It was Father’s Day last Sunday. This is a time when it is incumbent upon all fathers to think, on this day, not about being honored or celebrated, but to consider the continued love and protection of their young. Old men think about going to war. Young men and women actually go to war. To force the young to move into a treacherous area we call war involves a series of decisions wherein fathers should get more involved. Yes, it can easily be your kid going off to get killed. Do you have a special pull to keep your kid out of actual combat…and this is something nobody talks about? Go into a combat zone without friends, family or important people looking out for you and you will likely become the ‘point’ on some deadly patrol in real combat instead of in the rear with the gear. All fathers across America need to consider the fact that they do not have special powers or pull to protect their children if they are sent off. But they do have the ability to unite and keep their kids from combat, unless it is actually combat, to defend the homeland.

The Department of Defense was created to defend, not to engage in wars abroad because there might be some attack in the future, or to regulate or guard economic forces and events. The U.S., not now, and not since WWII has had any good reason or cause to be involved in the Middle East, for example. Period. 911 was not a good reason. You hunt down terrorists, you do not destroy their country. You lose when you do that and we, as a country, sure as hell lost that war in Iraq when it comes to creating more terrorists, just like the 911 terrorists wanted. Fathers can stop this crap and it’s called politics. Politics is the word we mask the real word of leadership with. We need good leaders and we have to try harder to get better ones in office. Organize and vote Dads. Do it for your kids. There is more to Father’s Day than giving of yourself for others, even when the ‘others’ are part of our own family. There’s also the part of being a father during the Father’s Day stuff that’s quite personal and maybe just a little bit selfish.

So, you wanted a gun for Father’s Day, but your kids did not come through? You probably have good kids. There is really no threat coming at you now or in the future, unless you are in some infinitesimal minority living somewhere in the country that is truly physically dangerous (there are very very few places like that, in reality). That’s not the point. You like guns. You didn’t really want the gun to shoot anyone, although there are those daydreams about such. Nope. You wanted to have another gun, or even your first one because it’s cool to buy Hoppes, and gun oil, and a gun kit, and then make believe, as you clean and oil the thing. And who does not enjoy the most satisfying sound of a round being pumped into a twelve-gauge shotgun? Admit it. That sound makes any male smile unless the sound is made in the dark wherein that guy is the bad guy…and that occurrence will probably never happen in your lifetime…but what the hell.

Shooting a twelve gauge, except for some sportsmen, isn’t really fun. Too loud. Too messy. And it makes your shoulder hurt. So, having the gun, and not using it, is important. Nobody needs to know that you don’t shoot it, or the other guns you have packed away, ready for use in case…well, just in case. But the kids did not come through. Again. They trust you, but you are old, from their perspective. You worry about them coming home, driving, getting decent grades, and then with their marriage partner or their own kids, but they see you as this ‘old guy with a gun’ kind of person. Which you are, even if you are a grilled veteran of one or more wars. The old guy with a gun, which is an image they do not want to support. So, enjoy whatever card they get you, the steaks or brats they are cooking for you today, and the love they have for you. There’s a gun show next month in Delavan. What the hell, you’ve made enough money to get another one there, and who has to know. The smell of Hoppes #9 will radiate up from your basement lair, so keep that door closed and don’t let the kids down there. They won’t truly understand until they become ‘the old guy with the gun.’

Happy Father’s Day!

~~James Strauss


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