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MIKE BRAUN Defend your rights from foes of hunting



Published: Sun, July 29, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



So, you think you have a right to hunt, fish and trap, and that these opportunities won't ever change? Think again.

For many years, hunting, fishing, trapping and like activities have been under assault by anti-hunters, animal-rights zealots and similar freedom-eclipsing groups.

These groups will stop at nothing less than the complete and utter ending of these types of activities. There is NO compromising with them.

Several pieces of information have crossed my desk recently showing that instead of fading away, these groups are increasing their activities.

The Fund for Animals recently mailed an open letter to more than 2,000 newspaper editors and the presidents of several sports cable channels across the United States urging them to stop promoting hunting and trapping in articles and on broadcast shows.

Norm Phelps, program coordinator for the group, claimed in the letter that hunting is not a sport, but rather legalized cruelty to animals.

He said columns such as the one you are reading right now are simply ways to encourage people to "kill defenseless animals for fun" and termed them extremely irresponsible.

He added that these columns bring shame upon the publications.

Thanks for your opinion, Norm. Can't say I agree with you, though.

Free speech: The open discussion of hunting and fishing is part of our heritage. You know, Norm, freedom of speech. Same right that allows you to send out your letters.

The more than 40 million sportsmen in the United States appreciate the information, news, tips and suggestions contained in outdoors columns.

If you agree with Norm and his ilk, then simply sit there and do nothing. If you disagree, then write or e-mail a letter to your local newspaper (right here, guys and gals!) and let them know that Fund for Animals is full of bunk.

Hunting and fishing are legal and legitimate activities enjoyed by millions. These subjects should not be shunned from discussion in our nation's newspapers.

For other contacts: For contact information for other newspapers, visit the WLFA media guide at: http://capwiz.com/wlfa/dbq/media/. This guide provides visitors with names and information for national and local newspapers and local television stations.

More ominous news: More news that portends trouble involves the decision of K-Mart to phase out the sale of handgun ammunition at its 2,000 U.S. stores.

Details have yet to be distributed about how the chain will deal with .22 rimfire ammunition sales, as such ammunition can be used in both handguns and rifles and is also the most profitable form of ammo after shotgun shells.

The department chain does not sell handguns at its stores but said it will continue the sale of rifles and shotguns for the time being.

K-Mart said the decision was based on marketing information, but the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America reported the move wasn't announced until after executives met with survivors of the tragedy at Columbine High School in Colorado and with documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who is making a film about guns in America.

K-Mart has a phone line, (866) 562-7848, dedicated for customers and concerned citizens. Statements will be forwarded to K-Mart Corporate Headquarters.

Though you can still purchase ammunition for your hunting and target guns at area sporting goods stores, this move by K-Mart is still another erosion of outdoors opportunities.

Make your feelings known by calling K-Mart and telling them what you think about their decision.

All it takes for moves like this one and the Fund for Animals letter to start having an effect on hunting and fishing is for sportsmen and women like you to do nothing.

Don't say you weren't warned.




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