Pennsylvanians Support Pigeon Shoot Ban

  by Walter Brasch   Three-fourths of all Pennsylvanians want to see an end to live pigeon shoots. A statewide survey by the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Company reveals not only do 75 percent of Pennsylvanians want to see legislation to ban live pigeon shoots but only 16 percent of Pennsylvanians oppose such a ban. Here’s another figure from that independent survey. Eighty-three percent—that’s more than four of every five Pennsylvanians—say live pigeon shoots are an unnecessary form of animal cruelty. Here’s why. Organizers of this blood sport place the birds into cages, and place people with shotguns only about 20 yards away. The spring-loaded cages open, and the pretend hunters open fire. The pigeons, many of them stunned, often … Continue reading

NRA Liars and Congressional Cowards

    by Walter Brasch   President Obama cast off his “No Drama Obama” garb, and became the fiery leader of hope and change that Americans first elected in 2008. At a speech in Hartford, Conn., the President, frustrated by Republican obstructionism, demanded of his audience, “If you believe that the families of Newtown and Aurora and Tucson and Virginia Tech and the thousands of Americans who have been gunned down in the last four months deserve a vote, we all have to stand up.” He demand, “If you want the people you send to Washington to have just an iota of the courage that the educators at Sandy Hook showed when danger arrived on their doorstep, then we’re all … Continue reading

The No News News Media

There was a lot of news this past week. Some of it was even reported by the news media. First, there was a football player from Notre Dame who either did or didn’t know that his girlfriend was or wasn’t real, but died sometime during the season. Six column headlines for several days announced the fraud. Network news and talk show hosts rehashed it almost daily. Two weeks ago, Lance Armstrong admitted he was a dope. Or maybe he just took dope. The news media kept sending urgent flashes all week of what he was going to tell Oprah. And then he told Oprah, and now we’ll be reading stories about it until Schwinn adds a jet engine to a … Continue reading

Sandy Hook and Gun Control: Will This Time Be Different?

  It has now been one month since twenty 6-and-7-year-old children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The grief and outrage following this second deadliest school shooting in US history was predictable – and also perhaps different. Since the Columbine shooting in 1999 there have been more than forty School shootings in the United States, including Virginia Tech where 33 were killed. In his remarks at the Newtown memorial service the President referred to four mass shootings that have occurred on his watch: “Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings, fourth time we’ve hugged survivors, the … Continue reading

A Brief Review of 2012: The Gun Culture of America

 Jan. 8, 2011, Tuscon, Ariz.:  A man had gone to a political town meeting at a supermarket, with the intent to murder Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. He killed six and wounded 14, including Giffords, who was shot in the head. On Jan. 25, 2012, Giffords, still in recovery from the shooting, walked onto the House floor to a standing ovation. Congress and the President have no plans to restore the assault weapons ban that expired under the Bush–Cheney Administration or to tighten gun laws. April 2, 2012, Oakland, Calif.: A 43-year-old former nursing student entered a classroom at Oikos University, killed seven and wounded three. The suspect used a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. There are more than 310 million weapons in … Continue reading

Olympians Medal in London, While the NRA Meddles in Harrisburg

  by Walter Brasch   Shortly before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on an amendment last December that would ban pigeon shoots, the Pennsylvania Flyers Association sent out a bulletin it marked as “urgent.” “We must act now to preserve our sport,” the Flyers screeched. In a separate letter, the Flyers told its members they “should be very proud that your association has been able to keep the sport alive in PA [sic] for the last 27 years.” For added support, the notice referred to an NRA release, which called pigeon shooting a “Pennsylvania Sporting Tradition.” Shooting live pigeons in a confined area isn’t a sport. Most hunters, as well as the Pennsylvania Game Commission, say … Continue reading

Pennsylvania Legislators Shoot Down Pigeons—Again

  by WALTER BRASCH     If the first year gross anatomy class at the Penn State Hershey medical school needs spare body parts to study, they can visit the cloak room of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. That’s where most of the legislators left their spines. The House voted 124–69, Dec. 13, to send an animal welfare bill back to committee, in this case the Gaming Oversight Committee. The bill, SB 71, would have banned simulcasting of greyhound races from other states. Pennsylvania had banned greyhound racing in 2004. Among several of the current bill’s amendments were ones that would also have banned the sale of cat and dog meat, increased penalties for releasing exotic animals, and stopped the cruelty of … Continue reading