Let’s see…first off, today marks four years helicopter crash free for the old guy here, and my buddy John Strayer. For those who weren’t following the blog then, there’s a flashback here.

Or watch video here.

As we savor the schadenfreude of the last election, we need to avoid resting on our laurels. I’m aware that some who follow this backwoodshome.com blog don’t actually read Backwoods Home magazine.  I’d encourage you to get a subscription, or at least, pick up a copy at the newsstand.  The current issue has the third and final installment of my series on the real issues in the gun control debate, which you can find here.

We’ll be in this fight for the rest of our lives.  Your comments – and suggested strategies for the battle for gun owners’ civil rights – as always are welcome here.


  1. Carry everywhere you legally can. Carry openly when and where you can. Distribute “No Guns/No Money” to business with “gun-buster” signs. Devote time and money to campaign for pro-rights candidates. Support the liberalization (true meaning) of gun laws.

  2. Turning the tide of anti-gun sentiment will be a slow, maybe even unattainable task. Like the proverbial frog in the slowly heated water, we have allowed the enemy to take the offensive, with little push back, until we realized that this right could very well be taken away from us. Two progressive Supreme Court justices appointed by a progressive president, coupled with the death of a sitting conservative justice, finally slapped gun owners awake to the possibility that we were one ruling away from effectively having one of the Bill of Rights guaranties taken from us.

    While most gun people were sleeping, those who dream of totalitarianism were busy taking over the colleges and universities first, then the news media, then the elementary and high schools, controlling the shaping of thought processes from self determination and self sufficiency to accepting the control of a central ruling entity.

    It is up to us to change that process. Make your school board meetings. Gather up like minded people to demand gun safety classes be taught. Volunteer your time to teach these classes.

    Make it a point to enter retail establishments displaying no guns allowed signs, asking to speak to management. Politely inform them that you had come to make a purchase and had gone back to your car to secure the weapon that you had trained with, proven your proficiency with, and undergone a background check to be able to carry in order to protect yourself and your family. Inform them that after doing that, you felt it was in your own best interest not to spend your money with a person who has no regard for your efforts to be a law abiding citizen and will spend your money elsewhere.

    Make the town hall type meetings that political types hold. Put yourself on the agenda. Make suggestions on possible legislation to enhance gun rights’.

    I’ll end this post by pointing out a law I ran across while researching trespass laws in my adopted retirement state. It seems that in Arkansas if you do not post your property to prevent hunting you are given immunity from liability for any accidents that may occur on that property. If you post your property to keep trespassers out and someone ignores the signs and gets hurt, the property owner has no such immunity.

  3. I’m going to state the obvious, but it needs to be said anyway. The Second Amendment and the NRA and other pro-gun groups have a friend in the White House. Now is the time to make some gains for our side. I’m especially thinking about those states which still infringe on the Second Amendment. Many states recognize the U.S. Constitution, but we need to put pressure on those which do not.

    I’m especially looking forward to see who gets appointed to the Supreme Court. So far, I’m very happy to see what Donald Trump has accomplished in his first three days! I haven’t felt this optimistic since the 1980s. (But that strange “feeling” scares me. Murphy may be near, ready to strike.) I try to imagine what we’d be going through right now under President Hillary Clinton.

    Whew, I feel better now.

  4. First off I can’t believe that 4 years passed so quickly, I remember when that happened to you in the helicopter.

    Seems like a lot of civil unrest occurring around our country these days, violent protests, lot’s of attacks on our police officers continue as does violent crime. Stay armed, be vigilant and stay safe out there in these trying times.

  5. Pork Chopper Blues.

    When will it be available in vinyl? Er, I men on CD or ITUNES or where ever people get music theses day. lol
    Glad you guys lived to laugh about it! And make up blues tunes to commemorate the event. I havent smilled so much since i first heard Arlo’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacre.

    2016 went one way. Two of three branches & the third hanging in the balance.it could certainly go the oposite for gun rights & more in the next or any future election.

    On a different note. S&W Victory vs Ruger Mark IV. Any thoughts from you, Mas, or anyone?

  6. As usual Dennis, you nailed it.

    Interesting the no hunting posting vs liability. First thought is why would it matter (force pro hunting property owners?) But it seems counter intuitive.

    And why be liable at all for actions of others on your property (unless an at definate active nuisance or similar risk is present)?

  7. Sadly, the Left will never stop pushing for things like gun control. It is literally “who they are”. A Leftist is someone who is self-programmed to believe that all worldly evils come from sources outside of mankind himself. Self-programmed to believe that all humans are “tumbleweeds” who must (powerlessly) roll in the direction that the winds of external social forces blow them. Who (ultimately, in their innermost soul) do not believe that the human race has any willpower or ability for self-determination.

    Hence, their belief in the “necessity” for a strong, central government that is run by Leftist elites who, like themselves, understand the utter helplessness and incompetence of the common man. A government that can control people’s lives and give them proper, leftist, guidance rather than let them blow in aimlessly directions like tumbleweeds.

    Leftist ideology sees all evils as arising from sources external to mankind. Therefore, they will never, never, never, bring themselves to blame violence upon violent and evil people. No, it is always the fault of something else. It is always caused by some general condition (so no individual gets specific blame) such as poverty or racism or ignorance or (their favorite scapegoat for violence) it is the fault of the guns themselves and their “easy” availability.

    As strange as it sounds to a non-Leftist, the Left actually believes that the mere presence of guns and other weapons makes people violent. They believe that the gun magnifies and generates violence that simply WOULD NOT EXIST without the gun being available in the first place. Similar, I suppose, to believing that speech cannot exist outside the presence of a microphone! 🙂

    Therefore, while some Left-wing politicians may use the gun control plank merely to score political points and gain power, the Leftist rank and file are “true believers”. They absolutely believe that gun control is guaranteed to work and that it is desperately needed to curb violence. They will never stop pushing for it. They will never stop believing in it. No statistical study or rational argument or set of facts will ever persuade them to change their minds on this issue. They believe in it with the same fanaticism that a programmed suicide-bomber believes in Allah and that paradise awaits.

    Fortunately, they are losing this battle. With the sale of each new firearm, they lose a little bit more. Unfortunately, as Dennis pointed out above, they may be winning the battle in the media and in the schools. They are doing their best to “brainwash” our Nation’s youth with Leftist ideology. It plays on the TV and in our schools 24/7/365. Almost every media channel is flooded with it.

  8. Paul, I’ve tested both the Mark IV Ruger and the S&W Victory and found both to be accurate, reliable, and excellent values. I hate to fall back on the old gun writer cop-out, “try both and see which feels better to you,” but it really does apply in this comparison.

  9. Paul S,

    I mentioned that little tid-bit about trespassing because I have read of proposed legislation in some states to hold business owners liable for injuries to customers resulting from attacks that could have been prevented or mitigated had they been allowed to carry their otherwise legal concealed weapon (in other words, put the burden of protection on the business owner if they restrict your ability to provide your own protection).

    As to the origin of the law I mentioned in my original post, one would have to know the history of the state. Much of the land was originally parceled out as homesteads. Homesteaders would clear the forest on level ground for crops, fencing only to keep animals out of the tillable ground, rarely fencing the actual property perimeter. Once the tillable land was robbed of its fertility, they would move on to virgin land, selling the worn out land to timber companies to plant pines. This practice resulted in large areas being own by Timber/Paper companies who rarely made any attempt to regulate trespassing and ignored public hunting. My guess would be the corporate land owners spent a few $$$’s to convince politicians to protect them from liability on their land holdings. I’m sure the politicians , as is their m/o, excluded smaller land holders with fences and livestock, to convince folks it was to increase hunting opportunities, not the $$$’s in their campaign coffers that guided them.

  10. Dennis: “we have allowed the enemy to take the offensive” … “”those who dream of totalitarianism” Really?

    Still friends?

  11. I am not in any mood to be kind and thoughtful to militant Leftists, but I just had an idea to help reach “common ground” anyway. I can’t imagine even the most fanatical gun hater being against this idea.

    I’m talking about gun safes. I became a gun owner at age 37, and within a year, I think, I bought my first gun safe. It’s really just a lightweight metal cabinet, but I do lock my guns in there, and now I have two safes screwed into the floor. I love them. I would own a gun safe even if I didn’t own guns. They can hold cash, credit cards, computer passwords, checkbooks, important papers like passports, jewelry, coin collections, keys and who knows what else?

    Sometimes I will tell non-gun owners how much I like my gun safes, and it tends to make our conversation warmer and friendlier. It’s hard to object to a gun safe. If liberals started buying more of them, our two sides might just be drawn a tiny bit closer to each other. Like I said, fanatical gun-haters probably won’t change their minds about guns, but the conversation might just lighten up a bit, if we talk about how useful our gun safes are. It’s worth a try.

  12. You are right about not being a subscriber. What’s funny is I have always read this blog when it comes through to Twitter never even looking at the surrounding offers or website. I subscribed today!

  13. One of the best ways I’ve learned to help change an anti is to take them shooting. May take some effort to get them, but can usually do it if they have an open mind. I encourage every woman I know to attend a local Women on Target event. Some were pro-2a “except”. especially about those scary black rifles. On leaving, they all realize they had a great day and nothing scary about them and they’ve for a target with bullseyes at 100yds as well. For do it yourself, be smart! Before even getting to the range go over the four safety rules and how they must always be followed. If they’ll come over to your house, have them pick up and hold unloaded weapons while still stressing the four rules. Don’t just go over grip and stance and such (explain why not to cross your thumbs behind a pistol slide) but also what they’ll be doing, shooting and why. Start them with a .22LR rifle or handgun. Make it easy. Be supportive and encouraging. Invest in some of the target that change color where shot as it gives more immediate feedback.

    One of my fondest set of memories is taking a friend to the range for her first time. She had been talked into attending a CCW class and needed to borrow a gun. Not a problem since it was good friend but wasn’t just going to shove something in her hand. Shot a variety and let her choose what to bring to the class. A few months later my birthday fell on the same day as a local IDPA match and when asked what I wanted for my birthday, told her to come to the match. For the two weeks leading up to it all I heard was I can’t, it’s too hard, I’ll embarrass myself, I’ll embarrass you, etc. As I knew, everyone there was kind and helpful to the first timer who didn’t even come in last. Best part was a few days later when she asked me when there was going to be another match! Hoping to start her on rifle this year!

  14. My strategy for combating anti-freedom scum is for patriots to ‘invite’ and take them on a one way trip to my alligator farm in the Everglades where I’ll pay two bits for each of them, still kicking or in any other condition.

  15. Liberal Dave,

    Yes,…… to both statements. I would love to spell out why I believe this to be true, but the discussion would be lengthy and not in sync with this thread.

    Still friends.

  16. P.S.-

    Dave, I know you are a thinker. Think of the central government as the “religion/church” of the left. Think of the election of Trump. Then contemplate the term “antidisestablishmentarianism” and the current spasms of the left.

  17. Despite Liberal Dave’s objections, Dennis was not wrong when he wrote of “those who dream of totalitarianism”.

    The American idea was succinctly captured by Jefferson when he wrote these words in The Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    In other words, Government is the servant of the People (the Common Man or Woman) and ultimate power resides with the People.

    I maintain that this is a concept of political moderates (the Political Middle). Both the hard Left-wing and the hard Right-wing views must, ultimately, reject the above concept (so clearly stated by Jefferson) in favor of totalitarianism.
    The hard Left-wing views currently being pushed, by the media, academia and by the liberal elites, is inherently an un-American ideology that trends towards the Government as the Master and the People as the Servants. This ideology runs directly counter to Jefferson’s American Vision.

    You see, the Left-wing view must (inherently) be distrustful of the “Common Man”. Because of their underlying belief in Man’s Goodness, they are forced to see the “Common Man” as the helpless victim of strong, negative social forces. They cannot see the Common Man as holding ultimate power since they are forced, by their ideology, to see the Common Man as incompetent. Hence, they place their faith in Government rather than in the People.

    If questioned about this, those with Left-wing views will strongly deny it. They will forcefully proclaim that they are fighting FOR THE PEOPLE. That they are fighting for minorities, immigrants and the poor and the downtrodden. Many may actually believe this is true. In actual fact, however, they are fighting for the ascendancy of Government and the ultimate enslavement of the People. Their proclamations of support for the People carry no more weight, for those who understand this truth, than their occasional proclamations of support for the Second Amendment. When your every action undermines the People and the Second Amendment, no one with any sense will believe the words. Actions speak louder than words.

    What is the Left’s most recent actions? The answer is widespread protests. What is the purpose of these protests? The Left will tell you that they are fighting for the “Common Man” against the oppression of the new Trump Administration. In truth, it was the “Common Man” that elected Trump and the Left is actually protesting to reject the unwelcome results of the last election. They always knew that the “Common Man” was incompetent. Their ideology tells them so and Trump’s election (in their eyes) is the ultimate proof. In effect, these protests are a rejection of American democracy and a rejection of Jefferson’s ideas in favor of the idea of an All-Powerful and Left-wing Dominated Central Government.

    American is under attack, currently, by both the extreme Left and the extreme Right. The extreme Right attack is external and is represented by the religious fanatics of the Middle-East who wish to force the whole world to convert to their narrow view of Islam. The extreme Left attack is internal and is represented by all those in the media, in academia and by the political liberal elites, who (whether they realize it or not) are rejecting Jefferson’s view of America in favor of a totalitarian Left-wing vision.

    Of these two threats, I regard the Left-wing one (since it is internal) as the more dangerous to American Democracy.

  18. Pork Chopper Blues . . . -g-

    Thank you (I think) for sharing that. And I am really glad that everyone walked away from that one.

    On less happier notes though . . . well I hope that it doesn’t turn out that the USA dodged a bullet called Hilary by jumping into the path of an out of control freight train called Trump. 🙁 I really do hope it doesn’t turn out that way.

  19. Thanks TN_MAN, again, most Masterfully Stated.

    The type of logic the Liberal Lefty’s hate, but can’t lived with, or Truthfully Deny!


  20. TN_MAN,

    I agree with everything you wrote, especially at the end, that the internal threat is worse than the external threat. The Left is good at deception, but the Jihadists tell us exactly what they believe, and exactly what Sharia Law will bring. I appreciate their honesty. It seems the Left is softening up America, which will make it easier for the heavy-duty tactics of the Jihadists to defeat us, if that is possible, sometime in the future. The Left softens the target, the Right tries to blow it away.

    Doesn’t it seem that the way Communism/Socialism/Statism works out is very similar to the old Monarchies? Whenever I look at Communist dictatorships, I see leaders who in centuries past would be called “kings.” Kim Jong Un is the best example, because he is following his father and his grandfather, just like a king. Stalin might as well have been called “king” and the same with Fidel Castro. The Left seems to simply want a king after their liking. I agree it would be efficient to have a good king, but there weren’t many good kings in history. So, the Founding Fathers came up with an upside down system; the people rule over the leaders. Other systems have the leaders ruling over the people. And, voila!!! America becomes this awesome country where so many things are invented, and so much wealth is spread around better than any other country in history. Our system works. It works VERY well.

    It seems to be popular to criticize America. America is that horrible nation, where everyone wants to live!!!

  21. @ Roger Willco:

    You are right. The liberal Left would have dearly loved to make President Obama our King or, at least, President for Life.

    However, that pesky U.S. Constitution got in the way! In particular, they found Article I – Section 9 (8) (which forbids the granting titles of Nobility) and the 22nd Amendment (which limits the Office of President to two Terms) impossible to circumvent.

    All of which allowed the “Common Man” to have a say in the matter. The result is that the Left is pretty sour on the whole American democracy idea at this moment in time. In fact, they are about as disgusted as a Wet Monkey! 🙂

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