Moral Dilemmas

Funding conservation through gun sales questions.

Data also shows that firearms sales are motivated by fears of violence and social unrest. Gun sales have increased following mass shootings and racial justice protests and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anecdotal evidence suggests that over the past two years, some African Americans and Asian Americans purchased their first guns out of fears of rising anti-Black and anti-Asian violence.

Wildlife conservation is benefiting from the fear, racism and sustained social conflict that drive gun sales. This raises a moral question: Is this the right way to fund conservation?

Not something you want to see.

1 comment

  1. If gun ownership no longer correlates well with participation in hunting, then a policymaker might be justified in reducing or even eliminating this source of fish-and-wildlife agency revenue. But these agencies are often underfunded, so maybe it’s better (I say selfishly) that they take the money and spend it usefully, irrespective of the rationales behind the gun sales. The bigger issue is in getting the nature-loving public to pony up for state work that benefits critters and fish and their habitats. The financial burden shouldn’t be delegated primarily to hunters and anglers.

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