Clarifications

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.

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14 Responses to Clarifications

  1. Hattie says:

    This is very illuminating. But be warned that trolls escalate. His saying that you like him is the kind of intrusive comment that indicates he will get more and more abusive.

  2. Tessa says:

    I tend to agree with Hattie, and I confess that I would block ‘Wanda’ in a heart beat if he were trolling me, but your point about his value as a canary is valid. (I would have you know that I am struggling valiantly not to make any jokes about a canary’s yellowness!) But I have to admit that, like you, it would go against my small-l liberal leanings towards free speech and all that.

    Gun regulations are a sensitive topic in Canada. While the policy of requiring that all guns be registered is a good one, the Canadian government at the time handled it badly, and ended up spending billions of dollars on something that really should have been relatively simple. The current party in power, the Conservative Party of Canada, is in the process of dismantling the long gun registry. It is highly unpopular in Western Canada, which is the major source of the CPC’s ‘base.’

    In BC, where encounters between bears and humans are increasing, walkers are advised to make lots of noise, on the assumption that the bears will steer clear of them. When we were staying there last year, I thought about buying a bell to wear. But I had a sneaking suspicion that the bears might regard it as a dinner bell.

  3. Darlene says:

    I’m just glad that I don’t live where I might meet a bear in the wild. He wouldn’t have to maul me; I would die of a heart attack.

    As for guns, I just wish that genie had never gotten out of the box. A pistol for protection or a single shot rifle for hunting is okay by me, but how in earth did we lose all sanity and make it legal to carry weapons of war like Uzi’s and AK 47s?

    I will get off of my soap box on your blog, Anne, or you might ban me. 😉

  4. Frances says:

    Years ago -20s? – my father worked in a logging camp in B.C. There was a mum brown bear whose twin cubs were fed porridge by the men every day. He had a photo of the twins in a clearing, slurping away from a large bowl, while mum lurks in the trees at the edge.
    This really doesn’t seem relevant, does it? It just seems to me to suggest the possibility of a better relationship without killing each other.

  5. Tabor says:

    Sorry about the state of evolution of the readers of your blog. Anything written on the Internet can appear anywhere else. I blog anonymously so that I don’t have to deal with trolls that I know.

  6. Jan says:

    Oh, good grief – is Wanda still hanging around here? Egads.

    I consider myself a conservative in many ways (which means that while I respect your opinions, I don’t always agree with them), but I absolutely HATE guns. It wouldn’t bother me a bit if every last one was abolished from the planet.

  7. Mage B says:

    So sorry you feel you have to come back and justify anything you said. Wanda? Poor dear guy. So sorry your written words stir things up so seriously in Manley. We think you are just fine the way you are.

  8. Mage B says:

    Yup, I went back to read Wanda notes. He is a case, isn’t he. Perhaps I wouldn’t feel him such an irritant if you was signed in to leave notes. I the commie, pinko rat beatnik, fiscal conservative cheer you on if you want the support of a commie, pinko……

  9. Laura Carr says:

    Doing the dishes the other day after reading your post, I thought, “Aha! Wanda is a man.” So sad.

    Old Woman. I really appreciate your blog. And I agree, whomsoever doesn’t like it has complete freedom to not read it.

    It is a rather dismal state of affairs right now, in the freedom-to-speak arena, reflecting the dismal state of “democracy,” as well. Unfortunately, agreeing with a particular label, or lobbyist, or political view is tatamount to wearing a uniform: it means “something” to someone. Listening and engaging in moderately intelligent discourse with another is rapidly becoming a lost art.

    I really respect your portrayal of your relationship with your husband. You apparently have open communication, understanding, and I wager, a lot of humor to keep you both giggling!

    Keep on! I watch for your posts!

  10. dale says:

    I do hope you’ll say whatever you damn well please, regardless, with only compassion setting the bounds. The reason I deep-six trolls without compunction is that people tend to jump in to support me with intemperate speech, others (who don’t know the extent of the troll’s trollness) jump in to defend the troll with even more intemperate speech, and before I know it, my blog is a shambles of rage and dudgeon. I personally find trolls intriguing for a number of reasons, and I wouldn’t ban them on my own account. But I want my blog to be a place where civil people can converse, not a shooting gallery. So out they go.

    I love it when people disagree with me and argue with me. One of my favorite things, and it doesn’t happen nearly enough. But that’s quite a different thing.

  11. Old Woman says:

    Oh, are you actually banned from Mah Jong?

    Good post, as usual, Old Woman.

    Unfortunately, Wanda’s information is not stricttly correct. According to Wikipedia only 7 states and the District of Columbia fully prohibit “open carry” (a shorthand new to me).

    A little further research on the internet indicates that you can “open carry” (adverbs being a step too far) a fully loaded hand gun in all or part of the states of Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, South Dakota, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and Vermont.

    In many of these states you do not need a permit.

    The United Kingdom is very different. No one is allowed even to own a handgun, let alone walk around with it.

    Meanwhile I wonder if Jerry should reconsider his ban on pink shirts. I think he would look rather fetching.

  12. Old Woman says:

    Anyone who reads these comments needs to know that I did not write the above comment. It was written by my lovely daughter who has access to the inside of my blog because she often has to fix its problems. She accedently left a comment in my name which makes it look as if I was complementing myself. But I always value comments from her. She is always honest.

  13. Mahjong! While just as fervid a gun-hater as commenters above, I’m here to say that my spouse was amazed the other day when I said the idea of learning it was appealing to me. Is it the pretty tiles? Some atavistic memory of comfortable Jewish ladies [I am one of the uncomfortable/asking-to-many-questions type] grouped around an afternoon table. Or just that it might be a good activity for my next decade…closer to yours and not too far away for me.

  14. Duchess says:

    Oops. Sorry, Old Woman! I will be more careful next time.

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