Too Much To Write, Too Little To Say
September 5, 2013
Sometimes it’s like that. There’s so much to write about, I just can’t think of any way to say it all.
Right now, of course the lead ban is an ongoing topic. At first glance, the discussions are all about California, but the groundwork is clearly being laid in place. A few minutes scanning the Web brings up discussions on national forums like Huffington Post where there have been two big opinion pieces in as many days. There’s this piece today, from the National Audubon Society President, David Yarnold. And on Tuesday, the self-proclaimed “Gun Guy” Mike Weisser wrote about the topic for the second time in less than a month. And, as would be expected the level of ignorance and misinformation started with the original posts and went downhill from there. A large segment of the commenters on these posts aren’t from California, and they see no problem with taking the lead ban across the entire US.
On top of the lead discussion and AB711, there’s SB53, a bill that I thought had died in the CA legislature. SB53 will require anyone purchasing ammo to acquire a state-issued permit which entails submitting to a background check and paying a permit fee. The bill would also require ammunition vendors to become licensed (another state fee) and to maintain records of all ammunition sales. In essence, the bill expands a recently passed law to require that all ammunition purchases in CA take place under face-to-face transactions. Ostensibly, this means no more online or catalog sales.
Now SB53 is onerous enough in itself. But when you look at SB53 in conjunction with AB711, it might be pretty easy to see a real problem for California hunters. Eliminating online purchases of ammunition is going to have a serious impact on the ability of folks to buy lead-free ammunition. Given that there’s already a big lag between manufacturing and availability, this bill will exacerbate the problem by limiting the available market to authorized vendors in the state… or, of course, to folks who are willing and able to cross the state lines and purchase ammo in Arizona, Oregon, or Nevada.
After hearing me go on about some of the wonderful hunting experiences I’ve had in California, some folks ask me why I left the Golden State. I gladly point to the above as a part of the reason (not to sink into hyperbole… this is only one of several reasons). California is becoming increasingly hostile to hunters and to gun owners.
Other topics? Hunting seasons are underway or closing fast across the country. That’s generally a good thing. But as hunting seasons get active, so do the hunting discussion boards. At first it’s guys showing off their recent trophies and talking about how great it is to be back in the field. And then it’s the armchair ethicists, preaching moral absolutes from the safety of an anonymous keyboard. I guess I should revel in the annual fest of judgement and hypocrisy, because it does give me lots of fodder for the blog. But I also find it irritating, and a little sad.
I’m sure there’s an upcoming blog post in it (I’ve done it plenty of times before), but I’m seeing more and more of the “that’s not what X-hunting is supposed to be” discussions. Most recently, it was bowhunting, and a discussion of long-range shooting (you knew it was bound to happen). The other day it was about running shots on big game. And before long, you won’t be able to turn around in the (anti)social networks without tripping over some argument about hunting ethics and “the spirit of the hunt.”
Finally, with the nascent hunting seasons we’ll have the news stories. Already, it looks like the recent forest fires in Yosemite were started by a careless hunter. For whatever idiotic reason, he had to build a campfire in a wilderness, despite extremely high fire conditions. Folks are already piling on him in regards to what his punishment should be, because folks like to do that when it’s somebody else’s son… especially when it’s someone they don’t even know.
So maybe I’m a little overwhelmed with so much going on. Or maybe I’m a little grouchy. I just saw some photos from a friend who’s chasing elk in Colorado right now, and the itch is turning to a burn. Potting doves in a 97 degree horse pasture just doesn’t quite fill the bill compared to stalking the Rocky Mountains to the song of elk bugles and the first golden glow of the aspens.