Oct. 1 1999
The New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife (Fish and Game) has recently accepted $4,399 from the National Rifle Association. Part of this money will go to support Fish and Game's 'Take a Kid Pheasant Hunting' program, which teaches children as young as ten years old how to shoot and kill birds.
"I attended one of the youth pheasant hunts, and saw young boys bear shotguns nearly as tall as they were," states Stuart Chaifetz of HNVA. "I saw how they smiled and laughed as the animals they had just killed were displayed, and their blood dripped to the ground. The taking of pleasure from the killing of living beings is not a lesson we should be teaching children."
In one part of Trenton, laws have been passed by the State Legislature that takes guns away from children and protects them from the violence associated with them. It is ironic then, that on the other side of Trenton, Fish and Game not only puts guns into kids hands and promotes violence through the killing of animals, but they endanger their lives as well.
Fish and Game is in the business of hunting, and they profit from the sale of hunting licenses. With the number of hunters declining, they are desperate for children to fill these dwindling ranks. In this mad race for money, animals have not been their only victims: children have been shot, maimed and even killed.
The following data comes from Fish and Games' hunting accident reports. Note that all children involved passed Fish and Games 'hunter safety course'.
"If a black bear had so much as scratched a 17 year old boy, Fish and Game would be demanding an immediate bear hunt," states Chaifetz. "But when a hunter kills a 17 year old boy, not only do they not cease putting children at risk, but they take money from the NRA that will inevitably lead to more mutilations and death."
HNVA wants the Legislature to know what Fish and Game is doing. Our state was correct when it banned the ownership of guns to anyone under 18, but now it must face the terrible exemption to this law. If you are as young as ten years old you can have a gun...but only if you kill an animal with it.