Dear Times Leader:
In "Constitutional amendment a good idea; outdoor sports
under attack" (2/23/04), George Smith ponders the proposed amendment
to the state constitution, to protect the right to hunt and fish.
Humans descend into the depths of depravity, in seemingly
infinite ways, in their pursuit of recreation and profit. Invariably, they
expect the government to protect them, not their victims. The government
Hunting is on the decline, due to many reasons: fewer
people living in rural areas; an abundance of other activities for children;
and most importantly, the inevitable raising of human consciousness toward
animals. Those who profit from hunting/fishing and those unable to find
creative, rather than destructive, hobbies are in a panic.
Incremental progress toward justice is followed by
repressive measures designed to maintain the unjust status quo. Animal
abusers feel that since moral constraints do not apply to them, legal ones
should not, either. What better course, for this tiny percentage (about 7%)
of Pennsylvanians who hunt, than to perversely force the law to protect what
should, in fact, be banned?
In the 19th Century, President Buchanan attempted to stop
the abolitionist momentum with a constitutional amendment legalizing
slavery. Illinois tried to do the same with a state amendment. Unhappily for
the slavers, these amendments failed, while the Thirteenth Amendment, which
banned slavery in the United States, became law.
Our laws should move ethically forward, though the less
evolved few try to drag us back into the Dark Ages.
Smith brings up the NJ bear hunt to buttress his argument,
though the facts demonstrate that in areas with far higher bear numbers,
non-lethal methods led to peaceful coexistence between bear and human
residents. The unpopular NJ bear hunt was a barely concealed trophy hunt.
Smith mentions the increasing bear/car collisions in
Maryland, of course blaming this on bears (just as hunters also blame deer).
The Erie Insurance Company noted that the number of
deer/car collisions rose nearly five times on the first day of buck season
and doe season (as frightened deer ran onto roads). The National Highway
Traffic and Safety
Administration also stated that most deer/car collisions
happen during hunting season.
Smith whines that animal killers are "constantly under
fire from groups that would idolize animals and dehumanize humans." Hunters
are responsible for their own dehumanization, by acting like savages,
not civilized co-inhabitants with the other species of the planet.
He says that the amendment will allow hunters to "lift our
heads a little higher and breathe a little easier." Laws will not
accomplish that. The only way hunters will earn the right to hold their
and will have the clear conscience to breathe easier is to stop hunting.
What is needed is a federal constitutional amendment to
protect animals and humans from recreational, serial animal killers. Humans
have the right to live free of gunfire in our communities; to be safe inside
or outside our homes and cars from being shot; to not have to witness bloody
snow and wounded, suffering, or dead animals in our neighborhoods; to not
have to post OUR own property against animal killers; and to not be afraid
that our children's schoolmates are hunters who lack compassion, but possess
Animals have the right to live free of the rapacity of
www.all-creatures.org/cash if you would like
to learn more about destructive wildlife management practices.
Susan Gordon, Representative
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
New Paltz, NY 12561