Bob Barker is donating a million dollars to an animal rights group to fight for a pigeon shooting ban in Pennsylvania, and suggesting he’s going to join protestors outside of Philadelphia Gun Club. I have not been very supportive of Philadelphia Gun Club on this issue, and I consider to believe they are a liability on this issue, but nor am I a fan of the proposed ban HSUS is floating in Pennsylvania, largely because it will also ban many of the methods used in the training of hunting dogs, as well as other completely legitimate sporting activities in the Commonwealth.
The politics of this issue is difficult, because as the ban currently is must be opposed. But I have other, ancillary concerns with it as well. If a ban comes before the legislature, we have a number of local politicians who will likely part from NRA on this issue, even though on other issues they would be otherwise good. I don’t want them to get in the habit of having to go against NRA, especially when I know doing that isn’t likely to hurt them much considering the suburban makeup of the local gun community (most of whom don’t do pigeon shooting, or even hunting dog training for that matter). The only hope is to keep this bottled up in committee so they don’t have to vote on it. Philadelphia Gun Club is making it more likely there’s going to be a vote.
For the record, Pennsylvania is not the only state that still has pigeon shoots. The animal rights folks are lying in order to embarrass us on that count. But Philadelphia Gun Club is the only club in a suburban area doing them. While I understand the club has been around for a long time, and has been doing live pigeon shoots nearly as long, I think they are doing the shooting sports and hunters a grave disservice by continuing to hold live pigeon shoots in an area where it’s not possible to be discrete about it, and where the surrounding culture is not going to be supportive of the practice.