Mar
17

3/17/16 Stand Together or Die Apart

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On 3/15/16, I read an article in the online version of Field & Stream (F&S) called How I Became a Gun Owner, by Tom McHale.  The author was neutral on gun issues until the unthinkable happened – early one Saturday morning his business partner was shot 11 times for no reason at all by two punks and left for dead.  Now Mr. McHale is a fierce advocate of gun rights and a shooting expert.  The article was as harrowing as it was well written.

I then glanced at the comments by F&S readers.  What angered me more than what those punks did was the number of readers who were bothered by the article.  No, they weren’t bothered by what happened to Mr. McHale’s partner – they were bothered by the fact that F&S ran a “political” article that wasn’t about hunting or fishing.  For example, one of the subscribers thought that the magazine shouldn’t discuss guns at all because he was a bowhunter.  (One of the things that I’ve observed about some bow hunters and fly fishermen is they feel that they’re morally superior to guys who hunt with guns or fish with anything other than fly fishing equipment.)

My response to him was, “Don’t you understand that the liberals won’t stop after they round up all the guns?  They’ll then go after knives.  Then bows and anything else that you might use to defend yourself from them.  We (hunters and fishermen) must stick together.  A fisherman can’t cop an, “I don’t care about hunting being banned” attitude.  Doesn’t he realize that if the liberals succeed in banning hunting that fishing will be their next target?  Likewise, the bowhunter should never cop an, “I don’t care if gun hunting is banned” attitude.  I’m not obsessed with bow hunting, but I’ll defend bowhunters’ right to pursue game with stick and string with every fiber of my being.  Likewise, bowhunters should vigorously defend gun hunters.”

One of the great things about our club is we have events to offer the hunter, other events that cater to fishermen, still other events for those who like to break clay targets, and even events for guys who just like to go to meetings to eat and talk.  But we all get along.  I’ve never had a member or guest say to me, “I don’t want to hear about hunts or fishing trips – I only want to hear about shoots,” for example.

Perhaps it’s because we’re Christians or perhaps we all recognize that we need each other for our sports to survive.  But we just don’t have any squabbles on what we should and shouldn’t focus on.

The fact is when we’re united we’re strong, but when we’re divided we’ll be much easier targets.  The liberals/anti-hunters are very good at targeting the hunting of certain species to ban as they did with mountain lions in California.  The general public didn’t object, because the hunters didn’t eat the lions.  But what hurt the lion hunters possibly as much was the deer and bird hunters, by and large, didn’t come to the lion hunters’ defense.  Some of them no doubt thought, “I don’t hunt lions so this doesn’t matter to me.”

But it does.  Lion hunting bans lead to bear hunting bans.  Then coyotes.  Then sooner or later they’ll lead to deer.  If we, hunters/fishermen/shooters don’t vigorously defend our brother sportsmen, then we’ll eventually see the end of our sports – one animal, bird, fish, or clay target at a time.

So the next time that you see some liberal yahoo attach lion hunting, catfishing, or three-gun competitions on Facebook, a discussion forum, or on the street corner – respond and take a stand.  Do not let the liberals go unchallenged.  They interpret silence as consent or agreement.

This is the same principle that the NRA and other pro-gun groups take on proposed gun bans – they fight with every fiber of their beings.  They realize that if “assault weapons” are banned that bolt action rifles and pump-action shotguns won’t be far behind.

So even though I don’t hunt with a muzzleloader or fish with a recurve bow, I’ll take as strong a stand as I can if anyone tries to get them banned.

Still not convinced that this is a problem that sportsmen need to worry about?  I encourage you to read Happiness is a Warm Gut Pile.

Randy Rowley
President
The Fellowship of Christian Sportsmen

Categories : Columns

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Bible verse of the day

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/