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By a margin of 8-1, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down 18 U.S.C. 48, a federal law banning “graphic violence against animals.” Free speech and all that. Yes, but, at what price freedom? “The law was enacted in 1999 to limit Internet sales of so-called crush videos,” the AP reports with characteristic dispassion. “which appeal to a certain sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.” In the case considered by the Supremes, the justices quashed the conviction of Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., sentenced to three years in prison for making videos of pit bull fights. So what’s this got to do with hunting?

“[Chief Justice] Roberts said the law could be read to allow the prosecution of the producers of films about hunting. And he scoffed [in a literary sense] at the administration’s assurances that it would only apply the law to depictions of extreme cruelty. ‘We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the government promised to use it responsibly.'” God I love those guys. The National Rifle Association is, of course, accepting all of the responsibility and none of the blame. Sorry, most of the credit . . .

“The NRA condemns animal cruelty,” the NRA statement said, condemning animal cruelty. “However, hunting and depictions of hunting are not animal cruelty.”

Show me the money!

American hunters and sportsmen are our country’s true conservationists. It is offensive that those who work hardest for the preservation efforts of wildlife in this country are grouped with those who commit actual animal cruelty.

‘Cause if you don’t conserve wildlife you’ll have nothing to shoot. Just sayin’.

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  1. I hunt. Quite a bit, in fact.

    I also love animals. Share my home with three fur-people in fact.

    As such, here's what I think about most hunting shows – they suck and are very unsportsman-like.

    It turns my stomach to watch hunters fist-pumping and war-whooping after they've shot an animal. That's what makes the anti's foam and seeth with anger — and gives them plenty of material with which to use against the same industry that produced it.

    I've yet to watch an animal fall to my arrow or bullet and not felt loss and regret. And not go through the justification process anew, reminding myself of the ways of fang and tallon, and that as the top of the food chain, I'm part of that process as well.

    (And for you non-hunters, just because your source of protein comes pre-wrapped in the meat counter, or already prepared for you on a bun, you are not excused from the food hierarchy. It just makes you a hypocrite — you're just artificially removed from the process, which makes you a mindless eater, IMO.)

    Respect the sport. Respect the tradition. Respect the animal.

    And don't act like an asshat on TV. Or in your "kill" photo. Show some humility – and some humanity.

    The fact the SC had to rule on this in the first place shows that far too many "sportsmen" have failed to use any common sense on this issue at all.

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