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The NRA's Pushes Anti-Conservation Policies


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#1 LFC

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:40 PM

It's not just gun ownership but also highly irresponsible and unethical hunting that the NRA loves.

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The NRA is also actively trying to influence wildlife and wilderness issues, which happens to be my center of interest. Last spring the NRA, welded at the hip with Safari Club International (a privileged group of mostly wealthy hunters dedicated to killing large and rare animals), backed a successful bill to permit extreme killing methods of wolves and grizzlies on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, including the gunning down of animals from planes and slaughtering wolf pups and bear cubs in their birthing dens.

These two lobbying groups oppose protecting the severely endangered California condors, which biologists believe are sickened and killed by poisonous lead bullet fragments left in the hunter-felled game animals that the scavenging birds eat. Yet the NRA and the Safari Club pooh-poohed the notion that ingesting lead fragments threatens condors and claimed instead that their human members “will be impaired if they are no longer able to shoot lead bullets.”

Similarly, the NRA and Safari Club recently supported a controversial trophy hunt for elephants in Zimbabwe, coinciding with the Trump administration’s decision to overturn an Obama-era ban on elephant trophies. Managed trophy hunting “would not have an adverse effect on the species,” the groups said, “but can further efforts to conserve the species in the wild.” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to allow the import of elephant trophies was praised by both groups but drew harsh criticism from animal-rights advocates on all sides of the political spectrum.

At this writing, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. Democrats Abroad said, “(SHARE) is a nightmare for human life, wildlife, and public lands. The bill is chock-full of anti-wildlife, anti-Endangered Species Act, and anti-public lands provisions that would undermine wildlife conservation and put imperiled species in greater danger.” Of course, the NRA got an easy-to-buy gun silencer deal stuck into this shithouse of a bill.

So, it was no surprise when the NRA and Safari Club asked to intervene in a lawsuit over the fate of Yellowstone National Park’s grizzly bear population. Their intent is to support the federal decision to remove the bears’ Endangered Species Act protections and allow trophy hunting of Yellowstone’s grizzlies.

Five NRA and Safari Club members said, in affidavits submitted by their attorneys, that hunting grizzlies would help the region's economy, allow states to better manage the animals, and improve public safety. These five outfitters and big game hunters claim their interests would be harmed if they could not have the opportunity to hunt Yellowstone’s grizzlies.

The core argument is public safety: that hunting bears will make people safer by instilling in grizzlies a fear of humans. These groups claim that Yellowstone’s grizzlies have become too aggressive, and that a fear of people would make bears shy and more subordinate, thus benefiting public safety. The unexamined assumption is that bears learn by being shot at.

The success of the NRA and SCI’s argument, assuming the NRA and Safari Club are allowed to fully make their case in court, will depend on what the judges make of the scientific plausibility of the “shy” bear theory, and the bear-expertise credibility of the five witnesses who filed declarations.

There is (of course) zero empirical evidence for the "shy bear theory" and the author, who has a lifetime of experience with Grizzlies, says it makes no sense once you understand bear behavior. In fact viewing man as an enemy is more likely to make them aggressive because they've evolved to attack threats.
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#2 pnwguy

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:19 PM

View PostLFC, on 12 March 2018 - 04:40 PM, said:

There is (of course) zero empirical evidence for the "shy bear theory" and the author, who has a lifetime of experience with Grizzlies, says it makes no sense once you understand bear behavior. In fact viewing man as an enemy is more likely to make them aggressive because they've evolved to attack threats.
The only way to stop a shy grizzly without a gun is a Good Guy with a gun. And you never know when they are going to barge into a public school, where all the teachers need to be armed.

If a state is going to open up a season for grizzly, I'd like to see if one of those special weapon restrictions, like they do for bow hunting or muzzle loaders. Only flint knives or spears! At least it would be a fairer fight. And the economic value of the hunt would be from selling the TV rights to follow the hunters with a camera crew.
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#3 LFC

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:49 PM

View Postpnwguy, on 12 March 2018 - 05:19 PM, said:

If a state is going to open up a season for grizzly, I'd like to see if one of those special weapon restrictions, like they do for bow hunting or muzzle loaders. Only flint knives or spears! At least it would be a fairer fight. And the economic value of the hunt would be from selling the TV rights to follow the hunters with a camera crew.

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" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:01 PM

View Postpnwguy, on 12 March 2018 - 05:19 PM, said:

If a state is going to open up a season for grizzly, I'd like to see if one of those special weapon restrictions, like they do for bow hunting or muzzle loaders. Only flint knives or spears! At least it would be a fairer fight. And the economic value of the hunt would be from selling the TV rights to follow the hunters with a camera crew.

I'd allow firearms, too. Specifically pistols of 0.26 or below, and maybe muzzle-loading roundshot of 0.36 or smaller. Black powder, of course.
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#5 golden_valley

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:22 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 12 March 2018 - 06:01 PM, said:

I'd allow firearms, too. Specifically pistols of 0.26 or below, and maybe muzzle-loading roundshot of 0.36 or smaller. Black powder, of course.

Reminds me of a childhood visit to Smokey Mtn National Park. We were watching a demonstration of loading a muzzleloader flintlock rifle. The Park Ranger was struggling to get the ramrod pulled up and away from the barrel so my dad went up to hold the stock while the ranger pulled the ramrod up. The Ranger said "Well this only works if the bear is willing to help you."





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