Civil Disobedience in England

Parliament has banned fox hunting–actually, using dogs to hunt any wild animal–throughout England. This follows a heated campaign, which the pro-hunting forces lost despite the superior pulchritude they brought to the effort.
On the first weekend after the ban went into effect, thousands of hunters took to the fields in protest; the Washington Times reports.
Many hunters claimed to be staying within the law by not actually pursuing foxes, although it was not clear how they communicated that intention to the hounds. Others boldly challenged the new law. Anti-hunting activists were out in force, too:

Warren Ball, a hunting opponent, came with a video camera to record any breaches of the law. “The majority of the public thinks this is a cruel thing and should be banned. I’m here to make sure that happens,” Mr. Ball said.

For the pro-hunting side, too, the issue is one of principle:

Tim Leach, 25, a trainee lawyer, said he came out because it was a civil liberties issue. “It’s class war really,” Mr. Leach said. “I shoot, and that’s going to go next. People feel very strongly about it, and there will be civil disobedience.”

Leach’s belief that the anti-hunting forces are just getting warmed up is undoubtedly correct; as another hunter quoted by the Times observes, some of the hunting opponents “would protest the opening of a meat pie.”
This is one time when we can say “It can’t happen here,” and really mean it. America’s hunters are too powerful; I suspect they’re also better armed than their English counterparts. I think it’s time for the NRA to open a branch in England.


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