Gun control is in the news every day, it seems, and so is the National Rifle Association. The group doesn’t, however, get much attention on its extremist positions on hunting issues. I wrote an op-ed for Bloomberg News on this very topic, which was posted last night.
Here are the first few graphs of the piece, and a link to the complete column.
The National Rifle Association’s resistance to almost any limits on guns or gun purchases is well-established.
Less frequently discussed is the group’s unyielding defense of unsporting and destructive hunting pursuits, including the use of highly toxic lead ammunition, the trophy killing of rare and threatened species, the opening of national parks to sport hunting, and cruel practices such as bear baiting and captive or “canned” hunts.
The Humane Society of the U.S. has tangled with the NRA on ballot initiatives in about 15 states, and has consistently come out ahead with voters when it came to banning captive hunts (Montana), stopping bear baiting and hound hunting of bears and other predators (California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington), and eliminating the use of steel-jawed leghold traps and other body-gripping devices (Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Washington).
Last week, in Michigan, our organization turned in 253,000 signatures in support of a referendum to block trophy hunting and commercial trapping of wolves, which until last year were listed under federal law as threatened with extinction.