The county Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 last night to prohibit deer hunting with high-powered rifles, drawing anger and raised voices from some in the audience.
One of the members of the county who attended the meeting had the right idea on how to deal with legislators who enact stupid rules – he told them that they would “get them out” next election. The move to ban hunting rifles for deer hunting was driven primarily by hyperbole and bogus concerns of safety.
Opponents of rifle hunting expressed concerns about stray bullets. One suggested that some hunters would be unable to resist shooting a deer even if they were on the ground and not in a tree stand.
Elbert Parker held a piece of inch-thick wood above his head to demonstrate the ease with which a bullet could go through someone’s wall.
“Your children can be shot dead looking at TV in your house,” he said, prompting an argument among him and members of the crowd until board chairman Gilbert A. Smith tapped on a table to quiet them.
Going back to that old standard myth of gun owners being trigger happy, which we know isn’t true. Tossing in a bit of PSH to round out the equation, because nothing says “evil” like a rifle that can shoot through walls.
Normally I wouldn’t berate a county commission for decided that people can’t use rifles to hunt deer – while I think it’s a stupid decision it’s usually not a big deal. However, the kind of tactics that were used to get those rifles banned are the exact same kind of tactics that you see used against “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines. If a rifle is “too dangerous” to hunt deer with, surely it’s too dangerous to have in your house. It establishes a bad precedent, because they’re banning rifles for hunting based purely on emotion and not any legitimate safety concerns.
In situations like this, people often say things to me like “it’s only rifles, they can still hunt with shotguns and muzzleloaders” or other stuff like that. Sure, it’s only rifles now, but next year it might be shotguns, because those big slugs are scawwy, and then who is to say where it stops after that?
Bill Johnson, one of the residents of Charles City County, has it exactly right: “We’re going to get you out next term”. Like I said above, that is exactly what you do in this situation – some county commission thinks they know what’s best, you toss ’em out on their ear.