I had the privilege of seeing Aaron recently as one of the speakers at the Pennsylvania Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Show, Bryce Jordan Center, State College, PA. Aaron began his talk by telling us a little about himself, his background and his hunting experiences. We soon discovered that turkey hunting has now replaced deer hunting as Aaron's favorite. He also relayed a story about one particularly exciting turkey hunt where Harold Knight, of Knight and Hale, called in a tom for Aaron. Apparently, it takes a very skillful caller to distract a tom when hens are present. In addition, because the right to enjoy the outdoors is an issue that is close to him and one that he feels needs more attention, Aaron plans on speaking at more of these shows. So, check out the hunting shows close to your home.... You, too, might have the privilege of seeing and hearing Aaron Tippin.
Aaron was particularly impressed by the number of kids in the audience, especially since his talk centered around gun education and gun safety. Education about the safe handling of firearms is the key to gun safety. Hunter safety classes are a must, not only for our children, but for adults, too.....a refresher course never hurts. Each state offers them, and in many states the hunter safety classes are required to get a hunting license. Aaron spent a considerable amount of time answering questions from the audience. Surprisingly, a lot of the questions came from the kids.
Aaron followed his talk by singing 'You've Got To Stand For Something' and 'Ain't Nothin' Wrong With The Radio.' Following his presentation, Aaron signed autographs; needless to say, there were quite a few folks lined up for his autograph. Later that day, Aaron took the time to go from booth to booth introducing himself and chatting with the vendors. As he walked around the expo, he also took the time to stop and sign autographs or pose for a picture from anyone who asked. I know he made quite an impression....
As for myself, I am the mother of two sons who hunt; I know the importance of gun safety. Both of my boys were taught gun safety by their daddy at an early age. They both have learned how to handle a gun; they know how to take care of a gun; and more importantly, they know a gun is a weapon to be respected. Also, both have attended hunter safety classes, so not only do they know how to handle a gun properly, but they know how to hunt safely and responsibly.
I can't imagine a day where the privilege to hunt would be taken away. I can't imagine my grandkids not being able to enjoy the outdoors with their daddies like my sons have with their daddy. There is something real special about the bonding that takes place between and father and son (or daughter) the first day of hunting season every year. I have a Ducks Unlimited print in my living room that says it all.... It's a picture of a young boy in camouflaged coveralls sitting in a ducking boat with his shotgun across his lap, dreaming of his first duck hunt. When I look at that picture, I am reminded of both of my sons at that age. I asked Aaron during his talk, what I, as a parent, could do to ensure that my grandkids would still have the privilege to hunt. Aaron's suggestion was to start with my local wildlife management, because they are the ones who have a vested interest in preserving our hunting rights.
We need to take a stand and be heard now, before our consitutional right to bear arms is taken away. Bear in mind, coupled with the loss of that right will also be the loss of the privilege to hunt. However, retaining that right and privilege means that we also have a big responsibility. That responsibility is to educate our kids to become responsible and safe gun owners and hunters. After all, you would never allow your child to drive a car, which can be a very dangerous tool, without first educating him or her about the hazards; a gun is no different, it's just a different tool.