Iowa grants gun permits to the blind

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/08/iowa-grants-gun-permits-to-the-blind/2780303/

Jason Clayworth, The Des Moines Register 1 a.m. EDT September 8, 2013

No one questions the legality of the permits, but some officials worry about public safety.

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Here’s some news that has law enforcement officials and lawmakers scratching their heads:

Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.

No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.

The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.

On one side: People such as Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, who demonstrated for The Des Moines Register how blind people can be taught to shoot guns. And Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, who says blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities

On the other side: People such as Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos, who said he wouldn’t issue a permit to someone who is blind. And Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who says guns may be a rare exception to his philosophy that blind people can participate fully in life.

Private gun ownership — even hunting — by visually impaired Iowans is nothing new. But the practice of visually impaired residents legally carrying firearms in public became widely possible thanks to gun permit changes that took effect in Iowa in 2011.

“It seems a little strange, but the way the law reads we can’t deny them (a permit) just based on that one thing,” said Sgt. Jana Abens, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, referring to a visual disability.

Polk County officials say they’ve issued weapons permits to at least three people who can’t legally drive and were unable to read the application forms or had difficulty doing so because of visual impairments.

And sheriffs in three other counties — Jasper, Kossuth and Delaware — say they have granted permits to residents who they believe have severe visual impairments.

“I’m not an expert in vision,” Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere said. “At what point do vision problems have a detrimental effect to fire a firearm? If you see nothing but a blurry mass in front of you, then I would say you probably shouldn’t be shooting something.”

Training the visually impaired

In one Iowa county, blind residents who want weapons would likely receive special training.

Wethington, the Cedar County sheriff, has a legally blind daughter who plans to obtain a permit to carry when she turns 21 in about two years. He demonstrated for the Register how he would train blind people who want to carry a gun.

“If sheriffs spent more time trying to keep guns out of criminals’ hands and not people with disabilities, their time would be more productive,” Wethington said as he and his daughter took turns practice shooting with a semi-automatic handgun on private property in rural Cedar County.

The number of visually impaired or blind Iowans who can legally carry weapons in public is unknown because that information is not collected by the state or county sheriffs who issue the permits.

Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, said the range of sight among people who are classified as legally blind varies greatly. He believes there are situations where such applicants can safely handle a gun.

What More Can We Say to Hunters?

Yesterday a loyal reader sent the following comment in response to my post, Top Ten Retorts to Hunter Fallacies: “Trying to talk with people who won’t listen takes us nowhere. They are going to hunt and their mythology and ideology that excuse the killing are the voices they hear.”

Well, I agree—I’ve known that for a long time now. The fact is I never really write anything in hopes of changing hunters or talking them out of their blood sport.

I know that killing animals is too much in their blood (so to speak) to expect them to change for the better. As if to prove this point, a typical hunter tried (unsuccessfully) to leave this comment to a post about a man shooting and killing his grandson in a hunting accident. It started out like so many others, with “You people…” (a dead giveaway that it’s going to be from a hunter, and therefore unworthy of approval): “…are fucking idiots. This grandfather is suffering the worst tragedy of his natural life, and you people make it into a gun control issue. How do you think you all are able to go out and eat a steak dinner, or a chicken wrap, or any other meat product? Animals were put on earth to feed humans, period. Get your heads out of your asses, morons!!!”

If killing their own grandsons is not reason enough for them to swear off hunting, I don’t know what else to say to them.

Call it preaching to the choir, but the things I write, like the Top Ten Retorts to Hunter Fallacies are in fact either to inform or entertain my fellow advocates.

Not that they need to be educated. But the magnanimous few occasionally may need affirmation or a ready list of replies to the same old, worn out hunter dogma that have a little more thought behind them than, “Get your heads out of your asses, morons!”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015. All Rights Reserved

 

Sheriff: Man kills grandson in hunting accident

DECATUR — Hunting at the Nine Bar Ranch in Decatur has brought so many families so much joy. And now, for one family, unspeakable sadness.

“I can’t imagine anything worse than this,” says Decatur ISD superintendent Rod Townsend.

Peppered with pictures of a little boy wearing a cowboy hat and a grin, a GoFundMe page starts to tell the tragedy. Wise County Sheriff David Walker says Saturday morning, 55-year-old Jim Bob Little, who owns the popular ranch, was hunting with his 9-year-old grandson, Callen Little. Walker says Callen left the hunting blind, unbeknownst to his grandfather, and somehow ended up in the path of his grandfather’s shotgun. He died after being shot once in the chest.

“It’s a tragedy,” Walker says. “No one wants to see any kids hurt no matter what it is.”

Callen Little died after being shot once in the chest by his grandfather while hunting at the Nine Bar Ranch. Lauren Zakalik has the story.

Walker says investigators remain on the case, but all signs point to this being nothing more than a heartbreaking accident. Hunting, Walker says, is part of the fabric of so many families here.

More: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/2015/06/15/grandfather-kills-grandson-in-hunting-accident/71267698/

New Caledonia hunter killed in accident

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/275511/new-caledonia-hunter-killed-in-accident

5 June 2015

A man in New Caledonia has accidentally shot dead his cousin on a hunting trip – the second fatal shooting incident in the the territory in the past month.

The victim – a 35-year-old man – was hit in the neck and died at the scene in the mountains in the territory’s north.

Last month, a woman died after she was accidenatlly hit in the leg by a shot fired by her husband.

Last year, three people were reported killed as a result of a hunting accident.

There has been concern over the spread of firearms in recent years, with estimates of there being about one gun per two inhabitants.

Teenage boy killed in Matata hunting accident

 

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/emergency/teenage-boy-killed-in-matata-hunting-accident/

Newstalk ZB Staff , Emergency

Updated 2.51pm: A 16-year-old boy is dead after a hunting incident near Whakatane this morning.

Bay of Plenty Police District Command Centre’s Sergeant Dennis Murphy says police were alerted to the incident around 8 eight o’clock.

A 16 year old male was duck hunting, and while hunting a firearm was discharged. As a result of that he is now unfortunately deceased.”   [Imagine, a firearm discharging while hunting…]imagesQB1DEJIT

Whakatane CIB are investigating the death at Matata but are treating it as a hunting incident.

The boy was one of three teenagers duck shooting at Greig Road today.

He died at the scene.

Bill Maher: If you’re on a safari to kill elephants and the elephant kills you instead… ‘good’

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/bill-maher-if-youre-on-a-safari-to-kill-elephants-and-the-elephant-kills-you-instead-good/

Bill Maher - (HBO's Real Time screenshot)

On this week’s edition of HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher was all about death during his New Rules segment, expressing happiness that a big game hunter was killed by the very elephant he was stalking, to a Republican named Upright who is still campaigning against Hillary Clinton from beyond the grave.

Maher began by mocking constant target Sarah Palin for her new PAC logo — featuring the Big Dipper over her head — saying stars circling over your head isn’t a sign that you’re looking to the future, “it just means you’ve walked into a stop sign.”

Also see   Laughing at religion is exactly what the world needs: http://www.salon.com/2015/04/26/bill_maher_american_hero_laughing_at_religion_is_exactly_what_the_world_needs/

Rhino Hunt Auction Winner Fears for His Safety

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/16/us-rhino-hunt-auction-winner-fears-for-his-safety/4517427/

Marie Saavedra, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth 6:07 a.m. EST January 17, 2014

A man who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt an endangered African black rhino says he fears for his safety

DALLAS — A U.S. man who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt an endangered African black rhino says he fears for his safety.

Corey Knowlton said that after being revealed as the winner of a controversial Dallas Safari Club auction, he’s received death threats — so many that he says local law enforcement and the FBI are now working to keep them safe.

STORY: Black rhino hunting permit auctioned for $350,000

Knowlton, who has hunted around the world, said there has been a lot of anger and some confusion.

He leads expeditions for both everyday Joes and billionaires looking to hunt, and has been a fixture on The Outdoor Channel. His Facebook page is filled with photos of large deer he’s tracked and killed — wild boar, a bear, even a massive shark.

The Safari Club auctioned the permit to raise money for efforts to protect the black rhino.

Knowlton said his goal was to support conservation efforts for the black rhino. That’s where the money from his bid will go.

But critics feel that the chance to kill one is no kind of reward — and they’re letting him know it.

Still, Knowlton said the hunt is well-managed, and insists he will be targeting an aggressive older male that he says is terrorizing the rest of the herd, and would already be a target.

He said this is a challenge he welcomes.

“I’m a hunter. I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino,” Knowlton said. “If I go over there and shoot it or not shoot it, it’s beyond the point.”

He said the death of this black rhino is inevitable.

“They are going to shoot those black rhinos … period. End of story,” he said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Elephant kills professional big game hunter in Zimbabwe

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Professional hunter tracking a lion for American client crushed to death by young bull elephant in Zambezi Valley

By Peta Thornycroft, Johannesburg

17 Apr 2015

A young bull elephant killed professional hunter Ian Gibson early on Wednesday as he tracked a lion for an American client in a rugged part of north-east Zimbabwe.

Mr Gibson, 55, one of Zimbabwe’s best known big game hunters, died scouting for prey in the Zambezi Valley after a young bull elephant charged, then knelt on him and crushed him to death.

“We don’t yet know the full details of how ‘Gibbo’ as we called him, died, as the American client and the trackers are still too traumatised to give us full details,” said Paul Smith, managing director of Chifuti Safaris’ which employed Mr Gibson for the hunt.

The American hunter was on his first trip to Zimbabwe, and only has one leg, but was “fit and strong” and had already shot a leopard. Mr Gibson was scouting for lions when he encountered the elephant.

Mr Gibson’s trackers said the young bull had been in a musth period, which means it was producing much more testosterone then usual.

“We know ‘Gibbo’ shot it once, from about 10 yards away, with a 458 [rifle]. He would never have fired unless he had no alternative. He was a hunter, yes, but he was also a magnificent wildlife photographer and conservationist.

“He was so experienced and this is a most unexpected tragedy.” …

Mr Smith said the young bull elephant appeared not to be a natural target for any hunter as its tusks were too small.

“In most years someone is usually killed on a hunt somewhere in Africa, and that is why it is called ‘dangerous game hunting‘ but we are very shocked that it was ‘Gibbo’,” said Mr Smith.

Mr Gibson began his wildlife career in Zimbabwe’s department of national parks, but left to become a hunter about 25 years ago.

He was well-known in the US, where the Dallas Safari Club is paying his funeral expenses.

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/11546066/Elephant-kills-professional-big-game-hunter-in-Zimbabwe.html

Hunter Ian Gibson Trampled To Death By Elephant He Was Tracking To Kill For Ivory

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/04/17/hunter-ian-gibson-trampled-death-elephant-tracking-kill_n_7085374.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

A professional game hunter has been trampled to death by an elephant he was attempting to kill.

Ian Gibson was leading a hunt in Chewore North in the lower Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe, when the bull elephant “began a full charge. ”

In an online note on the website of his employers Safari Classics, the company explained Gibson had been tracking the elephant for five hours with a client when they stopped for a rest.

ian gibson

Ian Gibson was killed by a charging African bull elephant

It adds: “Feeling he was quite close to the elephant, Ian and his tracker Robert continued to follow the tracks in hopes of getting a look at the ivory as the client stayed with the game scout.”

SEE ALSO:

Gibson’s tracker indicated the elephant was in “musth” – a condition where the animal’s urge to mate goes into overdrive and it becomes overly aggressive, but Gibson continued.

The note continues: “They eventually caught up with the bull, spotting him at about 50-100 metres. The bull instantly turned and began a full charge.

bull elephant zimbabwe

The animal was in a state of ‘musth’ making it aggressive (file picture)

“Ian and Robert began shouting in order to stop the charge. At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.”

It is not known if the animal was injured or killed in the incident.

Gibson is paid tribute to as “a fine man and one of the most experienced professional hunters on the African continent.”

The same company lost a staff member in 2012 when Owain Lewis was killed by a buffalo, NewZimbabwe reports.

Hunter Killed by Bull Elephant!

http://africageographic.com/blog/hunter-killed-bull-elephant-musth/

Ian Gibson, a professional hunter for Chifuti Safaris, was killed by an elephant bull while guiding an elephant hunt in Chewore North in the lower Zambezi Valley. 

Ian Gibson hunter

A message shared on africahunting.com by Safari Classics said:

“It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Chifuti Safaris professional hunter Ian Gibson. Ian was tragically killed by an elephant bull earlier today while guiding and elephant hunt in Chewore North (lower Zambezi Valley).

The details are just starting to emerge as we write this. However it appears that Ian and his client had been on the tracks of an elephant bull for approximately five hours when they decided to take a break and allow the client to rest. Feeling he was quite close to the elephant, Ian and his tracker Robert continued to follow the tracks in hopes of getting a look at the ivory as the client, stayed with the game scout to rest. Robert indicated the bull was in musth. They eventually caught up to the bull, spotting him at about 50-100 meters. The bull instantly turned and began a full charge. Ian and Robert began shouting in order to stop the charge. At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.”

– See more at: http://africageographic.com/blog/hunter-killed-bull-elephant-musth/#sthash.u6QkEGCu.dpuf