2009-12-10 / Letters

Nonhunters Should Run Fish, Game Agencies

To The Editor:

One day into this year’s deer season and Pennsylvania has its first hunting accident involving a child. Part of the Game Commission’s Mentored Youth Hunting Program—which doesn’t set a minimum age requirement or make kids take a hunter safety course—a 12-year-old girl accidentally shot herself and her father.

Unfortunately, such incidents are becoming more and more common. According to the International Hunter Education Association, in one year alone, there were 445 hunting accidents, about 25 percent of which involved children. As long as children are allowed to tromp through the woods armed to the teeth, accidents will happen. After all, the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that children under the age of 12 are not “developmentally ready to safely handle a gun while hunting.”

So why do we continue to send younger and younger children into the woods with loaded weapons? It’s all about money. The gun lobby pours money into the politicians’ campaign funds, and they, in return, when elected, appoint hunters to run the agencies that oversee and make all the laws and programs pertaining to our wildlife.

It is vital that compassionate people contact state officials and demand that they not only appoint non-hunters to run the state fish and game and other wildlife agencies, but that they also implement regulations that protect children and animals.

Readers can learn more about how hunting hurts animals and people at PETA.org.
Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Senior Staff Writer
People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Norfolk, VA 23510

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