“I hope your dogs eat your face.”
“You deserve to be raped. I want to be the one to do it.”
“I’m going to hunt your family like you hunted that deer.”
These and other gems have become nauseatingly familiar to me. Most people hunt and shoot without ever being on the receiving end of threats, but I’m not among them. For years I’ve had the unwanted pleasure of watching human decency dive gleefully into its current downward spiral.
Men and women alike issue threats like these and seem more comfortable running their mouths when the target is a woman. Perhaps they believe that I’m defenseless and would be easy pickings should they ever actually find me (guess again). Maybe I look like an easy target with my blonde – and blue – hair, blue eyes, boobs, and perpetual smirk.
Whatever it is, they have no problem filling my email inbox, social media messaging, and comment sections with hate. This week’s column is for you, hunting haters.
To the Anti-Hunters Whom it May Concern . . .
First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read my work. Writers, after all, are wholly dependent upon the interest of readers to survive. If it’s a photograph to which you took snowflake-like offense, well, thank you for finding it compelling enough to evaluate for potentially upsetting nuances. Without you my numbers wouldn’t be increasing at such a fantastic rate; for this, I thank you.
Something you should know, regarding your apparently sincere wish for my rape, maiming, and/or murder (it’s so creative when you mix and match): sending that message was illegal.
I know, way to bring the party down. One of the laws you’re breaking while spewing vile hatred is 18 U.S.C. § 875, statute (c):
Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
Under the aforementioned statute your email/direct message/comment is legally a threat if any reasonable person would take your statement of desire to inflict bodily harm seriously and/or perceive said statement as being made with the hope to effect some sort of change or to intimidate. I could throw around related legal terms like mens rea and actus reus, but I don’t want to inadvertently send you running for a dictionary.
The recipient – that’d be me – doesn’t have to think you’re really outside the window with a gun – y’all hunting haters do so love to threaten us with guns – for it to be a threat. We need only believe the threat was made with real intent. It’s all about intent.
That means you, local person who threatened me recently on social media, broke the law (and then some). And yes, I’m quite confident you’re reading this. Am I wrong?
Yes, I’m a writer, meaning I’m out there for the world to see. I did not, however, choose to become a writer because I wanted to rub my hunts or love of firearms in your face. I write because I love the written word and want to share my passions with like-minded people.
When I began writing as a child I didn’t do so in the hopes I could someday piss off angry basement-dwellers. I did so because, dammit, I love to write. Crazy, in this day and age of people who can neither spell nor form a complete sentence, but it is what it is.
Here’s something you don’t understand and will undoubtedly refuse to consider: hunting rocks and shooting is awesome. Combining the two in the woods and fields makes me a happy Kat. I enjoy honing the skills necessary for precise shot placement and revel in the fantastic taste of game meat.
By the way, I have and do hunt to feed my family. I even enjoy the hours spent processing my organic meat and building, repairing, and cleaning my guns. Guess what? I’m good at it. All you seem to be good at is behaving like a toddler on crack on the internet.
Yes, my daughter hunts and shoots. She’s good at it, too.
Oh, and in answer to your question: I sleep at night just fine, with a selection of long guns in a SnapSafe Under-Bed Safe beneath me and handguns in a Keypad Vault beside me. Yes, there are other guns, but I can’t give away all my secrets in an open letter to a bunch of unstable hoplophobic halfwits, now can I?
A word of advice. Give serious consideration to not threatening legally armed Americans. Because we are law-abiding, we will pursue threats in court – remember those five years and fines? – but we are also trained and prepared to defend our lives if it ever comes to that.
Just some homegrown food for thought, but maybe you should stick to threatening someone more on your level. Someone like that baby in the park who gave you the side-eye yesterday when you made a grab for its binky, or maybe the squirrel who chattered at you wrong when didn’t share your nuts.
All right, I got a bit carried away there at the end. I apologize (see how easy it is?).
You seem stressed. Maybe you need more protein in your diet. Did you know protein contains amino acids that help your body produce serotonin, which in turn produces feelings of well-being? Just something to consider. I’d offer some of mine but it’s all from hunts and I don’t want to offend your delicate sensibilities.
Have a nice day trolling the internet for imagined slights against your peculiar perception of reality.
P.S. You really should have that twitch examined by a doctor.