American sportsmen must vote gun rights next week

It is not news to anyone who cares about American liberty that guns of every sort, caliber, style, color, and design have been in the crosshairs of anti-gun activists for decades.  It is no stretch to describe these anti-gun activists as totalitarians-in-waiting, because their ultimate goal is complete civilian disarmament, which results in only one thing: tyranny.  Yes, gun-grabbers target even black-powder muzzle-loading rifles, even though the last time an American was hurt by one was when someone took one off the mantel and dropped it on his toe.

Anti-gun activists are especially seeking "universal background checks," because that process would allow them to build up the kind of individual firearm owner database they need now to do the door-to-door gun confiscation they dream of later on.  But on this subject they keep running up against a political and legal buzz saw from the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Firearms Owners against Crime, and various state rifle and pistol associations.  And so now gun-grabbers are going after the one chink in the gun-owners' armor, what they see as the weakest link in the gun owners chain, and that is America's sportsmen.

Sportsmen are an unusual demographic group of mostly political moderates, super-voters who cherish clean waterways, support land trusts and coastal conservation organizations, and also cling strongly to their often basic hunting guns.  Sportsmen are mostly not the AR-15 "black rifle" tactical crowd, and that has made them especially interesting to the gun-grabbers.

So an effort is afoot to convince American hunters, trappers, and recreational fishermen that the most important issues they must vote for and about next week are the environment and public lands.  We all know how that mantra goes: Republicans are bad, and Democrats are good, which translates into Trump Bad, Biden Good.  Never mind that most environmental groups are partisan Democrat Party activism centers who use the environment as their unifying cause.

When you dig just a bit under the thin veneer of these groups' "we are wholesome sportsmen and gun-owners just like you" message, what you find is no surprise.  Each is yet one more phony, politically partisan, anti-gun concoction in camouflage.  Several anti-gun groups in particular are targeting sportsmen with deceptive behavior.  The Union Sportsmen's Alliance and Gun Owners for Safety are chock-full of people professing to be ardent gun-owners but who nonetheless inevitably cite the same garbage anti-gun "studies" and who inevitably promote draconian anti-gun policies as "fair," "common sense," etc.  These groups are as easy to spot as a pheasant breaking thirty yards out against a clear blue fall sky.

But a third group that is really gaining traction among sportsmen is Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.  These people much more carefully, perhaps artfully, straddle the natural mix of environmental quality and gun ownership interests that sportsmen have.  BHA is strident this year about voting on environmental issues alone, to the exclusion of gun rights.  Its president, a guy actually named Land Tawney, has a long association with Barack Obama and Democrat Party activism.  BHA is partnering with the Patagonia clothing company, which has underwritten and promoted a movie called Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands.  This movie is the centerpiece of BHA's get-out-the-vote efforts this year.

Public Trust is done in a documentary style, narrated by Hal Herring, a longtime writer for Field & Stream magazine.  The movie is masterful and has great cinematography.  But it is not always accurate, especially in claims about so-called climate change and hanging every environmental problem and cause around the neck of — you guessed it — Republicans and the Donald Trump administration.  Public Trust also plays the usual environmentalist game of presenting false choices.  For example, water quality concerns about the proposed Twin Metals copper mine in Minnesota could be addressed through posting a sufficient bond, but that would dismiss all the opportunities for political drama that liberals want.

If President Trump's political opponents forget to mention that he signed the Great American Outdoors Act just a few months ago, allow me to remind them.  The GAOA funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the first time since human-caused "climate change" was just a twinkle in Al Gore's eye.  GAOA funded national and local parks and forests operations and maintenance backlogs, infrastructure needs, and a host of other conservation and public lands needs from sea to shining sea.  Trump is not an evil anti-environment boogeyman, but Joe Biden certainly is an ardent gun-grabber, and his inner circle is a constellation of anti-trapping and anti-hunting groups.

Next week, American sportsmen cannot afford the luxury of voting for anything but Second Amendment rights.  Without our guns, there is no sporting tradition, period, so vote for President Donald J. Trump.  See you in the field afterward!

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