[Marxism] Progressives and Gun Control

Jesse Jack jjack99645 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 7 15:31:28 MST 2006

On 12/7/06, deeseekyou at comcast.net <deeseekyou at comcast.net> wrote:

> On the other side, we also have to seriously consider why the right has
> been so successful in capturing the issue. And basically, it is this:
> hunting. I think most people understand this abstractly, but have failed to
> look at the economic aspect. And--while I haven't done the research to find
> the actual numbers-- my guess is that for a lot of people, hunting, much
> like fishing, is something that provides the equivalent of something between
> several hundred and several thousand dollars a year in income. I know that
> when my uncle goes deer-hunting, he brings the bucks to the butcher and gets
> huge amounts of steaks and sausages and ground meat, keeping some for his
> family and giving the rest away. If we consider this a replacement for beef
> (and remember, the deer is organic), then the hundred-plus pounds he takes
> away each year is money in the bank.

Growing up in Alaska, hunting was a very big part of our culture. And, as
you state, there are people in which rely on it as a significant part of
their livelihood. Alaska is known for its outdoors and wildlife, which draws
a lot of tourists, and many people make their living from guided hunting and

Furthermore, something like 75% of the state is inaccessible by road travel.
In areas where chartered flights are the only means of shipping groceries --
especially perishable foods such as beef -- can be quite expensive. It is
not unusual for indigenous people to live a subsistence lifestyle, which
includes hunting, partly for this reason. I remember when my wife and I
applied for public assistance in Anchorage, where there's 20 Safeways, they
advised us to hunt and fish to supplement our diet.

Hunting as a sport should also be taken seriously. Of course we were always
taught as children not to kill what you wouldn't eat, but I would say that
our family primarily used hunting as a recreational activity. I don't see
this as significantly less important than using it as a source of food or
income; people need to be entertained somehow. Most working-class folks
can't fly to Paris for a shopping spree or throw a $50,000 cocaine party,
but bullets are cheap and nature is free. I'd argue that hunting is probably
better for you than sitting in front of the idiot box, watching the O'Rielly

The ultra-right uses this to a great advantage. If you've ever lived in a
"red" state, as I have for my entire life, you've probably seen those NRA
bumper stickers that say "VOTE YOUR SPORT" and go on to endorse a Republican
candidate. The message is that the Republican Party is on your side because
they do not support gun control (nevermind their other policies). Because
hunting is so valuable to people -- either as a means of subsistence or
simply because it is so ingrained in the culture of the West -- it can be
used as leverage to get them to support rulers with policies that ultimately
aren't in their own interest.

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