Friday's Weekend Column
Protecting Ourselves

by James Glaser
April 16, 2004

Let's say you needed the police to come to your home up here in the woods. You call 911, you describe what the problem is and where it is that you live, and then you wait while the Deputy drives the 60 miles up to your house.

Most people up here would call a neighbor for help before the authorities, but their first line of defense would be their personal firearm or firearms. I can think of no household up in this neck of the woods that doesn't have a few rifles. Not everybody has a pistol, because it is harder to hit anything with one.

Last year it was made easier in Minnesota to get a permit to carry a handgun. You had that right before, but it was totally up to the Chief of Police or the County Sheriff if you got one or not. The new law says that you have the right to the permit, unless you are a convicted felon, or were into beating your wife or husband.

You now have to take a class and yes sir, you have to pay the State some money, but if you want to carry a concealed weapon for protection, you can. Up here in the woods, people are not into that concealed fashion statement. If my neighbor is packing, his gun is right there out in the open for all to see.

Personally I think a shotgun is your best bet for home protection and they are pretty hard to conceal. Because of the fact that everyone has a weapon or two or ten, there is almost no gun violence up here. In over thirty years I can think of only about five shootings and every one of those involved alcohol.

The city people were going nuts last year when the state was thinking of passing the Concealed/Carry Law. There were reports by the anti-gun groups that 50,000 people would be carrying a gun if the law passed.

One group called, Citizens for a Safer Minnesota say that even the 17,000 permits that have been issued are too many. Up here, many of the people that had a legal permit under the old law gave their permit up, because with the safety class and the permit fee, it could cost you several hundred dollars. Under the old law I think it cost ten bucks. Even with the low number of permits, the State picked up about a half a million dollars for giving people a right they already had under the Second Amendment.

Today I was reading that Vice President Dick Cheney is going to address the National Rifle Association's National Convention. Cheney and Bush are supposed to be pro-gun, but all the NRA members will have to check their guns at the door because Dick does not trust them enough to have them armed. All members will have to go through a metal detector before they are let into the hall the VP speaks in.

I was out in the greenhouse today and it was over a hundred degrees in there. Saturday I will be planting one tomato in there as sort of a test. If it freezes, I know that I am jumping the gun. If it makes it, I will have one plant with an extra early start. The place is hot during the day, but cold at night, so you are opening the windows when the sun is out and closing them at night.

Most people up here wait until after the full moon in May to plant outside and there are many that say you have to wait till the first week in June. I like May 1st for planting in the greenhouse. I don't have any heat in there and things could still freeze then. I have seen it real cold in May and other years it is down right hot. Water is my problem as I run my hose under the road through a culvert and I have had many freeze in the past.

Most years Charmaine is seen out in the gardens bare footed, testing the soil temperature with her feet and when she says it is ready for seeds, it is,

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