Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PETA seeks hunting mag sales restrictions from country's largest airport news outlet

Taking a successful cue from an incident in Great Britain, the rabidly anti-hunting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is gunning to put a partial muzzle at least on the First Amendment.

What PETA has requestied of Joseph DiDomizio, President and CEO of East Rutherford, New Jersey-based Hudson News, is “...to direct the company’s outlets to keep hunting magazines out of the view and reach of children by displaying them as they would adult magazines, such as Playboy and Penthouse, and refusing to sell them to minors under 18.”

According to Wikipedia, the Hudson News Group is “...an East Rutherford, New Jersey, based retailer which operates a chain of newsstands, bookstores, fast food restaurants, and other retail stores chiefly at airports and train stations in the United States. The company’s holdings includes Hudson News, the world’s largest operator of airport newsstands.”

Another Internet site says that the Hudson Group maintains through its entirely owned Hudson News some 600 news stands at various outlets and that the firm is owned by the Swiss travel-related company, Dufry AG.

In its electronic request - made available to the media even before some Hudson News officials had the opportunity to see it - PETA charges that “hunting can cause target animals to starve during winter, disrupt their migration patterns, and result in wounds that cause animals to die slowly in agony.”

Further, says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, the letter “also explains the dangers of desensitizing young people to the suffering of others.”

“Many of the school shooters who have opened fire on their classmates have also previously hunted animals,” she said.

Hudson News declined any immediate comment until it has had time to review PETA’s request, a company official said.

This story may be updated if further comment is forthcoming, including a request of PETA that seeks to know if the group intends to expand its request to other print media distribution companies.

Here is the complete text of Reiman’s e-mail to DiDomizio, and which likewise references the Chardon, Ohio shooting tragedy:

Dear Mr. DiDomizio,

“On behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters, I am writing to ask you to keep hunting magazines sold at your stores out of the reach and view of minors by displaying them alongside adult publications such as Playboy and Penthouse.

“We also urge you to refuse to sell these magazines to anyone under 18 years of age.

“Hunting magazines present killing as fun and exciting and encourage violent behavior in young people.

“These publications recklessly promote killing without explaining the devastating consequences.

“The stress that hunted animals suffer from being pursued compromises their natural feeding habits, making it hard for them to store the fat and energy that they need to survive the winter.

“Hunting also disrupts migration and hibernation patterns. For animals like wolves, who mate for life and live in close-knit family units, hunting can devastate not only entire families but entire communities.

 “And many animals who are shot with a bullet or an arrow flee injured—only to die slow, agonizing deaths from blood loss, shock, starvation, gangrene, or attacks by predators.

“Like other forms of casual or thrill violence, hunting spawns a dangerous desensitization to the suffering of others.

“According to published reports, many of the young people who have opened fire on their schoolmates—including 16-year-old Andrew Golden who, along with an accomplice, killed five people at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., and 17-year-old T.J. Lane, who killed three people at Chardon High School in Cleveland earlier this year, had first expressed their bloodlust by hunting animals.

“Not every hunter will kill a human, of course, but in this era of escalating violence, it is irresponsible and downright dangerous to allow kids access to magazines that promote killing for ‘fun.’

“Your British counterpart, W.H. Smith, has already implemented an age restriction on the sale of hunting magazines, and we urge you to follow suit.

“Please protect animals and impressionable children by keeping hunting magazines out of young people’s reach and sight—just as you would with pornography.

“Thank you. I look forward to your reply.”

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President (PETA)

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

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