Sheepdog vs. Sheepdog

Sheep…wolves…and sheepdogs. It’s a topic that sees a lot of debate and, quite frankly, cheers. Everyone likes to sit around clinking beers together and calling themselves sheepdogs. I’m not going to dispute that fact about anyone. I have, unfortunately, noticed some division in the ranks.

As we all know, the idea of the sheepdog started in the military. Let’s face it, I think this spurs many in the military and law enforcement to scoff at the regular concealed carrier that tries to lay claim to their title. For at least part of that, I have to agree. We don’t don a uniform and go out every day like Superman with the authority to ruin someone’s day. We don’t have the entire flock to worry about. No, we strap on a side arm and go out as our family’s first responder. Yet that limited scope seems to allow us to catch the odd bit of flack with some of the big dogs.

Look we know we don’t measure up to an active duty Marine in the streets of Afghanistan while we carry a concealed weapon to take the family to dinner in Texas. We are absolutely not the SWAT officer busting his way into a hostage situation either. We get that but we still stand by ready to help either group out of a bad situation on the streets of “Hometown USA”. My first CCW instructor, a local police officer in my hometown, told us that his students had pulled him out of several deadly situations over the years. Frankly, if you’re offended by the person who is armed, trained, and willing to put their lives on the line to come to your aid then we have bigger problems to worry about.

Let me break this into simpler terms. We all know about the wolves so let me concentrate on just sheep and sheepdogs.

Sheep:

  • Church is the sanctuary of the sheep and that’s ok. They show up in their Sunday best just like the rest of us. They reach to the heavens with every ounce of faith they can muster and pray for safety. There’s nothing wrong with any of that because we all want to stay out of trouble.

  • A Sheep has a home invasion and they call 911 to beg for a sheepdog to come to their aid. That’s what 911 is for so we can’t fault anyone for that.

  • Sheep go to a public activity and worry only about socializing and enjoying themselves. They don’t notice anything going on around them except for those in their group. They don’t know where the exits are and never think they will need to use them before the night is over. Again there’s nothing wrong with this. That’s what that activity was meant for.

Now let’s show the other side of this. The average sheepdog:

  • The sheepdog is often very alone at church, I know I am, but that’s all part of the job and we all respect that. No self-respecting sheep likes a sheepdog until they need one, right? Well, that’s not just for the uniformed officer that just pulled someone over. The little guys out there like you and I are usually shunned by the sheep as being the weird “gun guy” trying to be among them. The thing they don’t realize is that we really couldn’t care less about the opinions or the bleating noise of sheep.

  • An average sheepdog has a home invasion and absolutely calls 911. The difference is that the sheepdog doesn’t call 911 for a savior. He calls 911 for backup. Once called, the sheepdog sets up an ambush and waits for that backup to show up. Any threat can be taken care of in the meantime but he knows another sheepdog is coming to help him. It’s not because we’re bigger or tougher than the sheep it’s because we have taken personal responsibility for our safety. It’s the act of a free man/woman to not rely on someone else for their security.

  • A sheepdog is fairly easy to spot in a social gathering if you know what you’re looking for. The sheepdog is the one standing alone with his eye on more than just the sheep. He’s relaxed but aware. It’s also why the sheep never notice him. The sheepdog is the one with his back against the wall. He scans the room for potential problems and always knows where the exits are. He knows that if something happens at the front door he can get his family and others out the back. He also knows that he is, more than likely, the only one in the room that is prepared to step between the wolves and the sheep. The thing the sheep will never understand is that the sheepdog is okay with being the only one to stand against evil. Sure, he would rather have some backup and that’s why he is always on the lookout for other sheepdogs. It’s always nice to know where your backup is and, like the wolf, we perfer to run in packs.

So, sure there are classes among the Sheepdogs. Those that guard our nation. Those that guard our streets. Those that guard our families. The size of our flock may be different but that doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground and stick together. There’s enough going on in our country to divide us. Let this one point…the Sheepdogs…be the point that brings us together.

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