Shuddering Hunters

Paul Ryan told reporters that he shudders to imagine what the president would do if he wins another term. He was speaking about the Presidents mandate on birth control, which ensures that even people that work for religious organizations have access to birth control. He believes that it is an infringement on religious freedom. It appears that organizations like the Church have the right to impose their religious freedoms on their employees, and that their employees have no religious freedom whatsoever.

Ryan was speaking before an audience of hunters and fishermen and made the most of the occasion to complain about what he considers to be his Second Amendment rights. The Second Amendment confers a purported right to bear arms, a right which has been stretched to inconceivable lengths.

Ryan wants judges that will respect his Second Amendment rights, rights which have never been seriously threatened in any way whatsoever. The Constitution does not confer the right to own weapons of massive lethality, which are currently available to the public.

He was speaking at a “Save our Heritage” convention held by the US Sportsmen’s Alliance. It is unclear how the right to take the lives of countless defenseless animals translates into saving our heritage. The destruction of this nations wildlife can in no way be considered saving our heritage.

That Ryan is an avid bow hunter in no way endears him to those of us that want only to enjoy our wildlife without having to destroy it. He believes that his right to destroy needlessly supersedes our right to savor the beauty of life without wanting to extinguish life to no particular purpose.

There were prizes available at this convention, one of which was a safari in South Africa. As a South African, I am outraged that some Americans consider that any nation should be their killing field. If people want to visit South Africa, do so with a camera, not a gun. The country has no need of people whose only purpose is to kill with mindless intent. Respect the country and its wildlife or stay away.

There is no need to take life. There is plenty of fresh food in your local supermarket, so you do not need to go too far to feed your family. If you want to show your manhood, there are countless ways to do it. Find a mountain to climb, swim the Bering Straits, bungee jump off a tall bridge, scale the side of the Empire State building. Destroying life to no end other than demonstrating the power to take life is an act of cowardice unbecoming a vice- presidential candidate. If you want to demonstrate accuracy with a weapon, there are endless firing ranges available.

If one wants to enjoy the fruits of nature, go for a hike, swim in the ocean, take a camera and photograph what nature has to offer. When you leave, those animals are still there for others to photograph, to admire, to enjoy. When you kill an animal, that life is snuffed out forever. It is an act of supreme selfishness, another demonstration of the conservatives innate immorality and contempt for his home and ours.

Ryan claims that the public own the public lands, that hunters were the original conservationists. Nonsense. There is an historical record showing that hunters in the 1800’s killed without regard for the consequences. The plains of America teemed with bison and buffalo. Hunters would shoot these proud animals from trains that steamed through the Midwest, not even stopping to examine the creatures that they slaughtered. Millions of animals ended up as carrion for vultures, putrefying on the plains.  Because of hunters, the bison came close to extinction before they were saved by real conservationists.

Hunters do not conserve, they destroy with alacrity, anything that moves, and if it doesn’t move, they kick it until it does and then shoot it. It is a clear demonstration that hunters are incapable of conserving anything.

He goes on to claim that the public own public lands and therefore have the right to use those lands for hunting. What of my right to hike those lands in safety, without worrying whether I am going to become the latest victim of an inebriated hunter. What of my right to photograph, to watch, to enjoy life without seeing it destroyed. He forgets that his rights need to be balanced with mine, and that I too have the right to those public lands. He does not have the right to destroy my right to enjoy the country.

That he encourages his daughter to hunt again shows a moral deficit. Perhaps first he should teach her to respect the land, to respect the creatures that occupy that land and the rights of others to marvel at nature instead of having to watch magnificent creatures cut down by irresponsible hunters. Teaching a child to take life ought to be considered a form of child abuse.

For presidential candidates to claim to be avid hunters is really just another way to pander to the violent among us. Why does he not show respect for those of us that respect our land, our air, our water, and all the denizens of this wonderful land. These people do not love their country. They love only to destroy it.

We need to ask the question, if Ryan is so enamored of his Creator, why does he have so much contempt for Creation?

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