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
U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

American gun owners have once again been reminded that the ultimate goal of U.S. gun control advocates is firearms bans and confiscation. Since the heinous terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, American anti-gun politicians, activists, ...

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

Hunting  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

On March 20th, the Iowa state House of Representatives voted 57-40 to pass House File 716 to improve hunting opportunities in Iowa by expanding the types of cartridges that may be used for hunting.  HF 716 will ...

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

The NRA applauds Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law, an NRA-backed bill that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

News  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

NRA applauds the Vermont Superior Court for allowing a lawsuit challenging the State's ban on standard capacity magazines to proceed. 

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

News  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

On Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court created a dangerous new exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a strong safeguard for our right to keep and bear arms.  

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

NRA applauds Illinois court ruling throwing out Village of Deerfield's ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines.

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

The Last Frontier is also one of the last places one expects to find rights-trampling government officials. The state’s strong libertarian streak is one of the reasons a recent report regarding the authoritarian behavior of an official ...

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

On March 14, pro-gun Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the provision of financial services.

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

The ongoing cheerleading effort by the international press in furtherance of the New Zealand government’s gun confiscation plans is enough to make any journalist with even a shred of objectivity blush. Worse, some outlets have ...

Utah: Self-Defense Bill Heads to the Governor’s Desk as Multiple Gun Control Bills Fail at the End of Session

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Utah: Self-Defense Bill Heads to the Governor’s Desk as Multiple Gun Control Bills Fail at the End of Session

The Utah Legislature has adjourned from its 2019 Legislative session.

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.