(Oklahoma City) By trying to kill an amendment designed to protect the rights of hunters, anglers and other Oklahoman sportsmen, Representative Russ Roach is threatening the sporting pastimes of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans, according to the Senate author of the legislation.
Senator Frank Shurden believes that HB 1375 is needed to protect the rights of Oklahoma sportsmen. He noted that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA recently attacked the Boy Scouts of America for offering merit badges in "Fishing" and "Fish and Wildlife Management." PETA asked that the merit badges be discontinued, contending that fishing was a "violent pastime." PETA has also indicated that it may go after rodeos and circuses in the future on grounds that they are inhumane.
"Representative Roach is a big city guy who doesn't really care about Oklahomans who like to hunt or fish. He's just carrying water for animal rights activists and the other crazies who would just as soon ban hunting and fishing as look at you. I wouldn't be surprised if he's a card carrying member of PETA," said Sen. Shurden.
HB 1375, as amended by the Henyretta legislator, would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment that would provide legal protection to hunting, fishing, rodeo and a host of other sporting activities in Oklahoma. The measure is now before the House.
In an effort to derail HB 1375, Rep. Roach issued a press release Tuesday, claiming that there were problems with the bill's language. Sen. Shurden disagrees, however, saying the bill has already passed legal muster.
"Rep. Roach's claims are all hogwash and he knows it," said Sen. Shurden.In response to a critical memo issued by Rep. Roach, Sen. Shurden released a series of legal points defending the legislation.
"The legal points speak for themselves," said Sen. Shurden.
The Henryetta legislator challenged Rep. Roach to trust the people on HB 1375, pointing out that the measure would put the question to a statewide vote.
"I don't understand why Rep Roach is afraid to trust the people on this question. Let's put the bull aside and let the people decide," said Sen. Shurden.