The gun legislation recently passed and the continuing battles playing out in Congress are a huge part of the news. Headlines touch on everything from rifles to shotguns to increasing roadblocks when it comes to people intent on purchasing guns. It is not a surprise based on the sinister aspect of this country that seems to be growing worse and worse, that gun laws have been a part of huge debates much more often. But when it comes to the hunting community, as many already know, the sinister is not a part of what they their actions or ideas. You are literally talking about people who offer their support for wildlife and ecology issues, and put their money into the government by paying fees and investing in other interests that help change the world positively, not negatively.
The first heavy hit on hunters erupted when the recent gun legislation came into being – legislation that may cause the state of Colorado immense grief. Hunters have always seen Colorado as the place to hunt elk; in fact, the stunning landscape and the healthy elk population has made Colorado the best place for elk hunting available in this entire country. Unfortunately for the hunting community, Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper, signed truly controversial bills that have banned ammunition magazines that hold more than fifteen rounds. Not only that, but background checks will now be required for private and online gun sales – causing hunters to basically boycott the state.
The facts have been streaming from hunting outfitters, as well as travel agents and local resorts, stating that trips are being canceled one right after the other since the legislation passed. Although it began small, the numbers are growing. Debates are going on in Colorado with some on the pro side and many on the livid side, knowing that sportsmen both locally and out of state will not be investing any more money, leaving Colorado businesses looking straight into a financial hole in the near future.
Colorado gains a great deal of their income off tourism. In fact, the statistics have been placed on the wire that out-of-state hunters actually accounted for approximately fifteen percent of hunting licenses sold last year.
By boycotting Colorado, the hunting community is basically protesting – just like millions of other individuals and groups across this country that are literally finding it wrong that freedom, liberty and the essential rights of the American people are being taken away. This kind of unity, this kind of stability and group view, will most definitely cause the economy to fall. Everything from business expansion, new business openings, and employment issues will occur, turning Colorado from a fairly profitable state into one that will be truly struggling in an already fragile economy.
Even though when you think about it the actual impact of this legislation is small, there are provisions that will affect the varmint hunters utilizing high-capacity magazines, as well as the provision that limits the loaning of a gun to 72 hours. There are other Rocky Mountain states that will reap the rewards as hunters turn to them leaving the small, rural towns in Colorado to become ghost towns in the very near future.
No one – absolutely no one – debates the fact that there has been truly horrific tragedies and attacks in this country; from the mass killings at a Denver movie theater to the innocent lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut to the recent violence happening in Boston, Massachusetts; everyone’s heart goes out to the families, and the American people want nothing more than for violence to be stopped in its tracks. But elk hunting in Colorado is certainly not under the evil category.
Not only will this cause a financial problem if hunters really do follow through and not spend any more money on outdoor activities – hunting and fishing – within the state, but this will also eventually cause a huge environmental problem.
The elk will still be standing, which means the land will eventually be overrun until there is no longer enough food to feed him. Harvesting is something that is necessary to keep the environment healthy, which makes hunters a major tool that must stay in place in order to save the environment; without hunters, everything from the economy to daily living will feel the heavy weight of these new laws.
In the end, Colorado is looking at a mess, and being that gun legislation will continue to be debated, other states may just end up in the hot seat very soon.
Source: Baret News wire / Sportsmans Life