Southwest Virginia is characterized by majestic mountain scenery. There are very few homes in Southwest Virginia that are not bordered by forestry on at least one side. The people, who live within this beautiful region, have hunted the mountains around their homes for generations. Family traditions have been born out of fathers teaching their sons and daughters, and grandfather’s teaching their grandchildren, to hunt. Among the animals hunted are, squirrels, birds, deer, coons, and turkeys. Many families, in Southwest Virginia, plan week-long hunting trips each year. These hunting trips are important for two reasons, they bring families together and if the hunting goes well they provide food for the families. Many families preserve deer meat to eat during the winter. Also, hunting can bring local acclaim to a person who makes an exceptionally good kill. The local papers in Southwest Virginia often print pictures of hunters and their prize kills.
The issue of gun-control is huge in Southwest Virginia. Any politician, who hopes to win the hearts of the sportsman in Southwest Virginia, will have to prove that they are sympathetic to their needs. The first sight you see when you enter my home town is a big sign that says “Sportsmen for Mark Warner.” This same sign is seen over and over in front yards and in every available spot beside the road. In recent times, the Democratic Party has garnered more favor in Southwest Virginia, due mainly to the fact that they are more liberal.
Recently, the Republicans have been trying to paint the democrats as being especially unsympathetic to hunters on the issue of gun control. But, Barack Obama, in a recent town hall meeting in the small Southwest Virginia town of Lebanon, tried to set the record straight. Obama vehemently denied the republican’s accusations. Obama stated that he would not take away the guns of hunter’s that use them for sport. The only people who will be affected by Obama’s gun control policy will be criminals who are trying to obtain guns illegally. Whether or not Obama was able to convince the sportsmen of Southwest Virginia of his sincere sympathy to their needs, is yet to be seen. What is known is that Southwest Virginia sportsmen will have the issue of gun control on their minds when they enter the voting booths in November. Both parties, have only days left to convince the people of Southwest Virginia of their sensitivity to the issues that matter most in Southwest Virginia.