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Mr. FARENTHOLD. Thank you very much.
As I was listening to the gentlelady from South Dakota (Mrs. Noem), her stories about growing up around firearms and the quality time that she spent with her grandmother learning marksmanship and learning gun safety and learning about life in the outdoors really struck home with me.
I remember growing up with my grandfather, driving around the ranch learning to shoot a .22, moving up and learning how to shoot a shotgun and learning how to do so safely. In Texas, gun control is hitting what you aim at, and that's part of growing up, with an understanding of firearm safety and marksmanship. It's part of many American's lives, just like it was a part of my life.
I got a lot of letters as the debate about gun control was going through the Senate, as well, urging me to continue to stand up for the Second Amendment rights that our Founding Fathers realized was so important--the right to bear arms; the right that those in the Revolutionary War fought for.
One of the letters came just this week from a student and a Boy Scout named Caleb. He said:
Dear Representative Farenthold:
I wanted to thank you for your beliefs on gun control in our State. I believe that we all have a right to bear arms and protect ourselves if we are in harm.
And that really kind of sums up the feeling of a lot of folks in Texas and a lot of the farmers and ranchers that I represent.
As Representative Noem was talking about, spending time shooting with her children, one of the things that I look back on in raising my daughters--they are now in college--and you look back and think, well, what should I have done? I should have spent more time outside with them. I should have spent more time passing on some of the things that I've learned. But there's still an opportunity.
Morgan, my 24-year-old daughter, came to me just a couple of weekends ago when I was back home in Corpus Christi and said, "Dad, can we take a concealed-carry class together this summer?'' So that's on the agenda for when I'm back in Texas is passing on the tradition of the safe and responsible use of firearms in my family.
I'm looking forward to spending time with her in that concealed-carry class, and I hope it instills in her the same passion that I have for the sport of shooting. If this plays out well, we're going to spend time on the skeet range; we're going to spend some time out hunting. It's something that I'm really looking forward to. It's an important part of America. It's an important part of folks' family lives.
The Second Amendment has got to be protected, and the traditions of safe firearms use in this country needs to continue for a myriad of reasons--just more reasons than I can list.
I see you've got quite a few other people here who want to talk about their experiences with the Second Amendment and their beliefs, so I'm not going to eat up all the time. Thank you.
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