Hunting/Plinking Lands Could Dry Up: HR 4100

“Get Out of Rural America Act” Could Dry Up Hunting/Plinking Lands

Long-time GOA activists will remember CARA, known by gun owners and other opponents as the Condemnation and Relocation [of Hunting and Shooting Lands] Act.

Well, CARA is back… but under a new name.

The new bill is being dubbed the Get Outdoors (GO) Act, H.R. 4100, although it is more accurately dubbed the “Get Out of Rural America Act.”

What does H.R. 4100 do?

It would allocate $3.125 billion annually — much of it for government bureaucrats to acquire private lands that have been historically used for hunting and fishing.

But once the land is under government control, there is no guarantee that such lands would continue to be used for such sporting purposes. When rural land disappears, opportunities for recreation — especially plinking and hunting — tend to disappear as well.

Republican Representatives Don Young (AK) and George Miller (CA) are the chief sponsors of this legislation. What is their reason for offering this legislation, when there is very limited constitutional authority for the federal government to own land?

“Obesity is a public health crisis of the first order,” Miller said. “And the Get Outdoors Act is a sensible way to help mitigate that public health crisis.”

No, that is not a joke. The ostensible reason for the “GO Act” is to help slim Americans’ waistlines by providing more opportunities to hike around the woods.

Obesity is costing Americans $100 billion annually because of health-related problems. So the $3.125 billion annually they propose to spend under the “GO Act” is, in their way of thinking, a bargain.

The Land Rights Network, which opposes this bill, points out that instead of using the money to steal people’s land, they could “buy 15 million really good treadmills for that kind of money and really help folks fighting obesity.”

LRN is just poking fun, of course, because it knows (and so do we) that there is no authority in the Constitution for setting up a “fat police.”

The real truth is that the land-grabbing radicals are feverishly trying to use any argument to justify their agenda. In 2001, they tried to justify CARA in the name of helping sportsmen.

Last year, when they tried to attach CARA to an energy bill, the implication was that CARA was good for preserving our natural resources.

Now they’re back… but this time it’s being done in the name of reducing obesity. A weighty reason to be sure. But not at the expense of private hunting lands!

Make no mistake and don’t be fooled by what the politicians tell you. True conservationists want resources protected for the future USE of sportsmen. Radical preservationists, on the other hand, want to ban human activity.

H.R. 4100 would give future administrations, working in concert with environmentalist extremists and even the United Nations, automatic access to literally billions of tax dollars. The money would ostensibly be used to preserve lands that would benefit plants and animals or “conserve open space … or have historic or cultural value” — a blanket authorization that could apply to just about any land in the United States. As these preservationists are more than generally unfriendly towards hunting and shooting, the lands could then be closed to those activities.

Even if you buy the hollow promise of the authors of H.R. 4100 that recreational use will be considered in these ongoing land grabs, there is still the fact that the federal government is swallowing up more and more private property.

Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) has been an ardent opponent of CARA and its recent emanations.

“I believe the federal government owns too much land now,” he said. “If the government wants to buy more land, they should sell some and use the proceeds to buy more.”

Well said.

ACTION: Please contact your Representative and urge him or her to oppose H.R. 4100. You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm (where phone and fax numbers are also available).

—– Pre-written letter —–

Dear Representative:

As an avid sportsman and defender of the right to keep and bear arms, I cannot support H.R. 4100, the Get Outdoors Act.

The sponsors of this legislation say they want to reduce obesity in this nation. But let’s be serious. There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to act as the “fat police” or to spend billions of dollars to buy up private lands in the name of getting more people outdoors.

Letting government bureaucrats grab more land is never the avenue to achieving more freedom. The history of government-controlled land has been one of betrayal to gun owners and sportsmen. The trend has been to close off more and more government-controlled lands to anyone but unarmed hikers.

Please let me know your views on this legislation. Thank you.

Sincerely,

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