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Dan Matthews is the vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Although their website is curiously silent on the subject, Mattews let rip for the UK’s Daily Mail re: the hunting scenes in a recent episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Matthews refrained from the usual “poor defenseless creatures” routine. This time it’s personal. “Sarah seems to think that resorting to violence and blood and guts may lure people into watching her boring show. But the ratings remain as dead as the poor animals she shoots.” At least Sarah’s shootin’ set the Internets abuzz. Unfortunately, the resulting chatter proved that you can’t please some of the gun nuts all of the time. Specifically, hunters . . .

“Experienced hunters thought she looked like an ‘amateur’  with the rifle,” The Mail concludes after its digital trawl. “Their website complaints included . . .

  • ‘She’s got a ‘varmint rifle,’ despite the overwhelming evidence that caribou are not ‘varmint.’
  • ‘It takes her four or five shots to hit the caribou. And caribou are big!’
  • She doesn’t bring her own weapon, and has someone else carry and load it.
  • ‘Her dad, theoretically a veteran hunter, uses his gun as a walking stick, which even I can tell you is a terrible idea.’
  • ‘After being given her rifle, she immediately puts her finger on the trigger, violating the first lesson any responsible hunter ever learns: Don’t touch the trigger till you’re ready to shoot.’
  • ‘She asks about the rifle, ‘Does it kick?’ which is (apparently) a silly, inconsequential question.’
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    1. “Does it kick?” strikes me as neither a silly nor inconsequential question. Rather, it is a very strange question for an experienced hunter to ask. If you told me the chambering of a rifle I could tell whether or not the recoil was bad by looking at it .

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