Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Congress Wants Crazy People With Guns To Shoot Bears From Airplanes

Wolf pup emerging from a den. Is it really OK to go
into dens and shoot hibernating bears and wolves?
I'm not sure why some Republican lawmakers are stumbling over each other trying to outdo each other for most batshit crazy legislation, but that's where we're going.

First, Congress repealed an Obama-era rule meant to limit the sale of guns to some people with mental disabilities.  

Let's let more unstable people have guns!

People who wanted to do away with the rule said lax or incorrect reporting standards meant that people who had mental issues, but who were still safe with guns, were barred from having firearms.

As a person who is high functioning but has a (mild) mental illness, I can see that concern.

After all, I have ADHD, but because of psychiatric counseling, effort on my part and a fairly low daily dose of Adderall, I function just fine. If I were trained to properly use handguns, I'm sure I'd be safe with them.

But wouldn't it be better just to make a case by case judgment on this?

Now that practically everybody can have guns, what are we all gonna sboot?

In Alaska, the answer apparently is, we want to shoot bears and wolves from airplanes, or barge into dens while the animals are hibernating and shoot them there.

Sounds fun! If you're into unsportsmanlike hunting, that is.

Yep, the U.S. House of Representatives, voting along party lines, approved the repeal of laws that prohibited people from shooting bears and wolves from airplanes and entering dens to shoot hibernating animals.

According to Buzzfeed and many other news outlets, this all started last August when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the Obama administration, sensibly issued rules banning hunting tactics that then-director Dan Ashe said was "a withering attack on bears and wolves that is wholly at odds with America's long tradition of ethical, sportsmanlike, fair-chase hunting."

More from Buzzfeed:

"The banned activities on Alaska's wildlife refuges including hunting tactics common elsewhere in the US but nevertheless troubling to wildlife advocates: baiting brown bears to draw them to hunters and shooting them; shooting bears ensnared in traps, and shooting bears and wolves in their dens with their cubs or pups."

That last bit is something. Go into a bear den and shoot the mother bear and cubs. Because you can, I guess.

People want to be able to shoot bears and wolves, even if they are in dens, because bear and wolves sometimes eat moose and elk.  

That reduces the number of moose and elk that people can, yes, hunt. So people want to hunt bear and wolves in nonsportsmanlike ways so they can, um, hunt other animals too.

It's true that some Alaskans hunt moose and elk because they rely upon them for food. However, my suspicious mind thinks that Congress approved this change to satisfy their rich contributors who go to Alaska to hunt, but don't rely on wild animals for sustenance.

Basically, what's going on here is, "Let's kill more animals so we can kill more animals."

Wildlife advocates say it's not like they're trying to stop hunting on wildlife refuges. They just want to stop extreme forms of hunting that throw off the ecosystem.

It seems especially galling to go into dens and shoot sleeping bears and cubs. I don't know why anybody would get off on this, but you never know what some people think.

Look, I'm not against hunting. I live in Vermont, where there is a big hunting culture and I have no problem whatsoever with it.  As long as the hunters are responsible and not a bunch of yahoos. Most hunters are great.

But, we're in an anything goes atmosphere now. Time to start shooting everything in sight, I guess.

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