The article The Killing of the Shrew (Nov. 18) by Ron Rau on why the hunter hunts and why the adrenaline flows was excellent. I have often wondered what it is that drives a man to kill a poor, innocent creature that has done nothing to disturb him.
I have found through my own personal experience that the minute I get a gun in my hand the adrenaline starts to flow. I agree that "exciting" is not the right word. I cannot think of a word that describes the sensation that is felt from this challenge.
It is true that the more the hunter identifies with his victim, the more "excited" he gets. This article reminds me of Richard Connell's story The Most Dangerous Came.
Ron Rau says he is not a compulsive killer. I cannot agree. The taking of any life just because it is alive and within range is the hallmark of a compulsive killer. Thank you for the article; it provides some of the best anti-hunting, anti-gun ammunition I have ever come across.
I have nothing against the hunter who hunts and uses the kill for food. I had nothing against Ron Rau stalking the black bear, for he mentions using the bear for food. Fine. I do, however, take exception to his confrontation with the tiny, harmless shrew.
JACK ST. ONGE
Boca Raton, Fla.
Hats off for publishing Ron Rau's article. As a non-hunter, I found it to be a thought-provoking statement of the hunter's ego.
WAITING TO SEE
The article by William O. Johnson on the Lake Placid Olympic bid (Back Where the Games Belong, Nov. 4) spoke of the proposal having gotten the "backing" of the Sierra Club. By the time this letter reaches you I probably will have heard from the half of our 10,000 New York State members who have not already called or written me to ask, "Is it true?"
The Sierra Club has at no time taken any position in support of the Lake Placid Olympics. The position which we have taken, both in our formal policy statement last April and in our testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives in May, is that we would neither oppose nor support the proposals for holding the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. However, our neutrality was contingent upon the strict adherence to the letter and the spirit of existing land-use laws.
We in New York State are fortunate to possess the finest piece of wilderness in the Northeast. The people of the state have guarded this resource for 80 years by constitutional provision. In the last decade there was a growing awareness that this invaluable asset was threatened by forces from which the state constitution could not provide adequate protection. As a result the governor and legislature sponsored and passed an enlightened plan for the administration of state lands and the regulated development of private lands.
We do not want to see 80 years of careful husbandry jeopardized in the enthusiasm of the moment. We therefore explicitly reserved the right to oppose and to enter into legal proceedings, if necessary, to ensure that these laws are not infringed. This is the total extent and form of our "support" for the Lake Placid Olympics.
Chairman, Atlantic Chapter
New York City