President’s Message

Marty-eJournal column pixHunting Camp

by Marty Hayes

After call forwarding the Boots on the Ground phone to a phone a Network leader answers 24/7, I drove off into the wilds of Eastern Washington (the exact location a secret, to promote the mystique of hunting camp). I was unplugged from the real world, and looking forward to a few days of peaceful bliss. No phones, no TV, and I would not turn on the computer for about four days. That was the plan.

Here it is day two and I am typing my November President’s Message! Sheesh… Well, here is my excuse. About an hour ago, just when I was getting ready to go out for the afternoon hunt, it started raining. Pretty hard. And since I have a dry and warm camper, and some Reba McEntire tapes, I put on a little Reba and decided to knock out a column.wavalley

I am hunting with two good friends, one a firefighter and instructor at my school, the other an Army officer, with two tours of combat (Iraq and Afghanistan) under his belt, who is also a reserve deputy with his local sheriff's department. One can’t get much better guy company than these two.

Interestingly, even though I am about as far from my other life as I can get, I still can’t avoid thinking about both my training school and the Network. So, what has Marty been thinking about that prompted this column, written in the middle of hunting camp? Well, it has to do with staring at the shot-up State of Washington sign I found. It has to do with the empty shell casings we discovered all over the ground upon pulling into camp.shotsign

Of course, we will leave a clean camp, but that is not the point. Imagine being a juror on a shooting case, where the last thoughts you had about gun owners were that they are all slobs; people who willfully destroy public property with their guns and leave their empty shell casings next to the fire-pit? I envision your attorney, after you shot and killed an individual, trying to convince that jury that gun owners are regular people, just like them. Good luck with that.

My mind also wandered to my hunting companions, and thought about the type of men they are. One volunteers with his local sheriff's department primarily in the role of a firearms trainer, along with being on call for dangerous assignments. Think his attorney would have a hard time convincing a jury that he is one of the good guys? I think not. And the other fella, well, who doesn’t love a firefighter?