Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hunters are ready to defend our rights at the ballot box

8:27 PM 10/20/2010

As we all know, the midterm elections could be a major turning point in the direction of this country. Federal spending, jobs, the economy and health care are topics at the top of the national mind, but a recent Safari Club International poll shows that sportsmen and women will also have a significant impact on the November elections — precisely because hunting is a major economic powerhouse in the U.S. economy. Hunters are standing ready to protect their sport, and the jobs it brings to rural economies, in the voting booth. Our poll also shows that the sportsmen’s community is more interested in these elections than ever before, and hunters stand ready to vote on November 2nd.

A few facts demonstrate the impact of hunting in the United States:

•16 million Americans actively participate in hunting every year.
•The hunting industry contributes over $30 billion to the U.S. economy each year and supports over one million jobs across the country.
•The $4.95 billion in annual federal tax money generated by hunters’ spending could cover the annual paychecks of 150,000 U.S. Army sergeants.
•Sportsmen contribute $7.5-plus million to wildlife and habitat conservation every day — more than $2.7 billion every year.

Of those hunters surveyed, an overwhelming nine out of ten say they are “very” likely to vote in the upcoming elections for Congress. In the typically lower turnout of a midterm cycle, this finding suggests that the level of sportsmen’s participation in the November election will be significant. Safari Club’s members and hunters around the country are concerned about protecting the freedom to hunt, gun rights, land use and wildlife management issues and we are ready to make our voices heard at the ballot box in a few short weeks.

But it’s not just the federal level where sportsmen stand ready to make a difference this year. Safari Club International and our allies are involved at all levels of government — from state and local to national and international. There’s an alarming trend, particularly in some states, to restrict hunters’ freedoms. This year, Safari Club International and our members are involved in ballot initiatives in four states to pass state constitutional amendments that will guarantee the future of our right to hunt and fish, even in the face of anti-hunting extremists’ attacks. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and others are trying to delude voters into believing that these amendments are unnecessary, but the true agenda of the extremists was revealed in a recent article in Tennessee’s Jackson Sun. Tennessee is one of the states where a constitutional amendment is on the ballot, and a spokeswoman from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) told the paper that “Tennesseans should vote against the amendment and that hunting and fishing should be stopped.”

Read more: Daily Caller

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