It’s Sunday morning and has been a great day so far here at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville. We’re bunking down at the Galt House Hotel and this morning got up at 5am and took off for a run along the Ohio River from the hotel up river to the restored pedestrian bridge that goes over the river to the north side. Gotta tell ya, it was a picturesque sight to cross the river as the sun was rising through the early morning haze of the mighty Ohio river. I thought about how so many of the great pioneers and settlers first came down that river and settled places like Louisville. It was that indomitable individual spirit that gave birth to this great Nation.
And here at the NRA convention, when you walk through the exhibit hall you see the descendants of that spirit. This morning, Angela and I attended the NRA Prayer Breakfast where the keynote speaker was Dr. James Dobson. The event was sponsored by the group “Fathers in the Field.” This organization is rooted in the words of Isaiah 1:17, “Defend the cause of the Fatherless.” They seek out and provide Christian men who will mentor fatherless young men, with a motto of “Faith, Fatherhood, Forgiveness.”
Fathers in the Field was founded in Lander Wyoming and created by a man who was deserted by his own Father at a young age and keenly felt that loss this entire life. Upon accepting Christ as his Savior in 2002 and being reconciled to his Heavenly Father, John Smithbaker stated a journey of understanding, acceptance, and most importantly, extending and asking forgiveness. In 2005, John was inspired to create a way to seek and help others suffering the pain of a father’s abandonment, and Fathers in the Field — a natural outgrowth of his faith and his love for the outdoors — was born.
And if you think this is not important, 50% of this Country’s children — over 25 million kids under 18 — are growing up in homes without their fathers. What you notice here at the NRA convention is that families are here together — moms and dads with their kids. They’re here bonding and training their children about their most important right, the right to keep and bear arms, which shall not be infringed. They’re teaching their children why their vital First Amendment rights will not exist if there is no Second Amendment right. They’re teaching them the history and intent of the Founding Fathers to ensure that we remain a free people, able to pursue our happiness, not become subjected to a government that believes it can grant rights — and therefore take them away — as it guarantees happiness.