I thought long and hard about this article. I really didn’t want to write it, but I think it needs to be done. Today, I want to talk politics. Now stay with me, because I’m not going to try to talk you into marching to my political drum. No, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you are smart enough to develop your own opinions about world events.

I do want to get you to be more politically involved. The time is long past that we can sit quietly by and hope that the world will leave us alone. This year in Oregon alone more than 20 bills have been introduced that impact sportsmen and women in this state. These include bills to limit ammunition purchases to 20 rounds per month, to restrict firearm magazines to five rounds, to raise boat registration fees by 32 percent, to require ATV riders older than 16 to have driver's and ATV licenses and to require non-motorized boat users to have a waterway access permit. You can check out a more complete list with explanations at oregonhunters.org/legislative-news.

You may believe we need more restrictions, or you may think we don’t, but whatever you believe, you need to make your voice heard. As we all know, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I’m not saying you need to organize a march, or start a political action committee. The simplest way is to send an email to your representatives and express your opinion. They work for you, but if they don’t know what you want, they can’t vote your way. It doesn’t even have to be a long email filled with arguments and details about the bill. A simple “Dear Senator Deceitful, I believe that raising hunting license fees by 200 percent is a great idea. Respectfully, Mr. Insane.” is all it takes. You can even list the bills you agree with and those you don’t.

Instead of taking that social media quiz to find out which soap opera star you identify with, take a minute to look up who your representatives are for your area. They will have an email address attached. Shoot them an email voicing your opinion and you're back to looking at kitten videos in no time. In Grant County, Lynn Findley (Rep.LynnFindley@oregonlegislature.gov) is our state representative, and Cliff Bentz (Sen.CliffBentz@oregonlegislature.gov) is our senator. Add them to your email contact list and contact them whenever you want. That is what you are paying them for after all.

I have my opinions, and you have yours. Love wolves or hate them, love the Second Amendment or want to abolish it, you need to speak up, or Clackamas County is going to get to decide how you get to live your life.

While you’re on your email, shoot us one too with your thoughts and suggestions at shootingthebreezebme@gmail.com.

Rod Carpenter is a husband, father and hunting fool.


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