There are some folk who don't see the gem inside my rough exterior who might consider me a hot head. To which I say a hearty "bite me". But let this opinion be a caution that within this blog may lurk items of a venting nature or perhaps those which might be considered a rant. So be it. Proceed with caution. You have been warned.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Testosterone in the Heartland

Iowa recently passed a law to allow dove hunting. This has stirred up a passel of heated invective back and forth in blogs, letters to editors and other opportunistic venues for spleen. It's not like Iowa good old boys have nothing to hunt, Iowa has enough deer to feed an army of Daniel Boones to the point where they are referred to as "giant rats" because of the damage they do to the environment, gardens, grain storage and the like. There are seasons for pheasant, turkey, quail, rabbit, squirrel, grouse and deer in Iowa not to mention trapping for beaver, otter and bobcat. But this is not enough and the call went out from the mighty men of reknown that they needed a season to hung the mourning dove, an inoffensive little bird slightly bigger than a robin.

For the moment let's forget the fact that these "conservationists" (all avid hunters will try to convince you that only if they are allowed to kill anything that moves can our environment be saved - I have some difficulty with this but maybe I am just being dense) also lobbied mightily not to have their fun spoiled by requiring them to use steel shot thus saving the environment from the hazards of lead pellets.

In a letter to the local rag laughingly referred to as an actual newspaper, a letter was published expressing dismay that people felt the need to kill these birds. I added a comment saying "It takes a big brave man to kill a mourning dove." I suppose I should have known better. The rag in question used to allow sign in with an anonymous screen name (backed by their records regarding email address) but recently changed it to allowing only facebook login. Since I feel that I have nothing to hide I posted my comment under my facebook (real) name and today my comment was answered by one who thoroughly researched my facebook, my website and my blog to comment to all and sundry that this "computer geek who plays bassoon and likes opera and classical music knows nothing about bravery." The conversation went back and forth with his invective building as I posted replies flying way over his head. Finally I told him "you win - I admit that it DOES take a big brave man to kill a mourning dove." That the sarcasm of the last reply was even heavier than the original that started his diatribe completely escaped him. Nevertheless, I now have a gun toting "big brave man" out there somewhere that knows who I am and what city I live in. Now I have to start looking over my shoulder.

I've dealt with guys like this ever since I got my first pair of glasses in fourth grade. In grade school I was beaten regularly for being smaller and "geekier" than the neckless boys would like. When I suddenly got large in high school similar attempts ended in big surprises. I guess that intellectually I knew that the bullies are still out there - big when they are "carrying" but still cowards at heart. It does not surprise me that those that feel that they need to own a gun and kill things for amusement are largely of this ilk.

The sad part is that I, who have never owned a firearm, now feel I may need one to protect me from someone who feels threatened because I questioned his need to shoot small birds.