It has been awhile since I visited the topic of gun control and 2nd amendment rights on Community Matters. For those that followed the gun control discussion, you may recall my dismay last year over the federal legislation that lifted the ban on guns in national parks (including Valley Forge).
The blog post, Semi-Automatic Weapons in Valley Forge National Historical Park . . . Do You Feel Safer? generated much debate in the 50+ comments on guns in national parks, many from 2nd Amendment supporters. As a result, my naïveté on guns and gun controls was put to the test. That discussion extended to a broader discussion of gun control in our community. I learned that many living in this community not only supported their right as an American to bear arms, but that it was clear from comments, that many did!
Although not swayed by the overwhelming pro-gun rights comments, I did find myself sitting in the minority; continuing to support stricter gun control rules. I wrote, ” . . . I know the argument that strict gun control does not reduce crime because it does not keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. Criminals do not abide by waiting periods or registration requirements. The only people affected by these so-called ‘gun control’ measures are law-abiding citizens, who are rendered less able to resist crime. However almost daily, our world is filled with news of gun violence in this country . . . in shopping malls, on college campuses, office buildings. . . “
In addition to discussing 2nd amendment rights and gun-control issues, Community Matters visited the subject of the overpopulation of deer in the area, specifically in Valley Forge National Historical Park. With a two-year plan in place, skilled sharp shooters began last winter to reduce the deer population from 1,250 to 200 in the park. Although I cringed at the idea of guns in Valley Forge Park and the shooting of deer, I took solace in knowing that 7,000 pounds of venison was donated to the needy.
At this point, I am sure you are wondering why this walk down memory lane? Answer: deer hunting. I do not claim to know much about deer hunting – I actually don’t know the dates of deer hunting season. I do not know when it is ‘bow’ season any more than I know when it is gun season for deer hunting, nor do I know many deer per hunter is allowed – just don’t know any of the specifics. I am not a hunter so why would I need to know this information. As a “stricter gun control supporter”, and probably not likely to become a deer hunter, I do admit I was interested to learn of House Bill 1760 that would allow deer hunting on Sundays. Deer hunting on Sundays . . . ? I didn’t know that Sunday deer hunting was illegal in Pennsylvania. Apparently, hunters in Pennsylvania can legally kill foxes, coyotes and crows on Sunday, just not deer. Pennsylvania is one of 9 states that do not permit Sunday deer hunting.
According to a recent Daily Local article, “ . . . Sunday hunting is expected to generate $629 million in additional spending and create up to 5,300 new jobs, resulting in $18 million in additional sales and income tax. . . ” In addition, Sunday hunting is expected to generate a substantial increase in out-of-state license revenue.
So here’s my question. . . if the current law allows deer hunting 6 days a week, why not allow hunting all 7 days of the week? I may not be a gun-supporter nor a deer hunter (and I appreciated that I am in the minority) but I don’t understand ‘why’ deer hunters cannot hunt on Sundays? I guess I can see the purpose of House Bill 1760 – if you support deer hunting 6 days a week, why not support deer hunting on Sundays.