April 5, 2013

I’m not really one to celebrate Friday these days, but for some reason I’m really ready for this one.  It’s been sort of a long week, not just on the day job, but in general as a hunter and a gun owner.

To begin with, even though it looks like the Federal government has stepped back on the firearms regulation front, some of the states have simply gone over and above to pass restrictive laws that will do little, if anything, to curb violence.  I get it, of course.  It’s all about the need of the politicians in these mostly liberal democrat states to look like they’re doing something.  The more uproar their actions create from the pro-gun, Second Amendment crowd, the more it looks like they’ve done something of substance.

But that debate, while I’ve mostly kept it off of this blog, has had its share of bufoonery from the pro-gun side too.  It’s no wonder that people are so polarized on either side of the issue.  It’s made me tired, following this, and even though I don’t get directly involved in the conversation regularly, when I do try to inject my version of logic, it takes a lot of work and restraint to say what I want to say without getting sucked into the stupidity.

It makes me tired.

The other thing that makes me tired is the fact that I’m just not seeing any sort of campaign to challenge the lies and misinformation being passed off as truth by the anti-hunters and lead ban proponents.  I’ve mentioned this before, even recently, but just two days ago I got another email alert about lead ammo.  Turns out Wayne Pacelle and HSUS are currently distributing an editorial column suggesting that the NRA is not only evil for supporting “assault weapons” and arming criminals, but that they are supporting unethical hunting.  Pacelle slings his broad brush, covering everything from the import of polar bear hides under the Sportsman’s Heritage Act (which never passed the Senate in 2012), to baiting deer, to defending the use of of lead ammunition.

Of course, I support Pacelle’s right to have his say.  On that point, I have no qualms.  The First Amendment is certainly every bit as valid as the Second, even if I don’t like what’s being said.  But what bugs me is that I’m not seeing the counterpoints.  Where is the NRA, the NSSF, or the USSA on this national stage?  Why haven’t the major gun and hunting organizations stepped up a counter-campaign?  Hunters are being maligned and vilified.  Worse, we’re being divided by a campaign led by anti-hunting organizations, with large segments of the population buying into the propaganda because the major outdoor media doesn’t seem to think it’s worthwhile to counter the myths and misinformation.  Here’s a tip for the outdoors media folks… simply writing this off as anti-hunting propaganda doesn’t work anymore.  The discussion needs facts.  It needs logic.  It needs a persuasive argument to help hunters understand that in certain cases, lead ammo isn’t the greatest thing in the world, but it sure as hell isn’t the harbinger of the apocalypse either.

I wonder why I keep beating this drum.  Some of  you who’ve read this blog for a while probably wonder too.  At this point, it probably seems like it’s just become habit.  Or maybe I’m clinging to some ridiculous hope that, somehow, folks will realize how foolish it is to keep up this state of constant, diametric opposition.  They’ll realize the world isn’t black and white, and that there are solutions to many of these problems… and sometimes, there are just things with which we have to make peace.  We have to step back, breathe, let go of emotion, and get down to the hard work of real understanding.

So it’s Friday.  There’s a big tom turkey out in my barn pasture right now, strutting and blowing up at the toms across the canyon.  When I finish work this evening, I’m going to try to turn this thing off for a couple of days and move away from it all.  I’m sure most of this will still be here when I get back, but I just look forward to the break.



3 Responses to “Friday”

  1. Dan on April 6th, 2013 08:24

    I’m not much for politics, I find that generally speaking, you’re screwed if you do and you’re screwed if you don’t. Having no legislation in place down under that even vaguely resembles your Second Amendment, we are most certainly screwed – the only thing that varies is “how much”!

    When you get back from your tom turkey hunt, do a quick search for our ill-considered “Firearms Act 1996”, it’ll make your head spin. If you really want to see how a bunch of politicians can come up with a whole lot of stoopid – do a search for “Firearms Amendment (Ammunition Control) Bill 2012”.

    What we have to work with down here is just bearable – only just – but you want to stay well away from where we find ourselves. Keep fighting the fight, keep supporting those organisations that defend your rights.

    These days I’m not too concerned what the pro-gunners put before parliament or out in the media. Ultimately, as long as it allows us to keep our firearms license and the guns in the safe, I’m happy to deal with whatever misinformation gets bandied about from either side.

    “Their” perceptions won’t me changed. Ignorant and narrow minded is exactly that. Sometimes you just need to get out for a hunt to hit that reset switch. Hope you got your gobbler.

  2. Phillip on April 8th, 2013 11:22

    Dan, what I know of Australian gun law (and several other countries) is part of what worries me about the direction of US lawmakers right now. Some well intentioned ideas combined with some strong, anti-gun lobbies and a populace that is largely ignorant about guns or gun-owners… it’s a bad brew for common sense legislation. One can only hope for the best….

    And I had some family time this weekend, so while I did mess around and call that tom to the edge of the pasture while they were saddling the horses, I didn’t shoot him. Just as well… he’s still around and I’ve got three weeks to get serious about them.

    And Mike, I can understand your frustration. The state of political discourse is absolutely abysmal right now. To interject logic in most of these discussions is to be attacked by either side. I don’t know where this is going to end up, but it doesn’t bode well for the future.

  3. Mike M on April 7th, 2013 21:30

    Interesting post, and I agree with your point that there is hyperbole on both sides. I also doubt that the gun restrictions that congress might make, assault rifle and large capacity magazine bans would either pass or have much effect.

    I think our time to actually make a difference is decades behind us. We’ve lost the battle; we will continue to have the highest occurrence of gun-related deaths in the world in developed countries, we lag behind such countries as Mexico, but does that really matter?

    I have no solutions, and yes, I’m a gun owner, and what some would dismiss as a ‘liberal’ too. I’ve hunted many of my 68 years, and enjoyed the process of being at one with my surroundings. And I spent a couple of uncomfortable years in SE Asia in ’66-68. Mostly I’ve been there, done that.

    What I do think is that we’re headed for some bad times in the years ahead. We are such a divided nation, and the gun issue is just one example…..we vilify those who oppose our views, whether it be social, religious, or whatever. If they are pro-gun, they are gun crazy nuts. If they are anti-gun, they are socialist commies, out to rule the country. On and on.

    I hope that those on the opposing side can come to their senses, otherwise, we are well and truly screwed. Neither side appears to be willing to make any actual, meaningful compromise, or even pay lip service to the idea that compromise is in order. We only cite the same examples and statistics over and over, like robots.

    If you are anti-gun, and near half of the population disagrees with with you, what does that tell you? If you are pro-gun, and near half of the population disagrees with you, what does that tell you?

    Nothing, apparently.

    Good luck.