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.
I review a lot of books on this blog, and among those books a very small number genuinely move me – bring tears to my eyes. It was a bit of a surprise that a children’s book, Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nation’s Warriors, by Stephanie Rogish and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, was one of those.
The passage quoted above doesn’t come from the body of the book, but from Col. Grossman’s famous essay, “On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs,” which is printed in the back. The bulk of the book (which I got free for review, for the record) is aimed at school children. It pursues the sheep/wolf/sheepdog metaphor in an extended manner, to help kids think about force and how to respond to the sheepdogs (police, soldiers, legal concealed weapons carriers, etc.) they may encounter. I didn’t care greatly for the illustrations, to be honest, but the text works very well.
If you’re the kind of parent (or teacher) who believes that guns are inherently evil, and that there is never any excuse for violence, even to save children’s lives, you won’t like this book.
If you’re a parent who wants your children to understand the legitimate and illegitimate uses of force, and who would be proud to see them grow up to be sheepdogs themselves, you will want to have it and share it with them.
You can order it from the US Concealed Carry Association here.