Op-Ed: Anti-Hunters Have No Common Sense

Once upon a time in America, common sense was, well, common. It is not so anymore.

Op-Ed: Anti-Hunters Have No Common Sense

Protests today are a dime a dozen for everything from 'climate change' to animal rights efforts in the U.S. and abroad. (Photo: iStock)

Once upon a time in America, common sense was, well, common. It is not so anymore. It seems as though every segment of society has been injected with a venom that destroys anything that even hints of logic.

Everything from politics to food police, with businesses and government agencies in between, operate reactionarily to the baseless whining from extremists rather than proceeding rationally in ways that just make sense. And the anti-hunters are front-and-center when it comes to subversives who insist on telling the biggest lies loudly enough that low information viewers, listeners and readers end up believing them. 

It’s only one step from there to where the outcomes at the ballot boxes can, and often do, turn out the wrong way, ending up with laws that limit or end what we do. As hunters, we are not at the mercy of the antis, but exist at the pleasure of the majority who neither like nor hate us. Their perception of us can change quickly.

There are myriad reasons why the situation has devolved to where it is now. Pick one — dumbing down of schools, breakdown of the family unit, overreach of “Big Brother,” etc. The point is that persistent back-biting has become the way of the world and, in the process, the more outrageous the allegation, the wider it is disseminated. Witness the old saw: A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

But antis and their ilk are not the only ones who ignore common sense. Predator hunters also find themselves in that category from time to time. And many of those times involve us inadvertently supplying the enemy with ammo that they instantly and forever will use against us.

I’m talking about social media posts and other such communications that show disrespect for wildlife and slovenly behavior. We must not project such an image lest we help defeat ourselves in the war the antis have waged against us.

Antis love to characterize all hunters as knuckle-dragging sub-humans. Their false claims, however, enjoy undeserved credence when they can show hunters doing things that non-hunters find grotesque and objectionable.

There is no effort here to suggest that hunters need to check their right of free speech and expression at the door. To the contrary. We can be justifiably proud. To that point, when we show pride and respect, we not only demonstrate the untruths of the antis’ lies, but at the same time, inoculate the undecided non-hunters against those lies. It’s a PR double-tap, so to speak.

As the human population grows and expands, the amount of land upon which we can hunt shrinks. Every time the antis score a victory at the ballot box or in legislative arenas, we lose something. And we never seem to recover.

For the antis, it’s a game of attrition. They are in it for the long haul and they know how to raise tons of money for their cause. That money is used to chip away at hunting, one small piece at time. Granted, antis would close down hunting altogether in an instant if they could. But since they can’t, they’ll settle for a death of a thousand cuts.

There are many ways to fight back and as hunters, we need to take advantage of all of them. Simultaneously, however, we also need not make things any easier for those who would make hunters extinct. The majority of people are neither pro- nor anti-hunting. Ideally, we need to convert unaligned non-hunters into supporters, or at least we need not turn any of the non-hunters against us. 

Antis use emotion to sell their lies. Hunters use science and facts to argue their case. In the court of public opinion where folks glaze over whenever confronted with a lot of details; a short, strong emotional appeal trumps logic, reason and right most of the time.

Truth is that the antis don’t love the animals that they profess to want to “save.” If they did, then they would support sound wildlife management that includes hunting. But they don’t.

The antis are actually anti-human. They are ashamed of who and what they are and they are hell-bent to punish all hunters for our audacity to be what we are and who we are, both as humans and as individuals.

With that in mind, consider the value of common sense. Common sense can help keep the antis from using our own words and images against us in the ways they can if those words and images are callous and grotesque. Common sense can inoculate those who haven’t taken sides and common sense can be a tie that binds all right-thinking people together.

It really is that basic. And that makes sense.

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