For example, even though it’s an idea without flaw, I’ve yet to persuade anybody to open a chicken processing plant in conjunction with an alligator farm. It would save the cost of feeding the alligators and the cost of disposing of the waste from the chicken plant. Or my other idea which could have done away with billions of dollars in airport security by simply requiring everyone to fly without clothes. That would do away with expensive x-ray machines and make it impossible for terrorists to smuggle explosives aboard a plane.
This time, however, I’ve hit upon a foolproof idea. This idea is certain to please gun owners, the NRA, the Tea Party, tort reformers, hunters, farmers, ranchers and conservatives who want to save money.
A recent article carried on the front page of the Houston Chronicle pointed out that over ten million dollars is being spent by the federal government each year to kill varmints. It published quite a long list of critters that have been “dispatched” to the Great Beyond by the program. It included over 7,000 coyotes, 646 bob cats, almost 20,000 wild hogs and an assortment of other varmints that hunters generally take great pleasure in shooting. While reading the article, I agreed with some conservatives who are protesting the expenditure and question why the federal government should make farm and ranch land safe for the owners.
I know hundreds, maybe thousands, of would-be hunters who cannot afford an expensive hunting lease where they might demonstrate their prowess as “Great White Hunters” (or even Black or Brown Hunters as the case may be). I would anticipate the first objection that farmers and ranchers would have is the fear of bad lawyers who would file suit at the drop of a hat for anyone injured while carrying on the endeavor to rid the land of varmints. I have an answer for that which will please the tort reformers.
Currently, hunters are required by Parks and Wildlife to demonstrate proficiency with a weapon to be relatively sure they will not kill or injure their hunting companions, innocent bystanders or people who happen to live near the hunting area. I would add to that a simple permit issued by Parks and Wildlife which would require the would-be hunter to commit to respecting the land, taking great care not to injure people or damage property. Based on that commitment the would-be hunter would receive a Varmint Permit. Farmers and ranchers would then open their lands, on an appointment basis, to permitted Varmint Hunters who would be more than happy to perform the task at no pay–only the enjoyment of ridding the world of these wild and noxious creatures.
As for the potential liability, I would make the tort reform groups happy by providing a state law which would give immunity to any farmer or rancher--who opened his or her lands to hunting by permitted Varmint Hunters--for any liability or injury received while engaged in the endeavor of stalking raccoons, armadillos, coyotes and other dangerous critters.
There are other economic benefits to be gained by my idea. The sale of guns, ammunition, coyote calls and 4-wheel vehicles would probably enjoy a great boost in popularity and sales. Why, even taxidermists would experience a great off-season boom to mount armadillos, mountain lions and foxes. These hunters might even want a nice wild boar’s head to go over the mantle, particularly those who have not been able to afford the shoulder mount of a sixteen-point buck.
Even the anti-immigration folks should be happy with my proposal because many of our Southern states are being overrun with almost 70,000 European Starlings. I’m certain most of these immigrated to the United States without benefit of a permit or visa. Imagine getting rid of almost 70,000 aliens with no expense to the government.
I’m sure some organization like PETA will protest my proposal, but it seems most of these animals are going to meet their fate at the hands of federal death panels whether my plan is adopted or not.
One last potential benefit is that some of the gun nuts who sit at home and then decide to go lay waste to people in a theater, church house or school might be able to assuage their frustrations or dreams of grandeur by shooting at these pesky animals rather than us.