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December 3, 2009

NSSF Responds to Boston Herald Anti-hunting Column


To the Editor:

Howie Carr’s column, “It’s hunting season, time to duck…and cover,” in the Sunday, Nov. 29, edition, was a hard one to figure.  If it was a humor column, it wasn’t funny.  If it was an attempt at journalism, it wasn’t accurate.  When Mr. Carr attempted to depict the deer hunters of Massachusetts, and the entire nation, as beer-drinking buffoons that are an accident just waiting to happen, he chose to ignore the facts.

With a handful of accident reports, Mr. Carr chose to present deer hunting as a reckless activity.  If he’d chosen bicycle riding, bowling, fishing or swimming, he could have really skewed the statistics and caricatured the participants.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission tracks injuries treated in hospital emergency departments.  A report earlier this year indicated that in a 12-month period among 37,400,000 bicycle riders, 505,413 while participating in their sport sustained injuries that required treatment at an E.R.  Among the 43,500,000 bowlers, 21,819 visited the emergency department because of an injury received while bowling.  Of the 35,300,000 fishermen, 71,615 went to the E.R. with fishing-related injuries, and, finally, 171,704 of the estimated 52,300,000 swimmers incurred swimming-related injuries.

The National Sporting Goods Association estimates that there are 19.4 million active hunters in the United States, a number less than the enthusiasts mentioned above, but a sizeable group nonetheless.  Yet, the total injury incidents reported for the same period were 916.

Numbers present an accurate picture.  Unfortunately, Mr. Carr didn’t.

Steve Sanetti,

President/CEO

National Shooting Sports Foundation