I just came back from a patrol run on my property. When I go on patrol I go out armed, usually with a semi-automatic rifle and handgun backup. My property is mixed woodland with pasture and bears have been seen on the neighbors acreage. Not that I’d shoot one if I saw one, but I can’t be sure how the bear will react. There are also hunters who occasionally ignore the NO TRESPASSING signs on my property and it’s amazing how polite people get when they know both sides are armed.
Earlier I had spotted two pit bulls near my pond. Both looked like fighting dogs without collars with scars and wounds around their necks that come from to-the-death fights. I have written before about my feelings about pit bulls. I am not comfortable with the breed and trust them less than I do other breeds. I have eight rescued dogs on my current roster, and none of them would stand a chance against either of these muscular fighters, so I chased them off with my SUV when I went out and after I returned an hour later got on the motorcycle, armed myself and canvassed the area looking for them.
I love animals and that includes pit bulls. I do not fault them for being who they are, and deeply despise the human beings who have bred and fought them for sport. I understand that some are valued pets and would never hurt their owners, but these two I saw on my property were not pets. They were fighters probably dumped instead of shot by their owners. But no matter what my feelings are, regardless of how much I would love to feed them and clean them up and watch them frolic and play with my pack of misfits, the reality is that if they got close to my house they would likely decimate my pack, from the chow-shepherd mixes down to the minpin and chihuahua. So bleeding-heart animal lover I am, I set off on my motorcycle to make sure they did not threaten my rescues and moved on, and if they stood their ground I was prepared to kill them. I hate killing animals, hate it more than anything, but Nature rarely cares about the human conscience and confronts me from time to time with threats to my family or my pack. Rest assured that at these times I do what needs to be done to protect those under my care, regardless of the pangs of my conscience.
A horror is unfolding a few hundred miles away, and while I fully expect to hear the usual calls for the confiscation of my ability to protect myself and those I care for, I am prepared to resist them. I understand the pain that causes people to respond in such a way, but I wish they would heed what responsible gun owners have been saying for decades: the solution is not to confiscate guns it is to provide them to those who we task with caring for our loved ones in our absence. We are not going to change the hearts of the insane killers who slaughter just as I am not going to turn the pit bulls who crossed my property into pets happy to join my pack. All it would take to stop such massacres is a person carrying a gun and trained in its use. In fact murders are deterred all the time by law abiding citizens wielding a gun in self-defense, but these cases rarely make the news. They usually won’t because we can never see what would have happened had the gun owner not reacted, had they not carried a weapon and used it to defend themselves, their friends or loved ones. In such events we have a single dead criminal instead of multiple innocents, but such things ever make the inner pages of the newspaper and are often ignored completely.
There will always be pit bulls that know nothing but killing just as there will be people without souls who will do heinous acts that tear at the souls of those of us who have them. My pack surrounds me, trusting in me to protect them, and I am alert. It is all I know and what I am.