The life of a Highland poacher is a far different one from that of an Englishman following the same profession. Instead of a sneaking night-walking ruffian, a mixture of cowardice and ferocity, as most English poachers are, and ready to commit any crime that he hopes to perpetrate with impunity, the Highlander is a bold fearless fellow, shooting openly by daylight, taking his sport in the same manner as the Laird, or the Sassenach who rents the ground. He never snares or wires game, but depends on his dog and gun. -- Sketches of the Wild Sports and Natural History of the Highlands, Chapter V
Mark Stein observes: "The NPS has spent the past two weeks behaving as the paramilitary wing of the DNC, expending more resources in trying to close down open-air, unfenced areas than it would normally do in keeping them open."
Is this for real? It’s not King Barack’s land; it’s supposed to be the people’s land, and his most groveling and unworthy subjects shouldn’t require a dispensation by His Benign Majesty to set foot on it. It is disturbing how easily large numbers of Americans lapse into a neo-monarchical prostration that few subjects of actual monarchies would be comfortable with these days. But, then, in actual monarchies the King takes a more generous view of “public lands.” Two years after Magna Carta, in 1217, King Henry II signed the Charter of the Forest, which, despite various amendments and replacement statutes, remained in force in Britain for some three-quarters of a millennium, until the early Seventies. If Magna Carta is a landmark in its concept of individual rights, the Forest Charter played an equivalent role in advancing the concept of the commons, the public space. Repealing various restrictions by his predecessors, Henry II opened the royal forests to the freemen of England, granted extensive grazing and hunting rights and eliminated the somewhat severe penalty of death for taking the King’s venison. The NPS have not yet fried anyone for taking King Barack’s deer, but it is somewhat sobering to reflect that an English peasant enjoyed more freedom on the Sovereign’s land in the 13th century than a freeborn American does on “the people’s land” in the 21st century.
You know, I met several folks yesterday at the Birmingham gun show who are, today, intent upon "testing the fences" in the Talladega National Forest. They will be hiking or otherwise trespassing on "King Barack's Forests." It should be interesting to see how this civil disobedience goes given that most rangers are Alabama good old boys themselves who -- after this ridiculous exercise -- will still have to live in this community. Do they really want the social opprobrium that comes with taking the King's shilling and being the King's man when arresting their erstwhile friends and neighbors for this chicken excrement?
As for me, I'd like to see some hardy Three Percenters "test the fences" themselves by bringing back trophies -- say one of these hated signs, or NPS "off limits" police tape or even a traffic cone from the Mount Rushmore "scenic view denial" silliness. If you don't want to send the trophies to my PO Box, at least drop me an anonymous photo and I'll scan it and post it here. We ARE everywhere, you know. And the National Park Service's new band of thugs cannot be. ;-)