Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

One of my students sent the following to me. I don't know who this author is; I don't know anything about him. I don't even know if he's a real person or, if he is a real person, if he actually wrote the following.

But I'm going to quote it here, because every word of it is true.

INTERNET EXPLORER USERS: I can't figure out why this looks like crap when using IE. It looks beautiful using Mozilla Firefox, the browser you should be using anyway. I can only recommend that you cut/paste this essay into a word processor and view it that way. I apologize for Bill Gates' screw-up!

Update, 4/3/06: It's easier to read now. Line breaks are in some strange places, but at least it's more readable now. Thanks, Rightwingprof!

ON SHEEP, WOLVES, AND SHEEPDOGS

By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER,
Ph.D., author of "On Killing."

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so
because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy
things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time,
that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution,
or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth
defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William
J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November
24, 1997

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." This is
true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the
aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that
the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent
crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time
record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans,
which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is
considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since
many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number
of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation:
We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is
still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent
people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or
under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me, it is like the
pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will
grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its
hard blue shell.

Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and
someday the civilization they protect will grow into something
wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the
predators.

"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

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep,
wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what
makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the
world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why
they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits
throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police
officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more
likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire,
but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial.
The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too
hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

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, cannot 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. They would prefer that he didn't tell
them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in
our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. 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.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough
high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have
had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they
just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack,
however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers
had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This
is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at
the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded
hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt
differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel?
Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a
sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is
a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter,
checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and
yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a
righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but
they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the
young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep
pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most
citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes."
The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been
on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you
are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself
into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a
difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but
he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able
to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the
population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted
of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory
crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement
officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by
body language: Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They
chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one
out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can
choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more
Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was
honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was
the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to
alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he
learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons,
Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which
authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the
terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the
passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to
sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown
number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil
of evil men. - Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of
police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep,
real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are
wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a
human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral
decision.

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.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well
concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt
holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form
of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer
in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such
an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to
massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the
break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The
other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I
asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he
knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that
incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and
opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he
could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun.
His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's
body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you
have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer
was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would
probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and
would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their
cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers
in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires
and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards
against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often
their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog
quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live
with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had
to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically
destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is
counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror
when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when
you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't
train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy.
Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically
survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness and
horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11
book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms
with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it
has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think
they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new
violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in
small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on
some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all
aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.

If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you
step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending
that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a
lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a
weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and
say this to yourself..."Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no
dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of
degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and
on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on
one end or the other.

Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in
America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a
few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the
warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you
move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree
to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and
psychologically at your moment of truth.

If It Weren't For The United States Military There Would Be NO United
States of America

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Insanity.

Either we can count on the military and police to protect us, or we can't. Make up your mind.

I hate right wing gun nuts that are in love with death.

They don’t seem to understand that the world is full of problems that cannot be solved by the barrel end of a gun, but only concern themselves with those that can.

Darren said...

Anonymous, my mind is pretty much made up. I recommend that it is *you* who must make up *your* mind.

Do you count on the military and police to protect you? If not, how do you recommend we deal with those problems that *can* be solved with firearms, as you alluded to in your last paragraph?

And who, exactly, are you referring to when stating that "right wing gun nuts" don't understand that there are "problems that cannot be solved by the barrel end of a gun?"

Lefties. Gotta love 'em. I'll try to speak their language here: "Ba-ah-ah-ah-ah."

Anonymous said...

I used to know a gun nut that would carry a loaded 45 everywhere, but refused to use a seatbelt. Seriously.

He was like the anti-nuke nut that would protest anything nuclear, but would not even consider having his own basement tested for Radon.

I own a gun; I’m just not a gun nut. There is a difference.

To be honest with you, I don’t spend much time worrying about the problems that can be solved via the barrel end of the gun. It’s the ones that cannot be solved in this manner that I find much more challenging.


P.S. I’m right handed.

Darren said...

I own a firearm, too. Have only had one the last three years. And I'm not an NRA member, despite the valiant, almost-decades-long attempts of a friend of mine.

And I'm right-handed as well.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so we have that in common.

Now, are you crystal on the difference between a gun owner and a gun nut?

The problem that I have always had with the NRA is that manufacturers and merchants are too influential in that organization, at the expense of consumer safety.

With the NRA, it’s more about sales than rights.


P.S. The "gun nut" I was referring to earlier was my father.

Darren said...

I can't speak for your father.

I'm quite clear on the difference between owners and nuts. My uncle is an NRA nut. I own a .22 rifle.

I'll admit I've come around more to the NRA's thinking on one issue--gun control doesn't work well, it's fairly unconstitutional, and we need to enforce the laws we have before we write more. I also like what I've heard about their safety program.

But Charlton Heston (or whoever that woman is now) is *not* my president, and "my cold dead hands" doesn't convince anyone who's not already convinced.

Chanman said...

By the way,
The author is for real, because I own "On Killing" - I bought it at a Borders in Tacoma, WA in 1997. How do I remember that? Because I was in the Army, stationed at Fort Lewis at the time. I was a sheepdog.

From one right-wing Sacramento teacher to another, I just wanted to say, great blog Darren!

Chanman

Anonymous said...

The longest and most detailed pro-NRA diatribe I ever experienced in my life, was back in 1999. The proprietor of Pat Pawn & Gun in Ogden Kansas was helping me choose a shotgun for shooting trap. Eventually the conversation shifted to the Brady Bill and President Clinton.

Oh boy, did I get the full spiel.

For 2 hours this person went on and on about how Clinton was the worst President ever and how every American should be carrying a firearm 24/7.

A week later, I went trap shooting and mentioned Pat’s pro-gun speech. My friend mentioned to me that good old Pat had been investigated by the ATF and FBI for personally selling guns to Timothy McVeigh.

Now, you’d think that that would be a relevant detail, if you are going to give an otherwise complete stranger your life story.

The lesson is that these people do not even think about the consequences of their actions, even when confronted with them.

One thing I never understood is why someone would carry a gun for personal protection while also being a chain smoker who doesn’t wear a seatbelt. Is the goal to live long enough to die of cancer?



Personally, I think that firearms should be regulated like automobiles with registration, licenses and such.

We do not permit blind people to drive cars, but we do allow them to shoot guns.

Only in America.

rightwingprof said...

I own seven rifles, four shotguns, and eight handguns. I'm also an NRA life member -- then, I'm from Indiana. And since you posted that letter, here's another you might like.

Tom said...

FWIW, it looks like crap in Safari as well.

The root cause is that, for some reason, the text is surrounded in <pre> tags (pre for preformatted). The lines then only break where you force the line breaks to occur (either through newlines in your text or via <br> tags.

I don't know how you're pasting this text in.

If what you're trying to get is some sort of "quoted" feel to the pasted text, I'd suggest using <blockquote> tags.

Darren said...

I just cut/pasted from email. Blogger does the rest--I don't do any html at all.

I wonder why it looks perfect w/Firefox....

LordSomber said...

Bill Whittle had a great essay about this:

http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000129.html

Mike T said...

Anonymous,

To paraphrase the great Dan Ackroid, “You Ignorant Slut!”

Insanity

I don’t think so. It’s a bit of an expansion of the fight or flight principle, if you’re confronted with a threat will you fight or will you run.

Either we can count on the military and police to protect us, or we can't. Make up your mind.

No, we can’t. The Supreme Court has already ruled the government is not obliged to protect the general public. Someone tried to sue a city after he got his ass kicked (this was sometime in the late 60s). In a simple sentence, you are responsible for you own protection. Just like you are responsible to educate your children, cloth yourself, feed yourself….do you see a pattern emerging? BTY, I am a Houston Police Officer and an Army Reserve Officer, currently on duty in Kuwait (35 and a wakeup! )

I hate right wing gun nuts that are in love with death

I never knew I was in love with death. Cool. But full disclosure, I am the friend Darren referred to earlier in this message, “And I'm not an NRA member, despite the valiant, almost-decades-long attempts of a friend of mine.” We’re both middle aged (we both may be getting older but we refused to grow up!) and that is still a goal of my life! 

I used to know a gun nut that would carry a loaded 45 everywhere, but refused to use a seatbelt. Seriously.

He was like the anti-nuke nut that would protest anything nuclear, but would not even consider having his own basement tested for Radon.

I own a gun; I’m just not a gun nut. There is a difference.

And what does the seatbelt and the guns have in common? I’m just curious. I wear my seatbelt everywhere (especially when I’m patrol….speed does kill). And what is a gun nut? How many guns do you need to be considered a gun nut?

To be honest with you, I don’t spend much time worrying about the problems that can be solved via the barrel end of the gun. It’s the ones that cannot be solved in this manner that I find much more challenging.

Good, you don’t seem to be working through the problem much.

P.S. I’m right handed.

OK? I must have missed the point on this one.

Now, are you crystal on the difference between a gun owner and a gun nut?

No. Just because someone thinks carrying a firearm for his protection and he chooses not to seatbelt himself in have nothing to due with them except they are decisions one makes. You may make the decision to eat McDonalds 6 times a week knowing it’s not good for you, but you make that decision. My father refuses to use a seatbelt. I hear him scream “I haven’t used one in 60 years and I’m not dead yet!” Does that make him a “seatbelt nut”?

The problem that I have always had with the NRA is that manufacturers and merchants are too influential in that organization, at the expense of consumer safety.

Sadly it has had to change over the last 40 years because of changes in American society. We live in a country where no one is at fault for what you do. The NRA does a lot for shooting safely, marksmanship, hunter education. But it also has to spend an excessive effort on preventing gun sports from being wiped out (e.g. schools banning shooting sports, state hunting grounds being closed up or sold) and the gun industry bankrupted. Case in point is the attempt by several cities to sue the gun industry in class action law suits (similar to the extortion the states did to the tobacco industry). The NRA spends a lot of money and time to elect politicians who support the gun industry and passed a law banning of class action litigation against the gun industry a couple of years ago.

With the NRA, it’s more about sales than rights.

Sales and rights are hand in hand. Without the right to keep and bear, we don’t have the sales.

The longest and most detailed pro-NRA diatribe I ever experienced in my life, was back in 1999. The proprietor of Pat Pawn & Gun in Ogden Kansas was helping me choose a shotgun for shooting trap. Eventually the conversation shifted to the Brady Bill and President Clinton.

Oh boy, did I get the full spiel.

For 2 hours this person went on and on about how Clinton was the worst President ever and how every American should be carrying a firearm 24/7.

A week later, I went trap shooting and mentioned Pat’s pro-gun speech. My friend mentioned to me that good old Pat had been investigated by the ATF and FBI for personally selling guns to Timothy McVeigh.

That’s interesting….how did he sell guns to a federal prisoner? McVeigh was in jail from 1995 until he assumed room temperature in 2001. And from what I gather from a bio of McVeigh (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/03/29/profile.mcveigh/), before the federal building he destroyed he wasn’t a felon. There would be no reason to not sell him a firearm.

Now, you’d think that that would be a relevant detail, if you are going to give an otherwise complete stranger your life story.

I thought he gave you “full spiel…on how Clinton was the worst president ever and how every American should be carrying a firearm 24/7”?

The lesson is that these people do not even think about the consequences of their actions, even when confronted with them.

I don’t think McVeigh used a gun to kill 170 people….he used some fertilizer, chemicals and a truck. Should the farm supply guy who sold him the stuff feel guilty? Or the U-Haul dealer? I think not. In no way did the dealer think he was going to use a simple farm supply into a weapon.

One thing I never understood is why someone would carry a gun for personal protection while also being a chain smoker who doesn’t wear a seatbelt. Is the goal to live long enough to die of cancer?

The goal of carrying a gun for personal protection is to have it on you when you need it. Guns are like blood or a parachute. You don’t need them unless you need them real bad. Again, you comparing apples and oranges. Because I carry a gun in my truck doesn’t have anything to do with smoking (which I don’t do) or testing my basement for radon (which I can’t do…I don’t have a basement). Two reasons. One, the state of Texas requires it (All peace officers must have a duty or off duty firearm “available” at all times, which is generally interpreted as having it on you or in your car). But before I got a badge I carried a gun in my truck because of some of the areas I travel in are not safe. I don’t threaten people, I have it so it I am threatened I have an option. BTY, in 8 years on the street I have never had a problem with a concealed carry permit holder. They are the law abiding people in the state. It’s the crooks who don’t follow the law I worry about.


Personally, I think that firearms should be regulated like automobiles with registration, licenses and such.

Thankfully the 2nd Amendment comes in. And before you start a tirade about the National Guard that is not the militia. The militia, if you read the writings of the Founding Fathers, is defined as “every able bodied man”. Also, you may be surprised many states, such as Texas and LA have state militias. They are semi-military volunteer organizations that drill monthly, are not paid and called for state emergencies (floods, etc). There are several states and cities that do regulate firearms (Washington DC banned guns…you can see how well that stops crime). Tell me, if the gun causes the gun crime, why is it for decades guns were more common and there was less gun crime. When I was younger is wasn’t a big deal to carry a rifle to school (you were on the shooting team). But we taught youngin’s how to safely handle firearms, we raised our children right. Anon, I just got back from a vacation in the UK. They banned pretty much all firearms in 1997. Has that stopped gun crime? No. Why? Criminals, by definition, don’t obey the law. They are the wolves (we go again to Dr Grossman’s article). Hell, Scotland was debating licensing and registration knives. I am serious. Anything other than a household knife would have to be licensed by the state. I don’t know what was more ridiculous, that or the fact I was committing a crime by carrying Swiss Army knife on the Tube. Assuming that is passed, will that stop killing by cutting instruments? I really don’t think so.

We do not permit blind people to drive cars, but we do allow them to shoot guns.

Where do blind people shoot guns? I’ve not heard of this one.

Only in America

Don’t forget Switzerland. Something that may have slipped your mine. The Swiss Army is for the most part a reservist organization. The men keep their firearms at home. Now, by your theory Switzerland should be a war zone. Their crime is very low. Anon, you may not have heard this news. We spent trillions of your tax dollars on a new study and figured out the root cause of crime. It’s called “criminals”. Tell me Anon, are you one of the people who get confused by the fact crime is down even though the incarceration rate is up?

Anonymous said...

Do you believe that the Second Amendment Guarantees my right to own a 155mm cannon that shoots nuclear projectiles? I sure hope not.

There is a compelling government interest in regulating firearms. In fact, the government does regulate firearms, so quest is not “should the government regulate firearms”, the question where to draw the line.



What people like me do not understand is the love affair that some people have with guns. I mean, if you have cockroaches in your house, it makes sense to buy some bug spray. If you live in a bad neighborhood, it makes sense to buy a gun. But was does not follow is the obsession gun nuts have toward their phallic symbols.

Guns shoot death. The penis shoots life. One would think that our society would worship the penis and find guns obscene. However, in America, we have it backwards.

Darren said...

I'm so very glad to post comments like the previous one. I don't have to say a word about them--they speak for themselves.

Mike T said...

Anon, remember the great wisdom of Lincoln, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.

“Do you believe that the Second Amendment Guarantees my right to own a 155mm cannon that shoots nuclear projectiles? I sure hope not.”

I don’t recall mentioning artillery or nukes, only small arms (rifles and pistols exactly). And I don’t recall the NRA saying you should be able to buy artillery (except for licensed collectors or some of the Civil War re-enactors I know who own 12 pound guns for weekend play) Your resistant to answering the points I made in my posting show a lack of something, either guts or intellect. Which is it?

“There is a compelling government interest in regulating firearms. In fact, the government does regulate firearms, so quest is not “should the government regulate firearms”, the question where to draw the line.

The feds regulate firearms manufacturing and via the Brady bill, instituted a method of checking that people who cannot possess firearms (e.g. felons) are not allowed. (In theory…criminals usually don’t go to Academy Sporting Goods to buy their guns). They also stopped the snakes in the American Trial Lawyer Assn and other forms of scum from suing the industry out of existence. That sounds good to me. Beyond that I think the regulation of firearms use is a local/state issue. The Supreme Court agreed in many ways. They struck down the federal law requiring guns to stay 1000’ ft from a school. Why? It has nothing to do with the “regulation of interstate commerce” which is what Congress based this law on. Good to know there is some common since on the Supreme Court. This may surprise you Anon, but William F Buckley is in favor of gun control. But unlike Sarah Brady (who thinks the 2nd Amendment doesn’t exist) or Teddy Kennedy or Rosie O’Donnell (who think guns will get you killed, but for some reason they are surrounded by armed guards…one who think they would not want that), his is a respectable position. He has said very simply, first thing you must do is “repeal the Second Amendment”. Don’t agree, but I can respect the position.

“What people like me do not understand is the love affair that some people have with guns. I mean, if you have cockroaches in your house, it makes sense to buy some bug spray. If you live in a bad neighborhood, it makes sense to buy a gun. But was does not follow is the obsession gun nuts have toward their phallic symbols.”

I own 10 guns in all (four are for business) and I don’t recall them being phallic symbols…then again I’m not lacking. Sounds like you’re missing something in your life Anon.

“Guns shoot death. The penis shoots life. One would think that our society would worship the penis and find guns obscene. However, in America, we have it backwards.”

Anon, you male or female? Just curious. And again I ask, what was the thing about you being right handed…or is this clearing the subject up? Guns shoot a projectile or shot. It depends on how their used that makes deadly or not. Is it deadly to shoot my 40 Cal at paper targets? I don’t think so, the trees are already dead. If someone takes a gun and shoots a human during the commission of a robbery, what has killed this innocent man? In you screwed up mind Anon, the gun. Hate to tell you, it’s the shithead with the gun. This may be a radical subject, but again I refer you to the multi-trillion dollar study we commissioned to find out the root causes of crime. It’s criminals!