Archive for the ‘hunting’ Category

That’s right – in Minnesota earlier this week Obama’s campaign rolled out a sportsmen network, with a pledge to protect hunters’ gun rights, expand and restore habitat for hunting and fishing, and enhance programs that teach youth about outdoors activities.

Obama’s campaign is working to repel the NRA push to inform gun owners that Obama is an enemy of the Second Amendment that includes reminding gun owners of the candidate’s inartful statement during the primaries about the tendency of small-town Americans to “cling to guns or religion.”

Included in Obama’s effort are radio ads that Obama is running in several key states, including Virginia, that feature Ray Schoenke, President of the astro-turf gun group American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). As mentioned in a post yesterday, Schoenke tells listeners that “Barack Obama and John McCain will both make sure we can keep our guns.”

Apparently not all gun owners and hunters know Obama’s record when it comes to firearms and ammunition. According to an article on Townhall.com, during the roll out of the Obama sportsmen group, a Minnesota hunter said “Tell me where Senator Obama says `I want stricter controls on who can hunt and when’ or ‘I want to ban shotguns and rifles,'” said Jarve, a member of Obama’s Minnesota sportsmen chapter. “Where has he said that? He hasn’t.”

Well, lets see, Obama voted to:

  • allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry to continue;
  • voted for an Illinois State Senate bill to ban and confiscate “assault weapons,” but the bill was so poorly crafted, it would have also banned most semi-auto and single and double barrel shotguns commonly used by sportsmen;
  • voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting;
  • endorsed a 500% increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition;
  • supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America;

All of the above would affect the ability of hunters to participate in their sport either directly or indirectly. So, while he may not have come right out and said so, Obama has either proposed or voted for measures that would restrict the availability of firearms and/or ammunition for hunting and sport shooting.

Never mind the fact that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting.

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Boy, did Governor Sarah Palin really hit it out of the ball park last night. I especially liked her talking about her small town roots and her reference to Obama’s “bitter gun owners” comment. There was much to like in the speech however.

The pro-rights community has been excited about this pick since it was announced and many now have enthusiasm where before they were going to vote for McCain simply because Obama is so bad on our issue.

One such person is David Petzal over at The Gun Nut. On Friday after the pick he wrote, “I know very few people, including Republicans, who are enthusiastic about John McCain. He seems to be tolerated only as an alternative to Obama, who is intolerable to gun owners. There I was, prepared to hold back my rising gorge and vote for Old John M. …, and here he comes up with someone that I can actually be enthusiastic about from any number of standpoints, never mind guns and hunting.”

On on the subject of her hunting prowess, Petzal also posted on just what it takes to turn a moose into “moose burgers.”  I’ve never hunted moose (but it is on the list of hunts I hope to take before I leave this world) but could only imagine what it would take because it’s not like you just hike back a little ways into the woods to your tree stand and then drag out your kill after the hunt as I do with whitetail deer.  Petzal says shooting it is the easy part, the field-dressing “takes three people: one to do the actual hacking and slashing, one to push, shove, and hold legs, and one to stand there with a serious rifle waiting for a bear to show up. Packing it out, which takes yet another two people unless one of you is Clark Kent.”

Makes me like Palin even more.

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NRA-ILA posted the below announcement earlier today.

George Washington enjoyed nothing more than riding with his hounds on his property at Mount Vernon. Of course, with the exploding population and the associated fragmentation of land into smaller and smaller parcels, complaints submitted to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) have increased with each passing year. Because of this, VDGIF established the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Hunting with Hounds in Virginia to make recommendations related to the future regulation of hunting with hounds.

The Committee recommendations are now available for public comment until September 12. The document containing all of the Committee’s recommendations can be viewed by clicking here and hard copies can be requested by calling (540) 231-0961. It is critical that the hunting community actively participate in this process in order to ensure a bright future for our hunting heritage. Radical anti-hunting groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) actively advocate for an end to all hunting in America but have specifically targeted hunting with hounds over the last many years. HSUS sympathizers have been engaged in the process and hunters in the Commonwealth must counter them.

Comments can be submitted at public meetings scheduled through September 9, but comments made between now and September 12 will be considered. For a schedule of these meetings, click here. Written comments may be emailed to HoundHuntingSAC@vt.edu or sent to:

Hound-Hunting SAC
c/o Sarah Kozlowski
111 Cheatham Hall
Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24060-0321

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The Politico reported yesterday that Barrack Obama is trailing John McCain among sportsmen but a surprising number say they’ll vote for him – far more than backed Al Gore or goose hunting John Kerry. According to a Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) poll to be released today, McCain leads Obama by a 45 to 31 percent.   That’s only about half the 27-point edge respondents say they gave George W. Bush over Kerry four years ago and far short of the 65-to-15 percent margin gun owners gave to Bush over Gore in 2000.  CSF polled 1,009 hunters and fishermen, between July 10 and July 24.  The results could be a reflection of McCain’s up-and-down relationship with gun advocates and also suggests the he has not yet persuaded a core Republican constituency. 
CSF Communication’s Director Melinda Gable said, “I don’t think John McCain has really made his case to hunters and anglers.   Things were very different in 2004. Everybody knew that George W. Bush was from Texas, he was a rancher and that he went hunting. We haven’t seen that from McCain yet—there’s the unknown—he really needs to come out as a sportsman. Neither candidate has talked a lot about the issues that are important to us.”
McCain has a mostly pro-gun record in the Senate, opposing the Clinton Gun ban on certain semi-automatic firearms (misnamed assault weapons) and he supported the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.  However, he’s not an avid hunter (but that should be a little concern because only the media and the gun ban lobby believe the Second Amendment is not about hunting) and has battled the National Rifle Association over his support for background checks on private sale of firearms at gun shows and his crusade for campaign finance reform. 
McCain has tried to soothe the bad feelings at each of his appearances before NRA members in the past year (at the Annual Meeting in Louisville in May of this year and at the Celebration of American Values in September of ’07) by portraying the Democrats as a common enemy.  In May, he told those attending the Annual Meeting, “They claim to support hunters and gun owners.  If… Senator Obama is elected president, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk.” 
The survey showed that hunters have no great affection for Obama.  Obama’s long history of favoring more restrictive gun control laws as a state legislator is likely to blame. The poll showed that about half of those polled say they like McCain and would love to go on a hunt with him – compared to 29 percent who feel the same way about Obama.   National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) President Steve Sanetti told the Politico that “Sportsmen view John McCain as good company in the great outdoors.  They’re just not sure how much fun Barack Obama would be in a duck blind.”Fishermen are a little more Obama friendly, but favor the Arizona senator by a 44-to-31 margin.
For those not familiar with CSF, the group advocates gun rights and expanded access to federal land for hunters in congress and is bipartisan.  A number of congressmen and senator’s are members of the foundation,s Congressional Sportmen’s Caucus (including Virginia’s Sen. John Warner, Rep. Rick Boucher, Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Thelma Drake, Rep. Virgil Goode, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Rob Wittman, and Rep. Frank Wolf).

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Welcome to Virginia Gun Rights.  On this site you will be able to join the NRA, Virginia Shooting Sports Association, and discuss topics that affect our gun rights and hunting heritage. I hope you will visit often.

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