June 5, 2010 - Leave a Response
Not only did they kill a beloved wolf and other assorted creatures, they baited bears and did pretty much everything illegally. It’s too bad that the wolf wasn’t able to sink it’s teeth into these “men”. I would have liked to see that. Not to kill them of course, but to teach them a lesson that maybe they should just spend their evenings with the playstation, instead of playing with hard, long steel toys that shoot out hot metal while sleeping with other men under the stars and making each other breakfast the next morning.
This is interesting to me because Gwen identifies as a progressive and Democrat (making her a partisan, as opposed to this blog, which maintains a steadfastly non-partisan, relatively single-issue stance). Progressives are, at their best, supportive of rights for everyone -- at least theoretically. However, as Joe Huffman likes to point out, for some reason anti-gun activists seem to have quite a flair for bigotry and hate. Gwen is no exception.
Here, Gwen takes a story about men who broke the law -- criminals, probably even felons -- and equates that with homosexuality. Her innuendo is pretty clearly intended to evoke such stereotypes. Why is this acceptable? Would it have been acceptable if she had equated their criminal activity to a slur about women or a minority instead? How enlightened and progressive of her! If anyone needed more evidence, this is another example of how the anti-rights crowd really thinks.
As a sidebar, it is worth noting that gun control has strong racist roots, and JPFO has built a circumstantial case showing that the origins of the 1968 GCA are pretty similar to Nazi gun control laws. I hate to play the Hitler Card, but it is impossible to avoid the sordid history of institutional racism embedded in many gun control laws. Justice Thomas nicely chronicled this history in his recent concurrent opinion from McDonald.
Groups like "Pink Pistols" -- homosexuals who support self-defense -- and gun-rights advocates like Joe Huffman who work with them -- are the open minded, tolerant half of the equation. As she makes obvious in her blog's hateful speech, Gwen's point of view represents the bigoted, anti-civil rights side of the debate.
On The Issue Itself
While the case is still pending (as far as I know), it seems possible that these jokers were breaking the law. If so they will be punished, because in this country we have the rule of law and we don't punish people for pre-crime. However, I did take issue with the newspaper's description of the wolf.
The paper goes on and on (even more than this) about what a nice, friendly, tame, safe animal this wild wolf was. However, wild animals -- especially predators -- are not public pets. Even the paper admits that the wolf liked to nibble on smaller dogs and maybe killed two. When predatory wild animals are socialized to lose their fear of humans, then their interactions get entirely too close. It is not "natural" or normal for bears to eat out of trash cans, for coyotes to live in suburbia, or for wolves to hang out with people. That is a perversion of these animal's inherently wild natures. Moreover, it drastically raises the risk of an adverse interaction between people and animals. How long would it be until Romeo moved up from snatching small dogs to snatching small children? Would he still be a cute "pet" then?
The regal, mature wolf estimated last year to be 7 or 8 years old and 140 pounds, was always alone. He frequently approached people and their dogs on the frozen Mendenhall Lake. Some hiked with him almost daily.
There were many encounters during which Romeo would play with dogs, sometimes jumping straight up in the air and playing tug of war, according to accounts in Alaska. On occasion, the wolf would be bitten but not retaliate. He apparently liked being chased by other canines.
But he was known on at least several occasions to grab and carry smaller dogs in his mouth before dropping them and was a suspect in the disappearance of a beagle and Pomeranian.
In my opinion, the illegal bait stations were a more egregious crime than killing the wolf. Wolves were open and if Romeo was actually the one that was destroyed (which seems to be still up in the air) it was certainly far too accustomed to people for safety. The only wrongdoing in shooting the wolf was using a .22 rimfire rather than a centerfire, and that regulation is in place to avoid maiming or wounding game. Still, if they acted criminally they should be punished accordingly.