And she had, as her constant companion, a large dog, nearly wolf, handsome and muscular and long of leg and teeth, and as fiercely protective as it was fiercely loyal. They were never separated and could read each other’s thoughts as well as if they shared a language.

At first, she merely walked with the dog, but there were laws; she was forced to put him on a leash- but the leash was the merest cord- he could have destroyed it casually but he heeded it’s tug on his collar as if it were chains of iron, for his mistress held the end.

One day as they walked together, they saw men doing harm to someone. The dog stretched the cord to it’s length, and said, let me have them. They will not do this thing, the world should not be like this within the reach of my claws. His mistress pulled him back, and said, ‘This is not our battle. They do not harm us directly, and they probably have good reasons for what they do. Leave them be. Who are we to judge?”

The dog did not understand, and he did not want to stand down, but he did, as he loved his mistress.

The incidents grew more common and more violent, and the gangs of evildoers were encouraged by the freedom they were given by people too non judgemental and genteel to interfere. The dog often longed to break free of his self-imposed bondage and tear the evildoers limb from limb; but her hand stayed his claws. Once, as a gang member leered at his mistress, he let a single, sharp white fang show, in a small sample of the power he held at bay. The bully called the law; the officer listened to the lies he told of the threatening dog.

Dog’s mistress did her best to calm the thug and the policeman, and agreed to have Dog castrated to reduce his violent tendencies. “It’s for the best” she said. “if I cannot control you , and keep you from harming people, you will come to harm yourself”

Dog was not pleased, but he loved his mistress, and he submitted.

After the surgery, he felt no different. He thought of the pups he would never play with and was sad, but he devoted his life to his mistress and felt it was a small price to pay. he never snarled again, because he knew the cost.

One day his mistress was attacked. She was not seriously harmed, but her attackers were. One died, the result of a single quick bite to the femoral artery, the other two merely lost hands.

“Violence begets violence” the judge said. “A vicious dog cannot be allowed to live”

Dog was beaten and restrained, but he closed his bruised and bleeding eyes and said, I have protected my mistress. It was enough.
She was allowed to see him after they gave him the injection, but the light had already faded from his great eyes. She ran her fingers through his fur and cried a little. No more dogs, she said. It hurts too much to lose them.

Days later she was attacked again, and now defenseless, she died.

There are always those that seek to civilize, and tame, and soften. Sometimes, this is a good thing. A gentle hand on the leash of the strong often prevents needless escalation. Those strong ones often voluntarily leash themselves for that very reason, knowing the wisdom of sane discourse.

There is wisdom, too, in knowing when the threat can be safely resisted. Our country was founded by men who broke free of the restraints and did the hard things, risking all to gain freedom. Those freedoms, hard won, have been eroded bit by bit- each erosion earning a “its not important. It’s not our battle. We don’t have any right to raise our hackles about this”

You are surrounded by people trying to tell you that the line in the sand has not yet been crossed, and those are the people who have moved their line back and back and back and yet back again, until it is at their own front door; they say “here, here we will make our stand!”

The enemies of your freedom do not have the right. The line in the sand is outside their front door; they crossed it ages ago.

There are those who speak of “Soap box, Ballot box, Cartridge box”. This is insane. Only one box is important, the one you must think outside.

Bullets, or sisal, or bricks, are not the kind of thing you need, now. You need those brains God gave you. You know the line has been crossed. You know your back is against a wall, and you know you have noplace left to retreat. Now you need to twist that grey matter to a new task, the task of defeating an opponent who would use your own civility against you.