I was in a discussion on boar hunting, and someone brought up the topic of hunting boars with a pack of dogs and a knife. Yes, people do this. It started in Spain as near as I can tell, but I haven’t really researched it. Over my decades as a custom knife maker I’ve made a few blades for people that do this. heck, I even I made a gladius for one fellow.
The idea is simple- take two or more dogs into the woods, they chase down and immobilize a boar, then the hunter comes in and carefully delivers a death-blow with the knife. I think they are absolutely out of their minds but hey, it’s legal, they’re adults and it’s a free country. It’s not like I haven’t done some pretty crazy things in my life, like voluntarily jumping out of a functional aircraft in flight. This not the act of a rational human being.
Now when first approached to make a knife for this I thought its was a pretty questionable activity, and this was pre-internet so I asked about it. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Yes, the hog is more powerful and dangerous than any single dog, but they aren’t dealing with one dog, they are dealing with a team, and they’ve got that hog cold before the person with the knife moves in. Yes, it is dangerous to both the dogs and the hunter, but everyone but the hog is a willing participant and the dogs are seldom seriously injured. I still think they are crazy, but no one is making me do it so it’s not really any of my business; making a judgmental comment about it is not going to have any good result. So of course someone did. The response was boringly predictable, and the only product of their post was snarkiness and ill-will, with a complete disregard for our common interests or indeed the subject of the post.
If this were an isolated incident you wouldn’t be reading this, but it happens all the time. People trash on each others choices of firearms, sneer at each other’s hunting pictures, taste in guns, politics etc. At a time when we as gun owners should be pulling together we’re too busy being assholes. It’s not helping anything and frankly I’m getting pretty damn sick of it.
OK, the vast majority of people in the gun end of social media are decent and respectful, but it doesn’t take many assholes to ruin it for everyone and they do. I don’t go to gun pages to hear about how we should shoot people we disagree with, or about how someone is stupid for the gun, activity or politics they choose. The best possible thing that can come from that kind of crap is a bunch of people joining in and turning the whole thing into a toxic intellectual circle-jerk, and that’s actually a BAD result.
Where’s the respect? The acknowledgement that people are allowed to be different? The discussion, education, the solidarity centered on our common interests rather than our differences? All too often the answer is that people would rather demean and dismiss others than question their own beliefs or try to understand. It’s easier to label someone and dismiss them. It’s comfortable. Hell, a pile of manure is soft and warm if you can stomach the smell… at first at least.
Before you respond to a post in a negative manner ask yourself, ‘Is this really going to help anything?’ If the answer is no maybe your goal is to feed your ego, feed your hate and feel smug. Maybe instead of posting you should reflect on why you think that’s a good thing… and consider therapy.
Now if someone is spewing BS that will encourage people to do things that might harm themselves and others it might be useful to speak up. Sometimes it’s a good thing to politely and respectfully offer education to keep them and others safe. But there are no circumstances under which calling them names and being abusive is going to make anything better, ever. if your goal is to make things worse, then you are just a dick. At best.
It’s OK for people to be into different things, and even if you think those things are stupid sometimes the best choice is to keep it to yourself. But if you just can’t help yourself being respectful and polite in your response might actually make things better instead of worse. Someone might even, God forbid, learn something.
Take care and stay safe.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 7 September 2021