Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Political Report: An Assault on Hunting Equals an Attack on the Second Amendment

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

POLITICAL REPORT

CHRIS COX, NRA-ILA Executive Director

An Assault on Hunting Equals an Attack on the Second Amendment

t's no coincidence that the politicians who oppose our Second Amendment freedoms also tend to oppose hunting. Direct, frontal attacks on our gun rights have been rare in the new Congress so far, but our opponents are showing no such caution in launching assaults on our hunting heritage. There are many parallels between congressional action to restrict hunting and firearms, and it is clear to me that in the end, the point of the game is the same.

If Congress can ban the importation of polar bear trophies, it can ban the transportation of your favorite deer mounts across state lines. And it can ban your guns.

Debate over climate change, of all things, gave anti-hunting lawmakers their first opportunity to pop up and take a shot at hunting. The question of "global warming" is one that can't be answered in these pages, if anywhere. But the groups who are always on the lookout for opportunities to ban hunting found a home in this debate.

They have adopted the polar bear as the icon of "global warming," and are pushing Congress to ban the importation of polar bear trophies. Anti-hunting sympathizers in both the House and Senate took up the question in debate over the spending bill that funds the Department of the Interior.

Admittedly, few hunters are lucky enough to have the time, resources and gumption to pursue a polar bear. For American hunters, a polar bear hunt means a long, exceptionally costly trip into the harshest reaches of the Canadian Arctic. As of this writing, a national total of 168 hunters are awaiting permission to import their polar bear trophies. With all this in mind, you may be tempted to wonder whether this issue has implications for the majority of American hunters. Rest assured it does, and in these implications we find numerous parallels to our work in the Second Amendment debate.

The most striking parallel is the "invent a problem to solve" mentality of the anti-hunting cabal. Sound science proves without a doubt that polar bear populations are healthy, even thriving. But that didn't stop the lead sponsor of the ban, Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., from asserting that mankind is threatening the bear populations in two ways--"global warming" and "sport hunting."

Unintended consequences are also shared between the two debates. The gun-ban lobby is perpetually aghast when their own media campaigns backfire against them, causing droves of people to buy guns that might otherwise sit on the shelves. And we know, again from sound science, that banning guns does not reduce crime. If anything, crime increases in jurisdictions that ban guns. So by pushing their tired agenda of bans, restrictions and regulations, the gun-ban lobby is fueling the very outcomes they say they oppose.

So it is with polar bear hunting. Anti-hunting politicians believe they can "save the bears" by banning the importation of trophies. Banning importation effectively bans polar bear hunting by U.S. hunters, since the only hunters willing to invest that much in a trophy certainly want to bring it home to their collection. But it does nothing to limit the overall numbers of bears that will be killed. The same number of bear permits will be issued to the native communities who live among the polar bears, and the same number of bears will be killed for sustenance.

Worse yet, the ban would dry up the biggest sources of funding for polar bear conservation. Bear hunting generates nearly $2.5 million dollars annually for native Nunavut communities. Because of this influx of resources, the government of Nunavut and the Wildlife Management Board of Nunavut contribute $1 million per year to polar bear conservation, as an investment in the economic well-being of local communities. In addition, every American hunter who imports a polar bear trophy pays a $1,000 permit fee, which has raised more than $700,000 for polar bear conservation since 1994. Banning the importation of bear trophies would erase the economic incentive for bear conservation, and bear populations would suffer.

Finally, the Second Amendment and hunting debates both feature deceptive, emotional arguments from our political opposition. The Humane Society of the United States (hsus) claimed that it does not oppose hunting, but only the most "inhumane, unsporting and biologically unsustainable hunts." This is not a claim hsus has made when it has campaigned in nearly 20 states to ban the hunting of doves, deer, black bears and other common species.

And this debate featured another appearance from the American Hunters and Shooters Association (ahsa), claiming to represent "responsible hunters" who supported the ban. Loyal readers are familiar with this fledgling anti-gun, anti-hunting group, and the funding it receives from major backers of gun-ban groups and politicians. ahsa's statement underscored that the group exists purely to confuse policy makers into believing that gun owners and hunters would support policies that are not in their best interest.

None of it worked--this time. The House voted down the import ban by a vote of 242 to 188. But the battle isn't over for the bears--the Senate included the ban language in its version of the spending bill. There will be more battles in the weeks to come to ensure that science, logic and reason will prevail.

If Congress can ban the importation of polar bear trophies, it can ban the transportation of your favorite deer mounts across state lines. And it can ban your guns. Your NRA-ILA is here to make sure that none of this happens--no matter if you're a hunter, a shooter or both.

TRENDING NOW
Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

News  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 3, 2017

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

Courts are telling gun owners that they must choose between their Second Amendment-protected rights and their other constitutional rights. 

When Gun Control Fails

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Gun Control Fails

Gun control is pushed as a strategy to keep Americans safe in their homes, schools and workplaces. It is presented as the key component in safer streets, neighborhoods and families. But what happens when gun ...

New Evidence against Gun Confiscation

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

New Evidence against Gun Confiscation

We recently discussed the selection of input variables for statistical modeling and how such choices can alter one’s findings. New research published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology examines how the choice in methodology can alter one’s findings. 

Revolving Door Of Wrong Solutions

News  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Revolving Door Of Wrong Solutions

There are plenty of pundits who also seem more enamored with the idea of doing something big than doing something that works. The Boston Globe recently devoted space to the argument that “if gun-control advocates really want to stanch the blood, there’s ...

Less Complaining And More Encouraging

News  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Less Complaining And More Encouraging

It seems a little dramatic to blame these fine folks for the entire five hours. It can be assumed that there was no camera covering the specific area where the killings occurred and some period ...

Free Beacon  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gabby Giffords’s Gun Control Group Releases Report Warning of Muzzleloaders, Other Firearms

Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords's gun control group released a report on Wednesday warning of the dangers of muzzle loading rifles, a number of other firearms, and some firearms accessories and calling for new gun control ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Congress Needs to Hear from YOU on National Right to Carry!

News  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Congress Needs to Hear from YOU on National Right to Carry!

With the clock ticking, it’s now more necessary than ever to ensure Congress prioritizes action on national reciprocity.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.