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April 16, 2007

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Latest News Media Claim: U.S. Presidents Who Hunt Start Wars

I was watching “Real Time with Bill Maher” the other night and was struck by one of his “New Rules” rules. He ranted about Governor Mitt Romney’s pretending to be a hunter, and then said words to the effect that if we had fewer presidents who hunted, we would get in fewer wars, due to the alleged connection between “cruelty” to animals and cruelty to people.

This intrigued me, so I went back and looked at the record, starting with our first modern conflict, the Civil War (I have counted only real wars, not casual bloodlettings like Ronald Reagan’s debacle in Beirut, or Bubba’s excellent adventure in Somalia):

Civil War, entered into by Abraham Lincoln, a non-hunter.

Spanish-American War, entered into by William McKinley, a non-hunter.

World War I, entered into by Woodrow Wilson, a non-hunter.

World War II, entered into by Franklin D. Roosevelt, a non-hunter.

Korean War, entered into by Harry S. Truman, a non-hunter.

Vietnam, entered into by John F. Kennedy, a non-hunter. Presided over by Lyndon Baines Johnson, who shot deer from his convertible and picked up his beagles by their ears. Presided over by Richard M. Nixon, a non-hunter.

Desert Storm, entered into by George Bush, a hunter.

Iraq/Afghanistan, entered into by George W. Bush. I can’t find any real evidence that W. is a hunter; however, one website claimed that, as a boy, he enjoyed stuffing firecrackers in frogs, so I guess that counts for something. One the other hand, Vice President Cheney is a hunter for sure, and may actually be president, so we have to factor that in.

And so, out of eight wars, only three had hunting presidents involved. Out of ten (or 11) presidents, only four had even the most tenuous connection to making the bunnies sweat.

But I like Bill Maher. He is always angry, and sometimes funny, and frequently has interesting guests.

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Comments

Dave Petzal

To Ralph: I don't know a thing about Wal-Mart except that I buy my WV hunting license there every fall. I would tend to doubt that any maker would sell inferior stuff through Wal-Mart; it's still got their name on it.

To Mr. Demko: Thanks for bringing a rare smile to my careworn face. I've been with F&S since 1972. In that time we've been owned by CBS Inc., Times Mirror, The Chicago Tribune, Time Warner, and three or four others that I'm forgetting at the moment. In other words, a major sampling of what you call "the media."

Now in all that time and with all that ever-changing cast of corporate characters, I've seen greed, stupidity, incompetence, short-sightedness and self-interestt as a daily fact of life, but the one thing I've never seen was anyone trying to tell me--or F&S--what to say.

It wasn't that any of these corporations cared about truth, or ethics. It was simply that no one saw a way to advance their careers or make more money by doing so. If someone thought they could advance from Senior Vice President to executive Vice President by dictating to us, they would have done so. But it never hapened.

I do not expect you to believe this, but remember: I've been here and you are there. And thanks again for the smile.

Michael

violence begets violence; hunters are cruel inhumane people; etc.etc. Comments along these ignorant Dr. Feelgood themes are always good for controversy & sometimes headlines which is free publicity. Throughout history more innocent people were slaughtered in the name of religon than in all the wars combined. Have you heard anyone say we need to do away with religions? Nope. Wish we could have another president like Teddy Roosevelt.

"With this latest lunacy in VA yesterday, it's not a question of if, but when they'll start all over again."

If those who seek to keep the right to own firearms don't offer up solutions so that future tragedies like this can't happen again, then you won't be relevant when the legislation is passed to hopefully prevent future tragedies. The pro-gun crowd can't simply be in rear guard mode and hope to keep the right to own firearms intact forever. Stop whining about what the anti-gunners are doing and offer up something else.

"Have you heard anyone say we need to do away with religions?"

There are plenty who want a secular society, to remove the influence of religion from the workings of our self-rule, to make religion incapable of starting atrocities.

Why is everything have to be full-on, do anything you want or totally banned with the conservative side? Why can't they accept the responsibility of self governance, that it isn't always easy especially on contentious issues, that it takes work by us all to make it work right, that many things need regulation and control and that where the limits of that regulation and control should be needs thorough and level-headed discussion.

Biged

Well not with this thing yesterday, the anti gunners will go nuts. I heard on the news today that this idiod lined up the victms and shot them at least 3 times each, now thats 90+ shots, it must have been like in the movies he never ran out of ammo.One handgun was a 9mm, and one was a 22cal. well all i can the victms had to be stupid to stand there while he reloaded a few times. By god if i know i was going to be shot i would be grabbing someone while he was doing it, after he shot the first few.

Gable Sadovsky

To Mike Diehl,
to those of us who are lucky (and smart enough) to live south of the mason-dixon line the Civil War is termed "The War of Northern Aggression".

JA Demko

Gable Sadovsky,
Is that the same war that up here we call The Failed Southern Rebellion?

Dave Petzal,
Glad to have made you smile; that's something I do too seldom for too few people. However, I appear to have not slathered on my sarcasm lavishly enough. I was mocking the hostility toward The Media rather than implying that you were some kind of corporate mouthpiece.

"the victms had to be stupid to stand there while he reloaded a few times."

That is an incredibly stupid thing to say, said by someone who has never been in such a circumstance. You will freeze and/or run like everyone else.

People say these things because they fear being in that very situation and feeling totally powerless against a totally crazy person. They have to think that they could change something that is a near hopeless situation.

"to those of us who are lucky (and smart enough) to live south of the mason-dixon line the Civil War is termed "The War of Northern Aggression"."

Another really stupid attitude. Why do you hate America as you hate the legitimate US government? Why do you side with traitors to our nation? Why do you like being associated with the evil of slavery and racism? This stupid attitude has to end else our country is doomed. Start being part of the USA, start working for a better future for the whole US.

Handguns are the problem. The pro-gun crowd needs to come to grips with that fact. In 2005, 72.6% of all murders were committed with guns and 87.3% of those guns were handguns (source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports). Handguns need to be registered and regulated. Clamp down on handguns as if the pro-gun crowd won't, then anti-gun crowd will clamp down on all guns. Preserve the right to own firearms as it is now for all the non-handguns.

Biged

To: JA Demco,
I have the right to say that, in 1967 I took one in the face and two in the back but we beat the butt face. While on the ground he shot me in the back.

Biged

(Handguns are the problem)Do we know if they were registered or not. And if they were registered how would that make a difference

PJ Brady

Like all (Ihope) the news of the shootings made me sad, sick, angry, and anxious. This type of offensive behavior will continue to occur, and should be expected, in a culture where right and wrong is left up to individual opinion and circumstance.
Mankinds human nature is the problem. Yes men used, and are using, religion to try to control others. Yes people use assorted weapons to kill others who don't give them what they want.
Does this mean religion or weapons are the problem? No one in their right mind could say this. Take away a faith that speaks of love, compassion, peace, and selflessnes and you have self centered people who will do "whatever it takes" to have their will. Take away guns- they will use knives. Take away knives- they will use rocks or clubs. Take away those and these violent selfish people will kill with their BARE HANDS!
The idea of taking guns away from law abiding citzens (a constitutional right as well as GOD given) will leave only the criminals with guns. This is what Hitler and other dictators have done throughout history to take control.
This must not happen or we will have nothing to defend ourselves from terror or tyranny. There are not enough military or law enforcement to help now! Do not ask me to trust anyone but a loving, all powerful, and rightious God who will prevail.

J.M.

"Handguns are the problem."

If banning handguns will prevent killing, then banning cars will stop drunk driving. Maybe banning computers will stop people like you from making asinine statements on the internet.

Wake up Rosie, guns are not the problem. Pepople are the problem.

J.M.

"Another really stupid attitude. Why do you hate America as you hate the legitimate US government? Why do you side with traitors to our nation? Why do you like being associated with the evil of slavery and racism? This stupid attitude has to end else our country is doomed. Start being part of the USA, start working for a better future for the whole US."

Another putz that thinks the so called "Civil War" was about slavery. Try doing a little research and stop regurgitating what was shoved down your throat by revisionist historians.

J.M.

"Mankinds human nature is the problem. Yes men used, and are using, religion to try to control others. Yes people use assorted weapons to kill others who don't give them what they want.
Does this mean religion or weapons are the problem? No one in their right mind could say this. Take away a faith that speaks of love, compassion, peace, and selflessnes and you have self centered people who will do "whatever it takes" to have their will. Take away guns- they will use knives. Take away knives- they will use rocks or clubs. Take away those and these violent selfish people will kill with their BARE HANDS!
The idea of taking guns away from law abiding citzens (a constitutional right as well as GOD given) will leave only the criminals with guns. This is what Hitler and other dictators have done throughout history to take control."

Thank you. P.J. It's nice to know some folks out there get it.

"Another putz that thinks the so called "Civil War" was about slavery. Try doing a little research and stop regurgitating what was shoved down your throat by revisionist historians."

Go read the Confederate Declaration, putz, and stop bleating racist revisionist crap. They state directly, "increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery" as the reason for their actions in seceeding from the Union. Stop making excuses for the evil that was done. Stop making excuses for traitors to the lawful government of the USA.

"If banning handguns ..."

Who said anything about bans? Why can't the right wingers think in terms that aren't just black and white? Why can't the right wingers take part in a meaningful way in self-governing?

If you can't break from that mode of thinking, it will end up being black and white, meaning nothing will change until a total ban is enacted. Now is the time for the pro-gun crowd to offer solutions so that gun rights can be preserved. Why is this so hard for so many to understand?

"I have counted only real wars, not casual bloodlettings like Ronald Reagan’s debacle in Beirut, or Bubba’s excellent adventure in Somalia)"

It's nice that you feel the deaths of 241 US servicemen is such silly thing; just more 'support the troops' from the right. And Clinton didn't start the Somalia stupidity, that was just the right doing one of their favorite tricks of leaving a mess for a Democrat to deal with from the get-go. Bush didn't start the Somalia stupidity until after he lost the election.

Rick

Come on, Dave. You like Maher? What's next? You sharing a couch with Rosie? Thank God most people view Maher as nothing more than a frustrated flip- flopping blowhard entertainer (remember when he was a Libertarian?) His tendency toward socio-fascism is despicable.

SHOOT2TH1LL

What about clinton bombing Iraq to take heat off the press from when we found out he LIED to the country while under oath.

Amen to J.M.

Ya the whole intire Civil war was about slavery. thats why less than half the people who fought for the south owned slaves. Very few people were big-wig plantation owners and the ones that were often got out of the war because they were rich (sound familiar) remeber history repeats itself.

As for this whole gun control thing. Guns kill people like spoons made Rosie fat and like pencils mispell words. And heres a solution for you. How about kill stupid people. This guy at VT was showing aton of signs and yet the administration did nothing. HMMM dumb people teaching our kids. Thats nothing new.

Rick

As far as JFK goes, maybe he didn't hunt but he was an NRA member! He realized and respected the value of the 2nd.

Ralph the Rifleman

I wanted to share this quote from an IFAW Relations Rep-It relates to hunting primarily, but I think it will help us to understand the mantality of thinking the anti's are using to take away our rights.
"For myself I can say I understand hunting for food but I don't
understand for sport. I don't think killing something live for pleasure
(vs eating) makes sense. Maybe if the animals had guns or we hunted by
hand but even then, I cant rationalize it for fun. I understand a lot
of things are done, because they've always been done but that doesn't
always make it right. We would still have slavery if that were true and
maybe some other unpleasant things,too. Just for the record, I wouldn't
blame the hunter but the person who was not smart enough to stay away
from a wild animal! Again, Thanks for your comments and for expressing
your opinion in such a nice way. Have a great day."
I believe in FREE SPEECH, but how could one debate against a group that compares hunting(as a tradition)to slavery of humans?
We can have differences of opinions, but we need to stay focused as gun owners since liberal garbage like this is spread around..this kind of thinking from the IFAW is a threat to all our rights!

Chucky in Kentucky

As an avowed southern right winger, I can say that I and the other right wingers I associate with, are not racists and dont see the world in black and white, but in right and wrong. It is the non-judgemental, feel good attitudes that allow a person to believe that his individual hurts are so bad that he can take them out on 60+ other people. I contend that if this mentally deranged person who was taught by liberal professors had not hurt these people with a gun, he would have done so with a bomb or by other means. Remember, there is evidence that the bomb threats sent to the University were sent by this person. We believe in the rights given to us by the Constitution of the US as well as by God, and yes, we will continue to fight and argue to see that these rights are not whittled away by those who have an unrealistic utopian view of what society should be.

scott

Well, damn. It seems like those *($*%)( sonsof **(*^%) have done it again. I can appreciate the comments on Maher, Rosie and even, though I am staunchly conservative, Mssr. Lincoln. He was probably hated by as many in the north as he was in the south. But if we as a collective group of firearms users are to keep our butts out of trouble we'd best learn to put aside our small differences and remain loyal to our primary goal. Let us not fall prey to division from within. I'm afraid there is no wiggle room here.




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