Monday, November 28, 2022

Clarification

 There are two comments that I specifically wanted to address: 

The first: Guns and hunting for an 11 year old seems to sum up the biggest difference between our country and yours! 

America has a gun problem. I will be the first to admit it. We surely do. I will also admit to having more guns locked away in this house than I am aware of. Tim is NOT, however, a member of the NRA. He never would be. We believe in common sense gun laws. We believe that assault weapons (my definition of that is a weapon which shoots multiple rounds per second.) Nobody needs a weapon like that. Likewise, high capacity magazines should be outlawed. To us, this is just common sense. 

To us, it is also common sense that not everyone in this country should have access to a weapon. We need to start from that premise and move forward. 

We don't believe that we should arm teachers to prevent school shootings. Not all teachers are good people and I would hate to think of weapons in their hands, in our schools, with our kids. The whole focus of preventing school shootings is keeping guns out of school, not bringing more in. 

Unfortunately, the NRA has a strong lobby and lots of money. They have a tight grip on the testicles of those who have the power to change the laws. 

(It is also common sense to us that there is no difference between lobbying and bribery but that is a whole different tangent. Pretty sure that I will piss off enough people with the tangent I'm on, let alone marching off on another.)

William understands that a gun is a tool, just like a knife or a chainsaw. He understands that you can do a great deal of damage with each of these things but used for the purpose they are intended for, they are important and useful tools. 

I also understand that there are dangerous mindsets out there. People who are harping on about guns and personal protection are fools. They are exaggerating the dangers to justify their weapon. Those are the people you see walking around with a weapon on their hip. The ones who ease back their coat in a casual way to make sure you know they are carrying. To me, they are simply masturbating in public, getting off on watching your reaction to realizing that they have a weapon. 

I can't abide people like that. 

I also can't abide people who talk about preparing for the civil war. 

I can't abide people who strut around saying, 'Nobody messes with me, because I'm carrying.' I always want to point out that nobody messes with me, either...and I don't carry. I've got a niece who likes to talk like that. She sounds like an idiot. 

Those are the twisted sorts of attitudes that turn gun ownership into such a problem. They are, without a doubt, American attitudes,  and it shows plainly in our daily news. 615 mass shootings in this country this year. So far. Even as I type this, I imagine that the number has become outdated. 

America does have a gun problem but I can assure you it has nothing to do with an 11 year old boy learning to hunt. 

The second comment that I specifically want to address is the idea that William might feel compelled to hunt to please his grandfather. That is not the case, and he has been assured over and over again that it is, ultimately,  his own choice. He thinks that he wants to hunt now. His grandfather and I have both told him (together and separately, many times over) that it will be ultimately his choice. We are both actively involved in making sure that DOESN'T happen. We both believe we know him well enough to recognize when he is struggling. 


50 comments:

  1. I have to agree with what you've written. I personally don't hunt because I don't like wild meat, neither does my husband but that doesn't mean I have a problem with other people hunting responsibily. I don't like trophy hunters but your husband and William are not trophy hunters. I learned how to shoot a gun many years ago but it's not my thing.
    I'm guessing that 11 would be about the age that a person would start hunting. Your grandson isn't stupid and I'm damn sure your husband has taught him how to handle a gun responsibily.
    From all that you've written I know that both of your love and care for William a great deal and would never put him in harms way or force him to do something he's not ready to do.
    I'm sorry that you have to clarify. I had the same thing happen once when I was writing about Jack. It was not pleasant and even felt threatening.

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    1. Oh, I'm not sorry to clarify at all. It's an important distinction. There are no trophy hunters in this house. That being said, when a piece of meat falls to the ground with a nice set of antlers, he is not above hauling it off to a taxidermist.

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  2. I agree with what you said as well. The only thing I would add is that I don't think banning all guns or even some types of guns will solve our problem completely. It might help reduce casualties but isn't a solution. I think a solution needs to be centered around how we parent our children and what is taught to be acceptable. Like Tim, I was brought up around guns being used as tools. Never once did we look at them as something that was fun, especially in video game form. I have never understood how we can let children play first person shooter games for hours on end and not expect it to have negative effects. Especially if parents isn't present to modulate what they are experiencing on the computer screen.

    Again, I don't think banning assault rifles or huge capacity magazines is a bad idea and would vote for their ban, but I also don't think it would do a bit a good for solving our gun problem.

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    1. Why can't we begin working on the solution knowing that even if we haven't completely solved it, we are moving towards the solution?

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    2. I think we possibly can and should. I guess I'm not optimistic that pushing a topic so political divisive as banning assault rifles outright is the best path to accomplishing it. I think we should start on the fringes with more checks before obtaining firearms and/or closing up loopholes in those checks. Make education a necessary step for any firearm license. Create annual license fees for owning certain firearms much like we do for owning an automobile or even pets in city limits. I think if we start with the smaller items and work towards a ban for certain styles, we can eventually get there. But just going all out on one of the most political divicive issues of the entire subject gets everyone riled up and not much accomplished.

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    3. To me, it is so incredibly common sense.

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  3. Replies
    1. But it is not the many who are heard. It is a sad situation

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    2. The majority of Americans want gun control. Our politicians are more concerned with remaining popular and in office. Term limits would be helpful.

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  4. I thank you for clarifying, and educating me further on William's freedom to be or not be a hunter! I appreciate your taking the effort.

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    1. Oh, I don't mind. It is an important discussion to have.

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  5. Bravo Debby. You have said it so well. I was raised in farming country where my two grandfathers had a shot gun for shooting "varmits" like the fox in the hen house or the coyote in with the sheep or the copperhead snake dangerously close to where the grandchildren were apt to play. Once a year all the sons and sons-in-law and Grandaddy would go quail hunting on Thanksgiving morning. My dad joined it just for the camaraderie but never hunted for quail any other time. My ex-husband owed many guns and even had a license to sell, but his love was trap shooting, and he never hunted a day in his life. For him the beauty of the gun was the attraction - the grain of the stock, the crafting of the barrel or the engraving, like a work of art. I, too owned a hand gun earlier in my life (a little pearl handled revolver) because ex thought I should know how to use it. I lost it in the divorce and never missed it. Yes, I know how to shoot, but have no need to. My son has his Grandfather's shot gun and probably has never used it except to shoot a fisher (a type of weasel) lurking under the hen house. It is the crazies in this country that are giving gun ownership such a bad name. If they could only curb their radical thinking, a lot more people might be ready to listen.

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    1. It is up to rational minds to curb the problem. Irrational minds won't.

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  6. Nothing short of a miracle would take away our gun problem but your views mimic mine in how to improve the situation. I've never touched a gun, and don't hunt but many friends (and my boyfriend) have weapons. They aren't in the NRA and are very responsible. They would agree with your post 100%.

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    1. I don't think it will take a miracle. It is just a matter of not allowing ourselves to be intimidated.

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  7. Nice, sensible blog entry. It should be framed! Kansas requires hunter education, which I was glad. Since I divorced his dad when our son was 2, I was SO glad for the Kansas requirement, because I was sure his dad wouldn't tell him all he needed to know. All properly prepared and dressed, with his hunter and deer permits on him, yep, they even got a field visit from the ranger. The K.C. area straddles the two states of Kansas and Missouri. Yep, with no reciprocity allowed, the dad had to pay out-of-state fees for our Kansas-side son to hunt legally in Missouri! Legal revenge is lovely. (I LOVE "bambi burgers." My son is now a veterinarian, and still likes to hunt. That paradox is an interesting conversation too.) Linda in Kansas

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    1. I think that you can love animals and still be a hunter.

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  8. Hi Debby, I agree with what you've written, although my family went fishing, but not hunting. I've known many who were excellent sportsmen/women who respected and spent a lifetime studying animals and habitat. I've grown up in a state where there are perfectly good reasons to cull deer and other species. I can probably list on one hand the times I have tasted wild game -- so I am no expert. I abhor what's happened to guns in this country, but hunters who enjoy the sport and like to put food on the table are not the culprits, in my opinion.

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    1. It is crazy, and the pushback needs to begin.

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  9. Again, Debby- you have absolutely echoed the views from this house. My husband grew up hunting with his dad who hunted as a child to provide meat for the table. We eat what Mr. Moon kills. And the men in this family process the meat themselves. The children are well aware of what it is they're eating when they eat hamburgers. They have seen meat on the hoof. They have ground the meat themselves. I think that in doing this, they are far more able to choose whether or not to hunt or even to eat any sort of meat than kids (and adults!) who have never dealt with the genuine truth of what's on the plate.
    My husband would never join the NRA either and he has no use for people who buy weapons whose only possible use is to kill humans.

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    1. I have always felt like a bit of a hypocrite...i eat the meat but cannot bring myself to hunt it.

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  10. So very well said. Wise words, William is lucky to have people like you and your husband in his family.

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    1. If there is any dream I have, it is of making a difference in his life.

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  11. You have stated your position well. I think you have done so before but maybe not as thoroughly. I have no doubt about how responsible you are.

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    1. I can't understand why this has become such a controversy. People are arguing with rhetoric rather than logic.

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  12. I couldn't say it any better. You have addressed several related issues and said it without mincing words. Your grandson is in good hands and I am sure he trusts you and your husband, as you also trust him.

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    1. I think actually that Tim has decided he is not interested, although he protests otherwise.

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  13. Interesting post. And rather depressing. I just can't agree with this hunting "rite of passage" as outlined in some of the replies to your post.
    I know I will sound holier than thou and you'll have to forgive me, but I just felt sad. How sporting is it to hunt animals with every modern advantage in weaponry?
    what chance do they have? If it was hunting for food to survive then I could understand.
    Once guns become part of everyday life it's a problem.

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    1. I don't agree that it is a rite of passage. For most children, it is not. Tim is a hunter. He learned it from his father. The sport has not really changed for him in any way I can think of except now he uses game cameras, 3 of them. He still studies their habits. I accept the fact that if I eat meat, I am responsible for the death of an animal.

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  14. Your common sense makes perfect sense to me.

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    1. I believe common sense is more common than naysayers would have one believe.

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  15. Thank you, Deb, for this and all of your wise words…

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    1. I think it is not so much wisdom as it is practicality.

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  16. Bottom line: guns don't kill, people do.
    Likewise in parts of the UK (London...) knives don't kill, people do.
    Somehow both countries need to address the cultural issues that are behind these people using these tools to maim and kill.

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  17. People kill people because they have access to high velocity guns. Your reasoning is not logical, and the fact that you are trying to cite parallels between two countries is not logical either. We still have more stabbings per capita as well.

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    1. There are other countries besides the US that have high percentage of homes with guns (Switzerland?) that do not have the kind of mass shooting incidents like these, so the causes are something other than just the presence of guns.
      In the UK mass shootings were incredibly rare but Dunblane some years ago caused a knee-jerk reaction that created massive problems for Olympic and other sporting shooters, as it made owning and using their guns virtually impossible in the UK. Likewise, we have significant differences in knife crime across different towns and cities in the UK, with essentially no difference in knife availability.

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    2. Wil, you are simply echoing the NRA's talking points: https://www.businessinsider.com/switzerland-gun-laws-rates-of-gun-deaths-2018-2

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    3. I'd be happy to see America follow Switzerland's lead on it. Since you introduced it, I'm going to guess that you'd support their plan as well?

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  18. I think we often over complicate and certainly over-judge these things. You've clearly thought through the issues and arrived, rightly so, at your own conclusions - you shouldn't have to feel the need to justify those. Just as I don't have to justify on some sort of rational basis why I don't drink or my friend doesn't have to justify why he's a vegetarian - these are choices we make, often for personal, cultural and complex reasons and its not necessary to defend them on an individual ;level. If you were making policy for others to follow that might be different, but you're not. You're just doing what you believe is right for you - and within the bounds of reason and the law, that should be good enough.

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    1. I didn't feel that I had to justify anything actually. I just wanted to be clear on where I stood. Gun ownership is a strange phenomenon, and is often portrayed as if all Americans are screaming about their rights. It isn't so. Your choice not to drink while your friend is welcome to do so works...to a degree. Some people's choice to have weapons is endangering the lives of others. We need to look at that head on. These people should not have weapons.

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  19. What struck me is your comment that you're not NRA members because you believe in common-sense gun laws. Back in the day, the NRA was very common-sense. My grandfather was a member and the organization was basically about promoting gun safety and responsible hunting. How it turned into this AK47-toting paramilitary organization is a complete mystery to me! My grandfather certainly wouldn't recognize it.

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    1. It was. In the 1940s, the NRA was against "machine guns"

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  20. My son ia retired military so very well versed in all guns. He has two boys that learned to respect guns at an early age, and both are military now and very responsible, a DIL military and grand DIL military, this family knows, and some seen the damage a gun can do. My SIL is a farmer and hunter, his two kids are trained in gun safety. My granddaughter is a hunter and has been since 16, she is now a soph. in and ag. college and just finished a class on dressing a deer. She learned that at 15 from her father. I do not shoot but my father always had a gun in out front hallway, as a child I knew it was not a toy and not to bother it. My father let my son start shooting his gun around 10 and made sure it was under supervision, at 17 he went in the Army and become a Ranger, so he was well versed in many weapons. I am glad William has learned gun safety early and that it is a dangerous weapon and not something to mess around with, it has a purpose, you are very wise grandparents.

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  21. My son and SIL shoot a number of wild hogs that can tear up two or three acres of pastures overnight, this can cause the cattle or horses to step in the hole and break a leg. They use most of the meat or give it to a needy family. Some people don't like it, but hungry people learn to like free food. The boars are not good to eat unless they can be cut as soon as killed but the small animals in the woods where they drag the males do enjoy a nice meal.

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    1. There are legitimate reasons to own a weapon.

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  22. Good, no nonsense post. Very well put.

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  23. America doesn't have a gun problem. America has a mental health problem.

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    1. So, being the sort of person who proudly 'owns' his words, I'm going to guess that what you're saying here is that you support the use of mental health screenings for gun ownership? I agree. Don't hide. Step out. Speak up.

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