About the Blog

Educating fellow Jews about the sporting and defensive use of firearms. Especially Jews in North America, too many of whom are instilled with the belief that guns aren't for nice Jewish boys and girls.

If you know of notable Jewish shooters that should be documented on the blog, even if it is only at the local club level, I am happy to report and profile them. And don't be shy if that person to be documented is you! Please drop me a line at jewishmarksman at gmail dot com. Also follow me on twitter @JMarksmanship.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hunting?! Oy Gewalt!

One of the mental obstacles some Jews have to shooting sports is they tend to associate hunting with the term "sportsmen" when it comes to guns. This is not an accurate image of the sport shooting world. Sport shooting includes target shooters, and many shooters are purely target shooters. If you take up target shooting, nobody will ever expect or pressure you to take up hunting.

There is a blurry division within the sport shooting world between competitive target shooters and hunters. Typically, you find people that competitively shoot targets of some sort, people that hunt, and a small intersection of those groups that do both. Again, I have no statistics, but from being in the firearms community for a while I can say that there are "tons" of shooters who have no interest in hunting. If you don't want to be exposed to hunting, and/or don't want your nice Jewish boy or girl exposed to it, it is definitely not going to be rammed down your throat by anyone. In fact, I'm sure you'll find that many target shooters are opposed to hunting for various reasons.

I do not hunt, nor do I have any interest in hunting. I love the outdoors, and it would probably be fun to stalk an animal and tag it with a paint bullet if they ever make a paint bullet accurate enough for that. But I don't think taking down a deer, bird or other animal for sport would sit well with me. For me, a metallic silhouette match is more than enough animal plinking fun.

I don't have anything against hunters or hunting. Nowadays, hunters are the real environmentalists in our society and play a crucial role in ecosystems where natural predators have been driven to extinction (often by suburban sprawl). They keep the game animal stocks healthy, because otherwise they would overpopulate and be subject to disease and starvation. Hunters are the only reason we have large open wild spaces left in this country--they're the ones willing to pay to keep the land from getting developed. In these ways, hunters save far more animal lives than they take. But generally speaking, most Torah scholars I have read suggest hunting is forbidden, or at least frowned on. But again, I'm fine with it, I just choose not to.

Sorry for the digression. My point was, if you are considering taking up target shooting, do not feel there will ever be any peer pressure for you to take up hunting. Competitive target shooting is really a separate world from hunting, even within the NRA.

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