So this is brief provocation rather than a proper essay, and I truly hope to inspire some contrary points rather than nods of assent. Without going into the emotional question about assault weapons after Newtown, or indeed concealed hand guns etc, I’m just querying a suggestion – often put – that rifles are essential to US life because so many rely on hunting.
Tendentious one sided image of a Moose Hunter to get y’all riled up
So here’s a comment I put on Orange which I hope you will (pardon the pun) shoot down, or at least discuss in animated (but always civil) terms.
Ya all know them roolz.
OK here’s my comment from another place
If you look at US weapons ownership, it has NO correlation with rural life or hunting. Indeed, though the mystique of the frontier and the cabin in the woods still possesses many of my US friends, by the mid 19th Century the US was one of the most urbanised countries in the world, and the percentage of its population who inhabit rural areas is negligible compared to most countries in Europe, let alone Africa, where hunting genuinely a vital part of the local diet.
The hunting lobby – it seems to me – while on much surer footing than the NRA, is actually perpetuating some unsustainable myth of self reliance, which vanished for most Americans by the early 20th century. Of course, and this is their legitimate defence, there are millions of Americans who hunt, occasionally, mainly for sport rather than sustenance. Hunting and culling plays an important role in semi-agrarian areas in reducing crop loss and maintaining sustainable populations of certain wild life.
But the idea than any substantial numbers of Americans rely on firearms for their daily sustenance is… still tosh, piffle and balderdash
When I get a moment I’ll see if I can dig up some stats on this. I remember looking at this a while back, and finding data to back up my arguments.
But I might have misremembered, misinterpreted, and more than happy to be proved wrong.
Another tendentious image: Palin’s Real Women Hunt Moose
For the annoying sake of fairness I should link to Slate article (HT onomastic) which outlines how those who hate industrial food production have returned to hunting;
But enough balance from me.
Now have at it!