Elections and guns
Normally I don’t watch a lot of television, but at some point most days I find myself sitting on the edge of my sofa, clicking through the cable news channels for updates on the election.
Polls, maps, rallies and predictions, I have been riveted by it all, wondering which way the American people will vote. Never have we seen anything quite like this election.
From the moment I wake up to when I go to bed at night, I exchange texts and emails with friends and family to chronicle developments and share insight. My phone has all the national news websites literally at my fingertips.
I check for updates pretty often because in an election like this, things can change at a moment’s notice. One minute I’m riding high or feeling vindicated, other times my optimism turns sour and I can barely find the energy to get through the day. It’s an emotional roller coaster.
My kids aren’t even safe from the stress. They are a captive audience when I’m driving them home from school. My 5-year-old daughter can spell both H-I-L-L-A-R-Y and T-RU-M-P. She points out every candidate’s sign along the route. She has named stuffed animals Carly Fiorina and John Kasich and Bernie Sanders. Forever those names will be floating around somewhere in her brain, which could come in handy if she’s ever a contestant on Jeopardy.
Then, a couple of days ago, the tension finally made me snap. I decided to turn it all off. It wasn’t even that hard. And after the kids went to bed that night, the silence was refreshing. My break from the election lasted approximately 6 1/2 minutes.
It wasn’t even a usual suspect like CNN or Fox News. All I did was check my work email. And there it was, an article about how the election has driven a gun-buying surge.
I had to read it, of course. Harris Polls recently found out that 97 percent of Americans are putting off major purchases such as a home or car and instead the top item they are likely to buy because of the election is a firearm.
Guns are at the top of the list of items all age groups are considering buying, about 16 percent of the total population. And what I found particularly interesting because I am a Generation X’er myself is that nearly one in four 35- to 44-year-olds are planning a firearm purchase.
I shared this tidbit with my husband, who was sitting in the living room enjoying some of that rare silence, too. We had a debate about whether or not he is part of Generation X (It turns out after considerable discussion and a little research, he is.). And then, true to form, he informed me he bought a rifle that very morning.
It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up — a Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 with a Supergrade stock, made in 1956 when Winchester still made everything in the United States, one gunsmith at a time.
It’s the kind of rifle someone like Ernest Hemingway would have taken out on the savanna to hunt buffalo. A man’s rifle from a simpler time.
And when our conversation was over, he turned on the television and flipped to a news channel, but this time he had the courtesy turn the volume down low so I couldn’t really hear it.
Junior deer hunt
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources have designated Nov. 12 and 13 as Junior Deer Hunt days statewide.
These are special days just for hunters 16 and younger who have completed a hunter education course and possess a valid hunter’s license. The junior hunter must be accompanied into the field with an adult 21 or older who possesses a valid hunting license and is not carrying a firearm, bow or other hunting device.
Deer shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. Deer taken by junior hunters do not count toward the regular archery, muzzleloader or firearms seasons bag limits.
The total bag limit is three whitetailed deer with no more than one antlered deer. Sunday deer hunting is open on private lands in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.
Deer hunting at Myrtle Point Park
If you’re a deer hunter who lives in St. Mary’s County, you might find this next bit of information useful.
Maryland DNR and St. Mary’s County have just announced that deer hunting will be permitted at Myrtle Point Park. Approximately 141 acres of the 192-acre park in California is now open to archers and bowhunters.
Hunters at Myrtle Point must follow all season dates and limits. Access to the park requires possession of a free Southern Region Public Hunting Permit and a daily reservation. A seasonal parking permit must also be displayed on windshields.
For more information, call 301743-5161.