Con­tinue to show kind­ness, good­will after Thanks­giv­ing

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­

It’s hard to be­lieve an­other Thanks­giv­ing has come and gone. It’s al­ways been my fa­vorite hol­i­day ever since I was a lit­tle girl.

As soon as school let out for the hol­i­day, our fam­ily would pile into my mother’s sta­tion wagon and head to Penn­syl­va­nia for some home­made pump­kin pie made by my grand­mother, Pauline. She lived with her sis­ter in one half of a du­plex that her father built him­self in the 1920s.

Like so many of our older rel­a­tives, she came from what is now con­sid­ered a ver y large fam­ily and was one of nine chil­dren born in the house her father built. How they all fit around the dining room ta­ble is be­yond my imag­i­na­tion be­cause just the six of us had to squeeze in pretty tight each year for the Thanks­giv­ing meal.

Whether you brought home a But­ter­ball that was on sale or cooked up one of those fancy her­itage tur­keys from a spe­cialty farm for this year’s feast, most of us had plenty of fix­ings to fill our bel­lies and also some nice com­pany shar­ing our din­ner ta­bles.

It is my sin­cere hope that those who were still reel­ing from the re­cent elec­tion were able to ex­tend the olive branch and break bread with the “de­plorables” in their lives. For al­though the elec­tion cre­ated quite a strain on some re­la­tion­ships, Thurs­day was a re­minder that we still have a lot to be thank­ful for, in­clud­ing each other.

Thanks­giv­ing was cre­ated to give hard-work­ing Amer­i­cans an op­por­tu­nity to pause and cel­e­brate the good things in our lives — the roofs over our heads, three squares a day and fam­ily and friends — and that even in­cludes the peo­ple who dis­agree with our own points of view. There’s a name for those peo­ple: our fel­low Amer­i­cans.

That’s the rea­son Thanks­giv­ing is my fa­vorite hol­i­day. The sim­ple sen­ti­ment of giv­ing thanks can in­stan­ta­neously erase months of pes­simism and neg­a­tiv­ity in the blink of one prayer be­fore din­ner.

As 2016 comes to a close, let’s not for­get to con­tinue to show the kind­ness and good­will to­ward men we felt so warmly on Nov. 24.

Cold wa­ter is un­for­giv­ing

For some families in South­ern Mary­land, Thanks­giv­ing was not the usual joy­ous oc­ca­sion.

Very sadly, three boaters lost their lives a cou­ple of days be­fore Thanks­giv­ing in an un­for­tu­nate ac­ci­dent dur­ing a fish­ing tour­na­ment on the Po­tomac River. All four on­board were wear­ing life jack­ets, but the cold wa­ter and nasty winds proved deadly for three of them.

Let us all keep those families in our thoughts and prayers this hol­i­day sea­son. The fourth

boater was ver y lucky in­deed and was res­cued in the early hours of the morn­ing about 12 hours after the may­day call.

Fish­er­men, duck hunters and ev­ery­one else who ven­tures out on the wa­ter this time of year should ab­so­lutely keep safety in mind, as cold wa­ter is un­for­giv­ing and a sim­ple mis­take or bad de­ci­sion can turn deadly when tem­per­a­tures are frigid.

If you’re go­ing to be out on the wa­ter dur­ing th­ese colder months, wear a life jacket and that goes for duck hunters as well as fish­er­men. And take ex­tra mea­sures to be aware of evolv­ing weather con­di­tions and to be cer­tain that your ves­sel, its mo­tor and your life pre­servers are in first-rate or­der.

Cre­at­ing an NFA trust

Our fam­ily had some­thing else to be thank­ful for this past week.

At our Thanks­giv­ing din­ner, we said thanks to God for the many bless­ings he’s be­stowed upon our fam­ily and our coun­try, and one spe­cial thanks for the in­ge­nu­ity of those crafty found­ing fa­thers who had the bril­liance and fore­sight to work the elec­toral col­lege and Se­cond Amend­ment into the frame­work of this great na­tion.

The right to keep and bear arms is not a priv­i­lege I take lightly. From a young age, my father taught my sis­ter and I ev­ery­thing there is to know about safe gun han­dling. He was a hunter and we lived on a farm. Guns were a nec­es­sary part of life. They even proved a life­saver once when some men tried to break into our house in the mid­dle of the night.

Al­though fish­ing was my fa­vorite ac­tiv­ity with my dad, shoot­ing comes in a close se­cond. Liv­ing in the boon­docks, we did all of our tar­get shoot­ing right in our own back­yard.

There was plenty of room for friendly skeet com­pe­ti­tions on the week- ends. Those ac­tiv­i­ties are things I look for­ward to with my own chil­dren in years to come.

So when our lo­cal gun shop sent us an email this past Satur­day, my hus­band didn’t mind run- ning one more er­rand: head­ing out to pick up our most re­cent firearms pur­chase.

In fact, he had a big smile on his face that morn­ing as he headed out the door. We’d been wait­ing more than six months for this ship­ment to ar­rive.

Si­lencer, sup­pres­sor, firearm muf­fler or can. Call it what you want, but an executive or­der is­sued by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama went into ef­fect this past sum­mer that made buy­ing any­thing reg­u­lated by the Na­tional Firearms Act a lit­tle bit more com­pli­cated.

My hus­band and I de­cided to cre­ate an NFA trust ear­lier this year be­fore the new law took ef­fect July 13. Hav­ing a trust makes it eas­ier to buy and use sup­pres­sors, among other ben­e­fits. One of the most im­por­tant ad­van­tages of hav­ing a trust is that mul­ti­ple peo­ple can be au­tho­rized users of the sup­pres­sors.

There is a gen­eral mis­con­cep­tion that sup­pres­sors are tools used by crim­i­nals and as­sas­sins. But that’s just a myth per­pe­trated by Hol­ly­wood movies. While they don’t ac­tu­ally si­lence the shot, they do sup­press the sound quite a bit so it won’t dam­age a per­son’s hear­ing.

Muf­flers are re­quired for cars. It makes sense to pro­tect a gun owner’s hear­ing by al­low­ing ac­cess to sup­pres­sors for law-abid­ing cit­i­zens.

Even with a hefty $200 tax ad­min­is­tered by the Bureau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco and Firearms for each sup­pres­sor, ac­cord­ing to the ATF the num­ber of reg­is­tered sup­pres­sors in the US has grown from 285,087 to 902,085 in the last five years, a 317 per­cent in­crease.

Hi­ram Maxim, a fa­mous in­ven­tor who came up with the first mouse­trap, curl­ing iron and au­to­matic sprin­kler, might be best known for de­sign­ing the first suc­cess­ful ma­chine gun, dubbed the Maxim gun.

Not sur­pris­ing, he lost his hear­ing from years of ex­po­sure to the sound of gun­fire. His son patented the very first si­lencer in 1909, but that was two decades too late to save his own father’s hear­ing.

While we can never know what’s in store for 2017, you can bet that the next pres­i­dent will be can­cel­ing some executive or­ders on Day 1. Even if this par­tic­u­lar executive or­der hits the scrap heap, some gun own­ers still might want to look into the ben­e­fits of put­ting to­gether an NFA trust. 2020 might be a whole dif­fer­ent story for gun rights and hav­ing a trust in place could be a very good idea in­deed.

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