I have wondered what more do they need to do at Pennsylvania pigeons shoots to be prosecuted. Light them on fire? Have sex with them? Catch the pigeons trying to vote without State issued photo ID?
The latest video to surface from a recent pigeon shoot shows just how far these “proud, traditional, sporting” events, as their supporters calls them, have degenerated. The birds are shot at point blank range. They are tossed by hand in front of shooters only a few feet away. They are bashed from the air by hand. They are shaken and stomped to death. All by laughing, jovial “sportsmen” in the full view of the cameras filming them. These proud, traditional sportsmen have lost all the concern and shame they once demonstrated by trying to hide these shoots from public view. Why? Because they have learned that they can do anything at these shoots with complete impunity.
The judges, DA’s, and police once pretended that there was an exemption in the law from these shoots. When charges were filed they side stepped the core issue of legality by focusing on whether “reasonable efforts” were made to put the pigeons out of their misery, decisions usually wrapped in NRA talking points. More recently, as multiple organizations, including HSBC, have dismantled and eviscerated the laughable claims that pigeon shots are permitted under the law by nailing every single false claim to the wall in excruciating detail, DA’s have turned to new tactics. They ham string Humane Officers by not allowing them to bring attorneys to court to represent them. They only allow the weakest of charges to be filed. Or in Berks County’s case, the DA simply demands that the charges be withdrawn, as he did to HSBC, or withdraws them himself, as he did to another organization’s charges.
The fact that charges were withdrawn doesn’t mean the shoots are legal. In fact, on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the narrow decision to uphold the DA’s right to crush the charges didn’t stem from whether a crime had actually occurred at the shoots. Instead the justices determined that PA law permits a DA to ignore any crime he wants to. A proud day for law enforcement and jurisprudence in our great Commonwealth. We can all only hope that the next time you or I are the victim of a crime the perpetrator is not a campaign contributor to our county District Attorney.
The Berks County District Attorney is quoted saying, “”I should mention that there is certain requirements that the shoots must comply with to stay within the confines of the law.” Again I ask, what more do these shoots need to do to be in violation of the “confines of the law”? How can anyone- NRA member, hunter, person on the street- watch this video and say that this behavior is sportsmanlike, is hunting, is a protected activity? What more do they need to do to lose the protection of the law enforcement officials who are shielding them?
This is not about animal rights or out of state activists. It’s not about tradition or national political agendas. It’s about the letter of the Pennsylvania law. To watch this video and say it is not a violation of the law is willful blindness. This video shows a violation of the law that makes me change my question. It’s no longer what more can these pigeons shooters do before they are prosecuted. It’s can these people do anything that will get them prosecuted? Anything at all?