First, a note that the work has been posted, and discussed, until some of us are actually tired of seeing it come up again. But I understand how folks coming across it for the first time - especially if they are new to firearms - are attracted to it. Therefore, I'm not going to throw a penalty flag for repetition.
Second, and more importantly, I'm going to try to keep my rant short and sweet.
I AM NOT A SHEEPDOG! I HOPE YOU ARE NOT A SHEEPDOG! IF YOU ARE A SHEEPDOG I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU!!!
Sheepdogs are hired by shepards to watch over property that does not belong to the sheepdog, and the only moral obligation the sheepdog has regarding the sheep is regarding receiving pay for labor performed.
I carry a firearm because I am not physically capable of defending myself from a lethal attack by any other means. Whle I have training and practice in hand-to-hand combat and training and experience in a few martial arts, I am no longer strong enough, fast enough, nor have the endurance to use those skills and have any expectation of coming out alive, let alone the victor, in a struggle with someone trying to kill me or inflict serious bodily injury. Further, I am not officially diagnosed as being physically disabled, which means that other people recognize that I cannot do a lot of the stuff that others, even of my advanced age, can do.
In addition to desiring to provide for my own defense I have made both intellectual and moral decisions that I will make every effort to come to the defense of certain individuals whom I care about. but the same limitations on my ability to do so without the use of a firearm apply there as with my own defense.
As for the rest of humanity? Well, on an intellectual plane I feel sad when I hear of folks getting hurt or killed because they could not effectively defend themselves, and I become angry over the decisions of folks who prevented tem from being able to defend themselves effectively. But am I/was I, like the sheepdog, morally or ethically responsible to defend them? Nope! No way! There was no contract between me and them, and no exchange of things of value to secure my service in their time of need.
OK, I said I'd keep the rant short, so I'll end it about here. You want a sheepdog, you go out and hire one and keep your side of the contract. You want me to be your sheepdog, be prepared for an exhorbitant price to be asked, seeing as how much being one is going to take out of my already limited resources and capabilities.
I'm all for folks that decide to protect themselves and their own famliy, and maybe extend it to some others of their clan. But to say I'm/you're a sheepdog and therefore responsible for the whole flock? No way!