EDITORIAL – Wildlife Federation is sounding like just another gun lobby

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE GUN LOBBY AND HUNTING have, in my mind at least, always been two different things.

Although it’s been many, many years since I stopped shooting animals for fun, I believe most sport hunters to be ethical people who respect their prey and do their best to treat them humanely.

They’re in it for the experience, not just the guns. Firearms training courses focus heavily on safety, ethics and lawful pursuit of the sport-hunting past-time.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation’s mission statement, in part, promotes respect for fish and wildlife and “outdoor recreation in the wise integrated use of the province’s natural resources.”

I see nothing about the promotion of assault-style semi-automatic weapons. Yet, according to current federation president Bill Bosch, who hails out of Kelowna, the new federal ban on the ownership and use of assault-style firearms casts its net way too widely.

A point worth arguing, perhaps, but listen to this mind-blowing quote from a letter he sent to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair this week. After some confusing references to T-shirt cannons, anti-tank weapons and the Olympics, he goes on to say:

“It is important for Canadian national sovereignty that Canadian civilians be prepared to participate in military activities in times of national need. Times like world war II, Korean War, Viet Nam, and more recently, in Afghanistan.”

Seriously, what do wars in foreign countries have to do with the private ownership of semi-automatic firearms here at home? Is the hunting of deer and moose preparation for war? We have highly trained and highly skilled armed forces to protect our international interests.

This sounds very much like the “right to bear arms” stuff we always hear from south of the border. Mr. Bosch does a disservice to the cause of sport hunting by sounding like just another gun lobbyist.

The fact remains: hunters, target shooters and farmers have no need for military-style weapons.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9116 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Wildlife Federation is sounding like just another gun lobby

  1. John Noakes // May 16, 2020 at 5:52 AM // Reply

    It appears there was a “targeted” shooting incident in Oakville, Ontario overnight.
    Two people are dead and two others in hospital.
    No details on what kind of firearm was involved.

  2. It is one thing to be opinionated it is quite another to be correct. None of the banned firearms are “military style” save for the plastic stocks. They were all designed for the sport shooting enthusiast and this includes the Armalite Rifle model 15 (AR15). An “assault rifle” is by everyone definition except Ottawa a firearm that has selective fire (fully automatic) capabilities and large capacity magazines, none of these have that function or capacity, magazines have been restricted to 5 rounds in Canada for decades. In short these guns were banned because they look scary and it virtue signals Ottawa doing something about gun violence while totally ignoring the inner city gangsters with smuggled hand guns.

  3. Tony Brumell // May 14, 2020 at 11:37 AM // Reply

    The WF is in fact a gun lobby. It is not a militia.I have never shot or killed anything for fun or ego. I have always decried trophy ( EGO ) hunting. I tried a few years back to change the Trophy hunting policies of the BCWF to no avail and quit because of it.
    I do not fully understand their desire to maintain military type weapons .because ,as I said “BCWF is not a para military or Militia operating organization.
    They do a lot of great things for the environment and I support them in THOSE efforts.

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