Decline in Hunting

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 NRA’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).

So what gives NRA? Why aren’t you pressing to save Virginia hunting?? Cam, can we get you to ask this question? Michael? Dave?

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.

UPDATE: Countertop has more here and here.

7 thoughts on “Decline in Hunting”

  1. So, uh, remember the other day when we were talking and you said you didn’t think Christians wanted to impose their beliefs on non-Christians through laws? ;)

  2. I didn’t say no Christians don’t… I said a lot of them aren’t interested in that kind of activism. Probably the majority aren’t. They can’t be that materially different from pro-gun actvists. Most gun owners aren’t interested in preserving their gun ownership through law, let alone altering the laws to their advantage. I would imagine the majority of Christians are politically apathetic.

    It seems to me, and Countertop can correct me if I’m wrong, that a lot of the Christian lobbyists are breaking out into other branches of the conservative movement in an attempt to affect change that way, because lobbying and a Christian conservative lobby didn’t get them very far.

  3. I don’t know if its that they are branching out to other lobbys because they failed to lobby for so called christian issues. More likely, as I see it, is this is one of a myriad of unfortunate fall outs from the Republicans signing a deal with the devil (or in this case god). The fact of the matter is (and its especially true under this administration) you get further being a graduate of Regents University than you do being a graduate of Yale. Now, that’s not all bad (Yale and Harvard are ridiculously over represented in DC) but at the same time this city has filled itself up with a bunch of choir boys from brazil.

  4. And your right about the hiking groups. And they make a strong argument – but it just doesn’t stand up to reality. First, they don’t buy hiking licenses or pay special taxes on hiking boot purchases to support land acquisition and wildlife habitat development. Further, you can still make some places off limits while allowing hunting on private lands on Sundays.

  5. I’m a hiker, but I’m fine with Sunday hunting. I have no issues being out in the woods with hunters. I’ll just wear blaze orange just like everyone else.

  6. I used to be an avid hunter and have no heartburn with hunting, hunters or hikers. However, I would mention that blaze orange is not a guarantee. I know of two men who had their horses shot while tied on the back of their trailer as they were changing into their backcountry clothes getting ready for their hunt. Both horses had “HORSE” painted on both sides in blaze orange. Some city dude still shot them as deer. Obviously he didn’t take the slightest precautions to know his target. There are some of them out there.

    Be careful.

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