Friday, October 1, 2010

Hunter Orange

Anne Saker, "In a first, Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission considering 'blaze orange' mandate for hunters in 2010," Oregonian Sep. 29, 2010, p. A1, A8.

The prospect of state officials mandating that hunters in Oregon wear "hunter orange" clothing has brought out an example of the kind of libertarian thinking that I find ridiculous:
    "What is lost on you folks on the commission and government bureaucrats is that it is none of your damn business what I am wearing when hunting, and what my children are wearing is my decision not yours!" (italics mine, for emphasis)
I find this perspective extremely myopic, for the following reasons:

1) It's ideologically rigid and ethically bankrupt for an adult to place her or his child at risk simply because she or he doesn't agree with a regulation -- this case is reminiscent of arguments against the seat belt law.

2) This perspective is ignorant of one of the primary charges of government in this country, which is to provide for public safety. If even only one hunter per decade dies in an instance where more visible clothing would have saved her/his life, then it's in our collective interest to find a way to avoid this needless death.

3) I don't buy the argument that individual, unlimited, gun ownership is codified in the Second Amendment. Maybe you do buy this argument. Whatever. In any event, helping reduce the incidence of people being shot while hunting, when such accidents such could possibly be avoided through the use of a certain type of clothing, doesn't equate to a Second Amendment freedom, no matter how you and the NRA try to spin it.

4) Mandating hunter safety measures does not equate to the erosion of the Bill of Rights. If you find yourself thinking that it does, you really should get out of your bubble and do some research about Japanese-American internment during WWII, the treatment of Native Americans, the history of lynching, equating corporations with persons, anti-trust laws, etc., etc., etc., etc.*

[*] Drop me a comment if you need any help with this research.


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