Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hunters and NRA should step up to the plate

Whooping Crane
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
On the NRA's program webpage, they list "crime prevention" in their "Women's Program" listings. One of the ways we prevent crimes is to track down criminals and throw the book at them, but their link leads only to ideas about arming the rest of us and training us in gun safety so we know how to safely and legally protect ourselves. Unfortunately, in the case of Whooping Cranes, lugging even a small handgun just isn't going to work. So--NRA and hunting organizations, since you have a reputation for being strong advocates of conservation and strongly opposed to illegal shooting, PLEASE step up and help the US Fish and Wildlife Service to track down whoever slaughtered Female #217. And if the shooter is caught, please send representatives to the sentencing hearing to make a strong case that legitimate hunting involves NEVER pointing a gun at anything until you know what it is, and that shooting a Whooping Crane, whether intentionally or after misidentifying it, is a crime worthy of severe penalties. I'm tired of seeing hunters who slaughter Trumpeter Swans, Whooping Cranes, and California Condors get off with a wrist slap. I have always supported hunting as a legitimate sport enjoyed by true conservationists. Please help us conserve this exquisite and critically endangered bird.