Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Another Elephant Rant

I know, but it's my blog.  Don't agree with me?  Feel free to edify me in the comments section with reasoned, factual arguments.  Ad hominem attacks will receive no response.

I came across this quote the other day:

Already I was beginning to fall into the African way of thinking: That if
you properly respect what you are after, and shoot it cleanly and on
the animal's terrain, if you imprison in your mind all the wonder of the
day from sky to smell to breeze to flowers—then you have not merely
killed an animal. You have lent immortality to a beast you have killed
because you loved him and wanted him forever so that you could always
recapture the day - Robert Ruark

That last line sounds more than a little bit psychopathic to me.

Killed him because you loved him?

You're not going to "remember him forever" because you're not immortal.  A mortal being can no more grant another being immortality than blood can be had from a stone.  It also seems counter-intuitive that ending a being's existence is the method of granting immortality since immortality, by definition, means to never die.

It's been repeated, ad nauseam, that the "economic value" placed on these creatures is a good thing since that is what will "save" them.  Is not their economic value precisely the reason that poachers kill them?  Based upon most of the corpses left behind by poachers, they're not killing them for meat.  They are killing them for the "economically valuable" ivory.  The very fact that ivory has any economic value in this day and age doesn't speak very highly of the maturity of our species.

Poaching seems to be a hazardous occupation (sadly, not nearly hazardous enough) so one can assume that these people are doing it for monetary gain, not for fun.  It's the trophy hunters that kill them for fun, for the adrenaline rush, to pretend that they're living in a time that's past, whatever the reason.  The days of Ruark and Taylor are long past.  In their day, there were many more elephants than there are now, not that that makes their "adventurous exploits" any less vile.  Elephants are an extremely endangered species with less than three quarters of a million African elephants and forty thousand Asian elephants in the wild.

This begs the question, is it better to kill an intelligent, endangered creature to get money or, pay money to kill that same creature for a fleeting thrill?  Either way the elephant loses.

I understand that there are other factors besides poaching (illegal killing) and trophy hunting (legal killing) contributing to the seemingly inevitable extinction of the elephant, like habitat loss, human encroachment, "revenge" killing, etc.  I fail to understand how "legally" killing these animals is seen as "helping" them.  The elephant population is a zero-sum game, there are a finite number of them.  They are being killed faster than they reproduce, killing ANY of them, legally or not, is still shrinking their numbers, it doesn't take spherical trigonometry to figure this out.  Why not take the fraction of a percent of the money from a hunting permit that actually makes it to the "conservation efforts" and give it to an actual conservation organization and maybe, this is going to sound nuts, not kill the elephant?  With that, you've actually made some difference and spared a creature that you claim to love and respect.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

So Long UPS

Apparently, the new policy at UPS is to COMPLETELY open and UNPACK ALL packages prior to acceptance, for security reasons of course.  I don't spend my valuable time packing guns that are worth sums that most UPS employees can't even comprehend so that some unskilled, weak-minded member of the UPS flock can "comply with company policy" while probably damaging said guns.
I was told this at the UPS Customer Center/terminal just today and verified it with UPS customer service.  I guess DHL and FedEx will be getting my business from this time forward.