It’s Not Guns That Have Changed, Rather Some Of The People Using Them

Last evening when I laid down in bed I pondered the topic for today’s blog post.   Actually, the topic came to mind fairly quickly, in fact.   I had just walked past the living room where I saw my 16–y/o stepson playing video games in some bloodfest crazy violent game.

It seemed like a terrible note on which to head off to bed…but off to bed I went thinking about the few split seconds I saw where several people were killed in a ferocious firefight.   Indeed, many times I regretted ever buying the video game system that perpetuates this sheer bedlam and violent chaos, but alas…he is far from alone among his peers attracted to this entertaining(?) nonsense.

So, I rested in bed thinking about how guns were viewed 35 years ago when I was his age.   Oh, yeah, I know times change…but let’s face it the way guns are being viewed in our society today is a far cry from when I was a punk kid.

In my world guns were tools used to take grouse, pop an unsuspecting squirrel off some tree limb, quickly dispatch a trapped animal, waylay a deer, or perhaps end the swift flight of some overhead passing diver ducks.   I don’t recall anywhere in my adolescent culture growing up where the word GUN = VIOLENCE in the streets, in the homes, in the schools, etc.

Not so today.   And today of all days we get yet another taste of BREAKING NEWS…some mad gunman is loose at a Washington Navy Yard as an active shooter on some violent killing spree.   It’s enough to just make a sensible person want to cry out for some societal sanity.   This utter nonsense needs to stop.   Both from the shooters, but also I lay blame on the media (and social media) fueling the flames of each tragedy to bring an awareness that is, pardon the pun, complete overkill in most instances bringing undue notoriety to bloodthirsty kilers.

Growing up my heroes with guns were the likes of Grits Gresham, Curt Gowdy, my favorite NFL football coach of all time, Bud Grant…and the names go on.   These were gentlemen of honor, each of whom were not only adept with their guns at the taking of wild game, but they excelled as positive role models for aspiring youth.

It just isn’t always so today.   Nope.   Now, when kids look to examples of high-profile people with guns they have a seemingly never ending list of rogue and reckless athletes, shoot ’em up rap singers, media-hyped mass murderers, schoolyard shooters, movie theater lunatics, the list goes on.   What a shame.

To be honest, guns haven’t changed much during the past three decades.   Sure, there are slight cosmetic differences, but they all pretty much still function like a gun always has performed in the hands of the person using it.   What has changed is the mental aspect of why a person even puts a gun in their hands.

Sure, many of us still shoot grouse, squirrels, fox, deer and ducks.   In my hands that is the main purpose for my guns.   Yet, I fear we have groomed a dangerous culture through movies, video games and destructive television programming that is taking us down a path of great societal decay.

When I use a gun in the outdoors to kill an animal I pause, reflect on the act, and then contemplate the deeper meaning that taking the animal’s life provides to me.   I guess that sort of thinking and behavior with a gun is quickly becoming “old school.”   Far too often when today’s cold-blooded killers pull the trigger there’s no remorse, there’s no regrets, there’s simply no value shown to the life that has ended with the act of pulling a trigger.

Folks, I don’t have any answers.   Guns are a big part of my life and always will be.   They are tools I greatly respect.   Guns are meaningful to me far differently than they apparently are to a select few in our present society.

Oh, sure, I certainly regret ever allowing violent video games into my home…but some things you just can’t take back.   It’s like a cancer, once it begins to spread for some people there’s just no stopping it.   They apparently lose all sense of reality.

Yet, it’s not the guns…it’s about the person bent on perpetrating the violence.   Deranged folks are just as capable of inflicting pain and suffering with cars, with poisons, with pressure cooker bombs, any number of other ways cowards choose to murderously act.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Friday Funny: Sven An Ole Takes To Da Wooods, Ya Know!

Here’s a Friday Funny in honor of Minnesota’s archery deer hunting season begining tomorrow morning.   Ya kno, up here in da nort wooods we haf a lot of Sven and Ole’s who will be trekking oot before daybreak on Satuurday.   Enjoy!


Sven and Ole went hunting for deer one day. As good hunters always do, they stopped to ask the farmer permission to hunt. The farmer agreed to let the two hunt, but warned them that he had a very large farm and it was easy to become lost. He told the two hunters that if they got lost to fire three shots into the air and he would come get them. This sounded like a good plan and they were off.

About a half hour later the two found themselves totally lost. Sven said, “Ole, I believe ve be lost, you better fire three shots into de air.”

“Ya, I tink you’re right, Sven,” said Ole. “Ve better get dat farmer going.” So Ole fires three shots into the air with great expectations of seeing the farmer.

A half hour passes and no farmer. Sven says, “Ole, I tink you better fire three more shots into the air, the farmer has not come yet.”

“I can’t,” said Ole, “I run out of arrows.”


I know, you couldn’t see this one coming, could you?  Enjoy the weekend and be safe out in the woods, everyone!

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Be Careful What You Say On Social Media About Hunting

“#BowHunt Cuz any monkey can hunt with a gun.”

Seriously?!!   This is what I read today on my Twitter feed this morning.  I gotta tell you I have a growing pet peeve that I need to rant about.   It’s sportsmen who make such disparaging remarks about other sportsmen just because they can be such a smart ass on social media.

The problem is this flawed thinking doesn’t always end while sitting with some electronic device in-hand tweeting nonsense.   In fact, for some it seems to be an underlying belief how the way they do something is better than how others hunters may opt to do it.   Quite frankly, such an attitude really rubs me the wrong way.

In my younger days I spent many years hunting with a bow.   A bow, I might add, that is a far cry from the sophisticated mechanical equipment many folks employ in the woods today.   So, if these days I choose to hunt with a shotgun, a rifle or any other legal instrument to kill game, why should I listen to some judgmental person who thinks they are holier than thou talk to me in such a condescending manner?


Don’t be a FOOL like this caveman and think the only proper way to hunt is with a large wooden club.

Personally, I don’t judge an animal killed by a sportsman on the basis of what mechanism was used to accomplish the task.   Oh, sure, it takes greater skill to achieve the end result by using one method over another method.   I get that!   I can appreciate that!   But I would never belittle another sportsman for killing a critter in some manner that might differ from how I currently choose to hunt.

Honestly, it is time for all sportsmen to do some introspection and if you determine you are guilty of this, then learn to grow up.   The downright silly, sarcastic, and sometimes very demeaning speak used by some folks has no place in our online social exchanges.   It’s one thing if the talk is friendly banter among friends inside a small social circle at deer camp.   But such words uttered in the realm of social media where many strangers read and form opinions about our sport only feeds negative attitudes.   It’s totally irresponsible.

If you hunt with a bow and you have synapse activity in your brain that prompts you to believe bowhunting is the only honorable way to hunt, this post has been written for you.   On the same token, if you do anything outdoors and can not show tolerance and respect for other individuals who participate differently, it is time to change your attitude.

We are all sportsmen in a tight community of individuals who love the thrill of the chase.   Just because you deem an extra challenge and excitement by one means of hunting (or fishing, for that matter) in comparison to another way…doesn’t make your way any better.

It’s high time we all do a better job thinking about the meaning behind the words we post in social media.   It used to be our actions were only on display to the non-hunting public when we were afield participating in our beloved sports.   Not so true today.   In fact, many non-hunters are more apt to form opinions of what we do by reading and watching our interactions online…whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it.

If you truly believe any monkey can hunt with a gun and want to stand behind the validity of that asinine statement, well…then say goodbye to being included within the sportsmen ranks.   We don’t need such rhetoric now or at any time ever.   A true sportsman always displays tolerance and respect to his/her comrades both online and in the hunting fields.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.