Editor’s Note: The following Op-Ed was submitted to The Outdoor Wire by Safari Club International.
Hunters conserve and save wildlife when no one else will or can.
Want to save wildlife in wild places? Convince misguided would-be "saviors" that they need to throttle back, cease making death threats and doing other terrorist things.
In just the past few days there has been a spate of Internet and social media attacks on hunters for their choices to participate in legal hunting at various places around the globe.
The attacks come in two basic forms: Ridicule and death threats. Differences of opinion are healthy. Death threats are both sick and illegal.
Late last week, SCI Member Brittany Longoria was attacked over a photo of her holding a leopard she hunted legally in Africa. Those who attacked her made no note that through her hunting and conservation-related activities, she has been personally responsible for saving more wildlife than any of the anti-hunters we know. Antis never let the truth get in the way of the lies they like to spew out to an unassuming public.
"This is not about me hunting an individual leopard," Brittany said. "This is about hunting and the methods of international wildlife conservation. If they come for me as a hunter, they're going to come for you as a hunter, so we all need to stand together and united and speak from our place of truth and heart on why we hunt."
Then over the weekend, Fox News reported that former professional hockey player Tim Brent was ridiculed and received death threats after he posted pictures of himself posing with a bear he hunted in the Yukon, Canada.
"Some of the threats of violence were so extreme, Brent posted that he contacted Twitter," Fox reported. "However, the social media platform said the threats did not violate their abuse policy."
"Though, there have been a few that have defended Brent, and his wife Eva Shockey-Brent, who is a well known hunter and first woman in three decades to make the cover of Field & Stream," the report continued.
"Ultimately, this is not about whether someone approves of hunting or opposes hunting. It is about freedom of both activity and speech," said SCI President Paul Babaz. "These anti-hunters, some of whom also are terrorists, want to silence anything they don't like and they want to deny hunters both the freedom of choice and the freedom of speech."
SCI President Babaz noted that it seems as though when the anti-hunters are not successful in having the various governmental agencies halt hunting, that they take to the social media and try to shout so loudly that their drivel drowns out civil discourse.
"The sick ones who go over the line and make death threats need to be identified and dealt with appropriately by the legal systems of the world," Babaz continued. "The sad part about the whole thing is that hunters are responsible for assuring healthy populations of wildlife worldwide forever. When others get in the way of these noble acts, they actually are writing death warrants for the wildlife, which will cease to exist absent the protection of hunters."
Safari Club International - First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI's approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI's proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
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