Them and Us … Feelings of Misunderstanding Or Worse?

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This years venison bonding father and daughter ever so tightly.

Puzzled, they just can’t understand our love for guns. Perhaps they simply refuse to do so because they’re so certain they’re right. Aren’t they always? Guns represent the very things they hate. They believe guns cause crime, but really, they’re just failing to blame the true offender. For them, we’re lust crazed loonies looking to shoot things to smithereens. We know they couldn’t be further from the truth.

Tools Not Fools

Guns are the equalizer. They protect the weak from the strong, while providing the means of resistance for freedom loving people from dictators. Don’t believe me? Try reviewing world history. Every time guns are banned, it’s followed by confiscation. The government doing the seizing has rounded up the citizenry and subjected them to incarceration, or death.

Perhaps this is why they want to rewrite our past, or simply ignore it by not teaching it? The statement “those that don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it” is very true.

Pap’s Savage 99 held by Tank’s second cousin. It has since
been passed down yet again, as should be.

Responsibility

I’m a true believer when it comes to guns — familiarity breeds respect. When a youngster is taught proper gun safety, instruction and handling skills from a reasonable and knowledgeable person, those lessons are learned for life through repetition. A feeling of respect, combined with responsibility takes root in the youngster and they don’t want to risk messing it up with shoddy handling or shooting practices.

Respect and responsibility are the seeds which blossom into independence. Independence is the cornerstone to confidence. Show me a young person who’s confident and independent and I’ll show you an upstanding, successful citizen who’s a contributor to society.

Sentimental Symbols

Those disliking guns will never understand our warm feelings about guns. They link us to wonderful memories with special people who impacted our lives, making us who we are today. Who remembers their first successful deer hunt, usually with a borrowed, or hand-me-down rifle from an older hunter in the group? That chilly morning is forever locked away to be recalled whenever the need arises.

Thinking about the moment brings a smile upon our face as we fondly relive the moment. Holding the actual rifle makes it more real as we stroke the stock, shoulder the gun and pretend we are shooting at that first buck again.

Fantastic Flashbacks

Years ago, when going to my grandmothers for opening day of deer season, I’d always slip down the cellar steps after dinner and go to pap’s gun rack. In it were his deer rifles, both Savage Model 99’s. The older of the two was chambered in .300 Savage and had an old Redfield peep sight on it. The second rifle was chambered in .308 and sported a Leupold scope.

He killed many deer with the first and traveled far and wide with the second, going as far as the top of Canada hunting caribou. Picking these gems up stirs something in my heart. It made me feel my pap, experiencing what he must have felt when carrying, aiming and shooting these guns. I followed this pre-hunt ritual for years.

How could something capable of churning up such memories be considered evil? Again, it’s something naysayers could never understand. If they don’t like it, no one should enjoy what they so despise. Shallow thinking indeed.

Perfect Paradox

My own daughter is a fine example of the respect and responsibility hunting and shooting provide. Watching me shoot ground hogs at the ripe old age of 10 or 11, she showed an interest in doing so herself. We went to the range and practiced for a few weeks until she had the skill and confidence to try shooting one herself. She did and this blossomed into a desire to hunt deer. Again, more practice with bigger guns and she was ready. She has since taken several deer.

Being a gun-loving, blood-thirsty hunter, you’d think she had no respect or kindness to shed for animals. Yet, she’s in her second year of veterinarian school because of her love for animals. The majority of gun loving hunters are the biggest lovers and supporters of animals there are.

Cats, dogs, and any other pets are treated like family. If a deer, elk or other wild animal is entangled in a barbed wire fence, volleyball net, or other dastardly device, chances are it’s the hunter who will free such a critter for they hunt on their own terms, on a fair chase field.

Thus is the complexity of a gun totin’ animal shootin’ person. If only “they” would open their so-called open minds, giving “us” a chance, they just might see the warm-hearted individuals we really are. Heck, most of us would stick our necks out helping them if they needed it. I guess that’s what separates us from them?