And They Call This “Sport”?

The “sport” of hunting, if you can call it a sport without collapsing in laughter, is about to get a little less sporting in Pennsylvania.

Make that a lot less sporting.

In its infinite wisdom, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has given its preliminary approval to a proposal to permit hunters to use…

…semi-automatic rifles.

Yes, semi-automatic rifles.

Semi-automatic rifles, for those of you who don’t subscribe to Field and Stream or Slaughtering Animals Purely for the Fun of It, fire bullets as quickly as the shooter can pull the trigger. That depends on the manual dexterity of the shooter, with the most dexterous among them able to take as many as twenty-five shots in between five and ten seconds. The only limit: the size of the unit, known as a magazine, that contains the bullets and feeds them into the gun.

It used to be "bang bang, you're dead." With this baby, it's bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang you're dead."

It used to be “bang bang, you’re dead.” With this baby, it’s bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang, you’re dead.”

You have to wonder: why would anyone need a semi-automatic gun when hunting?

Two potential reasons come to mind for The Curmudgeon:

First, they may be really, really bad shots and it’s their only chance to kill anything.

Second, they’re just plain cruel and want to inflict maximum damage on their targets.

So why is the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which is charged with the conservation of the state’s natural resources, on the verge of permitting the use of semi-automatic weapons for the state’s hunters?

Because when the commission asked hunters what they thought about the idea, the vast majority of them had no objection to the proposal. Those who expressed concern were worried only about one thing: whether it compromised their own safety while they hunted.

According to the association’s web site, however,

Prior to a vote, Game Commission staff did a thorough review of hunter safety in states that allow semiautomatic rifles, including neighboring states and states that most resemble Pennsylvania in terms of hunter density. The review uncovered no evidence the use of semiautomatic rifles has led to a decline in hunter safety in any state where they’re permitted for hunting.

So in the end, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will approve the use of automatic weapons for hunters because it doesn’t compromise hunters’ safety at all.

The Curmudgeon suspects that the bears, deer, and other might have a different perspective on that question.



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  • Scott  On March 1, 2017 at 8:10 am

    So one could assume, that the semi-automatic rifle manufacturers lobbyist pockets have been emptied, and elected PA officials, who are responsible for appointing PA Game Commissioners , pockets are now filled. Works like a well oiled…. machine-gun.

  • foureyedcurmudgeon  On March 1, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Something like that, yes. As for how one gets to be a member of the commission, the group’s web site explains that “The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners is comprised of eight board members, each selected by the Governor, and confirmed by majority vote of the state Senate. Title 34, the law that governs the Board, requires that each member be a citizen of the Commonwealth, and well informed about wildlife conservation and restoration. Commissioners are appointed from various geographical districts of the state to ensure uniform representation for all residents. These districts are not the same as Game Commission agency regions.

    “Game Commissioners individually hold office for terms of four years and may be reappointed for a maximum of two additional terms. Commissioners receive no compensation for their services, but may be reimbursed for travel expenses.”

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