I Quote Myself

Grouchily, from 2006, on the then- proposed coursing ban in CA. I may or may not elaborate…but I would not take back a word. Nor is its relevance particularly narrow.

“Calfornia and the current government of the UK are in the lead of the west’s trying to ban death, injury, history, tragedy, and hurt feelings. Not only will it never happen; lives human and animal, and traditions and practices hundreds and more years old, are being destroyed by those ignorant of everything from biology to history. Loni Hancock by her own admission never heard of coursing until a few weeks ago, and her exposure consists of one short video with misleading commentary. Can she stand up and tell me that she knows more about my hounds than I do, or loves them better? You would put me in JAIL, and kill my dogs, because I do this?”

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!

Blogging resumes, if briefly…

Busy but I THINK done with the Eagle Book (real cover coming) and in a routine with the Book of Books; the latest descriptive if uninspired title is Bodio’s Choice; One Hundred essential Hunting and Fishing Books; (“through the Ages? “From X to Y”?) Plus getting our local art press, or rather Laurie Gregg and her Village Press, on board to help with illos for what we will now refer to as “100”– examples of possibles coming. Also visits, overlapping, from brother in law George Graham (below at our ruin– more “TK”) and old Montana friend, fine gunmaker and writer Steve Hughes, whom we haven’t seen for years, AND St Patrick’s day at the Spur, and setting up The Chicken with a gravel nest ledge to see if she might lay eggs (she is courting me), and a session at the range for George, and …

It has left me little time. A bunch of photos and links coming up & more soon.