I don’t carry a gun…

Some things never seem to change. Yet, others seem to go through metamorphism, grow, and just get better with age. Fine wine and Irish whiskey come to mind as well as tough old Boone and Crockett Bull Elk. Syd, over at Front sight Press takes this to new heights.

Hat tip to TexasFred for catching this!

Last year about this time, I wrote a piece called “I don’t carry a gun…” and it goes like this:

I don’t carry a gun…

November 13th, 2007 by Syd

… to kill people. I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people. I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid. I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil. I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government. I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry. I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don’t carry a gun because my sex organs are too small. I carry a gun because I want to continue to use those sex organs for the purpose for which they were intended for a good long time to come.

I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy. I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it. I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

The piece struck a nerve with a lot of people and it proved to be very popular. It was copied to blogs, websites and forums hundreds of times and it remains the most linked to and copied piece of writing on the blog. The reception of this piece has been deeply gratifying. I never objected to any copying or re-posting of the piece anywhere. I was glad to make the contribution to the cause.

Recently, people have begun to do something with it that is driving me nuts: they are changing a couple of words and presenting it without attribution, as if it were their own work. Believe it or not, I have actually received three different versions of it in e-mail this week, each one slightly modified but carrying the core of the original piece. I should be flattered, I guess, but I’m not.

What’s the problem with this? First of all, it is copyrighted material that I own. I could sue over this if I were the litigious kind. More importantly, this is a signature piece of creative work that I did, and it’s not right for people to change a few words and present it as their own or as an anonymous internet piece. It would be like taking Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” changing the name to “The Big Black Bird,” and circulating it as your own. Put yourself in the author’s place and I think you will see the problem.

These things take on a life of their own, and I know that there is no real way to put a stop to it. In many ways I am delighted that I created a “viral” idea. I would ask from those of you who are readers and friends of mine that when you receive one of these or see one posted on a forum, that you refer the sender back to this page so that they can see the way the piece was originally written, who wrote it, and how it should rightfully remain.

Thanks.

Special note: Front Sight Press is not to be confused with Front Sight Training Center

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3 Responses to “I don’t carry a gun…”

  1. Democratic America, Goverment and Election » I don’t carry a gun… Says:

    […] Read the rest of this superb post right here […]

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  2. Matt Says:

    Patrick,

    Hey, I wanted to write you and tell you that you may see something similar from me, Matthew Long, that I wrote last week. I’m sure this sounds convenient, but I hadn’t heard of yours before and while my prose is similar, it’s shorter and follows a different pattern, it’s just similar. Anyway, I wanted to let you know I was really surprised when I followed a blog link for related posts to mine and I found your writing here. I do know who Syd is, after all, I am a Gun Rights podcaster, but I don’t read blogs too often and haven’t yet gotten over to Syd’s and don’t get to listen to his podcast very often. Anyway… I would say it is a case of great minds think alike. Just thought I would let you know out of courtesy so if it made it’s way around to you you wouldn’t think I stole it.
    Matt

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  3. Patrick Sperry Says:

    I knew, and not a problem. Things like this should be open for all to comment about, and IMO, add too. Hence, I don’t think that Syd would consider it stolen, nor do I. Visit GOAA and join! We need more people like you.

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