I once heard the phrase ‘Opinions are like a-holes, everyone’s got one’, and isn’t that the truth. A person’s opinions are formed based on their upbringing, experiences and knowledge gained over the span of their life. Opinions, however, may or may not be rooted in truth or facts. Everyone wants to believe their opinion is ‘right’ and thus holds weight or has merit, so when confronted with a difference of opinion their baser instinct is to dig in, defend their point of view, which often comes with a certain degree of mocking or making light of another’s beliefs. This tendency has been exacerbated in a social media age. It is so easy on the internet to spew your unfiltered opinion as you can do so with a certain amount of anonymity.
Its likely that when you were a youngster, you were told by a parent to take the higher road or similarly admonished to basically rise above your baser instincts. This is because as you grow older, you find your opinions change as you gain more life experience and knowledge about the world around you. Your parents knew this and it has certainly been true in my case! I remember certain points of view that I had as a young adult that I look back on now and cringe that I was ever so closed-minded. It is a fact that as people become more educated, the more open-minded they become. This is why the Nada Grande Boys advocate for anyone and everyone in the hunting and outdoor community to educate themselves. In doing so, you open yourself up to different view points and ideas. This is not to say that you should outright accept these view points and ideas without analyzing their validity and merits. However, you may find within a counter argument a certain piece of information or truth which otherwise you may have wholly rejected based on an uninformed opinion.
I will give you a good example. As a whole, the community of Sportsmen and women in this country are staunch supporters of our 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms. Within the ranks of those who support and encourage carrying a firearm and more specifically concealed carry for self defense, there is a fierce debate about whether you should carry with a live round in the chamber vs. carrying on an empty chamber. There are many who have the opinion that if you do not carry your firearm with a live round in the chamber, you should not carry a firearm at all. And on the other side there are those who argue that carrying with a live round chambered is unsafe. It is interesting to me that on the one hand these individuals are advocating for people to embrace their right to bear arms and on the other hand stating that it has to be done a particular way. Their desire to be ‘right’ on a single point rather than lending credibility to their argument actually serves to undermine the principles which they claim to stand for. Needing to be ‘right’ closes channels of communication and ostracizes people even if they might agree with some of your point of view. I have seen so many Facebook feeds and social media posts where people who have differing points of view and they are disrespectful, uninformed, and become outright vile towards each other. Typically in a face to face interaction people have had the decency to suppress their baser instincts and attempt to communicate in a more dignified fashion, although now even that societal civility is starting to break down.
Are there pros and cons to each method of carry? Absolutely! I believe in carrying with a round in the chamber. My partner Rodney Wood believes in carrying on an empty chamber. Our experiences and education have helped us to form these OPINIONS over the course of our lives. Because of education, I am able to approach the subject with an open mind and recognize merit in both sides of the argument. This allows me to then find common ground with someone who does not share my exact view point. The common ground in this scenario is that we both believe in and advocate for lawful and responsible gun ownership and right to carry. Furthermore, as a firearms instructor, I know that with proper training, which ever method of carry you choose, you can become skilled and proficient with your firearm and thus be a benefit to your community.
Sportsmen and women often create division and distrust over small issues when they should be finding common causes to unite around. I’m not asking you to change your beliefs or to go against your core principles. What I am asking is that you take the higher road. Educating yourself will then add merit to your point of view. Be open minded and respect another’s opinion even if you disagree with it. More importantly, find common ground on which you can stand with fellow Sportsmen and women. If we do not, we will all find ourselves without any ground to stand on at all.
Kyle Jackson grew up ranching in New Mexico and gained a love of the outdoors early in life. He is an avid outdoorsman and has a passion for carrying on this traditional lifestyle. There is simplicity and beauty in the art of bushcraft and he started Nada Grande Outdoors with Rodney Wood to document their outdoor lifestyle and hopefully pass on their skills, knowledge and experiences to others.