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CASH Courier > 2005 Fall Issue

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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Fall 2005 Issue

THE PATRIOT PLAN – ITS CONNECTION TO HUNTING

BY ANNE MULLER

It’s worth taking a look at the Patriot Plan that was “created” by Gov. Pataki’s Executive Order in 2003. It was passed unanimously by the NYS Legislature in that year, and then signed into law by Pataki. [Do you like those checks and balances?] I’ve no doubt that this plan exists in other states as well.

There’s one benefit that is truly frightening: It’s the FREE HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES Benefit!

Yes, free licenses may be issued to “all active NYS resident members of the state organized militia or the reserve components of the US Armed Forces”. I called the DEC’s toll free line to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating, and they confirmed that it was true.

This is scary, folks. According to newspaper sources, articles claim that one in six returning soldier suffers to some degree from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD consists of fear, paranoia, and rage.

Combine that with easy access to rifles, shotguns, and handguns, through Walmart and other such places, and you have folks who are armed again back home and who may be suffering from PTSD. You may know that all you need to do is plunk down your money and walk out with “sporting” firearms (rifles and shotguns) and ammo from Walmart. Handguns require a background check, but not for mental competence.

Put PTSD together with the firearms industry, and the game agencies pushing firearms for use on wildlife, and you have a public that is at grave risk.

For the wildlife, hunting is hard enough without having to contend with folks who may now begin to see them as dangerous enemy terrorists.

The Army’s surgeon general said 30% of US troops surveyed have stress related mental health problems. Two men who were highlighted in the article were described as being nervous, jittery, and suspicious and highly reactive to loud sounds.

One of them always carried an assault rifle while home.

One reporter said that soldiers never knew whether a civilian was the enemy. Troops are rotating in and out of Iraq now and though distressed, many won’t seek help because they think they’ll be viewed as “wimps.”

Within six weeks four wives of returning military were killed:

Two were shot in the head, one was strangled, and one was stabbed 50 times and set on fire. Although annually 1,400 women are killed by their husbands, studies show, according to Democracy Now, that returning soldiers have a rate of domestic abuse two to five times higher than the general population. Men who’d been involved in combat were responsible for 21 percent of the cases of spousal abuse reported in the survey.

According to the Pentagon’s Family Advocacy Program, there were almost 11,000 substantiated cases of physical, emotional, and sexual spousal abuse in 2004. They added that spousal abuse is notoriously under-reported.

A Quaker social worker reported that since soldiers began returning from Iraq her practice has been inundated. She said all the men were suffering from PTSD. She attributed it to the “inhuman things” that they had to do in the war.

She said that connected to all of the other symptoms is anger, which cannot be turned off when they return.

Still knowing this, the game agencies, with the support of elected legislators and governors, encourage these tormented souls to pick up firearms upon their return to this country and kill for pleasure.

When sanity is restored to this country, if it ever is, these elected officials, game agencies and the weapons manufacturers should be on trial for endangering not only wild animals but humans as well. Hunting is bad enough when people have their wits, but mixing firearms and PTSD is lethal way beyond what’s intended.


Photo from outdoor magazine
WHAT’S HE THINKING?

Keep in mind that every time a bullet or shot is expended, the excise tax puts money into the coffers of wildlife management agencies to promote more hunting (i.e. more use firearms and ammunition).

Gov. Pataki signed a bill into law that allows hunters in 11 NY counties to use rifles for big game. No wonder hunting groups are worried that he’s leaving. Pataki has never been a friend to the animals. In a recent issue of New York Outdoor News, sent to us by Barbara Schmitt, they say that sportsmen’s groups are expressing fears that Pataki’s departure at the end of 2006 could pave the way for Democrat and current state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

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