Go read Countertop’s great post on the decline of hunting in Virginia. He places the blame on the NRA and Christian Coalition:
You see, the NRA has so far refused to engage in the fight. I blame some of their internal staff, one of whom apparently used to run the lobby shop for the Christian Coalition. I have it on good word that he (and others inside the organization) are often more aligned with Pat Robertson on issues than with the NRAâ€™s actual membership (which would go a long way towards explaining the organizations recent trend away from being Non Partisan and instead becoming an arm of the Republican Party).
Whether people want to admit it or not, with all the terms like “fudd” and the like thrown around, hunters are a critical component for the right to keep and bear arms, both in terms of a positive public image of the shooting sports, and in political advocacy.
While it’s true that a lot of hunters couldn’t be bothered to get involved, in my experience with grass roots politics in this issue, at least in Pennsylvania, when the chips are down it’s hunters who show up. When I attended the Committee of the Whole in Harrisburg last year, most of the other pro-gun types I ran into, who weren’t the activists from ACSL, were affiliated with the state’s hunting communities and sportsmens groups. Pro-gun folks numbered all of about 400, compared to the thousands the city bussed in. The more hunting loses, the more we all lose, so it’s something those of us who identify more as shooters need to be concerned about.