Our ducks and geese are about seven weeks old now. They are fully feathered out and could be released onto our large pond, but they won’t be yet.
A few weeks ago Phil removed a rather large snapping turtle from the pond and took it down to the creek and released it.
Snapping turtles will happily eat the feet right off ducks and even eat the whole duck if they’re big enough. They’ll snap at people too, and have a powerful bite, so I was glad he got it out of there.
However, he later found several more baby snappers in the pond…
…and then a few days ago he saw a huge snapper swimming across the pond. He tried to catch it with the skimmer net, but the snapper broke it immediately, so he ordered a snapping turtle trap online. Anybody got a good recipe for turtle soup? 🙂
Then, earlier today, while we were working outside, he suddenly called me over to see something he had caught and put into a bucket at the edge of the pond.
It was a massasauga rattlesnake, the only poisonous snake in Michigan. Bummer. He killed the snake and disposed of it. He felt bad about having to kill it as massasaugas are generally shy and relatively nonaggressive, but we can’t have poisonous snakes living in the pond right by the house (they’re welcome to live out in our marshland so long as they stay there).
I really appreciate my husband handling lurking dangers and scary stuff and killing things that need killing. Fellow blogger Ton used to say that what it means to be a man is the ability to engage in violence, but I think perhaps a more positive way of looking at it is to say that being a man means having the ability to engage in necessary violence to protect one’s own family, animals and property. But actually I am not really sure you can boil down the essence of masculinity or femininity to just one thing.
But I sure do know the absence of masculinity when I see it. This description of some journalist getting “a form of PTSD” (lol) from shooting an AR-15 is just cringe-worthy:
Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection). The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.
If the guy has a wife, I feel awfully bad for her. It must feel terrible to know your man is not just unable but unwilling to be your protector. But even worse is when he writes:
…if masculinity is defined by the power to commit violence on a wide scale, I proudly choose femininity. At one time, “being a man” meant standing up for what you believe in — and against injustice. By that definition, we need more real men in power taking on bullies like the NRA, which seeks to bolster the Second Amendment by shutting down opponents’ right to the First.
Dude, you’re not feminine, you’re just a coward. Or as Pancake Loach said:
Kuntzman should shut his trap […] As a member of the feminine sex, I can testify that we don’t want any shrieking eunuchs like him hiding behind our skirts.
But now that we have had a laugh at his masculinity, let me say what I think the real point of this article was. He was clearly trying to write a shock piece to induce fear in people who have never had any experience with any sort of firearm. You can tell this because of how disingenuous he is with some of what he writes about his experience. For example:
Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two dozen rounds before you even know what has happened.
Well, no. Actually, a semi automatic rifle can’t shoot a bunch of rounds before you even know what happened. With a semi automatic firearm, one trigger pull equals one bang. If it shoots two dozen rounds, it’s because you pulled the trigger two dozen times. But people reading the New York Daily News will think ARs are basically fully automatic machine guns and be terrified enough to support a totally unnecessary ban. Kuntzman’s piece was meant to induce fear in readers because frightened people are easily politically manipulated.