a few things this morning:
1) i located a free (sign-in) shooting range
2) my wife got a phishing email from “the NRA” telling her (me) that they noticed i haven’t been getting their emails (which actually yes, i have … they’ve been going to the email address i supplied them with, not hers). the organization that sent it to her was trying to mess with me because i’d entered “comments” as part of the normal legal process related to a hearing on gun bans in certain public lands, and in keeping with the legality, i had to provide my name and residence address. it will take me a little while to investigate these folks who were pretending to be the NRA, but i should say up front that NOTHING makes false representation, identity theft, or for that matter arson, murder or vandalism “ok”. If a misinformed person or group wants to make change in the world, they really ought to do it legally, because in the end, the bad guy always loses.
3) i inadvertently offended someone on a different blog after blogging about my growing excitement for hunting season.
i’d forgotten in this past year away, how many people in other parts of the country (and world?) are so set against hunting! some are simply offended by the ‘gore’ (which is really hunter’s faults for being disgusting and displaying corpses of their kills in public) … but its those others that i have some issue with:
– there are those who want to believe that all living things are special and intelligent, and that it is therefore uncivilized to “murder” poor, defenseless animals. those persons are generally ignorant of the food chain, the predator-prey relationship, and the fact that when we build their nice little ‘scenic view’ nature-bound houses, we’re taking away habitat AND natural predators, which causes over-populations of certain animals, and those over populations spread disease (including ticks!), and some animals (deer!) destroy valuable crops (can’t be a vegan without crops!), and others (coyotes, wolves, bear) destroy livestock (or, in the case of that coyote i saw in Bellevue a couple years back, they drag children off playgrounds to eat them). None of this addresses the ‘intelligence’ aspect, and to that, i will say the following: it is my belief that animals used for food are aware of their ‘calling’ in nature, in the same way that plants (if their intelligence extends as far) do. It is ignorant to think that because a lifeform has big brown eyes and a beating warm-blooded heart that it is superior to one that just sits in the soil, sucking up water … or one that lands on your arm, sucking up blood. It is hypocritical to go through the drive-thru at McDonalds and order a Big Mac, but to say Hunters are evil … or to order a Chicken Soft taco at Taco Time and then vote to have hunter’s rights reduced or taken away. I, and many others before me, have made the accurate (and irritating) point that the deer has a better chance in the battle between hunter and prey than the cow does (or the chicken, or the turkey). The deer isn’t kept in a fenced in area. The deer isn’t pumped full of hormones (deer are “organically grown!). The deer isn’t fooled into walking up a ramp, thinking it’s time for food, and then held down and shot in the head with a metal bolt (or having its throat slit, if you’re eating Kosher). The deer is in its own terrain, more familiar than the hunter. It hears sounds that are out of place, and it runs and hides. It takes a tremendous amount of skill to fire a rifle at the ranges you usually experience when hunting a deer … where holding a bolt-gun point-blank to a cow’s skull can be done by anyone. many hunters spend weeks and return with nothing. When hunters do get a deer, it’s because there are SO MANY OF THEM!
before i move onto my next point, let me talk about cattle: in high school, my girlfriend’s family purchased a small calf, and named it “norman” after a film popular at the time. she and i quit dating for a few years, and then we ran into each other and decided to go visit her family. as i pulled down the driveway, i saw a large bull in the side yard, eating some hay. I walked up to the fence and said “norman?”, and the bull lifted its head and galloped across his little pasture and started rubbing his head against my hand (like a cat or dog). I realised at that moment that cattle are just as intelligent as most house pets (i’ve known a few dogs as dumb as a sack of hair, but that’s a different story). They later slaughtered Norman. It kind of bothered me.
– there are those which mistakenly believe we should eat NO meat, that meat isn’t made for the human body to digest, that john wayne had 8 lbs of undigested meat in his gut when he died, etc. These stories are propaganda, these stories are false. The human body does not retain ‘undigested meat’, or any other food, except in cases of severe constipation (and i will tell you, people who are constipated a lot usually don’t eat a lot of meat, but they do take a lot of ‘herbal pills’ and militantly follow ‘new medical studies’ they see on late night television). The human mouth is designed like many other omnivores … we’ve got molars designed to crush hard grains and BONE, we’ve got canines to help tear meat (ever see canines on a cow? nope!) … humans are OMNIVORES, not Herbivores (and not purely carnivores either). Evan someone who buys into the evolution theory MUST know that the human body can barely survive without ingesting meat! The only way a vegan or vegetarian can live healthy is to either consume incredible amounts of a wide range of vegetables (many of which are ‘out of season’), or to supplement their meals with large doses of vitamins that are not found in vegetables. Don’t get me wrong … veggies are great to eat, and necessary to the diet, but all things should be done in moderation, and eliminating an essential part of your diet is not ‘in moderation’. people in 3rd world countries would quickly die if they eliminated all flesh from their diet. people in any place where there is not refrigeration, greenhouses and quick transport would also suffer if they tries to maintain their health only on vegetables, because all plants are not always in season. Maybe we’re now in an age where we can rely less on meats, and more on chemicals … or when some of us can, anyway … but it is not wise to force this costly and complex lifestyle on all people. Anyone who wants to truly live “organically”, and to lessen their reliance on ‘big companies’ has to support fishing and hunting in addition to big-scale gardening (don’t tell me you think you can live off what is growing in your windowsill garden, city-dweller!)
in my post about hunting, i was talking about how there is a dramatic difference between the mindset of a person who has actually hunted and an armchair environmentalist. no amount of REI gear, nature magazines, and all-year passes to parking lot campsites can even approximate knowing what ‘nature’ and ‘hunting’ are like. Modern television and film like to portray anyone with a gun as sinister, careless, or part of an ‘authorized’ set of gun users: military or police. Those who are anti-gun, or anti-hunter get their ‘information’ from these shows, not from actual surveys or field experience. In reality, an incredibly small (if even existent) number represent these portrayals … most hunters and gun owners are, in fact, careful, trained, safe, respectful, and above all law abiding. Holding a firearm in your hands transforms you in a noticeable way. You realise you’re holding something with the power to take away life … and that is a scary feeling, which, over time, becomes a feeling of tremendous responsibility. Far from wanting to ‘blast away anything that moves’, you become concerned with accuracy and safety. For those that hunt, a knowledge of the biology and habitat for the animal they intend to hunt begins to evolve, often through countless hours of books or classes or instructional DVDs and websites. Techniques are learned and discussed.
Far from the careless monstrosities portrayed in the media, a real hunter begins to exercise extreme control, develops a reverence, takes on a seriousness they may not have had before. Gun owners who lack the maturity to safely operate a firearm weed themselves out quickly … brandishing a weapon, or behaving carelessly can and does result in legal action that, more often than not, removes the privilege of operating or purchasing firearms from that individual.
I “know” (from watching television?) that there are some hunters out there who hunt purely for the ‘trophy’ and kill. That makes me sad, because that breed is too similar to those who slaughtered all the bison for ‘sport’ a hundred years ago. In my own experience, however, I’ve only known hunters who hunt for food or to eliminate predators from their property. I know people who mount their antlers & everything, but for those i’ve known, the antlers were an afterthought … their primary reason for hunting was to feed their family.
I intend to hunt to feed my family. I love target shooting, but i shoot man-made targets, not gophers or rabbit (if i go rabbit hunting, it will be for food). I do own firearms for ‘personal protection’ (i.e., if you bust into my house some night, my weapon will be aimed at you until the police arrive or until i fire – your choice), but my ‘personal protection’ weapons have additional use (i choose based on accuracy, ease of use, etc … because i know – hope – it is unlikely i will ever use them in a ‘self-defense’ situation, so i want to be able to get some use out of them, in my case target shooting and hunting).
I know that taking away the right of law-abiding U.S. citizens to own firearms is unconstitutional, and will not serve the public’s better interest, since most firearm-related deaths (aside from suicides, which constitute a little more than half the numbers used in the propaganda) are at the hands of criminals … those people who will have firearms regardless of the laws … while those who are ‘disarmed’ will be the law-abiding victims. (and with this point, i should say that the same reasoning is used by those who are pro-weed … its all based on what we learned from the prohibition experiment).
finally, it is my duty to say the following:
i apologize if my writing about hunting has in any way offended you. it is not my intent. it IS however my intent to educate anyone who is needlessly or ignorantly against our rights to own and use firearms. it IS my intent to educate others on (my views of) hunting.
it is ALSO my duty to advise you of these things so you will understand part of the reason i absolutely will NOT be voting for Obama or his segregationist anti-constitutionalist party. I am an American, I am a law-abiding American, and I do not want to be treated like a criminal in my own country.