Some days you eat the bear

By AL DIAMON  |  June 20, 2013

Trahan claims the society is prepared to spend $3 million on its anti-baiting campaign, a figure his feeble little group (13,000 dues- paying members and an unblemished record of slamming down any gun-control bill or limitation on hunting) could never match. The society, he claimed, "raises money from all over the world and then uses the money to stop hunting in small, poor states such as Maine."

I've heard stupider arguments for amending the Constitution — but not many.

The state's citizen initiative process is designed to act as a check on government power. It's been used to do what politicians didn't dare (getting rid of the big box ballot, legalizing same-sex marriage) and to block government from doing what it shouldn't (tax hikes in the guise of tax reform, the Uniform Property Tax). It's been successful (saving Bigelow Mountain, approving casinos) and unsuccessful (trying to manage forestry practices, trying to force the state to pay 55 percent of local school costs). It's been smart (passing a bottle-return law, allowing medical marijuana) and stupid (approving term limits, outlawing local measured phone service). And it ought to continue to provide voters a direct voice, whether it's about lifting the ban on recreational pot or imposing an animal-rights agenda on wildlife management.

Trahan has called on the Second Amendment so often to defend gun owners' rights that he seems to have forgotten how to argue against bad ideas without some constitutional backup. But bearing arms is not the same as hunting bears.

Defeating the Humane Society requires no meddling with fundamental law, but rather rational arguments, common sense — and a reminder about where proper restrooms for bears belong.

Unload on me by emailing aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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