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Ever since then presidential candidate Obama snarked on Americans who “cling to their guns and their bibles,” it’s been assumed that the firearms and faith folks are in the Republicans’ pocket. begs to differ. Good Will Hunting claims “Obama makes a surprising play for gun-toters who support conservation.” The president may be clinging to clean energy (e.g. Solyndra) and threats of biblical catastrophe (e.g. global warming) but there’s no evidence that Obama’s Boyz are specifically reaching out to “sportsmen.” Still it makes a good story—even if you have to rely on a dubious “polling data and numerous interviews.” At the risk of blowing this theory to smithereens, let’s drill down a bit deeper (so to speak) . . .

Colorado College is a self-described “classic liberal arts school with a quirky academic schedule” heavily involved with conservation projects. This poll isn’t on their site but it’s not their first.

Methodology? MIA. Sample size? What’s a “sportsman”? What questions did they answer? What does “likely political affiliation” mean? While we’re at it, who’s the guy with the gun in the photo above?

Anyway, that’s the wind-up. Here’s the pitch . . .

John Gale grew up in rural Idaho, where he jokes about being born with a fishing “rod in one hand and a gun in the other.” A fifth-generation descendant of Western pioneers, he grew up in a family of conservative ranchers and farmers and even spent some time working in state Republican politics before relocating to Colorado. These days, he spends about a third of the year outdoors hunting and fishing.

Every East Coaster’s stereotype of a gun-toting, knee-jerk, Obama-hating conservative, right?

Wrong. Gale, an independent voter, cast his ballot for Barack Obama in 2008. And while he’s still undecided this time around, he’s hardly fleeing from the president’s tent.

The reason: Conservation policy matters deeply to him, perhaps more than any other issue.

“Obama has done a lot for sportsmen and natural resources,” Gale said in an interview after shooting clay pigeons with a reporter — with 12- and 28-gauge shotguns — in a state park here recently. “We’ve got to make sure that the same places that I learned to hunt and fish with my dad, that my daughter can someday go learn to hunt and fish in the same places.

Sounds like a Colorado College donor to me! Maybe even an alumni! What are the odds?

Summary: gun-toting (not clinging) conservation-minded voters think Republicans suck. They’re the party of drill baby drill! These Western huntin’ and fishin’ voters see the Democrats in general and the Prez in particular as protectors of our wildlife heritage. Mind you . . .

“Conservation is not political,” Gale said. “It transcends all party affiliations, and what we need to do is reinspire Americans to hold the value of being stewards of our natural resources highly again.”

Who the hell talks like that? Anyway, enough “fair and balanced.” Can we please manipulate the dubious data to bash the Republicans for endangering the lands upon which sportsmen dote? Sure!

But contrary to popular perception, [sportsman are] increasingly up for grabs, according to polling data and numerous interviews. The ones who care most about conservation are deeply disillusioned by what they describe as the GOP’s disregard for preservation of public lands in favor of free-wheeling energy development. Indeed, the same Colorado College poll found sportsmen by a wide margin favoring environmental laws to protect open lands . . .

“I’m not sure that the Republican Party is true to that Teddy Roosevelt legacy anymore,” said Juan Bernandez, a computer systems administrator in New Mexico who hunts deer and antelope. He voted for Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again this year.

Many sportsmen interviewed said Romney’s travels out West have left them unconvinced that he understands the importance of public lands.

And now the conclusion, which walks back the headline and main thesis to maintain some shred of credibility.

No one expects sportsmen to flock to Obama in large numbers, their conservatism on fiscal and cultural issues being sufficient to keep them in the GOP tent. The question is at the margins, and it’s here that sportsmen who are skeptical of Republican policies are hopeful.

Eric Petlock, a conservation advocate who got his hunting license as a teenager, lamented large-scale oil exploration in states like Montana.

“These are some of the last, best, big-game-hunting areas in the United States, and they’re solidly in the cross hairs of these big development projects,” said Petlock, an independent who voted for Obama in 2008 and is leaning toward doing so again. “And they’ll go away unless sportsmen get involved and make sure it’s done responsibly.”

By voting for Obama? Really? We report you deride. Oh wait; we deride you decide.

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  1. When all land is privately owned, hunting will exclusively be a privilege of the land-owning elite.

    Grit your teeth and think of England.

  2. Honestly, I could see people who only use guns for hunting supporting Obama. Hunters are quite fond of the idea of banning semi-autos and handguns to satisfy gun grabbers urges because they don’t use them, so screw everyone else who does.

  3. i vote for my guns. they’re my hot button issue. not everyone feels that way. the divide, in my experience seems to be over pistols and “modern rifles”. i’ve known a lot of hunters who owned “traditional” hunting guns who have no problems with severe restrictions on other types of firearms. fortunately it seems as if these “sporting” shooters have been wising up a little lately. at least the ones i know and have contact with. my own father was a “sporting” shooter. he wouldn’t own a pistol and when he got too old to hunt he gave and sold off his long guns. on my last trip to see him he had a new short shotgun after living without a gun for about 10 years. and he still doesn’t hunt.

    • I think the traditional hunters with no love or need for handguns or the like have noticed that thier “traditional” guns are not out of reach for being banned. England and Australia come to mind.

  4. Gallup Poll 2011:

    U.S. Households with guns- 47%
    Democratic households with guns- 40%
    Republican households with guns- 55%

    A notable difference? Yes. Can one assume that all Democrats are anti-gun? Absolutely not.

    • no, not all democrats are anti-gun. but look at the top of the party, people like schumer, feinstein etc. pro gun dems are still putting their support behind these people by virtue of them being dems. gop is not perfect, but i’ll bet 9 out of 10 gun laws come from the dems.

    • Not necessarily. I can believe 21% of gun owners are Fudds who think the 2nd A is about protecting hunting, not those nasty cheap plastic guns gangbangers use.

  5. One thing I would recommend this guy look into would be the evolution of hunting on “public lands” in Africa. Many species almost went extinct because of mismanagement. When those lands where given to private parties, those groups had a real incentive to protect the wildlife because those safari’s or big game hunting adventures represented their livelihood. If the gov fails, they’ll say what a tragedy it is, but it doesn’t really affect them since they probably won’t lose their jobs in the end, and since they have a monopoly in this case they have no real incentive to change. Public lands sounds good, but he should also look at the “tragedy of the commons.” it’s basically the reason the rain forest has been decimated.

  6. This is why we have to be careful who we call allies in the fight to protect the 2A. Owning a gun does not automatically make one a friend to the 2A, nor does being a hunter. People are, first and foremost (especially with the urgings of modern society), selfish and will gladly throw seeming “allies” under the bus to keep hold of their selfish wants. Don’t think for a second that hunters wouldn’t melt down ARs and 17 round mags with a smile on their faces if it meant they could keep their bolt actions.

  7. Just an off topic side note. I having very liberal parents was forced to watch CNN.
    Anderson Cooper blasted Michelle Wassermann last night for the DNC sending out an email which miss quoted the LA times but also included false information!
    Now We have first amendment but when you miss quote and send out false info in a fund raising campaign even the more liberal reporters are getting upset!
    I won’t diss either side, but it is kind of like the Wolf Blitzer interview a while back, it seems news organizations are changing, and calling out bad information.
    It was actually kind of funny to watch, my parents wondered why I was laughing hysterically.

  8. To be fair conservation isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be, a strictly partisan issue. I’d remind everyone that it was our gun-loving President Theodore Roosevelt who helped pioneer the conservation movement.

    I’m admittedly not a hunter, I didn’t grow up around guns or hunting. I did however make the choice as an adult to become a gun owner, concealed carrier, NRA member, and proud owner of several “scary black rifles”.

    I’ll be voting for Obama this November.

    Why? A number of reasons.

    I’m not a single-issue voter, so gun rights are one issue amongst many that I have to consider.

    I have no illusions that Obama is an ally of gun rights, I know he’s not, but I also believe that the NRA has been exaggerating the threat that his administration poses. Given public opinion, the makeup of congress, and the growing number of elected Democrats who support gun rights I just don’t see gun control at the federal level as an imminent threat.

    I consider myself a fiscal conservative. However the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of deficit-funded tax cuts. Romney promises to continue the legacy of deficit-financed tax cuts that we previously saw under Reagan and Bush. Anyone who talks about deficits while promising deeper tax cuts and refusing to consider the prospect of increasing revenues can’t be taken seriously. They obsess over cutting programs that account for a tiny percentage of the budget, but refuse to cut a dime from the defense spending that consumes more than half of the discretionary budget. Then there is the issue of the Tea Party Republicans in congress who think that the US government defaulting on it’s obligations is a grand idea.

    I consider myself a civil libertarian, and I’m also a proponent of the Separation of Church and State. I simply can’t support the Republican Party in it’s current form, which talks about the evils of “big government” while pushing authoritarian policies (the post 9/11 police state) and seeking to legislate their religious agenda. Libertarians need to seriously reconsider their allegiance to the Republican Party, while they may like to talk a big game the policies they deliver are the exact opposite.

    Do I think Obama is perfect? Of course not. I just can’t vote for the Republican Party so long as they remain the party of extremism.

    • Have you considered a vote of no confidence? Why vote for a lesser of two evils if it’s still evil? (not that I personally think Obama is the lesser of the two evils)

      For that matter, as a libertarian, how do you justify voting for a man whose actions and words have shown him to be in utter contempt of the Constitution and personal liberty in general, even if you do consider him lesser of two evils?

      Why give the broken system legitimacy by participating?

      • do you think the “broken system” cares if you take part or not. the more people that drop out of the system just makes it easier for the ones at the top to get their agendas through. if we stay in the fight we can have some small impact on the outcome.

      • I certainly don’t agree with Obama on everything, but given the circumstances I don’t think he’s done a terrible job. So it’s not purely a “lesser of two evils” thing.

        I should note that I’m not the “all government is evil” type of libertarian, nor am I a right-wing Republican. I don’t see how any reasoned analysis can conclude that Obama is in “utter contempt of the Constitution and personal liberty in general”. He doesn’t have a perfect record on civil liberties, but he’s been an improvement over his predecessor. Most of the reasoned complaints about his record on civil liberties were that he hasn’t reversed enough of Bush’s policies.

        Which should be a reminder to all of us not to excuse the laws are passed when “our guy” is in office, because they’ll still be there when the “other guy” is in charge.

      • I don’t think Obama has done a terrible job, given the reality of entering office in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression and facing an obstructionist GOP-controlled House of Representatives that puts politics ahead of the well being of the country. So it’s not [i]purely[/i] a matter of voting for the lesser of two evils.

        I should also note that I’m not the “all government is bad” style of libertarian. Nor am I a right-wing Republican. I don’t see how any reasoned analysis could conclude that Obama is a person who is in “utter contempt of the Constitution and personal liberty in general”.

        Certainly he hasn’t held a perfect record on civil liberties, however he has been a substantial improvement upon his predecessor. Most of the legitimate claims against him are that he hasn’t reversed enough of his predecessors policies. Fair enough.

        Which should be a reminder to all of us not to excuse power-grabs just because it’s “our guy” in office, because that power will still be there when “the other guy” takes over. I really wish more people would remember that, but people are blinded by party loyalty (and hatred of the other party).

      • I can’t bring myself to vote for either of them. Obama’s the first President to openly assassinate an American citizen. After that, all other issues are trivialities. I’m not voting for someone who should be impeached.

        As for Romney, I disagree with him about most things, and I don’t really think he would have acted differently than Obama on the things that mattered.

        So my choice is between two men who are not acceptable choices for the office. I see no option other than abstention.

  9. I am also a gun owner and voter for Obama. The GOP is woefully anti-science and many among its ranks use religious ideology to fuel their decisions (except for Paul Ryan, who used Ayn Rand’s brand of atheist objectivism–no, wait, now that he’s running for VP he’s religious again, not sure which is scarier). For a party that is supposed to be for small government, they sure are obsessed with what goes on in our bedrooms. For a party that is supposed to be about fiscal responsibility, they sure do spend an awful lot.

    Dems didn’t start shying away from being gun grabbers out of the goodness of their heart. They started because they lost enough elections over it and gun owners got loud enough. Our rights will continue to expand as long as we are diligent and stay on top of the politicians–regardless of what party is in power.

    • “Our rights will continue to expand..”

      Can you name one right that has expanded in the last decade? And no, I don’t count “maintaining at their intended status” as expanding. Our gun rights have been so infringed upon that some consider less infringement to be the right “expanding.”

      “…as long as we are diligent and stay on top of the politicians.”

      Yup, Obama’s shaking in his boots at how unhappy the public is with his emperor-like usage of Executive Orders. I bet he’ll never do that again, especially in a free-to-do-anything-he-wants second term.

      Amazing how disillusioned some people are that they believe politicians, especially O’s ilk, care the slightest about the peasants they presume to rule over, or the rule of law they break on a daily basis.

      I don’t care if you hate Romney, I hate him too, but to then vote for a PROVEN evil AGAIN is beyond ridiculous. Flushing your vote down the toilet would do more for this country than voting for him.

  10. OK, here’s an idea. Let’s make some political hay.

    Shooter’s are among the most ardent supporters of wildlife and wild-land conservation out there. Through the Pittman-Robertson Act, there’s an eleven percent federal excise tax placed on all firearm, ammunition and archery equipment sales in this country. Since the Act was implemented in 1938, billions of dollars have been distributed to the states for wildlife/wildland preservation, research, surverys, conservation and hunter safety.

    Let’s show how much we all care about preserving our heritage and conservation by going our enemies one better. Let’s make a big deal about raising the Pittman-Robertson tax by 1% to 12%. Promote the raising of the tax to your fellow shooters, hunters and conservationists. Petition your Senators and Representative to sponsor the bill.

    No one likes new taxes. We all know that we’re taxed far more than we should be. That said, let’s think of this as a program to raise awareness of what good guys and gals we truly are. Look at the long term plan. In addition to general conservation, there are provisions for range development and hunter safety. As small amount of revenue can have a huge impact down the road.

    What’s it going to cost you? An extra five bucks on a $500 rifle? An extra buck and change on a case of ammo? That’s pretty small time considering the long term impact that it will have. Not to mention the positive PR that it will generate for our cause.

    Here’s a potential headline; “Gun Owners: America’s Greatest Conservationists”. What have the Sierra Club and PETA done for us lately? Not much when compared to the shooting/archery community.

    Think about it and discuss.

  11. A vote for Obama is a vote to destroy the Constitution but here is what he has been up to in his past. Not to mention the UN arms treaty.

    That certain kind of person would be anyone with an I.Q. above room
    temperature who had been paying the slightest bit of attention, because
    Obamas actions as a legislator spoke volumes about his feelings on the gun
    issue. Senator Obamas statements on the campaign trail werent any more
    reassuring. For example:
    Obama opposed a bill in the Illinois legislature which would have protected
    homeowners from weapons charges if they used an illegal gun in self-defense.
    In a primary debate in 2008, Obama the candidate stated that the second
    amendment confers an individual right, BUT (theres always but where the
    second amendment is concerned) the fact that it is an individual right does
    not mean that the state or local government cant constrain the exercise of
    that right. In addition, for a supposed constitutional scholar to state that
    the Bill of Rights confers rights, rather than protects pre-existing rights
    is also worrisome.
    When running for the Illinois senate in 1996, Obama most assuredly did fill
    out a questionnaire (despite his later claims that a staffer did it) in
    which he unequivocally supported a ban on the manufacture, sale and
    possession of handguns, a ban on the possession of assault weapons and
    waiting periods before purchasing a firearm.
    Need I mention the whole bitter clingers episode?
    Although he claimed to respect the second amendment, he also said that the
    D.C. gun ban (banning all handguns and operable long guns) was
    constitutional. When pressed for his rationale, he said there was nothing
    wrong with a community establishing their own reasonable, thoughtful gun
    control measure[s] while still respecting the second amendment. Did you
    catch that? A complete ban is his idea of a reasonable gun control measure.
    In the Illinois legislature, he supported licensing and registering gun
    owners as a measure to keep unlawful guns off the street. This purported
    constitutional scholar was apparently unaware that the supreme court has
    ruled that criminals dont need to register (and cant be punished for failing
    to register) their guns because it would be a violation of their right
    against self-incrimination.
    In 2000 Obama cosponsored a bill to limit gun purchases to one per month
    and in 2003 he voted in favor of HB 2579 which had the same one gun per
    month provision.
    According to a Chicago Defender article in December of 1999, Obama is
    proposing to make it a felony for a gun owner whose firearm was stolen from
    his residence which causes harm to another person if that weapon was not
    securely stored in that home.
    At an NAACP forum in 2007 Obama stated Weve got to make sure that
    unscrupulous gun dealers arent loading up vans and dumping guns in our
    communities, because we know theyre not made in our communities. What?!? Is
    that what he really thinks? That federally licensed gun dealers are loading
    up vehicles and selling guns out of the back in inner cities?
    In the Illinois senate he supported a confiscatory assault weapons ban
    which would have included semi-auto shotguns and even some pump, double and
    single barrel shotguns.
    As a Presidential candidate he called for passage of H.R. 6257, deceptively
    titled Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2008 which would have
    explicitly banned far more weapons than the Clinton AWB.
    As a Senator, Obama voted against prohibiting lawsuits against gun
    manufacturers and voted in favor of an amendment to that bill which would
    have banned most rifle ammunition, under the guise of banning armor-piercing
    As a Senator Obama did not sign the amicus brief supporting the individual
    rights view in Heller v. DC.
    Obama voted to ban gun stores within five miles of a school or park, which
    would have eliminated most gun stores in America.
    He supported legislation to close the gun show loophole which would have
    imprisoned show organizers if a single person at a show offered a gun for
    sale privately.
    As a Senator, Obama stated he supported a federal ban on concealed carry
    laws and as a Presidential candidate he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I
    am not in favor of concealed weapons, Obama said. I think that creates a
    potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during)

    • Just to play devil’s advocate, not a single thing you listed happened while he was President. The closest it comes is statements he made during the campaign.

      Of course, that doesn’t preclude the whole “what he’d do in a second term” argument, I know.

      Given his clear anti-gun bias in his pre-Presidential years, and his relative silence on the subject for that last four, there are four possibilities as I see it:

      (1) He’s genuinely changed his mind.
      (2) He’s “lying in wait” for his second term when he can do what he wants without reelection concerns.
      (3) He sees guns as a lower priority than other stuff he wants to get done.
      (4) He sees guns as a potential “third rail of American politics,” much like Social Security. Touch it and you die.

      Number 1 is extremely unlikely, nigh to impossible. I have serious doubts about #2. I’m inclined to believe that his feelings lie in some combination of numbers 3 and 4. Rhetoric is one thing, but the general feeling of the American populace is clearly running against him on this issue, and he probably doesn’t want to get bogged down in it. Remember that even if he doesn’t have to worry about reelection, the Congresscritters still do, so they would pay the price for any wild and crazy ideas he tried to push through.

  12. Look at who Obama has put on SCOTUS – Sotomayor and Kagen, both of whom are notoriously anti-gun. Hillary Clinton has openly advocated for the U.N. small firearms regulation treaty. Obama also blasted the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, claiming it opened up campaigns to billions of dollars – he took his share didn’t he?

    And then of course, there’s the little matter of Operation Fast and Furious, which has yet to be played out.

  13. I wonder if this dimwit ever heard of Agenda 21.

    If he thinks supporting a global-citizen leftist is going to protect his hunting privileges, he’s dumb as a bag of doorknobs. “We’ve got to make sure that the same places that I learned to hunt and fish with my dad, that my daughter can someday go learn to hunt and fish in the same places.” Good luck with that one. If it’s up to globalist totalitarians like Obama, all of those places will be systematically put off-limits for public use as rural residents are herded into cities.

  14. Prepare for war. If the ballot box fails, the cartridge box may sadly be necessary.

    Remember, NO FORT SUMTERS, but BE vigilant and BE PREPARED. Store up on arms and ammunition if TEOTWAWKI comes to pass.

    Clearly from the responses here people both knowingly and unknowingly gravitate toward totalitarianism. Those supporting Obama fall into both those camps. They cannot help help it.

    Truthfully, their brains are wired toward submission to an ultimate authority–which would not be so bad if the ultimate authority they would submit to was God–but most of them recoil at such a thing. No, they need a tangible, visible, powerful mastermind or group of masterminds to control society.

    They can deny it all they want, but just look at their language and justifications for not voting for the one to do the least damage to the constitution or their many other arguments. Clearly they gravitate toward totalitarianism. If they are Obama voters, they are statists pure and simple. Do not engage them in this forum, do not give them a voice–remember, that if a second American Revolution should become necessary to save the republic, and God I hope it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, you may even have to kill them if they actively support totalitarianism.

    Let us all hope and pray that it doesn’t come to that–there is after all, still time to save the Republic with the ballot box–so make the best use of it and lets put in people who cherish the Constitution and the rule of law and individual rights and liberty generally and who will work to restore the Republic!


    SamAdams1776 III
    Molon Labe
    No Fort Sumters


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