Here are a few notes on my last post and some responses to comments.
I am sorry for the mistake about the location of the militia that was recently in the news because of a plot to kill policemen. It was indeed in Michigan, not Wisconsin. I usually check things like that on the internet, but my access is limited where I am now.
And I did not mean to leave the impression that hunting in Alaska is not regulated.
Hunting in Alaska is certainly regulated. There is a 126 page book on Alaska hunting regulations, liberally illustrated with pictures of smiling people beside dead animals. This book has all the hunting rules, special areas, and instructions for hunting permit applications. There are specific rules for the use of different kinds of weapons, including bows and arrows; rules for shooting along the roads and rivers; rules for chasing game on 4 wheelers, hunting from airplanes, and rules for the numbers of different kinds of animals one hunter can kill. There are different rules for subsistence and recreational hunting. There are requirements for reporting kills, harvesting and preservation of meat and hides. I think that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game tries to do a good job of preserving the wildlife of Alaska.
The rules are made by legislators. They get the advice of biologists and other scientists, of commercial fishermen, of people who try to make a living by selling furs of animals they trap, of recreational hunters, of representatives of native corporations, of representatives from remote villages, of animal rights people. Then they come up with a set of rules which may be slanted in the direction of any of these groups (or some other group I haven’t thought of). They are not perfect.
I believe it is true that Canada regulates hunting more strictly than does any of the United States. I have been told that bears cannot be shot in Canada. Unfortunately I don’t have access to the internet for more than a few minutes at a time every few days, so I can’t look that up.
On the subject of comments: Tessa suggests that I block Wanda because she is tiresome. (Wanda, by the way, is not the real name of the man who writes those comments. His emails come out of Vermont, and I am surprised to learn that one doesn’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in that State, but perhaps he only spends part of his time in Vermont and resides in Arizona as Darlene suggests.) Wanda is a friend or relative of someone who lives in Manley. If I block him it would be like killing the canary in the coal mine. He alerts me to when I have crossed the line of annoying some of my neighbors in Manley.
If I had understood this when he made his first comment about a year ago I might not now be banned from Manley Mah Jongg because of this blog. However, his approach is one of crude, sledge-hammer insults, not pleasant, helpful advice. So it took me some time to realize that he could be useful. He says that I actually like him, and he is right in a way. I can’t say I really like him (how could I?) but he does entertain me. And I have to give him credit for faithfully reading my blog.
Wanda’s comments exemplify the collapse of civility in this country. It seems especially difficult for many who call themselves “conservative” to disagree politely and quietly about politics and related social issues.
Wanda takes me to task for alienating my husband’s Manley “friends”. In fact, my husband and I are very much a unit. We talk things over, and we don’t do things without consulting each other. That’s not to say he agrees with everything I do or say. With hindsight we both wish I had been more careful about writing about Manley people. I would not willingly hurt anyone’s feelings.
The post that Wanda takes issue with this time is not about specific people. It does not mention Manley or anyone in Manley. It is about public policy. I discussed it with my husband when I was writing it, and he is essentially in agreement with it. If his Manley “friends” are alienated by that, so be it. I know the political stance of most of the people in Manley, and I like them anyway, even though my own politics are quite different. I actually subscribe to the idea that this is a free country (or used to be) and we are free to believe and speak as our conscience directs. I don’t talk politics with anyone who doesn’t want to talk about it and no one is required to read my blog.
So I won’t block Wanda. He doesn’t really bother me. I think he’s kind of funny, and I think that not all comments need be complements. I am glad to hear from people who don’t agree with me. If his comments get too insulting or crude I’ll delete them eventually.
On the subject of guns: I do not like them, and I think the Canadian policy on guns is a sensible one. On the other hand, my husband owns 2 guns. One is stored in an out of reach place on our property in Washington. We have no ammunition there and the gun is completely useless. I have thought of persuading him to get rid of it, but it seems about as harmless as it could be where it now is. If he got rid of it someone might actually use it. The other gun is here. I asked Jerry to get it because I am afraid of bears. Almost as soon as I came here I saw a big black bear with a cub and a yearling by the road near our friend’s house. I was driving, on my way to a Mah Jongg game, and I arrived breathless and excited.
My husband actually knew someone who was killed by a bear. This man went outside his door one morning and a bear got him. Just like that!
Now when we take our evening walk in the woods behind our house Jerry takes the gun along, worn on his belt. He says bears are not likely up here on the hillside, they hang around near the river, which is where I saw them. Nevertheless, I feel safer with the gun. When we walk along the road he won’t take the gun, even though bears are just as likely there. Unlike the supporters of “Open Carry” I think he would not like anyone see him carrying a gun, just as he would not wear camouflage or sew American flags on his clothes, or wear a pink shirt, or have insignia on his hat. He’s a low key kind of guy.
Finally, I want to apologize for having reached an age that I not only repeat myself when I talk, but I find that I also do it in writing. I have told the story of Jerry’s keeping a moose carcass on the roof at least twice in this blog. Sorry. I guess I was really impressed with that plan.