Opponents of hunting on Sunday have gone on the attack – claiming that NRA members who live, hunt, and shoot here in Pennsylvania should not be counted as local support for ending one of the few remaining blue laws in the country. Their reason? Because the organization that unites us has an office in Virginia.
From this article in The Patriot-News, we get an idea of the “us vs. them” style rhetoric from one group involved in the debate:
Itâ€™s the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau vs. the National Rifle Association in a title bout over the legalization of hunting on Sunday.
The Farm Bureau is the defending champion of one of the last remaining blue laws that forbids hunting of most game species on the Lordâ€™s designated day of rest. …
â€œThere are interests outside Pennsylvania with money coming in and pushing this,â€ [Farm Bureau spokesman Mark] Oâ€™Neill said. â€œThey are targeting Pennsylvania.â€
Fortunately, the reporter sets Mr. O’Neill straight on a few facts:
Every member of the Sunday Hunting Coalition has significant membership inside Pennsylvania.
The NRA alone has some 400,000 Pennsylvanians on its rolls.
The NSSF has more than 500 Pennsylvania businesses on its rolls.
Yes, Mr. O’Neill, we’re Pennsylvanians – many of our members were born here and have lived here our entire lives. We’re not outside interests or non-residents flying in to force policies upon you.
We’re taxpayers, too. We also pay for the conservation & farming programs that your farmers benefit from at the federal government – Conservation Reserve Program & Wetlands Reserve Program to name a couple. (Let’s not even get into the Farm Bill…) It’s time that we had a voice in this debate, and you should not stoop to the level of calling accusing the fellow citizens who simply disagree with you “interests from outside” of our state.
We’re here, we’re ready for a change, and we hope that your members will work with us on improving the state of hunting in Pennsylvania instead of reducing the debate to “us vs. them” and making threats about shutting out hunters if you don’t get your way.