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Re: [at-l] Hunting on the Trail, easier question?

I was originally just sending this to just Jim and keep my nose out of 
the melee, but changed my mind half-way through.  For the punchline, skip 
to the end.

On Fri, 13 Dec 1996, Jim Owen wrote:
> On the same day I joined the NRA,  I sent him a check for $100.
> If I believed that gun control were a good thing, you can believe that
> I wouldn't have joined the NRA.

It is an interesting story, but I think if it had been me, my recation 
would have followed a different logic.  I disagree with many things the 
NRA does and positions it supports.  If I had done the research and 
decided that gun control is bad (which I am willing to take your word for 
the sake of this argument), that would have been enough for me to stop 
giving money to Gun Control, but not to give money to the NRA.  To me, 
joining an organization means that you agree with most of what they do, 
or that they do some things that you value more than the things they do 
which you disagree with (I hope that came out making sense).

My position:
-Hunting is not inherently bad.  
-Most Hunters are responsible people (or at least, try to hunt responsibly).
-Because hunters wield powerful "tools" capable of hurting people, and 
often hide themselves so hikers are not aware of them, they *all* have a 
special responsibility of wilderness safety not incumbant on other 

Reactions to some of the arguments made here:
-Being "safer than driving a car" is not a very strong argument to me.  
That doesn't mean that it is safe, or good (many things are safer than 
driving a car).

-"Most people who get hurt in hunting accidents are hunters" - still no 
dice.  Still doesn't mean it is safe.  (The implication I see is that if 
the majority of deaths is within the group, it is somehow more benign to 
the worl, that rubs something in me the wrong way).

-"Fewer hikers get hurt in hunting accidents than you think."  See my 
first point.

I guess in the absence of a clear moral judgement, I will take the stance 
of my freinds in economics and pose it as a 'rational choice' question:

	Do the benifits of hunting (food, environment conservation,
protection of legal rights, etc) outweigh the losses (occasional death,
disruption of other's enjoyment of the wilderness, etc)? 

Anybody wanna tackle it from that point of view (or point out flaws in 
the argument)?
I should point out that these models do not typically take 'morality' 
into account unless it can be re-phrased as a "gain vs. loss" issue.


Jeff Mosenkis            MAPSS Student          University of Chicago
              *Freelance Joking Avunculate For Hire*

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