Washington Secrets

Not just guns, PETA wants hunting banned

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to take the gun control debate to a whole new level: banning hunting.

Claiming hunting desensitizes children to killing humans, the group plans to make their case Friday by crashing the National Rifle Association's press conference downtown at the Willard Hotel where they are expected to cite some form of gun ownership and sales changes they would support.

PETA officials told Secrets that they will be protesting at the hotel with signs that read "Teach Kindness, Not Killing," and "Get ALL living beings out of the crosshairs: Ban Hunting."

"The NRA's culture of cruelty instills violence in society by promoting the shooting of animals for fun, and this must be stopped," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. "It's time we face the fact that as we strive for a more peaceful world, we must tackle all forms of senseless killing--and that includes hunting."

After the election, PETA rapped former GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan for taking his daughter deer hunting. The group suggested hunting paves the way for violence against humans.

"How appalling to use your influence to desensitize your child to the suffering of others. In fact, the young people who have opened fire on their schoolmates--including 16-year-old Andrew Golden who, along with an accomplice, killed five people at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., and 17-year-old T.J. Lane, who killed three people at Chardon High School near Cleveland earlier this year, had first expressed their love of hunting animals. In light of this fact alone, it seems grossly irresponsible to encourage a child to kill for 'fun,'" wrote Newkirk.

PETA did not mention the Sandy Hook killings in detailing their Friday plans to protest the NRA. But an official said, "The NRA's promotion of hunting and its push to put guns in the hands of children of all ages in order to kill animals is a form of violence that must be stopped if we as a country are serious about keeping children--and all citizens--safe."

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