Arne P. Ryason is a resident of Hailey.
By ARNE P. RYASON
This is an open letter to Idaho Gov. C.L "Butch" Otter:
After reading your guest opinion in the Idaho Mountain Express ("Other Views," March 23, 2007) I am amazed at our continued ignorance of federal government power. Since the end of the Civil War, the 14th Amendment has taken away any notion of state or individual sovereignty. If they want to put wolves on "our" public lands, they may, because "they" own the land. We can comment and complain all we want, but they don't have to listen. You and your fellow subjects are "residents" of Idaho. This is short for "resident alien" because our status is, in reality, in Washington, D.C. That part of the country is under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the United States federal government. According to the 14th Amendment we are all "within its jurisdiction." We have "privileges" and "immunities," not rights.
The 14th Amendment took the slaves away from their owners and gave them new masters: the United States federal government. It gave all of us the opportunity to become slaves. We are so by virtue of having Social Security numbers and driver's licenses. Thus, we are under the jurisdiction of the United States. If you don't like this, if you don't like wolves, feel free to move to a country where they wear their socialism on their sleeve instead of hiding it in layers of subterfuge as they do here. Or you can work to change the situation here, but I doubt anyone would seriously consider repealing the amendment that "freed" the slaves.
Frankly, if I took up hunting, I'd love the idea of the challenge added by having a competing predator in my midst. I'm sure most real sportsmen and sportswomen go out to kill something because they love being in the wilderness dependent only on their skill and luck, hoping to be personally responsible for what they kill so they can fill their freezers and provide their families with honest meat, not the cows that mostly come from smelly concentrated animal operations.
The wilderness isn't supposed to be safe or easy. Those that want a safe, easy hunting experience can go to those ranches where the "game" animals are kept behind tall fences. They can shoot their "fish in a barrel" in comfort and safety, then retire to a plush, heated lodge to enjoy a cold beer while a hired hand butchers and packages their kill.
For those that graze cattle and sheep on "public" lands, the all-powerful feds will continue to kill those wolves that attack livestock. This is a form of "natural selection." Only the wolves that are afraid of man and his animals will survive, so the sighting of a wolf by man will be a rare and rewarding experience.