Continue to show kindness, goodwill after Thanksgiving
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.