Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guns and American's right to arms: the blog I wouldn't write a year ago

If you knew me in real life, you would know that while I am opinionated and stubborn, I am not violent. A year ago I was very anti-gun even though my father owned them and my brother owns them today. That changed when I met and became friends with and later started dating a hunter. No, he didn't brainwash me, he educated me.

What I learned from this hunter was that there are three types of people in this country, those who procure legal guns and are responsible, honest, hard working Americans who like to hunt, fish, and be a part of nature and have a love of nature that is second to none and who are incredibly respectful of fire arms, those that are irresponsible and don't respect the gun (these are the ones who let their teens have access to the weapons that kill other kids in school, for example) and the final group, those who are truly criminal and procure their guns illegally.

Recently, I became a gun owner. This is something I never in my life thought would happen and yet, I have a gun. It's a nice gun. It's a home protection gun. It's not readily available to anyone who enters my home because it is out of harms way. It will not accidentally discharge and it won't be stolen. The kids who come and go in my home have zero chance of accessing this or any weapon. It was a major purchase and the questions they ask before they are legally able to sell you a weapon are both odd and comprehensive.

What I have learned about guns is this, it is not the hunters you need to fear. Every hunter I know is incredibly responsible to the point where, should you see them checking each other's weapons to confirm they are not loaded after a hunt, you would probably think they are anal. They have to be. There are lives at stake. Nobody wants a accident to happen.

No the people you should fear are the people who do not actually respect the gun. I respect it. I respect it to the point I would avoid shooting most of my life, because the 1st time I shot a weapon, at about 8, I got such an kick that I was afraid of the rush. I prefer shooting handguns to rifles and shotguns and I shoot at targets. I do not hunt. I probably won't ever discharge the weapon at a living creature because I am a baby. I don't want to take life. If cornered in the country by a wild hog, however, you bet I will shoot it to protect myself or my loved ones. Because of that, I am going to take a class. Because of that, I will practice shooting. Responsibility comes with gun ownership.

Where the 'system' fails is in controlling the illegal guns and teaching safety and responsibility to legal gun owners. You have to have a license to drive a car but you only need a license for a gun if you plan to carry a concealed weapon. I am not suggesting the federal government require ownership licenses. All legal guns are registered with the ATF. What I am suggesting is gun owners to take an education class. I have to have continuing education every two years to practice insurance but I am not required to learn about my gun. If I didn't have people who shoot, I wouldn't know how to load the gun much less unload it without shooting. I wouldn't have known I wanted a gun with a safety or how to use the safety.

This isn't a political issue, no matter how much Republicans and Democrats try to make it one. There are plenty of gun owning Democrats. I think technically, I am one although I consider myself Independent. There was a statistic I saw recently that the gun owners of the recent school shootings were registered Democrats. This just proves it is a bi-partisan issue.

When you ask yourself where you stand on this issue you should do two things, find a responsible gun owner and go shoot with them. Talk to them about hunting and learn the reasons why the American hunter are needed. As much as I hate this fact, it is a fact. This country is already overrun with wild hogs. If you live in the city you aren't immune you just haven't seen the evidence. I went to the park behind my house with my hunter and he showed me wild pig rubs. In a suburb of Dallas. My neighbor has seen coyotes walking down the street on a weekday morning. About a year ago there was a Bobcat that was found about a mile from my house. My point is, everywhere has wild life and that wildlife is starving slowly and they see your pets as prey. I don't know about you but if something comes at me or my dogs, I want to be able to protect them.

Guns are a part of our history and our future. Everyone has heard "guns don't kill people." That is the truth. What kills people is ignorance. It is time for all gun owners to become educated and all Americans to understand the need for legally controlled fire arms. Unless you want to walk out to your local park, golf course or school and see wild boars taking aim at kids and pets. I have seen these beasts up close and I will pass.

Oh, and the deer. I love them too. They are cute and sweet and beautiful. Hunters don't hate them. They love them. They feed them. I bet you don't feed them if you don't hunt. I didn't until recently. Here is the sad truth, without hunters feeding them they will starve. Deer hunting is strictly controlled (unlike wild hogs because you just can't kill enough to make a dent in the reproduction) and there is a limit everywhere of how many, when, and even how you can kill them. The states regulate tags so that the deer population is maintained however, there must be some hunting allowed. Why? Because deer are wild animals that tend to run out onto highways and cause serious accidents. I have seen at least 2 deer laying on HWY 121 between Lewisville and The Colony in the last 3 months. Sad as it is to think of 'Bambi' life isn't a Disney movie. Reality is, your hunter friend is serving a useful and needed purpose and as much as I hate it too, it is necessary.

Yes, my opinions have changed. My life and my eyes have been opened. I have researched over population and become educated and I have been taught that respecting nature and respecting guns are an important American responsibility. God bless America and our traditions. Now we all should become educated and stop listening to politicians and Hollywood and start listening to our neighbors, friends, and even our brothers and boyfriends. (That hurt to type!)



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