One thing America has that most other countries lack is an abundance of freedom that involve our public lands. They are available for responsible recreation of various types, from sightseeing to hunting and fishing, target shooting, camping, rock hounding, wild animal viewing and other outdoor pursuits. It’s important to the preservation of our public lands that your children learn how to use them properly, recreation-wise. Otherwise those public lands will eventually be sold to the spoilers and takers who infest our culture and our political system.

When I was a young father, I occasionally grabbed a bunch of empty tin cans and headed out into the BLM for a Saturday afternoon with the family, target shooting. I feel it’s important to our way of life that, unless you have an appropriate private piece of real estate available, you take your kids to a safe, perhaps even remote, place on the public lands and teach them how to handle and shoot firearms safely. That pertains to both the boys and the girls. Make a picnic excursion out of it or an animal watching event.

This used to be a common way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I don’t see much of that anymore. Is it because parents have gotten lazier or more self centered? Perhaps part of the blame can be focused on those mislead parents who think guns are evil? Is that because some parents have succumbed to the various lies that the puppet masters, in league with liberal social engineers in our educational system who have spread the lie about the “Great Harm” caused by firearms?

To those well-meaning but misdirected parents who say no to guns because, “guns are killing our kids,” I would reply, “Yes they are.” Guns have killed our kids in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Somalia. Guns killed our kids in Normandy, Bastogne, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Vietnam, Panama and multiple other places where freedom was defended by our warriors, mostly younger men and women who believed in this United States. At some time they were all somebody’s kids.

At the same time, let’s not forget that guns can be misused and are occasionally killing kids domestically, both accidentally and deliberately, with the intended horrific results in some tragic instances. As bad as that sounds, more commonly children are killed by their own parents by late-term abortions, by drowning in bathtubs, by suffocating them with pillows and plastic bags, by leaving them in overheated or unheated vehicles during inclement weather, while the parent goes partying in a casino or bar, by driving drunk, by driving irresponsibly, by beatings, by negligence when the child is sick, and even by exposing them to meth use and other bad lifestyle choices.

You’re delusional if you think childhood deaths are all about firearms misuse. Some forms of infanticide are even legal and socially acceptable. What does that say about our moral values as a society?

Understand this: Your kids and grandkids will grow up to be slaves in this country without being taught the correct way to handle and use firearms to defend themselves, their families and their homes. Not just from a widespread criminal sub-culture, but there are enemies out there, both foreign and domestic, that want to make our people slaves in their own country. Those enemies are dedicated, people with a socialist agenda who want to outlaw firearms, thereby abetting their agenda to eliminate independent thought and individual responsibility, changing the course and tenor of this great nation.

Yes, change is inevitable, but it should be change weighted in the long-term advantage to our citizens for the benefit of the masses. Sadly, it usually isn’t. Usually all of these anti-freedom socialist agenda’s are directed at having one person or one group of politicians and high rollers gaining and keeping power at the working citizen’s expense.

But there’s one thing that never seems to change.

On each Memorial Day there are always more American flags flying in the cemetery than the year before. Our vets are dying. Those veterans buried under those flags are why you and your children can pretty much live where you want, work at a job you like, or not, travel freely, go to the church of your choice, or not, and yes, even own a gun or multiple guns if you so choose. Guns, used by our warriors, both men and women, bought those freedoms for you, not politicians, not merchants, not the talking heads on TV. It was guns, in the hands of our warriors.

Each year the roster of those who responded to the call of freedom and the preservation of individual rights grows smaller and smaller. Each year the political left and their liberal allies, the socialist baby killers and the gun grabbers grow bolder.

I know out here in Cody country we all believe we’re insulated from the insanity enveloping the rest of the country, but really we’re not. I hate to be so negative, but after having spent most of my lifetime watching our freedoms being stolen by politicians who’ve corrupted and realigned our political system for their personal gain, all the while abetted by the national media with its blow-dried talking heads and surgically enhanced smiley faces, I’m not too pumped up on the eventual outcome of this “Great Experiment” that is our country.

Even though I’ve reached and exceeded my allotted three score and ten, I’m still ready to fight for this country, because I still believe in the promise of the common man. Despite all the negatives, I’m still a proud American. Not sorry!

Oh yeah, have a happy new year!

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