Course of Fire: The Courage To Be Conservative

By John W. Harrington
President Shield Tactical

Pen and Ammuntion
Course of Fire: The Courage To Be Conservative
Shield Tactical
Shield Tactical

Shiner, Texas –-(  Gun, check. Holster, check. Mag holder, check. CCW(or not), check. You are prepared to go out into the world as an armed citizen.

You’re prepared, but are you ready? After all they are not the same thing.

This is a question I have posed to the hundreds of students I have had the honor to instruct. I would have to say the best part of being an instructor is the vantage point. Most of them can see myself and maybe one or two other faces.

I get to see all their faces and the micro-expressions that flash across them. Those micro-expressions do not lie. I see confidence in some, introspection in others and finally, in a few, sheer terror as it hits home that this is not just a novelty but the reality of the responsibility of carrying a firearm to protect oneself and one’s family.

I see reflection on what it may mean. I can see some have haven’t REALLY thought about it before this moment. They haven’t asked themselves that question as of yet. That is the point. This is the precise moment engineered to foster the process of thought that leads to a decision.

After this question some will place their firearm in the safe never to be carried while others will sell them, I know this because a couple of them have found their new home in my safe. This is not the goal of the question but it is an inevitability for some. Some don’t have it in them to run toward the gunfire, or to take the life of another. Not all are called to that post and that is perfectly okay.

It all comes down to personal conviction. Some have the conviction to insert themselves into violence and others to avoid violence and lead the crowd to safety. This is not a question of bravery or courage. After all the many of the Congressional Medals of Honor awarded in WWII were bestowed upon men who opted to advance into harm’s way to render aid to comrades rather than fire at the enemy from the relative safety of their foxholes.

These men were cowards by no means.

A firm grasp of the concept of courage is paramount in the process of making the decision to be, or not to be a sheepdog.

Many are relieved to learn that just as we need those who run toward the gunfire, we need those sheepdogs with the courage to run toward the ideological and political gunfire aimed at those who stand up for the rights of their fellow sheepdogs in the halls of Congress, the local coffee shop or a cocktail party.

Those sheepdogs whose conviction is advocacy can be the very tip of the spear on the battlefield of information and public opinion. These too, are some of the bravest men and women I have ever met. So, in closing allow me to say, whatever your conviction, if you are standing up for every man and woman’s right to be victor not victim, then you ARE a sheepdog and our community would be lost without you.

I wish you all a blessed week full of freedom, family, and fun.


About Shield Tactical;
Shield Tactical is a family business. Though we are not all related by blood, the bond of 2nd ammendment supporters is just as strong. My name is John W. Harrington and I am the president and founder of Shield Tactical. I have been involved in student based firearm instruction for over ten years. Over that period of time, my philosophy has been simple – make it about the shooter. Every member of our team has heard me say (more than they care to count) “People don’t come to us to hear about how great we are or what we have done, they come to us for what we can do for them”. Visit:

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