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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?



Mie Diehl:
Sorry to but in but something's missing here.

One problem that national groups have with public hunting is that this is primarily a state and local government issue. I know that the Department of Interior runs the BLM lands and the Fish and Wildlife lands (wildlife refuges), and the Dept. of Agriculture runs the USFS. Some states have vast state forests. Many states have commercial forests, which provde for public hunting and fishing rights. Many states even relegate these issues down to the county and township level. When this occurs, generally public access will suffer for the benefit of greater tax revenue.

2A is a national issue and in my mind, its pretty cut and dried. Public land access is much more cloudy. Do we stop all mining and oil exploration on federal lands and replace those resources with imported resources? Do we enact some type of federal land use law to oversee local govenments? Should we trash programs like CRP so that we can maximize bioenergy production? I've got a lot of questions. Not so many answers.


I'm with Yooper on this one, don't know quite enough to debate much of it. I do know that if that 1872 mining act is as abominable as MD states then all who support it should be rode out of town on a rail tarred and feathered (or given a ticket one way to Sydney Australia in coach).

Mike Diehl

"I know that the Department of Interior runs the BLM lands and the Fish and Wildlife lands (wildlife refuges), and the Dept. of Agriculture runs the USFS. Some states have vast state forests."

Then you also understand why it is a **national** issue. 1) It's every bit as Federal an issue as the 2nd Amendment. 2) It's very important for western hunters across multiple states. 3) People who don't live in Western states but who are reasonably young may well end up living in a western state in the future and it will be an issue to them if they do. 4) Alot of the political support for the 2nd Amendment is definitely tied to hunting access.

"Public land access is much more cloudy."

It's a matter of priorities no doubt. Nevertheless, public land access in the west is as important for hunting as is the 2nd Amendment. While I agree that the 2nd Amendment has more, errrm, "sanctity," it being a "right" and all that, the political reality is that if you disenfranchise public hunters you undermine political support for the 2nd Amendment.

"Do we stop all mining and oil exploration on federal lands and replace those resources with imported resources?"

Since most of the minerals extracted on US public lands are exported, it really does not make a difference either way. Moreover, most of the stuff taken from public land is taken at pennies on the dollar, often to promote the employment of people overseas (in manufacturing processes) and the cleanup bill is ALWAYS paid by the US Taxpayer.

For the example I have in mind, a new copper moly mine in proposal by Augusta Resources (a Canadian firm), YOUR taxpayer money will be used to provide them access to groundwater and road improvements, and YOUR land (public land) will become a waste dump for a massive pile of tailings that will be used to FILL UP three canyons. How much crap are we talking about here? 1.23 million kilotons, according to Augusta's prospectus. Yes, that's 1.2 GIGATONS of toxic crapola, to be dumped on USFS land, so that **NINE** Canadians (according to their 2006 SEC filing) can take copper and moly and export it to southeast Asia.

Their plan:

"The proposed waste rock storage areas would be on National Forest system land located southeast, east, and northeast of the open pit, as depicted in Figure 3. These facilities are designed to store approximately 1,288 MT of waste rock material. Construction of the waste rock storage areas would begin with starter buttresses placed in Barrel Canyon, to the east of the pit
area. The waste rock would then be hauled to the storage areas using 260-ton trucks and placed behind the buttresses. Approximately 195,000 tpd, to a maximum of 287,000 tpd, of waste rock material would be deposited in the waste rock storage areas. The proposal indicates that it would
take approximately 5 years to construct the buttresses necessary to hold all of the waste rock
material. The final elevation of the buttresses is estimated to reach approximately 5,400 feet
amsl, stepping down to 5,140 and 5,050 feet amsl toward the northeast."

That was from:


When the copper and moly has been processed, *it will be exported.* You / the Fed will not receive one dime of compensation for having your USFS land filled up with tailings, because they're not actually taking the minerals out of Federal land, they're just filling up the Federal land with "waste rock" (read, toxic waste) that they will have mined out of a small parcel of private land that is surrounded by public land. They claim to have the authority to do this under the General Mining Act of 1872, and the USFS under Pres. Bush has been told that the taxpayer's only choice is to bend over and take it.

You can bet your last nickel that any future cleanup efforts resulting from the mining activity will also come at your expense.

Mike Diehl

So tell me, if the NRA is doing such a damb fine job representing hunters, why aren't they ON this?


The N.R.A isn't doing a good job in my view.



"I vote on economic issues" and your republican? did i read that right?


Mike Diehl:
We've got a similar situation up here with Kennecott. They want to mine for copper/nickel in a state forest. Its highly controversial!
Biggest problems are that Michigan is almost broke and needs the royalties, and, we probably need the jobs. I can't speak to the western situation but up here, poor rock piles get used in road building. While this company is also foreign, the jobs created will be local. This will be some type of shaft mine, using a sulfide solution. That's highly touchy because the sulfide solution, if allowed to run off, will destroy water quality in any stream it contacts.

I think what bugs me more than anything else is that I hear and read things that I know are false from the "green side". I'm not competent to know if the mining company is lying. How in hell am I supposed to make a decision?


I can't believe that card carrying democrats don't vote their pocketbooks. I can't believe anyone would do so!

I watched NBC news tonight. According to them, most of America is really ticked at the price of fuel. Also, they're mad because the fuel prices are directly impacting the price of food. Hillary, Barack and John are all discussing this daily.
To say that only Republicans care about the economy might be a bit rash.

Joe Woods

Certainly it is hard to believe the most liberal senator (aside from Hillary) in America is not pro-gun, i.e. pro-hunting. We can't decide yet if he is just a socialists or a communist.

As to the NRA their agenda is 100% pro-gun which does not always end up supporting hunters. Their main agenda though is fundraising and influence peddling for the big-wigs in the org. That's what all these groups are about in the final analysis, conservation or not, it's the money, huge salaries for huge staffs, and in some cases little productivity.

David Adams

I keep hearing that the NRA does not do anything for hunters or that they support legislators that are pro-gun but that want to sell the environment down the sewer. I have a hard time believing either (I haven't met a legislator yet that wants to destroy the environment).

Maybe where I live (Virginia) we don't have some of the same public land issues that many western states (where in some states the majority of the land is owned by the government) but the NRA is right there in the General Assembly with the Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) fighting for gun rights and hunters. If you don't think the NRA does enough for hunters all you have to do is join (I understand that some who commented said they already are members) and make your voice heard by voting in the Board elections. NRA has only 4 million members and only a few of them actually vote for the Board (you have to be a five consective year member or Life Member and very few of those qualified return their ballot).

There are 80 million gun owners and I don't know how many millions of hunters but it has to be more than 4 million. Can you imagine what hunters could do if they joined, submitted pettions for Board candidates for people they know would represent their interests and then vote in the elections?

If you don't want to be constantly bombarded by fundraising mail, join, then when you get your membership card call the toll-free member services number on the back of the card and request to be put on the "do not promote" list. By doing so you will only get your magazine and renewal notices. It works because VSSA did a membership mailing through NRA (since NRA will not sell or rent the member list to other groups - not even their state associations) and we started out with 25,000 five consecutive year members in Virginia as the base for the mailing and after they sorted the list for people that were already VSSA members and those on the "do not promote" list, we ended up mailing only 16,000 (and VSSA does not have 9000 members so a lot of those removed were on the do not promote list).


35 years ago I thought my Dad was crazy when he said that the NRA is the only group protecting my gun rights. I read their mags and thought they were way out there. But as time has gone on and I've witnessed the very things they have warned about comming to pass, I realized that My Dad was right.

Mike Diehl,
You must be a lobbiest for the Sierra club. They are NOT pro Hunting.

Obomma and HRC have very little references about guns. All they ever here is in the Dc or Chicago papers talking about the latest shootings in their city. They are Both lawyers so they think if you pass a LAW that will fix the problem. Laws are for the Law Abiding not the criminals, by definition they are Lawless.

Mike Diehl

"You must be a lobbiest for the Sierra club. They are NOT pro Hunting."

You must be a lobbyist for Hollywood. They're definitely not pro-hunting either.


When did I say anything about Hollywood?

Frank B

As an Illinoisan, a gun owner, and a hunter, I am flabbergasted that any group that claims to be pro-gun or pro-hunting could seriously give Obama their endorsement. Obama is part of the corruption that oozes out of the Chicago political machine. His mentor, Senator Emil Jones is part of Chicago mayor Richard Daley's anti-gun movement. Daley wants the same restrictions on handguns as the District of Columbia has now. Obama's voting record is so left of center it is idiotic to think as President he wouldn't sign legislation for gun control.

joe zabitski

i think field and stream might want to be careful of printing articals in that could be missleading to readers to believe obama is by any streach pro gun.the nra and hunters are very aware of wildlife conservation issues as well as who is pro gun and who is'nt.field&stream can't sit on the fence like they appear,and profit.the gun cultures converse daily on these issues.

joe zabitski

i think field and stream might want to be careful of printing articals in that could be missleading to readers to believe obama is by any streach pro gun.the nra and hunters are very aware of wildlife conservation issues as well as who is pro gun and who is'nt. field & stream can't sit on the fence like they appear,and profit.the gun cultures converse daily on these issues.if field & stream wants our support they must go one way or the other, in years past field & stream has been accused of leaning to the anti's side.pay attention readers corperations are interested in profits not our indavidual rights. we as americans are the buying power...................


I'll start out by saying that I'm a pro-gun Democrat (notice the capital "D")--I know, but, yes we do exist. I'm also an NRA member, meat lover and 2A absolutist. I'm a proud veteran of 21 yrs of active US Army service. I also think some of the most pressing issues before us today have to do with conservation of our natural resources & wildlife habitat. I carry concealed handguns where legal (I wish it were everywhere) and own and regularly use shotguns and rifles as well.

Obama has been quoted as saying he believes the 2A guarantees an individual right to keep and bear while McCain (unless I missed something somewhere along the line)hasn't said anything one way or the other on the issue of individual right vs. collective right to keep & bear. For those of you who will undoubtedly claim that you can't believe anything Obama says, I'll remind you that (for just one example) McCain spent several years trumpeting the cause of campaign finance reform then, several weeks ago, said if his own bill--his **own** bill, mind you--came up now, he'd vote against it. BTW, he's now using one of the loopholes he helped write into it to help financed his campaign...I hate to say it because I respect the man tremendously for his service to our country, but it seems he's living out what HRC is continually accused of: he'll say or do whatever he thinks he needs to in order to get elected.

I support the NRA not for their political stance (I'm not sure you can get any further to the right) or their alarmist claims that the gov't (remember the "jack-booted thugs"?) is determined to confiscate our guns, which I consider to be wild-eyed BS in any case. I support them with my annual dues because of the shooting and hunter safety training they've been doing quite excellently for decades.

For those of you who insist there's some nefarious plot afoot to disarm us, I'll say this: I don't seriously believe that any level or branch of gov't--or any party involved in running it for that matter--is competent enough to keep such a wide ranging plot behind the scenes for as long as they apparently have, if you're to be believed.

It strikes me that, along with the right to keep & bear among other institutions (such as a free press), a basic factor in keeping a people free is the ability to move about freely. As US Citizens we are free to go wherever within our country we desire for any reason and for any length of time. We are free to change our place of domicile at any time for any reason. Yet, the gov't requires us to take training, be certified and be licensed to operate the vehicles we are required, again by gov't, to register that facilitate our freedom of movement. I don't hear much, if any, complaining that the gov't is plotting to confiscate our vehicles. So, what is supposed to make me believe that, if we were required to take safety and operational training and be licensed to use firearms or even to register our firearms, that the next natural step is for the gov't to send agents to my door to demand all my weapons? Maybe someone can clear that up for me.

As important as I believe our unique right to keep & bear is to our freedom, I just don't see that our gov't is that big a threat to it's basic fundamentals. Despite what one might think of politicians, it is a lead pipe cinch that each of them--regardless of party--will do what they perceive to be in their own best interests. Most, if not all, of the time that involves keeping themselves and their party in power. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us who cherish our rights to make our positions known, loudly and frequently, to our elected officials. That's what they respond to, believe it or not. If they believe their position at the ballot box is threatened by some principled stand they've taken, just see how long it takes them to change their stand. Very few, if any, will stay on what they see as a sinking ship if they think it will cost them the next election.

So, to paraphrase, be loud, be proud. Above all, be active. A quote from a (Democratic) former lawmaker here in MN pretty much says it all, I think: "The world belongs to those who show up". As long as we 2A absolutists continue showing up, the 2A isn't going to go anywhere.


I want to correct something in my post above: I just checked McCain's web site and, to his credit, he does endorse an individual's right to keep & bear. Click on "Issues", then "Second Amendment" at the bottom of the list.

A check of Obama's web site also shows that he endorses an individual's right to keep & bear. Click on "Issues", then "Additional Issues" at the bottom of the list, then "Sportsmen", then "Read the full plan".

Out of fairness, I checked HRC's web site and found no comments one way or the other on the 2A. I sent a note thru her site asking her to outline her position on 2A issues...we'll see if her campaign answers.

Mike Diehl

"When did I say anything about Hollywood?"

When did I say the Sierra Club was pro-2nd Amendment?


AHSA...start looking for the pony, or in their case the Clydesdale, with this much horse excrement flying around, I would hope everyone can see thru the smoke and mirrors of the anti-2nd ammendment crowd, but then again, the liberal dem's (which includes both Obama & Clinton) believe in a "living Constitution" which means if we can't get something changed by legislation, we'll appoint a Judge to change it for us. Founding Fathers rolling in their graves, and I'm sure Theodore Roosevelt is pretty po'd as well.

Jim Bean % Coor's

Never heard of this AHSA till this blog came on. What-ever they for I;m against. Foronce I agree with NRA. However, all these groups really want is our Money.They could cae less about our guns or land. Stand up for your rights and protect Both. Get a CC Permit and be safe adn protected.

calvin cole

I am a 53 yr old male who has hunted and fished all my life. I have major issues with the nra. I think the facts concerning the nra is the reason why less than 30% of sportsmen are members. Mostly because the nra stands for the national republican association.


Anyone who would vote for a man (Obama) that can't even place his hand over his heart during the National Anthem is Un-American in my book.
We always talk about racism. Why would a man go to a church and listen to a preacher for many years who consistently talks about rasicism if the man didn't agree with what that preacher was saying? Wake up America!


Right on DIrk. He also miscaracterizes the rev Rights background. rev Right was raised in the best schools in the area by fairly wealthy parents. rev Right is a racist and he was Obamma's spiritual mentor.


1. Texas Post Turtle
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.
Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our President. The old rancher said, ‘Well, ya know, Obama is a ‘post turtle’.’ Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was.The old rancher said, ‘When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a ‘post turtle’.’
The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain. ‘You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just want to help the dumb ass get down.’

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