The Express-Times are standing behind New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s blue law that bans hunting on Sunday, originally enforced because you should be in church. They are arguing hunters have to share the great outdoors, which they largely pay for, with other people who don’t pay for it. I am not a hunter, but it’s very important for gun rights in this country to turn around its decline. There are plenty of people on our side who are happy to throw the “fudds” off the lifeboat, but the hunting cultures nonetheless provides a lot of bodies to the gun rights movement, and it’s decline will hurt us at the end of the day. Nearly every other state in the country allows Sunday hunting. There is no reason that New Jersey and Pennsylvania should be among the last states to repeal this blue law.
Back in 1938, a Texas hunter decided to get ready for his hunting trip by posing for cameras in DC. That Texas hunter was Senator Tom Connally.
The caption from the Library of Congress: Looking forward to a hunting trip in his native state as soon as Congress adjourns this week, Senator Tom Connally, Democrat of Texas, checked his guns and did a little fancy shooting for the benefit of the cameramen at the Capitol today, 6/14/38.
I can’t even fathom how that would go over today.
Apparently a lot of anti-gun groups think hunters losing their hearing is just fine. I also like the notion the media is parroting that silencers put Bambi at a disadvantage. That’s because many people graduating from journalism school know about as much about how the world works from that point of view as a raccoon does.
See, bullets fired from hunting rifles travel faster than the speed of sound, meaning if the hunter has any skill, Bambi is mortal before she even knows what hit her. Bullets also make sonic booms, which means suppressing a hunting rifle is more useful for protecting a hunter’s hearing than masking the sound from wildlife. Any wildlife in the vicinity will definitely hear the shot once the supersonic shockwave caused by the bullet reaches their ears.
A group of hunters tried suing Pennsylvania over the Sunday hunting ban and one of their claims was a Second Amendment protection. Yesterday, a U.S. District judge tossed the lawsuit.
Kane said she could find no proof that courts have extended Second Amendment protections to include recreational hunting.
The hunters raised several other arguments, including religious discrimination, but the judge said the hunters could not prove the Sunday ban violated their religious freedom.
I kind of figured the case would end up dismissed. This has to be handled legislatively, and Virginia is the model for chipping away at it until it the ban finally falls.
Facebook locked the admins of a hunting-related page out of putting up new content after they pulled down a perfectly normal hunting photo that didn’t violate any laws or guidelines and claimed that it does not meet community standards.
One of the biggest hurdles Facebook has is not only growing their audience, but keeping the audience it has. Banning perfectly legal photos & pages just because their California staffers don’t like an outdoor tradition seems like it could easily send users running for other social media outlets.
It looks like Mother Jones is investing in a strategy of trying to convince hunters that NRA doesn’t represent them because of one bill that appears to have covered many national land access issues. And, since those access issues might possibly be used by energy companies and some guys who own energy companies in Texas happen to like guns and donate to NRA, CLEARLY the evidence is overwhelming that NRA hates hunters…or something. (Heavy sarcasm in that summary if you couldn’t tell.)
This is a pretty hard sell to make considering that 3/4 of NRA members report that they are hunters, according to NRA President Jim Porter’s report at the recent board meeting. In fact, the organization launched a Hunter Leadership Forum event at this year’s annual meeting that raised more than $2 million for hunting programs at NRA.
So, I would say that the evidence shows NRA is quite connected to the hunting community. Will there be times that legislation is more complex and touches on issues that non-hunting access? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that NRA is “turning…against hunters.” It is also just a bit of a stretch to argue that because NRA accepts some donations from Texas families who own guns and hunt that happen to be in the energy sector that they are now energy industry lobbyists because of one or two bills. This looks like an attempt to try and see if they can pull some of those hunting supporters away from the organization since hunters are clearly such a huge part of the NRA “family.”
I realize that most readers of this blog aren’t hunters. But, if you’re like Sebastian, you may have been invited to go hunting once or twice, but couldn’t give it a try alongside the experienced hunter who invited you because you didn’t pre-plan and sit through an 8+ hour hunter safety course in order to get a license.
Pennsylvania was an early adopter of an apprentice hunting program that allowed experienced hunters to take children out to the woods on a limited license that didn’t require the pre-planning hassle of finding an available hunter ed class. It was wonderful, but it didn’t solve the problem for those who were over 18 and would like to give hunting a try. Recently, the legislature and the Game Commission have set out to fix that problem, and final approval to new regulations is scheduled for April.
It’s great to see some roadblocks to growing the sport coming down, especially when you add in that the Game Commission has been rolling out online hunter ed with only a few hours to do in an actual classroom.
Stories like this don’t just make me think about great news for hunting, but they should get all gun people thinking about barriers to entry for any of their favorite shooting sports and what they can do to help knock them down.
Despite not being a hunter myself, I’ve “unliked” a lot of pages on Facebook this week over the outrage regarding Melissa Bachman’s South African safari. It’s not that I think people can’t have different opinions about hunting, but at least know what it is you’re really opposing before getting worked up and outraged. I’ve also just hit my limit for people who preach tolerance and understanding, but who then turn around and display the opposite out of ignorance. My patience for it has worn out. Continuing on my assertion that hunting is in a lot of trouble, I bring you this from the comments of George Takei’s post joining in the Bachman hate:
This is the old “I’m a gun owner, but ….” just in another context. This kind of attitude is what’s going to kill hunting, because hunters still think it’s OK to argue about what hunting is and isn’t. This guy has just giving close to 6000 people, on a page “liked” by millions, moral cover for their outrage at a fellow hunter. Hunters will sell the animal rights movement the rope they will use to hang them. If you want to understand why in the shooting community, we’re so quick to knife traitors, this is why. Hunting has to develop the same kind of message discipline if they want their pastime to survive.
Hunting pays for the vast majority of wildlife conservation in this world, and hunters have been at the forefront of preserving nature and the environment. It was the famous hunter and president, Teddy Roosevelt, who helped establish the North American model for wildlife conservation. Hunting has a great story to tell. More importantly, it has a great green story to tell. It’s story has great appeal across a broad spectrum of non-hunters. But how can hunting tell its story when hunters are busier throwing other hunters under the bus than they are fighting for hunting’s future?
UPDATE: Why, for instance, did it take a non-hunter to put out a spectacular defense like this?
I want to highlight this article by Papa Delta Bravo, both because it is excellent, and because it brings up some issues that have been bothering me a lot lately:
In this age of the series of tubes, Inman’s asshole rage is sadly what passes for debate. Where there are no people except for those on your side, and those you don’t like or understand are reduced to an undesirable, collective other who embody all the things you say you stand against.
I seem to recall there was a time when people could discuss politics, even if they disagreed, without ending up resorting to childish nonsense like this. When I think about it, I first noticed it during the Bush Administration. In fact, I think the desire to have substantive discussions is what, in large part, gave birth to blogging.
For all the talk from “Fudds” and of “Fudds,” I think hunting is in far greater danger, both politically and culturally, than target shooting is. I offer you exhibit A in making that case. And for those of you who think people will always be OK with killing Bambi, all it takes is a new series on Animal Planet and you guys are screwed too. At least one person in the comments seems to get it:
By the way, one of my guides in Zimbabwe said this: “Well, now Botswana has made all hunting illegal. That means that there will be no one hunting the poachers. They will get in and decimate the animals in the National Parks. There will be so little wildlife left that the eco-tourism will completely bottom out — and they won’t have any money to try to combat poachers.”
Hunting in Africa is what pays for conservation in Africa, but there’s real passion in “saving” the animals. It’s a religion for them, and people will go to great lengths over religion.
UPDATE: Fate of the Western Black Rhino, driven not to extinction my managed and legal hunting, but driven to extinction by poachers whose demand was fed by maoist policy in Communist China.