The Gustavian Weekly

Guns ‘n stuff

By David Roland Opinion Editor | February 21, 2014 | Opinion

David_RolandMost issues in this nation tend to buzz around with a highly controversial nature that everyone and their mother has an opinion on ranging from abortion to climate change.

Needless to say, it can be pretty easy to forget the small things with simple fixes. Because let’s face it, it’s way more fun to get into an endless argument with your friends on whether or not Obama is going to do anything about the federal deficit, which usually just devolves into primal trash talk over a heated game of Call of Duty. It is especially more fun to talk about a simple solution to, say, an issue of lead poisoning of bald eagles that can be traced to lead bullets used in everybody’s favorite holiday and the ultimate embodiment of our second amendment rights, deer hunting season.

Going back to the topic of polarity in today’s social norms, this issue of eagle lead poisoning would normally not be a divisive political issue. Because there is a clear and defined problem, which has a traceable source as well as a few economic alternatives (such as copper, bismuth, or steel) but because science is apparently always debatable, it becomes the pure issue of turning a problem with a quick fix into political issue of defending the common man’s second amendment right to shoot stuff with whatever they damn well please.

Of course I am not intentionally trying to demonize any hunters, because for the most part sportsmen are in favor of preserving game for future generations. In fact surprisingly few people even know about the problem that plagues our national bird (along with a few other species).

However now that the general community has accepted the information, it is time to act. Now, even when that can be seen as a hopelessly optimistic and idealistic way to look at it; even when a few hunters use their ability to vote with their almighty dollar, it will be possible to put a dent in the number of horrific deaths of some very majestic creatures (Google it, I dare you, but as a heads up it’s pretty awful).

The next issue is recognizing that this does not have to be a polarizing political issue. In California, for example, they have already taken steps to illegalize the use of lead bullets, and are offering incentives for hunters to use other materials for their rounds to protect the Condor.

Because there’s nothing more ‘Murican than the Bald Eagle. Creative Commons

Because there’s nothing more ‘Murican than the Bald Eagle. Creative Commons

California, the state that elected the Terminator to the governor’s office, beat us to protecting wildlife from a very fixable problem when we ourselves advertise our state as one that is closely connected to its environment.

Aside from the fact that our state economy is rich in diversity and relies on many different facets of our environment, our state (as well as everywhere else) is entirely dependent on the health of it’s environment as a whole. Now saving the bald eagle is not going to solve all of our problems, but it’s an opportunity to show that our environment is something that we care about, and desperately need to protect.

Let me stress as much as I possibly can that I am not trying to insult or degrade any part of California I happen to love the state in fact, but what I am saying is that we are lagging behind on a simple issue that we could otherwise be spearheading, especially because of the fact that our Minnesotan culture basically revolves around our relationship to the land we live on. Let our never-ending onslaught of demonic snow and winds testify to that.

What it really comes down to in the end is human choice. I don’t pretend to know everything about the mind or behavior of a hunter, because I do not identify as one. I just hope that in the end we can all agree that our national bird is one worth saving, and that we all have a part in this solution.