The Parable of the Sheeple
by Charles Riggs
Not so long ago and in a pasture too uncomfortably close to here, a flock of sheeple lived and grazed.
They were protected by a large, fighter dog, who answered to the shepherd, but despite his best lone efforts from time to time a nearby large pack of wolves would successfully prey upon outer fringes of the flock.
One day a group of sheeple, bolder than the rest, met to discuss their
dilemma. 'Our dog is good, and vigilant, but he is one and the wolves are many. The wolves he catches are not always killed, and the shepherd judges and releases many to prey again upon us, for no reason we can understand. What can we do? We are sheep, but we do not wish to be food, too!'
One sheeple spoke up, saying 'It is his fangs and claws that make the wolf so terrible to us. It is his nature to prey, and he would find any way to do it, but it is the tools he wields that make it possible. If we had such fangs and claws, we could fight back and stop this savagery.' The other sheeple clamored in agreement.
They went together to the old bones of the dead wolves heaped in the corner of the pasture where they gathered fangs and claws, sharpened them and turned them into very effective weapons.
That night, when the wolves came, the newly armed sheeple sprang up with their newly-acquired weapons and struck at the wolves, crying, 'Be Gone! We are not food!' They drove off the invading, hungry wolves leaving them most astonished!
"When did sheeple become so bold and so dangerous?" the wolves wondered. "When did sheeple grow fangs?" It was unthinkable!
The next day, flush with victory and waving their weapons, the armed sheeple approached the flock to pronounce their discovery. But as they drew nigh, the flock huddled together and cried out, 'Baaaaaaaadddd! Baaaaaddd things! You have bad things! We are afraid! You are not sheeple!'
The brave sheeple stopped, amazed. 'But we are your brethren!' they cried. 'We are still sheeple, but we do not wish to be food. See, our new fangs and claws protect us and have saved us from slaughter. They do not make us into wolves, they make us equal to the wolves, and safe from being eaten!'
'Baaaaaaad!' cried the flock, 'the things are bad and will pervert you, and we fear them. You cannot bring them into the flock!'
So the armed sheeple talked no more about their weapons, for they had no desire to panic the flock and wished to remain in the fold. But they resolved somehow never to return to those nights of terror, waiting for the wolves to eat them.
Beaten back, time and again with weapons of their own kind, in time the wolves attacked less often and sought easier prey. They had no stomach for fighting sheeple possessing fangs and claws like theirs.
Not knowing which sheeple had fangs and which did not, they came to leave sheeple out of their diet almost completely, except for the occasional raid from which more than one wolf did not return.
Then came the day when, as the flock grazed beside a stream, one sheeple's weapon slipped from the folds of her fleece. A cry of alarm went out from the flock -- in terror once again, 'Baaaaaad! You still possess these evil things! We must ban you from our presence!'
And so they did. The great chief sheeple and his council, encouraged by the words of their advisors, placed signs and totems at the edges of the pasture forbidding the presence of hidden weapons there.
The armed sheeple protested before the council, saying, 'It is our pasture, too, and we have never harmed you! When can you say we have caused you hurt? It is the wolves, not we, who prey upon you. We are still sheeple, but we will not be food!'
But the flock drowned them out with cries of 'Baaaaaaddd! We will not hear your clever words! You and your things are evil and will harm us!'
Saddened by this rejection, the armed sheeple moved off. They spent their days following the flock, trying from time to time to speak with their brethren, to convince them of the wisdom of having such fangs, but met with little success. They found it hard to talk to those who, upon hearing their words, would roll back their eyes and flee, crying 'Baaaaddd! Bad Things!'
The wolves kept up with the latest status of the sheeple through spies placed in and around their pastures. They decided to implement a false plan of appeasement and avoid attacks until a new and more successful strategy was developed.
The Council of the Sheeple, noticing the greatly diminished incident of attacks by wolves, and having such great fear of the "baaaaad things,' decided it would better serve the peaceful purposes of the flock to require that those in possession of such 'baaaaad things' sign a list of ownership for identification purposes.
This list helped the Council gain better control of who owned what whenever any of the 'baaaaaad things' got stolen or misplaced.
However, many of the sheeple -- who greatly feared the wolves -- refused to sign. Consequently, they hid their "baaaad things" from the rest of the flock by burying them underground.
Meanwhile, the wolves, still wounded from their prior foiled attacks, temporarily lost interest in the sheeple. They hunted and attacked easier prey elsewhere.
As a result, the Council, desiring to further the resultant peace, passed a law -- disregarding the objections of many -- that all 'baaaad things' be stored in cases with locks to prevent little lambs from playing with them, and thereby, getting hurt.
Consequently, those who refused to rely entirely on the shepherd and dog for their safety, insisted on their right of self-defense by maintaining the hiding of their "baaaad things" underground from the rest of the flock.
That night, the wolves visited the sheeple's totems and saw their signs. They exclaimed, "Truly, these sheeple are foolish, easy prey!
Brothers, let us feed!" They set upon the flock, and horrible was the carnage in the midst of the fold. The dog fought like a demon, and often seemed to be in two places at once, but even he could not avoid harm nor halt the ensuing slaughter.
It was only after some of the sheeple (though wounded and bloodied in the fight) -- at the peak of the battle, when all seemed lost -- successfully retrieved their buried, locked fangs and claws, and, thus, succeeded in warding off the hungry, invading wolves, causing them to flee.
However, some of the surviving sheeple reported to the Council that most unfortunately some of their brethren had been wounded, and in one instance, accidentally killed by armed sheeple in the battle.
So, in the morning, when the armed sheeple spoke to the flock, and said, "See? If the wolves know you have no fangs, they will fall upon you. Why be prey? To be a sheep does not mean to be food for wolves,' the rest of the flock cried out more feebly (for their voices were fewer, though with no less terror), 'Baaaaaaaad! These things are bad! If they were banished, we would be less likely to be harmed! Baaaaaaad!'
So the Council, at the urging of the remaining frightened flock, banned all fangs and claws, imposing severe penalties on anyone found in possession of same.
All the while, the blood-thirsty, snarling, vicious and drooling wolves remained on the edge of the pasture secretly waiting for the next time they could attack. The ravenous wolves knew that since the sheeple were peaceloving in nature and lacking in survival prowess (being demonstrably prone to foolishness), they would be so again. This they did, and still do.
In contrast, the armed sheeple -- having resolved to conceal their ever-ready, sharpened weapons from the remaining view-sensitive flock at all costs -- endured their fellow brethren's resultant fear and loathing. They even resolved to protect their brethren should ever the need arise, until the day the flock learned to understand that as long as there were hungry, ravenous wolves waiting to attack in the night, sheeple would need sharp fangs and long claws to repel them.
The armed sheeple would still be sheeple, but -- unlike their wolf-eaten brethren -- they would not become food!
"The beauty of the Second Amendment (right to bear arms) is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." Thomas Jefferson
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