Yes on Amendment 2

As the author of Amendment # 2 (SR 67), I wanted to explain the need to enshrine the Right to Hunt and Fish in the State Constitution. I believe a “YES” vote is deserved.

As we become more urbanized, we will face a future where our legislature in controlled by city dwellers – many who will never have had the pleasure of watching the sun rise over a duck pond. Some folks already believe that deer are an endangered species (ignoring the fact that there are more in our state today than when Oglethorpe landed). With Georgia’s population predicted to double in the next 20 years, hunters (currently less than 500,000) and anglers (just over one million) will drastically decrease as a percentage of the total state population. The political strength to maintain the traditions in question will also diminish. The most effective way to preserve these traditions is through constitutional protection.

For years, animal rights extremists have been systematically campaigning against hunting and fishing throughout the country. It is only a matter of time before they set their sights on Georgia. For those who do not think the Right to Hunt and Fish is under serious threat, they need to know that extremist organizations like PETA are lurking in the background. PETA supporters testified against this amendment in Committee. And here is what Humane Society of the United States Senior Vice President Wayne Pacelle had to say about their strategy in an October 1990 interview in the magazine Full Cry – “We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States. We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped.”

The main purpose of the amendment is to assure that Georgians, urban and rural, will have the opportunity to share family traditions with their children and grandchildren. Another critical purpose is to ensure that Georgia’s vital natural habitat and wildlife continues to be professionally overseen by the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
The proposed amendment specifies that the “tradition of hunting and fishing, and the taking of fish and wildlife, will be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the common good.” This is simple language like the words used by our forefathers. Thousands of parents and grandparents are sitting quietly, fishing with children, talking, reflecting on the wonder of nature, and how we treasure Georgia’s natural resources. Help keep these moments alive.

Be sure to vote “YES” on Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2 and encourage all of your friends and family to do the same! The future of hunting and fishing in Georgia depends on it!

25 comments

  1. Chris says:

    You’re using a statement made 16 years ago to scare us into amending the state constitution to further regulate fishing and hunting?

    I don’t think so.

  2. mercergirl says:

    Just because the statement was made 16 years ago doesn’t mean this isn’t still a goal of that organization.

  3. Chris says:

    And when you enshrine the powers in the state constitution to “manage [anything] by law and regulation for the common good,” you’re handing them their wish on a silver platter.

  4. waterboy says:

    I like all 3 proposed amendments. 1) limit eminent domain use 2) protect rights to hunt and fish and 3) developing a bunch of special use tags that fund the various ares of interest for Georgians.

  5. Eric, serious question here:
    Who has done more to damage the rights of hunters in this state. The combined might of every PETA statement ever uttered, or Perdue in letting Oaky Woods fall into private developer hands, and then the Republican legislators pushing private cities to completely develop this entire tract and leave none of it for public nature use?

    Well? I mean, how can you on the one hand push the rights of outdoorsmen and on the other push a constitutional amendment like private cities that would allow developers to do whatever they want with land as long as it is in an unincorporated area, including ignoring nearly all local environmental laws and regulations.

    I certainly agree that hunters and fishers in this state have done an exceptional job at being conservationists, but I also agree that they can use a government to be a watchdog over things they themselves can’t control. I think Georgians are smart enough to figure out where the real threat to the outdoors comes from, and it aint PETA.

  6. Chris says:

    In simple terms like our founders wrote, the amendment should read something like “there will be no law interfering with the people’s tradition of hunting and fishing for personal enjoyment and/or survival. Hunting and fishing activities undertaken for the purposes of commerce are to be managed by law and regulated for the common good.”

  7. Warrior says:

    Oakey Woods has more to do with Amendment #1 and private property rights, but I guess Chris wants the private land owner to donate $20 million to the state.

    And either there is a threat to the future of hunting or there is not. Some of you folks are exactly who this amendment is aimed at.

  8. CobbGOPer says:

    I’m more interested in the aspects of this amendment that will make it more difficult for local governments to restrict firearms use.

  9. Warrior, now that Georgia enjoys a record budget surplus which Sonny’s ads tell us about all the time, how about the developer sells Oaky Woods back to the state for a modest profit and the state guarantees that it will be kept as publicly available land for those who can’t afford to hunt at Life of the South plantation to use?

    Perdue said he didn’t know when the state would ever be able to afford the $30 million or so to purchase the land. Well, don’t we have a $500 billion surplus now, or is Sonny lying?

  10. Bill Simon says:

    Senator Johnson,

    I’ll bet you’ll find lots of city dwellers don’t eat boiled peanuts…and wouldn’t take the time to understand why you rural folks do like to eat them.

    Shouldn’t you work on getting an amendment up next year to protect boiled peanuts?

  11. Warrior says:

    CiHC: If the new owner wants to sell, I am sure the state is still interested. And the surplus is spoken for primarily for school kids. That’s the good thing about a surplus in a fast growing state. You can meet your needs without raising taxes or cutting programs.

  12. Nicki says:

    Vote no on Amendment two. a) It’s a disingenuous law meant to limit local governments from passing laws that infringe upon the use of firearms in public places and b) it’s unnecessary for the purpose stated.

  13. Rick Day says:

    Sen. Johnson,

    With all due respects, the tone of this post is just more of bipartisan ‘us versus them’ (them evil city folk versus the biblical right fof the gentle country squires to kill doves, bears and deer with bullets, buckshot and arrows).

    Being up here near Ellijay, I see the ‘family traditions’ espoused by hunters and their kin; by the proliferation of confederate emblems on their gas guzzling 3 ton trucks.

    RVs, pulling trailers packed with gas guzzling ATVs; at least 2/3 have Cobb or Fulton plates. Ach! So much for city dwellers who do not hunt….

    If your voting record can demonstrate you have repeatedly voted against making acquisitions of public lands easier for developers, I will never doubt your sincerity.

    Should I otherwise?

    Sir, does it ALWAYS have to be an ‘us versus them’ tone in these affairs of state?

    But thank you for posting this. I love giving you gentle squires positive feedback 🙂

    Regards.

    Me (who owns 5 guns, sees deer almost daily yet has never though shooting an animal was a ‘family tradition’).

  14. This amendment is ridiculous (or rather the concept that there is a ‘war on hunting’ is ridiculous). It’s like the ficticious ‘war on christmas’ . . . . But be sure to amend our constitution because . . . “The future of hunting and fishing in Georgia depends on it!” . . . . Really, The future really depends on it, I swear it does . . .

    I plan on voting against ALL amendments- I do not believe the constitution of the state or nation should be monkeyed with every single election to benefit some narrow inerest or other.

  15. Jeff says:

    There can not be a surplus, we are required constitutionally to have a balanced budget. I agree with candlerparkliberal about not having the citizens vote on constitutional amendments. Too often the parties use them for electoral turn out…not because it will be beneficial to the citizens.

  16. kspencer says:

    Waterboy,

    I voted (love advance voting) against the third amendment proposed. I expect it to pass, but it’s because nobody notices it’s not about raising money by tags – we can do that already. It’s allowing the state to raise money and give it to private organizations.

    So (for a distasteful example) the state of Georgia could make ‘protection of animals’ tags and give the funds to PETA – with no further controls on how those funds are used.

    No.

  17. kspencer says:

    Oh, and to put it back on the original thread, I voted against the second amendment. In the end, it boiled down to my inability to see the desires of PETA as a legitimate threat deserving a constitutional bulwark.

    Overkill amendments worry me. So I voted no.

  18. Demonbeck says:

    I am voting yes proudly…and would encourage others to do the same.

    I do have one question for Senator Johnson though. Can we use the same logic you did and increase limits on some of these species? I know for a fact that the dove population can handle an 18 bird limit.

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