You need to take your friends shooting, hunting and to Mass

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You need to take your friends shooting, hunting and to Mass

My last duty sta­tion was Hawaii, and now I’m in the north east. In both cases, the local gov­ern­ment treated me like a crim­i­nal for own­ing a weapon. For exam­ple, I had to pay 16 dol­lars and 50 cents (in exact change!) in Hawaii to have them do a back­ground check. Despite the check being essen­tially instant, it took the Hawaii PD an hour. While I sat there, the guy said “You know it’s fairly inten­sive,” to which I replied “The gov­ern­ment gave me a clear­ance, I’m really not too wor­ried about my back­ground.” Low and behold, I cleared.

It was almost impos­si­ble to find a range on the island and shoot reg­u­larly with­out pay­ing an arm and a leg. So I didn’t. And for many ser­vice mem­bers, that’s what hap­pens too. We get into an inten­sive job and in our time off try to spend time with a young fam­ily, and before long it has been years since we hit the range for any­thing but a manda­tory once a year pis­tol shoot to stand the quar­ter­deck watch.

So if you’re slightly older and remem­ber the days when kids had shot­guns in the car so they could bird hunt after school, then you have some responsibilities.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_105651” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”] The fam­ily that shoots together, stays together[/caption]

TAKE A FRIEND SHOOTING

It wasn’t so long ago that I was sta­tioned in Vir­ginia with a dog, a young daugh­ter and much eas­ier access to hunt­ing land and gun ranges. On Wednes­days, my peers and I would come in early, drop our guns off at the range locker, work until about 3:30, then head to the range to blast away at some tar­gets for an hour. We called it “War­rior Wednes­day,” and it helped us main­tain our pis­tol and rifle qualifications.

More than a few folks from neigh­bor­ing depart­ments saw this, and soon we started drag­ging a small crowd out, includ­ing the occa­sional 2nd Amend­ment denier. Yes, if you can believe it, we have a lot of mil­i­tary mem­bers who only ever shot a weapon once in boot camp, and oth­er­wise think the 2nd Amend­ment ref­er­ences some sort of hunt­ing thing. But once we brought them out and showed them how to shoot prop­erly, most were hooked. I helped plenty pick out pis­tols and fill out con­cealed carry per­mits. I could have spent hours argu­ing, but instead a sim­ple invi­ta­tion to the range made a difference.

TAKE A FRIEND HUNTING

[cap­tion id=“attachment_105650” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”] Don’t worry, if you don’t want the meat, I know some­one who does![/caption]

My ances­try sits in Ger­mans leav­ing their home­land and start­ing farms in Amer­ica. Grow­ing up, I had plenty of land to go hunt­ing on. Now, it’s becom­ing harder to find, and its far eas­ier to play games on the com­puter at the end of a hard days work than drive to your fam­ily land and go hunt­ing. So it’s not sur­pris­ing that hunt­ing per­mits are in decline. Increas­ingly I notice that I’m the youngest guy hunt­ing. And if you’re new to hunt­ing, you might join a hunt club…but don’t be sur­prised when most turn out like a crappy fra­ter­nity. On the other hand, there are plenty of orga­ni­za­tions slowly mak­ing the rules more dif­fi­cult. At some point, hunt­ing will be a sport reserved for the rich, sim­i­lar to how it is in Europe.

If the num­ber of hunters doesn’t increase, it will be increas­ingly easy to end hunt­ing in Amer­ica. So if you hunt, take a friend. Start intro­duc­ing peo­ple to hunt­ing. Share some game. Show a friend how to butcher a deer. And fight back against the stereo­types. I had a friend make crazy claims about how veni­son is “gamey,” but after they had a veni­son steak, I never heard that argu­ment again.

TAKE A FRIEND TO MASS

The largest Chris­t­ian denom­i­na­tion is Roman Catholic, and the sec­ond largest is fallen-​away Catholics. I’ve had peo­ple ask me how I man­age to sur­vive SERE school, two Com­mand­ing Offi­cers being fired, and los­ing a child, and when I reply with “my Catholic faith,” most don’t believe me. For many, reli­gion faith is an emo­tional issue, as in “I have faith if I can feel it.” That’s exactly what the athe­ist move­ment wants you to think, because if faith is an emo­tion, it can be changed, molded, and even elim­i­nated. Yet real faith is much more, and includes under­stand­ing the logic and rea­son behind what you believe in.

But you can’t start if you don’t go to church. So it’s not enough for you to go to Mass. You need to take your friends. I bet there are empty seats at your parish’s Fri­day night fish fry. How about invit­ing some­one out for Mass and follow-​on din­ner on Sat­ur­day? It’s not hard to do, and once they start going, you might have saved their soul.

THE BIG­GER POINT: PRAC­TIC­ING WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN A GROUP

Most of us have already had con­flicts with what we believe vs. what oth­ers would like us to do. Some­times it is easy to sim­ply go with the flow, and cer­tainly that’s what soci­ety tries to do. We make it easy to scroll Face­book, argue, sit on the couch, sleep in on Sun­day morn­ing, and in gen­eral be lack­adaisi­cal about the world around us. But the world is pay­ing atten­tion to us. Orga­nized groups are look­ing to slowly strip peo­ple of their rights and make it harder for peo­ple to prac­tice their faith. If you don’t believe that, try say­ing some­thing like “gay mar­riage is a sin” or “the sec­ond amend­ment is a right, not a hunt­ing priv­i­lege” in an open set­ting and let me know the response you get.

You either stand up for what you believe, or you sit down and get told what to believe. It’s far eas­ier to stand up with your friends if you brought them in early. Build that com­mu­nity now, or soon you’ll be stand­ing alone.


If you’d like to con­tinue to sup­port inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new host­ing site) and think my CPAC 2018 report­ing is worth­while please con­sider hit­ting DaTip­Jar here.



Con­sider sub­scrib­ing. 7 more sub­scribers at $20 a month will pay the monthly price for the new host/​server.


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Finally might I sug­gest my book Hail Mary the Per­fect Protes­tant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excel­lent Gift.

My last duty station was Hawaii, and now I’m in the north east. In both cases, the local government treated me like a criminal for owning a weapon. For example, I had to pay 16 dollars and 50 cents (in exact change!) in Hawaii to have them do a background check. Despite the check being essentially instant, it took the Hawaii PD an hour. While I sat there, the guy said “You know it’s fairly intensive,” to which I replied “The government gave me a clearance, I’m really not too worried about my background.” Low and behold, I cleared.

It was almost impossible to find a range on the island and shoot regularly without paying an arm and a leg. So I didn’t. And for many service members, that’s what happens too. We get into an intensive job and in our time off try to spend time with a young family, and before long it has been years since we hit the range for anything but a mandatory once a year pistol shoot to stand the quarterdeck watch.

So if you’re slightly older and remember the days when kids had shotguns in the car so they could bird hunt after school, then you have some responsibilities.

The family that shoots together, stays together

TAKE A FRIEND SHOOTING

It wasn’t so long ago that I was stationed in Virginia with a dog, a young daughter and much easier access to hunting land and gun ranges. On Wednesdays, my peers and I would come in early, drop our guns off at the range locker, work until about 3:30, then head to the range to blast away at some targets for an hour. We called it “Warrior Wednesday,” and it helped us maintain our pistol and rifle qualifications.

More than a few folks from neighboring departments saw this, and soon we started dragging a small crowd out, including the occasional 2nd Amendment denier. Yes, if you can believe it, we have a lot of military members who only ever shot a weapon once in boot camp, and otherwise think the 2nd Amendment references some sort of hunting thing. But once we brought them out and showed them how to shoot properly, most were hooked. I helped plenty pick out pistols and fill out concealed carry permits. I could have spent hours arguing, but instead a simple invitation to the range made a difference.

TAKE A FRIEND HUNTING

Don’t worry, if you don’t want the meat, I know someone who does!

My ancestry sits in Germans leaving their homeland and starting farms in America. Growing up, I had plenty of land to go hunting on. Now, it’s becoming harder to find, and its far easier to play games on the computer at the end of a hard days work than drive to your family land and go hunting. So it’s not surprising that hunting permits are in decline. Increasingly I notice that I’m the youngest guy hunting. And if you’re new to hunting, you might join a hunt club…but don’t be surprised when most turn out like a crappy fraternity. On the other hand, there are plenty of organizations slowly making the rules more difficult. At some point, hunting will be a sport reserved for the rich, similar to how it is in Europe.

If the number of hunters doesn’t increase, it will be increasingly easy to end hunting in America. So if you hunt, take a friend. Start introducing people to hunting. Share some game. Show a friend how to butcher a deer. And fight back against the stereotypes. I had a friend make crazy claims about how venison is “gamey,” but after they had a venison steak, I never heard that argument again.

TAKE A FRIEND TO MASS

The largest Christian denomination is Roman Catholic, and the second largest is fallen-away Catholics. I’ve had people ask me how I manage to survive SERE school, two Commanding Officers being fired, and losing a child, and when I reply with “my Catholic faith,” most don’t believe me. For many, religion faith is an emotional issue, as in “I have faith if I can feel it.” That’s exactly what the atheist movement wants you to think, because if faith is an emotion, it can be changed, molded, and even eliminated. Yet real faith is much more, and includes understanding the logic and reason behind what you believe in.

But you can’t start if you don’t go to church. So it’s not enough for you to go to Mass. You need to take your friends. I bet there are empty seats at your parish’s Friday night fish fry. How about inviting someone out for Mass and follow-on dinner on Saturday? It’s not hard to do, and once they start going, you might have saved their soul.

THE BIGGER POINT: PRACTICING WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN A GROUP

Most of us have already had conflicts with what we believe vs. what others would like us to do. Sometimes it is easy to simply go with the flow, and certainly that’s what society tries to do. We make it easy to scroll Facebook, argue, sit on the couch, sleep in on Sunday morning, and in general be lackadaisical about the world around us. But the world is paying attention to us. Organized groups are looking to slowly strip people of their rights and make it harder for people to practice their faith. If you don’t believe that, try saying something like “gay marriage is a sin” or “the second amendment is a right, not a hunting privilege” in an open setting and let me know the response you get.

You either stand up for what you believe, or you sit down and get told what to believe. It’s far easier to stand up with your friends if you brought them in early. Build that community now, or soon you’ll be standing alone.


If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new hosting site) and think my CPAC 2018 reporting is worthwhile please consider hitting DaTipJar here.



Consider subscribing. 7 more subscribers at $20 a month will pay the monthly price for the new host/server.


Choose a Subscription level


Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.