Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Hunters vs. the Shooters; or, THIS Is What Throwing People Under the Bus Looks Like

I always wondered about the political leanings and acumen of the outdoor writers at major newspapers, considering the media's by-and-large leftist leanings. Did they recognize the importance of the fight for the natural right to arms, or were they like so many others who think, "as long as they don't take my deer rifle or my duck gun, it's all right, the hell with the rest of it..." ? Well, via the great Michael Bane, we have at least one answer, from the Denver Post outdoors editor, one Charlie Moron Meyers, and here he weighs in on the Colorado governor's race:

...Ritter has been attacked by the National Rifle Association as a threat to gun ownership, a reference to his stance against certain radical firearms as an article of public safety when he was Denver's district attorney.
The notion that Ritter, or any other Colorado politician, could or would take away our shotguns and hunting rifles is absurd. Last time I checked, nobody went hunting with automatic assault rifles or Saturday night specials....
...This wrong-headed election rhetoric from the firearms lobby consistantly ignores the reality that it doesn't matter how many guns we own if there's nothing left to hunt.

"Saturday night specials" and "assault rifles." How do you like that? The jackass managed to fit in two of the gun-grabbers' key terms in his wrongheaded rant. As Mr. Bane said, "Sort of takes your breath away, doesn't it?"
Another thing Mr. Meyers is missing, of course, is the flip side of his so-called "argument," that is, that it doesn't matter what the hell's out there to hunt if you don't have any guns to hunt with. And if these damned Fuddites actually think their shotguns and deer rifles are safe from the likes of Chucky Schumer and Fat Teddy Kennedy, well then, I just don't know what to say to that. I think the peerless Kim du Toit, as is his wont, said it best:

What really, really pisses me off is the fact that gun owners seem to be splitting into two factions: the "Hunters" (or "sport shooters", as some call them), and Shooters (that would be people like me, who love shooting but seldom if ever hunt). And yes, I'm aware that there's considerable overlap, but bear with me.
While Shooters would never consider selling out the Hunters (gun ownership, to us, is a sacred thing), I’m not so sure that the reverse isn’t true. How else should I think, when I read crap like this from a Hunter like Meyers...
What this foolishness means is that an anti-gun politician (like, for example, John F*ckface Kerry) has only to show up at a clay shoot with a borrowed Red Label and an ironed camo jacket, for the Hunting Simpletons to be reassured that No-Guns Norman won’t go after his "sporting" guns. And I'm not making this up: I've read quotes from people during the 2004 election campaign who thought exactly that.
For the benefit of the Hunters, let me say this, once and for all: The Second Amendment is NOT about duck hunting. And if you think it is, you deserve to get everything that comes to you.

As he goes on to say, though, that would mean that the non-hunting contingent of gun owners had long been marginalized and all our guns would long ago have been taken from us. And there is something much more important that he points out that the Fuddites apparently aren't taking into account either -- 80 million gun owners and about 20 million "shooting" licenses, which means, of course, that there are 60 million gun owners in this great land who do not hunt.
And this goes back to what Michael Bane was originally talking about, the continued diverging of the gun market into two segments: the shooting/IDPA/IPSC/self-defense-type segment and the hunting segment:
(this divergence) would be no big deal except that the firearms industry has 100% allied itself with the hunting side of the market to the exclusion of the shooters. As the markets have diverged, so have the things in our best interest split. In some cases, those interests are in direct conflict; for example increasing hunting access versus building shooting ranges. More troubling is the fact that the hunting side of the industry focuses on traditional hunting arm, rifles and shotguns, while the shooting side of the industry is overwhelming interested in self-defense handguns, "black" rifles and competition firearms.

Bane also reports, "...one major honcho in the industry told me recently that 'hunter access' was the single biggest issue facing the firearms community, and that hunting was the future of firearms, period." I for one would love to see exactly what this major honcho has backing up that assertion, and what he would say to those of us who would contend that maybe the shooting/defense part of the market was more of the future than he and the Fuddites would like to think. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, anyone? Armed civilian patrols in Bridge City and Algiers? 'You Loot, I Shoot'? Taking that into account, I tend to side with Michael Bane when he says that, "The shooting sports are growing while hunting is shrinking. Firearms training is a booming industry, and a vast majority of states — including Colorado — allow CCW....We — sport shooting, self-defense, training, collectors — are the future of firearms in America."
I know not all the hunters will throw shooters like myself under the bus, but when I read crap like that from people like Meyers, I have to wonder how many of the hunters would gladly tell us to go to hell, thinking, once again, "they ain't gonna take my deer rifle, fuck those damn handguns and assault rifles..." And, as Kim du Toit showed, Meyers' argument that "no one NEEDS a Saturday night special or automatic assault rifle to hunt with" can very easily be turned on its head with the argument that:
no one “needs” to hunt anymore: we’re not a “frontier society”, we have supermarkets where we can buy meat.

The Fuddites aren't as safe as they might think they are...and what really irks me is that it's the people who are on the sport shooting side of the market who are fighting for everyone's right to arms -- for hunting, self-defense, or whatever purpose free and decent men and women might want to use them for -- while selfish pricks like Charlie Meyers only look out for their own best interests. Again, I know that not all hunters are like that...but how many of them are? I shudder to think...
And of course, there's at least one more thing we ALL should keep in mind, hunters and shooters alike -- you might not think the gun-grabbers are all on the same page, but they are. Don't think otherwise for a second. (For example, if Sarah Brady and her evil minions did not supporta nationwide handgun ban exactly as the Violence Policy Center does, then why exactly would they support those bans in the cities in which they've been enacted??) And the hunters and shooters would do well to get on the same page as well, if we're going to make more headway towards getting more of our rights back. Better for us to fight our common enemy than each other.