A few weeks ago I wrote an article that ran here on TTAG where I explained my thoughts on long range hunting. In that article, which you can read here, I detailed my belief that long range hunting was a violation of the spirit of the hunt. It’s a form of animal cruelty due to the fact that it was no longer a noble pursuit, but rather a fetishized version of sniper role-play mixed with a consequence-free, status-oriented gamer’s mindset.
That post resulted in some interesting comments.
You can read that piece and tell me what you think of it, but I want to look at the extension of a comment posted to that article. In that article I made an obviously (and intentionally) extreme statement to drive home a point. Reader ‘Gadsden’ had this to say:
“(Quote from the article) ‘So should we force everyone to hunt at 50 yards with muskets? If that preserves the deer herd for the next ten generations, then I am all for it.’
That’s a pretty strong gun pro gun control statement.”
While I did write those words, the reason I did so was to bring home the point related to conservation. That statement was to made so that it forced the reader to decide if the kill (individual prestige) was more important than the preservation of the species (continuity of tradition). Without tradition, we have no culture.
The interesting part of the aftermath of that article was that I was contacted by a number of people expressing their agreement and what they were doing to combat what they also viewed as cruelty. I also heard from those who believed that killing animals should have no limits as it was ‘gun control’ to restrict hunting weapons.
An extreme hypothetical limit like the one I stated would ensure the deer population survives along with the culture of hunting and wouldn’t at all interfere with the ownership of long range target rifles. They would be restricted from deer hunting, but not ownership or general use.
If you believe that hunting regulations are gun control, then, by extension, so are the rules of any shooting competition that restricts the type of gear and guns you can use. It’s obviously not gun control when you have to have to abide by the restrictions of a shooting match, but to some people it’s gun control when you have to abide by the restrictions of a given hunt. Why is that?
There is a separation between gun rights and hunting. There is a misconception by some that hunting is protected in every way by the 2A. The Second Amendment has literally nothing to do with hunting. For those of you who need a refresher, here it is:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Hunting is not protected by the 2A. The 2A is the people’s right to self-defense against other individuals and an oppressive state. Along with the First Amendment, there is nothing more sacred to Americans.
When gun-grabbers say, “You don’t need an AR-15 to hunt deer.” that’s basically true in literal terms, but is intentionally misleading in that they want you to believe the 2A is only about hunting.
That “logic” is an attempt to appeal to the idea that hunting is the only valid use of a firearm. By saying you don’t need an AR to hunt, they invalidate any other need for gun ownership. They don’t see the right to bear arms as anything more than an affront to their monopoly on the use of deadly force.
You need that AR-15 to commence armed resistance against tyrannical government or in the defense of yourself and the state. But it’s also nice when the same gun can be used for the separate pursuit of hunting where applicable (the AR isn’t the best hunting rifle of all time, but that is another story for a different article).
The Second Amendment makes us all militiamen, each man and woman a bastion of liberty in the event that our civil servants seek to become our masters.
When it comes to hunting, the idea that it is a ‘right’ is fallacious. The people who believe that there should be no seasons or bag limits, tags, or restrictions on hunting tools are detached from the reality of conservation practices.
No, it’s not a hippy thing or a left-wing ideology to protect nature and care about animals. That’s a divisive tactic used to separate us into black-and-white groups based on perceived moral high ground. But don’t tell PETA. They think kidnapping and gassing pet dogs is fine because at least they aren’t slaves anymore (they actually believe that). But shooting deer? Murder!
While not all hunting laws make sense, they are put in place to better preserve the natural resources we have. Sometimes they’re arbitrary and seemingly stupid, such as Michigan’s straight-walled case laws. You can hunt statewide with a 6.5-284 or 6.5x55mm for coyote year-round, 24/7, but cannot use the same cartridges in the lower portion of the state for deer. There you need something like a 450 Bushmaster or the new 350 Legend.
Does it make sense? No, not at first glance, but each of these regulations was put in place to support the individual animal populations in a given region. The regulations on hunting equipment are little different than the limits placed on equipment used in any sport, which are themselves supposed to ensure fair competitions. If you can’t agree on regulations, there is no real contest or game.
The point here is that if there were no bag limits or regulations on equipment and guns, people would wipe out animal populations due to our superior technology. If you doubt me, look at the buffalo, dodo, and countless other species that were hunted to extinction in less than a generation. Hunting regulations aren’t gun control, they are simply the rules of the game. If you cut corners in a game, you’re a cheater. If you cheat while hunting, you’re a poacher.
The regulations we have on everything to do with hunting are completely separate from our 2A rights, which constitutionally have no limits. Tyrants will pull no punches when it comes to subjugating their populations so the 2A skews the advantage toward the armed citizen.
Nothing about the 2A is designed to be fair or sportsmanlike. Civilians need the most state-of-the-art fighting equipment to ensure the fight against tyranny will be won with overwhelming force.
To put it in perspective, ISIS was able to destabilize several countries in Africa and the Middle East. Their estimated numbers did not exceed 250,000 globally and it took the combined might of most of the Western world to put a stop them.
Armed American resistance, if it ever comes to that, would be in the millions with an almost unlimited supply of equipment flowing nationwide. When you are disheartened by the latest gun control news, sleep well knowing that it’s really the other side that lives in terror of us because we can resist them so effectively.
This is the point of intersection that we need to stress. The idea that hunting regulations are gun control is simply wrong. What the gun-grabbers want is to discount the idea that they are separate so they can use one to defeat the other.
Hunting laws are regulated conservation practices for maintaining animal populations. The 2A is literally about the individual right to bear arms for use in self-defense and combat. You can use combat arms for hunting, but it’s hard to use regulated sports gear effectively for fighting. They know this and that’s why they huff and puff so hard about the AR-15.
So there you have it. Hunting regulations and Second Amendment rights go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same. People get riled up about the idea that their gun rights are being infringed by the limits placed on hunting, but that simply isn’t the case.
Hunting should be a fair-chase contest between hunter and quarry. Armed conflict is, by its very nature anything but fair or regulated. While some may not agree with all hunting laws, they are essentially there to protect our treasured natural resources from destruction at the hands of those who don’t regard them as valuable.