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September 09, 2009
Sunstein on Hunting and Animal Rights - 15

 

In the Gun Shots blog, John Haughey, and by proxy, Alan Clemons, does a great job outlining the danger Cass Sunstein, Obama's pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (for which he might be confirmed as early as today), poses to hunting and how/why hunting and firearm organizations oppose his nomination.

I thought I'd take it a step farther and provide you with the source material, straight from the horse's mouth, and some of the highlights from his University of Chicago White Paper (along with some of my own comments), entitled "The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer".

We can build on existing law to define a simple, minimal position in favor of animal rights: The law should prevent acts of cruelty to animals.

My 2 cents: This is what makes "smart" AR folks so dangerous. Unlike the "dumb" ones (PETA), the "smart" ones (think: HSUS) work the system and establish society's first step on a slippery slope. Pass one law or use ambiguous language in a bill upon which to build a future case for your position.

If the suffering of animals matters—and every reasonable person seems to think that it does—we should be greatly troubled by these limitations. The least controversial response would be to narrow the “enforcement gap,” by allowing private suits to be brought in cases of cruelty and neglect. Reforms might be adopted with the limited purpose of stopping conduct that is already against the law, so that the law actually means, in practice, what it says on paper. Here, then, we can find a slightly less minimal understanding of animal rights. On this view, representatives of animals should be able to bring private suits to ensure that anticruelty and related laws are actually enforced.

My 2 cents: So now you build the law upon the minimal position to "prevent cruelty to animals" and jump to allowing animals to bring personal lawsuits. 1. The ambiguousness of "cruelty" opens the door to all manner of regulation; what's pampering to one person is cruelty to another 2. In theory it's absurd, in practice it's been abused and has made a mockery of the Endangered Species List. "Representatives" can and do already bring suit on behalf of animals (see Andrew McKean's blog on wolf hunting and note the list of plaintiffs).

The very idea might seem absurd. But it is simpler and more conventional than it appears. Of course any animals would be represented by human beings, just like any other litigant who lacks ordinary (human) competence; for example, the interests of children are protected by prosecutors, and also by trustees and guardians in private litigation brought on children’s behalf.

My 2 cents: Might seem absurd? It is absurd. And dangerous. Power is being given to a radical group of people upon which judicial law will be written and common sense eroded. Comparing animals to children is also a favored tactic of AR people. I like Carl Cohen's rebuttal to this approach when he writes that the test for moral judgment "is not a test to be administered to humans one by one,"but should be applied to the capacity of members of the species in general."

We might ban hunting altogether, at least if its sole purpose is human recreation. (Should animals be hunted and killed simply because people enjoy hunting and killing them? The issue might be different if hunting and killing could be justified as having important functions, such as control of populations or protection of human beings against animal violence.)

My 2 cents:And there it is. Although posed as a hypothetical ("we might"), taken in context with his other statements and writings, it's obvious Sunstein is anti-hunting. To his second point, hunting isused to control game populations and protect human beings; take a look at the number of cougar attacks in California since lion hunting was banned for proof. Additionally, his use of the word "justified" is scary in that it suggests some type of judicial sanctioning and approval/proof of populations needing control and/or human protection; upon which hunters would run into judicial precedent written in favor of animal rights/protection. Of course, targeted game species would be represented in court by humans and the whole mess is tangled in the judicial system (per the wolf debate, et al), becoming costly, time consuming and ultimately unsustainable for hunters.

In his conclusion, Sunstein makes this statement:

There is no good reason to give public officials a monopoly on enforcement; that monopoly is a recipe for continued illegality.

My 2 cents: Sunstein is advocating that the government and our legal system is ill-equipped and unable to handle the enforcement of current laws and therefore private citizens should be able to file suit on behalf animals in order to keep them safe from harm. At this point I'm going to take the AR approach: put this in terms of humans. When George W. Bush brought about the Patriot Act after 9/11, one section of it caused an outcry and was removed (and rightly, so, in my opinion). That section charged and gave individuals certain powers of state and would promote spying upon neighbors/clients, promoted false allegations and a whole string of other complications. Now, Sunstein believes we should give similar powers to the public, and by proxy aggressive, radical groups, in the interest of animal rights? That's not just a recipe for the end of hunting, but a quagmire for society in general.

Comments (15)

Top Rated
All Comments
from bsmacks76 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It's not Sunsteins fault,he suffers from a bad case of LDS.Lead Defieciency Syndrome.figure it out

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

The Dems got their way he was nominated.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Maybe Our forefathers and Ronald Reagan saw somethin comin that everyday citizens put blinders on to avoid dealing with reality

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Sic Semper Tyrranis!
And this is tyrrany in it's most modern form.

We have to be strong and stand by and up for our rights:I hope you see the meaning behind these quotes I couldn't say it any better:

" Truth crushed to the earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again" Jefferson Davis

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.” James Madison

A free people ought to be armed.” George Washington

That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” George Orwell

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
Ronald Reagan

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
Ronald Reagan

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away

I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.
Both last quotes were by Ronald Reagan

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Time for the George Washington Tyrant Removal method. Sic Semper Tyrannis.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

varminthunter, these are exactly the tactics used by the Nazis. and we have a serious war against the values that we hold dear as did the German populace back in the 20's and 30's. And unfortunately about the same general awareness as to what was going on as the bulk of the US population has now. We have an entire generation who is asking not what they can do for their country but what their country can do for them. And will sell their souls if the government will just take care of them. You are correct, there was no public outrage and I fear there will not be sufficient public outrage here in the US. We can only pray and vote and tell others what is going on. Then we hope and pray they listen.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from varminthunter wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

The erosion of our rights as American citizens has accelarated under the Obama administration and begins to approach the point where all of us who are "bitterly clinging to guns and religion" had better get prepared to use those "guns and religion". The leftists, such as Cass Sunstein, have no concept of the backlash that will soon be coming at them. As I witnessed the Obama dog and pony show on Healthcare I was reminded of the tactics of a certain German politician and the lack of public outrage at the takeover of that country by the Nazis. I enjoy hunting and shooting, more importantly, I know how my abilities may have to be employed should our nation continue to be degraded by the Marxist in the White House. I pray that the next election halts this unbridled power grab and that my alarm is premature. Having witnessed Governments' in other countries misuse their citizenry I am cautious of our own and all the small deprivations of rights that will come from the Cass Sunsteins' empowered by Obama and his ilk.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bullridingbamaboy wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

As we all know,libs act like spoiled children,they try every trick in the book to get what they want,then if they don't they pitch a fit.What really makes me mad at all of this,is the way they go about stepping on are rights,whats the best way to do that is make something illegal,such as hunting,thats just another way to get are guns.Then if that don't work they raise the price of ammo,guns,permits ect. ect.Another thing is how they side with groups who have been proven to be harmful to the enviroment,PETA,and believe every false fact that is given to them.Then ignore proven facts such how legal hunting is more beneficial to the economy and enviroment.But they will never look at it that way cause it's not what THEY want!!!
Later,
BRBB

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

The more I read about this guy, the more I'm convinced he's a lunatic.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from calyncokeboy wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

When they close our current hunting seasons we all just need to ban together and open seasons on jerks like this.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

what is this guy going to do when the deer are so over populated that you cant drive down the road for them

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Colorado Samurai wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

I think this guy is a sad case of living too long in one's apartment and office. He assumes animal welfare equals animal rights, terribly wrong. This is what happens when you stay in the law books too long and don't go out and have adventures (hunting, fishing, camping, etc.)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

These people are all statists. They think the state ought to be controlling every thing we do. And they think they need to be running the state, They are dangerous to a democratic republic such as the US. They reinterpret the Constitution to make it say things it doesn't (Right to privacy) and say it doesn't say things it does (The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
They have their own agenda and it is not anything that eh average American is aware of. They despise all traditional values having been raised to believe the movie "Bambi" they don't understand that that is not real. They feel and do not think about the fact that what they want will cause far more damage than the problem they claim that they are trying to fix.

They want nothing but absolute control of our lives and will do whatever it takes. God save America, because we as a nation are getting the government we voted for.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

All I know is that if we don't act our rights will go away. We must assert ourselves with our State Reps and get their feedback as well. They want to maintain their jobs so they may play the devils advocate for both sides. Just remember that on election day.

As a whole as a mass we have a very loud voice and tremendous effect on the economy.
We may not have lawyers and the money to fight every battle individually, we have to make a decision to take on and fight the battle that we chose and do so to succeed.
That is sometimes easier said than done. There is no townhall meeting being held by higher ups over outdoorsman rights.. Why not? There is no open forum with the administration about how we feel about the appointments of certain personnel other than thru state legislters.. Why is that?
Truth be known they don't want to hear the truth from DNR, DGIF, Biologists, Outdoorsman, or Organizations like Delta Waterfowl, NWTF, PF, DU etc. They don't want to be reminded of our impact on the economy, election day etc. They want to make their stay in office beneficial for themselves and earn a place in history and to possibly get reelected.
If they*antis, media etc) can go to court over their beliefs and show bias. why can't we as a whole go to court on our behalf and speak out against them? The media wouldn't know what to do... Our legislaters would have to take more notice on the subject and actually take a stand. You can only lobby so much, you can only contact state legislaters so much... if you bring it to light they have to take notice.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Want an example of how this could directly impact dog-owning waterfowlers?

Force fectch is a common training foundation/program many waterfowlers, hunt testers and field trialers use to train their dog. The theory, in a very small nutshell, goes: Sooner or later your dog is going to refuse to retrieve. It could be for any reason: stubborness, too cold of water, etc. What are you going to do if you don't have the means to make/force him to go? Force fetch guarantees he will go.

This isn't a force fetch thread, nor am I for or against force fetch (different strokes for different folks), but imagine that rhetoric in the hands of an animal-rights activist:

"These poor dogs have their ears pinched and toes clinched to the point of inducing pain so that the hunter can force them to swim hundreds of yards in freezing water."

Enter private lawsuit by "concerned" AR neighbor: the idea of inflicting pain to ensure the carrying out an act that is itself painful, or at least uncomfortable, and you got the makings of, at best, the government telling you how you can and can't train your dog and, at worst, the end of using your retriever in cold water.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Want an example of how this could directly impact dog-owning waterfowlers?

Force fectch is a common training foundation/program many waterfowlers, hunt testers and field trialers use to train their dog. The theory, in a very small nutshell, goes: Sooner or later your dog is going to refuse to retrieve. It could be for any reason: stubborness, too cold of water, etc. What are you going to do if you don't have the means to make/force him to go? Force fetch guarantees he will go.

This isn't a force fetch thread, nor am I for or against force fetch (different strokes for different folks), but imagine that rhetoric in the hands of an animal-rights activist:

"These poor dogs have their ears pinched and toes clinched to the point of inducing pain so that the hunter can force them to swim hundreds of yards in freezing water."

Enter private lawsuit by "concerned" AR neighbor: the idea of inflicting pain to ensure the carrying out an act that is itself painful, or at least uncomfortable, and you got the makings of, at best, the government telling you how you can and can't train your dog and, at worst, the end of using your retriever in cold water.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

All I know is that if we don't act our rights will go away. We must assert ourselves with our State Reps and get their feedback as well. They want to maintain their jobs so they may play the devils advocate for both sides. Just remember that on election day.

As a whole as a mass we have a very loud voice and tremendous effect on the economy.
We may not have lawyers and the money to fight every battle individually, we have to make a decision to take on and fight the battle that we chose and do so to succeed.
That is sometimes easier said than done. There is no townhall meeting being held by higher ups over outdoorsman rights.. Why not? There is no open forum with the administration about how we feel about the appointments of certain personnel other than thru state legislters.. Why is that?
Truth be known they don't want to hear the truth from DNR, DGIF, Biologists, Outdoorsman, or Organizations like Delta Waterfowl, NWTF, PF, DU etc. They don't want to be reminded of our impact on the economy, election day etc. They want to make their stay in office beneficial for themselves and earn a place in history and to possibly get reelected.
If they*antis, media etc) can go to court over their beliefs and show bias. why can't we as a whole go to court on our behalf and speak out against them? The media wouldn't know what to do... Our legislaters would have to take more notice on the subject and actually take a stand. You can only lobby so much, you can only contact state legislaters so much... if you bring it to light they have to take notice.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Colorado Samurai wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

I think this guy is a sad case of living too long in one's apartment and office. He assumes animal welfare equals animal rights, terribly wrong. This is what happens when you stay in the law books too long and don't go out and have adventures (hunting, fishing, camping, etc.)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from calyncokeboy wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

When they close our current hunting seasons we all just need to ban together and open seasons on jerks like this.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

The more I read about this guy, the more I'm convinced he's a lunatic.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

These people are all statists. They think the state ought to be controlling every thing we do. And they think they need to be running the state, They are dangerous to a democratic republic such as the US. They reinterpret the Constitution to make it say things it doesn't (Right to privacy) and say it doesn't say things it does (The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
They have their own agenda and it is not anything that eh average American is aware of. They despise all traditional values having been raised to believe the movie "Bambi" they don't understand that that is not real. They feel and do not think about the fact that what they want will cause far more damage than the problem they claim that they are trying to fix.

They want nothing but absolute control of our lives and will do whatever it takes. God save America, because we as a nation are getting the government we voted for.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bullridingbamaboy wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

As we all know,libs act like spoiled children,they try every trick in the book to get what they want,then if they don't they pitch a fit.What really makes me mad at all of this,is the way they go about stepping on are rights,whats the best way to do that is make something illegal,such as hunting,thats just another way to get are guns.Then if that don't work they raise the price of ammo,guns,permits ect. ect.Another thing is how they side with groups who have been proven to be harmful to the enviroment,PETA,and believe every false fact that is given to them.Then ignore proven facts such how legal hunting is more beneficial to the economy and enviroment.But they will never look at it that way cause it's not what THEY want!!!
Later,
BRBB

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from varminthunter wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

The erosion of our rights as American citizens has accelarated under the Obama administration and begins to approach the point where all of us who are "bitterly clinging to guns and religion" had better get prepared to use those "guns and religion". The leftists, such as Cass Sunstein, have no concept of the backlash that will soon be coming at them. As I witnessed the Obama dog and pony show on Healthcare I was reminded of the tactics of a certain German politician and the lack of public outrage at the takeover of that country by the Nazis. I enjoy hunting and shooting, more importantly, I know how my abilities may have to be employed should our nation continue to be degraded by the Marxist in the White House. I pray that the next election halts this unbridled power grab and that my alarm is premature. Having witnessed Governments' in other countries misuse their citizenry I am cautious of our own and all the small deprivations of rights that will come from the Cass Sunsteins' empowered by Obama and his ilk.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Time for the George Washington Tyrant Removal method. Sic Semper Tyrannis.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

what is this guy going to do when the deer are so over populated that you cant drive down the road for them

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

varminthunter, these are exactly the tactics used by the Nazis. and we have a serious war against the values that we hold dear as did the German populace back in the 20's and 30's. And unfortunately about the same general awareness as to what was going on as the bulk of the US population has now. We have an entire generation who is asking not what they can do for their country but what their country can do for them. And will sell their souls if the government will just take care of them. You are correct, there was no public outrage and I fear there will not be sufficient public outrage here in the US. We can only pray and vote and tell others what is going on. Then we hope and pray they listen.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Maybe Our forefathers and Ronald Reagan saw somethin comin that everyday citizens put blinders on to avoid dealing with reality

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

The Dems got their way he was nominated.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bsmacks76 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It's not Sunsteins fault,he suffers from a bad case of LDS.Lead Defieciency Syndrome.figure it out

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Sic Semper Tyrranis!
And this is tyrrany in it's most modern form.

We have to be strong and stand by and up for our rights:I hope you see the meaning behind these quotes I couldn't say it any better:

" Truth crushed to the earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again" Jefferson Davis

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.” James Madison

A free people ought to be armed.” George Washington

That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” George Orwell

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
Ronald Reagan

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
Ronald Reagan

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away

I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.
Both last quotes were by Ronald Reagan

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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