Monday, May 08, 2006

Taxation Without Representation is STILL Tyranny

Whether you prefer the Rev. Jonathan Mahew "No Taxation Without Representation!" version or James Otis' "Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny!", it's STILL true!


That's the amount of OUR money we paid in excise taxes on guns, ammunition, archery, components, etc. that will be distribued to "fish and game agencies:"
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will distribute more than $523 million in excise taxes paid by America's recreational shooters, hunters, anglers and boaters, to state fish and wildlife agencies to support fish and wildlife conservation and education programs.


State agencies use the money to support conservation programs such as fish and wildlife monitoring, habitat improvement, acquisition of land for habitat conservation and species protection, research, education, and other programs.
'Way down in the press release they mention "shooting ranges." They don't, however, break shooting ranges out of the "Hunter Safety and Shooting Range Projects" category, which receives a miniscule itsy-bitsy $42 million piece of the pie! Anyboyd want t bet what percentage of that $42 million goes to hunter recruitment and retention programs and how much goes to shooting ranges? I'll bet shooting ranges will be lucky to get $42 dollars out of the deal!

This money will be used to fund the ongoing program to end shooting on public lands, to buy habitat that can only be used by birdwatchers looking for ivory-billed woodpeckers and to fuel a bloated bureacracy filled with people who DON'T LIKE US!

If this doesn't piss you off, you're not paying attention! Not one single trade association has stepped up on this, nor one single hunting group. In fact, when I bought it up to some industry heavyweights, it was strongly suggested that I "not talk about things like this," because fish and game agencies "depend" on the entitlement, if you will...and if any of the money — say, half, because that's what we sport shooters and the tactical community pony up each year — is "diverted" to other programs, it could have "major consequences" on acquiring new lands for wildlife.

And I care why?

I am being taxed and the money distributed without my having any say into where it goes, and when I bring up that fact, people start running around with their fingers on their lips going "Quiet! Quiet! What if the shooters hear you!"


Anonymous said...

And that money is going to go to buy the F&G Wardens brand new 4 wheelers to replace the aging 2005 4 wheelers...

Feh... they should give all that money to Budweiser's Outdoor program to see that it gets to people who are actually using it to help conservation.

Then, after that money has been donated, end the freaking tax.

Anonymous said...

So what do we do? This really does piss me off!

Anonymous said...

Michael -

I'm a big fan of your blog and writing but couldn't let this cheap shot slip by (I happen to work for one of those state F&G agencies you love to trash). Your jaundiced perspective may hold true in Colorado but it's not that way everywhere as you imply. I and most of my G&F colleagues are avid sport shooters, and, believe it or not, we actually share common goals.

At least one world-class range in the West is operated by a state F&G. You have apparently visited Ben Avery but seem to have conveniently forgotten who owns and operates that facility. Did you know that another major G&F sport shooting range is coming to northern AZ? It will cost much more than $42, as will all the shooting-related programs at both facilties.

I can can state unequivocally that we are not working to "end shooting on public lands." Nothing could be farther from the truth. We are working hard to keep public lands open, but this is increasingly difficult since so many shooters are absolute pigs. Your previous suggestion that illegal dumping is the real problem is absolute b*llsh**t. Every time I visit an unofficial range" on nearby National Forest I fill a couple trash bags with beer cans/bottles, brass, hulls, ammo boxes, and various and sundry well perforated items brought in for that purpose alone. And then there are the liability issues, as all those new trophy homes pop up near our favorite shooting spots.

You may not like the demographic changes that drive state agency priorities but they are reality. The west is rapidly urbanizing and most new residents are from the Peoples Republik of California or similar and bring their values with them. They care not a whit for anything that involves firearms and are often anti-gun. Pissing and grousing will not change this. Unless we can offer things that these folks relate to, our ability to serve "traditional" constituencies like shooters and hunters will ultimately disappear. Is that what you want?

OK, vent off...

PS - My state-issued 2000 model work truck has 105,000 miles on it and no one has offered to buy me a new 4 wheeler. Maybe you could help with all those fat TV revenues???