By Rob Sexton
Columbus, OH –-(Ammoland.com)- The last 30 days have been chock full of key events that have a tremendous impact on the future of hunting, fishing and recreational shooting in America – events that are leading many sportsmen and women to draw conclusions about (or further cement their conclusions about) Democratic decision makers.
- In the nation’s capitol, Congress debated sportsmen’s access to public land, whether EPA could regulate ammunition and fishing tackle, whether recreational shooting should be permissible on national monument land where compatible, and last whether the United States should allow the importation of legally hunted trophies.
- In California, the Senate debated whether to ban hunting black bears and bobcats using hounds.
- In Ohio, lawmakers protested colleagues holding clay bird shooting events as political fundraisers in the wake of a school shooting that occurred in February 250 miles away from the proposed event.
In each of these cases, it was Democrats who led the charge opposing hunting rights, restricting target shooting or decrying the use of firearms for recreational purposes.
- In Congress, HR, 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act passed by an overwhelming 274-146 vote. Of the no votes, 144 were Democrats. (79% of the Democrats in the U.S. House)
- In California, SB 1221 passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee 5-3; followed by a 5-2 vote before the Appropriations Committee. All yes votes were Democrats. Not a single democrat voted to protect hunting.
- And as one might expect, the howls of protest over the shooting event fundraiser in Ohio were by Democratic lawmakers; while the shoot was held by a Republican.
It’s not news that sportsmen have a much harder time gaining support from Democratic lawmakers. The question is why?
There are so many reasons why the left-wing should love American hunters.
Here are seven:
- We’re a minority. There are roughly 20 million hunters in the United States, making us less than seven percent of the population. Democrats purport to be the champions of the under-represented. Here we are!
- We eat free range / organic food. Democrats decry large livestock farms, and the use of hormones in meat. Whether deer or duck, game is the ultimate healthy choice. What’s the difference between free-range chicken and free-range pheasant?
- We preserve green space. No single group of Americans puts more money into habitat acquisition and preservation than hunters…billions upon billions of our license dollars and taxes on firearms and ammunition for land that everyone else can use for free. I thought Democrats love free stuff!
- We feed the hungry. Each year, hunters donate thousands of pounds of venison to local food pantries. One would think the party of the Great Society would welcome our contribution to the safety net.
- We support women’s rights. There are few things that make a sportsman happier than successfully hooking a woman on hunting. We’re even okay that they outshoot us many times.
- We’re just regular folks. For every African big-game hunter, there are thousands of hunters making a blue-collar living, and driving our American made trucks.
- We’re animal lovers. Hunters are the ones who pay for endangered species rehabilitation, not Hollywood actors or fashion models. And don’t even get me started on our dogs. No one loves and is more obsessed with dogs than hunters. And we don’t keep our dogs caged in purses where they can’t even turn around or stretch their legs.
My hope is that our left-leaning law makers will read this article, and realize that we really do have so much in common. And that they will join the minority of Democratic legislators who do vote pro-hunting and put an end to the discrimination that we have endured over the last thirty plus years. I’m hoping their position on hunting is evolving.
We will have at least two opportunities to see if this happens.
- This week the full California Senate will likely vote on SB 1221. We will need no votes from Democrats to stop the hunting ban.
- And the fate of HR 4089 rests in the hands of the Democratically controlled United States Senate.
It’s an Election year. What better time to show 20 million Americans who their real friends are.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. Visit www.ussportsmen.org.