. Nearly 40 years have passed. Yet, the wolves attack... In my professional career, I have yet to see a single statutory scheme prevent a crime. This is because laws do NOT deter criminals or the anti-social members of our society. LAWS only deter GOOD PEOPLE.

Of course, those who might insist otherwise are entitled to their opinions, and I am sworn to defend their rights to have such opinions -- to the death, even. Yet, in my humble opinion, those individuals do not have a clue about which they speak. I truly understand our frustration when such significant pain is felt across our nation. I feel it, too. Good people usually do. Such frustration is amplified; however, when the flock continues to deny the source of the problem. It would seem that it is also the nature of sheep to deny the truth. Guns do not cause violence or death. Cars do not cause traffic fatalities. Swimming pools do not cause drowning. Silverware does not make us fat.

Historically, we must understand that human beings always attempt to mitigate our own accountability. For the uninitiated, uninterested, or those with negative emotions as to firearms – no amount of peaceful conversation will change such emotions. For sheepdogs that continue to protect others with those very tools, which possess no inherent evil, value or intent, we shake our heads – as sheep continue to insist that guns create the irrational fear!

The sheep choose to be fearful.


In this society, we have assigned organic evil to inanimate objects – and in the same breath, conversely deny that all humans do not (and cannot) possess such traits. Denial causes death. Our collective denial causes mass death. Guns are not, and never have been the problem. The problem is, was and always will be humanity's inability to anticipate the inhumane intentions of its members. We are not equipped. As we become more cosmopolitan, we now suffer from generational amnesia. We have come to believe human beings have not been killing each other since the smart ones shared fire with the dumb ones.



Was not Cho afforded the same opportunities as the rest of us, if not more? Did his family not support him? How is it “everyone knew something was wrong” -- and yet the sheep bleat, “BAAA, it was the gun's fault!” Everyone knew, and yet, we blame the gun? Why do humans consistently fail to recognize the faces in the mirrors? Is denial more powerful than we care to admit? We look to mental health professionals to solve the problem. They will not. Psychologists deemed Cho normal after a special judge found Cho was a “Danger to Self.”

Failing that, we will look to the legislature and judiciary to solve the problem. They, too, will not. Again, we have more regulations than ever to control those testy “fangs.” Still, we could not control this crazed wolf. As Cho sharpened his own fangs, most of the sheep did what sheep do best. They ran into the center of the flock. Further, Cho's suicide leaves the rest of us with no one to blame.

Blame will not bring us a solution, either. Therefore, the sheep bleat... and bleat...


Why do we need fangs? Because there are wolves in the pasture! Some of them are even dressed like sheep!

Here is a deal: Have the sheep neutralize the wolves. Have the sheep identify, tag, befriend the wolves and invite the wolves to dinner. If the sheep do not end up on the menu, only then will this sheepdog consider supporting another half-baked scheme to demonize firearms.

Sheepdogs need their fangs to combat the wolves. Sheepdogs wish our fangs did not cause the sheep such irrational fear. Sheepdogs wish that sheep would remember that sheepdogs act in the sheep’s behalf, because the sheep are not equipped. Of course, as Americans, we are free to embrace our fear – but sheepdogs will consistently choose freely to overcome it. Sheepdogs do not fear the wolf. Sheepdogs also have fangs.

I wear a badge. I use a gun. I train others to use guns safely. Still, the sheep's plan... is to disarm me and other sheepdogs like me...


Perhaps we should all do a little research on what happened in Beslan in 2004. Similar events will occur again... in America. Sleep well...

Be safe,

M/Sgt. Alan Normandy, Sheepdog
M/Sgt. Alan Normandy - Reader Submission | E-mail Comments on this article.

Convenience vs. Conscience

There are many people who are quick to point out injustice in our society but how many are actually doing something to correct the wrongs?

The problems that confront our society today are numerous and serious. We face an atmosphere that is quickly becoming unable to support human life. We face enemies on multiple fronts from terrorist leaders to sociopath dictators who would rejoice at the complete and utter destruction of our society. We face poverty at home and abroad. We face divisions within our own nation that have rendered civility in politics almost obsolete. These problems and others require the action of committed people but who is stepping up?

The sad answer is that most Americans are not even willing to make minor sacrifices to address issues including those with global impact. While we see more and more clear and convincing scientific evidence of a global climate shift brought on by increased greenhouse gasses and other polutions, we are not willing to give up our gas-guzzling SUV's or spend an extra couple minutes making sure that recyclable items are not put into landfills. We make excuses and talk about needing the monster vehicles to fit all of our stuff in when we run errands or that we just don't have time because our days are just too full to fit in one more thing despite having the time to see every second of the latest episode of the hottest show on TV.

Those important errands we simply must have the seventeen foot personnel carrier of a vehicle to get to are usually to stores stocked with items created in foreign exploitation sweat shops that are in countries with populations living in abject poverty. We say Americans don't do anything to make people hate us but how can they not hate us when our conveniences come as a result of their exploitation. While we live in relative oppulence, they scrape to make enough for food to feed their families. So if we know this, why then do we continue to support the manufacturers who make the cheap items? Are we just addicted to the junk or is it something more sinister? Have we been manipulated to think that we cannot live without these items?

It would be simple to offer that as an explanation but the truth is likely less forgiving. We have an idea of how other people live but we disregard that because it is not as convenient to do the right thing as it is to buy that $50 DVD player so we can watch movies in yet one more room in our house. God forbid that we have to go to one specific room to watch TV while our posteriors spread a little further. So what will you choose? Will you continue to drive the vehicle that pollutes at double the rate of hybrids because it looks cool? Will you continue to buy consumer goods made in countries that exploit their workers? Will you continue to throw away the cans, bottles and paper products that can be recycled?

Conscience is not always an easy master to obey but it may be the key to our survival as a nation and as a species. Convenience is the softer and easier path that offers so much comfort and indulgence but it can lead to dire consequences if left unchecked. So which will win the battle: Conscience or Convenience?
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

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Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to


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