Anti-hunters put out enough nonsense without pro-hunters adding their own lies and dishonesties. But that is precisely what two Heritage Foundation commentators do in an article on recent anti-hunting legislation at the state level.
In this case, Heritage’s Trent England and Steve Muscatello lie by omission. They selectively quote from a bill introduced by New York State Assemblyman Alexander Grannis to make it appear as if his bill would ban all hunting outright. Here’s England and Muscatello’s version (emphasis added),
New York has a large, vibrant hunting community outside its metropolitan areas. Assemblyman Alexander Grannis, who is from the nationÂ’s largest metro area, has drafted a bill that could, if passed in its present form, make all hunting illegal in the Empire State. The text of New York State Assembly Bill 1850 reads, in part: Â“A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when Â… he or she intentionally kills Â… an animal or wild game [or] wild birds.Â” You donÂ’t have to be a National Rifle Association die-hard to see the danger in a bill that makes pursuit of game, Â“so as to capture or kill,Â” a felony with a minimum one-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. Advocates, of course, claim this is merely a means to criminalize the torture of animals. But the phrase Â“intentionally kills,Â” in this context, clearly could apply to hunters as well as those who would mistreat animals for fun.
Now compare the text of the bill’s language that England and Muscatello quote compared to the full text of the bill, (emphasis added),
A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal, OR WILD GAME AND WILD BIRDS AS DEFINED IN SECTION 11-0103 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW, with aggravated cruelty. For purposes of this section, “aggravated cruelty” shall mean conduct which: (i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.
So the bill doesn’t call for prosecuting people who kill wildlife, but rather people who kill wildlife “with no justifiable purpose” and with the intention of inflicting extreme pain or killing in an extremely depraved or sadistic manner.
Rather than focus on “no justifiable purpose” or “in an especially depraved or sadistic manner”, England deceives readers into thinking that the bill applies to any intentional killing of wildlife, such as hunting.
This is an outrageous distortion. The last thing those of us who oppose the animal rights movement and its anti-hunting agenda need are people like England and Muscatello adopting PETA-like tactics and distorting the truth.
Hunters in the Crosshairs. Trent England and Steve Muscatello, Heritage Foundation, March 31, 2005.
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