Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"The idea is too preposterous to be even be considered by sensible people"

Threat Of New Bars In Maine

Serious Project To Restrict The Carrying Of Firearms

One Section of Game Preservers Would Forbid Their
Being Taken Into the Woods in Close Season--It Won't
Go Through Without Strong Opposition Sportsmen's
Meeting Discusses It.

Kineo, Me., July 15.--The Maine Sportsmen's Fish and Game Association . . .

...Ex-Gov. Liewellyn Powers, however, opposed the proposal very strongly. "I believe," he said, "that the right of the people to bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution, and I doubt very much the wisdom of attempting to prohibit it. It has been shown that forest fires are are rarely, if ever started from this cause, and I believe very little harm is done in the way of killing game."

   Major Victor W. MacFarlane, formerly of Chicago, but now residing at Greenville, following Gov. Powers with an impassioned argument.

   "It is time to stop," he said. "This association has gone far enough at present. It is time to have the present laws enforced and to see if they are proper and just. To my mind this question borders on what is known as individual rights and it means but one thing: the man who would go into the woods and would not kill would be barred out and that man who intends to kill would slaughter ruthlessly. Let this agitation which has been going on year after year, and which culminated last year in what is to my mind the extreme limit, the hunter's license stop. I believe this present movement should be opposed with all the force and energy we can bring to bear."

   Major MacFarlane's address was enthusiastically applauded by visitors from outside the state.

   "I am satisfied," he said the The Sun correspondent later, "that I expressed the sentiments of all of Maine's visitors, and from this time I am out to oppose not only the passage of such a law, but any attempt to agitate it. The idea is too preposterous to be even be considered by sensible people. Let the present laws be enforced first. There is ample need, in view of the vast amount of slaughter that has been going on this spring, and which can in no way be attributed to visitors. The firearm is as much a part of the camp outfit as a fryingpan, and to prohibit them would be to bar out the best class of summer tourists, people who leave millions in the state annually." . . .

- The Sun, New York, Sunday, July 19, 1903, Second Section, Vol. LXX.--No. 322. Pg. 10.

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