They also serve who stand their ground

The famous English poet John Milton once wrote, "They also serve, who only stand and wait."  The meaning is simple: there are important people who never get much attention, but who nevertheless perform vital, lifesaving services.  They do so by standing at the ready, holding their ground, prepared to act if needed, but otherwise remaining obscure. 

A modern example of this is the armed school security guard.  He might never be called upon to risk his life in defense of the students, but he keeps up his training, just in case.  The value of such men is on full display in the few incidents when a school shooter is confronted, killed if necessary, and prevented from carrying out a massacre.  An intense video documents the high-risk actions of police officers who killed a homicidal shooter before she could do further harm. 

Tragically, the value of school guards is also revealed when they fail to act, as occurred in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.  Seventeen were murdered while the school "resource officer," Scot Peterson, hid in a stairwell without taking action against the shooter.  The 2022 shooting in Uvalde, Texas was similarly allowed to continue by police, even as the mother of a student courageously entered the building and rescued her child, while law enforcement officers dithered outside. 

It is not only in schools where we need brave men to stand in the way of danger.  A former U.S. Marine in New York City is currently the target of radical leftists for his courageous intervention on a subway train.  It was an all-too-familiar case of a repeat offender who should have been an inmate but was instead allowed to terrorize law-abiding citizens.  The hero subdued the aggressive offender, who died as a result of the struggle.  The video clearly shows that the hero applied the least amount of force necessary to prevent harm to others.

Leftist activists, however, view the hero as the villain and the villain as the victim.

At the end of many chess games, after the losing player is checkmated, one frequently finds that one or two of the winner's pawns (peasants) never moved at all.  One might think that such a pawn contributed nothing to the victory.  A closer, move-by-move review of the game, however, reveals that the mere presence of that pawn, holding his ground, prevented the opponent from winning.

Across America, many gun-owners are like that pawn.  They prevent crimes that otherwise would have resulted in tragedy.  Such phrases as "drop your weapon, or I will shoot," have deterred many a cowardly would-be killer.  Such incidents rarely make the news and are not counted in the statistics.  More importantly, millions of gun-owners who legally carry weapons stand ready when called upon to save lives.  Fortunately, few of them actually have to draw their firearms, but an unknown number of would-be criminals are dissuaded from attacking a prospective victim.

If you are silently standing guard, you are a hero nonetheless for being unacknowledged.

Image: Public Domain.

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