Firearm Owners’ Resolutions for 2017

The New Year is finally offering firearm owners hope for the survival of the Second Amendment. With an incoming administration and Congress who are NOT actively looking at repealing, restricting or otherwise minimizing the Bill of Rights, firearm owners are taking a deep sigh of relief. This is good. A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen. But the celebration and rest time is over and it’s time to get back to work.

Whereas we may be feeling more secure at the national level and with the prospect of a Constitutional jurist being seated on the United States Supreme Court, the gun-grabbing elitists are now shifting their fight to a different battleground. They are now working on local and state infringements by spreading their misinformation campaigns in the traditionally liberal population centers.

As the usual rhetoric continues and we are labeled as domestic terrorists and haters by those who destroy private property and attack our law enforcement officers in the name of peace, tolerance and inclusiveness, we need to rise above. We must be better than the prejudiced stereotype they manufactured for us and show the nation what we stand for.

Here are some New Year’s resolutions:

The Four Rules

Live by the four basic firearms safety rules like your life and everyone else’s depends on it. Live them everywhere, everyday in every situation.

  1. Treat all firearms as if they were loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Never place your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to fire.
  4. Know your target, what is in front of it and what is beyond it.

Take the High Road

Be polite, respectful and non-emotional whenever you discuss firearms and the Second Amendment. It is an emotional topic for many but a screaming, name calling match never accomplishes anything. Remember, only the part with a Second Amendment supporter losing control will be seen in the evitable viral video.

Join

If you haven’t joined one of the state or national organizations fighting for your Second Amendment rights, do it now. These organizations are critical to protecting and furthering our rights and there are many battles to be fought this year.
2. Donate

For each firearm you purchase during the year, donate to one of these state or national Second Amendment groups. Pick a percentage that works for you or simply donate the value of a box of high quality ammo for the firearm you purchased. If everyone gives a little, we can make a huge difference.

Training

Take a firearms class. It doesn’t matter how high speed-low drag you are; firearms skills are perishable. If you haven’t done actual training with a qualified instructor for a while, it’s time to get back on the firing line. Anyone can pick up a firearm and pull the trigger. We must clearly demonstrate we are the ones who take our right to bear arms seriously and responsibly.

Take a medical aid class. Likewise, if you haven’t taken first aid, CPR or trauma care since you were in the Scouts, it’s time for a refresher. Times have changed and your life or the life of someone you care about could very well count on you knowing what to do in an emergency.

Take a friend to the range.

We all have friends that shoot and friends that don’t shoot. The shooters will always go, so ask one of your non-shooting friends if they’d like to come with you. Instruct them on safety and the mechanics of shooting and help them with their first shots. You’ll help to break down some barriers to understanding and you might just get someone else hooked on the shooting sports.

Volunteer

Get out in your community and lend a hand. There are opportunities all around us for needs large and small. It doesn’t have to relate to firearms. In fact doing something other than firearms is actually a positive thing. When the community wants to know what kind of people we are, it shouldn’t always be about firearms. We are all well rounded, complete people interested in travel, food, art, the environment and international politics (etc. etc. etc.) as well as being gun nuts. The more everyone sees us as a part of the everyday community, the better off we all are.

The fight for our rights will be shifting closer to our homes and will involve our family, friends and neighbors like never before. More than anything else in the coming year, we need to be the best example of what a law-abiding, safety conscious, firearm owning, Second Amendment supporter really is.

Let’s make 2017 a year where we lead by example.

Bob

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Volunteers

A couple of recent events got me thinking about the impact of volunteers in our community. Looking at the activities and organizations I myself am involved in, I saw more and more volunteers making a difference. It made me dig a little deeper.

Nationally, about 25% of the population performs some type of volunteer activity. That’s about 62.8 million people and an estimated $173 billion worth of service contributed. Chances are, some part of your life has or is being influenced by volunteers.

Volunteers are all around us. They are your family, friends and neighbors. They work in political, religious and community organizations as well as private, public and government organizations, non-profit and for-profit corporations, as well as by themselves.

The work they do ranging from teaching, coaching, driving, organizing, cooking, cleaning, building and writing code. Some provide expertise in their field to private companies or to individuals in need. They run private intuitions and clubs. They fight fires, protect our citizens and provide medical aid to those in need. They work tirelessly along side those who are paid for the same services. Many of these volunteers pay for their own training, certifications, equipment and uniforms as well as providing their own time and service. They come together for single events such as natural disasters or cleaning trash from beaches to the long term programs to care for those in need or fighting for constitutional / civil rights.

Their backgrounds are as varied as the jobs they do and represent every facet of life in our nation. Some volunteer to give back to the community, others as a means to learn a new trade. They give to provide services that would not be available otherwise, to share their knowledge and experience with others and to spend times with the ones they love. They do it to help others as well as help themselves.

In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville published his observations of Democracy in America recognizing the distinctiveness of our voluntary tradition. Since then, we have been known as a nation of joiners. And what a huge impact these volunteers make.

National Volunteer Week was in April this year, but I’m taking today to thank those who have raised their hand and volunteered.

Bob

#oddstuffing #volunteers