Last week, a group of 11 influencers belonging to the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) published an open letter in The Huffington Post calling for “responsible firearm regulation.”
I’m sure I don’t even need to say anymore as you know where this is headed. But below are the bullet points of what they’re proposing. Note this is where they “would begin,” meaning this is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak when it comes to infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners:
- An age minimum of 21 years to purchase any gun;
- Anyone on the Terrorist Screening Center’s “no-fly list” may not purchase or possess firearms;
- Anyone on Social Security disability due to mental illness may not purchase or possess firearms;
- Prohibit new sales of semiautomatic assault or tactical-style weapons;
- Prohibit new sales of semiautomatic shotguns or rifles (except .22-caliber rim fire) that can hold more than 10 rounds;
- Prohibit any accessory designed or mechanical modification intended a) to increase the rate at which any firearm may be discharged; or b) to increase the magazine capacity of a semiautomatic rifle beyond 10 rounds (except .22-caliber rim fire);
- Mandatory and universal background checks for all firearm sales;
- Prohibit sales of firearms except through registered/licensed dealers (no direct private sales);
- Enact gun violence restraining order authorities allowing courts to temporarily prohibit a person from purchasing or possessing firearms when a family member, community welfare expert or law enforcement officer presents evidence of a threat; and
- Repeal the “Dickey ban” on scientific research in the area of gun violence and implement the Institute of Medicine’s 2013 gun violence research agenda.
If this sounds like a script pulled right from the Obama era of hostility toward our right to keep and bear arms, it’s not a coincidence. The letter was penned by Obama crony, Daniel M. Ashe. As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director, Ashe banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands just as he and Barry were leaving office. A final, “Screw you” to gun owners. Thankfully, the Trump administration wasted no time in reversing the ban.
Nine of the individuals who signed the letter are part of the OWAA’s Circle of Chiefs*, which is the highest conservation honor the group bestows. Three are past presidents. Point being, these aren’t just rank and file members. Here is the list:
- Daniel M. Ashe, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director
- Ted Williams, environmental journalist*
- Paula Del Giudice, outdoor writer and hunter*
- Mike Furtman, outdoor writer and photographer, hunter and former gun dealer*
- Jim Low, former president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and 13-time
- recipient of the Izaak Walton League’s Outdoor Ethics Communication Award*
- Dr. Leonard Lee Rue III, wildlife photographer*
- Brian Rutledge, conservation leader and naturalist
- Scott Stouder, outdoor writer, conservationist and lifelong hunter*
- Dr. Kris Thoemke, outdoor writer, conservationist and hunter*
- Joel Vance, current member and former president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America*
- George Harrison, retired nature journalist*
- Rich Patterson, former president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America*
Immediately, the head shed of the OWAA had to run damage control. In a press release, current executive director Dr. Brandon D. Shuler made it clear that the signatories of the infamous HuffPo letter do not speak for the organization.
“To be clear, the Circle of Chiefs does not set policy for OWAA. That authority lies solely with the OWAA Board of Directors, who are elected by the full OWAA membership,” said Shuler. “On this matter, the author and the signatories are speaking for themselves and not OWAA.”
“OWAA respects the rights of all individuals to express their opinions, but as an organization of professional communicators, we avoid advocacy on issues not related to journalism, Shuler continued. “Some OWAA members may agree with points made in the letter. Some may not. But the letter’s content does not represent OWAA policy.”
There’s a lot of company you keep quotes on the interwebs. But I thought this one by author Esmeralda Santiago was most fitting, “Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
As discerning and conscientious readers do with this information what you wish.