Is it lazy of me to recycle comments that I've written on other people's blogs as posts on my own? Well, yes, I think it is.
I wrote in response to Langdon's post about his journey into the world of hunting:
I'd say that there are positive dangers to feeling 'comfortable' around guns. 'Comfortable' is what you might reasonably expect to feel after a good meal with friends and a bottle of wine; the same state of mind in the field, however, might well get you or your friend seriously hurt or killed outright. So I think it's perfectly fine to be wide awake and a little nervous around any sort of firearm.
Hunters - I'd dare to say, based on my very slight experience - are people who hunt, not people who have a certain set of feelings about the tools that come with the discipline. Gun fetishists certainly do exist, though - as certainly as does a certain sensibility (among non-hunters by and large) that takes the words 'hunter' and 'gun-fetishist' to be two terms for the same thing. There may well be hunters who are gun fetishists but there's no reason to think that to use a particular tool is to by necessity make it an object of misguided worship.
We do use the same word - 'killing' - to refer to what we do when we deprive one of our fellow humans of their life and also for what we do when we take the life of an animal for the table: we kill them. But it's a mistake, I'd say, to imagine that because we use the same word we are therefore performing acts with the same grave ethical weight. To make this mistake and equate the taking of an animal life for food with the taking of a human life does damage I'd argue mainly to the infinite respect we owe to human life. We do a serious thing when we take the life of an animal for food, it's true; but (with the exception of those thankfully rare situations where a failure to act in this terrible way may do greater harm to others) we do an evil thing when we take the life of one of our fellow humans. If we can't distinguish between 'serious' and 'evil' then, I'd say, it's our fellow humans that we stand to harm the most.
Thanks for your good writing and the best of luck to you with the hunting.