Monday, August 25, 2008 By Aaron Brown
I get the political strategy. Fleck off working class men who might be in unions or in lower income brackets who might otherwise vote Democrat by telling them that the Democrats want to take their guns and end the outdoor activities that comprise their favorite recreations. The orange "Sportsmen for McCain" signs are on the way. These tactics are used because, on a limited scale, they work.
What bugs me about the whole idea is that it sends the message that the most important issue is recreation. Not schools, not jobs, not health care, not even war, but "sportsmen" issues. (Sportswomen, well, they're OK, too, I guess, just not worthy of their own sign campaign). Gun ownership is ostensibly a more important issue, but that's masked over here by the emphasis on "sports."
There is no way that any law is going to be passed at any level that poses any serious threat to the practices of hunting and fishing. The Supreme Court has now established the right of individuals to own firearms, a decision embraced by John McCain and Barack Obama, and there is no way the Second Amendment will ever be repealed. Know your distracting wedge issues and get ahead of them. Granted, some in the Democratic party are more opposed to guns than me or most Iron Rangers, but they usually represent districts where there is no hunting, just gun murders. We must understand and reconcile the different cultural approaches to gun ownership that exist across the country. There is room for both, along with hunting, sports shooting, gun collecting and multiple interpretations of the term "well regulated militia."
(To prove the point, here is the column I wrote two years ago that says the same damn thing about these "sportsmen" signs).