I’m busy working around the house, and plan to get a bike ride in. I probably wouldn’t go hunting today even if I could, but it sure would be nice to have the choice.
As I wrote in my Roanoke Times column today, there is no logical, rational way to justify Virginia’s ban on Sunday hunting. Supporters of the ban try to make those arguments, but the bottom line it is an emotional issue based in misunderstanding and misperception — just like other types of discrimination.
Virginia’s legislators are getting this, which is why the Senate strongly passed a Sunday hunting bill this past winter. There are a few opponents in Richmond, and a small minority, by virtue of their seats on a House committee, managed to kill that bill. Several of those legislators claim to support hunter rights. Frankly, this is mind-boggling.
Recruiting and retention are two massive challenges facing hunting. Allowing Sunday hunting isn’t a silver bullet, to be sure. But in today’s highly scheduled society, when many working-aged hunters — and their kids — are bombarded with other obligations on Saturdays, allowing hunters the OPTION of hunting on Sunday couldn’t hurt. Why should a kid like my little hunting buddy Beck Hansen (above) not get a chance to enjoy hunting just because he also enjoys soccer?
Again, it’s not like this is uncharted territory. Hunting on Sundays is legal in 43 states, where it is a NON-ISSUE. I enjoy other types of outdoors recreation, as do many of my friends. I assure those who like to bike, bird, paddle, etc. would notice LITTLE TO NO difference in their chosen outdoors endeavors.
Also mind-boggling is the fact that some hunters support the Sunday hunting ban. If you are a hunter and support the ban, you are admitting that you are a second-class citizen who is incapable of making choices and deserving of being treated differently from all other Virginians. (UPDATE: OK, as a few comments pointed out below, this clearly did not come out right and I apologize for that. I am leaving the original sentence to provide context for the comments that took exception to this sentence. As I wrote in a comment below, I am in NO WAY calling hunters who support the Sunday hunting ban second class citizens. I was trying to say that the ban treats ALL HUNTERS as second class citizens by treating us differently than other citizens. We are not are not second class citizens and we are ALL capable of making our OWN decisions. I support the right of hunters to hunt on Sundays if they CHOOSE to. If the Sunday hunting ban is overturned, hunters who don’t want to hunt on Sunday, don’t have to hunt on Sunday. It’s their choice. That said, why would a hunter be against another hunter having a choice? That’s what I don’t get. END UPDATE.)
This subject always brings lots of comments, and I invite them all.
Hunters, speak your minds. Maybe some of those legislators who still don’t get this (or who do get it, but whose votes are shaped by motives other than fairness and common sense) will actually read this thread. OK, that’s doubtful, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.
I also, as always, invite those who support the Sunday hunting ban to chime in. I like a good debate, though the best are those where it’s not so obvious what the right answer is.