Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hunters respond

I published this column in our city's daily newspaper earlier in the week. I used the whole Dick Cheney circus to throw the question of hunting-as-sport into question. Since then, I seem to have attracted the ire of a number of hunters who forcefully disagree with me. I've can conclude a few things about the kinds of responses I've received thus far:
  1. They have a lot of free time on their hands.
  2. They seem incapable of discussing anything outside their narrow world view.
  3. They don't read and respond as much as they simply spew.
  4. They're rather angry and rude.
To wit, someone included this line in his note:
You're probably one of those bleeding hearts which would like to take fighting out of hockey?
I'll ignore the sophisticated use of grammar for now. I'll also ignore the fact that the note was sent from a work account during business hours.

But nothing topped this next one for sheer entertainment value. I've posted it in its unadorned entirety. Sure, the guy's insulting me in a sad and juvenile way. But the structure of the note is illuminating, and illustrates the kind of thing a columnist deals with when some folks decide to engage not in spirited debate, but personal name-calling. Here's the note:
London Free Press contributor Carmi Levy arrogantly admonishes us to
"ditch the gun and go grocery shopping."
Nice of him to tell us what's best for us.
He voices this concern because "it's infinitely safer."
How considerate.

First of all, "infinitely safer" is a mathematical impossibility here.
Getting into vehicles results in 80 times more deaths (1999) than gun
accidents (not all of which are from hunting).
Of course, taking a vehicle to go hunting increases your chances of
getting killed but I'm fairly sure that the odds aren't infinite and
could be calculated by someone with a better grasp of mathematics than
either myself or (more certainly) Mr. Levy.

As if hyperbole weren't enough, Levy makes a shocking assertion that
"one death is too many, especially since it's been generations since
we've needed to shoot wild animals for food."

Well, we don't need to go rock-climbing or sky-diving or any number of
activities that Levy may deem too risky or politically incorrect but
the obvious fact that seems lost on him is that the odds that any
activity will result in death more directly relates to the manner in
which that activity is conducted than any imaginary risks he dreams up.
That's why I haven't been hurt in over 35 years of hunting and that's
why the statistics don't back him up.

It's simply a matter of personal prejudice.
More to the point, the beauty of our human soul is that we are free to
choose any legal activity that gives it pleasure.

I personally don't see that it's necessary to ride a bicycle to work
with cars whizzing by, mere inches away, when there's perfectly good
public transportation with far better odds of keeping me from being a
statistic.
I've had the hell scared out of me several times on one short stretch
of road by cyclists weaving over the shoulder line in front of me,
forcing me into a game of chicken with oncoming traffic.
There are crosses with flowers marking the spots where some of these
heroes got nailed playing this game a little too often.

But far be it from me to dictate personal choices.

I'm sure that "Urban Commando Cyclist" Levy's cycling friends would no
more enjoy being told to hang up their wheels than I do having him tell
me to give up a sport that puts me in such intimate contact with a
primitive, natural world - and the occasional, non-industrialized meal.

-----------------the following is not for publication-------
PS: I saw Levy's Blog - he flatters himself if he thinks he was ever on
anyone's Christmas card list.
PPS: I also note from Blog entries about such things as having waffles
for breakfast that Levy is more than a little self-absorbed - some
might say a pretentious so-and-so.

Your turn: Do I continue to publish what I think or should I cow to the narrow-focus responses of extremist and rude readers with an obvious agenda? Additionally, should I invite this individual over for tea the next time he's in town?

Final thought #1: I always thought "intimate contact with a primitive, natural world" was a little more acceptable when I attempted it with a lens and not a gun, but maybe that's just me.

Final thought #2:
Readers with a little more decorum have had letters to the editor published in the paper this week. I'd be happy to share those if you're interested.

37 comments:

Robin said...

I'm glad that you shared that one letter, because I find it abso-frickin-lutely hilarious! Were you SERIOUSLY asking whether anyone thinks you should kowtow to people like that? Although its easy to say this, it isn't ME who is receiving the backlash, I would be sort of flattered in a sick sick way by the amount of time that it must have taken that guy to come up with that whole spiel, only to end it up with those funny little ad hominems...WTF happened there? Did his 13 year old son get ahold of the letter?

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oy Vey Iz Meer!!! It just seems that when someone has a "righteous" view of what THEY do, particularly where guns are concerned, they just don't get it! I agree with you Carmi...especially about the "intimate" remark...Help Me!!!

Do not have him over for tea, my dear...cause he might bring a gun with him! (LOL) (Well....not so funny, really...)

Last Girl On Earth said...

This is really silly, Carmi. You know as well as the rest of your regular readers that you SHOULD publish whatever you want to! This is YOUR blog. If this guy doesn't like it, he is entitled to his opinion, whether we agree or not with him. BUT I wouldn't waste two seconds of thought on him. He probably voted for Bush! Keep doing what you're doing and we'll keep coming over to read what you have to say!

Oh, and one other thing... Hitting DELETE works wonders.

panthergirl said...

You know something, this is exactly what happened to me when I dared to suggest that hitting children should be against the law.

People who want to shoot and spank are angry, violent people who shouldn't own guns, or HANDS for that matter.

I love his rationale. It's about as pertinent as comparing gay marriage to bestiality (and I'll bet he does that too). If the only one who risked injury or death was the gun-toter, I'd say "Knock yourself out." Or, more aptly, I'd use my mother's little play on words, "Shoot yourself!"

Sheesh.

Here via michele!

Suzanne said...

That's the worst part about writing...when someone sais something nasty. But it also means he's reading you, and spending an awful lot of brain power thinking about what you said. Enough to write all of that in response. Seems like you're doing a good job creating though provoking dialogue, and that's journalism isn't it? Unfortunatly, he has no tact and is quite the bitter grumpie. ha!

colleen said...

Hi Carmi,
Hunting is a touchy subject to many where I live. I have many vegetarian friends and, although it may seem unlikely to them, my husband hunts. I'm glad (but it took some getting used to) particularly since the factory farming meat manufacturers are putting growth hormones and antibiotics in our meat and a vegetarian diet doesn't do well with me. Eating is the #1 thing I can do to effect how I feel, good or bad, and I have to have a minimal amount of carbs in order to function. We live a rural lifestyle and try to provide much of our own food...big garden included.

I don't like the idea of hunting for sport only. I don't get offended by people who are against hunting. I t hink we would all do well to practice a little gun control...especially our governments.

Write what you feel and how you see it!

rashbre said...

Stick to your principles. We had multi year drawn out debates in the UK about fox hunting (now banned from using horses and hounds).

I understand the need to keep countryside nature in balance, but the relatively lackadaisical way that firearms are dispensed in many parts of North America leaves me stunned.

I also realise its big business and that there are huge political lobbies, so it won't surprise me if you then get targeted by voices of unreason.

Last resort of bankrupt minds and all that.

rashbre

Becky said...

hi carmi michele sent me :)

Karen said...

Carmi, I admire your fortitude in dealing with crap like this.

And I for one would LOVE to take fighting out of hockey. Somebody explain to me why that's and important part of the sport.

Rock on, Carmi. Rock on.

srp said...

Most of the people I know who hunt do so for the meat it can provide their families. It thins out the population of deer that tends to overwhelm the forests of the south. In addition, many of the hunters now choose to use bow and arrow rather than the hunting rifles.

I can understand someone becoming very frustrated when they feel attacked on all sides. I have occasionally given in to the angry response but have learned that I can just not visit those sites that post outrageous, hateful, bashing remarks. It is their right to do so. While it is my right to respond, most of the time I just don't visit again.

BTW - here from Michele.

Joan said...

I have to agree with Colleen and srp - I am not a proponent of hunting myself, but I support the right of private citizens to do so. Valid points have been made about most processed meat containing artificial hormones and preservatives, which may or may not have an effect on our health. Arguments have also claimed hunters help keep certain animal populations under control, now that humans have taken up so much of the land. I think we have sufficient regulations regarding who can hunt, where, when and what they can hunt, and even how many animals they can kill. I love animals and feel sad that they have to die, but I don't think hunting is as dangerous to humans as you made it out to be, Carmi.

Everything we do in life carries a risk, whether it's hunting or as your "fan" pointed out, simply driving a car or riding a bike. Accidents happen. Honestly, I think the whole Cheney thing is a total non-story, and I've been rather annoyed by all the press coverage and demands for an explanation/apology from Cheney. It happened while he was enjoying himself as a private citizen on his "free time."

At the same time, however, I support your right, Carmi, to oppose hunting. Though you hit an apparently sensitive spot and drew some insensitive responses, you absolutely have the right to publish what you believe. That's what's so wonderful about a democratic society - we all have the right to disagree. :)

Yaeli said...

Some people are amazing aren't they?!!
All that freedom of the human soul crap! Wouldn't that support the fact that your human soul has a right to publish whatever opinions it chooses to? Isn't that the whole point of freedom of speech and democracy?

Keep on publishing Carmi. For every cross and poorly written letter you recieved there are probably at least 20 people sitting there going "this guy has a point."

The point of writing isn't to be right... it's to encourage critical thought and the enquiring mind.

The Gnat's Trumpet said...

I'm not a hunter myself and I can't imagine that I would find taking the life of an animal as being a fun activity. Having said that though, I don't necessarily agree with your point here, I think that hunting does serve a usefull purpose (population control, etc. - not quail hunting though), but of course you should keep writing to your convictions. I guess you should take the hate letters as a compliment in that you are having an impact.

I think you should have the person who wrote the letter to dinner as long as you promise to share all of the details here.

Have a good weekend.

Kross-Eyed Kitty said...

hee-hee-hee!
I like what you have to say, and all those freakin freaks should just go to hell! :0
Good for yo for writing what you think.

via Michele...but you know who I am.

deputyswife said...

Hi Carmi!

Dick Cheney's "unfortunate accident" has shed some spotlight on hunting, once again. Please keep in mind, I am not a big fan of hunting. Guns scare me to death. Though, I do support hunting. At least in my area. If Iowa did not have hunting seasons for deer or pheasants, our state would be overrun with these animals. Literally. Iowa is considering adding another season because our deer population is on the rise again. This causes quite a bit of traffic accidents in our area. My husband has investigated numerous car-deer accidents with fatalities.

Also, I would like to point out that the VP was fined $7 for not having his stamp up to date. Here in Iowa, he would have been fined $500 to $1000 and his driver's liscense would have been revoked up to one year.

Michele sent me!

Beanhead said...

I think you should continue to voice your opinion.

Here from Michele's

Sandy said...

Are you really asking whether to keep going as is, or curb voicing your thoughts? I think I've read you're blog and the columns you've shared enough to know that holding back isn't you. What a disservice that would be.

And sure, the guy clearly admires your waffles. ;)

By the way, I don't disagree with the concept of hunting actually. I do feel strongly that if you're going to hunt it, you better be eating it, but that's me.

tommy said...

Michele sent me.

deana said...

I don't understand why people can't discuss things in a calmer fashion. It would make life so much easier. I could never harm another living thing but grew up with a father who loves hunting. My brother is not a hunter and hated it when my father tried to make him. It is very common in SW Virginia. As much as I wish handguns would be banned I do support hunting when it is done legally and carefully. It is a big part of who my dad is. And I doubt you'd find many who appreciated the land or loved nature more than my dad.

Sorry rambling....anyway if deer hunting were not allowed in our county we would be overrun with them. There are way, way too many. They are starving, and they cause a whole lot of car accidents. This year they had to up the limit on does to 4 just to try to wipe some of them out...so I guess what I am trying to say is that I think hunting can be good if it is done wisely and correctly. Though I could never, ever do it personally and hate guns.

Sounds very wishy washy huh? Maybe our Government has rubbed off on me....I certainly hope not.

Lisa said...

Hi Carmi, voice your opinion!

Michelle sent me!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Carmi...
By the way...did I tell you I now have a Blogroll thingy...and you are on it! Finally, I'm thrilled!
Michele sent me bavk HOURS ago, now...but I got interupted by dinner...(LOL)...Sorry my dear Carmi...

Star said...

Of course you should continue to publish what you think. The fact that someone cares to disagree with you means that your words strike a chord in people. Whethter or not it is harmonious depends on the respondant's personal views.Anything that promotes discourse is good.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Oye! I understand the need for population control of animals, but I'm anti-hunting, but the people that hunt are those gun-toting nasties that always spew hatred in the name of their rights.

Here via Michele's...Remember the right of free speech and say what you want!

scrappintwinmom said...

Um....all I can say is "holy crap".
Here via Michele as always.
You keep doing what you're doing. Anyone who doesn't like it can go elsewhere. harrumph.

margalit said...

What a douch bag! I like the way he can't equate dangerous sports like rock climbing with personal choice, but when there are hunting accidents, did the person who was shot CHOOSE to be shot? I think not.

God now, do not kowtow to anyone. I have GOT to introduce you to Tom Mountain, our local columnist, so you can see for yourself what never kowtowing can do for entertainment value. This weeks was pretty tame but I'll have to find you some really great ones. http://www.townonline.com/newton/opinion/view.bg?articleid=429415

This one was a goodie. http://www.townonline.com/newton/opinion/view.bg?articleid=414578&format=&page=1
This was particularly hilarious. He lies through his teeth, and he just writes as if he knows what he's talking about. Let me just qualify this one by stating that my daughter was IN THE MATH CLASS with his extremely snotty and obnoxious daughter and even she said it was a total lie. But it made national news. Sigh.

Did you take this guys last comment as antisemetic? I did.

kenju said...

armi, please don't kow-tow to the idiots!

Lynda said...

You hit a nerve with some people, didn't you? I am not a fan of hunting - it seems ridiculous to me. I have a brother-in-law who thinks it's "sport" to go to Africa and shoot hippos (what kind of sport is that???) along with various other creatures. Keep on exercising your right to write!

chelle said...

Americans hold their "Right to Bear Arms" very sacredly. Hunting for "sport", seems odd to me, however hunting for food (deer hunting is less expensive than buying meat at a store) is cool with me. Guns are scary. I do not want them in my home, on our streets, yet I get there is a place for them.

If everyone felt the same way on every issue, the world would be rather dull. It must be difficult to receive such critisims of your writings, but you did get the guy to think about it!

The comments about your blog are lame. Write about what you believe in and let everyone love it or leave it!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
chelle

Malinda777 said...

Carmi, absolutely...publish whatever YOU want and express what YOU feel. I'll be the first to say I do not always agree with you. I believe in guns, like them, and spanked my children when they were young and out of line. I have two grown wonderful boys, and a happy family. You are an amazing writer, and I thoroughly enjoy your photography. That's what's beautiful about America, we don't all have to agree to be wonderful people in our own rights. I enjoy you just the way you are.

Shelli said...

I think you keep writing what you want and/or how you feel, but I don't pay you. Don't you write an opinion column? If so, then it should be your opinion!

I'll read. I don't think you are pretentious and self-absorbed.

(I do hope you aren't critical of my grammar and writing style. :) )

mommyof4 said...

I guess whn you say,"your turn?" That is being selfish!? I love your site and the beautiful pictures you put on here. Some people just can't stand hearing others opinions.

Im Chele In [dot] LA said...

I was just here..
but this time I am from the other Michele's.

You know aren't we really done with all this hunting for sport stuff.. ARGGGGGGGGG we are a country addicted to oil if you need something to work on then work on that if you are not busy enough.. Hunting.... Hmmmmmm
Oh wait you are a OIL BARON..
Yea keep hunting... Maybe you will do each other in...
See this is why I don't talk about this stuff on my blog.. I get very angry....... :)

Lisa said...

This is so crazy. You BETTER keep writing exactly how you write, because that's what makes you so wonderful to read. I can't see you kow-towing to anyone. Not that I think you ever would, anyway. :-) And yeah, invite the dude for tea. And make him some of those pretentious waffles.. haha... ;-)

CanEragon said...

Firstly, writing is your life, and to cave to an idiot would go against your morals.

Secondly, stooping to his level by responding is becoming him, saying nothing and moving on is the higher road.

Idiots need help in writing, as for you it comes naturally. I don't think he came up with all that information on his won.

I've never found you self absorbed or pretension in your writings.

Just be YOU and we'll all be fine!

Jer.

barryglasgow said...

Carmi Levy wrote;
"You might be interested to know that my web log readers are sharing their thoughts on this topic as well. I welcome you to join in."

Thanks for inviting me to particpate - judging by the number of comments, my own letter struck a nerve with many of your readers.
As I said in our private exchange, it is interesting that the focus has been almost entirely on the
two personal insults (never intended for public consumption) I made against you, instead of the points in the letter itself.
Choosing to insult you personally (outside this forum) was unfortunate and I wonder what the reaction would have been had you taken the moral highground and posted only the letter publicly.
We'll never know but it is interesting that, as a result, there's been practically no response to my legitimate points. I guess that explains why you took this approach.

My slip came about in reaction to your public bashing of hunters.
I am particularly disturbed by your mocking Cheney's "accident" involving his "friend".
The inference here is hard to miss.
This is ironic given that your sole criticism of my letter is its "rudeness".
I can think of nothing more rude than to characterize Whittington's unfortunate mishap in this way.
You and others on this Blog fail to see how this could possibly infuriate anyone who hunts.

By the way, while my points are being totally dismissed due to my "rudeness", it struck me as funny that the first person who condemned my "ad hominem" followed with this observation, "WTF happened there? Did his 13 year old son get ahold of the letter?"
I don't mind being criticized for my own lapse in judgement but Robin would have more credibility if he or she refrained from doing the same thing in the very next sentence.

It is revealing that so few of the 34 posters stick to the moral highground you all claim. The most
elegant exception was Joan - who even managed appropriate criticism of my insensitivity without being
in any way offensive.
A few others took somewhat the same approach - the main theme being "I don't hunt but understand
that..."
But the majority hypocritically fail the smell test - resorting to the same sort of self-righteous
bigotry and insults we hunters have come to expect.
No wonder we sometimes get a little hot under the collar.

Among these gems;
"BUT I wouldn't waste two seconds of thought on him. He probably voted for Bush!"
[I have no idea why a couple of readers assumed that I'm American]
"Hitting DELETE works wonders."
"he might bring a gun with him! [to tea]"
"People who want to shoot and spank are angry, violent people who shouldn't own guns."
"Shoot yourself!"
"he has no tact and is quite the bitter grumpie. ha!"
"Last resort of bankrupt minds"
"hee-hee-hee! .....all those freakin freaks should just go to hell!"
"people that hunt are those gun-toting nasties that always spew hatred in the name of their ights."
"What a douch bag!"
"his extremely snotty and obnoxious daughter"
"don't kow-tow to the idiots!"
"Idiots need help in writing, as for you it comes naturally. I don't think he came up with all that information on his [own]".
"Yea keep hunting... Maybe you will do each other in..."
[Interestingly enough, "im chelle" excused his/her hope for my demise (the second of two death wishes)
by saying that "this is why I don't talk about this stuff on my blog.. I get very angry."

I'd hate to see their reaction if I'd insulted them personally.
Panthergirl was partly right - "violent people shouldn't have guns".
Given all this invective, perhaps you and your readers could cut me some slack for my own momentary
lapse.
Otherwise, I hope that you would heap the same scorn on them that you had for me and others who
criticized your attack piece.
Not being part of your mutual admiriation society, I won't be holding my breath.

Before I close off on the issue of insults, allow me to comment on your recent posting on this topic.
First, the constant reference to "hunting-as-sport".
The assumption is that killing is the only aspect and that (as some have suggested) the meat is
wasted. This characterization is false, stereotypical and inflammatory.
It is illegal to kill an animal and to waste any of the meat.
The sport is in figuring out an animal's behaviour, locating one and successfully dispatching it.
If it were as easy as many claim, I would not have gone 23 years between successful deer hunts.
There is some thrill in the kill but I can understand that some urbanites would find this repulsive.

When I refer to "intimate" contact with nature, I am referring to the fact that there is some visceral
attachment to the animal through hunting - as opposed to the clinical, industrialised way in which most hunting critics get their meat.
Aboriginals (many of wmom no more need to hunt for their food than I do) understand this connection.
Paying someone else to do one's dirty work does not make you morally superior.

You characterize your critics as having "a lot of free time on their hands."
Why is that? Is that some sort of arguement?
Since when is taking the time to defend one's position a bad thing?
Would you prefer that I be like Margalit - call you a "douche bag", rattle off a one-sentence
non-point and then bail out?
Apparently your view of what constitutes meaningful "spirited debate" depends on which side of the debate I come from.

Just because we feel strongly enough about defending our activities against unsolicited attacks (and spend some time formulating our opinions) in no way diminishes our opinions.
Your attempt to do so (along with your backhanded remark about one writer's grammar) is disingenuous.
You are so desperate in your attempts to muddy the issue and to discredit your critics that you felt it necessary to also inform us that his note came "from a work account during business hours".
So what? I worked for a hi-tech firm and spent many a twelve-hour day there - taking well-deserved
breaks periodically to do exactly the same thing. For a while, the only e-mail access we had was the
company system and there was nothing wrong with that. To suggest otherwise is underhanded on your part.

You claim that your critics "seem incapable of discussing anything outside their narrow world view".
You know nothing about my "world views" so dismissing them as narrow-minded is presumptious,
prejudicial and narrow-minded in iteself, don't you think?
This observation bears an uncany resemblance to another anti-hunting letter in the Free Press which similarly preached of the "narrow world-view of the gun or hunting lobby".
I guess anyone who doesn't agree has a "narrow world-view".

You also claim that "They don't read and respond as much as they simply spew".
That's not really much of a point and, again, is a way of dismissing contrary opinions out of hand.

You poked fun at a hunting accident and used it to discredit an activity involving millions of people yet you condemn the predictable responses as "angry and rude".
Sorry, there's nothing I can say except that I let a two word personal attack give you the opportunity to duck away from the real issue.

You dismissed my letter as "entertaining", "sad and juvenile".
Though "juvenile" might accurately describe my brief transgression in the postscript, your other characterizations are neither accurate or in keeping with your supposed wish for decorum.
You maintain that I "engage not in spirited debate, but personal name-calling".
When you get over my brief personal observations you'll see that my letter focuses entirely on the issue at hand, that you choose to dismiss those points and instead focus your readers on helping you nurse your offended sensitivities.
I look forward to you defending your position that our choices need to be justified on the basis of "need", that hunting poses a statisticly proven unacceptable risk to both the participants and to others and that having your pen-raised, drug-infested meat killed for you is somehow morally superior than doing it yourself.

Meanwhile, here are some responses to those few fans who attempted to make points on the real topic;
Yaeli wrote, "your human soul has a right to publish whatever opinions it chooses to?"
My response to that (and the reason I started in on this) is that your freedom to express an opinion stops at the point where you insult me or attack my freedoms.

Margalit [who got the highest mark for hypocracy with his "douch[e] bag" remark];
"did the person who was shot CHOOSE to be shot?"
Did the racecar driver killed by another driver CHOOSE to be killed?

Rashbre: "there are huge political lobbies, so it won't surprise me if you then get targeted by voices
of unreason."
Are you talking about huge political lobbies like PETA?

The gnat's trumpet: " I think that hunting does serve a usefull purpose (population control, etc. - not quail hunting though)"
Though population control can be one purpose for hunting (and that goes for quail, too), the main
thing is that wild game are a renewable resource that provides activity for many, economic
opportunities for others and proper use of this resource reduces domestic meat requirements.

Deana: "hunting can be good if it is done wisely and correctly. Though I could never, ever do it
personally and hate guns. Sounds very wishy washy huh?"
Not at all, I wish more non-hunters would be as open-minded. Same goes for Chelle.

Caneragon (Jer) [while twice referring to me as an idiot]: "Secondly, stooping to his level by responding is becoming him, saying nothing and moving on is the higher road."
The hypocracy in this lecture is astounding.

The theme here has been about respectful dialogue yet most of the commentary has gone against
everything you all have been preaching about.

The owner of this Blog, after chastizing me for being rude, unkind and lacking decorum invited me "to continue to read and share your thoughts in a somewhat more civil manner - .... I'd like to think that you're capable of engaging in a cogent, respectful debate."

Upon accepting this apparently cordial invitation, I instead find that Carmi has kicked of the
discussion by casting me as a sad, juvenile, narrow-minded, angry and rude extremist who's incapable of properly reading and responding.
This alone (never mind the commentary that follows it) speaks volumes about any willingness to have a frank, honest and respecful discussion on the real issue - which, due to his manipulative lead-in, got lost here.

Carmi said...

A couple of thoughts before I leave the exchange with Mr. Glasgow behind so that I can focus on the more immediate issues facing my existence - like the articles that need to be written so that I can feed my family:

1 - When you choose to take the moral low ground by attacking someone personally, you dictate the trajectory of the rest of the discourse. Let us not forget that you included those somewhat personal shots in a letter to the editor of the paper. Your "not for publication" note notwithstanding, it was your express intention to divert attention away from the core issue by taking issue with me personally. Please don't complain if the game you chose to play didn't turn out to be as much fun as you had originally hoped.

2 - If you don't like how the discussion is proceeding, you're always free to start your own web log and moderate to your heart's content. Last I checked, I was the sole person accountable for this web log. You can be master of your own domain, if you so choose. I'm sure many of us would happily visit any site you set up in response. By virtue of this discussion, I think a lot of people have enjoyed exploring this topic.

3 - I'll give you chops your outing yourself. I had purposely removed your name from my earlier posting of same because I didn't feel it was my right to publicize your name. So your decision to include it in a comment is notable. Good on you for not following the anonymous posting path of so many others.

Thanks, Barry, for allowing so many of us to explore an issue that was previously hidden in the proverbial haze. Collectively, we've all raised our awareness levels more than a little bit in the process. That's a good thing.

barryglasgow said...

Thanks for giving me a chance to air my thoughts and providing more civilized input in your last post.
Knowing that you do have other things to do, I'll try to be brief.

Your point#1;
I'll accept that my postscript was not constructive and distracted from the issue.

Point #2:
The last thing I want is to start my own blog. Those few I've visited share a common preaching-to-the-choir insulation not designed to embrace opposing points of view.
I only joined in on this one because you invited me to a cordial discussion which turned out to be nothing of the sort.
I'm not whining about the treatment I got here - just pointing out the hypocracy of it.

Point #3 sort of expands on this. I've never sent an anonymous post to anyone in any form.
That's the courage of my convictions.
I can see why some of the people who jumped in on this thread prefer to be anonymous.

A final point on the real discussion (which you never addressed):
I found your original article on hunting accidents to be similar to so many anti-hunting efforts - an example of this can be found at the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting (CASH) website http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/home.html

They claim the following:
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"HUNTERS SHOOT MORE THAN 1,000 PEOPLE IN THE US & CANADA ANNUALLY

... According to the International Hunter Education Association, hunters accidentally shoot more than 1,000 people in the United States and Canada every year.

Authorities in Pennsylvania worry that more bystanders will be injured by hunters' stray bullets as more homes are built near wooded areas where hunting is common."
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What this theme deceitfully hides is that of 850 North American hunting accidents in 2002, 15 involved non-hunting bystanders.
These facts come from the same source cited above.

They also play games with the numbers.
The IHEA source they cited has data from 1994 to 1998.
Each year clearly ditinguishes two-party accidents from self-inflicted accidents.
For 1994 to 1998, the number of hunters who shot other people (almost always a fellow hunter) was 825, 874, 672, 701 and 668 respectively.
At no time did the number ever approach 1000.

Sure, one could argue that the self-inflicted injuries involve "people" but the intent here is obvious - carefully crafted language and hidden facts designed to mislead the public about hunting.

Which is why I wrote my initial letter.