The Nevada Assembled Wisdom and Gun Club is considering SJR 11, the proposed “right to hunt” amendment to the Nevada Constitution; it’s on the agenda for today’s session of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. So, here we have yet another piece of legislation beloved and promoted by the NRA and the “firearms industry trade association” the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“To most people, these amendments probably sound like a solution without a problem. But the NRA has been warning voters and state legislators that “radical” animal rights groups could come for their guns and traps any day now. As the NRA’s legislative arm, the NRA-ILA, wrote on its blog, it’s working to “protect the citizens’ hunting heritage from attacks initiated by well-funded anti-hunting extremists who have assailed sportsmen throughout the country in recent years.” [Salon]
Those “radical” animal rights groups include the Humane Society of the United States. First, no one is “assailing sportsmen.” This image is part of the well known NRA/NSSF campaign to convince gun enthusiasts (ammosexuals) they are the “victims,” of something… anything… everything.
Secondly, the language is a bit dangerous. “This resolution proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution by adding a new section to Article 1 to preserve the right to hunt, trap and fish for residents of this State. This resolution provides that hunting, trapping and fishing are the preferred means of managing wildlife in this State.”
The language as presented incorporates the assumption that all forms of ‘wildlife’ are over populated and therefore the preferred management option is killing them. Thus, the constitution would be amended to ‘prefer’ killing off a population of beasts, as opposed to protecting a population of those classified as endangered, or even considered at risk, as a form of ‘management.’
We could, therefore, risk ‘managing’ our wildlife on their way to joining the Pinta Island Tortoise, the Vietnamese Rhino, the Yangtze River Dolphin, the Western Black Rhino, the Zanzibar Leopard, the Javan Tiger, the Blue Pike, the Caribbean Monk Seal, the Passenger Pigeon, and the Dodo.
The problem with SJR 11 isn’t that hunters, trappers, and fishing folk are somehow deprived of any rights, it’s that the NRA/NSSF want to promote the “management” of some wildlife to possible extinction – if it makes the shooters happy.