Did NRA Kill “Guns and Critters” amendment ?
Lines between Livestock, Sporting and Gun Groups Continue to Blur
John Campbell (R-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Gary Peters (D-MI) co-sponsored the bipartisan Lethal Predator Control Amendment, an amendment t0 H.R. 2112 (the Agriculture appropriations bill), which would have cut Wildlife Service’s $11 million appropriation used for a program that kills predators on behalf of Livestock interests. Unfortunately, the amendment failed on a 287 to 132 vote with a number of Democrats voting to keep the subsidy. John Campbell, a Republican sponsor of the amendment blames the National Rifle Association for the loss:
Rep. Campbell Blames NRA for Defeat of Proposal to Pull Funding from Program that Kills Predators – KOCI News/101.5 FM
Campbell, a Republican from Irvine, objected to the Agriculture Department hunting by helicopter as “expensive and inefficient.” He objected to traps with cyanide canisters as “inhumane and dangerous.”
“Why is it a taxpayer responsibility to protect privately-owned livestock? Why don’t the owners of the livestock pay to protect them?” Campbell said in his statement.
But the NRA ? Why would the NRA, last I heard – a group established solely to protect the 2nd Amendment right to bare arms (or stockpile assault weapons) be interested in maintaining a federal subsidy that exterminates wild predators on behalf of Livestock interests ?
Anti-Hunting Campbell-DeFazio Amendment Voted Down In Congress – National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action
Coyotes and other predators have decimated a great deal of the mule deer, moose and elk populations throughout the United States. As it stands, lethal predator control remains the best tool we have for keeping large predators in balance with existing habitat and the prey they require.
The NRA even has the purpose of the program wrong. Wildlife Services doesn’t kill predators on behalf of hunters – they kill them to appease ranching interests. State wildlife departments kill predators to appease hunting interests.
56 Responses to Did NRA Kill “Guns and Critters” amendment ?
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It’s not about guns to them. It’s about killing. Always was, always will be.
Facts are not important to the NRA. It’s laughable that this blood drenched organization claims to know anything about predator control. To them, it doesn’t matter what the issue is, they just enjoy notifying their mindless members that everything is an attack on the 2nd amendment rights of hunters. A little paranoia goes a long way
You need to learn to think outside the box. The NRA is not so different from other interest/lobby groups. It will go where-ever it can to increase membership and finances as long as it remains true to its core mission. If a bill is short-handed with a moniker like “Guns and Critters,” their ears perk up and they respond.
Also consider the fact that 2nd Amendment rights includes the manufacture of guns, ammunition, optics and other paraphenalia in support of gun related activity or hunting. It should be no surprise that, as you note in the Tester wolf rider court filings, NRA even sought to intervene in Molloy’s wolf case.
NRA has its tentacles in many things, and in very subtle, as well as obvious ways. It is also about red and blue states; states rights; big government; military-industrial complex; God, Country and apple pie, and the list goes on.
As for this legislation not passing. NRA was not the sole factor, with a loss on this vote in the House of 2:1. This is a press moment to vent.
Rep. Campbell is from the ritzy area of S. Calif. Newport Beach, Costa del whatchamcallit and Laguna whatever, don’t have ranches or farms within 50 miles. It is the champagne for brunch crowd. For that matter, DeFazio’s home of Eugene, OR is not exactly a farm/ranching community either, and when the marijuana smoke clears enough you can tell its, for the most part, a college town, and home to Predator Defense the advocate for this bill. I think the 4th District of OR has a bigger problem with unemployment in the outlying areas, and that is what DeFazio really should be concentrating his efforts. $11M spread over a dozen states or more. geez, talk about screwed up priorities on federal spending.
As for William’s comment about mindless members, maybe at an individual level there are for sure some nitwits that are members, but the money game is big business, including defense and arms/optics manufacturing.
You are right- this is about big business. The big gun manufacturers subsidize the lobbying arm of the NRA. Groups like SCI and the NRA have such contempt for the HSUS they will do anything to undermine any progress the HSUS might try to move forward on any issue related to hunting. Go on the NRA website and discuss the issue with one of their staff if you want to see what it is like to debate someone with a third grade knowledge of this issue
The HSUS and the NRA are 2 of a kind. Most people who donate the HSUS think they are donating to shelters, not an animal rights organization.
The HSUS does plenty to help wildlife as well as animal advocacy. They operate 3 wildlife care centers in So Florida, California, and one in Massachusetts I think. They have the Black Beauty Ranch in Texas which is a huge wildlife refuge. SCI and the NRA hate them because they expose their anti-wildlife agenda
REMF has done more for habitat than all of the above mentioned groups combined. That being said you missed the point, they are both organizations pushing their agenda by playing on peoples emotions and fears.
Less than 3% of their entire fundraising goes to animal care.
Membership , finances , and the core mission of 2nd Amendment Right being what they are, the leap from the NRA’s usual schpiel to lobbying for Wildlife Services is still a big stretch.
I’m guessing there is a quid pro quo behind this somewhere. Perhaps Sen. Jon Tester can shed some light on it since he’s not afraid to rent or sell his political soul to win the anti-wolf vote. After all, Wildlife Services does the overwhelming amount of wolf ” control” in the West on behalf of the ranchers ( majorly ) and hunters (minorly) , two groups Tester sorely needs to keep happy if he doesn’t want to go back to being a fulltime wheat farmer.
The NRA represents the biggest baddest predator of them all : the gun-toting Hominid Blanco
The above comments are right on. The NRA wants its members to believe that if hunting game is no longer feasible because the predators have killed them all, the second amendment will be repealed by the nasty Feds and the ATF will come and confiscate them all. As crazy and stupid as this might sound to most of us, there are many in this country that believe such a notion.
Meanwhile our politicians view footage of a Corsican Ram that has been hit by 10 arrows, not even try to escape after being drugged, so a trophy hunter can make a guaranteed kill, and we as a society condone this behavior? And the NRA uses the attack on hunters rights argument? We have slipped way down as a species that’s for sure
While there is a difference between second amendment groups and hunting groups, there membership probably overlaps quite a bit.
I’m not terribly surprised the NRA took up this cause, even if the issue is only tangentially related to their main raison d’etre.
Taking this same rationale even further, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a lot of ranhers (or those sympathetic to ranchers) in the NRA. There lobbying efforts probably just reflects the views of their members.
They all want a piece of the Hate
The NRA has long been primarily a right wing lobbying group. They don’t care about hunters or wildlife or wildlife habitat – especially not about wildlife habitat. They claim they are out to protect 2nd Amendment rights but they only support candidates who are radically conservative across the board. Years ago they were the single largest contributor to Steve Symms when he ran against Frank Church for the senate. But Church was certainly not anti-gun, he was from Idaho! And had there been a challenge to the 2nd, Church would have had the seniority and power to stop it whereas Symms was an impotent fool during his whole time in congress and was voted the dumbest member of congress more than once as I recall. The NRA supported Symms simply because he was a Republican, no other reason.
Theo: You sound like you have some experience in the political world. Is it safe to assume that? My Political Science professor last year mentioned something similar using examples of many organizations and one being the NRA. It was not a lecture, it was just something he had mentioned one day after class to some of the students who stayed and asked some questions.
Theo you are right about the NRA. They have always been willing to throw hunters, or anyone else, under the bus if they judged it beneficial to their aims.
Both NRA and HSUS have the same ethical and moral perspective: the end justifies the means.
Mike: I see it this way,
1) HSUS is in the same category as a doctor, nurse and vet.
2) NRA is in the same category as Walmart, General Motors, etc. Everything they do is to solely bring in more people to increase their profits.
I 100% agree with you in that the end justifies each ones means.
Actually, I see the NRA as a lobbying faction of the military industrial complex who uses fear-mongering for the sake of keeping the citizens riled up about how they could lose their rights if they don’t have, use and advocate for guns. Look at what kind of society we have now thanks to them… idiots with guns who aren’t afraid to use them and are often braggarts about their misuse of these rights and instruments of death. Not everyone who has guns is an idiot but the ones you always hear about are usually idiots who use NRA propaganda to justify their actions and lack of knowledge.
I am not shocked at the role the NRA played in this. The NRA sees predators in similar ways as many anti-predator hunters do, and that is competition. As the NRA stated, “Coyotes and other predators have decimated a great deal of the mule deer, moose and elk populations throughout the United States. As it stands, lethal predator control remains the best tool we have for keeping large predators in balance with existing habitat and the prey they require.” They will do anything and everything just to draw in more members/hunters even if it is going against an amendment. I put the NRA and Fish and Game in the same category as wildlife killing machines, along with WS.
Ryan: I believe you meant RMEF and not REMF? If not, then I apologize. If you were referring to the RMEF they do plenty in protecting populations of elk for hunters, but that is their main objective. By protecting the elk for the hunters they garner more members which increases their financial stature. The HSUS investigates, rescues animals from natural disasters, rescues animals from abusive situations, promotes adoption, etc on dogs, cats, birds, horses, pigs, cows, etc. Their main objective is the health and well-being of that animal for its entire lifespan and not one where it satisfies the cause of killing them, therefore; the agenda of the RMEF is a personal beneficiary one that greatly differs the one of the HSUS where it benefits the animals and not the individuals who run the organization.
You can say that the HSUS does what it does for a self-served agenda by promoting issues where donations on those issues will flock in, but those donations are for the purposes of the investigations they conduct in relation to the issues, court cases, pay of staff members, advertisements on their cause, etc. I completely understand that the RMEL is a business and they need to do what they can to increase their incomes, but to do so in an unethical way that alters the lives of many other species is not how proper business should be conducted. There were a few cities earlier this year proposing to legalize prostitution (Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia amongst a couple others) because of their financial situations. Is this an ethical way to conduct the business for the cities? Will it affect the lives of people who will live near the areas where the prostitution will be legalized? It is a form of cheap ways to get the cities out of the holes they are in.
Phil, I think you need to open your eyes about both organizations. Perhaps consult the independant charity rating services and see how well they spend your money, you might be surpised. RMEF does have a large hunting base but their focus is permanent land protection thru non-development easements and purchases, often related to establishing wildife corridors between public lands or preserving the majestic lowland wintering grounds so in demand for 2nd homes. I dont see how you can benefit wildlife more than permanently preserving habitat, habitat that almost every other critter is free to use as well.
Hunting can be regulated, and where need be, reduced or eliminated, but when the habitat is actually carved up or paved over, that will never be reveresed.
I see a big difference between the two organizations. If HSUS disappeared tomorrow, a lot of lobbiests and staffers would be out of work but few animals would know the difference.
Mike: I donate about $10 a year to the HSUS, I have spoken with 2 on the field volunteers who worked in the rescue efforts after hurricane Katrina who now volunteer at local shelters where I live, so I would tend to believe what they say and the overall purpose of the cause of the HSUS then someone like yourself who has no direct relationship with them. No disrespect, but my eyes are wide open when it comes to animals that are either wild or domesticated.
When I worked my first internship at the local zoo the Curator of Mammals (who is a dart expert and works with many organizations in darting animals for conservation and rescue purposes) worked with the HSUS to rescue exotic animals in Florida and Texas who were once pets for people and were tossed in wilderness areas. He received first hand notifications of all works and efforts by the HSUS and he said that they are one of the few TRUE organizations he has worked with that are what they say they are. Again: I would believe his credibility then someone like yours Mike.
I’m not a big fan of hsus, but hsus does not exist to fund local animal shelters. Hsus seeks to prevent animal cruelty wherever it is found. Hsus does do some good things like expose canned hunting to people. I would like it if they donated and helped out local animal shelters since they seem to have the money to do so.
jon: Yes, many people believe that the HSUS works for shelters, but that is not at all what they do.
So, if the NRA does not do what they do, like in this story of the 2nd amendment, then you don’t believe that many of its staff members would be out of work without enough members putting money to the NRA? I tend to disagree. You say that few animals would know the difference? I believe the ones that would lose their lives would not know, but the ones that are neglected and abused would. Take this as an example; if the HSUS found a neglected and abused horse, then they will step in and do what they can to rescue the horse. Therefore; this would lead to a better and healthier remaining life of the horse. Now, if there was no HSUS, or any other animal organization, then what chance does that horse have? That is a impact from the HSUS not so much for their own agenda, but the safe-guarding of the horse. That is my opinion, Mike, and I will stick to it based on people with high degrees who have worked with the HSUS.
You are right in that the RMEF works for permanent protection of public land, but for who is that protection geared for? Do you think the RMEF is protecting that land for everyone and all types of species, or the members who buy their permits? Yes, protecting the land serves for the wildlife inhabiting the land, but it also serves as a priority goal for the hunters who are members with the RMEF that will use that land. If they don’t protect the land, then you basically push the big game ungulate away from that land which means no hunting on the land. I could be wrong, but I will only believe otherwise if it comes from someone who is not a member with the RMEF or does not work with the RMEF
Phil, for example, the HSUS pushed the legislation to end horse slaughtering in the US and because they have such a poor overall understanding of the issue they created an even bigger batch of unintended consequences. Now the same horses are being slaughtered in Mexico and Canada with much less oversight then when there was at least some humanitarian oversite in the US. On top of that, in communities with high levels of recreational horse ownership, neglect and abandonment cases have risen as high as 60% over pre-ban levels because they cant be sold for slaughter individually without significant transportation costs. If the dead horses could vote, HSUS would lose.
I am not hoping to change your mind…and I am sure you have the best of motives…I merely suggest that you expand the breadth and depth of your research into the org.
Consult an independant charity rating service like Charity Navigator and look at them all. Look at RMEF and HSUS and compare their use of donor funds for stated purpose, percentages gobbled up by staff and in-house expenses that dont go to stated mission, and how the service rates them overall as charities. What do you have to lose.
If you go on the HSUS website and click on “about us” you will find that the HSUS is one of the largest direct animal care organizations in the US, with six or seven large locations, so this nonsense that I keep hearing about them doing no direct animal care is ridiculous. Their primary role is education and awareness about animal cruelty issues….What is it about that that you are offended by? That they speak up on behalf of animals?
Mike: The HSUS was one of the first to film and uncover proof of the slaughtering of horses (especially thoroughbred) in Canada. I am not quite sure about the issue in Mexico, though. I do not see the RMEF as a charity; I see them more of a business.
Thanks for the Charity Navigator website. All I needed to read was that the president of HSUS takes in 0.19% of the organization’s annual revenue, and the president of RMEF takes in 0.49%. Because RMEF has 1 more star than HSUS that shows they are better? What is taken into consideration for evaluating ratings for stars? Look at the program expenses; HSUS is higher because of their missions in education, investigations, court cases, lawyers for the court cases, etc. All these are needed for the overall purpose of their cause.
Looking at the “Program Expense”, it shows that nearly 95% of the revenue HSUS generates goes to their cause, while 87% goes to the cause of the RMEF (which is understandable considering their overall revenue is 60 %< then HSUS). Nonetheless, nearly all the money generated by the HSUS goes to the purpose of the organization, and that is the well-being of the animals they are trying to protect. Even the RMEF states on the bottom of their page "…promoting the sound management of wild, free-ranging elk, which may be hunted or otherwise enjoyed…” Just above that they mention ensuring the future for other wildlife, but that goes hand-in-hand when they attempt to protect habitats for elk. That argument can be an asset for their reason for being in operation. It can be a strong argument, but an uncogent one. Every mission that they have has a direct affiliation to elk (hence the name on their title), and is even the main purpose of creating the organization by its founders “In 1984, four hunters from Troy, Montana, founded the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to guarantee a wild future for North America's grandest game animal.” Is there one affiliation the mission of the HSUS directs to?
I am glad the four hunters created the RMEF because I love watching elk, but you don’t believe they want to ensure the population so that there can be a viable one to be hunted? I have very high doubts that the four hunters, and the current purpose of operations by the RMEF, is for the sole beneficiary of the species, habitats and other wildlife and not for hunters. Let’s keep it at I believe in one way and you believe in another. Thank you for the post. I was unaware of Charity Navigator.
RMEF does not sell hunting or access permits. They do protect habitat for the full suite of species that live there. As far as I know their lands are open to free general public access for hiking, birding, hunting, etc. Now for the disclaimer – I have not supported RMEF for many years, originally because I thought their overhead was too high and there were some other fiscal shenanigans, and recently because of their relatively new anti-wolf stance. They were actually rather quiet about that until wolves were relisted.
Theo: Hunters donate in support of the actions through elk conservation from the RMEF, so that could be a big reason why they took the side they did on the wolf issue. They can say that they work conservation for habitats and other species, but this is indirect and comes naturally from their direct conservation of elk. You have good rationales in your decisions. You see the good and bad and weigh them in your decision making.
“If HSUS disappeared tommorrow, alot of lobbyists and shelters would be out of work but few animals would know the difference.”
That is complete BS. At the Black Beauty Ranch in Texas there are over 1200 animals……you don’t know what you are talking about.
Some call the hsus a radical organization, but the same should be said about sportsmen for wildlife and safari club international just to name a few. Sci is the organization that gives out awards to those who kill the most and the biggest animals.
The HSUS is not perfect, but I’m not going to sit here an allow people to trash them. They do plenty more good than bad.
About 3 years ago some idiot killed two swans with a bow and arrows. I contacted the HSUS, they gave a 2500.00 reward for information leading to an arrest and sure enough the fool was caught within six months. I’d like to see a hunting group like SCI do that
Yeah, hsus does do some good things. You would NEVER seen a hunting organization offer rewards for when wildlife is illegally killed. Hell, they love killing endangered species, so you think they would care if wildlife is killed illegally? I don’t think so. All sci cares about is killing animals while other organizations like hsus are fighting to save them and they get called a radical organization for it.
Groups like US Sportsmens Alliance hate the HSUS because the HSUS went into Michigan to get dove shooting banned through ballot initiative….. I don’t know how a slob shooter gets through the night without the ability to kill the international symbol of peace for sport……
Jon, To say that “All sci cares about is killing animals…” is not quite true. I 2002 Idaho SCI contributed to the reward fund for information on the killing of a grizzly sow and cub(s) on Sawtell Peak. The violator was eventually caught and successfully prosecuted. I think they have contributed to other reward funds as well. It is also not accurate to say that no hunting organizations offer rewards for when wildlife is killed illegally – many have a very long history of doing just that. I haven’t supported SCI for many years, primarily because they alone among hunting organizations recognize canned/penned hunting as being legitimate, but I still support accuracy. (See http://www.forwolves.org/ralph/griz-poach-reward.htm)
Also, HSUS is also on the scene after events like all those tornadoes… I was a worker at a relief-worker camp after the Greensburg, KS EF5 that hit them a few years back and found the HSUS right there, at the camp, taking in all the domestic pets and animals that were found alive. they had cats, dogs, pigs, goats… all with the intent of either trying to reunite them with their owners or find them new ones. They had vets from the surrounding areas and beyond volunteering to keep the shelter running and quiet for the sake of the animals. They also do things like that. What do you suppose the fate of these animals would be in the hands of a hunting-oriented group?
Theo: Good point. I do not support the Safari Club either mainly because of reasons like their acceptance of canned hunts, but if they have a justified cause (like the reward for any information of the killing of a sow and her cubs) then I could tend to see them in somewhat of a different way in a small scope.
That was one time. Get me a list of how many times sci offered rewards for information regarding wildlife killed illegally. More often than not, it’s the animal rights organizations that tend to offer awards for wildlife killed illegally. It’s no secret that sci does not like predators. They like killing them, but that’s about it. Sci does not want animals like lions and polar bears on the endangered species list because that would mean that sci wouldn’t be able to kill them. If someone wants to paint hsus as a radical environmental organization, fine, but sci is right up there on radical organizations. Remember, this is the organization that gives out awards to its members who kill the most animals. The guy who used to run sci used to brag about killing endangered species. Wildlife to sci is all about a trophy.
How many rewards have been offered by sci for wolves killed illegally? people can bash animal rights organizations all they want, but they seem to be the main group that offers rewards for when wildlife is illegally killed.
Here’s an old gem:
The HSUS is critical in being a watchdog organization to uncover unethical and unscrupulous behavior from politicians who know better than the rest of us.
Don’t forget Boone and Crocket!
Jon – I’m not going to do your research for you as to how many times SCI or other hunting groups have donated, but I think you will find that hunters through programs such as Idaho’s Citizens Against Poaching (CAP), which almost every state has, voluntarily donate by far the most amount of money toward rewards for information of illegal killing of wildlife year after year, and those rewards pay off whether the animal killed is a wolf, wolverine, elk, eagle, condor or chickadee. I suspect we are talking $millions nationwide.
I suspect that you don’t really know… And I would like to know how often any of these hunting groups actually contribute to rewards for wolf-poaching? Seems to me that’s always been funded by the USFWS. Maybe you should take a look and see what you’re talking about?
Yeah, SCI are a bunch of sweethearts.
“Respect” at Safari Club always means the courtesy of leaving enough behind for the next hunter, just as compassion always means helping the less fortunate who cannot hunt (they’ve got new “hunting for the disabled” and even “Hunting for the blind” programs),and generosity always means sharing the fruits of the hunt (Hunters againt Hunger”). They practice a socially conscious sadism here. Ethics at Safari Club is ordered libertinism, like teaching cannibals to use a table napkin and not take the last portion. From the Shooting Field in the Scully text
1200 out of billions?
Maybe I missed it and someone can help me out if they can find anything, but I did not find one positive information on Boone and Crocket regarding carnivore conservation. The entire “Thoughts on Carnivore Conservation” link was basically bashing people who want to protect carnivores. I would not put them as a credible source if what they say and do is to promote their cause for their self-served agenda.
I’m glad you looked. I was not giving them a vote of confidence as a pro-wildlife org, quite the opposite. What I wrote was in reply to Jon’s comment: “Sci is the organization that gives out awards to those who kill the most and the biggest animals.”
I’m not sure how it ended up sitting out there all alone with little reference but that’s what I had intended to have it appear with.
I apologize Salle if it seemed like I thought you were giving them a boost of confidence. That was not my intention. I was posting some rebuttals to the group as they are pretty similar to the RMEF.
Salle – I apologize to other readers for repeating myself here but the Idaho F&G CAP reward fund made up of voluntary donations of primarily hunters, pays for information about ANY illegal wildlife (or fish) killing including wolves. I don’t know how many if any rewards for illegal wolf killing have been paid, but I guarantee that if tomorrow you provide information to F&G adequate to result in the arrest or conviction of someone for illegally killing a wolf you can get a cash reward, left in unmarked bills under a rock if you so choose. I know personally of one case a few years back when the follow up to a CAP report by a hunter of the illegal shooting of a coyote in Teton Basin eventually resulted in a F&G Commissioner not being re-appointed. The tipster did not ask for a reward. For 2007, the most recent year reported on the F&G website, $23,000 dollars in rewards were paid out. States with larger populations, of which there are 38, probably pay out larger totals. So I may have overestimated for the nation, but probably not by much, and if there is any other group that donates within 10% of these amounts I’d love to know who it is.
I have a sick in the stomach feeling about IDF&G having any positive anything having to do with wolves. They have been mandated to not deal with them, then to kill them, and I can pretty much assure you all that since the bitch (the gov.) has demanded that no illegal killing of wolves will even be investigated… there will and probably have never been rewards given for reports about illegal wolf kills. “Any wildlife” is a relative term here, and since wolves suffer a number of negative descriptive terms referring to them as “killing machines” and “agents of the devil” among others, wolves are not considered to be wildlife by the state and its agencies. Therefore, they are not included in any program that benefits wildlife and the protection of such. It’s how they think in those hallowed halls… been there a number of times and seen/heard these clods in action.
Sorry, I don’t buy it, bet you can’t prove it is as you implied.
What specifically did you want to bet on and how much are you willing to bet?
The real issue here is that no one can be accurately stereotyped because they belong to one org or another.
I am an RMEF member who opposses their position on wolves. Doesn’t mean I throw the baby out with the bath water. I think that otherwise they do some great work in habitat conservation.
Extremism at either end of the spectrum is unproductive and harms the cause of the extremist.
Stereotyping is evil but is a mechanism our society thrives on, too bad.
I have been a member of the NRA for 34 years, but this year I have quit. They have become less of a 2nd Ammendment group to more of a political party, in my opinion. Years ago, when I was a teacher, the National Education Association (NEA) did the same thing, they started sticking their noses into all sorts of issues that had nothing to do with their core mission, and it came to bite them in the butt. Today, much of that radicalism has disappeared. This radicalism occurs, I believe, because people with agendas rise to the top of organizations and then push their agendas. Sometimes they go too far, which I believe the NRA has. Regarding HSUS, my wife and I give our contributions directly to local shelters from which we have adopted our dogs, thus we know it goes directly to animals.