NRA’s “Hunt for Truth” about Lead Ammunition Leads to California Zoos

Wednesday, August 07, 2013
(photo: Rudy Lara, Flickr)

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has spiffed up its website devoted to the Hunt for Truth “behind the assault on traditional lead ammunition,” where it has compiled lists of “propagandists” and purveyors of “faulty science” it must overcome to defeat proposed California legislation.  

The lists include some of the usual suspects—government agencies—although these are ones generally considered more benign that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the IRS—like the recently renamed California Department of Fish and Wildlife (which the NRA still calls Fish and Game) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The NRA also takes aim at a few of its least favored conservation-minded non-governmental groups, including the California Condor Recovery Team, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Biological Diversity.

But the group also has the city-owned Los Angeles Zoo and the non-profit San Diego Zoo in its sights. The San Diego Zoo is one of a half-dozen non-governmental organizations highlighted as “Players” in a national war whose largest battle looms in California, where the zoo is apparently a “primary” environmental activist in an “influential and well-funded network” intent on misleading people about lead ammunition.

The NRA is an uproar over California’s Assembly Bill 711, which would extend existing bans on using lead ammunition in certain instances to include the taking of all wildlife. The bill passed the Assembly in May and is working its way through the Senate.

As even the NRA acknowledges, conventional wisdom and accepted science blames lead ammunition for poisoning millions of animals that weren’t shot, but who ate animals that were.   

The NRA disputes that science.

They find it murky and misleading, and driven by an anti-hunting, anti-gun agenda. In a press release announcing its revamped website, the NRA referred to its opponents—“these radical groups”—as “self-proclaimed” environmental organizations using “questionable scientific methodologies” to analyze “cherry-picked data.” The NRA warned that, “Anti-lead ammunition groups will not rest until all lead ammunition, and ultimately hunting, is banned.”

The NRA believes the lead widely found in dead and ailing animals comes from other sources because lead is in everything from paint to pesticides. Lead is a dangerous toxin and has been banned in toys, paint and gasoline. There are a lot of certified non-lead alternatives to lead ammunition sold in the state.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

NRA Targets New Enemies: Zoo and Wildlife Groups (by Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

National Rifle Association Enemies List Now Includes Scientists, Zoos (by Christina Wilkie, Huffington Post)

National Rifle Association Puts San Diego Zoo on Its New “Enemies List” (by Eric W. Dolan, The Raw Story)

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