Wild Geese and guns

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Amber!

Hi neighbors. There is still time to do things outside. Better take those walks and photos of the outdoors while you can if you don't want snow or out of focus shots due to shivers.

One thing I like most about fall is hearing the geese flying over, calling out to everyone on the ground the announcement that winter is on the way. "Come fly!" they honk to each other and to all of us landlubbers. I've always wished I could!

Of all the memories I cherish of fall, the sight and sound of a flock of flying geese brings on the most nostalgia. As my father would say, "They make you restless and homesick to go where you've never been." I remember he would always stop and watch them as soon as he heard the first honk. Together we would stare at the flock, no matter how large or small, until they were out of sight. My Dad would always whisper to them, "safe journey old birds." I still do the same.

If you have never heard wild geese calling, take some time to gather your children and hike the lesser known trails and listen for them. It's a great way to help your children learn to appreciate nature, understand migration, and free their spirits and imaginations.

It's also the time of year for hunting! Turkeys, deer, ducks and geese all are plentiful enough to help you stockpile your larders for winter. Check with the Kansas and Missouri Conservation Departments for information and instructions on how to hunt wisely, legally, and safely.

Although many people correctly think guns are dangerous and refuse to have them in their homes; I feel it should be every American's duty to own a gun. But, all gun owners should take annual skill tests to continue to use them. Use of the gun should be licensed and tests for ability to handle, clean and shoot the gun, and how to safely store it should be mandatory. Whenever a gun is carried for whatever reason, this license should be carried.

I've never advocated gun control. As I said, it should flip around and be mandatory to have a gun. I don't understand the purpose of carrying a concealed weapon to discourage crime. A weapon fully visible would make more sense to me.

When I was in high school, I remember a youngster who rode the same bus, accidentally shot his little brother, killing him. I remember how devastating this was for him and I don't want to see children shooting each other.

But if a child has seen the damage a gun can do to a living thing, through hunting outings, they realize that a gun can kill; and what dead means.

Many children never see any living thing get killed. As horrible an image that is, I think it is a critical step for a child entering adulthood. People use guns to kill. Every child should know that and it is the parents duty to teach that.

The sad fact is that some people use guns to kill other people; and children need to learn this sad fact as well to survive in our world.

As a child, I remember my father's shotgun always above the front door. He could reach, I could not and never attempted to touch it. I had helped skin rabbits, rabbits shot with that gun, and I knew it was a weapon that killed without discrimination. I feared the gun.

In hindsight, I wish my father had taught me to shoot as he did my brother. Since becoming an adult, I have enjoyed shooting practice and am a pretty good shot. I have never killed another living creature; certainly not a rabbit. But I do not doubt that I could use the gun to good advantage if under attack. A good shot doesn't have to kill to stop an attacker. A frightened person with no training holding a gun for the first time, is more likely to kill another human being.

Please make certain you teach your children to be safe around guns. Talk about the dangers they hold.

And whether hunting or not, go see and hear the geese!