I recently saw a cliché on Facebook that read, “Stop Making Stupid People Famous.”
I had to smile at this quotation because it defined the American press.
After all, sensationalism sells copy, so it’s easy to sell papers or magazines with stories describing the unthinkable.
Sadly, this very fact is “a thorn in every honest firearm owner’s paw.” The outdoor press writes stories about individuals using firearms for the right reasons.
These stories are read by other firearm owners that use guns for their intended purpose. Collections, hunting firearms, target shooters or guns for home protection are accepted in our lives.
We know that firearms are good and correct in the right hands. Now, take a person that has no background with firearms or hunting.
They constantly read stories or are bombarded by broadcasts of murders, gang shootings or maniacs shooting up public places.
What is this uninformed crowd to think of firearms? Personally I would soak up this negative input and think all guns should be destroyed, but I was taught differently throughout my life.
There is a place for all firearms in the right hands, and hopefully will always be.
So, my discovered cliché, “Stop making stupid people famous,” brings on several trains of thought: big-time press coverage is one reason some people commit heinous crimes for attention, like shooting kids in a school.
If crimes are to be committed, why not give equal time to those that use firearms in positive ways?
Sensationalism sells copy. To coin Don Henley, “People love dirty laundry.” That brings up another cliché, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
Millions of us are honest firearm owners that will never commit any kind of crime worse than a speeding ticket.
You will never read about us in the mainstream press, but shoot up a shopping center and the world will soon know your name.
Truth is, a tiny percentage of firearm owners commit crimes. Millions of us that own guns never will.
So, another cliché comes to mind, “One rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel.”
I consider trash that shoots innocent people names much worse than rotten apples, but I can’t use that kind of language in this column.
Bad publicity is perfect for do-gooders in Hollywood or Washington D.C. who take a stand on banning firearms or hunting.
Over the past two years, I have hunted with men from India and Brazil who can no longer legally hunt in their own country.
Politicians, celebrities and other citizens snuck several bills through their Congress and hunters woke up to find their rights had been taken away.
Page 2 of 2 - They were amazed how easily this had happened, and were shocked and sickened to find their favorite sports were now illegal.
I duck hunt with these men almost every year because they are fortunate enough to afford passage here for a beloved duck hunt that many of us have always done and actually take for granted.
Many in their country can’t afford expensive travel rates, and can only remember their shooting sports as fond memories.
We still have hunting and shooting, and thankfully watchdogs are on the alert for hunters and fishermen’s benefits, bringing up the cliché, “You watch my back and I’ll watch yours.”
Groups like the NRA or various Conservation groups like Duck’s Unlimited, Quail Forever, state conservation groups and many others watch your backs and need our support in dollars or volunteer work.
Otherwise you could wake up to find your guns and hunting are abolished forever, or as Joni Mitchell wrote, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
So beware fellow hunters and shooters, there are many that want to steal away your rights like “A thief in the night,” and you will wish for the moments of dogs working a field, ducks skirting over a marsh towards your decoys or simply shooting targets with your son or daughter, or in other words, “Take me back to the good old days!”