Lead Ban Chronicles – John McCain Weighs In, Supports Voluntary Approach To Lead-Free Hunting
August 14, 2013
On the “propaganda front”, the NRA’s Huntfortruth.org site ran into some conflict. I chose to step clear of the worst of it, but it appears to boil down to the NRA publishing some sort of “target list” of organizations who supported the lead ammo ban. Ban supporters, such as the Center for Biological Diversity took them to task. Meanwhile, the huntfortruth.org website shut down for some reason, and the lead-ban advocates had a field day disputing the organization’s claims. The whole thing was really sort of weird and juvenile.
More importantly, if anyone wondered whether lead ammo was a topic in Washington, D.C., it looks like the conversation is definitely happening. In an article today from The Hill (apparently some sort of beltline insider news site), John McCain was quoted as suggesting that the US Fish and Wildlife Service should be encouraging hunters to get the lead out.
In his statement, McCain said that the federal government should adopt a strategy to get hunters to voluntarily stop using lead bullets, as Arizona and Utah have done, and promote other types instead. “I intend to ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do more to acknowledge and support this approach,” he said. “I also believe there’s a role for ammunition manufacturers and distributors to raise awareness about the benefits of non-lead products to the condor.”
McCain also made clear, however, that he does not support legislation banning lead ammo.
McCain said he did not support that legislation because it is “unfair to the sporting community that has a vested interest in enjoying healthy game populations.”
“It is also unclear that there would be demonstrable benefit to the condor,” he added.
I’ve got to say, I agree with this whole approach. I absolutely understand the distrust and enmity between the most vocal factions in this fight, but I hate the way it’s made it practically impossible to have a logical and reasoned discussion about the pros and cons of lead-free ammunition. I’ve said repeatedly, that if more hunters could get honest and unbiased information about what lead ammo really does in the environment, and the performance and capabilities of lead-free alternatives, we’d see a higher adoption rate.
Will all hunters switch?
But I don’t think it’s necessary for all hunters to switch to lead-free. It’s not a necessity, for the most part. It’s just a good thing to do, when and if you can.