One fall afternoon in 1959, my father and I went hunting for the first time. He had a well worn Marlin Model 38 Octagon Barrel .22 Pump Action rifle made in the 1920s. I had a wooden rifle that he had made with a wooden dowel for a barrel. I still have that Marlin as a treasured gift from my father. We drove to a woods near Van Buren where he had permission to hunt. We were careful to respect the woods. Actually, I was so excited to be hunting with my father it is hard to suggest that I really understood what we were doing other than trying to find squires. We repeated this many times until his passing in 1990 with less excitement but great rewards in time shared.
From that day in 1959 until after completing several hunting safety classes in 1967, I did not carry a loaded firearm while hunting. My father insisted that I learn to respect and be responsible as a gun owner and hunter. I earned the right to carry the 410 shotgun that was given as a Christmas gift a year earlier.
As a gun owner and hunter, I strongly support the rights of law-abiding Americans to own and keep their firearms in their homes. I believe as a gun owner, I have a duty to own and use firearms with care and conscious responsibility. While the firearms owned at the time the 2nd Amendment was adopted have changed, the basic right of Americans to own firearms remains a hallmark of our American freedoms. I value and support this freedom with the sense of responsibility instilled by my father.
As a member of the NRA, Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, I believe that responsible gun ownership includes a balanced respect for wildlife and the preservation of our wildlife habitat. As the local chair for the Findlay Chapter of Ducks Unlimited for several years, I am proud of the many dollars raised and invested to preserve Ohio wetlands. As a member of Pheasants Forever, I feel a sense of pride when driving past acreage reclaimed and preserved as wildlife habitat.
So – you may consider that I am a 2nd Amendment – Gun Owning – Hunting – Tree Hugger.
I also enjoy fly fishing – not that it is protected through an amendment to our Constitution, but I would not mean to offend sporting anglers. Hold up your fly rods proudly!