On occasion just about everyone has a bummer year. For me, it was this past year. I lost too many friends, and then my only sister, all in the same year. Frankly, as the losses were piling up, one after another, and each one unexpected, I wanted to separate myself from the outside world. Over the course of the year my retreat included letting much of my work slide. But this is a new year and although it has started somewhat slowly I have high hopes for the months to come. Unfortunately, that hope did not include attending this year’s SHOT Show. Although I did register for the show and made my reservations I opted, at the last minute, to not attend. Simply put, I didn’t think I would be in the mood for dealing with people, even though so many of them are friends and have been for many years. But there are times when we need to take a step back and give ourselves time to catch a breath. That’s what I’ve done for the past several months. Now, I am back at work and I hope that I can craft some writing for “The Thinking Hunter,” “The Pines Review,” and my other outlets that will have meaning and purpose.
One aspect of not attending the SHOT Show is that I have time to sit in front of the tube and listen to the various networks’ expound upon the current debate on guns. There is no surprise that the anti-gun groups seized the initiative and launched their attacks. To me these past few weeks have been filled with the most self-serving garbage that has ever passed through a television camera. About the only thing that the networks haven’t been guilty of is standing on top of the news studio desk and cheering for the madman who murdered those children and adults. Still, New York didn’t waste any time and is the first casualty in what promises to be a long, long winter, spring and probably summer. What we, the men and women of this country who are the gun owners, need to do is keep our heads and avoid being caught up in the emotionalism that will be slung about like dung. Let’s not give the antigun groups room to run rough shod over facts. We need to be aware that in the coming political and legal fight if we allow ourselves to be dragged into an emotional battle we will not win. In the past few years we’ve proven that a slow and honest education of non-vocal gun owners and much of that part of the population that is not gun owning can be successful. It won’t be easy but we can do it--we need to do it--the stakes are too high to fail.