Gary Hubbell: The Redneck Tree-Hugger
My family comes from a long line of riflemen, starting when the first Hubbell set foot on the shores of the colonies in the 1640s. In the 1880s, my great-great-grandfather registered the first cattle brand in Hodgeman County, Kansas, just north of Dodge City, in the wildest and woolliest days of the Texas cattle drives. A former soldier in the Union Army, one could imagine that he was good with a gun.My uncle Larry went to Camp Perry in the 1950s and won the National Match competition, firing 17 out of 20 bullets into a 10-inch bulls-eye at 600 yards with an open-sight M1 Garand.My brother and I grew up shooting .22s and hunting deer and elk, and I made a career out of guns, hunting and the outdoors for more than two decades. Now this is where the story gets weird. My brother married a Boulder liberal, became a passionate liberal himself, and is now a staunch advocate of gun control. I love them both but, needless to say, we dont talk about gun control at Thanksgiving dinner.My brother now lives in a sprawling residential neighborhood south of Boulder, jam-packed with wealthy liberals sipping soy mocha lattes and driving expensive cars. I doubt theres one gun in 20 houses, but there are sure a lot of flat-screen TVs, fat necklaces, and expensive electronics. The average family income is $107,000 a year.I was watching the news the other night, and the lead story was about my brothers neighborhood, and how a gang of violent criminals had targeted the quiet streets and oversized houses. There had been 10 burglaries in one month, and four car-jackings where the criminals went right into the open garages on a Sunday afternoon when the residents were home, and boosted the cars right out of the garages. One 8-year-old boy was almost run over in his own driveway. The gang had led police on wild car chases and had assaulted people on several occasions.Personally, I would give the bad guys my address and tell them theres a stack of cash on the kitchen table. All they would have to do is come and get it. My only dilemma would be which gun I would use to blow them away, but the soccer moms are now closing their garage doors and wearing whistles. They have the police on their cell-phone speed dial. I live in a rural, heavily Republican county of 30,000 residents, and the sheriff has issued more than 1,000 concealed-carry permits. No one is kicking in doors and stealing cars around here. That would be a very short-lived criminal career.This brings us to our new president, Barack Obama, and his choice for attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder recently said that we should renew the Clinton administration ban on assault weapons, because criminal gangs in Mexico are getting their hands on assault weapons to assist in their drug runs across the border. He also wants to stamp every round of ammunition with a little code so that the original purchaser of that bullet can be identified. Despite the Supreme Courts recent Heller decision that a homeowner has the right to defend his home with a firearm, theyre going after guns by taxing ammunition to high heaven and proposing ridiculous and intrusive rules on gun ownership.Despite the plummeting stock market and the puking-sick world economy, Mr. Holder and President Obama have been a wild success at one thing in their first two months in office: Theyre the best gun salesmen in history. Since Obama became the Democratic presidential nominee, gun sales have skyrocketed and ammunition manufacturers cant keep up with demand. Pallets of ammunition come into sporting goods stores and theyre sold out the next day. Glocks, Berettas, AR-15s, H&Ks, AK-47s theyre rare as hens teeth in gun store racks, and when one comes in, it gets snapped up within a couple of days.Theres no evidence that either Obama or Eric Holder has fired a gun in their lives. Theyve never been to a target range or on a hunting trip, and they sure as hell havent served in our military, yet these two urban liberals are doing their damnedest to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens who understand exactly why our firearms rights are a crucial element of a free society. People arent buying these guns for sporting purposes; theyre buying them because they realize the liberal agenda to deny their right to own firearms. The Second Amendment doesnt say you have the right to own firearms to go hunting. The original framers of the Constitution recognized that government sometimes must be overthrown, as they overthrew the government of the British king, and an armed populace is an important check and balance to an overbearing government.Ask the Australians how their crime rate has skyrocketed since the government took the peoples guns away; ask the folks in Kennesaw, Ga., why their crime rate is the lowest in the state, and why, coincidentally, they have a law that every household must have a loaded weapon.There is a bubbling unrest in the heartland.Using the excuse of Mexican narco-gangs arming themselves to justify gun control in our country is ludicrous. How about this close the borders and quit enrolling illegal aliens on your voter rolls. Give the National Guard a shoot to kill mandate for drug traffickers and human traffickers on the border and see how fast that problem evaporates.One of the greatest factors in our violent crime rate is drug use. Show me a drug dealer who isnt packing an illegal gun, and lets research how many firearms-related murders are a direct or indirect result of drug use or drug dealing. Our soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, while our druggies back home finance the Taliban with their heroin habits. Colombia will never be stable as long as we have a national cocaine habit, and the massive violence on the Mexican border is all predicated on our drug use, which transfers billions of dollars out of our economy into the hands of criminals, not to mention the huge social cost of ruined lives, criminal damage, prisons, and lost opportunities.You want a safe society? Lets get our own criminals under control, and by the way, you might want to do some research on exactly who those people are. Then lets all sit down and imagine world peace. Well hold hands and sing Imagine and Kumbaya together, and dont worry about your safety while we do it, because a bunch of us have concealed carry permits, and well be packing. Go ahead, Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder, and build a new green energy economy. Hand out a bunch of freebies to your constituency to buy their votes again in 2012. But keep your hands off our guns.
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An inspirational piece of 20th century artist Herbert Bayer is being installed on the staircase next to Aspen City Hall by his granddaughter, Koko.