Commentary: In the 6 decades I’ve been on this planet, American society has become continuously more violent. Movies, TV shows, video games (more recently). Mass shootings at churches, temples, mosques, schools. No one single event triggered all this. It’s like the expression “death by a thousand cuts”. No one cut causes death, but lots of little cuts will.
I just witnessed one of these “cuts” that increases violence in America. This one being bigger than most. And it was right here at home. In New Mexico. Inflicted by the NM State Senate Conservation Committee. In a hearing about a bill to ban trapping on public land.
Before I explain, let’s all acknowledge one thing. Like adults. Trapping is violent and cruel. Forget the spin, the BS. Trapping is cruel - period. It’s so egregious in it’s cruelty that it fits one definition of torture.
And that issue, that trapping is cruel, and the danger it presents to the public, are the only issues of contention from the opponents of trapping. Just that. Remember that as you read the rest of this. Those are the issues of contention here.
And sadly, in all the discussions by and between those Senators on the Senate Conservation Committee, about this bill to ban trapping on public land, none of them mentioned cruelty or danger. They talked about lots of other things, but none of those Senators acknowledged that. They wouldn’t discuss why trapping is being contested. Think about that.
Of all the 7 Senators from this committee that were there, being faced with just these 2 issues in question, none of them even mentioned the words. You’d think that at least one would say something like “But this trapping is cruel folks”. But no, they wouldn’t talk about it.
So I will.
But I won’t tell you about my experience with my dog stepping in a trap, while on a leash, on public land, me being not 2 feet from it myself. It was bad. I won’t mention it though because we’ve all heard hundreds of such experiences. For decades now. Decades.
Trapping perpetuates cruelty and violence in America. Violence begets violence.
Trapping only benefits a tiny minority of residents, while it is a clear and present danger to many thousands of citizens and tourists and children and their pets.
Trapping sends the wrong message to our youngsters - that inflicting cruelty for money is OK. Studies have concluded that children who are cruel to animals are far more likely to perpetrate domestic violence as adults.
Plus, it’s just plain cruel to do such a thing. To any animal.
As for the financial impact, trapping accounts for only about $40K from licenses yearly; a pittance. That’s about 4 millionths of 1% of GDP in New Mexico. GDP was about $92 billion as of April 2016.
I should also add that the NM state government even increased the amount of trapping allowable on public land recently.
And with all that is horrible about trapping, and given it was the issue of contention in this hearing, none of those 7 Senators on that Conservation Committee even mentioned the words. How sad it that?
In his address to our U.S. Congress in September 2015, Pope Francis defined politics. He said to Congress, “You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens, in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics”.
And here we have 7 highly intelligent State Senators. All of whom have admirably chosen to serve the common good. But they can’t even say the word “cruelty”. These Senators had a chance to reduce the amount of cruelty, and therefore violence, in New Mexico, and thus in America too. But they wouldn’t even speak the word.
I ask that you pray for these 7 Senators (or make a wish if you prefer). Pray that these 7 Senators mature in their morality. Otherwise, violence in New Mexico, and America, will continue to increase rather than decrease. Especially when Senators can’t even say the words.