County Lines by Bob
I like winter. I don't know exactly why. Maybe it's because I
was born in the middle of winter on the coldest day of the year.
Maybe it's because I'm a writer.
But regardless of the reason, on cold and clear winter nights,
I frequently walk to the perimeter of the woods which surround my
bungalow in the hills and sit with my back against a giant oak.
Woolly, my half wolf, half mongrel of a dog, always accompanies
Woolly enjoys going almost everywhere, except to the veterinarian.
Too many dogs and cats for her liking. She also doesn't like wasting
time in the waiting room. I don't blame her.
During my trips to the perimeter, I always carry one kind of gun
or another. When Woolly's on the prowl, she usually scares up at
least one varmint. Sometimes she flushes out many more. But even
if she didn't, carrying a gun while walking through woods is always
a good idea.
I realize plastic people, who lack the ability to think clearly,
believe guns are bad. Some even think the government should confiscate
all guns owned by every citizen. Exactly the same thing Hitler did
when he became Chancellor of Germany.
Gun control nuts and Nazis. Both fascists in every sense of the
word. If a law is passed that forbids the ownership of guns by American
citizens, we better be ready to fight or to start saluting swastikas.
I don't know about you. But I don't want to live in a country
like Nazi Germany, where only criminals, cops, and soldiers had
I believe in America. I believe in the liberty and the freedom
our founding fathers fought and died for. I believe in the Constitution
of the United States. I believe in the Bill of Rights. I believe
in the Second Amendment. I believe in the right to bear arms. It's
no coincidence that crime rates have decreased significantly in
every state that has passed laws which allow citizens to carry handguns
at all times.
But what are American citizens supposed to do if the federal government
makes owning a gun a crime and a burglar breaks in while we're home?
Say, "Here, take it all."
Sorry. But I wouldn't do that. I'd pull the trigger and explain
later that I still had guns because laws that violate the Constitution
are illegal, regardless of what whimpy politicians say.
I'm not stupid. I know guns are dangerous in the wrong hands. But
I know how to handle guns. I've owned a gun of one kind or another
since receiving a Daisy 750-shot BB-gun for Christmas when I was
Although I believe in the right to own and use guns, I've never
considered hunting as a sport. I've never killed an animal that
wasn't a predator or a source of food. To kill for the sake of killing
isn't my bag.
I know some people believe hunting animals for food is cruel. But
many of these same people have no trouble eating hamburgers from
fast food joints. These people are participating in what's known
as long-distance killing.
If you're one of these people, please don't tell me killing an
animal for food with one clean shot is cruel while you continue
to eat ground up parts of animals that have been killed by repeated
blows to the head with a sledgehammer in a slaughtering house.
But what am I doing complaining about the inability of plastic
people to think clearly when I should be focusing on my nighttime
winter trips to the perimeter?
The first thing I do when I arrive is look through binoculars toward
the southwest. With the trees void of leaves like they are now,
I can see all the way to Livingston.
Headlights snaking along asphalt trails. People leaving. People
returning. High school students going nowhere in particular. Teenagers
trying to be nonconformists by conforming to what friends do.
Long hair on men and teenage boys in the sixties was a way to express
dissatisfaction with the establishment. Being different then wasn't
easy. In addition to a derogatory word for blacks, signs outside
many restaurants read No Dogs or Hippies Allowed.
But now, more than thirty years later, long hair and earrings on
men and teenage boys are fashionable. Such appearances today indicate
a need to fit in with a brainwashed crowd. Such appearances today
But that's my opinion. Maybe I'm just getting old like I thought
my parents were in the sixties.
During my winter visits to the perimeter this year, I've been emptying
myself of all thought to completely feel the sadness of my father's
Sorrow must be completely felt before healing begins. Like a Persian
poet once wrote: "The heights of your joys equal the depths
of your sorrows."
Although part of my heart will remain forvever broken because of
my father's death, I know Dad would want me to be happy.
Another thing I do while sitting in the cold darkness under a tree
on the perimeter is communicate with my Higher Power:
"Thank you for giving me another day of life. Thank you for
giving me eyes to see and ears to hear. Thank you for giving me
a heart that feels even though it hurts deeply sometimes. But above
all, as it disppears again, thank you for teaching me the most valuable
lesson of winter: My cup can't be completely full until it's completely
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570