I am writing to respond to the PETA president's letter to the editor published Thursday regarding Dick Cheney's hunting accident. Ms. Newkirk has ambitiously used this incident to call attention to her cause and in this particular case, her weak argument travels on a tangent that strays far from the issue at hand.
Let it be known that I am a hunter and in that same respect, consider myself and all other hunters and outdoorsmen to play an absolute vital role in preserving and protecting the environment and the wildlife that thrive within it. I would testify that as a group, we harbor more compassion and respect for the environment than even the staunchest PETA members. I am certain that I do not stand-alone when I say I was offended and appalled by Ms. Newkirk's remarks.
To proclaim "a youngster's sense of right and wrong is damaged when they are taught killing is fun" is ludicrous. Hunting is fun, and killing is an element in hunting. Kids that feel the need to "open fire" at school have far deeper psychological issues that hunting alone could not instill within them.
Furthermore, nice try playing the sympathy card and informing your audience that deer lead emotional lives. Cheney was hunting quail if I'm not mistaken, so where do you find the merit to mention such a "fact?"
Ms. Newkirk is correct in stating that we do not need to hunt to eat; we are fortunate. However, the role that hunters play in conservatory efforts, wildlife management and government funding for the environment as a whole cannot be denied.
Mr. Cheney was involved in an unfortunate accident…it happens to the best of us apparently. In the future, Ms. Newkirk, please try to stay focused to the issue you are using to preface your argument. This was not a worthy platform to spew your cause.
Landscape Design & Contracting