Lead Ban Chronicles – CA, Here We Go Again!

April 12, 2013

Lead Ban ChroncilesI haven’t given CA Assembly Bill 711 much coverage lately.  For those who aren’t in CA, this bill would expand the ban on using lead ammunition to cover the entire state.  For those who are in CA and don’t know about this, shame on you. 

I’ve made all the arguments before.  I’ve laid it out, run it through the wringer, and beat it like a red-headed  stepchild.  There’s little else left to say. 

There is no justification for a lead ammo ban in California. 

Hunters need to step up, and stay stepped up, to address this thing and knock the wind out of it.  It is not enough to complain that it’s another anti-gun/anti-hunting assault.  It’s not enough to point to your NRA or COHA sticker and say you’ve done your part.  The response to this thing needs to be resounding, and it needs to be real.  Folks need to motivate… need to move their asses… need to get on the phone, send letters, and show their faces in Sacramento. 

And fighting this single case isn’t enough either, unless you want to keep doing it every two or three months.  CA hunters and fishermen need to get together to drive the HSUS out of the Fish and Game Commission, to put them back out in the audience with everyone else.  They need to fight to get CA to adopt science-based wildlife management and regulations, and put a stop to laws based on nothing more substantial than emotion. 

Or accept the inevitable.  Lead ammo bans.  Dove hunting bans.  Loss of public hunting and fishing access.  And the list goes on… 

It’s up to you, Californians.  What’s it worth to you?

And to the folks from other states, pay attention because you’re next on the target list.  Don’t think this is just a California issue.


3 Responses to “Lead Ban Chronicles – CA, Here We Go Again!”

  1. bannock on April 15th, 2013 09:31

    I’m from another state and I do pay attention.

    I worry not so much about one misinformed law but the trend signaled by all the laws. California no longer allows cougar hunting, an entire species no longer hunted, then bears with dogs, and lead ammo.

    In other states departments of Fish and Wildlife aren’t allowed to manage wolves and bears, in still other states the foothold trap and snares are outlawed.

    By making it more difficult to improve marksmanship and by restricting amo to the less effective copper, by increasing predator numbers, anti hunters are successful at making less hunting possible.

  2. Phillip on April 15th, 2013 12:12

    Thanks for dropping by, Bannock… and thanks for paying attention.

    I think you’re correct in looking at this from a big picture, trend perspective rather than an individual ruling. What we’ve been seeing in California definitely shows a pattern of incremental attacks on hunting. The organizations responsible are very good at what they do, but as they get more powerful their actions are less veiled.

    I used to dismiss the folks who believed there was an agenda at work in all of this as paranoid conspiracists. But the longer I’m involved and the closer I look, it’s hard to deny that there’s an overarching planr consisting of incremental steps. The problem is that it’s not enough for us, hunters, to scream that we’re victims of a smear campaign. To most people, the existence or extinction of the sport hunter is meaningless. They could care less because they aren’t directly affected (and most people are unaware of the indirect effects). There aren’t that many of us, and it’s easy to write us off as selfish whiners.

    All we can do is offer resistance in the form of truth and logic, challenging the myths and misinformation publicly. We have to offer a valid counterpoint that is not laden with political or emotional platitudes. To do so, we must first educate ourselves and then start to educate others… on both sides. We need to understand what it is we’re really trying to accomplish here… what we’re trying to justify, and what we really need to protect.

    For example, while I don’t have the science, on an emotional level I don’t think there’s a problem with establishing healthy populations of wild predators. The key, of course, is “healthy”. How you determine a “healthy” population versus the desires of human sport hunters is a tricky proposition and one I’m not prepared to debate.

    Another example is the perpetuation of the myth that copper ammo is “less effective”. I’ve used a pretty wide variety of lead-free offerings for everything from coyotes and ground squirrels to deer, hogs, and large exotics. I’ve also used an even wider variety of lead ammo for similar purposes. I can say, unequivocally, that the lead-free has consistently performed well. Does copper have limitations? Sure. So do many lead bullets. But it’s misleading (or misinformed) to decry the performance of copper ammo. It is certainly more expensive. It is hard to find for some calibers, and impossible for others. But it works just fine in most applications.

    The point is, we have to make our arguments valid and unimpeachable. Our opponents will exploit every chink and weak spot, and once they’ve successfully challenged our credibility, the battle is lost.

  3. bannock on April 16th, 2013 20:48

    I’ve been using copper as my hunting bullet for two years now. Four one shot kills, but the elk and deer ran after being shot in the lungs whereas controlled expansion lead seemed to drop them better. I like the fact that I’m fairly assured of a pass through shot, just wish they’d drop sooner. I still have 16 cartridges left so I’ll probably be using Barnes for a while.

    For target practice Barnes are just too pricey.

    But my main issue with lead in rifles is I haven’t been convinced of the science.

    I like all wildlife “managed” by a competent Fish and Wildlife agency. That includes any predators that naturally occur but only if managed, with population goals set by state Fish and Wildlife agencies not by non hunters emotions. Where I live our state has re established a healthy lynx population totally on it’s own initiative, we also have healthy cougar and black bear in just about every place they can occur. Some times the state will offer twenty times as many bear tags for one particular area as another. Too many bears in one place. Other times they issue no tags at all.

    It’s when these decisions are made by referendum that I worry.

    Surprised this blog isn’t busier, good quality writing.