By Jon Wogen, TBC board member and outdoor enthusiast — printed with permission from the Renville County Register
The previous three weeks we discussed the life of a “Free-range Kid” who became this writer. We saw how his early adventures and experiences molded him into an outdoors person and a conservationist.
After he got into Junior High, this town-dwelling adventurer got to become a farm boy. The farm we rented was my Grandpa’s. He retired and we exchanged homes. He moved to town; we moved to the farm.
On Grandpa’s farm were seven wetlands, heavy fence rows of shrubs and grasses, a good and thick farm grove and patches of native prairie/pasture.
That sounds like a good farm for a boy to continue his outdoor adventures. Yes, it was super. We wintered over about 50-75 pheasants each year, along with a number of Hungarian partridges. We had one wetland that held water almost every year. It was full of ducks. One who lives in such a place becomes a hunter, nature lover and conservationist.
There was never a problem finding a new outdoor adventure on this farm. Tree houses were built in strategic locations depending upon what we were playing or doing at the time. Rafts were built to traverse the wetland with a kid on it.
The grove was full of a hundred year’s accumulation of old car (model T), colorful old bottles, “tin” cans, rolls of barbed wire, and “junk” machinery that could have brought iron collectors, antique collectors and other interested historians to the farm.
Dad provided my brother and me with a Winchester pump .22 rifle of old vintage. With all those cans and bottles in the grove, we developed into pretty good shots. One nice thing about our destruction of all of those cans was that they could no longer hold water and couldn’t, therefore, produce mosquitoes either.
The Wild Child got ammunition for the rifle by trapping pocket gophers and Thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Dad paid a bounty on those plus we could collect a county bounty at the court house also. Also, some fur trapping was done in the fall and the money made was used for ammunition and accessories we “needed”.
The Free-range Kid got to hunt ducks in the morning if he got his chores done on time. Then it was off to the bus. Milking cows by hand with a pail between his knees brought scent of the cow onto his forehead as he rested it on the side of the cow. In school, his pals made fun of him about smelling of cow all day long. Tough being a kid eh? We had the best of all kinds of hunting. Rabbits, both cottontails and jacks, pheasants, ducks, squirrels, and fox. How could this already Free-range Kid not enjoy this situation?
Next week we will discuss a bit about how you can help to develop a Free-range Kid who has survival skills, common sense, and a love for the outdoors and conservation of nature.
THEY ARE BLAMING GUNS AGAIN
When a terrorist blows up many people as in Boston, people blame the terrorist. When an active killer shoots a bunch of innocents at a theater or a church, these same people blame the gun.
Rather than blame the instrument, perhaps people need to determine the true cause of the crime. The instrument of death, whether gun or knife, isn’t able to kill without someone making it kill people. A gun can lie asleep behind the closet door and it never once walks to the door, down to the local school and starts killing people.
So, it is people after all who do these deeds. But, people who think that they understand the crime will scream that “We need to pass more gun laws!” It is interesting that those who want to pass more laws don’t realize that criminals don’t obey laws. Only the law-abiding people are harmed by these anti-gun laws.
“…There is no such thing as gun violence”, says David Morris, “Guns are inanimate objects. There is only violence and violence is a product of the mind and the mind will use whatever tools it has available at the time. The term ‘gun violence’ makes as much sense as ‘fork overeating’.”
“A bad guy with a gun may require a good guy with a gun to stop the mayhem of the active killer. But, so many places don’t allow guns into their establishment. This creates a “free-fire zone” and an active killer may believe that he has the only gun around in that establishment. This emboldens him or her. The “No Guns Allowed sign is an open invitation to the active killer.
A large percentage of active killers were on or recently had stopped taking, mind-altering psychiatric drugs. Check the list below:
Dylan Root—Charlston, South Carolina church killings had used Suboxone (a narcotic) and heroin.
James Holmes—Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Had taken the anti-anxiety drug, Clonazepam, and the generic form of Zoloft. He had also used sedatives.
Adam Lanza—Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut had used the psychiatric drug Fanapt.
Eric Harris—one of the two active killers at Columbine High School in Colorado took Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and other psychiatric drugs.
Andrea Yates—who drowned five kids in the bathtub was on the antidepressant Effexor.
Anders Breivik—Norway, killed 92 people in 2011. He was taking anabolic steroid known as Stanozolol, plus amphetamine (ephedrine and high doses of caffeine).
John Hinckley—who shot President Reagan and others had taken four valium two hours before the shooting.
Hey Friends, do you see a pattern here? Yes, we hear all the time, “Guns do not kill people, people kill people”. That is the pattern. Marc Victor said, “Peaceful people owning guns is not a problem needing a solution. Attempting to punish everyone for the acts of one or several deranged lunatics is immoral.” We have heard another quote we thought appropriate, even though we have no idea who said it. “Guns don’t make you a killer. Killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ballgame.”