On the first of December, I lost my father at 92 years of age. By the time he was 40 years old he had so much more life experience and had accomplished so many great things that I have to wonder: What has happened to us since the Greatest Generation?

Are we so focused on gadgets and the constant stream of useless information on TV that we have forgotten to learn by our mistakes? Kids get participation trophies, teachers are blamed when a child fails a class, a useless employee is kept on for fear of lawsuits if fired. Yuck. We are becoming a mound of goo and in a hurry.

We forget that it is OK to sit still in the quiet. Nature is all around us, we don’t need an app for that.

Our lives are too stressful yet we get nothing done. Everyone is angry and in disagreement. It’s always someone else’s fault. Very convenient.

During 2017 one of the greatest political accomplishments that could take place would be the passing of the “Hearing Protection Act.” What is this you ask? Simple: It would be a federal law that would allow a law abiding citizen (through a standard background check) to purchase a device to greatly reduce the always pestering noise of a handgun, rifle or shotgun. These devices made famous by “hitmen” style movies have lead the uninformed to believe that only criminals seek such devices. This, of course, is not true. We all appreciate a little less noise.

Right now it is legal to hunt in certain counties of North Carolina with a suppressed firearm. The problem? These items are really expensive ($400 - $1,200) and the application process can take at least 6-8 months for approval before the owner can take possession of it. Defeats the purpose it you want to hunt with it this year (not to mention the $200 tax stamp per item). Taxed enough yet?

The reason the ruling was passed is simple: If a hunter does not make a bunch of noise, all the critters in the forest won’t run away. Critters don’t like excessive noise either.

Your homework for this New Year is simple: Learn as much as you can about something before commenting on it in person, on Facebook or in chat sites.

Remember knowledge is power and educated participants who keeps their cool are always heard.

 

Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.