U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Recently I read that California Governor Gavin Newsome had banned the sales of all furs in that state, effectively ending trapping there, and with a solid Democrat majority in the state government, that’s not likely to be overturned anytime in the foreseeable future. Of course, the sport of hunting there has also been severely hampered with the banning of lead ammunition and the background check on ammunition that was put in place. What’s being squashed out through many drips and drabs is a way of life, and sadly I can see it happening through those same drips and drabs everywhere across America as our freedoms and traditions die slowly by a thousand cuts.
We have become a nation and a culture of “We used to”. The older I get and the more I see, the more I have to tell people about what we used to be able to do. We never seem to gain any more freedom, but constantly, slowly day by day, we lose more of it. I keep having to tell people and my son what we used to be able to do. I point out some of the places where I used to be able to hunt, but are now not only developed but where some places have posted signs and when I have asked, not only been told that there’s no hunting but get a lecture from the owners why they hate hunting. Trying to find a place to trap is even worse.
I have gotten to know a couple of my son’s friends, and it shocks me that here ,in a really rural area, surrounded by lakes and streams, most of them don’t even bother to go outside very much if at all. None of them apparently fish, or if they have, it's only been once or twice. I can’t remember how many kids I knew who fished when I was the same age. When you have to tell kids that “We used to fish all the time” you get a strange look in response. I know one of them then asked me about video games instead. You honestly don’t know whether to laugh or to cry, but it’s truly frightening when you think that in less than a decade these kids will be able to vote. What will they fight for if they’ve never had anything worth losing but stupid video games?
When I was growing up, watching my grandfather hunt, fish and trap, if you would have told me that in the twenty years or so from that time we would have politicians openly calling for guns to be sold to the government under the penalty of imprisonment, or laws put in place where a simple phone call or an allegation would mean that you would be standing before a judge pleading to exercise the rights you are already supposed to have, I would have laughed at you. We all knew there were elected officials wanting to ban guns, but they never had the spine to say it openly or with the blessing of the media like we have today. Those same elected officials are purging our schools of shooting sports that help educate kids, I know more than once I have had to tell people that “We used to” have a rifle range at school. Nowadays the thought of a kid bringing a gun to school would cause a sheer panic among the media, administrators and that kid’s life would be ruined, whereas two decades ago, it was a normal occurrence.
I see America as a whole balancing on the edge of a precipice. No matter who wins the Presidential election next year, America is slowly losing its soul. Our entire culture is changing, and not for the better. We’re watching our traditions and pastimes dying before our eyes. We’re accepting now what we never would have before, and it seems that everyone is happy with new gadgets and watching professional athletes mock our heritage. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone that we’ve gone into a mentality that we were warned about in novels like “1984”, where an accusation could have you explaining yourself to someone in authority. Here we are, and some even on our side think it’s a good idea. I wonder what they will say in a decade from now when they start a sentence with “We used to”.
I only wish I knew now what I could have said to myself two decades ago, but would I have even listened? I have watched for years as new laws come about. The naysayers stand there and say, “It will never happen”, only for it to come to pass again and again. I often wonder if what we see now is what the Native Americans felt as they watched treaties being broken. As someone who has relatives that were born on a reservation, I wonder if they were told by their forefathers of what life was like for them with sentences than began with “We used to”.
As someone who has hit middle age, I don’t relish the thought that someday I could be visiting with my son or grandkids in a nursing home and regaling them with stories of how “We used to” own guns, hunt, and have freedom in our country before it was all gone. We need to all get involved, get motivated, get it together before we’re all saying “We used to” when referring to guns and hunting and all the outdoor sports in past tense.
About David LaPell
David LaPell has been a Corrections Officer with the local Sheriff's Department for thirteen years. A collector of antique and vintage firearms for over twenty years and an avid hunter. David has been writing articles about firearms, hunting, and western history for ten years. In addition to having a passion for vintage guns, he is also a fan of old trucks and has written articles on those as well.