Please excuse me if I don’t jump aboard the Obama Express on its way to the coronation; er, inaugural.
As a sportsman - particularly as a firearms owner - the ascension of Barak Obama is a train wreck of values and constitutional rights.
Obama speaks a mean game of inclusiveness and trying to pull all the country’s parts together.
During the campaign he said he would back the Second Amendment and in other interviews he noted his support for traditional outdoors sports like hunting and angling.
Then, just after the election, we learned just how unworthy those words were.
Almost immediately Obama’s transition team announced anti-Second Amendment rights initiatives.
Among them was a return to failed ban on semi-automatic firearms. In fact, his people support even greater restrictions than the 1994 ban, possibly to include semi-automatic hunting rifles and even shotguns.
Maybe even pump-action firearms, too.
That is worry enough, of course.
But then came his slate of administration appointees.
Obama’s chief of staff is Chicago political veteran Rahm Emanuel. He served in the Clinton Administration and was a leader back then on firearms control issues.
Far more dangerous for Second Amendment rights is Obama’s pick for Attorney General, Eric Holder.
This guy should make any firearms owner wince in fear.
Holder not only backs some of the most restrictive federal gun control measures he even filed a “friend of the court” brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in which he said the Second Amendment was the states’ corporate right to establish militias and not an individual’s right to own a firearm for protection.
We all know which side the Supreme Court fell on that one, though I can’t help but wonder how Holder will defend this right in future cases or what he’ll advocate as the attorney general.
Yet even Obama’s picks are going to impact hunters and anglers.
He has selected Cass Sunstein to head the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
But this Harvard law professor has repeatedly backed an anti-hunting agenda.
In fact, the professor is a radical, who has even spoken of “eliminating” the eating of meat.
Further, he is on record of advocating the outlawing of sport hunting saying “I suggest, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”
A step further - and as noted by the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom - Sunstein believes, has publicly stated through his writings that animals have the right to bring lawsuits, supported by consel with guardian-like obligations; read, animal rights groups.
And his pick of Lisa P. Jackson to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is a further sign of erosion of backing sportsmen.
While Jackson has said she’ll let science overrule politics, as head of the New Jersey Environmental Protection Agency she banned the hunting of black bears in that state.
This, in spite of that state’s biologists saying such hunting was necessary for control purposes and would hardly harm the bear population there.
It’s not as if we sportsmen and gun owners are feable and without numbers.
The recently held firearms industry trade show, or SHOT Show, attracted a record 1,425 members of the media and posted a 3-percent gain in attendence from the last time it was held in Orlando, Fla.
And in Ohio last year, gains were posted in both the sales of general hunting licenses as well as a huge increase in the number of antlerless-only deer tags.
Too, gun shows are reporting record attendance even as the most recent ones advertising they were the last before Obama becomes president.
Many gun owners are very fearful of an intrusive Obama Administration, filled with appointees with their radical anti-Second Amendment, anti-hunting agendas.
Our foes are gathering and the next four years at least won’t be easy. We’ll need to stay focused, polite but determined.
The future of sport hunting and firearms ownership is at stake here, both of which are too important to let an articulate but offensive politician to succeed.
By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn firstname.lastname@example.org