Op-Ed: Why gun bans don't work…and what to do
By Larry S. Moore
In a recent op-ed for ESPN Outdoors, entitled "Why gun bans don’t work...and what to do", author James Swan has hit another bull’s eye.
In the article, Swan, author of the acclaimed book “In Defense of Hunting”, covers a great spectrum of the gun ban issues. He stresses the need for hunters and shooters to combine our efforts.
What Swan is suggesting is the same thing many of us lament in private conversations....
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Over the years, we have let the anti-gun organizations and media frame the anti-gun and anti-hunting arguments. We’ve ended up fighting a long list of defensive battles over terms such as “assault weapon”, “cop killer bullets”, “license to kill” or “sporting use”. Some shooters and hunters have even bought into the “sporting use” idea thinking their particular sport, firearm, or archery use was safe. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There have been some great successes in the past few years for sportsmen in general. We are in a stronger position. The time is now to take the offensive and be pro-active. We need to educate the general public about gun ownership, shooters, hunting, fishing and trapping. Programs such as the Archery In The Schools, The Scholastic Clay Target Scholarship trap shooting program, Families Afield, Wheelin Sportsmen are having a positive impact in presenting our image, and our case, to the public.
Swan will be chairing a panel of Hollywood celebrities who shoot and hunt at the upcoming Safari Club convention in Reno. They will be making proposals for movies, TV series and contests to promote sportsmen, hunting, and shooting.
As freedom-loving Americans we are all part of the big picture - if you will separate strong limbs all part of the same huge spreading tree BUT if one starts to sag/fall/die then pretty soon the rest of the tree is not so well.
Shooters who are not hunters need to defend hunting, and hunters who maybe don't own handguns/military-style rifles need to support CCW and fight against assault weapon bans. We have more in common that we do differences (freedom/ freedom of choice/ firearms, etc.), and to win we must learn to find the common ground, work on it.
2006 is a vital election year in Ohio. While Swan works the larger media access and image with Hollywood and the Safari Club, we need to do our part to be engaged in the political process. While not many of us may make a movie, or even get on television, we can all contribute to advancing our cause of firearms freedom by being involved.