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The NRA Boycotts a Hunting Exhibition: Why Pandering to Hunters on Gun Control Is Useless

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That we are at the summit of the gun control debate means that we are also subjected to the unbounded pandering to hunters by politicians.

It's endless. Just watch any politician speak about gun control and they literally trip over themselves to talk about killing animals. In the case of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, he yelled it as loud as he could so that people in the back row of his recent State of the State address wouldn't miss what he said. Go to the 29 second mark on this video and you'll see what I mean. The karate chopping he did after each word was extra emphasis for those in the front row, whose hearing had been rendered impaired by his ear shattering screeching and may not have gotten the point that he really, really wants you to kill animals with only a few bullets.

The irony, of course, is that while there is an amendment to the Constitution dealing with firearms, our founding fathers chose to put nothing in about the right to kill animals. Be that as it may, the pandering marches on with fanatical dedication. And it's all so pointless.

The reason why it's futile is because that same fanatical dedication has been drum beat into the minds of hunters. In their case, as soon as the first gun is put into their warm, living hands, they are told that the only way they should relinquish it is from their cold dead ones. With few exceptions, such as the random hunter to call an NPR talk show, they tow the line.

Case in point: The NRA and hunters are boycotting a hunting exhibition.

I want you to take that statement in because it's critical to my argument. Please read it again, and this time imagine an Andrew Cuomo karate chop after every word. We're talking smashing concrete blocks here.

"NRA Withdraws from Eastern Sports & Outdoors Show Due to Reed Exhibitions Decision to Ban Modern Sporting Rifles," read the headline of the NRA alert.

My first reaction was... what are "modern sporting rifles," and why would someone ban them from a hunting show? Reading the rest of the NRA alert didn't help explain it, so I did a little research, and then it all made sense.

"NRA joins boycott of outdoors show over organizer's assault-weapons ban," was the headline from The Patriot-News.

According to the article, Reed Exhibitions (operator of the "Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show") banned the display and sale of assault weapons at the gun show because of the mass-killing of children in Newtown. That was an understandable position -- but not to the NRA and hunters.

I dug a little deeper and found this column on PAGunBlog.com, which discussed the outrage over the ban and the backlash, including that Cabela's and hunting TV network the "Outdoor Channel" had pulled their support for the show. Cabela's is a hunting store and calls themselves the "World's Foremost Outfitter" for hunters. They announced their withdrawal on their Facebook page: "After careful consideration regarding Cabela's business practices, and the feelings of our customers, Cabela's will, unfortunately, not have a presence at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show." Cabela's main customers are hunters, and their customers were furious about the ban.

That hunters were the key to the boycott was explained on the PAGunBlog: "When it comes to the diversity of sportsmen standing with us, it has so far mostly been from hunters and archers."

Let's put this all in perspective: There was a horrific tragedy where 20 innocent school children were murdered, and the murderer used an assault weapon. The organizer of a hunting show realized that selling assault weapons at their show would be disrespectful, to say the least, or at the worst, could put an assault weapon into the hands of another mass-murderer, so they banned them. Hunters then organized a boycott of the show not because they wanted to kill animals with assault weapons, but because they are so against gun control that even a meaningless ban at a hunting show outraged them.

If hunters were willing to self-destruct their own pro-hunting exhibition to make a point, do you really think they are going to back gun control of any kind? That's why pandering to hunters on gun control is meaningless.

I used the term "assault weapons" in one of the above paragraphs, and now I'll repeat that paragraph using "modern sporting rifles," as the NRA suggests. Clearly they spent a lot of time coming up with that, and they think that's how to change the debate. You decide for yourself if it works or not.

There was a horrific tragedy where 20 innocent school children were murdered, and the murderer used a modern sporting rifle. The organizer of a hunting show realized that selling modern sporting rifles at their show would be disrespectful, to say the least, or at the worst, could put a modern sporting rifle into the hands of another mass-murderer, so they banned them. Hunters then organized a boycott of the show not because they wanted to kill animals with modern sporting rifles, but because they are so against gun control that even a meaningless ban at a hunting show outraged them.

Gun control is an issue that will be forever debated and fought for and against. Just please leave the animals out of it.