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
Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

With anti-gun Democrats back in control of the House of Representatives come January, now is the time to prepare for a new onslaught on the Second Amendment. Emboldened by the mere thought of controlling the ...

Toledo Mayor Plays Politics With Officer Safety Via New Firearm Procurement Measures

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Toledo Mayor Plays Politics With Officer Safety Via New Firearm Procurement Measures

Bad ideas have a way of recurring within gun control circles. And when they do, they are usually accompanied by self-congratulatory rhetoric about their supposedly “innovative” and “forward-thinking” nature. That was certainly the case this ...

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

News  

Thursday, November 15, 2018

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

The NRA was joined by the Second Amendment Foundation in filing a lawsuit challenging gun control measures recently passed in Washington ballot initiative I-1639.

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

Everyone has hobbies. Some doctors’ collective hobby is opining on firearms policy. Half of the articles in the “Latest from Annals” email from the Annals of Internal Medicine journal are related to firearms. The most prominent of these ...

Yes, George Soros is a Gun Grabber

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Yes, George Soros is a Gun Grabber

In 2015, billionaire gun control financier and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg financed the creation of the anti-gun propaganda outlet The Trace. Ever grateful for their wealthy benefactor’s unfettered largesse, the Bloomberg advocacy group now views less-profligate anti-gun tycoons as ...

Indulgences for Hollywood as Movie Studio Buys Gun Offsets

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Indulgences for Hollywood as Movie Studio Buys Gun Offsets

In 2014, Hollywood movie mogul and fierce NRA critic Harvey Weinstein appeared to acknowledge the movie industry might be able to have a positive impact by reducing its glorification of criminal violence. Weinstein explained, I have to ...

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

After every high profile crime committed with a firearm of any sort, there are always calls for gun control. But one particular proposal this week managed to distinguish itself amid the usual din, if only ...

California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

Friday, November 16, 2018

California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

The City of Palm Springs decided to repeal the reporting ordinance to avoid litigation and the City of Saratoga also withdrew an ordinance that would have imposed the same type of reporting limitation on victims of firearm ...

Midterm Elections Offer Motivation to Continue the Fight For Our Rights

News  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Midterm Elections Offer Motivation to Continue the Fight For Our Rights

The votes have all been cast in the 2018 midterm elections. And while the counting and recounting is still under way in some places, the overall picture that has emerged soundly refutes the breathless media narrative of ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.