by Mark Chesnut - Tuesday, October 4, 2022
The old term “payback is hell” commonly rings true, but not always in the political realm.
As President Joe Biden just proved last week, payback is sometimes simply rewarding an individual for loyalty to the cause, no matter how inappropriate or unqualified. In this case, we’re talking about Biden’s appointment of Ryan Busse, a hero to many in the gun-ban movement and former Biden campaign advisor, to the federal Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council as an “unaffiliated” member.
In truth, there couldn’t have been a worse choice. That’s because while much of the bill for wildlife conservation and management is paid by firearms purchasers through a special excise tax on guns, ammo and other such goods, Busse is an avid anti-gunner and a paid advisor to a well-known gun-ban group. In 2021, Busse, a former gun company executive, was hired as a senior advisor to the gun-ban group Giffords, which is making a concerted push to pass anti-gun legislation of all kinds.
In fighting for the rights of America’s law-abiding gun owners, Jason Ouimet, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), called out the Biden administration’s latest move, explaining, “After announcing plans to limit access to recreational shooting and ban the use of traditional ammunition on federal land, the Biden administration now has appointed a radical gun control advocate to advise on federal policy that directly impacts America’s hunters and recreational shooters across the country. This appointment underscores the Biden administration's contempt for America's outdoorsmen and women.”
Echoing Ouimet’s sentiment was Mark Oliva, managing director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm industry’s trade association. “The appointment of Ryan Busse to the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council, a federal advisory committee, is a farce and demonstrates the contempt the Biden administration holds for lawful gun owners who hunt on America’s public and private lands,” Oliva said in a released statement. “Busse was listed as ‘unaffiliated,’ but that is not true. He is not an unaffiliated shooting sports interest expert. He is advisor for the Giffords gun control group and openly advocates for the ban on the most popular selling centerfire rifle in America—the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR).”
In fact, Busse is the author of the anti-gun book Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America. Since jumping ship, Busse hasn’t seen a gun-ban scheme he hasn’t embraced.
In a June interview with MSNBC promoting his book, Busse even chided Americans who look at their firearms as one aspect of their American freedom and believe they help empower them to live life to its fullest.
“Let's face it, guns and the power that they convey, they transmit almost an immediate sense of freedom and power, this sort of Americana feel, like you're a master of your own destiny,” he said.
That same month, while pushing his book on CNN, Busse insinuated that those who participate in Second Amendment politics are some kind of “fringe” group.
“Much like a loud minority of what I think are Americans controlling the right side of our country, so too are a loud minority of gun owners controlling the politics of the NRA and the politics of guns,” he said. “I don’t only think they are preying on people’s fear, they are creating fear.”
Just a month earlier he had tweeted: “It says a lot about guns in America that I now have a permanent personal @CNN show login.”
While the U.S. president saw fit to put someone from a gun-ban group on the council, he hasn’t offered the same opportunity for those with a real stake in the game: the gun industry.
“Glaringly absent … is any representative from the firearm and ammunition industry, even though the industry is responsible for the vast majority of conservation funds through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax,” Oliva noted. “To date, the firearm and ammunition industry has provided over $15.3 billion to wildlife conservation since 1937 and over $1.1 billion of the conservation funds apportioned to the states last year was directly tied to taxes paid by firearm and ammunition manufacturers.”
In the end, Biden has once again proven that politics is seemingly more important than anything else in today’s America. And in doing so, with the Busse appointment he has called into question the very legitimacy of the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council.
“The Biden administration has politicized this advisory council to legitimize Busse and the far-left gun control policies he and the gun control group he represents,” Oliva concluded. “This is a sham and doesn’t come close to representing the interests of lawful gun owners who hunt and are faithful stewards of the precious wildlife resources our nation enjoys.”
About the Author
Freelance writer Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC in Jenks, Okla. An avid hunter, shooter and field-trialer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years, previously serving as editor of the NRA’s America’s First Freedom.
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