I’m wearing orange this October, but it won’t be for gun control. It’s going to be for a better reason – it’s going to be for the safe use of firearms, for the benefit of myself and those around me.
Granted, safety is relative; I don’t imagine the whitetail bucks will feel very safe. Things might also get pretty hairy for does if I happen to draw the tag I put in for. (I live in Washington and it’s draw-only ’round these parts for antlerless deer tags.) It also won’t be particularly safe for turkeys or grouse, and hopefully ducks or geese if I get out to the blind this year.
However, for me and anyone who happens to be in my company while I’m afield, it will be quite safe indeed. Hopefully there will be plenty of tasty treats afterward.
As a firearms owner, it’s up to me just as it’s up to everyone else to show gun control advocates that safe, positive activities take place all the time involving firearms. Besides recreational or competitive shooting, one of the most common is, of course, hunting. One of the best things a person can do to establish a point of philosophical or political principles – aside from having your voice heard at the ballot box – is being a positive example of the ideals you assert to have or uphold.
Unfortunately it’s also a pastime in decline as fewer people overall are taking hunter’s safety courses, donning blaze orange (and/or camo – though our fathers and grandfathers made do with flannel) and taking to the woods in search of tasty critters for the freezer.
There is some hope, though. A number of people are awakening to the idea that a great way to control the supply of food you consume is to go and shoot your own meat or at least a generous portion of it, which is one of the other reasons I do it.
Hunting is also one of the most common paths into conservation, as hunter-conservationists are some of the staunchest and most steadfast advocates for conserving both what precious little wilderness remains and also our public lands. Granted, getting out into nature doesn’t require a gun or any excuse as it’s good to do for its own sake, but doing so with the prospect of acquiring more backstrap/tenderloins/roasts/etc…is even better.
In fact, one of the greatest conservationists in American history was Teddy Roosevelt, who would doubtless be labeled a “gun nut” for his collection of Winchester rifles among many other firearms. The appreciation for nature also makes hunter-conservationists some of the most ardent environmentalists as well, which is certainly something that the extreme Left won’t admit to!
Side note… now I want a Model 1895.
I’m also going to concealed carry in a legal and responsible fashion, train and practice whenever I can to keep my skills up. I practice safe storage in my home and will continue to do so.
Any of you planning on wearing orange?
Sam Hoober is a contributing editor at Alien Gear Holsters and Bigfoot Gun Belts. He also contributes regularly to Ammoland, Daily Caller and USA Carry.