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April 25, 2008

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Discussion Topic: AHSA Endorses Obama; NRA Blasts AHSA

From the American Hunters & Shooters Association:

Today, as President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), I [Ray Schoenke] announced our endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. . . .

We believe recent attacks on Senator Obama's stand on the 2nd Amendment and his commitment to our hunting and shooting heritage are unfair . . . .

Senator Obama has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the 2nd Amendment by his vote in support of the Vitter amendment to HR 5441, [which] . . . prevents the Government from confiscating guns in a time of crisis or emergency.

From the NRA:

In keeping with their “pro-gun” stance, this week, AHSA did the last thing one would expect of a pro-gun group—they endorsed Democratic hopeful Barack Obama for President! . . . .

Are you kidding?  Obama’s hostility toward the Second Amendment is so well known and well documented that in the 2004 elections, NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) issued Obama a well-deserved “F” grade.  Obama is anti-gun.  Period. . . .

And from the AHSA again:

[T]he NRA sells out regularly to politicians who care nothing about the land or wildlife, but who will deliver votes against gun control. . . .

The problem is not that the NRA leadership acts aggressively to protect the Second Amendment. It is their mission. The problem is that they mislead hunters into thinking their actions will benefit hunting. . . .

The NRA feeds our money and our hunting heritage into the coffers of political snakes who will use their influence to ruin the land we hunt.

And from the NRA:

AHSA would be more correctly called the “American Association for the Protection of Anti-Gun Politicians.”  No gun owner or sportsman should take the group seriously or fall prey to its carefully crafted lies and deceptions, as clearly demonstrated by their endorsement of Barack Obama.

Care to chime in?


Dan D.

I think I'm dizzy from that exchange. The fact is the NRA supports politicians who support gun rights. Unfortunately, many times those same politicians have horrible environmental records, often favoring selling off some of our best hunting lands or opening them up to exploration for minerls or fossil fuels. It's a catch 22 for those of us who care about our gun rights, but also care about places to hunt and fish. Maybe it's time we start deciding who to vote for ourselves, instead of letting some group tells who we should vote for.


Dan D.

By the way, I didn't even address the Obama thing, because I think that speaks for itself, he definately is not a friend of gun owners.


I'd rather have no land and guns than no guns and land which I cannot protect or hunt on.


LoL! Im completely opposite of "anonymous" above. If I had to choose one or the other (which I don't believe we are necessarily doing by voting for any of the candidates), I would choose the land over the guns. I can still enjoy my land without a gun, but I can't really enjoy my guns without the land.

This whole thing just goes to show a void created by the two current political parties (and lobbying groups). The NRA cares all about the guns and not about the land, and the AHSA cares about the land, but much less about the guns. The fact of the matter is that hunting requires both.


I would give up every gun I own before I would want to see all of our forests and untouched wilderness gone. I am a hunter first. I stand for hunting gun rights first. I don't use semi-automatic weapons for hunting, so I really am not affected by alot of the gun legislation. And save the speech for someone else, they are not coming to take away your hunting guns in our lifetime. Put the kool-aid down. Something interesting to think about; When all of our pristine wilderness and forests are gone and have been developed into oil fields, mini-malls, or row housing are you going to be able to look at one of your firearms and have the same feeling you get after hiking to the top of a ridge of a mountain over looking gorgeous valleys and untouched wilderness flanked by a summer sunset. If you say yes you're a damn liar or you have never seen such beautiful vistas. At the end of the day its still a piece of metal that propels another piece of metal. What do you value more? God's beautiful creations or man's creations? For the record I absolutely love shooting guns. I do it anyway I can. I own pistols, rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders. I would give them all up right now to protect what wilderness we have left.


This may be the most important discussion of our times. We must find a way to support land conservation as strongly as we support guns. We shouldn't have to choose between the two.

Mike Diehl

This is a phoney baloney debate. All gun owners should want there to be vast areas of land available for hunting, whether or not they hunt, because hunters and non-hunting gun owners are natural allies. All hunters should support 2nd Amendment rights because every time a non-hunting shootist buys a gun or ammo our land management coffers benefit.

Obama isn't fooling me. Nevertheless I DO think the NRA does a piss-poor job representing hunters, despite the fact that I am a member of the NRA. Obama's "F" on 2nd A rights is well merited. But likewise the NRA gets an "F" for not defending hunters' interests in sensible public lands management.

My local NRA rep's pals send me a postcard about twice a month asking for donation to help build a shooting range in USFS land near a fancy resort. Given the list of "boardmembers" I'm pretty sure that they'll set the membership dues waaaay above my income.

Meantime, the local NRA hasn't said sh*t by way of protest against a Canadian mining company's proposal to dig a 1 mile diameter by half mile deep open pit mine in a local mountain range, smack in the middle of good quail and Coues deer land, and fill up three USFS owned canyons with the tailings, so that they can sell American copper and moly to the Chinese.


take a look at the AHSA website. they specifically endorse Obama for the DEMOCRATIC nomination. it seems they may have left themselves some wiggle room for the November election. the real issue of the 2nd Amendment was heard recently by the Supreme Court. their upcoming ruling will be 100 fold more important than anything any candidate has to say at this point.


First, lets learn exactly who the people are at ASHA to see if they're even worth mentioning;

Gun Ban = Obama & American Hunters & Shooters Assoc.

And now to the woefully uninformed clowns like "Chris" above;

Here's senior Judge Silberman's quote from the DC gun ban case just recently, "[T]he Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad)." -Parker V. DC

Breaking this down a different way to explain the relationship of our inalienable right in its association with hunting;
The Second Amendment or our inalienable right does not enforce a right to hunt specifically, however, hunting was paramount at the time the Second Amendment was written in order to survive in gathering food. Although we no longer need to hunt in order to feed ourselves, we will always need to protect ourselves from the evil and insane who live among us as well as those who travel here with that intention.

Therefore, our inalienable right is clearly about our survival as individuals and as a nation, certainly not hunting in and of itself. Yet, the possibility will always remain that if we ever again find ourselves in the moment of the position ( whether by natural disaster or man-made ) to hunt for food or perish, then it is this association with survival which provides that extension in the right to hunt.

To put this and all other ridiculous arguments to rest;

Suicidal whining from the spineless who would prefer to live in denial and be directly responsible for murder by providing the evil and insane an open invitation in leaving anyone defenseless by illegal law is just as guilty as the murderer and we prosecute other crimes in the exact same way. Just as ignorance is never an excuse for breaking our law, neither is intentionally ignoring the supreme law of our land.

If someone actually needs more to prove to themselves this is reality and wants to hear from someone who knows;
When certified law enforcement firearms instructors who taught law enforcement officers to survive on the street tells you that the most important thing you can do in your entire life is protect the Second Amendment you'ld better damn well listen if you value your freedom and your children's lives.

What else could you possibly need to understand this insanity must stop!?


Thank you winghunter.
Well said!!!!


My apologies for contributing to this "ridiculour argument", but
you are saying that all of our other concerns should be trumped by the concern we might need to wage war against our own military someday or survive in a post-apocolyptic future? While I don't disagree with you in principle, I've got to be honest; on a daily basis I think about hunting probably a dozen times and I think about creating a militia to attack the local military post exactly zero times. For the 60% of us or so that lie somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum, everytime we vote is a balancing act. We need to identify what we feel are the most important or pressing concerns at any one time, and vote for the candidate with the best solutions to those concerns. Forgive me for being naive, but I have a much easier time seeing a United States in my or my childrens liftetime without hunting due to a lack of available public hunting land than I do a country involved in a Terminator-style war against its own people.

Mike Diehl

Mostly a good post but making it personal against Chris is below the belt IMO.

Clearly the 2nd Amendment exists to allow Americans the right to keep and bear firearms for any damb reason they want. There's no merit to the claim the right exists specifically to protect hunting, nor to protect self defense against lawless individuals or tyrranical gov'ts.

Otherwise I agree. We should encourage MORE of our law abiding citizens to learn how to use firearms, and own same.

Hunting will never be unnecessary. The fact that supermarkets and the like make obtaining food convenient, the plain fact is that our food distribution system requires social stability. There's plenty of unlikely but truly nasty things that could knock that distribution system out of kilter.


McCain has an excellent environmental record and is a friend to gun owners. There is no catch-22 here only a liberal fool who should not be leading anything. Obama wants to ban handguns, register all firearms and tax ammo. The biggest threat to the land right now is ethonal, which McCain has opposed for years because it does nothing for the environment and costs billions.


Thank You Andrew, Mike Diehl, and especially Winghunter. Well Said. Anybody who thinks Total chaos can't happen was not paying attention when Katrina Hit New Orleans and the FIRST thing the local Gov't tried to do wsa Confiscate ALL firearms. WAKE UP and SMELL The Coffee.


It much pains me to agree with Mike Diehl yet again, he is right that the NRA has done an awful job defending hunting or the land we hunt on.
I don't know much about this other bunch but with Obama's well proven track record opposing gun rights and no clear track record on environmental issues (he has voted party line on the issue every time) we can't even begin to think he is worthy of the endorsement of a real sportspersons organization.
Like so many others have said we do need the land but gang we also need our guns! We really need a real choice come November and we aren't going to get one because this two party system sucks.


I must say that if we could return to the strict limits of a constitutional reublic, where OUR elected representives would just do thier damned job(not officials, they WORK for US, we are the officials) WE wouldn't be having this discussion, the COnstitution is very clear on ristricting Govt. It is a contract from us to the Govt. telling the latter what it CANNOT DO!! The Second Amendment was strictly written for
"We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;
---Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. Memorial Edition 16:45, Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.

here is another
[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
---James Madison,The Federalist Papers, No. 46.

and one from the Virginia Convention
[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually...I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor...
---George Mason

no offence to anybody but the Second Amendment was not to protect our Natural Right of hunting, but our Natural Right of defending ourselves, no matter who the enemy (domestic or govt.) Hunting was common sense then and there was no need to make comments in favor of hunting, EVERYONE pretty much did it, it was an essential. To say that the Second Amendment is to protect hunting rights is Orwellian. Just like in "Animal Farm" where "no animal shall kill any other animal" turns into "no animal shall kill any other animal, without just cause" and the famous "all animals are equal" turned into "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others"
Sorry for the length, but the Second Amendment is an inalienable right, you can't have Liberty without it, and you can't have Liberty if you fall for the Orwellian lies of a "living/breathing" constitution! Thats a whole other topic there so I"ll leave on that note. thanks



It never pains me to agree with Mike Diehl. Although I have disagreed with him before on a few points, he always presents an interesting perspective that causes me to think deeper.
I agree with Mike Diehl; we shouldn't be smacking each other below the belt since we are all relatively on the same page.
As a definition and point of law, Winghunter was correct in defining the 2nd Amendment and Mike was also correct in stating that we can keep and bear arms for any d*** reason we want with the exception of unlawful purposes e.g. robbery, assault, & etc.
The ASHA is no friend of the gun owner whatever the reason said gun owner has firearms. Mike you hit on a point about the NRA being a bit "eliteist" which is also a stickler for me too. You can bet your bottom dollar if there ever is a firearm confiscation I'll bet my paycheck that somehow the rich and powerful will be "overlooked"!
Not a rant against wealthy people; to be sure there have been some wealthy people who have given money and time to support the 2nd Amendment. There will always however be those of means who will be untouchable.

paul Wilke

We need to remove anyone who opposes the 2nd amendment. Opposition is simply an attack on America, whether the attack comes from a well meaning but ignorant politician or an outright attack from a foreign government.
And we need to demand protection and proliferation of our open spaces. We can get minerals and oil from some other source, but there is very little value in spoil banks and parking lots. I don't want to hunt or fish or camp in either one.
MaCain seems to be the best choice, but he is not the best we need for either issue. I can only hope that he is a candidate who will respond to an overwhelming barrage of E-mail letters and phone calls.
We need to keep looking for a pro outdoors-man, but we must make our self heard at a level never heard of before.
Make it a habit, ever time you have a moment to post on the internet, take a moment to send an e-mail to a politician, Overwhelm the bastards.


I don't know where in the U.S. Constitution, you find any right of the government to own land. I'm glad that they do. Our National Forests do provide for the public welfare.

I still think we've got some hard choices ahead of us with respect to these forests. There will be tremendous pressure put on by both parties to maximize the biofuel potential in these forests. In Michigan, this tends to be compatible with wildlife management and hunting, but I really don't know much about the west.
P.S. I can't believe that anyone who hunts or shoots guns could ever support BHO.

White Pine

Never vote for the democratic liberals period.

you know whats up. The N.R.A needs to get true hunters/outdoorsman in their group



land or guns,, it is a terrible choice to have to make


The SCOTUS is going to rule in favor of gun owners. The result of that means that states can't outright ban guns, BUT, they can ban "certain" guns.

If either Hillary or Obama wins, the assault weapons ban goes back into effect. Guns show sales are toast. Ammo for semi-auto handguns and AR-type rifles will have to have serial numbers. Gun ranges will be shut down for lead contamination and noise ordinance violations. Rifles are going to continue to be banned for hunting in more states as sprawl continues. Lead ammo will be banned for any and all purposes.

If you can't take the guns, make them so damn expensive to shoot and take away the places to hunt and shoot and many people will just quit.

Think about it.

r napolitano

The second ammendment has nothing to do with hunting, it is a statement of self defense of family, home, and country. Huntng is secondary to it but that said any hunter who would endorse either Clinton or Obama, is out of their mind, and will be huntng with a pea shooter, that is regisitered of course and taxed and can not be possessed in NYC under any circumstances. Wake up Amercia, world forces are after your freedom and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Remeber the difference between citizens and subjects, citizen can protect themselves, subjects can not.



This is a very sticky situation.

Elect Obama or Clinton and the "...right to keep and bear arms." is pretty much toast. There may be miles and acres of "public", unmolested lands to roam freely, maybe. Not maybe there'll be land, maybe we can roam them freely. Thank you but NO, I don't think I would care anything about roaming the Bob Marshall Wilderness unarmed. I would hate to find out the "hard" way that bear spray only works on "some" bears!

Elect McCain.

There may not be numerous acres to roam unhindered, but what acres are still available, you can roam armed to the teeth. Over the last 20 years, I have hunted no, I repeat, NO, public lands.
Knock on enough doors, respectfully, and you can find a hidey hole to hunt. You DO NOT have to have thousands of acres to hunt. I seldom cover more that 2/3 acres sitting in my pop-up! One of the most productive hunting locales I ever had was a mere 20 acres. Only once did I hunt it and not see deer! I have hunted the San Juan Nat'l Forest near Pagosa Springs, Colorado and NEVER seen a deer, elk OR bear!

I'll vote McCain so that when I wander into my small hunting area, I can go armed with something besides and "African slingshot!". Armed burglars aren't noted for being frightened by pea shooters!



Hey Bubba, regardless of what I said above about the Fed having a consttutional right to own land, there is a myriad of laws rgarding the management of both USFS and BLM lands. In the case of the orest Service, theyhave a mandate to address all of th special interests, and not to favor one over the other. These inteests include, but are not limited to, timber, mining, grazing, recreation and widerness. If hunting was prohibited, this would eventally cause severe problems for some of the other interests. In short, I think that wildlife management will always be a prime goal of USFS lands, and probably BLM lands. Thi is assuming that e still have the guns to perform this management.

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