The United States v. Ted Nugent

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Invariably lost in any clumsy reporting about hunting is the simple background: hunters are the greatest conservationists in the history of the United States. This is the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson federal excise tax. This tax has collected about 7 Billion dollars since its inception. Right now, combined with hunting licenses 1.27 Billion dollars per year are brought in to state fish and wildlife agencies to support wildlife and habitat conservation. Hunters are are unique among Americans: they put back more than they take.

The results have been astonishingly good. In 1937, eleven states had no open seasons for deer. Missouri’s deer season was only three days long. Grouse season in Wisconsin was completely closed, South Dakota only had local pheasant seasons and no states had dedicated archery or muzzleloader seasons. Pittman-Robertson funds collected from federal excise taxes paid by manufacturers (an 11% excise tax on sporting rifles, shotguns, ammunition, and archery equipment and a 10% tax on handguns) are distributed to states based on number of hunters and land area. Combined with hunting licenses, it has resulted in better and healthier game populations across the United States. Hunters give back more than they take, much more, and anyone that enjoys nature can thank the hunter more than anyone for what we have today.

The size and scope of our Federal government has spiraled out of control. Yet, it was intended to be government of by and for the people, the money the government spends is your money, your neighbor's money, and my money . . . not the personal property of a monarch. When public funds are squandered for political purposes, it is a violation of our Constitution, a violation of principles of government of, by and for the people. Your money, public funds, has just been spent to attack Ted Nugent.

Controversial speech, in particular political speech, has long been protected by the First Amendment. How obvious could it be that non-controversial speech needs no protection. We have a right and a duty to express our displeasure with our government where we see fit, for it is government that is supposed to represent us. Displeasure with government is what formed the United State of America in the first place, after all.

Whether citizens of the United States like it or not, they have funded the activities of the Secret Service in Columbia. We also funded the nonsensical Secret Service “investigation” of Ted Nugent. You might wonder what is so “secret” about the Secret Service when their investigations are announced as political publicity stunts? I sure do. Their investigation was fruitless and a waste of American tax dollars.

Now we have the Federal charges against Ted Nugent from 2009. Yes, 2009. The idea is that Ted Nugent killed two bears in Alaska on a hunting trip with his kids. Problem is, he didn't. No one ever produced two dead bears, the first bear is by all accounts happy, healthy, and enjoying its bear life. Apparently, there is a little-known law in Alaska that says if you nick a bear, then your tag is filled. This law is so obscure, so little-known, that no one has every been charged with such a thing in Alaska before. In fact, the State of Alaska didn't charge Ted Nugent. Federal tax dollars went towards charging Ted Nugent, though, for killing a bear he didn't kill. Your dollars, public dollars. Ted Nugent plead guilty to a misdemeanor and even the judge that approved the agreement had no clue this law existed.

Why are federal resources being squandered to engineer misdemeanor agreements concerning misdemeanors from 2009 in a state where the state itself brings no charges? The only logical answer is obvious: a Federal government that ignores equal protection under the law, and thinks that public dollars and political games are interchangeable is disgraceful. In many areas, Buicks take more black bear and deer than hunters do. It is hunters, hunters alone, that put more in than they take. The future of healthy game populations and the future of hunting in the United States are one and the same.



Copyright 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


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