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Youth hunters unfairly targeted by PETA in wake of tragic shooting

A hunter carries two shotguns across a pasture near Pratt, Kan.

News item: An 11-year-old boy shoots and kills his father's pregnant girlfriend in Pennsylvania with a youth-model shotgun, prompting the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to send a letter to the state's governor urging him to push for legislation that would ban hunting for people under 18.

"When parents teach their kids to hurt and kill animals -- to take lives -- they run the risk of destroying the child's sensitivity to the suffering of others," explained PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk.

Reaction: Nonsense! And shame on PETA for using an isolated tragic incident to foster its agenda and indict youth hunters around the world. Overall, children who hunt with their parents develop close family bonds and a strong conservation ethic, and they're taught to respect weapons and use them responsibly. They probably are least likely to shoot someone.

I agree with Rick Story, senior vice president of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, who countered, "There is not a single shred of evidence indicating hunting had anything to do with this attack."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A hunter carries two shotguns across a pasture near Pratt, Kan. Credit: Craig Hacker/For The Times

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Comments (13)

Blaming hunting for this is reprehensible. I'm happy that PETA is this asinine. It makes all of the anti-hunters look as ridiculous as they really are.

Hunting makes us more responsible stewards of our environment. I never really learned to love and understand nature until I started hunting at age 23. The problem with the anti-hunters is that they humanize animals. Animals are not humans. Most of the same people would have no problem with abortion, but that is the destruction of human life.

What I find laughable is the comment that TWO people were killed: the women and her unborn child. Don't you liberal types support abortion?
So it's NOT killing a human being if the woman decides to "terminate" her pregnancy, but it IS a killing if the life is "terminated" by an outside agency?!? You can't have it both ways.
Oh, and blaming hunting for the shooting is like blaming tires for drunk driving....

"An 11-year-old boy shoots and kills his father's pregnant girlfriend in Pennsylvania with a youth-model shotgun, prompting the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to send a letter to the state's governor urging him to push for legislation that would ban hunting for people under 18."

I agree with PETA, we should "ban hunting for people under 18." We should only hunt for people older than 18 . . . .

I dont see what hunting has to do with this issue...except for the bullets, the youth model shotgun, the youth, the shooting, and two living beings who now lay dead at the hands of their killer?

Hunting, I believe, is a basic animal instinct. If it weren't for meat, omnivore humans would not be as successful in nature as they are.

If we left it to Darwin's survival of the fittest, the hunter / gatherers would survive.

Maybe that why people want to have wars. They are unable to release thier primal hunting desires, and PETA is using that force.

The author is right on the screws, and all the wailing by you PETA wackos doesn't change the facts. Hunting had absolutely nothing to do with this incident.

These comments seem "out of place" to me. Did an animal rights website link to this article, by chance?

Listen, be it for trophy or food, I have no problem with hunting. Hunting has it's place in proper land management

An eleven year old with a shotgun. Come on, get some common sense. Guns are for killing. They are not toys.

I totally agree with Peta. Families who base their "quality time" with each other around killing things are probably not in the majority. I come from a long line of hunters, I started shooting a bow when I was seven (though I've never hunted a day in my life). I'm not against hunting for food if you NEED it, as long as it isn't for fun or trophy, but giving a kid that young a gun is just absurd. Kids should learn to respect other living things and that sometimes it is necessary to kill them for your own SURVIVAL, and that is all. An eleven year old probably can't grasp the complexities of what it means to hunt with respect and therefore shouldn't be allowed to kill things (especially people). The author of this article is naive to think that hunting instills a sense of conservation among children when, like a previous poster, all of the hunters I know don't respect anything they kill, much less the environment in which they live.

This is a ridiculous defense of a horrible crime...of course hunting had something to do with it, he didn't shoot her in the head with a video game did he?

You're fooling yourself if you think people who go out into nature and point guns at defenseless animals with the intent to murder them are justified or noble in their intent. Hunting is unnecessary, violent and dangerous. There is nothing sporting about it.

The only reason you hunt is because you are being led to believe false propaganda by gun manufacturers and hunters supply businesses. Open your eyes and see the truth about violence and destruction. That boy would not have been able to kill her if he did not have a weapon manufactured by a soul-less corporation, loaded with bullets made by a corporation without a conscience.

If you want to teach children valuable lessons about nature, conservation, family values and interpersonal relationships, start by keeping them away from guns!

Hunting instigates violence because taking pleasure from another beings suffering is in itself an unnatural state. Animals do not feel pleasure in hunting they do it to survive which is not the case of the modern day hunter! PETA is simply stating the obvious.

PETA rules. That reaction is pretty pointless, and certainly not fact based. Growing up in a heavily hunter filled family tree, I can say first hand that the hunters I've met, and within my own family have very little respect for nature. Sure, they aren't burning down trees and bombing forests for fun - but to say that the majority have a strong "conservation ethic" means that either every hunter I've met (which is more than quite a few) are the exception to the rule, or that you're argument is even more baseless and silly than the argument you try to claim is just that.

Anyway, my point is that PETA rules. Kids should be taught compassion for humans and animals, not power and killing.

I FULLY agree with PETA! That child should not have been near guns, and more than that shouldn't ever be allowed to kill.


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