Hunting and Violence: Its Connection to Domestic Violence

SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT
The Sanitizing of Violence in Our Society
An all-creatures.org Article Series

Throughout the ages, we have accepted killing, violence, and violent behavior as just being a part of life - it's time we change!

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Hunting and Violence: Its Connection to Domestic Violence

By: Frank L. Hoffman

Hunting, in my opinion, is a sanitized and socially acceptable way of expressing ones inner violent nature. It's an outlet, but it only reinforces such inner violence; it does nothing to arrest or eliminate it. Hunters make all kinds of excuses about why they hunt, such as, "I enjoy the outdoors", or "I hunt for food". Neither of these excuses really have any merit. We can all enjoy the outdoors without resorting to killing; and we can buy more food for the dollar in our markets than is spent on the so-called sport of hunting.

We, as a society, and particularly our religious communities, need to address hunting as being a violent activity that is counter to the peace of God. We need to show the connection between all "acceptable" and "unacceptable" violent activities and domestic violence. The article below makes the connection, but does not address it specifically.

WEST VIEW, Pa. (AP) — A man who shot and killed his girlfriend Friday apparently set fire to his own house and then tried to ambush his ex-wife before fleeing into woods, police said. He later was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police in suburban Pittsburgh had mounted a massive 20-hour manhunt for Francis Weber, 49. They found him dead on the second floor of a vacant house at about 9 p.m., about 20 hours after police say he killed his girlfriend.

A relative of the man's girlfriend said Weber, a gas company worker, may have been distraught over an impending breakup with her.

Weber shot girlfriend Amy Beardsley, 34, at about 1:30 a.m. Friday in Coraopolis, a Pittsburgh suburb, where she was staying with a friend, police said.

Weber then went to his home in Bell Acres less than 10 miles away and set several fires and flammable booby traps, police said.

Bell Acres authorities alerted police in West View, where Weber's ex-wife, Rebekah Weber, lives with their two teen-age children. West View police moved her and the children to a safe location and were waiting for Weber when he arrived about 5 a.m.

Clad in camouflage, Weber fired eight shots from an assault-style rifle at a police officer and fled. The officer was not wounded.

Police Chief Charles Holtgraver said authorities viewed Weber as a skilled outdoorsman who apparently intended to hold out for a while. Authorities said Weber had a history of domestic violence and was an avid hunter.

- 11.22 p.m. ET (322 GMT) May 14, 1999 By Jeffrey Bair, Associated Press

The very expression "avid hunter" means that Weber loved to kill.

He apparently saw killing as an acceptable way of expressing himself. He apparently could not differentiate between a "sport" in the woods and fields, and acting out of such aggression in the domestic arena. The very fact that he had a history of domestic violence, and that he was a hunter, should have immediately alerted public officials to the potential dangers. We, as a society, are just as much responsible for the death of this woman as was Weber, for we failed to address this violence in a positive way. Instead we sanitized the hunting as being acceptable, and failed to treat Weber and others like him, to resolve that inner violent nature.

The Biblical command, "Thou shall not kill [murder]" is usually seen only as referring to such acts as the killing of this woman, and it is seldom associated with the "sport" of hunting. However, to take pleasure in the death of another being is MURDER even if that being is a non-human. If a person is killing for food, and there is no other way of obtaining any food, and he or she is truly sorry about having to kill, then Biblically and ethically such an act is not considered to be murder. But such a scenario is rarely the case.

We need to wake up to the fact that hunting, as we know it, is not a sport, but a form of socially acceptable murder. And the longer we tolerate it and sanitize it, the more we will continue to shoot ourselves in the foot.