20 Aug 2019

“A Varied and Valuable Tool”

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Cat Urbigkit writes books and raises sheep and Hereford cattle in Sublette County in Western Wyoming. If you raise sheep, wolves are a serious problem. Cat has also occasionally run into human predators and she consequently look upon guns as essential tools.

I continue to renew my [concealed carry] permit when it comes due, even though most of the time I openly carry a firearm– because I keep guns in my work truck as a rancher. I’m a woman who works alone outside on most days in a remote region that is home to numerous large carnivores, so yes, I am armed.

Firearms are valuable tools in my life, just as necessary as standard fencing pliers, rope, an assortment of gloves made from leather, cotton, and wool, and the ever-present shovel.

My firearm use is a result of my personal journey. As I became more proficient with each gun, and we have changes in our lives and on the ranch, my need for various types of firearms and calibers changes. Much as the case of our shovel collection.

Living on a ranch, we have numerous types and styles of shovels: plastic shovels to push snow off our steps; strong but lightweight shovels strapped onto snowmachines; short, narrow shovels to dig up weeds; wide, curved shovels for firefighting; manure shovels; and traditional wooden-handled shovels in every ranch truck. Each shovel is best-suited for specific tasks, as each firearm we wield.

I’m disappointed to listen to national news media talk about gun ownership in America as though it were an alien idea. Interviews with gun owners are rare, and tend to involve either members of the gun lobby, or people at a shooting range – both of which are members of our “gun culture,” but neither of which are representative of the varied users of guns in America.

When major media in our nation talk about guns, the discussion involves speakers in metropolitan areas, usually after a horrendous tragedy. They aren’t airing interviews of people who take their children out with gundogs to hunt birds; elk hunters preparing for mountain trips they’ve dreamed about for years; former military members who enjoy competitive shooting sports; women who train to never become victims; gun collectors dedicated to preserving history; or ranchers who use firearms as tools, to name a few.

Our stories may be alien to those who haven’t shared the same life journeys, but they are the stories of American gun ownership. In a way it’s no wonder we don’t hear our stories in national media. With the current gun debate so narrowly defined, what gun owner would be willing to be interviewed by a national network or news outlet? The risks are great: nuances will be missed; statements can be taken out of context for a soundbite; and the internet backlash/cyber bullying by cowards with keyboards is nearly guaranteed.

We’ve become the silent majority.

It always amazes me that urban nincompoops in New York and other big cities, who know absolutely nothing about guns, are perfectly prepared to offer detailed regulatory schemes affecting people like Cat Urbigkit living in the remote wilds of Wyoming.

5 Feedbacks on "“A Varied and Valuable Tool”"

Fusil Darne

What this lady has gone through with the reintroduction of wolves is heartbreaking, and a perfect example of government incompetence and overreach.
I wish them the best of luck, they need it.


The urban lifestyle and outlook is ineluctably decadent. The idea you would have to fight for your life begins at getting dinner reservations and ends at getting Uncle Sugar to buy your partner’s AIDS drugs…


I can’t count how many times I’ve seen revolvers with “silencers” in tv showed and movies.


Are you a mildly tech-literate politico horrified at the level of ignorance demonstrated by lawmakers gearing up to regulate online technology they don’t even begin to grasp? Cool. Now you have a tiny glimpse into the day in the life of a gun owner.


Bet Wyoming doesn’t have “predator” protection regulations like the ghettocrat protection regulations like those in the Democrat cities.

I believe that Lake County, Illinois recently had a demonstration of how open season on Ghettocrats works. A 75 year old resident faced a mass assault by a Cook County (ChiCongo) gang and took out the point man armed with a Bowie knife. Poor baby. The rest were detained by the local “game wardens”.

Oh the injustice of victims being able to defend themselves.

That is how it is supposed to work!


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