Opinion: A Shift in the Political Pendulum — What’s Next?

Elections have consequences, and America has now experienced a hard turn to the left. The looming question: How will this affect hunting and gun ownership?

Opinion: A Shift in the Political Pendulum — What’s Next?

Photo: Istockphoto.com/Eblis

We now have a different president and a different person/party in charge of the Senate. Bluntly, those who do not have the best interests of hunters at heart now control both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.

The important thing to consider here has nothing to do with political parties per se (titles aren’t the issue – political philosophy and resultant actions are). It has to do with perceptions of what to do with the power instilled in those who have been elected. As it turns out, the interests of hunters in general and predator hunters in particular are not served by the party now in power.

What does this mean? Only time will tell, but there are some facts and truths that can give an indication of what direction the federal government is likely to go, which allows at least some degree of ability to predict what that might mean for predator hunters.

For openers, the Democrat party is the party of gun grabbers. That is simply a fact. And the president as well as a number of members of Congress have indicated that they plan to crack down on guns. Hence, it can be presumed that the gun debate will heat up over the next months and years. How that affects predator hunters and hunting directly is not as clear as how it already is affecting any gun-related matter indirectly. Witness the panic level spikes in gun and ammo sales that were triggered by an unprecedented combination of pandemic and social disorder.

Bottom line: Due to market demands that have outstripped the industry’s ability to produce guns and ammo, it is logical to suggest that there will be shortages into the near term, perhaps longer.

Concurrently, states have experienced unprecedented sales of hunting and fishing licenses — again, a result of reactions to the pandemic and social/cultural insecurity as people re-examine food sources and solace in the wilds. When considered in total, these are crazy times when there are no safe bets about what will happen later today; let alone days, weeks and months ahead.

That said, consider the Green New Deal that is championed by those who now control the making of laws and the execution of them. Preservationists permeate that entire movement. Hunters are conservationists in the sense that conservation and preservation are at odds with each other. True conservation assumes the prudent use of wildlife resources in ways that assures healthy populations of wildlife forever. Preservation merely calls for the absence of human involvement, which in reality is a death sentence for wildlife because of the burgeoning human invasion of wild spaces worldwide.

The basic reason for the dichotomy of philosophy is that hunters, practicing the oldest of human activities, are part of nature and have pride in this status. Preservationist anti-hunters hate humans, including themselves, and want to punish anyone who has the audacity to be part of the solution to a problem that they do not want to be solved. Hence, the best-case scenario in this regard is that we likely cannot expect the federal government to come forward with anything that enhances hunting and access to it. In fact, it is more likely that many of the advances made in hunter access to public lands during the Trump administration will be rolled back, perhaps even eliminated, during the Biden administration.

As a default assumption, it is safe to note that those in power at this time truly do not like us hunters. Some of them flat-out hate us and what we stand for. Don’t expect hunting in general and predator hunting in particular to be given any breaks, certainly no benefit of the doubt.

Now is the time for predator hunters to think and act strategically rather than reactionarily. It is time to get ahead of the curve. The long game is more important than the immediate circumstance. For example, regardless of how folks view this past election, the enduring truth of representative politics is that those in power are nothing more or less than a reflection of those who put them there. And by any measure, one heck of a lot of citizens voted for those who won. Hence, at best, those elected are a symptom rather than a cause of the situation, whether that situation is viewed as positive or negative.

Ultimately, urbanization and population spread are the real threats to all hunting because, in addition to spawning voting blocks that are unaware of the reality of nature and prone to view hunting with a jaundiced eye, these social developments result in less space for all wildlife, including predators and game animals.

Witness the experiences in recent times in the many Western states where political decisions are dictated by those who live in and near the major population centers. Their philosophies and actions are at odds with those in the rural parts of those same states. This paradox is seen globally, perhaps even more clearly than locally. Face it, anti-hunting is a global phenomenon, with the most virulent forces located in the British Isles and Europe. Very much of the anti-hunting activity in North America immigrates from across the pond.

In the big picture, this struggle pits the individual against the collective. Hunters are individuals who believe that what is best for the individual is best for the whole, while antis are social in the sense that they believe that what is best for the collective is best for the individual. Literally, it is the equivalent of the predator/prey nature of nature. Predator hunters are predators, while antis are herd creatures – prey. This is why antis and other enemies of freedom often use the term “greater good.” They believe that the most important thing is the health of the herd and that any resultant tromping of individual freedoms is nothing more than collateral loss. This is why it is unlikely that there ever will be anything approaching common ground among the various segments of pro- and anti-hunters.

When antis talk about things such as “reasonable gun control,” for instance, the operative concept is “gun control” and “reasonable” is merely added to try to make it easier for the unassuming masses to swallow.

Or, what about the absurdity of the hollow protestations of the antis when they attack predator hunting as being all for what they term perverse fun and not for food? Those same antis are vegans who disdain and oppose the eating of meat in the first place. But it is not about meat at all. It is about abolition of mankind’s most human of activities.

Bottom line: What we can expect as a result of the recent elections is a hard turn to the left where who we are and what we do are counter to what they want and what they will do. If it is any consolation, there is a political pendulum and there is no indication that it has stopped swinging.

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