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.