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Posted: 10/22/2004 11:28:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 11:51:18 AM EST by CRC]

Knight Ridder Newspapers
Some Hunters Disenchanted with NRA
October 20, 2004

You won’t find Mike Hayden’s name in the National Rifle Association’s membership rolls.

Oh, it was there years ago. When he was growing up in western Kansas, where hunting is almost a way of life, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the powerful gun-rights organization.

But today, he is part of a growing group of hunters who have become disenchanted with the NRA and its controversial ways.

"I just don’t think the NRA represents the best interests of hunters, with the extreme positions it takes," said Hayden, who is secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. "It does some good, but it also does some things that are counterproductive; some things that hurt the image of the average hunter.

"I decided that I didn’t want to be part of an organization like that anymore."

Hayden certainly isn’t alone. As the NRA becomes more aggressive in its role to fight gun control, it is coming under increased fire - even from its largest group of supporters, hunters.

Take a look at some of the issues in the last year alone that have generated a barrage of shots:

* Some hunters worry about their image as the NRA continues to support private ownership of a wide range of assault weapons, even those which critics say have no sporting use.

* The NRA has sharply criticized state and federal game and fish agencies, saying they have unknowingly contributed to the decline in hunting by creating needless red tape in the form of overbearing regulations.

* The organization has blasted the Clinton Administration for its so-called "Roadless Initiative," which closed roads on millions of acres of federal land. The NRA said that move has closed many areas to drive-up hunting and added to access problems. It supports the Bush Administration’s plan to open those roads again.

* The NRA has rebuffed efforts by organizations such as the Sierra Club to become allies in a program designed to improve wildlife habitat.

Kayne Robinson, president of the NRA, downplays those incidents and the criticism they have generated. He said the NRA still is the champion of hunting sports and is about to become more so.

The creation of a new program, "Free Hunters" - which will place a priority on solving some of the problems that have led to a decline in hunter numbers - has already attracted 20,000 members in its first two months of existence, he said.

He added that almost 3 million of the NRA’s overall 4 million-plus members are hunters and that there has been no mass exodus of disenchanted sportsmen.

"They realize the NRA is still their biggest ally," Robinson said.

But some hunters aren’t so sure.

"To many, any opposition of the National Rifle Association is like spitting on the American flag," Joel Vance wrote in an article in the summer edition of the Outdoor Guide. "I beg to differ."

Like Hayden, Vance is among those who aren’t afraid to admit that there’s a "former" in front of their status as NRA members.

"I belonged to the NRA years ago, when it concentrated on gun and hunter safety, an admirable goal," he said. "Now it is so focused on shooting down anything that smacks of gun control that it has lost me.

"In my opinion, it has become so strident in its views that it often does more harm than good."

Vance, who lives in Russellville, Mo., would like to see the NRA soften its approach and develop a more cooperative nature - an approach that, he says, would better represent the hunters in the organization.

"There are many hunters, me among them, who are turned off by the nastiness of the NRA," Vance wrote in the Outdoor Guide. ". . . The NRA is very effective with its 4 million members, but think of how much more impact it could have with the 200 million or so Americans who don’t hunt if it adopted a more friendly approach, even to those who don’t share its views.

"The attitude that ‘If you ain’t for us, you’re agin us,’ is stupid, self-serving, and in the long run, self-destructive."

Rick Dykstra, a hunter and former police officer who now lives in Milford, Kan., also has philosophical differences with the NRA.

He praises the organization’s work in protecting hunting and other sporting guns. But he thinks it goes too far when it supports some other small arms.

"I’m all for hunters rights," Dykstra said. "But when you look at the Second Amendment, I don’t think our founding fathers had any way of predicting where firearms would be today.

"I can see protecting our hunting guns and handguns. But a 50-caliber sniper rifle? I don’t see why anybody needs a gun like that.

"I think if the NRA would soften its stance, more people like me would join."

Pat Wray, a 20-year member of the NRA and a board member for the Outdoor Writers Association of America, is another hunter who is disenchanted with the pro-gun organization.

After the NRA rebuffed offers to join in an alliance with the Sierra Club to protect wildlife habitat - a move that Robinson said was generated by the environmental group’s support of anti-gun politicians - Wray criticized the organization for its narrow scope.

"The NRA talks about how much it does for hunting, but in many ways, that’s misleading," said Wray, a longtime hunter and freelance writer from Corvallis, Ore. "They support politicians simply on the way they vote on gun rights.

"But sometimes, those people are the same ones who care very little about the environment and wildlife. They are the ones who are the least supportive of protecting hunting habitat from roads, logging and mining."

Still, Wray remains an NRA member and isn’t about to withdraw.

"They are the primary, if not the only, voice protecting the Second Amendment," he said. "I don’t agree with everything they do, but they have their good points."

Many hunters who are NRA members say those criticisms of the pro-gun organization represent the minority, not the majority, view. They insist that the NRA is still an effective champion of their cause.

Harold Volle considers himself one of the average hunters the organization is dedicated to protecting.

Volle, 68, who lives in Cairo, Mo., about 35 miles north of Columbia, has hunted for most of his life. But it wasn’t until 25 years ago that he realized how important the NRA was to his future.

"At the time, there was a lot of talk about gun control," he said. "The talk was mostly about handguns and assault weapons.

"But it scared me. If they can take away one type of gun, they could eventually take away our hunting guns.

"I had seen what the NRA could do with their lobbying to stop gun control. I figured they were one of the best friends a hunter could have, so I decided to get behind them.

"I’ve never regretted it. If it weren’t for the NRA, I’m not sure we’d have hunting in the future."

Supporters and critics of the NRA agree on one thing: The organization has never been timid in its approach.

Many remember the NRA convention in which then-NRA president Charlton Heston held up a gun and announced to a cheering crowd, "From my cold, dead hands."

Others recall the day that his successor, Robinson, in supporting George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, said, "If we win, we’ll have a president where we can work out of (his) office."

And still others recall the mid-1990s, when an NRA fund-raising letter labeled federal law-enforcement agents as "jackbooted thugs," an incident that caused some, including President George Bush Sr., to resign from the NRA.

If such rhetoric was designed to grab the attention of the public, it apparently has worked. The NRA is one of the most visible - and respected or hated, depending on your perspective - organizations in the nation.

It started in 1871 with the primary goal of promoting and encouraging rifle shooting. But it quickly broadened its scope.

Alarmed by the proliferation of gun-control bills in Congress and state legislatures, the NRA entered the political realm. And with funding provided by its huge base, it became one of the nation’s most powerful lobbying forces.

Its message: Don’t mess with the Second Amendment - the 27 words that read "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

"We don’t tilt at windmills," Robinson said. "We take on issues that are important.

"And we’re pretty good at what we do. If you look at some of the things that have been proposed in the last 25 years and some of the things we’ve stopped, you can see what we’ve done for hunters and other law-abiding gun owners."

The NRA now is turning its eyes to another priority: rescuing hunting. And it has identified an unlikely opponent: the game and fish agencies that manage that sport.

"There are many fine people in state and federal government who have dedicated their lives to promoting and preserving hunting," Robinson said. "But today, there are government agents, who unwittingly or not, are active participants in the slow death of hunting.

"We must no longer tread on eggshells around agencies and officials who are clearly hostile to hunting."

Robinson went on to criticize the red tape that hunters face today - the complicated regulations, the hunter-safety courses that are too time-consuming, and the different zones and boundaries.

"If you want to hunt today, you’d better bring a lawyer with you," Robinson said. "You’ll need him to figure out all the regulations."

Robinson blames those regulations in part for the decline in today’s hunter numbers, which have fallen from 17.4 million in 1980 to less than 13 million last year.

The NRA plans to work with state and federal agencies and the legislatures to bring "common sense," as Robinson put it, to many of those hunting management plans.

But Hayden thinks Robinson and the NRA are taking aim on the wrong target. He insists the states are the leaders in promoting hunting, not the problem.

"It’s true that we now have mandatory hunter education and more complex regulations," Hayden said. "But look at the tradeoff. Look at what we’ve done with that funding. We have some fabulous hunting now.

"If we’re going to manage the resource properly and provide hunting opportunity, we need those regulations."

Hayden paused and added, "In an ever-urbanizing society, the world the NRA reminisces about - the world of 50 years ago - is gone. There are whole new challenges. Things are more complex.

"I think the state agencies are responding to those challenges. We’re the ones who are on the front line in the fight to save hunting."

John Hoskins, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, also thinks the regulations are necessary.

"We have within our own agency looked at our regulations and wish that they could be simpler," he said. "And whenever possible, we have simplified things.

"But looking at the big picture, if hunting is to continue into the future, it must be managed. And with management comes regulations.

"The tradeoff is better hunting, and in the case of hunter education, safer hunting."

One of the major goals of the NRA’s new hunting program is to help the average guy - the hunter who might only have a couple of weekends to get out and enjoy his sport.

"We want to be a voice for the guy who is being driven from the sport today," Robinson said. "We want to speak for Joe Lunchbucket, the guy who works down at the Texaco station and maybe doesn’t have a lot of time to hunt and can’t afford to hire an expensive guide.

"The problem that is the most acute is access. Hunters like this need a place to go. And increasingly, they’re seeing the gates closed."

Robinson was especially critical of the Clinton Administration’s move to end maintenance and construction of roads on almost 60 million acres of national forest land. Although large parts of that land remained open to hunting, Robinson claimed that it effectively choked off access to the average hunter.

"A guy who only has a weekend to go hunting needs places that are accessible," he said.

But some hunters take issue with Robinson’s views. Making the areas more remote, they say, creates better hunting, not worse.

They cite studies by Trout Unlimited, a conservation group, that show the best hunting and fishing in Idaho and Oregon - as measured by the quality and quantity of big game and fish taken - came in the roadless areas.

"Most of the legions of people insisting on a ‘driveway’ right to hunt simply have more invested in their beer belies than their boots," said an editorial in the Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune in June.

Nowhere has the split over the NRA’s actions been more evident than at the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) annual meeting in Spokane, Wash., this summer.

The nation’s outdoors writers have a history of being largely sympathetic to the NRA. Many of those writers are hunters and gun owners themselves. But an incident at the meeting created a rift in the organization, which is made up of 2,027 writers and other members of the outdoors media, and left the NRA embroiled in controversy.

It started when a representative of the Sierra Club, a national environmental group, announced plans for a Natural Allies program, in which organizations would join to protect wildlife habitat, which indirectly would benefit hunters. Robinson rebuffed the effort, saying it was a veiled attempt to "hoodwink hunters into voting for gun-ban candidates."

"It’s pretty hard to hunt without guns," he said at the meeting.

Robinson justified his statements by citing the Sierra Club’s support of politicians who have failing grades in gun-rights issues.

The OWAA’s board of directors voted to rebuke Robinson, sending a letter voicing the organization’s disappointment with his actions in criticizing a fellow supporting member in a mealtime setting. That created a split among members and led to a petition in support of Robinson.

Almost 60 individuals and 14 supporting members have resigned from OWAA over the incident. And many more have voiced their disapproval.

But many others took the opportunity to criticize the NRA.

"The NRA continues to blindly advocate ‘Vote your gun.’ So narrow. So sad," wrote Rich Landers, outdoors editor of the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:29:49 AM EST

"I can see protecting our hunting guns and handguns. But a 50-caliber sniper rifle? I don't see why anybody needs a gun like that."


To hunt ducks with you cock fuck!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:30:56 AM EST
It's illegal to hunt waterfowl with rifles.

CRC
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:31:00 AM EST
What a bunch of dumbasses. Really, really, really ignorant dumbass fools.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:31:01 AM EST
Not this hunter.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:32:11 AM EST

"But when you look at the Second Amendment, I don't think our founding fathers had any way of predicting where firearms would be today.


And you think that they meant hunting firearms only, right?

Bitch.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:32:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 11:33:48 AM EST by fight4yourrights]
Hunters like this?

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:32:33 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:33:29 AM EST
Where did this story come from? It sounds like a pre-conceived hit piece, like some editor wanted to bash the NRA and found some lever-action Bushnell-scope yahoo to complain about 'assault weapons'.

Fuckin' assholes.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:33:44 AM EST
Yesterday all the Hunters at work were talking about joining and how to do it.

I pointed them in the right direction.

Danny
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:35:34 AM EST
I am so sick of these types of Hunters, they are dragging us down big time! The large part of hunters I meet are like this. They just don't get it and just don't care!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:36:25 AM EST
Good riddance. All the pussy trap shooters and other supposed 'gun owners' that are willing to compromise on the 2nd Amendment can join them. They can go prance around with Kerry in publicity photos all they want.

BTW, I'm not saying all hunters and trap shooters are pussies, only the ones that are willing to make deals with the devil so they can keep their precious 'sporting' firearms.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:36:41 AM EST
These are the hunters who think the "right to bear arms" refers to "bear hunters"....

--RR
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:37:34 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:37:39 AM EST
Don't beleive everything you read.

I'm guessing this came from the NYT / its ilk.

And for hunters that ARE leaving NRA - fuggem.

They are dead weight. And the Dems can have their rotting carcasses.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:38:53 AM EST
Fools!

The gun-grabbing monkeys are already going after bolt-action rifles they don't like.

It's the Goldilocks approach to banning all guns.

This one's too big.

This one's too small.

This one's too loud.

This one's too quiet.

This one's too cheap.

This one's too accurate.

This one's designed for killing people.

Blah, blah blah.

WAKE UP!

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:39:48 AM EST
This is from 'Knight Ridder' per the article.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:50:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:
NRA Losing Sportsmen Members
10/22/2004






"I can see protecting our hunting guns and handguns. But a 50-caliber sniper rifle? I don't see why anybody needs a gun like that."






I'll try to make it simple:

THE SECOND AMMENDMENT IS NOT ABOUT HUNTING!!!
It's not about collecting, target shooting, handguns, "blowguns" or "cannons" either!

It is about the ability of an oppressed citizenry to rise up against a tyranical government!

God forbid we ever have to use it for it's intended purpose, but it's there just the same.



out!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:51:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By Jeepster:
Where did this story come from? It sounds like a pre-conceived hit piece, like some editor wanted to bash the NRA and found some lever-action Bushnell-scope yahoo to complain about 'assault weapons'.

Fuckin' assholes.



Agreed, sounds like wishful thinking on somebody's part

But you know the left's motto: "Tell the lie until it becomes the truth"
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:52:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 11:56:56 AM EST by imposter]
Very few of the hunters I know are NRA members anyway. In fact, other than me, I doubt any of them are.

A recent George Will article (link) said the NRA has 4 million members. 14 million other Americans think they are NRA members. 28 million more think they are affiliated with the NRA because they belong to a sportsman's club.

Essentially, most of the dumbasses who think they are quitting the NRA are probably not NRA members anyway.

It is the National Rifle Association, not Duck's Unlimited.

The Sierra Club has Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center on it's board. The NRA is correct to urge gun owners to disassociate with any group that is in bed with that anti-gun jackass.

I'm all for keeping the base pure. Let the Republican party be the big tent.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:52:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:


"I can see protecting our hunting guns and handguns. But a 50-caliber sniper rifle? I don’t see why anybody needs a gun like that.





Has nothing to do with need.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:54:10 AM EST
I wouldn't swallow that piece of garbage. It sounds like a hit piece. Some hunters will read it and be like sheep and follow.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:54:58 AM EST
OOhhhhh, i didn't realize the Bill of Rights dealt with sports. So in my paper the only section the gov.org can't regulate is the sports page, because it has sporting purposes, right?
I meet asshat hunters like that from time to time. Even had one spout off at the Whittington Center (the NRA's center) in New Mexico once. My friend and I read him the riot act.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:55:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 11:56:48 AM EST by USMINUTeMAN]
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:56:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
This is what you call a 'made up story'.

Ignore it.



I agree. This "story" is a fabrication.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:56:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Some Hunters Disenchanted with NRA
October 20, 2004

You won’t find Mike Hayden’s name in the National Rifle Association’s membership rolls.

Oh, it was there years ago. When he was growing up in western Kansas, where hunting is almost a way of life, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the powerful gun-rights organization.

But today, he is part of a growing group of hunters who have become disenchanted with the NRA and its controversial ways.

"I just don’t think the NRA represents the best interests of hunters, with the extreme positions it takes," said Hayden, who is secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. "It does some good, but it also does some things that are counterproductive; some things that hurt the image of the average hunter.

"I decided that I didn’t want to be part of an organization like that anymore."

Hayden certainly isn’t alone. As the NRA becomes more aggressive in its role to fight gun control, it is coming under increased fire - even from its largest group of supporters, hunters.

Take a look at some of the issues in the last year alone that have generated a barrage of shots:

* Some hunters worry about their image as the NRA continues to support private ownership of a wide range of assault weapons, even those which critics say have no sporting use.

* The NRA has sharply criticized state and federal game and fish agencies, saying they have unknowingly contributed to the decline in hunting by creating needless red tape in the form of overbearing regulations.

* The organization has blasted the Clinton Administration for its so-called "Roadless Initiative," which closed roads on millions of acres of federal land. The NRA said that move has closed many areas to drive-up hunting and added to access problems. It supports the Bush Administration’s plan to open those roads again.

* The NRA has rebuffed efforts by organizations such as the Sierra Club to become allies in a program designed to improve wildlife habitat.

Kayne Robinson, president of the NRA, downplays those incidents and the criticism they have generated. He said the NRA still is the champion of hunting sports and is about to become more so.

The creation of a new program, "Free Hunters" - which will place a priority on solving some of the problems that have led to a decline in hunter numbers - has already attracted 20,000 members in its first two months of existence, he said.

He added that almost 3 million of the NRA’s overall 4 million-plus members are hunters and that there has been no mass exodus of disenchanted sportsmen.

"They realize the NRA is still their biggest ally," Robinson said.

But some hunters aren’t so sure.

"To many, any opposition of the National Rifle Association is like spitting on the American flag," Joel Vance wrote in an article in the summer edition of the Outdoor Guide. "I beg to differ."

Like Hayden, Vance is among those who aren’t afraid to admit that there’s a "former" in front of their status as NRA members.

"I belonged to the NRA years ago, when it concentrated on gun and hunter safety, an admirable goal," he said. "Now it is so focused on shooting down anything that smacks of gun control that it has lost me.

"In my opinion, it has become so strident in its views that it often does more harm than good."

Vance, who lives in Russellville, Mo., would like to see the NRA soften its approach and develop a more cooperative nature - an approach that, he says, would better represent the hunters in the organization.

"There are many hunters, me among them, who are turned off by the nastiness of the NRA," Vance wrote in the Outdoor Guide. ". . . The NRA is very effective with its 4 million members, but think of how much more impact it could have with the 200 million or so Americans who don’t hunt if it adopted a more friendly approach, even to those who don’t share its views.

"The attitude that ‘If you ain’t for us, you’re agin us,’ is stupid, self-serving, and in the long run, self-destructive."

Rick Dykstra, a hunter and former police officer who now lives in Milford, Kan., also has philosophical differences with the NRA.

He praises the organization’s work in protecting hunting and other sporting guns. But he thinks it goes too far when it supports some other small arms.

"I’m all for hunters rights," Dykstra said. "But when you look at the Second Amendment, I don’t think our founding fathers had any way of predicting where firearms would be today.

"I can see protecting our hunting guns and handguns. But a 50-caliber sniper rifle? I don’t see why anybody needs a gun like that.

"I think if the NRA would soften its stance, more people like me would join."

Pat Wray, a 20-year member of the NRA and a board member for the Outdoor Writers Association of America, is another hunter who is disenchanted with the pro-gun organization.

After the NRA rebuffed offers to join in an alliance with the Sierra Club to protect wildlife habitat - a move that Robinson said was generated by the environmental group’s support of anti-gun politicians - Wray criticized the organization for its narrow scope.

"The NRA talks about how much it does for hunting, but in many ways, that’s misleading," said Wray, a longtime hunter and freelance writer from Corvallis, Ore. "They support politicians simply on the way they vote on gun rights.

"But sometimes, those people are the same ones who care very little about the environment and wildlife. They are the ones who are the least supportive of protecting hunting habitat from roads, logging and mining."

Still, Wray remains an NRA member and isn’t about to withdraw.

"They are the primary, if not the only, voice protecting the Second Amendment," he said. "I don’t agree with everything they do, but they have their good points."

Many hunters who are NRA members say those criticisms of the pro-gun organization represent the minority, not the majority, view. They insist that the NRA is still an effective champion of their cause.

Harold Volle considers himself one of the average hunters the organization is dedicated to protecting.

Volle, 68, who lives in Cairo, Mo., about 35 miles north of Columbia, has hunted for most of his life. But it wasn’t until 25 years ago that he realized how important the NRA was to his future.

"At the time, there was a lot of talk about gun control," he said. "The talk was mostly about handguns and assault weapons.

"But it scared me. If they can take away one type of gun, they could eventually take away our hunting guns.

"I had seen what the NRA could do with their lobbying to stop gun control. I figured they were one of the best friends a hunter could have, so I decided to get behind them.

"I’ve never regretted it. If it weren’t for the NRA, I’m not sure we’d have hunting in the future."

Supporters and critics of the NRA agree on one thing: The organization has never been timid in its approach.

Many remember the NRA convention in which then-NRA president Charlton Heston held up a gun and announced to a cheering crowd, "From my cold, dead hands."

Others recall the day that his successor, Robinson, in supporting George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, said, "If we win, we’ll have a president where we can work out of (his) office."

And still others recall the mid-1990s, when an NRA fund-raising letter labeled federal law-enforcement agents as "jackbooted thugs," an incident that caused some, including President George Bush Sr., to resign from the NRA.

If such rhetoric was designed to grab the attention of the public, it apparently has worked. The NRA is one of the most visible - and respected or hated, depending on your perspective - organizations in the nation.

It started in 1871 with the primary goal of promoting and encouraging rifle shooting. But it quickly broadened its scope.

Alarmed by the proliferation of gun-control bills in Congress and state legislatures, the NRA entered the political realm. And with funding provided by its huge base, it became one of the nation’s most powerful lobbying forces.

Its message: Don’t mess with the Second Amendment - the 27 words that read "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

"We don’t tilt at windmills," Robinson said. "We take on issues that are important.

"And we’re pretty good at what we do. If you look at some of the things that have been proposed in the last 25 years and some of the things we’ve stopped, you can see what we’ve done for hunters and other law-abiding gun owners."

The NRA now is turning its eyes to another priority: rescuing hunting. And it has identified an unlikely opponent: the game and fish agencies that manage that sport.

"There are many fine people in state and federal government who have dedicated their lives to promoting and preserving hunting," Robinson said. "But today, there are government agents, who unwittingly or not, are active participants in the slow death of hunting.

"We must no longer tread on eggshells around agencies and officials who are clearly hostile to hunting."

Robinson went on to criticize the red tape that hunters face today - the complicated regulations, the hunter-safety courses that are too time-consuming, and the different zones and boundaries.

"If you want to hunt today, you’d better bring a lawyer with you," Robinson said. "You’ll need him to figure out all the regulations."

Robinson blames those regulations in part for the decline in today’s hunter numbers, which have fallen from 17.4 million in 1980 to less than 13 million last year.

The NRA plans to work with state and federal agencies and the legislatures to bring "common sense," as Robinson put it, to many of those hunting management plans.

But Hayden thinks Robinson and the NRA are taking aim on the wrong target. He insists the states are the leaders in promoting hunting, not the problem.

"It’s true that we now have mandatory hunter education and more complex regulations," Hayden said. "But look at the tradeoff. Look at what we’ve done with that funding. We have some fabulous hunting now.

"If we’re going to manage the resource properly and provide hunting opportunity, we need those regulations."

Hayden paused and added, "In an ever-urbanizing society, the world the NRA reminisces about - the world of 50 years ago - is gone. There are whole new challenges. Things are more complex.

"I think the state agencies are responding to those challenges. We’re the ones who are on the front line in the fight to save hunting."

John Hoskins, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, also thinks the regulations are necessary.

"We have within our own agency looked at our regulations and wish that they could be simpler," he said. "And whenever possible, we have simplified things.

"But looking at the big picture, if hunting is to continue into the future, it must be managed. And with management comes regulations.

"The tradeoff is better hunting, and in the case of hunter education, safer hunting."

One of the major goals of the NRA’s new hunting program is to help the average guy - the hunter who might only have a couple of weekends to get out and enjoy his sport.

"We want to be a voice for the guy who is being driven from the sport today," Robinson said. "We want to speak for Joe Lunchbucket, the guy who works down at the Texaco station and maybe doesn’t have a lot of time to hunt and can’t afford to hire an expensive guide.

"The problem that is the most acute is access. Hunters like this need a place to go. And increasingly, they’re seeing the gates closed."

Robinson was especially critical of the Clinton Administration’s move to end maintenance and construction of roads on almost 60 million acres of national forest land. Although large parts of that land remained open to hunting, Robinson claimed that it effectively choked off access to the average hunter.

"A guy who only has a weekend to go hunting needs places that are accessible," he said.

But some hunters take issue with Robinson’s views. Making the areas more remote, they say, creates better hunting, not worse.

They cite studies by Trout Unlimited, a conservation group, that show the best hunting and fishing in Idaho and Oregon - as measured by the quality and quantity of big game and fish taken - came in the roadless areas.

"Most of the legions of people insisting on a ‘driveway’ right to hunt simply have more invested in their beer belies than their boots," said an editorial in the Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune in June.

Nowhere has the split over the NRA’s actions been more evident than at the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) annual meeting in Spokane, Wash., this summer.

The nation’s outdoors writers have a history of being largely sympathetic to the NRA. Many of those writers are hunters and gun owners themselves. But an incident at the meeting created a rift in the organization, which is made up of 2,027 writers and other members of the outdoors media, and left the NRA embroiled in controversy.

It started when a representative of the Sierra Club, a national environmental group, announced plans for a Natural Allies program, in which organizations would join to protect wildlife habitat, which indirectly would benefit hunters. Robinson rebuffed the effort, saying it was a veiled attempt to "hoodwink hunters into voting for gun-ban candidates."

"It’s pretty hard to hunt without guns," he said at the meeting.

Robinson justified his statements by citing the Sierra Club’s support of politicians who have failing grades in gun-rights issues.

The OWAA’s board of directors voted to rebuke Robinson, sending a letter voicing the organization’s disappointment with his actions in criticizing a fellow supporting member in a mealtime setting. That created a split among members and led to a petition in support of Robinson.

Almost 60 individuals and 14 supporting members have resigned from OWAA over the incident. And many more have voiced their disapproval.

But many others took the opportunity to criticize the NRA.

"The NRA continues to blindly advocate ‘Vote your gun.’ So narrow. So sad," wrote Rich Landers, outdoors editor of the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash.

I'm Sarah Brady, and I personally approved this ad


Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:59:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 12:01:11 PM EST by CRC]
The NRA was originally a marksmanship organization.

CRC
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:00:31 PM EST
Bush senior left the NRA for similar reasons. back in 93-94 timeframe
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:02:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By HKocher:
Good riddance. All the pussy trap shooters and other supposed 'gun owners' that are willing to compromise on the 2nd Amendment can join them. They can go prance around with Kerry in publicity photos all they want.

BTW, I'm not saying all hunters and trap shooters are pussies, only the ones that are willing to make deals with the devil so they can keep their precious 'sporting' firearms.



I've met trap shooters like this... right before I stomped their asses I told them that if the gun grabbers get a victory over semi automatic rifles, they'll keep coming, they aren't going to stop at your over unders, and your prissy expensive trap guns, they will keep right on going while the pen is hot, don't you dare think that they'll let you go.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:05:18 PM EST
Who the hell is Knight Ridder Newspapers? Never heard of them. Anyways, there can only be one Knight Rider, and this bunch ain't it!

http://www.scifi.com/knightrider/downloads/images/image_07.jpg

THE REAL KNIGHT RIDER
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:05:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By paper:
Bush senior left the NRA for similar reasons. back in 93-94 timeframe



I think he left specifically because Wayne(or another NRA guy) referred to those who performed the siege at Ruby Ridge, "Jack-Booted Thugs."
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:11:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
This is what you call a 'made up story'.

Ignore it.


Yep. Just like CBS news looking through the haystack for the one soldier out of 1,000 who will vote for Kerry, then they do a big story on how "the military is waning in its support for Bush."

Hunters, by and large, have no problem whatsoever with the NRA. Finding the lone needle in a haystack nonetheless.

Pure fabricated bullsh*t.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:13:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By California_Kid:
Fools!

The gun-grabbing monkeys are already going after bolt-action rifles they don't like.

It's the Goldilocks approach to banning all guns.

This one's too big.

This one's too small.

This one's too loud.

This one's too quiet.

This one's too cheap.

This one's too accurate.

This one's designed for killing people.

Blah, blah blah.

WAKE UP!


Great post. So true.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:15:22 PM EST
I have an elderly friend like those guys, & he's a big time Democrat lawyer, too. I've basically written him off in that regard, but it just proves that being smart doesn't mean that you can't be fooled.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:15:36 PM EST

"I’m all for hunters rights," Dykstra said. "But when you look at the Second Amendment, I don’t think our founding fathers had any way of predicting where firearms would be today.

"I can see protecting our hunting guns and handguns. But a 50-caliber sniper rifle? I don’t see why anybody needs a gun like that.



What a stupid cocksucker.

How would people feel if we used that test on the other amendments?

The founding fathers couldn't have predicted the internet or TV, so no 1st amendment rights for them.

No 4th amendment protection against having your automobile searched.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:16:18 PM EST
Don't le tthe door hit you on the way out.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:17:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 12:17:59 PM EST by warlord]
The executive committee of the Calif Rifle & Pistol(CRPA- pronounced "crap pa" by the locals) is primarily hunters. That hasn't help the anit-gunners from shoving more onerous gun laws down our throats. Those hunters are fooling themselves just be aligning themselves with the anti-gunners they are going to be able to keep their shotguns(weapons of mass destruction) and the scoped hunting rifle(sniper rifles).
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:17:45 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:26:04 PM EST
You know, I think there may be a grain of truth to this. Gun control has been basically off the radar for four years, and there is no percieved imminent threat of legislation and confiscation like there was in the 1990s. So I wouldn't be suprised if some of the "sunshine soldiers" of the gun rights movement are deciding that they don't need to throw their weight behind the NRA as much these days.

After all, World War I is over with, we don't need this big navy anymore. We can sell it as scrap iron to the Japanese, there's no imminent threat...
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:36:39 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:39:25 PM EST
I joined the NRA this year since they started supporting Assult weapons.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:39:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sin_Bin:
What a bunch of dumbasses. Really, really, really ignorant dumbass fools.



They obviously do not "get it".

They want "reasonable" gun control........right?
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:43:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By jblachly:
Don't let the door hit you on the way out.



+1
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:44:45 PM EST

Wow! and someone said I was wrong stereotyping hunters with comments from yesterday. How the worm turns.

So called hunters, don't know a thing about guns, why we really have them, or why we have a 2nd Amendment. Idiots...

This pisses me off so bad, I can just spit. A lot of hunters = Stupid!

They can kiss my ass!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:45:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tele-Skier:
Who the hell is Knight Ridder Newspapers? Never heard of them. Anyways, there can only be one Knight Rider, and this bunch ain't it!

www.scifi.com/knightrider/downloads/images/image_07.jpg

THE REAL KNIGHT RIDER



Germans love David Hasslehoff!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:49:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 12:52:36 PM EST by Riotgun]
I don't think "hunters" leaving the NRA is a bad thing.

There are basically 2 types of legitimate gun owners - the "duck and deer" type and the "Minuteman" type.

The duck and deer type views the Second Amendment as an interesting bit of history, and really doesn't care what kind of gun control is perpetrated on the American people, as long as they can engage in their recreational activity. They are gun owners only because it's a necessary part of their sport.

The Minuteman type views the Second Amendment as a fundamental right of every American, a guarantee that we will have the ability to defend ourselves. Whether they are willing only to be a minuteman within their own home, responding to a personal threat, or whether they are willing to, if necessary, take up arms to defend their city, state, or nation, the concept is the same. They are gun owners because they are willing to stand between liberty and oppression, and any gun control is an infringement on that liberty.

While there may be shades of gray between the two groups, I think that sums it up rather well.

The problem with the NRA in the past was that it's membership has been largely the duck and deer type, and it necessarily had to cater to a membership that did not have the Second Amendment as a primary concern.

More recently, however, we have seen the swell of membership in reaction to onerous gun control measures that have been passed into law. We have seen the NRA take a harder line against gun control than it has in the past. The membership is changing, more Minutemen types are joining, and the NRA has to adjust it's focus to reflect that.

Losing the duck and deer crowd could only result in a more Second Amendment focused NRA. Personally, I would rather have an NRA of 2 million Minutemen types, united in thought and purpose, than to have that number diluted by another 2 million of the duck and deer "whatcha need that machinegun for?" types.

Well, that's how I see it. Maybe I'm fucked up, but I don't think so.

ETA: While there are hunters among the Minutemen type, their primary reason for gun ownership is defense of freedom.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:50:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 12:52:46 PM EST by Janus]

Originally Posted By Tele-Skier:
Who the hell is Knight Ridder Newspapers? Never heard of them. Anyways, there can only be one Knight Rider, and this bunch ain't it!

THE REAL KNIGHT RIDER



They are the parent company for several papers around the country.

www.knightridder.com/papers/addresses.html
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:54:29 PM EST
Any hunter that is not a member of the NRA is an idiot. Today "Assault Weapons" tomorrow "Sniper rifles" aka hunting rifles.

To hear some hunters talk, if you do not hunt you do not need a gun.....

Idiots.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:54:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:55:12 PM EST

But a 50-caliber sniper rifle? I don’t see why anybody needs a gun like that.


I don't see why anybody NEEDS to hunt.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:55:45 PM EST
Kight communications is an ultra liberal rag.

That's why they are publishing this. They want the NRA to implode.
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