By Don Mallicoat-
Being in the gun business we get to hear all of the stories about potential threats to our 2nd Amendment rights. Some of them are outlandish, like having to report your guns on your annual tax return. Another famous one is putting markers in gun powder to make it go bad after a certain amount of time. I must say, some of this has led to brisk business for those of us in the trade! Every now and then one of them surfaces that bears watching. And this is one of them.
I’ve reported in the far past about the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The U.N. must feel like it is doing something good for the world (which it is not) so have been trying for years to get member nations to agree to worldwide standards to limit the international market of small arms and ammunition. President George Bush rebuffed these efforts and refused to participate. Without U.S. sponsorship nothing happened.
Enter President Obama and he immediately signed on as a sponsor of the effort naturally with the support of his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Last week the ATT committee started meeting to finalize the treaty to have it ready for signature by the end of this month. The NRA is participating as a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) to insure language in the treaty does not infringe on our rights. They do not seem too hopeful. Well, if you are a student of American history you know that it requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate to ratify a treaty. If you feel comfortable that our Senate would not ratify any treaty that takes away American sovereignty, so am I. The problem is that signatories to any U.N. treaty, through some vague law, have the responsibility to begin implementation of the treaty provisions while awaiting their nation’s ratification.
That is why this effort at the U.N. is such a threat to American gun owners and should be taken very seriously. Given President Obama’s proclivity to implement programs through Executive Order it is very plausible that he would begin imposing the treaty terms prior to Senate approval. He has proven through his past words and actions that he wants to further restrict gun ownership and he will take this opportunity to do it. We all know that once government programs are implemented they are very difficult to reverse. If you are a gun owner keep this on your radar. And always remember, elections have consequences.
On another note I thought of something during this recent period of hot weather, and that is care of your hunting dogs during the summer doldrums. This is prime flea and tick season so be sure to use a preventative like Frontline. Also that terrible mosquito borne disease heartworm normally starts during this period so keep dogs on a good heartworm medicine. If you think the cost of this medicine is expensive ask your vet how much it costs to treat a dog that has already contracted heartworm. The pills are cheap. I had a hunting dog with heartworm once, caught it early in development. It was not only costly, but I felt the dog never performed to her maximum in the field afterwards.
Also remember to keep dogs hydrated. They drink a lot of water when it is hot. Just because you see water in the pail don’t assume they have plenty. Check the temperature with your hand. If it’s hot give them some cool water. Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean they don’t need exercise. Do it during the early morning hours while it is cool and keep the runs short. Do these simple things and your hunting dog will be ready when the season rolls around.
And speaking of hunting season, if you do not have your hunter safety certification and need one there are classes coming up in August. These classes immediately prior to the season fill up fast so register soon. You can register online at www.ncwildlife.org. Click on the hunting tab at the top and then Hunter Education on the right side of the hunting page. There is a class in Mars Hill August 13 – 15 in Blackwell Hall at the college. Times are 6 – 9:30 p.m. all three days. The next class will be September 10 – 12 at the Skyland Fire Department in Arden with the same hours. If you are not a current license holder you must have this class to get a hunting license.