I recently lauded The New York Times for publishing an article about guns that wasn’t anti-gun. I pointed out that the post was a proverbial black swan. And here’s proof: I Hunt, but the N.R.A. Isn’t for Me. Don’t get me wrong. The NRA and I have our differences. But this? This is odd. “I’m a hunter and a sportswoman. I own guns, but not for self-defense. I support gun control laws. I would happily vote to repeal the Stand Your Ground law in my home state of Oregon. In other words, the N.R.A. does not represent me.” Clearly. But wait! It gets better/worse . . .
Lily Raff McCaulou [photo above, blog here] wants to reclaim guns for . . . greens. And greens alone. If I’m reading this right, the author reckons shooting animals is OK because it puts the hunter in tune with nature. But NRA members aren’t OK because they don’t support politicians who support a ban on domestic drilling. Or something like that.
On its Web site, the N.R.A. calls itself the “largest pro-hunting organization in the world.” Yet during election season, the N.R.A. makes endorsements based largely on candidates’ voting records on gun control — with little if any concern for their views on other issues of interest to hunters. Candidates who voted to allow the ban on assault weapons to expire, for example, are labeled “pro-sportsmen” often despite their weak voting records on environmental issues . . .
If Americans’ hunting traditions are threatened, it isn’t because of bans on rifles and shotguns. The more likely culprit is the oil and gas drilling proposed in the San Juan Mountains of New Mexico — a beloved destination for elk and antelope hunters. Or the devastating effects of global warming on migratory game birds like snow geese and sandhill cranes. Or the fact that thousands of acres of United States farmland — and deer habitat — are lost to sprawling development every day.
And the NRA’s support for pro-domestic energy pols can’t possibly square with environmentalism, right?
Maybe Ms. McCaulou should have gone beyond the headlines and Googled “NRA environmental protection.” If she had she might have discovered the gun right org’s ECHO program to protect natural habitat (amongst other efforts). To wit:
Environment, Conservation and Hunting Outreach (ECHO) Program works to advance conservation efforts, encourage hunter safety and ethics, and promote hunting as a beneficial and responsible use of our wildlife resources. ECHO projects include, but are not limited to: restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat for both game and non-game wildlife species, conservation education programs, improving hunting access and opportunities, and shooting range projects.
Anyway, there you have it: a shotgun-toting tree-hugger who’s attempting to hive-off hunters from Americans who believe—with ample reason and legal precedent dating back to the Founding Fathers—that the Second Amendment protects their right to armed self-defense. Kinda funny, really.
Mr. Romney may have endeared himself to N.R.A. members when he vowed to “safeguard our Second Amendment” and to not create new laws that would “only serve to burden lawful gun owners.” But he has yet to explain what he would do for hunters.
Did you catch that? An anti-2a writer answered her own question on gun rights and then ignored the answer. Now that is dumb.