Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

The Boy Scouts of America's Tragic Error

 

Sent to several newspapers as well as the Boy Scouts of America national office.

 

10/11/03

 

The Twin Rivers Council Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has made what may turn out to be a tragic error by forming an alliance with extremist organizations such as the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and the New York State Trappers Association.  The BSA will give these groups a chance to lure children into the violent world of hunting and trapping.  Each year an alarming number of children are hurt or killed while hunting, and encouraging children to participate in this violent activity can only serve to cause the death toll to rise. 

 

As stated on the BSA website, “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” It is clear that with this move, the BSA is betraying its Mission.  There are few things as immoral and unethical as killing harmless animals for recreation, and yet, this is precisely what the BSA will be encouraging by allowing extremist groups the opportunity to poison the minds of young, impressionable children.

 

Will our children be taught that the barbaric steel jaw leghold trap, the trap of choice for many New York trappers, has been banned in over eighty-eight countries and in the neighboring states of Massachusetts and New Jersey?  Will our children be taught that animals have been known to chew off their limbs to escape the clutches of these traps?  Will they be taught that conibear traps and snares are responsible for killing and crippling many domestic dogs and cats every year?

 

Will our children be told of events, like the six-year old Lubbock, Texas boy who was shot on September 8 of this year while hunting doves?  Or perhaps how Bobby Merrill of Spring Hill, Florida shot an arrow through the neck of, and killed his childhood friend?  Or how a sixteen-year old Indiana boy was shot with an arrow while hunting with a friend who mistook him for a deer?

 

Will our children be taught that according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Game, more than half of the deer shot with arrows are never recovered by hunters?  It is doubtful that the pro-hunting extremists will teach our children these cold, hard facts about hunting, and it is shameful that the BSA, once a well respected organization, would wish to smear its name by associating itself with the lowest segment of society – those who kill for fun.

 

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging this program, because it knows that the sport of hunting is on the decline.  The game managers of the DEC must encourage children to hunt because it is through the sale of hunting licenses that DEC employees collect revenue to pay their salaries.  The wildlife management unit of the NY DEC does not care about our children; it selfishly cares only about spreading the disease of sport hunting.

 

Shame on the Boy Scouts of America.  A responsible and legitimate organization should teach children to respect the natural world instead of how to destroy it.  For information on how the wildlife management division of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation destroys wildlife to spread the disease of sport hunting, please visit the web site of the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting at http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/ or call (845) 256-1400.

 

Joe Miele, Vice President

The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

Box 562

New Paltz, NY  12563

201-368-8271

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