Tuesday, June 04, 2002


More on Sunday Hunting

Andy Hansroth continues to report on the Sunday hunting debacle in West Virginia in this article in the Charleston (West Virginia) Sunday Gazette-Mail. In a nutshell, the elected Commissioners of 35 counties decided to put the issue of whether or not to allow Sunday hunting on public property to a public vote. The referendums were soundly defeated in all 35 counties.. I am not a hunter, but neither am I anti-hunting. And as a professional wildlife biologist, I understand the important role of recreational hunting in controlling deer populations, which otherwise can quickly get out of hand. In an earlier article, Hansroth contended that the defeat of the Sunday hunting bill was due to "anti-hunting" or "anti-gun" votes by liberal Democrats. In the current article, Lee Morris, Vice President of the West Virginia Rifle and Pistol Association, makes the same argument. I disagree with this analysis. At least in Berkeley County, which tends to be heavily Republican, ethical, moral, religious and safety concerns were raised by citizens and public officials. The three County Commissioners who voted to put the issue on the ballot, are all Republicans, and at least one of them spoke out strongly against allowing Sunday hunting. I believe that the fundamentalist Christian voting block, which weighs heavily toward the Republican party, was largely responsible for the defeat of Sunday hunting, considering it to be an affront to the peace and quiet of the Sabbath.

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