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An Alaskan tale…. Gun control, bear hunting and common sense

July 15, 2017

….the reason for the phantom noises I had heard for the past hour materialized to the left of where I had my gear set up. A massive black bear broke through the undercover and stopped dead in its tracks as it looked in my direction. The bears head turning this way and that sniffing the air looking for any sign of danger or food. As he cautiously moved forward he continued to sniff the air and when he was directly in front of me he raised up and put his paws on the dead-fall directly in front of me and looked into what felt like my very soul.

As I sat behind that dead-fall and adjusted my camera the words from a 60’s song, ‘what a long strange trip its been’, came to mind and could be aptly applied to where I now find myself. I was at one of our bear bait stations making a video of a bear hunt for use in a future hunting video we would use at the outdoor shows we attended. This was my first year in training as an assistant guide and on this hunt my only job was to record our client as he bagged his first Alaskan bear.

When you watch the short video at the end of this posting you will indeed see that black bear come right up to where I was and raise up to look me right in the eye. No doubt you may wonder if I was crazy to take on such an apparent dangerous task, but I assure you I was safe. Besides having three other guides surrounding me with rifles at the ready my own handgun was resting on my leg ready to use if needed.

When I look back it is hard to imagine how I went from my blue collar life in the city to a gun toting guide in the Alaskan wilderness, but out here everyone carries a firearm when they are hunting bears. I even remember my first handgun, a Ruger 357 revolver, sold to me by a friend when I first started to work as a guide. But after a couple years guiding and having felt the need for more power I bought the Taurus 454 Casull, and finally when I got away from guiding I obtained a Taurus 44 magnum.

Me and my 454 in camp

I also had a number of other firearms including a Mossberg shotgun, a Highpoint 9mm assault rifle and finally a Highpoint 9mm handgun for personal protection. Now to some people this collection would seem extreme, and may even consider me a ‘gun nut’, but most who live somewhat remotely in Alaska consider them simply tools for divergent aspects of life in the wilderness. I am bringing this up because of Oregon’s new gun confiscation law and the mindset that many Americans have toward those that own firearms.

What is missing from the mindset of most of the people in this country is common sense. Why do those opposing gun ownership feel that everyone of us who legally own firearms will go ‘postal’ and kill innocent people, and why do they think taking away our firearms will stop the bloodshed across this nation? More importantly Oregon has opened the door for anyone that has a grudge against someone they do not like to make it possible for them simply make unfounded accusations and have that persons firearms taken away from them.

Teaching my granddaughter firearms safety

There are reportedly 310 million firearms in the hands of Americans across this nation. If we say that each person owns more than one that would bring down the number to 155 million armed Americans. If there was a direct correlation between owning guns and shooting incidents, and if we say that 10% of those gun owners were depressed or angry that would mean we should be seeing at least 15,500 acts of gun violence every year…. have we?

I wonder if those opposing the sale of firearms considered that there were 233 homicides and 1300 people wounded in Chicago so far this year and do you think this was done by legally obtained firearms? Criminals by their very nature do not obey the law and you can be assured they do not file the paperwork or have background checks done so they can legally obtain handguns.

People need to stop the hysteria
when a mass shooting takes place
and the face reality
that some legally obtained firearms
will end up in the hands of an unbalanced individual
but more gun control laws
will not stop criminals and gang members
who by their very nature do not obey any laws.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2017 1:51 pm

    Great food for thought, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kris permalink
    July 17, 2017 6:25 am

    Passed this on to my youngest in Or. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Del permalink
    July 17, 2017 8:37 am

    I need a 50 BMG to finish off my collection…..

    Liked by 1 person

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