It is official

You might have figured it out in comments below but it is official: because the Feds are allowing a three- decade exemption for wind farms to kill as many eagles as they “need” to, and because they exert no pressure on tribal use (right and understandable for religious practice, but ignoring the profitable if clandestine traffic in feathers for dance costumes), falconers will no longer be allowed to catch “up to six” eagles for falconry in areas of proven depredation, exactly reversing the win- win scenario Cat details below.

Nobody ever took six a year, an infinitesimal part of the breeding surplus; ranchers had proven predators removed; falconers got the companionship of one of the world’s formidable predators, often for decades, and the chance to participate in one of if not THE oldest falconry tradition on earth, at least six thousand years old.

Presumably if we do not fight this it means “for three decades?” Or forever?

And why in hell not allow trapping in wind farms?

No more of this!

What do people in the anti- gun media…

… think of us? Not much, apparently…

A few quotes:

“Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” asserted that gun rights advocates aren’t “normal people,” they have no “other interests,” and they are uninterested in their wives or kids…”

“The Post’s Gene Weingarten in 2011 spat on the Second Amendment as “the refuge of bumpkins and yeehaws who like to think they are protecting their homes against imagined swarthy marauders desperate to steal their flea-bitten sofas from their rotting front porches…”

“After Columbine, a Boston Herald op-ed [yes, in Massachusetts!] described the average participant in a 1999 Boston Common pro-gun rally as a wannabe “hicksville cowboy, as in way out there, somewhere off the Mass Pike or at the far reaches of 93, from towns with something to prove and lots of Amvets posts…”

[… when speaking about sales without background checks, gun controllers always refer to “gun shows.” Most guns used in murders aren’t bought at gun shows — they’re stolen or bought on the street. But gun shows are large gatherings of the “gun tribe” — and so they must be shut down…]

“Gun control, it turns out, is largely culture control.”

For an antidote, read Dan Baum. Or this fascinating bit about the granddad of all civil liberties pro- gun thinkers, former civil rights activist Don Kates. I thought that he perished in the Cretaceous Extinction Event like Col. Cooper!

Dan Baum sticks to his guns…

… in this excellent interview in Atlantic (pun absolutely intended). Maybe they thought he would back down; because of the current climate, because– I don’t know, he hadn’t spent many years coming to his conclusions? No fear: “I’m no less a Democrat than I was, but I am more attuned to the gun guy complaint — “I am over-managed and I am under-respected as a citizen and a human being.” I think the right has a point there. We need to stop fearing capable, empowered, independent-thinking individuals. “

Above, with Broomhandle Mauser, making me green with envy; below, having fun with full auto fire.

Invincible Ignorance?

I hate to rant but (I can see everybody believes THAT)…

Well, first Reid provoked me with this, knowing that it was like poking a stick at a hot rattlesnake.

At first I just sputtered. “I can’t even debunk this– it is like Mary McCarthy’s famous remark on Lilian Hellman: “Every word she says is a lie including AND and THE.”

Except of course it is not a “lie”– it is merely smug, invincible ignorance, with libel of all hunters or even non New- Yorkers thrown in for snark. Would the “Paper of Record” accept an op- ed on any other subject featuring as basic an example of incorrect terminology as using “bullet” for”shotgun cartridge”? That indulged in such basic illogic as comparing putting voluntary limits on a tool used in a sport with limiting the effectiveness of one primarily used in self- defense?

And of course the not very subtle dismissal of NYC cops shooting bystanders because EVERYBODY is a bad shot. You think someone who had been through a serious class like Gunsite would miss 30% or more of the time? Maybe one reason that NYC cops in particular are so bad is that they live in an anti- gun culture, though studies show that cops who are not gun nuts are almost always bad. She should be forced to read the Armed Citizen page in the publications of the “mindless” NRA.

I do read anti- gun propaganda, and one of its most striking features is that it is virtually always factually and technically incorrect– even those who say they know guns make mistakes. And they never, never read our side enough to even refute our facts. They already know we are mindless, paranoid, frightened, even racist, and probably don’t believe in evolution… even if we are scholars, or women or Hispanic…

And then I began thinking about history, and subtleties even our allies don’t mention, perhaps because nobody reads outside the lines anymore. The roots of the three- shell limit are historically interesting and have little to do with anything but a bunch of rich sportsmen, who thought repeaters ungentlemanly, trying to put the brakes on market hunting in a time of little enforcement– they also banned gauges larger than ten, an arbitrary and unnecessary move never done in, for instance, England. Both bans could be repealed today with no bad effect. They have no effect on conservation– driven shoots in Europe make bags of 1000 plus with archaic side- by- sides like mine.

The anti- repeater bias might well have started with the excitable conservation pioneer and bigot William Hornaday, who like the artist Frederick Remington believed the US should be a “pure” Anglo- Saxon nation. In one of his books on wildlife he had photos of a Browning autoloader. On the same page he complained that such were used by immigrant filth from the dregs of Europe’s society, and that Italians and other inferior “races” should not only be refused entry but deported with all their descendants. Imagine my reading this in the fifties after it was recommended to me by an old WASP librarian.

He wanted all Italians, “southern and eastern Europeans”, Slavs, Jews, Asians, and “negroes” deported; better at least than the unspeakable Remington, who wanted them exterminated and offered to help in one of his letters. Remington: “You can’t glorify a Jew! Nasty humans! I’ve got some Winchesters and when the massacring begins, I can get my share of ’em and what’s more I will. Jews, Injuns, Chinamen, Italians, Huns – the rubbish of the Earth, I hate.” I don’t put political standards to art, but if I owned a Remington and read that, I’d sell it so fast it would bounce on the way out– and maybe use the money to buy a Charlie Russell…

Compare to two other establishment figures, both hunters and infinitely more appealing than Hornaday, never mind Remington: Teddy Roosevelt and his generous acceptance of anyone who embraced our culture, and Aldo Leopold (who married a NM “Mexican”).

I added, in my note to Reid: “I assume you are acquainted with the utterly racist origins of handgun control? Think “Jim Crow Laws” or read Condoleeza Rice on her childhood in the segregated south, or the pro- gun liberal Don Kates. Hint: white people had no trouble getting guns, just like rich people in New York today.”

Maybe sometime I’ll talk about “Progressivism” and eugenics. Know your history!

Falconry Wonk Quote

Utah attorney Jason Jones on the proposed regulation of domestic hybrid falcons by the federal government:

[The Fish & Wildlife Service’s] “…attempting to regulate the possession of non-native hybrids,… based on FWS’s assertion that their law enforcement agents may have difficulty distinguishing hybrid raptors from native raptors, is the equivalent to the DEA attempting to regulate baking soda because their agents could possibly confuse it with cocaine in the field.” (Emphasis mine).

I think I agree. These are DOMESTIC ANIMALS, often for generations. And as far as I know all of ONE hybrid in all of falconry history attempted to breed in the wild (unsuccessfully, in Scandinavia). This is bureaucratic overreach, not a conservation problem.

And I should also note that FWS has a DNA database of all native raptor species but the Osprey, which is not used in falconry and does not hybridize.