United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When anti-Second Amendment extremists are trying to get people to go along with banning modern multi-purpose semi-automatic rifles, one of the things they do is to appeal to hunters. Bill Clinton was a master at using that technique to lull many into acquiescence – and Joe Biden also uses it.
It’s a smart tactical and strategic approach. According to the Department of the Interior, there were about 11.5 million hunters in 2017. Or, almost twice the membership of the NRA. This understates the untapped potential for activism and support for the Second Amendment since not all NRA members hunt. But the number of hunters declined by two million and reversing this is something that is in the interest of both Second Amendment supporters, hunters, and those who value real conservation as well.
As is the case with our Second Amendment rights, much of the stuff coming against hunting is emotion-driven, and at odds with the facts. When you look at the facts, hunting does a lot of good for the environment and the population of wildlife as a whole. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has a good rundown on that, including how wildlife has bounced back thanks to the efforts of hunters in particular.
For one thing, these days, hunters are scorned by elite opinion almost as much as Second Amendment supporters are. Don’t take my word for it – just look at the recent backlash at the founder of Jimmy John’s or a number of other hunters prominently shamed for their sport on social media. If you think Eric Holder’s anti-Second Amendment “brainwashing” has been bad, consider this: Hunters have seen their sport be the subject of a campaign that has been far more effective.
As you might expect, that brainwashing, in general, has caused the numbers to go down. The scorn for hunting among younger people means that new hunters aren’t taking up the sport. It also can be used to shame people into giving it up – or at least not talking about it to dispel the myths.
But Second Amendment supporters have also made their mistakes as well. One has been that they have thought too much about the Second Amendment in terms of personal protection or resistance to governmental tyranny (although those are extremely valid reasons). The Second Amendment protects our God-given right to the tools (firearms) that preserve our life.
But firearms don’t just preserve our right to live from a tyrannical government or a criminal threatening us or those we care about with bodily harm. Firearms also help many people preserve their lives because they are the tool used to put food on the table for themselves or others (look up Hunters for the Hungry) via hunting. It’s a lawful, legitimate reason to own firearms, and Second Amendment supporters should promote hunting on that basis – standing with those who Hollywood and media elites would sic social media mobs on and shame for choosing to feed their families themselves rather than ask for a handout.
All too often, when hunters are looked down on as “Fudds,” we blow a chance to build bonds with them – if nothing else than a shared resentment over the self-righteous scorn dished out by the likes of Ricky Gervais. Hunters should be natural backers of the Second Amendment, and if we stand with them, we have the chance to win those who are not involved in the fight over. But this is only possible if we have the right approach to them, one that is mindful of how we come across, which has pro-Second Amendment solutions to address concerns, and which doesn’t hurt the cause more than helping it.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.