About forty years ago Jim Croce came out with a song called ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.’ The chorus went ‘You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim.’
That song was the first thing I thought of when I read the headline of a story in a Gun Auction newsletter. I thought, “Who would fly a spy drone over a pigeon shoot? You don’t DO that.”
Shark would. Shark is the acronym for an animal rights group named Showing Animals Respect and Kindness. The headline of the story said ‘Animal Rights Spy Drone Shot Down at Pennsylvania Pigeon Shoot.’ I’ll give you a minute to compose yourself now.
The event in question occurred near Hamburg, Pennsylvania, at the Wing Pointe shooting club. Yes, I realize they spelled ‘point’ wrong, and yes, I think they should have to pay a big fine for that. But that’s a whole nuther story, and we’ll deal with it later.
Wing Pointe periodically holds live pigeon shoots, which are perfectly legal in Pennsylvania. After all, we’re not talking about a foreign country here, like California or Illinois, where people don’t have rights. Plus we’re talking about pigeons, which are so abundant that many cities are constantly looking for ways to get rid of them. They can be counted on to ruin just about any lawn furniture, statuary, and window sills they come in contact with. Very few people like pigeons.
But the shark people do. Or at least they claim to. Personally, I’m skeptical. I imagine the shark folks really only claim to like pigeons so they can harrass the Wing Pointe shooters. Animal rights isn’t about animals, anyway. It’s about people control.
The problem is that the Wing Pointe pigeon shoots are held on private property, on a hill surrounded by trees, where the sharks can’t sneak up on them. This is what America’s number one sport, shooting, has come to: hiding from the whack jobs.
But the sharks are nothing if not persistent. They figured if they could get video of the Wing Pointe people shooting live pigeons, and post it on YouTube, they would be able to generate enough support to shut the shoots down. Or something. Never mind that there’s nothing wrong with shooting pigeons, and that trespassing is illegal. A little thing like breaking the law doesn’t bother people who want to tell other people what to do.
So the sharks started using an ‘octocopter’ to spy on the shoots. An octocopter is a small, radio controlled aircraft used to locate tree limbs. They attached a camera to the octocopter and flew it over the hill at Wing Pointe to film the Bad Guys in action.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if someone had asked me, “Say, if you were shooting birds with your friends, and a radio controlled helicopter came flying over, disrupting your good, clean, wholesome, family recreation, what do you think would happen to it?” I would say, without hesitation, “Someone would shoot it down.”
OK, that’s not true. Actually, I would say, “I’d shoot it down.” Because I can’t imagine NOT shooting at the drone. It would be far too great a temptation. An opportunity like that doesn’t come along every day, especially in Texas, where people use common sense most of the time. Not shooting the drone would be like going to Texas Land & Cattle Company for supper and eating a salad. It’s just not right.
For some reason the sharks didn’t expect their drone to get shot. They were illegally spying on American citizens on private property, who were engaged in legitimate, legal pursuits, not bothering anyone, and they expect their drone to be left alone. Now we’re starting to get a glimpse of the mindset required to belong to one of these fringe organizations. You have to believe it’s OK to break the law in order to stop someone from doing something they enjoy, even if those people aren’t breaking the law.The Gun Auction story says that when the drone was shot down the sharks called the state police, who are investigating the incident. They very well should. I would think they should arrest the sharks for illegal activities. The sharks evidently think they should be reimbursed by the Wing Pointe folks for the approximately $4,000 worth of damage done to their little octocopter, which, by the way, is named Angel.
The Berks County district attorney ‘wants to find a way to put a stop to what he considers a potentially deadly cat and mouse game between shark and Wing Pointe.’ That’s easy. All he needs to do is his job. He should charge the sharks with hunter harassment.
I’m just hoping that someday I’ll be out dove hunting, or shooting clay birds, or something, and I’ll look up and see a drone with a peta sticker on it. To paraphrase the old commercial, I just don’t think it could get any better than that . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who loves animals. Mostly grilled. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org