“Some of the greatest memories of my dad was as a small child going out and shooting doves with him or going quail hunting,” Broun says. “I can remember very clearly waking early before daylight and going getting breakfast to meet other dove hunters.”
Broun was given a shotgun for his 12th birthday and soon began hunting alongside his father. His grandfather taught him how to hunt deer, which led to his love of big game and eventually politics.
My dad “instilled an outdoor ethic of hunting and fishing, and that’s what has led me ... in my political career. So hunting’s what brought me here,” Broun says.
Before being elected to Congress in 2007, Broun was a volunteer lobbyist for Safari Club International, an organization that addresses hunters’ rights and gun control laws.
Broun’s interest in gun laws in turn led him to explore his interpretation of the Constitution and the Second Amendment.
“I began to understand that the Second Amendment is more than about hunting and shooting. It was about freedom. It was about preventing tyranny in America,” he says, adding that he thinks the nation needs to conform to a more literal view of the Constitution. “When I ran for office, I ran not only to protect hunting rights and gun owners’ rights, I ran for my children and my grandchildren’s future because we’ve got to return to a philosophy of limited government.”
Not only does the self-proclaimed “freedom fighter” see hunting as political inspiration, he also sees it as a way of connecting with God.
“I really enjoy God’s creation, and hunting is really a religious experience for me. I’m overwhelmed by the majesty of our creator,” he says, choking back tears. “It’s an episode for me to really get back to thinking about God.”
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Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with Faye, a pot belly pig, after a news conference held by Citizens Against Government Waste at the Phoenix Park Hotel to release the 2015 Congressional Pig Book which identifies pork-barrel spending in Congress, May 13, 2015.