From a weblog no longer around comes this entry, originally published in early October, 2005 by some character calling himself “Cabinboy”:
As much of a fan as I am of Bill Whittle, I was a little disturbed by his latest essay. Not the whole essay, mind you, just the sheep/sheepdog metaphor.
Me — I don’t want anybody sniffing around me and nipping at my heels, trying to move me in the direction THEY think is best for me. I’m much more of a Gadsen guy myself.
That’s why I am so happy that Mark Spungin, president of the Wyoming Shooting Sports Association, has granted us his permission to republish his essay on what he believes is the proper totem for a Rifleman. The original version was published in the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune, and I have taken the liberty just to include an Algore link from today’s headlines.
I hope you’ll enjoy Mark’s essay, but more importantly, I hope you’ll heed his message:
While we like to regard ourselves as superior to “lesser” animals, we, as humans, do share important similarities. Animals are generally grouped into “predator” and “prey” categories. Humans, for the most part, also tend to fall into one or the other above categories. For this system, animal or human, to work properly, there must be a considerable preponderance of prey species and a small number of predatory species.
However, in the human as well as the animal world, a smaller category also exists. This group consists of those humans or animals who, either through genetics or conscious thought, choose to be neither predators nor prey. It is in that third category that I tend to include myself and fellow lovers of Liberty.
Our animal equivalent is perhaps best represented by the buffalo bull. This formidable creature is indigenous to Wyoming and has been aptly selected as the state’s symbol. Generally peaceful by nature, the bull has little patience when harassed or threatened. They are also very protective of the cows and calves of the herd. In the long-ago days of the large buffalo herds and large wolf populations, the bulls would often have to surround the herd, shoulder to shoulder, in a circle. When a marauding wolf got too close, he would be gored by a bull’s horn, then flipped in the air and stomped into jelly by the bulls’ hooves when he hit the ground.
As humans, we have neither the massive strength, nor the hooves, nor the horns of the bull buffalo. However, what we do have – those of us who have chosen to be neither predator nor prey — are our infinitely more capable brains and that wonderful product of thousands of years of technology – the major-caliber main battle rifle. Just as the buffalo bulls, we too are ready to form into a circle to protect our women and children. Being of a much higher mental order, we have also included within that circle our rights, liberties, and values, along with our legitimate hopes and desires.
Our metaphorical circle is so much stronger and more difficult to penetrate than the physical circle formed by the buffalo bulls. They acted purely on instinct, and sadly were unable to adapt to the tactics and technology of the human predator, despite their unyielding devotion to their protective mission. On the other hand, we humans act on conscious thought, and therefore are highly adaptable, infinitely imaginative, and capable of both proactive and reactive defensive measures.
Our foes – the human wolves – are both no less ferocious and voracious than their animal counterparts. They too possess much more capable brains. While they do not physically kill and eat us, their ultimate goal is to enslave us totally and eat out our substance. For them to get into our protective circle, they must first de-horn and emasculate us. This is the real purpose of gun control in general, and all “assault weapon” bans in particular. Today’s human predators know that if they can remove our most effective tools of resistance, they will have achieved a potentially decisive edge in the “tooth and claw” category.
These human wolves also differ in several important ways from their animal counterparts. The alpha male of the canine wolf pack leads by example and is at the forefront of all aggressive actions. He has very much earned his leadership position and is of great value to the pack. The survival of the pack is of paramount importance, so the alpha male who fails is quickly replaced by a more competent one in a spectacularly violent transition.
At one time in history, the human alpha male differed very little from his lupine cousin. Thousands of years of “civilization” have changed this fact, especially here in the Western world. The predatory “leader” most likely to be encountered by lovers of Liberty very rarely leads from the front. His status is generally attained through family connections and/or political gamesmanship. He is not really even part of the pack that is sent forth to do the dirty work. These “leaders” – great or small – feel no sense of loyalty or obligation to the lesser predatory minions that they recruit. In general, today’s human wolves hold their teammates in contempt and consider their fellow pack members to be both highly expendable and easily replaced. Interestingly, another important difference between predators of the two-legged and four-legged kinds is that incompetence and failure rarely leads to the expulsion of a two-legged pack alpha. Former VP Al Gore is a perfect example – so clueless that he actually had to take lessons on how to be an alpha male, yet still howling to the world as if he were still relevant to anyone outside of his own family.
As men and women who have chosen to be neither predator nor prey, we have the brains and the tools to take advantage of our foes’ weaknesses. But make no mistake: just as on the rolling plains of old, any failure to detect and defend against today’s predators will lead to our demise. If the human wolves succeed, then all is lost. The traditional values, attitudes, beliefs, and practices of our American culture will remain only as moldering dead reminders of our country’s former greatness.
If we are to avoid the fate of the long-gone great buffalo herds, we dare not ignore the predators that lurk in the shadows of today’s domestic and international political landscape.
We must not deny our responsibility to encircle and protect both our loved ones and our cherished ideals from those who would eviscerate them.
And we simply cannot tolerate those who would render us extinct, be it for political, ideological, or theological reasons.
We are much smarter, and much better armed, than our brother – the bull buffalo.
But so are our enemies.
Only if we remain equally fierce, pitiless, and unyielding as the bull buffalo will we survive – as neither predator nor prey.
If you admire the spirit behind this classic freedom/resistance essay, you will both enjoy and benefit from Mark’s first novel, Neither Predator Nor Prey, as well as this JPFO interview with Mark. A sample section from the novel is here, and you can find Mike V’s review here.
Ordering information is here.