Throughout the country, anti-gunners routinely hold up hunting as what gun rights are all about. They’ll say you don’t need something for hunting to justify trying to infringe on our Second Amendment rights by trying to ban it. Stuff like higher capacity magazines, for example.
Yet in upstate New York, a county voted to allow rifle use while hunting large game.
Earlier this month, the Tompkins County Legislature narrowly voted in favor of a resolution that would allow rifle hunting for big game in the area, joining 58 other upstate New York counties that already granted such permission.
While rifle hunting is already allowed for small game, such as ducks and rabbits, the provision expands it to include deer and bear, which previously could only be hunted with shotguns, handguns or crossbows. The measure, which passed 8-6, compels the County’s legislative delegation to support an amendment to state environmental conservation laws, which, by custom, Albany almost always grants.
Although much of New York has long permitted the use of rifles during the three-week big game hunting period, which takes place from Nov. 16 to Dec. 18 this year, discussions on the proposal lasted for months — highlighting the increasingly contentious nature of the debate on changes to gun policy.
If the Second Amendment is about hunting, this should be fine, right?
Well, apparently not. At least, not according to one of the county legislators.
Amanda Champion, a county legislator who voted against the resolution, believed that the move would amount to a worrisome encroachment of firearms at a time when many have increasingly feared the danger of guns.
“It is an expansion of gun rights and regulation, and we’re in a critical time right now,” she said. “I didn’t want to be a part of that.”
Now, another legislator looked at it from a safety issue. After all, bullets travel further than shotgun slugs or arrows, and that’s a legitimate concern. I may not agree with it, but I’ll concede that it’s a concern that definitely should be discussed.
Champion, however, was very clear. Her issue was that this is about guns in general.
Here’s the thing, if the Second Amendment is about hunting, why in the hell should she have a problem with using guns for hunting? She shouldn’t. Yet here are her own words making it clear she opposed using guns for hunting simply because she opposes gun rights.
And I’m supposed to be willing to negotiate with people like this? Really?
Of course, this isn’t surprising.
Many of us in the gun rights community warned the Fudds that it’s only a matter of time before the anti-gunners turn on them. We’ve told them that while they may not care about AR-15s, it’s only a matter of time before the anti-gunners make it clear that they’re really after all guns, not just the scary-looking ones.
Here it is. Plain as day.
Lawmakers like Champion won’t opt to leave hunting rifles alone. She doesn’t care about hunters or hunting gun rights. She cares about gun control and little else. The thing is, she’s not savvy enough to keep her mouth shut. Had she espoused safety concerns, I wouldn’t be writing about that right now. I wouldn’t turn her into the poster child for how gun grabbers will turn on the Fudds and take their precious hunting rifles as soon as they get the chance. I wouldn’t have any reason to do so.
But I do, and those who think their hunting rifles are safe would do well to wake the hell up and remember that any abridgment of our right to keep and bear arms will be used to justify further infringements down the line.
People like Champion won’t stop because AR-15s are gone. They’ll stop when we’re left with nothing but sticks and stones.