My father, a hunter for sixty years, gun advocate, ex-hunter safety instructor and patriarch of generations of outdoorsmen wrote an interesting take on todays perception of our youth and the hysteria involving gun legislation, which I had to share. This is what we do not see in the media, read in the papers, or hear about on the evening news; and 18 year old highschool kid posting a picture on facebook holding a shotgun (he received for a birthday present) because he is proud of his hunting heritage, not because of some evil intentions.
From a proud Grampa:
Last Sunday, my middle grandson Aaron, posted a picture on facebook of his 18th birthday present. A 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun! Good all around gun, 28 inch barrel, modified choke, vent rib, with duck plug in it!
Why is this important?
For many reasons; especially in this era of gun control debates, and anti gun hysteria and family breakdown in all areas of life.
A few points to consider:
1. Aaron is a good student, a high school athlete, musician and voted "Heart of his highschool" by his peers. In other words a nice, sensitive, well rounded young man, and he hunts!
2. In our family guns are a "right of passage to adulthood", just like drivers license or high school diploma. Aaron has been target shooting on our property in Bailey since he was 11-12 years old! Rifles, pistols, Bows and even a sling shot, all potentially lethal weapons. He got a .22 for his 14th birthday for target shooting and small game like squirrels & rabbits, a 30-06 for deer & elk at 16, and now a 12 gauge for birds & water fowl.
3. In spite of what is posted in our papers or shown on television, many families like ours, own guns because we enjoy hunting as well as the taste of game we have taken. Anyone who has tasted a young elk steak or pheasant in wild rice, knows exactly what I mean and a freezer full of elk meat means a long winter of good food. Even when we are not successful in taking game, we enjoy the family time and the male bonding that takes place around the campfire or cafe.
4. I am proud that Aaron appreciated his gift enough to post it on a social medium that is not typically conservative or pro hunting. He is standing up for his rights and his family heritage. Thats what he has been raised and taught to do! To the gun-control people, this is the exact opposite of what they preach about our youth. We know that Aaron has been trained well and respects that guns are lethal, but he also knows the joy of bagging a big game animal. He has had a lot of good things happen in his life but I think he would agree that one of the biggest was knocking down his first elk last fall.
5. Finally, when our hunting pictures flash up on our digital photo frame, I can smell the leaves, burning logs and all those smells of nature, which take me back to those days in the woods where by son & grandsons, grew to be men & hunters!
Thanks to my nephew Aaron for the inspiration and to my father for the words! Chad M. Biggerstaff, Esq.