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Good News for Hunting & Ultimately Guns

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.

Hunting is Doomed, Exhibit B

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:

HuntingComment

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?

More on the Anti-Hunting Rage

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.

Hunting is Actually in Far Deeper Trouble Than Shooting

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.

Buying Guns & Saving Bambi

If there’s one thing that I really love about stories generated from Pittman-Robertson fund, it’s that you get a focus on happy wildlife loving programs that effectively celebrates expanded gun sales and the good they do for the environment.

Because we gun owners know how important it is to save Bambi. I mean, if we don’t save the young deer, then how else are they going to grow up into a giant pot of venison chili?

Big Push for Hunting in Pennsylvania

It looks like Pennsylvania’s ban on Sunday hunting is going to be challenged in the courts since the legislature refuses to act. The suit will apparently be brought on rather interesting grounds:

Specifically, the letter says “the prohibition on hunting certain species on Sunday” is “unconstitutional under the First, Second and 14th amendments to the United States Constitution.”

And on a somewhat related note, some new partnership to highlight the economic benefits of hunting is launching at the State Capitol tomorrow.

I actually think that the economic benefits of hunting are under utilized as talking points in the Second Amendment community. We look at gun sales data and think nothing of using those data points, but hunting is one of our community’s sports that requires far more than just a gun and ammunition. The equipment and trips drive quite a bit of money into government coffers. That should be highlight just like other economic indicators in the sports.

In fact, I think it would be handy if more groups that sanction, run, or really do any kind of formal organizing of shooting sports did some economic impact studies. Hell, even local gun clubs could just do some not-so-scientific polling of their members to get an idea of what kind of economic impact they have on the local communities, and that can be used when talking to lawmakers about why it’s good to avoid restrictions on our rights.

Freeganism?

A new term for a long and storied tradition of eating roadkill. Personally, I prefer my meat unseasoned by vulcanized rubber or fiberglass, and un-marinated by radiator fluid, but whatever floats your boat. Waste not, want not.

Sportsmen’s Act Votes

Today is the day for the vote in the Senate for the Sportsmen’s Act, a bill that pulls together many issues that NSSF and NRA have been pushing lately. According what I saw on C-SPAN earlier, it looks like the vote will come around 5:30pm. However, there’s already been a vote on cloture.

Assuming the vote follows the same lines, it should pass pretty handily. The cloture vote was 84 yeas, 12 nays, and 4 no votes.

Buying Camo is Child Abuse?

Paul Ryan took a little time out of campaigning in Ohio to pick up some hunting gear for his daughter who wants to get out to the field with him this fall, apparently. She already has her own rifle, so he has truly walked the walk when it comes to passing his shooting sports traditions. And, of course, when it came out that he was buying camo gear for his daughter, some came out screaming child abuse.

I appreciate that they highlighted there was no such “concern” from the these same folks when Obama announced that he was comforted by the fact that his daughters are protected by guns. Yet, apparently, teaching a girl to safely use one of her own is just horrible. Sexism much?

What a difference …

a period makes.

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