Don’t Send Me Your Stinking Christmas Card…

As I write this, the holiday season is in full swing and I am thinking about some of the things for which I am thankful: cheap and abundant ammo, neighbors who have long since learned to stop complaining about the sound of gunfire, night sights, the gentle sounds of brass hitting the ground… These are a few of my favorite things.

Yep, the holidays are here.  It’s the time of the year when families, no matter how dysfunctional, gather together to celebrate—um—something. The celebration is different for everyone and I won’t judge. But I won’t join in either.  I think we should be happy about what we have and what we’ve accomplished every day of the year.  If we set aside a single day we tend to forget during the rest of the year and fall into the trap of complaining and not really doing anything to improve our lot in life.

I’m not one of those “Christmas letter” people either.  You know the type; the folks who attempt to stay in touch once a year by creating a letter recapping all of their family successes and setbacks.  They then stuff said letter into an envelope containing a Christmas card showing a picture of the whole family, sometimes in (ugh) matching sweaters.  You know what?  Close friends tell you that stuff as it happens.  And close friends listen to those stories.  The Christmas letter is just another example of how self-absorbed many citizens of this nation have become. It is as if someone is telling me, “Oh, I was just too busy to stop what I was doing and celebrate my son’s scholarship.  But now, several months after the fact, I will go out of my way to bring you up to speed.”  I hate that.  And I typically reserve the use of the word “hate” for things like tabloid journalism and steamed broccoli that has grown cold.

I think this year I will create a funny little Christmas card with the picture I’ve included here.  It will read: Happiness is a warm barrel.  Thinking of you.  Not while shooting, of course, but other times.  Have a great year.

So, by now you are likely thinking, “What in the hell does all this have to do with the Concealed Carry Report?”  And I would expect nothing less.  The readers of this report are bright, intelligent people and when a writer starts to wander, I expect them to wonder.  So, here is the tie-in: Wait for it…

A “holiday” approach will not save your Second Amendment rights.  If you set aside one day a year to be thankful for your rights, or if you try to recap all that has happened in the past year on one day (say election day), you are as underwhelming as Biff, Judy and the kids in their reindeer sweaters.

Preserving your rights is a lifestyle choice.  It is something you should do every day.  Get educated.  Learn the issues and be able to speak clearly as you defend your side of the debate.  Invite non-shooters to the range.  Don’t take them to a gathering at a bonfire where Bubba is shooting beer cans in the dark.  Take them to the range.  Talk to them about the importance of firearms safety and the precision and practice required to master the skill of shooting.

Most importantly, become an advocate for the shooting lifestyle.  Write to your elected representatives regularly.  Become active at your local shooting range.  Teach hunter education.  Volunteer to talk about firearms safety at your local school.  They may turn you down, but they will begin thinking about gun safety and you will be the person they think of.  Are you up to that?

Don’t send me a letter after Election Day telling me how things have gone to hell.  Get to work day in and day out advocating what you believe.  That is the only way this will work.

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