I know gun control is a very hot debate topic today, especially because of recent mass shootings. My personal stance is that if someone wants a gun, they will get a gun. Putting crazy limitations on guns probably won’t help very much. I think funding should go more towards addressing core psychological issues. I think many mental issues arise when people are younger and in public schooling ages, where the government could really implement focused programs that address mental health issues before things get out of hand. But, back to the article. I didn’t know about this act until today, and it is the most positive thing coming from the recent gun frenzy. The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 or the Pittman-Robertson Act was signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. The act “places an excise tax on the manufacturers of guns, ammunition, and some archery items. The money collected by the tax is apportioned to the states for wildlife conservation and hunter-education programs.” The election of President Barack Obama apparently played a key role in the spike in wildlife funding. After Obama’s first election, New York’s generated tax from this act jumped from 10 million to 13.1 million dollars, with a nationwide total of 472 million dollars. The act was hailed by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last year as “arguably the most effective conservation law in history.” Roosevelt felt, even back in the 1930’s, “that there has been a lack of a full and complete public realization of our wildlife plight, of the urgency of it, and of the many social and economic values that wildlife has to our people.” Well said! The money is split up based on a formula considering a state’s land area and the number of hunting licenses. The article gives several examples about how the funds from this act have been used over the years for wildlife preservation and restoration. From the people interviewed for this article, it seems like this act is surprising in the fact that it actually does what it is supposed to.
I think this is an amazingly interesting article. However, it is slightly depressing that this act was set in motion back in 1937 and the government hasn’t really been able to make a more effective one apparently. I guess Roosevelt really knew how much people love their guns, and this act was the best way to ensure that his love and desire for nature preservation would live on in at least a small way.