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GUNS Magazine January 2010 - Page 78

ODD ANGRY SHOT • JOHN CONNOR • new year’s resoLuTions Well… Sorta-Resolutions. s a general rule I’m opposed to New Years’ resolutions. Usually A they’re the result of coercion; someone wanting you to do something you don’t wanta do—and recipes for disaster, leaving what your shooting interests are; let ’em hoist, point and feel the action of your favorite guns, then refer them to locally available novice instruction in safe firearms handling, like a hunter safety course and/or a concealed weapons permit certification class. Just one person. Perhaps 1 in a 100 of those exposed decide guns are not for them, for whatever reasons. I’d go to Vegas with those odds… you frustrated and guilt-ridden because you didn’t achieve an unwanted and unrealistic goal by taking Draconian measures. Kinda like giving up ice cream by cutting your throat. I figure if giving it up or getting it done was that desirable or necessary, any date on the calendar would do; better, if it actually fits with what else is goin’ on in your life. Most New Years’ resolutions don’t. But if you’re gonna make some anyway, let me suggest a few, OK? Gather the names, mail and e-mail addresses of the president and VP, your state and US senators, members of Congress and state assemblies. Get those local mayors, councilmembers and chiefs of police, county commissioners and sheriffs too. Pre-enter that info in your computer as a template. Set aside copy paper, envelopes and stamps, reserving them for sounding off to the people who are supposed to be working for you. The more organized you are the easier it will be, and the more likely you’ll do it. Polls over decades have indicated that only about six percent of US gun owners ever send letters or make calls to elected officials. Make this the year they’re going to hear from you—more than once! Note: With politicians, e-mails can nudge opinions, but real letters have “throw weight.” Send both. If you’re using a computer, it’s just another couple of keystrokes. Prep For The Inevitable About 3/4 of you live in places subject to earthquake, hurricane, flooding, tornados, severe storms, forest or wildfires, widespread power outage and public services shutdowns—mostly metropolitan areas if not inside the big cities. If you had to “hunker down an’ sit it out” without lights, gas or tap water for 24 or 48 hours—are you ready for that? If you had three minutes’ notice and had to leave your home for an undetermined period, do you know what you would wear, much less take with you? I’m not doomsday-sayin’ here; these things happen regularly. The sheer size of our country and numbers of our population work to make such occurrences seem less threatening, less likely to happen to us. But every day, it happens to some of us. Resolve to give it some thought, and maybe take four simple actions to better prepare yourself and your family for an emergency, natural or man-caused. If all you did was put up a couple of new smoke detectors, get first aid kits for the family, put 10 gallons of sealed water containers away and create the Go-Bag you would shoulder if a fire department bullhorn blares, “Get out, get out! Go north to the park now!” you will have done more than 95 percent of your neighbors. Just One New Shooter If you don’t compete, resolve to attend—just as an observer—two matches in 2010. Select different disciplines, like IDPA and Cowboy Action, or a 3-gun match and a longrange silhouette shoot. Learn what these folks do, and you’ll frequently learn they do a lot more than burn gunpowder. Many local groups perform valuable community services, distribute information on gun rights, and monitor legislation at all levels. Even if you don’t get involved in competition, you might find something interesting and even altruistic to do while making new 78 If you had three minutes’ notice and had to leave your home for an undetermined period, do you know what you would wear, much less take with you? friends. Set a goal of introducing just one new person to shooting. It doesn’t have to be hard, and you don’t have to be a certified instructor, just a friendly, patient person. If you’re not that confident of your instructional abilities, you don’t even have to take them shooting. Just give ’em the fundamentals and tell them Signature Messes Time to lighten up. Know what a “signature mess” is? That’s the mess which, despite your compulsive neatness in every other way, has your name WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY 2010

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