Editorial Opinion – December 2023

Daryl Kirby | November 29, 2023

Is there still a Miss America pageant? Haven’t heard mention of it in years, but I thought of the pageant interview question this morning… a nervous contestant alone on stage, and she’s asked a question.

“World Peace!”

Turns out those who answered with what was thought of as a shallow cliche were right all along. The world is on fire, and we all need to pray for world peace. If course and direction are not corrected soon, a family’s primary worry isn’t going to be whether Junior is playing in the infield and batting third in the lineup. The primary worry isn’t going to be whether the neighbor shot a buck not to your standards or decided to ride the property-line road at daybreak in a UTV that sounds like Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevy.

Goodness begins at the most micro level—a home—and then spiders out from there to a community, a state, the nation and maybe even the world. Being present to those closest, influencing them to know how to act, how to interact, how to be a good person—nothing is more important to positively impact life around the home. Then that impact can spiral out and be a positive part of the community, state, nation and world. A kid raised on ugliness and hate isn’t likely to be a contributor to world peace. I just saw a video of young kids, in a school, vowing to kill people who live a few miles away across a country’s border. How a kid is influenced, what they are taught, matters much.

The hotter the fires around the world—and in our own country—the more important, I believe, it is to teach and instill what many people now consider primitive life skills—woodsmanship, the ability to catch a fish, being a good shot. With those life skills, a young boy or girl has a solid, practical and useful foundation. And we know they’ll find some peace in the woods or on the water.

We learned in the past three years the importance of being more self-sufficient. Now’s the time of year to prepare a little spot in the backyard where you can grow some food this spring. Plant some blueberry bushes. We might not be able to personally impact what’s happening across an ocean, but we can certainly bring a level of comfort and peace of mind around our own homes.

There will be food on the table, and we have the life skills to get more. 

It may already seem like a dream—or nightmare—what was recently experienced. Many leaders, drunk with power or ignorance, mandated insanity. They closed restaurants and most every business, yet it was OK to go to Walmart and the grocery store. They banned going to church, but it was OK to go to the liquor store. So with the wounds of those actions still fresh, we should remember to think beyond our homes. It is also important to do what we can do to secure the next level of the outward spiral—your community. Most counties will soon elect a sheriff who will either enforce or refuse to enforce the next government mandate that bans going on to church or to the local meat-and-three for lunch. Does your sheriff hunt and fish and believe in the 2nd Amendment? It matters.

We know our governor matters. Compare how Georgia and Florida handled restrictions, bans and mandates compared to California. The governor of Michigan, through a dangerous power called ‘executive order,’ decided to allow people to go to stores like Walmart, but she banned them from the garden section. Make that make sense. It’s OK to walk the aisles and fill a shopping cart with boxes of Ding Dongs and frozen chicken nuggets, but you can’t buy seed to plant a garden? Citing public safety? Imagine what the next executive order might be… under the guise of public safety.

So it may be cliche to wish for world peace, but we need it. It should be primary in our prayers.

And please consider including GON and this community in your prayers during the Christmas and holiday season. An interesting aspect of GON… we still answer the phone. Call, and you actually talk to someone who works here. One day we may be the last magazine standing, but we’re also going to be the last business you call and not only get an actual person, but one who can understand a southerner and even sounds like you.

Ultimately, GON is all of you—a community of hunters, anglers and people who love the outdoors. Please stay with us and active. Keep it strong.

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