I never held a firearm until I became a police officer. As a youth I didn't hunt. The pheasants flew during football, and the deer scampered through Michigan's woods and fields during basketball. My dad was an excellent wing shooter, usually bagging his limit of the ring-necked birds. They tasted pretty good too. He never stalked Bambi’s mom, although the wily white-tails were plentiful.
In my 20s, some Flint cops and I hunted pheasant twice. I never even saw one. It didn’t matter. There is nothing like a hike on a crisp, sunny autumn day with a few steel-gray clouds overhead. You have a knapsack with a sandwich, an apple, and a thermos of coffee. It doesn’t get any better. Who needs to get a bird to enjoy the outing?
Talk of hunting brings me to my most recent rant, that of our elected Assemblyman at Third Avenue and H Street Ben Hueso. Apparently Hueso doesn’t have enough local issues to worry about.
In case you missed it, Assembly Bill 1028 apparently calls for the ouster, after one year, of retired part-time municipal employees covered under the Public Employees Retirement System. As I wrote before, Chula Vista’s firearms range master, a computer specialist, and the cold case detective were let go. The range and computer duties will be filled by other overworked cops while the cold cases will remain cold forever.
No, Hueso had to stick his nose into the lawful actions of Dan Richards, the president of the California Fish and Game Commission. In case you missed the many stories, Richards went to Idaho for a legal and successful hunt of a mountain lion.
Instead of minding his own business, or working to get AB 1028 corrected, Hueso gathered 39 other signatures from the Assembly asking Richards to resign, while planning to bully Richards out of office last week.
Hueso scheduled a hearing for the ouster. Soon, with his moistened finger aimed toward the political winds, Hueso backed off. Instead of attacking Richards, Hueso wrote a letter to Gov. Brown containing a handful of weak explanations and Assemblyspeak addressing Californians’ recovery from the recession and making higher education more affordable, blah, blah.
The real reason for Hueso’s about face was that Richards had amassed overwhelming support and Hueso was afraid of receiving more ridicule than he has already accumulated.
I don’t hunt now, but controlled hunting is a good way to keep tabs on an area’s conservation efforts. Real hunters are conservationists. Real hunters manage the wildlife population and are respectful of nature. The whack jobs at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) will disagree with this. Remember that the PETA folks are the ones who wanted whales to have the same constitutional protections as humans. No more need be said about that issue. And, I’ll stick with “whackos” to describe them.
Mr. Richards isn’t apologizing for anything. In an age where people take the politically correct stance on almost every issue, Richards’ response is refreshing.
I invite Assemblyman Hueso to respond as to why he joined all the other members of the Assembly in unanimously voting for AB 1028. Did he know the part-timers would be cut loose? What was the driving force behind this bill? Why is he so worried about something that happened in Idaho when something tragic happened at police headquarters, less than a mile from his office? Get off Richards’ case and find out why the police departments in the county had to let their part-timers go. The part-timers actually saved the municipalities money.How has Mr. Richards’ hunting trip impacted Mr. Hueso and the job he was elected to do?