Gun control advocates are quick to insist that they’re not interfering with hunting and hunters. On 60 Minutes this week, again, Joe Biden repeated the punchline: We can do without military-grade rifles; the deer aren’t wearing Kevlar® vests! Ha ha ha. We can explode deer bodies with regular old guns, so come on, man! Let’s just ban the assault weapons!
When we understand ourselves in, and as, animal life…we know the gun debate is indeed about hunting. Targeting people in a grocery store, or stalking deer in the suburban woods… it’s a continuum. We the People have a penchant for treating other lives as our targets.
Some beings are more targeted than others. Whether one is placed in the crosshairs because of foreignness, race, class, species, or other perceived vulnerability, all are the subjects of ruthless de-personhood.
The Warning Calls of Prairie Dogs
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson wrote, in the Foreword to On Their Own Terms – Animal Liberation:
…I considered the warning calls of prairie dogs. They include one to announce that a human is approaching, yet another when a human approaches with a gun.
Finding out about others without desiring to use or have them, intimidate or subordinate them may be the hardest thing of all for humans to do.
I write this from Pennsylvania, where the greedy lobbyists for Sunday hunting (they always make claims about the revenue hunting brings to the Commonwealth) recently got what they wanted.
When we reverse this bloody thinking, when we work to designate parks and their surroundings as gun- and trap-free zones, we stand for the birthright of conscious, living living beings, human or non-, to prevail over the gunmakers.
I dream of the day that guns (along with whips, jail cells, bird cages, spurs, bombs, and fishing poles) may only be found in museums. As a vegan, I work for the day.
Love and liberation,