- About TPF
A Newbie’s Viewpoint: Listening and learning
It seems so long ago that I had written my initial article in regards to how new I still feel to the realm of firearms and especially the vast regulations and laws in regards to our beloved sport and hobby. I had stated before that by getting active in our fight to protect Canadians right to own and use firearms legally, that I was amazed at all the experiences and encounters that came about. None of that would have ever come about if I had not acquired a single skill set in regards to firearms. That elusive ability was listening to those individuals who possessed the experience and knowledge in Canadian firearms history and efforts.
I was fortunate in that I had many opportunities to listen and learn from people who have been fighting for the Canadian firearms community for many years, as well as develop many relationships with shooters who have been enjoying firearms since long before I came into this world. Thankfully I was able to find help in several individuals, who were able to help me understand and further appreciate what we have and what we have lost in the battle to keep firearms available for responsible Canadians to use and enjoy. I will single out Rick and Ron, two individuals at my local club, whom I rely on for advice and knowledge and as a sounding board. One is old and cynical, the other not so old and far less cynical, but both of them have far more exposure to the shooting sports than myself and are invaluable sources of information. I am proud to be able to call both of them my friends and after several years of discussions, debates and even more laughter, I realized just how little a newbie such as me actually knows.
Believing that the Canadian Shooting Sports Association is the best chance at keeping and enhancing our firearm rights inCanada, I found myself more and more involved in the local firearms scene as well as in the political arena. I was able to help celebrate with my friends and fellow gun enthusiasts, the one year anniversary of The Gun Centre. You may recall that I had noted their grand opening in the last magazine. They have seen nearly continuous growth every single month and are not only amazed themselves, but they are thankful to all of their customers, included myself, for all their patronage and support. I personally thank all of the staff for further educating me in the history of firearms and trying to impart their wisdom to me. As my friends will attest, I’m a very slow learner in the wisdom department, but am pretty good in the retaining of knowledge.
Politics is a topic that nearly every firearms enthusiast seems to detest, but they should be involved in as it seems that at every new turn, something else is being discussed and tossed about by some level of government which directly affects firearms owners. I was writing this small peice while watching the second reading of Bill C-391 in the House of Commons. Bill C-391 you will recall is a, private member bill to remove the requirements to register non-restricted long guns, introduced by Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner. Just four years ago, I would never have even imagined listening to any political debate, let alone watching via live streaming video. Now I was captivated and wanting to know the reactions and the debate. Is it a bad thing that I can only shake my head at the same useless drivel being spouted by the anti-gunners in parliament? I hope not, because I actually seem to thrive on proving those nay-sayers wrong and relish the idea of exposing the misleading stats and falsehoods to the public. Word of mouth, written letters, faxes, phone calls, and even, largely ignored, email are the tools that I now use to inform the public.
Personally, I find the idea of learning more and gaining experience to be rewarding and important. Attending shows and events; conversing with fellow shooters and politicians; all help me enhance my understanding of how to better myself and what I can do to ensure future generations will have the chance to enjoy firearms and also learn. As I have done and will continue to do, I will continually listen to people who have the knowledge and experience, and hope that someday I can combine those into that ever elusive wisdom. That day is a long way off. Or so my friends say…