We have been using sheep, lambs and shepherds as allegory since a wandering, tacti-cool instructor began circuit teaching in the Middle East long ago. Later, we learned – and many of us took to heart – LTC (RET) Dave Grossman’s On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, in which he describes the roles in modern society.
Most of us have probably heard the expression “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” to describe one with bad intentions presenting a veneer of good to hide their true intentions. The current senior leadership and Board of Directors at OUR National Rifle Association has many of these: individuals who have created an image of “Second Amendment Warrior” while massing fortune, fame, and ego. This is not conjecture; it is not a Bloomberg-biased media distortion. It is fact. These individuals, mostly from the long tenured Old Guard/Original Gangster faction on the Board, exist in an arrogance-filled vacuum, believing that enough of the sheep have bought into their charade to keep them safe.
Marion Hammer would not have the audacity to judge others, given that her attendance at Board meetings has been abysmal over the past 8 years, without the security of her “Hammertime for the 2A Haters” persona…and her hefty multi-year six figure compensation package that was just renewed.
But there is also another growing demographic in both the Board and among NRA Members: the “sheep in sheepdog clothing”. We have all encountered them: at the first sign of real or (more often) imagined threat, they bark. They scratch at the ground. They even might show their raised hackles and bare a fang, but when there is the need for real action, when a sheepdog is needed, they sit. Sometimes they lay down. Often, they roll over and expose their belly as a sign of submission. And the wolf rubs their belly and whispers to them, “Who’s a good boy? YOU’RE a good boy!” The wolf even tosses them a treat now and then: a committee seat here, a keynote speech there, endorsement for outside opportunities, or a third-party crafted soundbite to appease their flock of sheep.
The sad part is, a lot of the sheep-in-sheepdog-clothing among the Members aren’t even aware they are doing it. They attack questions about the goings on at NRA as if rabid: “you’re a Bloomberg shill”; “you want the NRA to fail”; “Wayne hasn’t let us down in thirty years, and he’s not doing it now.” Same with the ones on the Board, who say “I’m just here for competitive shooting” or “I am not personally aware of any wrongdoing.” Both, though, are guilty of crimes of omission: history will show that given evidence which they could have confirmed, their greatest action was merely baring a fang and barking.
EVERYONE wants to be a sheepdog…until it’s time to do sheepdog WORK.