Gun rights aren't a luxury for lifetime NRA members Carl Morton and his daughter, Carol Tomlin, who live next to each other in rural Woodbine.

Tomlin has a farm where she raises produce and has two horses, a donkey and some goats.

"Guns give us security as property owners, and independence," said Tomlin. "That's how I live in the country safely."

Morton, 88, has been a hunter all his life and shot a wild turkey just last week, he said. He grew up in Stone Harbor with a father who was in marine construction, building docks.

"I started out duck hunting in the marshes, and for rabbits on the dunes," he said. The family ate what it killed. He and his daughter, also a hunter, still do the same.

Now they go deer hunting a lot, and Morton has several trophy heads decorating his home.

Morton made the stock of one of his favorite guns himself about 50 years ago, out of black walnut. Then he created the inletting for the metal barrel by hand, using a clothespin and sandpaper, he said. Gunsmith Paul Jaeger, of Jenkintown, Pa., made the barrel.

Safety must come first, he said. He knows from experience how dangerous guns can be.

Morton was a tail gunner on Navy planes during World War II. He said one day another young man replaced him on a training run. The guy was almost killed when the crown gunner mishandled his machine gun, and it "cooked off," spun around and shot the tail gunner.

But better training is always the answer, he said.

Structural engineering honors

Seniors Austin Gould and Yazmin Moreno, of Millville Senior High School, recently won the Technology Student Association State Conference Structural Engineering competition at The College of New Jersey, led by advisers Jamie Burrows and Lauren Daigle.

The two had to build a 16-inch box girder beam using balsa wood. Their beam held more weight than any other created by students from more than 50 schools. Now they will compete in the TSA National Conference in Orlando, Fla., June 28 to July 2.

Gould will attend Rowan University, majoring in engineering. Moreno will attend New Jersey Institute of Technology, majoring in architecture.

Southern Regional winners

Southern Regional High School sophomore Jimmy Ward won Best Special Report, and senior Shane Ferrara won best "I Love My Library" public service announcement, at The Ocean County Library Film Festival recently. See Ferrara's PSA at http://theoceancountylibrary.org/. They are students of TV production teacher Leaha Lukas.