What if you had a chance for a sit-down with President Trump, what would you say to him? Here are ten things I'd tell him.
Well, the first thing I'd say to President Trump is congratulations on winning the election! It was indeed a 'HUGE' victory. And then I'd tell (or ask) him these ten things. That is, if I'm limited to ten...
1. Do whatever you can to fight public transfer of lands to the states.
Federal ownership of public lands is not an ideal situation, but transfer of those lands to the states opens the door to an even worse situation. States are likely to sell off those public lands to the highest bidder.
The states don't have the money or resources to manage them properly, nor the will to avoid selling them to raise money for other projects. These lands will be in private hands then, and that's a recipe for disaster for sportsmen. Outdoors-minded folks will be the big losers as more lands will be closed to hunter and angler access. Listen to your sons and avoid the transfer of public lands at all costs.
2. Roll back all of Obama's executive orders on gun control.
This is a no-brainer to all law-abiding gun owners and to those who value the Second Amendment. None of Obama's feel-good executive orders do anything to curb gun crime, and only unnecessarily penalize law-abiding gun owners.
3. Lead the charge on going through all of the existing gun control legislation with Congress.
Work with Congress to repeal similar bills that are already on the books that do nothing to thwart gun crime. No law is better than bad law.
In fact, I'd propose continuing this policy throughout his administration, not just with gun laws but with every law on the books. Weed out the bad laws, and require Congress to repeal at least one law for every new law they propose.
4. Nominate a strong Constitutionalist for the SCOTUS, someone who values and supports the Second Amendment and our Constitutional rights.
This too is a no-brainer and was a central plank in Trump's campaign platform. I fully expect him to follow through on this promise, but I'd still like to remind him of it and that the American people are watching this one very, very closely.
5. Get rid of Gun Free Zones.
This is one place where an executive order might be a good idea. Gun Free Zones are an open invitation to terrorists and criminals. Everyone knows and understands this. End this foolish concept once and for all, and allow Americans to arm and defend themselves in the face of evildoers.
6. Support harsh penalties for gun crime.
This appears to be the only thing that really has much positive impact on thwarting gun crime. Truth in sentencing and harsh penalties for crimes committed with a gun will dramatically decrease gun crime and of course will drastically lower repeat offenders. Commit a crime with a gun, go to jail.
7. Push for National Reciprocity for Concealed Carry.
It's a pain in the butt to have to know the states where you're allowed to carry and where you're not. If a vehicle driver's license is transferable, which is a privilege, then the right to carry a weapon, which is a right, should be as well. Defending oneself is a Constitutional right, not a privilege dependent upon the whim of the state.
8. Use the 'bully pulpit' to promote a highly positive campaign of advocating for gun rights and gun ownership.
We've seen the negative effect that an anti-gun President can have on the mindset and attitudes of much of the populace concerning firearms. Many people are automatically inclined to view firearms with fear and loathing. It's become a foolish knee-jerk reaction among many. It's time to reverse that.
A constant, positive message from the President concerning Second Amendment rights and the practical utility of firearms in American life can go a long way in promoting safe and effective gun ownership.
I would ask President Trump to let it be known that America is proudly a gun owning country, one where any criminal or terrorist is likely to confront competent and ready gun owners prepared to stop him or her in their tracks should they be foolish enough to attempt to attack any of us.
9. Herald your sons' hunting and fishing exploits.
I would ask President Trump to also use the bully pulpit to champion his sons' hunting adventures. Not simply their kills but their experiences in the great outdoors. Use Donald Jr. and Eric's hunting, angling and conservation efforts to highlight the wholesomeness of the outdoor lifestyle.
Goodness knows, the hunting community could use some positive image rehabilitation among the non-hunting public. We have the potential to once again have hunting be considered a healthy, righteous and normal food acquisition activity in this country. The President's words can go a long way in helping change the perception of many.
10. Keep your promises.
Yes, simply keep the promises that you're able to keep. Don't forget what got you here, or who voted for you and why they did so. We understand that occasionally you may have to compromise to accomplish the larger task. But we're watching.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.