The conceit that will not die among the antis is the notion that hunters are just gentle, befuddled creatures who will accept just about any restriction on black guns or pistols so long as their beloved double guns or bolt-actions are tolerated.
The latest manifestation of this is a series of MAIG videos from New York Mayor and billionaire bully Michael Bloomberg purporting to show hunters calling for harsher gun laws.
There’s been a lot of speculation on the Internet whether those appearing in the videos are real hunters or just actors cleverly made up to resemble hunters.
That’s an interesting parlor game, but the disposition of the hunting public offers opportunities for miscalculation by both sides. The antis guess wrong the most, but we can, too. There really are hunters, especially older, richer ones, who cock a snoot at black guns and don’t believe there really is any threat to their favored arms. They further believe that if we just toss the black gun baby off the back of the sled, the howling anti-gun wolfpack will be sated. That’s exactly what was tried in Britain, with results we all know.
The NSSF took a survey a few years back that showed a disturbing percentage of self-identified hunters didn’t understand issues related to black guns and were susceptible to anti-gun arguments that they were somehow different from sporting arms. NSSF responded to that with the “modern sporting rifle” campaign, including the IMO show Modern Rifle Adventures. That effort appears to have moved the needle, but there are still far too many hunters out there who have yet to become engaged in the fight.
So while the Bloomberg crowd may indeed be employing Hollywood talent to portray hunters, those actors are portraying some real people. It’s up to us to get to them first and turn them from Fudds to fighters.