Guy Shepherd to Head ATF
By Guy Shepherd

Stay thirsty, armed and smokin’, My Friends.

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It's called work for a reason; it's not always fun. Those who love their work can't deny the grind, the ground hog repetition. It's hard work. What makes work fun is putting your shoulder behind things that are worthy.
By Guy Shepperd


Alcohol: I cannot imagine life without it.

Tobacco: I love a good cigar. An Avo Uvezian is my default favorite

Firearms: as American as apple pie, alcohol and tobacco.  

“He who bloweth his nose too hard, draweth blood.”

If there were one government agency I could lead, it would be the ATF—Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Guy Shepherd likes all of these things very much. There is a natural, manly, Trinitarian attraction to objects of its regulatory attention. Alcohol, tobacco and firearms—oh, yeah! Sadly, those who actually head up this agency are usually not lovers of A, T or F—nor are they advocates of the responsible pursuit and defense of happiness. Let’s tackle these one at a time:

Alcohol: I cannot imagine life without it. Yet it did not always exist. We are told man crawled out the monkey mix several-million years ago. He lived without beer until about 9,000 years ago, and Jesus’ first miracle—a little more than 2,000 years ago—was turning huge jugs of water into wine, with a wave of his divine hand. He did it because his mother asked him to. Cool Mother begets Good Son.

PM’s editorial policy on the pursuit of happiness—and defense of that pursuit—is we all could benefit from chillaxing at scale.

It was said to be the finest wine. I’ll always wonder what divine wine tastes like. We’ll never know, but here’s how celebrated oenologist Robert Parker described one, miraculous wine—a 1983 Margaux:

“The 1983 Margaux is a breathtaking wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes achieved perfect maturity in 1983, and the result is an astonishingly rich, concentrated, atypically-powerful-and-tannic Margaux. The color is dark ruby; the aromas exude ripe cassis fruit, violets and vanillin oakiness; and the flavors are extremely deep and long on the palate with a clean, incredibly long finish.” (Buy a bottle here.) 

Tobacco: I love a good cigar. An Avo Uvezian is my default favorite, which demands positive attention. It forces one to slow down for an hour—relax, reflect and chew some smoke. It’s restorative when paired with a drink and a good friend.

There is something missing in a person’s soul, if they can’t understand the attraction of smoking. Yes, tobacco is not good for your health—the same could be said of a Philly Cheese Steak. Understanding why folks like something is key. What’s the attraction to tobacco? Nicotine…mind-candy.

If only we could separate nicotine from its delivery system—tobacco, which brings great pleasure—would it be a great boon to humanity? Spoiler alert: we can. But these innovators ironically are under sustained regulatory attack instead of being celebrated. They deserve a better defense, and their products broader use.

Then there are firearms: as American as apple pie, alcohol and tobacco. United States citizens took out of government’s hands certain enumerated rights a government by, for and of the people are barred from abrogating, unlike those in other countries. The Second Amendment and its Right to Bear Arms is the backstop on this right and shows the Declaration of Independence’s Right of Revolution was not moral posturing. The idea was simple and self-evident: the solution to tyrannical government is to dilute it—i.e., Checks & Balances—through an armed citizenry. Arguments for hunting and sport are secondary to the Second Amendment.

We the people got the message: there are now more privately owned guns in the country than people—roughly 330 million people, almost 400 million guns  and enough bullets to load them all a couple of thousand times. Guy Shepherd does not own a gun, but my wife owns a couple. Guy is happy to rest comfortably under the blanket of freedom she and my law-abiding neighbors provide.

PM’s editorial policy on the pursuit of happiness—and defense of that pursuit—is we all could benefit from chillaxing at scale. The human animal is a moral being—a good thing. Morality and law are codes of good conduct essential for civilized life. But moralism—particularly when legislated—is something we ought to resist. A great moralist captured the nature and consequence of excess moralism: “He who bloweth his nose too hard, draweth blood.” Prohibition is a perfect example of what happens when those motivated by a moral purpose go too far. Planned Men don’t bloweth their noses too hard and counsel others in our circle to not do so either.

Stay thirsty, armed and smokin’, My Friends.



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