With Craig Robbins
From schools, to theaters, to shopping malls, folks are being attacked. The fear level for the average American citizen is at an all-time high. Most of the fear folks are experiencing is genuine and as with most fear, human nature is such that we look for ways to stop it. I think most folks would agree that a lot of times we make decisions out of fear, and the decision made is generally not the best in the long term.
Over the past few weeks, I have been asked the same questions that most sportsmen have: What do you think about the recent shootings? How concerned are you about losing our Second Amendment rights? Here in New York how is the SAFE Act going to protect us?
Personally, I am appalled and upset at the recent shootings. Just this past week there have been two school shootings, and another close call that was about to unfold if it wasn't for the quick thinking of a teacher.
One of the first things that crossed my mind was what if one of my grandchildren were in one of those schools? What if one of my family members was shopping when some lunatic goes off the deep end?
The attack on our Second Amendment rights is wrong on so many fronts, but on the other hand people are trying to make changes so that we don't have to live in fear. Personally, I believe that the laws that are being passed or are in the process of being passed aren't useful to protect the average person, but are being used to forward a political agenda by the people that propose them.
The SAFE Act that was passed in the middle of the night just a year ago has done nothing to protect the citizens of the Empire State. The only thing it has done is make law-abiding citizens work harder to do what they enjoy, and have a every right to do so.
What really gets in my craw is when folks, businesses and organizations that have claimed to be friends and supporters of the Second Amendment do a switch when the heat in the kitchen gets a little warm. Over the past few years there have been several examples of this.
While I have been one never to live in the past, I do enjoy studying history. If there is one thing that history has proven time and time again it is that if the government takes firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, the government will take over.
I believe it all starts with today's youth. If you teach a child to fish and hunt, they will spend the rest of their lives enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer. And when they are doing that, they are learning lessons that will last a lifetime. A wise man once said, ''Teach your child to hunt and you won't be hunting for your child.''
One can only wonder if any of the youths that are causing all this havoc by shooting up schools really understand the damage that guns can cause, or if they are just living in the world of video games. In the world of video games, all you have to do is push reset and everybody comes back to life. If somebody had taken the time to explain, teach and instruct these troubled kids the proper use of firearms they wouldn't have to spend the rest of their lives dealing with the mistakes of their childhood.
Firearm safety and instruction is taught by certified instructors across this great country of ours. Maybe it's time that all children should take a course in safety.
As the winter sets hold of Chautauqua County, it's a great time to spend a day with kids and teach them why we hunt and fish. Wildlife can often times be found in fields at this time of year, and gives a young person a chance to watch deer, turkey and geese from afar in their natural state.
As the winter winds lay down and the ice begins to thaw in early spring, a walk in the woods or a stroll along the lake can be an exciting time for any child. This past Christmas I received from my son and daughter-in-law one of the best gifts a grandfather could receive - a framed picture of my grandson and son on their first fishing trip.
Take the time to go fishing or hunting with kids, because they are the future of the great outdoors.