Gun violence: a Hunter’s Perspective

As many of my faithful readers know, I hail from the lovely state of Wisconsin, home to brats, beer, cheese, and the Packers. Wisconsin also has a long and storied history of fishing and hunting. I come from a long line of hunters.

When I was twelve, I enrolled in a hunter’s safety course as required by our state law.  Two local police officers taught our class. I really enjoyed the classes and took the responsibility of using a gun very seriously. As the only girl in the class, I had a lot to prove. I ended up with a near perfect score on the exam, and I was the most accurate target shooter at the gun range.

When I began deer hunting, I went with both my dad and my grandpa. I observed all the rules. Never point your gun at anyone. Always be aware of your surroundings. The final rule was my dad’s; you only need three bullets in the magazine. His theory is that it only takes three shots to bring down a deer.  My sister and I put his theory into practice. 

I loved being in nature and just listening to the stillness around me. Hunting was my refuge. We were in the middle of central Wisconsin with little to do. I spent my hunting weekends just being with my family. Those weekends were some of my most precious memories from my teen years.

When a senseless act of gun violence killed a dear friend of mine, I was devastated. I went hunting that year, but I could not even load my gun. My rifle felt so heavy against my shoulder. All I could think about was having this object in common with my friend’s killer. I could not bring myself to even fire the rifle in target practice.

I haven’t been deer hunting in six years since I was pregnant with Munch. My two rifles are at my parents’ house in a locked gun cabinet. My husband is now a deer hunter. His hunting rifle is in our house. The ammunition is separate from his rifle. I plan to buy a locked box to store his ammunition. I do not want to take any chances with my sweet babies.

As a hunter and a gun owner, there is no reason to have an assault weapon. I was upset that our state instituted a concealed carry law. I understand that people want to feel protected and be able to defend themselves. My question is what are you defending yourself from? If we saw our neighbors as ourselves, we would stop this otherness. Let us listen and have a dialogue. The NRA is not indicative of all gun owners. I would gladly convert any semiautomatic hunting rifles to a lesser capacity magazine. Human life is precious. Owning a gun is a privilege, not a right. I support a waiting period and background checks.

If you are interested in more thoughtful posts regarding this horrible tragedy, please read these fabulous writers.

http://butterfly-confessions.com/2012/12/21/my-initial-response-to-the-nras-database-for-the-mentally-ill-request/

http://butterfly-confessions.com/2012/12/16/lets-wake-up-from-our-inoculation-get-real-about-violence-race-in-america/

http://www.gooddayregularpeople.com/2012/12/we-cant-be-silent-about-sandy-hook.html

http://www.lateenough.com/2012/12/my-heart-goes-out-to-newtown-but-i-hope-they-do-not-turn-to-social-media-for-help/

About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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6 Responses to Gun violence: a Hunter’s Perspective

  1. Yes, Jen.

    I asked someone once the reason for assault weapons. The basis is constitutional. So that our power matches that of the governments, so we have an equal chance at bearing arms.

    But assault weapons? The constitution was drafted at a time of loading one at a time cannons and muskets, not rapid fire kill 100′s at a time before anyone has a chance to respond.

    The world has changed since our initial right to bear arms/match arms: we cannot say “give us what the government has” anymore. Because it’s not the government that’s being attacked, it’s CHILDREN, who cannot even defend themselves.

    And I can’t take that anymore. I was in church Xmas eve, doors closed, my heart pounding as my eyes searched around for a plan of escape if a crazed gunman appeared in the back. That’s not right…

    • Alexandra,

      We have no need for high capacity assault weapons at all. Gun ownership was a right back when we were a fledgling country and a society of hunter/gatherers. Now it is a privilege, and it should be treated as such. We need to pass an amendment to the Constitution then to change the Second Amendment. It is time to take steps to address this issue.

      Our children do not deserve to grow up in a world that is so full of senseless violence. They need us as adults and parents to protect them.

      My advice to protect yourself is to be aware of your surroundings like you were. It sounds ridiculous, but that advice helped me manage my anxiety after my friend was killed. I look for entrances and exits. In the case of an attack, get on the ground immediately. Stay completely still. That is how the little boy survived in Newtown. It is horrible to even talk about protecting yourself and your family from something like this, but it happens.

  2. Thanks for including my piece. I wish more gun owners had your down-to-Earth and respectful approach. Maybe they do but the vocal minority just gets heard too often.

    • You are so welcome Alex. I think that most hunters share my views, but the vocal minority like the NRA and Ted Nugent get all the press. People are so quick to believe anything they hear that some people were buying guns in bulk, fearing that the President would take their guns. I hope to share this post on Facebook to get some of my family and friends who hunt to weigh in on this.

  3. jess says:

    Such a great post. And definitely learned something new about you :)

    We have guns in our homes, as well, and they are both locked, neither loaded. But I agree. NO CIVILIAN has any business with an automatic assault weapon. Ever.

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