The Second Amendment, shooting sports and outdoor lifestyle is treasured by millions of Americans from all walks of life. Freedom Journal provides athletes, entertainers, public figures and more with a platform to connect with others, outside of their immediate fan base, and share their passion, respect, and appreciation for this lifestyle. These are their stories, in their own words, for you to hear. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the National Rifle Association of America.
With the win of Donald Trump, our most recent historic race for the United States Presidency has left many throughout the country protesting the result. Some of these protests have escalated turning into all out riots and criminal acts. College students, in some cases, have been allowed to miss exams over depression, while organized cry-ins are taking place on campuses around the country. Certain groups are even burning the flag of our great nation – an insult to the brave servicemen and women that have paid the ultimate price for that freedom.
Having grown up in Oregon, a strong blue state because of urban areas such as Portland and Eugene, I have seen first-hand the destruction that these groups are creating within my great state and the ripple that is felt across the nation. This destruction, this mentality, is geographically isolated to small populous areas, meanwhile, the remainder of the state bleeds crimson red and honors the flag and what Old Glory represents.
The riots, destruction, race baiting, and gender wars are the exact reason we now have a President Elect Donald Trump. A man that has preached the gospel of hard work, determination, never quit principals that are found evident in his business dealings, cabinet selections and closer to home, his children.
I have always said that life’s lessons are best learned afield with family and friends by your side, helping to develop work and moral ethic, and determination. There is no better teacher than Mother Nature herself, and many are in need of the powerful life lessons that only she can provide.
We are blessed with the freedom to climb to the tops of the highest mountains, to experience the thrill of the hunt while taking in the splendor of the good Lord’s perfect paintbrush; the awe inspiring landscapes of wild places. When the wind is howling, it’s snowing and you are cold, wet and tired and you are six miles from your camp, here in this moment, we are all equal. Race, gender and the amount of money in your bank account mean absolutely nothing. You cannot buy your way back to camp and yes, girls have to make the same trek as the guys. This is true equality.
You can cry all you want, but here, on the mountain, courtesy of Mother Nature, there are no safe spaces. Life is tough. This is reality. The mountain teaches you to dig deep, to keep going, to persevere despite the conditions, learning self-reliance, mental fortitude and the value of hard work.
The mountain makes a person want to work harder, even to the point of exhaustion, but at the end of the trail there is the triumph that one has risen to the challenge. Hunters can all relate to this triumph and the confidence that is actualized in life-changing moments.
Today, kids are growing up with the “everyone wins a trophy” mentality. On the mountain and in life, you don’t always win a trophy. During many hunts, days are spent trekking sun up to sundown across the roughest landscapes in the world in pursuit of fair chase game animals. In the end, not everyone fills their tag. Not everyone wins a trophy.
The success is the journey. Time spent with loved ones and friends, memories that last a lifetime and beyond. That is the true trophy that is earned. When things don’t go your way and you don’t fill your tag, you don’t set fire to the wilderness or destroy vehicles parked at the trailhead.
Yet, we are tolerating this very behavior and conduct in our cities.
Instead, you learn to be a better hunter, train and work harder, and be willing to go the extra mile and put forth the extra effort. Every year, I plan and prepare so that my chances of success become greater.
Embracing God and the great outdoors, family, friends and the freedoms found here in America. Our past brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow and together we shape that vision into reality. Educate others in your community and across the country on why out time honored traditions are relevant in today’s society, now more than ever.
Make time to serve others, to make a difference and you’ll help to influence someone that has been lead left without ever seeing or experiencing what’s right.