In 2017, the gun world (for many states) will be taking a deep breath and letting go of the stress that we dwelled upon during the last election. Even though the office of President has less to do with gun control than your local state representatives (and governor), the impression most law abiding gun owners had was that our rights were in jeopardy. Why? Why is our country so divided over guns?

Aren’t cars more dangerous — and I don’t see anyone trying to stop you from having one of those?

Anything in the wrong hands can be dangerous.

This morning on the news I saw a very tragic story where a family member, not knowing any better, had sprayed water on a pesticide that had been used under a mobile home to kill pests to try to weaken it. The toxic blend of water and aluminum phosphide led to the death of four children and sickened many of the adults. This was human error; but you must wonder, why is such a lethal chemical allowed? Our entire society is filled with dangers and, in most cases, human error is to blame.

Is it the blame of the media that I am led to believe that people are caring less and less about the value of human life? Do you not hear about daily home invasions (while people are home) or about violence and abuse taking place at such staggering rates that those of us not hurt feel lucky? We are most certainly at a turning point in our society as a whole, and we need to heed the warnings.

Simple things you can do:

Turn off all distracting electronics and listen to the people around you.

Shake hands (unless someone is sneezing) and make eye contact. A firm handshake says a lot.

Say hello, goodbye and hold open the door. When someone drops something, offer to help.

Pay attention to your world. Listen to the birds, close your eyes and hear your heart, go watch a whale pass by Topsail Island and just enjoy.

Stop believing everything on Facebook or the Internet. Use your brain.

Play with toys. Molding clay or painting a picture is therapy and cheap.

Don’t treat children like adults. They don’t need our burdens. (On a back-up note, stop overbooking a child’s schedule with too much stuff —we all need down time).

Eat what you want. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so enjoy the day!

Stop blaming your parents. If you are here today, they did their job. Move on.

How you deal with people is a direct reflection of yourself. Be kind, smile more and when they really push your buttons remember the good old saying, “Bless your heart.”

Remember: 2017 will be filled with new knowledge, new friends and new adventures so enjoy them all!


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.