After much prayer, meditation, and fasting (well, no, no fasting, screw that) I have realized that our deterioration as a nation is not due to our addiction to gasoline, Internet porn, a Congress that has pretty much given up, a pinheaded President, or Senator Hillary R. Clinton’s nightmarish, nonstop whoring after the Oval Office. No, it is due to the Lead Sled.

In case you’re not familiar with this infernal device, it is a metal pan upon which is affixed a rifle mount. To use, you lock your rifle in the mount and throw lead-filled shot bags on the sled. Then you aim the rifle and shoot, and the monstrous combined weight of sled and lead completely eliminates all recoil.

If you use the Lead Sled you will not suffer from detached retinas, blinding headaches, crying jags, spinal injuries, or any of the other neat stuff that recoil can cause. That’s the good news. The bad news is you will be a sissie boy, a girlie man.

Friends, listen to me: The way you learn to shoot a rifle that kicks is by shooting a rifle that kicks. My brother, a sixth-degree black belt (Tae Kwon Do), tells me of martial arts experts who have gotten their asses whipped in real fights because they spent almost all their time pulling their punches in a dojo. If you decide that you would like to shoot a rifle that kicks, you will not learn to handle it by locking it into the Lead Sled. You do so by shooting it for real and getting your brains scrambled.

Good shooting begins with the acceptance of pain. Great shooting begins with the love of pain. Do you think John Wayne would have used a Lead Sled? Do you think John Wayne would have appeared in Brokeback Mountain ? You have been warned.