I am a hunter. I do not apologize for it. My family shoots guns. We do not apologize for it. We eat meat that we harvest with our own weapons, unapologetically. That’s the beauty of living free in America. No matter how bad of a day that we might have, we’ve all won the lottery already by living in this country. But, for how long?
Before you click the next article, close your browser or turn the page, understand this, I am not going on a political rant. There are far too many “tweeters” and “facebookers” doing that already. It’s exhausting to get online and be bombarded with the political opinion of every idiot with a keyboard or a smartphone. The question and conversation that I have in mind is quite simple: Can the Second Amendment, as we know it, hang on, and if so, for how much longer? If you’re an outdoorsman, I believe this is a question that you should be pondering. Our way of life could potentially be hanging in the balance, determined by some politician that’s never held a firearm before. This troubles me.
Any time a politician, on either side of the spectrum, starts spouting off about things “You don’t need”, it bothers me. Who are they to decide what a free man needs or doesn’t need? Before I pass judgement on these people, I try to remind myself that, most likely, they were once human beings too. They were people, just like us, until someone told them they were important and needed to rule over the working class. Remember when the mayor of New York City tried to ban large sodas? The nerve of people to dictate how others live is appalling at times. That brings us to the original point…how much longer can the Second Amendment hang in there?
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, let me enlighten you. There are people out there that don’t believe you should own a gun. Sounds crazy when you read that, right? After all, why are guns considered such a problem? Before I lost all of my guns in a boating accident, they had never fired the first round at a human being. I know what you’re thinking, guns in the hands of the wrong people become a problem, and you’re absolutely correct. Guns in the hands of the wrong people are a problem. So are knives, baseball bats, axes, gasoline and in case you’ve forgotten 9/11, so are airplanes.
Let’s just say, for the sake of entertainment, that our beloved government bans weapons with magazine capabilities of more than 10. Will those “wrong people” that we mentioned before abide by this? I keep listening to people say that by banning these types of weapons that we will cut down violent crime. In what utopian world are you living in? Bad people are bad people and they aren’t worried about your magazine restrictions. Now, why in the world does anyone need a weapon with 10 or more rounds? To me, it’s one of two things: 1) I’m a really bad shot at times and need all of the help I can get; or (2) Because I have the constitutional right to protect myself and my family in the event of government overreach.
Now, as a hunter, I often ask myself, “If there was a sudden ban on semi-automatic weapons with high volume magazine capabilities, how would that affect me?” As a deer hunter, I can confidently say that it wouldn’t affect me in the least. I have never used a semi-automatic weapon to harvest deer and do not have any intention of doing so. It also wouldn’t affect me as a turkey hunter, duck hunter, or any other game that is legal to harvest in Mississippi. So why is it important to me? It’s important to me because just like the citizens of New York City with their soda, I don’t like the idea of a group of people telling us what is good for us and what is not. I’m not lost to the fact that there are likely hundreds of people that will die this year due to gun violence. I think that it’s tragic and pray that my family and friends never have to experience that kind of pain. I just don’t believe that it’s right to punish the good along with the wicked. I also wonder, if we allow the government to set these new restrictions, what will be next? Will we lose our right to have high powered rifles to harvest deer at long distances? Will we lose our right to teach our children how to properly use a firearm? Will we lose the ability to defend ourselves, our family, and our property from those who seek to destroy it?
Guns have been around longer than any of us have been on this earth. Guns will be around well after all of us are gone. People have been killing each other since Cain killed Abel with a stone. People will continue to kill each other long after we are all buried. Folks, we don’t have a gun problem in this country, we have a people problem. Washington D.C. can stomp its foot and get rid of all of the guns it wants to, and we will continue to be violent because we have a people problem. If you want to really solve violence in this country, don’t start with the tool, start with the handler.
Smith is an assistant baseball coach at William Carey University as well as an avid hunter and family man. For more of his work go to his blog pinstripestocamo.com.