Hunting is Murder on Animals
|Part V - Violations and Murders
If someone shoots you and kills you while they're hunting,
the chances are good that they'll get off scot-free.
They may not even have their hunting license revoked.
All they have to say in their defense is that they mistook you for a
so-called "game" animal.
Such accidents occur every hunting season. And, although it's supposed to be
a felony in Minnesota, no one has been convicted under this statute in 63 years.
In Pennsylvania the maximum penalty for murdering a human being while hunting
is a thousand dollar fine.
The courts, it seems, wink at the murders committed by hunters.
But if the laws against murdering human beings are seldom upheld
when the criminals are hunters, what chance do the laws protecting
non-human animals have?
Every hunter I've ever met has boasted about the hunting laws he has broken.
During one "deer season" in Pennsylvania, conservation officers held a surprise road-check
in one county. The results? 112 arrests were made for hunting violations.
Normally, all of these crimes would've gone unnoticed.
There have been many instances in which the very people who are supposed to
uphold the hunting regulations -- or set an example -- have been guilty of violating them.
In January of 1983, Representative Russell Letterman, chairman of his state's Game Commission,
was fined for stopping his car along a highway and taking a shot at a doe. Afterwards,
Letterman stated: "I knew it was illegal, and I paid." As if paying $25 to a judge could
somehow make restitution to the doe for her life.
Stephen Rueteker, chairman of the Nature Interpretive Center in Chula Vista California,
recently admitted to shooting rabbits and protected morning doves on the Center's grounds.
And Congressman Robert Sikes of Florida, a former Director of the NRA, was fined $50
when he pleaded guilty to violating hunting laws by killing turkeys over a baited field.
It's ironic that all NRA members take a pledge of "good sportsmanship", and that the NRA's
"Hunters' Code of Ethics" requires that they obey all "game" laws and regulations.
If the Director himself so blatantly breaks the law, how much confidence can we place
in regular NRA members?
In the first place, "hunting ethics" is a contradiction in terms. There can be nothing
ethical about murdering for fun.