Thanks to instant information and media, each of us interprets events based on emotion more than fact. How easily a group of people can be riled up for any reason at all.

An area man posted on Facebook that a young man with a shoulder bag was walking around his neighborhood and acting in a suspicious manner. The advice of this man was clearly to keep your guard up. This is exactly what I advocate often in my articles. Pay attention, keep an eye on your neighborhood and let people know when something seems wrong. Always follow your instincts.

The problem, I learned by reading the excessive posts that followed his simple comment of warning, was mind boggling. People were accusing him of being racist (he never mentioned the man’s skin color), of being cold hearted and not caring about others and offering this man a helping hand. Whoa, people. Take a chill pill.

With home invasions escalating weekly and strange reports of young women appearing at homes at 10 p.m. at night wanting to talk about religion (I call BS on that one), we need to remember WE are always our own first line of defense.

Door-to-door salespeople don’t exist anymore thanks to the internet. Utility repair people will never show up at your home without either first contacting you or having a clearly marked vehicle and ID on them. Unfortunately, we have to stop being so trusting.

On a different note, I was speaking with a government official this past week about The Hearing Protection Act (which if approved and passed would eliminate the $200 tax stamp and the 6-8 month waiting time for suppressors for firearms). He admitted that if any time in history this could pass it would be now, except he didn’t believe the government would be willing to give up the money (for the tax stamp). So here we have it: Once again common sense overshadowed by greed. Ugh.

For those of you not familiar with these items — they simply remove 90 percent of the loud abusive sound of a gunshot. It is already legal to hunt with them in North Carolina, and almost all of Europe allows them with a simple background check (now figure that out). The interesting fact is that these items used to be accessible until the Great Depression when the government felt there was a need to keep people from illegally (and quietly) poaching on national lands. Charge a fee and make people wait. Great.

The lesson learned? Once the government passes a law it is VERY hard to make it go away — even if it’s no longer needed.

So remember, knowledge is power, emotions can take you on a wild ride, and sometimes you need to step back before getting so involved and see things from both sides. It can’t hurt.


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.