Author Topic: APP - A3275 S2041 Show Intolerance  (Read 5876 times)


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APP - A3275 S2041 Show Intolerance
« on: October 19, 2007, 06:15:12 AM »

Panter, Karcher bills show intolerance
Asbury Park Press  10/19/07
Daniel Suarez can't understand the thinking.

"Do you have any idea how many billions of dollars they would cost the state?" he asked incredulously.

"They" would be Assemblyman Michael Panter and state Sen. Ellen Karcher, the sponsors of matching bills in the state Assembly and Senate that would alter the state's Fish and Game Council.

While much has been made of the changes those bills A3275 and S2041 would make to who actually sits on the council, there is a more insidious change deeper in the bills that is, in some ways, more of a threat than just changing who sits on the councils.

On page 4 of the Assembly version, Section 32 of the current law which describes the council's responsibilities would be amended to remove the following phrase: "and for their use and development for public recreation and food supply."

So that section would now read as follows: "32. For the purpose of providing a properly managed and balanced system of protection, propagation, control and conservation of freshwater fish, game birds, game animals and fur-bearing animals in this State, the council is hereby authorized and empowered to determin under what circumstances, when and in what localities, by what means and in what amounts and numbers such freshwater fish, game birds, game animals, and fur-bearing animals, or any of them, may be pursued, taken, killed or had in possession so as to maintain an adequate and proper supply thereof, and may, after first having determined the need for such action on the basis of scientific investigation and research, adopt and from time to time amend and repeal such appropriate and reasonable regulations concerning the same, or any of them, penalties for the violation of which are prescribed by certain of the sections of Title 23 of the Revised Statutes amended herein, as it deems necessary to preserve, properly utilize or maintain the best relative number of any species or variety thereof, at the times, in the manner and to the extent herinafter provided. The regulations so established shall be called the State Fish and Game Code."

By removing the words "for their use and development for public recreation and food supply," hunting and fishing are essentially given no status or importance under the new bills.

And removing that language sets the table for the council to ban fishing and hunting altogether.

The question is, why?

That's what Suarez, 48, of Beachwood, and hundreds of hunters and fishermen across the state are asking.

Many of the hunters he knows rely on the meat from the deer and turkeys they hunt to feed their families.

"One guy has three households in his house," said Suarez, who's a bow hunter. "The deer and turkey will provide food for his family for the whole year."

And he gives away much of the venison from his hunting to needy families.

And he doesn't understand the motivation to shut it down.

To me, it is merely another example of extremists forcing their agenda on the rest of us. The extremist animal rights groups have become increasingly adamant, increasingly vitriolic. And that goes against everything I was taught that this country is supposed to stand for: tolerance of others' beliefs, others' lifestyles and of differing opinions.

Increasingly, though, fishermen and hunters are the targets of intolerance from those who don't understand the sport, from those who believe it's their God-given duty to force the rest of us to succumb to their version of morality.

And that's just wrong.

I've heard commercials for Panter's campaign on the radio and I just laugh because they go on and on about political corruption when he accepts campaign funds from groups that support the goal of stopping fishing and hunting.

How is that any different?

I don't hunt. I don't own a gun and shooting animals in any form isn't my cup of tea. But that doesn't mean I feel others shouldn't have that right. If they are engaging in their chosen hobby lawfully with the proper permits, licenses and adhering to the seasons they should have the right to hunt. Period.

And the same goes for fishermen. As long as we are adhering to the rules and regulations covering it, we should be free to fish. I'm tired of the guilt trips the extremist groups try to inflict on those of us who enjoy fishing. I'm tired of them trying to push us off the water.

I'm all for choosing not to eat meat or animal products if that's what you choose for yourself, Mr. Panter and Ms. Karcher.

But stop trying to impose your beliefs on the rest of us. You're supposed to be representing ALL of your constituents. Not just the few who believe what you do.

Karen E. Wall is the editor of Hook, Line & Sinker.

« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 03:42:49 PM by Meadowmucker »