“Democracy should be more than two coyotes and a rabbit voting on what to have for dinner.” ~ Ronald Reagan
“The reason those who advocate gun control in America have not already been silenced is that 99.9% of American gun owners are law-abiding citizens.” ~ Kendal Hemphill
After World War II, when American society was inundated with returning servicemen, and once the euphoria of winning the war had faded, an attitude of ‘Soldiers and dogs, keep off the grass’ cropped up in America. This seems to prove the validity of an analogy sent to me recently by a reader attempting to explain America’s current attitude toward gun control.
The idea is that everyone can be divided up into three basic groups: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Which group you belong to is strictly a matter of choice and education.
The sheep are afraid of the wolves, but are powerless to defend themselves. They want protection when the wolves are around, so they are happy to have the sheepdogs on their side. They don’t want to be sheepdogs, but they want the peace of mind the sheepdogs provide.
But when there are no wolves around, the sheep resent the sheepdogs, and begin to fear them. After all, they are not sheep, they have big, sharp teeth, and they eat meat. It’s unsettling to the sheep to have sheepdogs around when there is no threat from wolves.
Most Americans are sheep. They don’t own firearms, and couldn’t use them to protect themselves if they did. They want the protection of the sheepdogs during those times when they realize they are threatened by the wolves. The rest of the time they’d rather not have the sheepdogs around.
The wolves, obviously, are the criminals intent on eating the sheep. They avoid the sheepdogs when possible, but have no problem attacking the sheep when given an opportunity.
The sheepdogs are not only the police and military, but American gun owners willing to defend themselves and others. They choose to be sheepdogs. They don’t want to be sheep, dependent on others for survival, nor do they wish to be wolves, because they know the difference between right and wrong, and respect it.
United States Representative Mark Kirk (R, IL) is a sheep. He has lived an insular life, and has grown accustomed to having nothing to fear from the wolves. Consequently, he has decided the sheepdogs are unnecessary, and has taken steps to remove them from society.
On 12 June 2008 Rep. Kirk, along with Rep. Michael Castle (R, DE), Rep. Michael Ferguson (R, NJ), and Rep. Christopher Shays (R, CT), introduced H.R. 6257, defined as a bill ‘to reinstate the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.’ The bill in question is better known as the Brady Bill, which expired a few years ago. H.R. 6257 itself says, “This Act may be cited as the ‘Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2008.’”
When I mentioned this bill in a magazine column recently, I received an email from a reader who said, “Kendal—I generally agree with you but I fail to see the reason we need assault rifles in the hands of the general public. The military needs them why do I?”
This is, without doubt, a sheep question. Those of us who understand the need for the Second Amendment are tempted to denigrate those who ask such questions, or ignore them altogether. The truth, however, is that unless we educate the sheep, the sheepdogs will soon be voted out of the pasture, and the wolves will take over.
To those who ask, “Why do we need assault weapons?” let me ask you this – Why do you need two cars? Why do you need a boat? Why do you need more than one pair of shoes? Why do you need air conditioning in your home? The correct answer is that you don’t. But you have them.
Suppose our government decided you didn’t need those things. Suppose a law was passed that said you could only own one pair of shoes at a time. Would you protest? How about if you were only allowed one vehicle for your entire family?
The truth is that we need the right to any personal firearms available to our military, because those firearms are the only thing keeping our government from taking away your air conditioner, extra car, boat, and shoes. Once 2A goes, the rest of our rights will fall like dominoes.
What we’re talking about here is freedom. Considering the finding of the Supreme Court in the case of D.C. vs. Heller recently, it’s entirely possible that H.R. 6257 will pass. If it does, the wolves will be one step closer to total control of the sheep.
The scary thing is that I may be wrong about Rep. Mark Kirk. He may not be a sheep. He, like a lot of other elected officials, may actually be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist who learned a long time ago that about all sheep do is walk around looking for a place to lay down and die. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org