posted on November 01, 2010 07:54
By Mike Handley
Imagine if you were reading your local newspaper and, all of a sudden, you choked on your venison sausage biscuit. How bad would that suck?
That actually happened in suburban Atlanta last week, sort of, when readers of the Covington News happened upon a column by sports editor Josh Briggs equating deer hunters to Neanderthals. The newspaper’s general manager, T. Pat Cavanaugh, even admitted in a follow-up that Briggs’ piece caused him to spill his coffee and almost choke on a sausage-less muffin.
Briggs might have generated less hate mail if he’d slandered God, the Atlanta Braves, mothers or grits. Not surprisingly, the story of the former Californian’s screed against hunting went viral, although he was careful to distance himself from the PETA crazies and to mention that he’s the proud owner of an AR-15.
The column begins, “Imagine if you were sitting in your car in the drive thru at McDonald’s and all of a sudden, you get shot in the neck (by a deer with a rifle)? How bad would that suck?”
Briggs was trying to paint an image of the hunted turned hunter, which kind of fell flat. The gist was his belief that anyone who hunts in this era, anyone who calls it a sport, must be perverse. And to prove his point, he recommends we all watch “The Deer Hunter.”
“Morally, hunting deer for sport is no different than hunting people. It would be more interesting if deer could shoot back,” he wrote.
The sports editor is certainly entitled to his opinion, even if it isn’t shared by the newspaper management or the bulk of his readers. But he’s apparently not very adept at remembering he now lives in a state where hunting is not only a constitutional right, but it’s also close to being a religion.
Moral: Knowing your audience is so easy, even a caveman can do it.