Taking A Stand

Posted on April 3, 2018

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“I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” – J. B. Books

 

 

No, this will not be about elevated perches, climbing into trees, ground blinds, stumps or any other place that deer hunters find themselves posting to ambush unsuspecting whitetails. This story has a far greater impact with implications much more important than our next buck.
In large, deer hunters have become an oppressed minority with steadily declining numbers. Tee Clarkson illustrates this trend when writing in the Richmond Times Dispatch, “While the deer population has grown and stabilized over the past several decades, the hunting population is moving in the opposite trend, with Virginia losing roughly a third, or 100,000 hunters since the early 90s.” She went on to elaborate, “This is not just a trend in Virginia, but across the country.”

 

Yet, rather than band together in a tight-knit, well-coordinated rank and file, we continue to pick away at each other like an unhealed scab. We are not fighting the enemy without, we’re fighting each other and for what? To prove that our method, choice of weapon or place of deer hunting is better than another, if we should be able to hunt on certain days, bag limits, antler restrictions, and any other point of contention? The old adage holds as much water today as it ever has, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

 

Antis

 

Make no mistake about it folks, the anti-hunters who say they only want to stop a form of hunting are lying to us. The gun control zealots who tell us they only wish to ban certain weapons are attempting to deceive. There is no compromise with these people. They want ALL hunting stopped (truth be told, many of this mind-set actually believe animals have more rights than you and me) and ALL guns confiscated. If any doubt this, you are either in complete denial, or like Hansel & Gretel who, are following bread crumbs down a dim lit path to eventual demise.

 

History Lesson

 

It’s often said, we either learn from history or we’re bound to repeat it. Enjoined within a crowded Philadelphia whitewashed room under July’s stifling heat, the Continental Congress was in session as historian, Rush Limbaugh Sr. writes,

 

“Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: “I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American.” But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning, and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.”
Unlike today, where we see little accomplished in the halls of Congress; this group transformed itself into a committee of the whole. And after three days of wrangling that consisted of 86 alterations, 500 words were eliminated and the document was put to a vote.

 

With the signatories placing their ‘John Hancock’ upon this piece of parchment; more than just their signature was on the line here…a whole lot more as Limbaugh continues.
“What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence, and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?

Ben Franklin was really the only old man. Eighteen were under 40 and three were in their 20’s. Of the 56, almost half (24) were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.

Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: “Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone.”

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.

 

 

They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers.”

Despite coming from various social-economic backgrounds, and certainly differing opinions, Limbaugh writes, “The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. “And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

And thus, “Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.”

 

Whitetails go to Washington

Little-to-nothing is as it appears anymore. Where once you purchased a product from a specific company, it was that same company that manufactured the product, guaranteed it, serviced if need be, and advertised it. That is seldom the case any longer. We have enmeshed ourselves into a very convoluted industry that is more representative of K Street than it is of Main Street.

 

Business, small & large alike are routinely purchased and fall under a much larger umbrella, which evokes both power and money. The multi-leveled conglomerates are owned and operated from the top by venture-capitalists that may or may not be hunters, might have little insight about hunting or firearms, and quite frankly are ambivalent to this fact. It’s all about, ‘show me the money.’

These same companies, who want to sell product and branding advertise in both print and television media. Equally, they sponsor high profile hunters who then fly under their banner. Is it just me or does this bear stark resemblance to Washington politicians? Are the lobbyists that have the most invested doing the speaking, or is it the legislator’s actual voice? What happens if the brand one represents goes against the very core values that you hold dear? What do we do when outlets who historically have sold outdoor products take positions that run contrary ours? All hard questions, aren’t they?

 

Boycotts, Businesses & Backbone

It’s time for companies that are/have been trying to win the market by neutralizing any possibility of offense to begin heralding the principles and purpose of what has gotten them to where they are in the first place.
To whom much is given, much is required. Why the silence; why the tip-toeing around the gun issue by those that stand to lose the most? By publicly refraining from voicing a stand communicates much as to where you stand and what you stand for. The signers, to their great peril both physically and financially, firmly stood for what was right. If we are going to collectively beat back those that wish to rob us of our 2nd amendment rights, this war needs to be waged from the top down, not the bottom up. It is time to use the platform we’ve been given. Without guns there is no hunting, because bows will be next. Without hunting there will be no hiking, biking or photographic safaris as the populations will diminish.

 

It’s long past time to be thinking about how this might affect me, rather, it’s time to dig in, unite, and determine, not today, not on my watch…come hell or high water!

 

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Posted in: Op Ed