A hunter speaks out for gun control

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The National Rifle Association and like-minded groups supporting free unregulated sales of guns no longer speak for, nor do they represent, the millions of hunters who love hunting for being a challenging, wholesome, and essential activity for themselves and their families.

The NRA has tragically abandoned the true spirit of hunting as a sport, and in 1977 was taken over and is now controlled by the profiteers making mega-bucks from the sale of armaments and munitions.

At this time a well-financed and aggressive effort was launched to undo all gun control laws. By misrepresenting the real purpose and meaning of the Second Amendment in our Constitution, to cover their real intentions, they falsely charge that any and all forms of gun control is an attack on our constitutional rights.

In 2008, this led to a 5-4 Supreme Court decision written by Antonin Scalia, a Reagan appointee, that reversed two centuries of decisions on gun control and stated for the first time that the Second Amendment protected unrestricted personal ownership of firearms.

Previous Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Nixon appointee, stated in 1991 that the Second Amendment "has been the greatest piece of fraud-I repeat the word 'fraud'-on the American public that I have ever seen in my lifetime."

This statement by Burger, an honest conservative jurist, correctly expresses the outrageous and dangerous ramifications of the current effort to legalize the flood of weapons of mass destruction throughout our country. Many of the very same people who are hysterically stoking the fears of our people against gun control are the very same forces who attack the fundamental basis of our democracy by enacting voter repression laws.

Personal ownership of guns has rocketed to 300 million. Ten of the deadliest mass shootings in American history have occurred since 1984, six within the last five years since the Scalia decision. There have been 65 mass shootings since Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford was shot in 2011. Guns kill 30,000 Americans every year.

That is 300 times as many as in every other industrialized country, where the same mental health problems, films and video games exist, but where guns are strictly regulated.

I, like millions of young people who grew up in farm families, learned to love hunting and accepted it as part of rural life, as natural as milking the cows, slopping the hogs, brushing down the horses. A rifle or shotgun was a necessary and well cared for tool of the trade, as was planting and harvesting machinery, and when the farms became mechanized, the tractor.

As Dale Sunderlin, in his marvelous Star Beacon columns has said, hunters prize their ability to learn the habits and physical attributes of their prey, and to be able to bring down their game with one well-aimed shot. These wonderful animals and birds then take their place in the food chain as naturally as your friendly well cared for beef cow, and other farm animals and fowl.

Those of us who love and honor the great traditions and history of hunting cannot stand idly by and watch the cynical and dangerous fraud being perpetrated on our country by armament and munition profiteers. Their paid merchants of hate must be answered by showing massive support for words of wisdom and leadership coming from President Barack Obama and all who are joining in support of his reasonable and fair proposals for gun and ammunition restrictions.

I, being a WWII veteran, and among the first of those of our armed forces to occupy Germany, have witnessed and know full well the tragic results that come from allowing the merchants of hate to go unanswered.

Click here to read Burger's 1990 Parade Magazine article on The Right to Bear Arms.

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  • is not right there is no point in all this. they are making this so much more then it has to be

    Posted by brad, 02/11/2013 10:36am (2 years ago)

  • I take issue with your statement: ..."as naturally as your friendly well cared for beef cow, and other farm animals and fowl." Hunting is, in fact, much more humane than the animal-for-food industry. The meat we eat comes mainly from mistreated, brutalized animals. There is precious little well care being taken of the animals raised for food, apart from those fortunate enough to live on a small family farm.

    With hunting, the animals roam happy and free until they are instantly killed by the hunter. No real pain is involved. Not so for the bulk of our food animals.

    I do appreciate your article, though.

    Posted by R. Engle, 02/07/2013 3:42pm (2 years ago)

  • If you are a WW-II Veteran, then one of the first things you did back then was to swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Did you mean it? The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It's not about target shooting or any other form of recreational shooting. It's about protecting the security of a free State (i.e. the freedoms of the US of A).

    My dad was a decorated combat Veteran (B24 nose gunner, WIA, MIA) during WW-II. As a result, he had no interest in guns (he never went to the range with me) - he's fired more rounds than I ever will. But he was never anti-gun. He knew what the Second Amendment is for.

    You fought the Axis. You saved the world from Hitler. How did Hitler gain and keep power? By disarming the citizens. And now you want this for the United States?

    Seriously?

    Posted by R. Krupski, 02/05/2013 9:49am (2 years ago)

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