Letters to The Editor

A few years back I wrote a letter to the editor in response to an environmental whacko (not to be confused with the nature loving and well informed environmentalists)…

Dear Scott, I can see how you dont want the innocent fuzzy deer to be killed by camouflaged gunman, and I agree with you. Personally I prefer it when these anomalies of the food chain jump out in front of my brand new car and send it to the body shop for nearly $3,000 worth of repairs. My girlfriend also agrees, after all her automobile has made it to the body shop for 3 consecutive years with the same amount of repairs required. I find great pride in the fact that through our combined efforts and over $12,000 in the past 3 years we have spared the lives of 4 noble creatures from those mean recreational hunters who would never think to eat what they kill or donate the meat to organizations that feed the poor and homeless. As long as the deer and bear population is allowed to run unchecked even further, you can be assured that myself and hundreds if not thousands of other motorists in the tri-state area will do our best to spare Rudolph’s cousins the pain of death by hunting.

The paper then posted his response, which to summarize was: “Bla bla bla, you don’t know what you are talking about, GENERALITY, GENERALITY, TALKING POINT, Bla Bla Bla.” Essentially he didn’t rebut me with fact, more or less just insinuation that I was an idiot and had no right to speak my opinion. I sent one last response which never did get printed… Here’s a post from this very website for January, ’03…

Not too sure they’ll print my response, everybody knows which way the media leans, even in Warwick. What has annoyed me the most about this guy, attacks me for supposedly not knowing anything, not knowing the facts, the truth, but doesn’t even attempt to quote a single statistic to prove his argument. Took me all of 5 minutes to find the information I needed on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website. More deer killed, less cars hit them. That’s what I found out, that’s the point I was making in my first letter. These guys would rather pay a Government employee $35,000 a year to go out in the woods, figure out which deer are male, tranquilize them and sterilize them instead of letting a hunter do the job for less than $6 worth of ammunition. I even found a group in Virginia, an organization of hunters who collectively donated over 200,000lbs of deer meat to the poor and homeless.

I’ve got no problem with dissent, but if you’re going to insult me as ignorant, at least try to prove it. Oi!

So I read this weeks Warwick Advertiser and find a pretty snippy response to my car-hunting letter to the editor by the original “Santa please arm the Deer” writer. His paraphrased response “You don’t know the facts, you don’t know anything about hunting, you’ve used this argument before online, you’re running scared like the rest of the hunters.” My response?

Dear Scott, you provided a very well thought out and mature response to my ‘stance’ when it comes to hunting. Again, I find myself agreeing with you that hunting mismanagement is probably a causal factor of the burgeoning deer population. Spurred by your quest for the truth, I took a trip to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website and have seen the light. The number of deer takes by hunters on average has been steadily increasing over the past 7 years, alongside the number of Deer Management Permits issued. Another statistic off the website shows that the number of deer-car collisions has steadily been dropping in the same time-frame! Despite the efforts of me, my girlfriend, and our cars, the hunters are still killing more innocent deer every year! While I am not a hunter, nor do I know much about hunting, I personally would like to thank you for encouraging me to seek out the facts and truth on this very sensitive issue. Obviously my proposed alternative to recreational hunting simply isn’t doing enough to stop the hunters, and like deer I don’t believe they’ll be running scared from my sub-compact sedan any time soon.

But what has all this got to do with today? Just had another letter to the editor published, sure to cause a firestorm of controversy…

I have had it with the level of maintenance our roads in Orange County and Warwick receive when it snows. I travel between New York and New Jersey several times a week, and when it snows I can be guaranteed that every road I travel on in New Jersey (even back roads) is clear, salted and sanded.
Every time I reach the New York border, I don’t need a sign to show me where I am – the fact that I’ve gone from wet asphalt to a sheet of snow and ice tells me I’m almost home. For what New Yorkers pay in taxes, I think it is despicable that there is such a glaring difference in the maintenance of New York and New Jersey roads during foul weather.
Everyone should drive carefully when the weather is bad, but at least New Jersey gives me a fighting chance of making it home in one piece.

They conveniently removed the part where I recommended having the guy in charge FIRED (aka sent on a permanent vacation), but I think I still made my point…

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