Beware Your Friends

Remember the old saying to “keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” I understand what that means … about not wishing the ex-wife would slip and fall beneath a road roller, for example, or playing nice at a high school reunion with the guy who tormented me in gym class. But I’m pretty sure that saying was coined before social media and before the 24/7 news cycle ruled and perhaps ruined our lives.

I began hunting late in life — late as hunting usually goes — and I began as a bowhunter. Dad was a golfer, not an outdoorsman, so I was in my 30s before I bought hunting and fishing gear. (The men of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service changed my life — for the better!) Shotguns — then rifles, handguns and concealed carry — were secondary for me. Sort of the opposite for a bowhunter because most, I suppose, begin as gun hunters.

There were days when I was so obsessed about pulling on camo that I went to work early and skipped lunch so that I could spend just 30 minutes in a treestand. It was Minnesota and Wisconsin in the fall. Pitch dark until 8:30 a.m. and black as the bottom of the ocean by 4:00 p.m. I very rarely loosed an arrow at anything, maybe a practice shot to check yardage, make sure the sight and rest had not rattled loose, but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. Simply being outside, alone in the woods with the bow in my hand, was sufficient.

So I was pretty ecstatic that a Wisconsin fellow named Paul Ryan became Speaker of the House. An elected U.S. representative who didn’t try to hide the fact that he liked to hunt and even posted pictures with deer and turkey that he killed. And he’s apparently not embarrassed when lifting a cocktail with the yuppie crowd, doesn’t try to hide Midwest roots and hobbies. According to Google, his Secret Service code name is “Bowhunter.” (That same report noted B. Hussein Obama chose “Renegade” as his code name instead of “Traitor,” but I digress.)

I felt en sympathie, as the French say, with Ryan, even though when he was elected I lived in Florida and now live in New Mexico. I believed I could relate to the guy. He appeared to be a conservative, Constitutional Republican who I could cheer for in divisive times.

Now, I’m not so sure. Ryan is apparently little more than another RINO — Republican in Name Only — and therefore dangerous. Has he simply come out of the closet? Has my favorite bowhunter now come out as an advocate for gun control, for disarming responsible, gun-carrying citizens?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not in favor of “bump stocks,” a device that allows a rifleman to fire in a practically automatic mode, but it seems that Representative Ryan has converted to the dark side. “We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix,” he says.

A national regulatory fix for a firearms accessory. Shades of Australia, Canada and Britain. Has Ryan read too many headlines, received too many fake awards, attended too many champagne dinners with the world elites?

Like you, I’m horrified by the Vegas shootings. Angry about the incident. Don’t quite know how to make my voice heard. But here’s what happens after the U.S. Congress passes, and the President signs, a special bill to ban bump stocks. And make no mistake. Since the Vegas shooting, Republicans like Ryan are under intense pressure to sign on to “reasonable, common-sense gun legislation.”

Legislative proposals currently on the table, proposals that Ryan and many Republicans agree with, would ban any item or device that helps “accelerate the rate of fire” of a firearm. Using that standard, you will lose detachable magazines. Then you will lose semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles, because only bolt-action rifles, over/under or side-by-side shotguns and revolvers will be legal. And when that legislation passes, politicians and left-wing groups will gnaw at the 2nd Amendment in its entirety. A few years later, we’ll be stripped of that right. And then freedom of speech will die; it’s under attack now. And freedom of the press, a press already coopted by the left. And politicians like Paul Ryan will sign on to “reasonable, common-sense speech legislation” and accept awards from Hollywood and kiss babies — and we can kiss America good bye.

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