Monday, November 18, 2013

Trophy Hunting: Needless or Necessary?

The news world was ablaze today with a photo and tweet posted by Melissa Bachman, host of a hunting show called "Winchester Deadly Passion." The photo (seen below) is a trophy shot of a large lion taken on Bachman's most recent African hunt.

Petitioners around the world fumed against Bachman for "murdering an innocent lion" and "smiling next to its giant carcass." A local South African petition said that her hunt "is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation this country prides itself on" and is pushing to have her banned from entering South Africa again. This situation sounds eerily familiar (read: EXACTLY the same) as a recent explosion against the host of the NBC show "Under Wild Skies." Host Tony Makris harvested a large bull elephant in Botswana and endured several weeks of hate-filled aggression, culminating in the cancellation of his show from NBC (it has since been picked up by Outdoor Channel, who produced it already). During that time such phrases were flung around like "NRA-backed show host" and "elephant shot in the face." Tastefully biased, and rhetorically poetic, wouldn't you say?

To be clear, I'm not a trophy hunter. I hunt for meat. If that meat happens to be attached to a deer with some large headgear, I'm not going to be disappointed, but I won't hold my breath for one. However, unlike many other hunters, I also don't abhor the sport of trophy hunting. I get it. There's a rush, a thrill, an excitement in the chase and the kill. We were created to be energized by this; to have the adrenaline of survival pulse through our veins. The sticky part is this - were we created to kill for pleasure or for sustenance? Many people (including well-meaning and close friends of mine) would say for sustenance alone. Those same people most likely have an 8-point buck mounted on their living room wall. You see, it simply cannot be that cut and dry.

As a hunter I am ethically called to be a conservationist. The very existence of the sport I live and love and that feeds my family depends on it. The uneducated masses however view conservation very differently than those on "the inside." To them, laying down in front of a tree-destroying tractor, refusing to eat tuna to save the whales, and planting a tree in their suburban backyard is enough. For me, however, that doesn't even scrape the surface. Conservation is about knowing where the real problems lie, and getting dirty in order to fix them. That is the difference. You will rarely see an environmentalist admit that elephant over-population endangers villages. Or that lion-overpopulation destroys the livelihood of local farmers and their herds. Why? Because by that logic, the only rational conclusion is that a certain number of that species need to be removed in order to bring balance. And to your typical "environmentalist" (read: hippie-pot-smoking-liberal-tree-hugger), that removal is evil. I mean, how could there be a such thing as too many cute elephants? Or majestic lions? It's a "head-in-the-sand" mentality that is far too prevalent among today's "concerned" communities.

Lets bring it a little closer to home. A few years ago the wolf population in certain northwestern states was decreasing. So, ignoring the loud protests of the people who actually knew what they were talking about (and who had the data to back it up) this well-intentioned and over-funded group convinced the US Government to put wolves on the endangered species list until they repopulated to an "acceptable" number. The problem is, realistically that number should vary based on state, region, climate, etc. It didn't. It was a flat out, pie-in-the-sky number. The law was passed and hunting of wolves was outlawed. After a few years the wolf population was naturally on the rise, but not equally across the states. Ignoring the pleading of the educated, the wolves were kept on the no-hunt list and become overpopulated in 70% of the states they were outlawed in. Rancher's herds suffered and the elk population was decimated, as were other species that the wolves fed on. These environmentalists didn't look at the broad impact of their opinions - the reproductive rate of wolves, the local farming communities and those that depended on the meat of the elk the wolves were decimating - they just wanted to protect those cute, fuzzy wolves...and lives were ruined.

Now, back to Africa and trophy hunting. Today's uneducated, blog-happy environmentalists would have you believe that these docile, harmless elephants, or regal, kindly lions are but mere observers, content to serve as models in our photo-safaris. The fact is, that just like the northwestern wolves, over-population is real, dangerous, and can destroy lives and livelihood. One of the most effective ways to control over-population is through responsible hunting conservation. Now, I will issue a caveat: I am not talking about high-fenced, exotic hunting. I'm talking about wild, fair-chase land management. Outspoken and educated bloggers can hate me all they want, but we have decades and decades of data to support the fact that responsible land management includes ethical hunting programs, and disagree as they may, those programs can include trophy hunting. Now, here's why:

Hunters (yes, trophy hunters) spend between $15,000-50,000 on their hunts. That money is poured DIRECTLY into the local economy where they are hunting. Those dollars go to fund anti-poaching programs, environmental education, land management practices, herd sustainability studies and more. They also hire local hunting guides and staff (typically 15-20 each), employing many locals who would otherwise have no job. The hunters donate 100% of the meat back to the local villages, providing thousands of pounds of free protein to populations who rarely if ever see it, and certainly could not afford it. In the case of the elephant hunt, the ivory is forbidden from being exported out of the country, and must be surrendered to the government anyway (to be stored in large storehouses and be used in the corrupt ivory trade, but thats for a different story). Lastly, the hunts mentioned (and many like it) are 100% fair-chase, meaning these creatures part of the local wild population that torment and destroy the livelihood of local farmers who are trying to feed their family. Wildlife counts are taken, the number of animals that can be harvested to bring the population back into check are tallied, and tags and licenses are legally purchased by the hunters - all in the name of conservation. Out of all of this, the hunter walks away with just one thing - a trophy. A decoration. Maybe a story, but not much else. I would argue that these hunters (trophy and otherwise) are pouring back into the local population ten times more than what they are removing from it. They are far from the unethical poachers that the blogosphere makes them out to be. They are ambassadors for conservation. Real conservation.

Whether you agree with trophy hunting or not, its hard to battle the logic that responsible and ethical hunting is at the very core of conservation. Oh, the meat may not be filling your personal freezer, but that doesn't make it any less important. If environmentalists have gotten anything right over the years, it's this: man has indeed impacted our planet. And as a result, we are now responsible to manage the resources that we have direct impact over. Whether that is grabbing a .30-30 and filling your deep freeze with venison, or sustaining a local village 6,000 miles away, it's all part of conservation. True conservation - not sugar-coated, hug a tree conservation, but the real stuff. The stuff that changes lives and has lasting impact. So yes, I support trophy hunting, not because its my particular cup of tea, but because responsible and ethical hunting in every way leads to a healthier environment - even if its not your own.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Life for Life

Hunting is not just about the harvest. It’s not about the thrill, and it’s definitely not about the trophy. While I doubt I would complain if a 12 point buck made its way onto my wall, I’m just as happy when I can harvest a small 4 point or a mature doe. There’s factors at play that the non-hunting world simply doesn't understand. The magic of the waking hour in the woods, the thrill of successfully getting within bow range of an elusive animal, the connection one feels to thousands of previous generations as he draws back a bow and releases an arrow, and the reverence felt when approaching an animal that gave its life in order to feed my family. This is “the history of mankind” as Fred Bear put it. The very essence of tradition. But society has so brainwashed us into becoming disconnected with our natural survival instincts that we’ve hidden away the messy parts of the sacrifice required to sustain us as humans. We’ve been trained to believe that survival is easy. Why do the hard work? Why witness the “gore”? Quite simply, because survival is actually difficult and messy, and being disconnected from that practice makes us weaker people. We were designed to interact with the processes that keep us alive. But modern society believes that survival is found on a shelf, wrapped in plastic and stamped with a expiration date. Well, I guess that’s one way to do it. But is that really surviving? Is that contributing to the human tradition? Only you can make that judgment. But as for me and my house, we chose to keep the tradition alive.

Life for Life

The air is cold. It’s crisp. It’s silent. I hear nothing but my breathing. As I turn I see the familiar red numbers of my alarm clock. 3:58AM. “I should have turned the heat up last night” I think to myself, stumbling across the cold floor to shut the alarm off before it sounds.  As I groggily walk into the kitchen and start a pot of coffee I ask myself more than once, “remind me why we’re doing this.” But I need no reminder. Its 4am, its bow season, and the deer woods are calling.

The dog stirs. “It’s too early, girl, go back to bed.” She agrees and lays back down. I down a cup of joe and pour the rest into a thermos. By this time I’m freezing, as I refuse to make coffee or breakfast with my hunting clothes on – the scent sticks around too long. I quickly pull on my long johns and wool socks and step out onto the back porch to retrieve the camo pants, shirt and jacket I set out the night before. Despite being washed in scent-free detergent, I like to leave them outside to pick-up the smell of the woods on my property. It’s one of many tricks I’ve learned over the last several years that I now swear by. The clothes are freezing, but I tough it out until they warm up. As I pull my boots on and fire up my pickup, I apply camo facepaint in the rear view mirror. I’m not convinced it helps, but it sure can't hurt. The truck finally warms up and I make my way towards the highway.

I wasn’t raised in the woods. I’ll admit I’m a little jealous of those that were. My father taught me how to work hard, pray hard and fix anything that breaks, but he wasn’t much of an outdoorsmen. Oh, we had our occasional Saturday fishing trip to the local lake, but pinching a ball of Powerbait to the end of a line and waiting didn’t make us anglers - occasionally lucky, maybe, but not anglers. I did learn how to shoot a gun and bow in Boy Scouts, along with camping and survival skills, dutch oven cooking and dangerously whittling away at a piece of store-bought pine until it vaguely looked like an ill-painted 1960’s Camaro that I could roll down a derby track. All essential skills to the modern outdoorsmen. Still, I credit the Boy Scouts for my introduction and eventual lifelong affair with the outdoors. As I grew older, I slowly became impassioned with the idea of self-sufficiency. Providing for myself and my family and depending on no one had a certain appeal that I just couldn’t lick. This caused me to journey down the road of hunting, fishing, hiking and all things outdoors. Perhaps I was on a journey to find myself, or rather lose myself in something much larger, older and deeper than I was. Either way, I knew I was becoming a man that would be shaped by my experiences in nature - experiences that I sought out year after year, season after season, on mornings like these.

The air is cold. It’s crisp. It’s silent. I hear nothing but my breathing. I’ve stopped the truck on the side of a familiar dirt road. I’ll hike from here. I’m worried my diesel engine might spook anything within earshot, but after a minute of total silence, I rest assured that it has not. I spray down with scent-free solution, hoping to mask my scent. I grab my bow, my pack, and my flashlight and stand at the edge of the woods. Any outdoorsmen will tell you, the longest journey in hunting is the hike from wood’s edge to your hunting spot. At 4:20am, nothing is awake except things you don’t really want to run into. Every sound is amplified and your flashlight creates an eerie tunnel effect that rivals any horror movie you’ve seen. Combine this with the excitement of what might occur in just a few short hours and your breathing immediately becomes a little shallower. As my adrenaline starts flowing, I spray doe urine on the bottom of my boots, hoping the scent will find its way into the nostril of a passing buck when it wakes from bedding down. I’m not convinced it helps, but it sure can’t hurt. I take my first step and the sound of rustling instinctively has me reaching for my side arm. It’s the local resident armadillo, about 15 yards away, scavenging. My heart rate drops a bit and I release the breath I’ve been holding.

20 minutes later I arrive at the blind I set up the night before. Luckily it’s still standing, untouched. I’m a public land hunter. I may not have the resources to own 5,000 acres, but I can read an Army Corp map and utilize Google Earth like it’s no one’s business. As I crawl into my blind and get situated, a bead of sweat drips from my brow. It’s a stark contrast to the 39 degree weather outside. It will take about 10 minutes for my body heat to warm up the blind and about 1 minute to cool it off again as soon as I open up these windows. Good thing I wore my heavy coat this morning.

It’s 5:15am. The air is cold. It’s crisp. It’s silent. I hear nothing but my breathing. Then the woods begin to stir. My timing is perfect, as my goal is to get in and get situated before anything wakes up. It seems I’ve achieved that. Any hunter will tell you that this is the magic hour. All nature around you seems to start buzzing. The squirrels wearily step out of their nests and wobble down the branches. The birds chirp, quietly at first, then louder. A distant coyote yelp echoes through the oaks and makes me swear he’s 30 yards away – he’s actually 300. The feel of success is overwhelming as blue birds land on the tree branch not 2 yards from me, unaware of my presence. “If I can fool them, I surely can fool a whitetail,” I tell myself, slowly building confidence. These are the moments I feel closest to God. It’s as if I’m observing a church service in front of me, with all creation giving thanks for another day. It almost makes me forget why I’m there - almost. These experiences are what draw me back into the deer woods morning after morning, season after season. The thrill of the harvest dims in comparison. As nature quiets and goes about its morning routine, the chill finally gets to me and I crack open my thermos. I would be worried about the aroma of coffee, were it not for the sage advice of one of my hunting mentors. “Hunt the wind. Keep it in your face and nothing will ever jump you.” My blind placement is perfect, having checked the weather relentlessly the week prior. The wind is in my face and I feel safe enough to steal a few swigs of coffee without giving away my position.

The morning wears on. It’s 7:21am and suddenly I hear a crash in the woods. It’s to my left – no, my right. My left hand tightens around my bow grip and my trigger finger instinctively finds its way to the release strap hanging from my wrist. I haven’t seen a thing but my heart starts pounding. There’s only one animal in these woods that makes that noise – the whitetail deer. 30 seconds later I see the first flash of brown, followed by another. Two doe are frolicking behind a tree line about 15 yards from the shooting lane I had cleared weeks earlier. I wait patiently for them to move into position, but a playful flag of white tails signals that they’ve headed in the other direction. Just as my grip loosens, I see another flash of brown – this one alone, and not intent on playing. It’s morning and he’s hungry. He stops 5 yards short of my shooting lane and slowly grazes. Heart is pounding. 3 yards short. Still pounding. 1 yard short. His sightline goes behind the tree at the edge of my shooting lane and I come to full draw. “Breathe, just breathe” I coach myself as my sight pin wobbles on the place his vitals will be in just a few seconds. Finally my breathing slows and the pin zeroes in as he steps into my lane and stops. 3-2-1, release. I watch through my site as the arrow disappears into his vitals. His back legs buck and he darts. I turn my head and struggle to hear him fall as my heartbeat deafens my senses. “He’s down,” I hear myself whisper over and over to no one in particular. As my adrenaline levels slowly return to normal I look at my watch and mark one hour. Yet more sage advice echoes in my head. “Never push a downed deer. You spook him once, your chances of recovery are cut in half. You spook him twice, they’re 10%. An unrecovered deer makes you no better than a poacher.” It’s the longest hour you’ll ever experience.

8:25am. Heart starts pounding again. As I unzip the door to the blind and make my way to the last place I saw my deer standing, my mind is going a mile a minute. “Did you really see that arrow go through him? Could he have jumped the string? What if it hit him high?” My mind settles as I see the yellow fletching of my arrow reflect the sunlight. I pick it up and look at the blood coating it – reddish-pink with small bubbles in it. A lung shot – a quick, clean, ethical kill. I breathe easy, knowing he didn’t go far. As I begin to track the blood, it turns from large softball size puddles into small droplets, no larger than lemon seeds. “He must be bleeding internally now,” I think, as I realize this tracking job might be harder than I expected. At 45 yards I completely lose all sign – at a 3-way fork in the path, no less. My training tells me he took the easiest path, but another 2 hours brings me no closer to recovery. I hear the words again. “An unrecovered deer makes you no better than a poacher.” Swallowing my pride, I pick-up my cell phone and call my wife. She’s good at finding lost things – keys, socks, the occasional hand tool that’s sitting directly in front of me. “I’ll meet you at the road,” I tell her as I continue to look for sign. 30 minutes later we’re both back at it. Of course she discovers the next puddle 15 yards away, hidden by high grass. Within half an hour I see the familiar white belly laying under a scrub oak. He went a total of 52 yards as the crow flies. I slowly approach to verify he’s expired. As I kneel down next to him and put my hand on his side, I take a moment of silence in prayerful thanks for the opportunity, an ethical shot, and for the harvest. The Scot’s used to say prayers over their harvest and I believe it’s wholly appropriate. “Life for life,” I whisper as I slowly stand up and prepare him for the trek out. He’ll feed us throughout the next year.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Measure of Evil

I read a book a few years back that had a chapter addressing the cultural differences between us and Muslim extremists. Some people will argue that they simply want to live their life without the West interfering and that they are not evil, just completely misunderstood – that they perform attacks out of necessity because we continue to force our ways on them. Obviously a very liberal mindset, but I’ve heard the argument many, many times. The book made a point that stuck with me to this day.

The author said that the way they measure if a culture is evil is this: if one of our children (a white, suburban, middle-class child) were to show up on their door step, hungry, cold and needing shelter, what would their reaction be? If they were to follow suite with their religious mandate to destroy “infidels,” they would kill them on the spot. However, our culture would take them in, feed them, clothe them, and shelter them.
We are dealing with a culture that celebrates and worships evil to its very core. They find joy in murder, peace in destruction, and fulfillment in chaos. There is no reasoning, understanding or negotiating with them. There is no giving them the benefit of the doubt, or “examining the world through their eyes.” Pure evil must be stopped – aggressively, promptly and with purpose. Until our elected leaders understand this and value our national security over the way other nations perceive us, we will continue to suffer blows at the hands of cultures that worship evil. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

In Honor of Chris Kyle

Today, as I write this, we are currently burying an American hero. Chris Kyle from Odessa, Texas was the most lethal sniper in American history. The Pentagon confirmed 160 kills, although Kyle claimed it was actually 255. Sometimes you just can't get into an area to confirm a kill. Kyle was a Navy Seal who served 4 tours of duty in Iraq, with a longest shot recording of over 1.1 miles. He saved countless lives until his own was taken by a former serviceman who suffered from PTSD. While THOUSANDS of people are expected to show up for the memorial service, there will be one spot noticeably vacant - President Obama. You see, the man can show up for countless celebrity funerals and photo ops, saying kind words and singing the praises of hardcore drug attics like Whitney Houston and child molesters like Michael Jackson, but when it comes to honoring someone who has saved thousands of lives, who had a $100,000 price on his head from the enemy his entire career, and who dedicated his work after leaving the service to rehabilitating service members, President Obama has been silent for the last 9 days. Not so much as a word or a nod. Shame.

Rest in Peace, Chris. We're grateful that we could sleep at night knowing that you were on the ramparts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fundamental Disconnect

The fact that President Obama believes that an image or mention of him skeet shooting is proof enough that he "supports the 2nd amendment" is outright ridiculous and shows a fundamental disconnect between his personal beliefs and what the Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantees us. 

I've said it before, and I will say it again:

The biggest lie that's been told, repeated, and ingrained into the general populace's mind regarding all this "gun violence" debate is this:

The Second Amendment exists so people have the freedom to hunt and sport shoot. 

WRONG! It exists for average citizen to defend themselves from a tyrannical government that may one day try to take away the rights that were given in the Constitution. Hunting
 and shooting sports have nothing to do with it. We GET to do those things because we have a RIGHT to a firearm, but the 2A is 150% about protecting civilians from the government. Remember that when these government folks try to convince you that it's outdated, unneeded, and no longer applies. 

Obama's insistence that the 2nd Amendment exists for these other purposes let us in on the dirty little "secret" (read: obvious truth) that the current President of the United States flat out doesn't know history or the Constitution. Now THAT is a disturbing thing. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Activist Journalism and the Gun Lobby

It used to be that years ago, pride was taken in objective journalism. There was no higher honor in journalism than being known for objectively and accurately reporting news. When an anchor said "and that's the way it is," they meant it. Sure, throughout history news stations and individuals have been bought for political gain, but they were typically outed and discredited. This brings us to recent history, where the objectivity of a simpler time began to fade away. Post Watergate, young and eager journalists no longer got into the business for the burning desire of bringing the accurate news - they got into it because it was a prominent form of activism. They viewed the platform of the newsroom as the ultimate tool to let their voice and opinions  be heard. These young journalists moved up in the chain and eventually became the kingpins of today's media market, and the next generation of activists have taken the reigns in front of the camera and the keyboard.

It's no secret that I firmly believe that many mainstream news organizations are in the back pocket of the administration and DNC. Democrats laugh at our use of the term "liberal news media" but have yet to discredit it. They've actually gone the other way - unashamedly diving further into the cesspool and hardly denying it. They used to at least act like they weren't one sided. They would cover a small-time story that gloried a conservative every now and then, mixed into their daily bashfest of all things right-winged. But gone are those days - we haven't been thrown a bone in a while. Talking heads have replaced opinionated, yet slightly restricted, anchors, throwing wild accusations and being held no more accountable than the administration that they so eagerly wanted to get in bed with.

In no way has this been more evident than in the recent week's realization that the reporting on the Sandy Hook shooting was not only incorrect, but intentionally and unashamedly so!  Initial reports from local news came in within hours, claiming the shooting happened with handguns. Helicopters circling overhead showed footage of police pulling an AR-15 rifle out of the shooter's trunk - a gun that luckily was not used. We originally heard the truth, but that "truth" soon changed. Within a day, according to MSNBC and CNN, the massacre was supposedly accomplished with an AR-15 using "ultra-high-capacity clips (sic)". This "fully-automatic" "weapon of war" was supposedly able to gun down countless bodies in seconds. More news outlets (including Fox news to be fair) picked up on these "details" (are you sick of my "quotes yet"?) are reported them as fact. There was one problem though - none of them were true. Weeks later the Connecticut police finally outed the news media and came forward with the truth = 4 handguns with standard capacity magazines were used to accomplish the killing. The AR-15 never left the trunk. NBC finally broke the news, saying "the information was overwhelming and hard to confirm in the heat of the moment." Now I will give them some slack, as they're forced to report facts instantly, because that's what the public wants. I give no slack however, for a 4 week delay on truth. The fact is, this agenda against the AR-15 and its counterparts has been brewing for years; since the 2004 ban ended, in fact. Mislabeling and spreading lies about the weapon was square one. The liberals (media, politicians  etc) have never ended their crusade to abolish firearms, they merely put it on the back burner until  a more opportune time. Unfortunately for legal gun owners, this recent shooting gave them that perfect opportunity. The red carpet was there. Never before have we had such an anti-gun president, not even Clinton. Hell, the day after Obama's second election win he cast his lot in for the UN gun treaty. One of his running platforms was to stop the spread of "military weapons of war on our streets." We've all known where he stood, but this was the perfect time for them to act, and acted they have. I'm convinced that within 2 months the firearm freedoms that law abiding citizens have enjoyed for over 200 years will be vastly different. 

"Who cares what the shooter used? He killed people with a gun!".... that's the argument I've heard many times these last few weeks. So why do I focus on the AR-15? Easy - because its a symbol . You see, the AR-15 is not a weapon of war. Its no more dangerous than a handgun, and less dangerous than a hunting rifle. But its been demonized by ill-informed media correspondents and the anti-gun lobby for its similar appearance to the military M4. I will say this now: IF THE MILITARY USED AR-15 RIFLES IN COMBAT, THEY WOULD BE SLAUGHTERED BY THE MILLIONS. There is no functionality relationship between the two. The shape is the same - the weapon is vastly different. So why do I call it a symbol? Because it is a symbol of modern firearms the same way the musket was a symbol during the revolutionary war. This symbol is what the 2nd Amendment was written for. I refuse to argue about whether I NEED an AR-15, or whether I can HUNT with an AR-15, or whether I can TARGET SHOOT with an AR-15. All of the above is true, but it vastly misses the point. The 2nd Amendment was not written with hunters or target shooters in mind. The colonies did not win independence from England so that they could hunt whitetail deer. The didn't sacrifice their lives and the lives of their family so they could punch holes in paper at a 50 yard range. They won victory over tyranny because they understood that a man is not free until he can defend himself against someone who wishes to forcibly rule over him. The 2nd Amendment was included in the bill of rights as a security clause, and insurance policy. It didn't guarantee Americans the right to own a gun for fun, it guaranteed them the right to own it to prevent the EXACT thing that happened in England that drove them to America. We have the 2A to defend ourselves from the government. Not to hunt, not to target shoot. But this, my friends, is where the media activists come back into the picture. The same ones who believe that the government, who is over-extended in every way, has the power to come to your aid and protect you when a bad guy breaks into your house at 3am. They want to vilify guns because they honestly believe that they are what causes violence. Not personal responsibility, sick people, bad circumstances or society. They blame it on guns, and the fact that the liberals in office believe the same thing is enough of a reason for these "activists" to align themselves with them - with objectivity of course. BS!

The gun lobby is content with the lies they have worked hard to spread. The activists in the liberal news media grabbed onto these lies and catapulted them to the top. But the fact is, every one of these lies can be debunked. Google some facts, it's all there. The cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest violent crime rates. The states with permitted concealed carry have the lowest. The "Assault Weapons Ban" of the 1990's did absolutely nothing to stem violence, it actually created more, which is why it was allowed to expire. But unfortunately these facts are sent out over the air waves. They're tucked away and never brought up, because they prove the anti-gun lobby wrong.

The only weapon we have against the gun lobby, activist media and this administration are facts. They are on our side, but its up to us to be vocal about them. We have to go out of our way to be vocal about it. We need to be closely following what is going on, be informed, and be on the defensive and the offensive. The only way we can assure that our freedoms - the freedoms for us to defend ourselves and keep our government in check - is be be a vocal faction in this debate and this battle. Educate yourself, and speak up. Our 2nd Amendment rights live and die with us.

Refocusing: Trying to Find Balance

We'll, I've had this blog for almost 3 years. I spent a little time this morning going back over some of my first posts, laughing a bit at how I've changed and smiling at some memories I'd forgotten. If nothing else, its therapeutic. 
Now on to the meat, and the purpose of this refocused blog. The recent political climate, "gun control" laws, immigration reform offerings, etc. have more than infuriated me, but I've also realized recently that my primary outlet for these infuriations has been Facebook. Now, I'll be the first to admit, there's probably very few people on my facebook that disagree with me entirely. Not because I don’t befriend people of differing views, but because I'm a blunt, outspoken person, and chances are anyone who's opinion differs greatly from mine has probably already de-friended me. If you've stuck it through, I commend you :)
That being said, I'm shifting my political and semi-political rants to blog and twitter format, and hopefully leaving facebook a slightly more friendly environment. I'll still have this blog auto post to facebook, but this allows anyone interested the chance to click on it or ignore it based on their preference. After scrolling through my profile feed I've realized that it’s been a bit too serious of a tone for far too many months. Hopefully this changes that.
More blog posts to come, and here I won't have to censor as much (and oh yes, I've been censoring!)