Senator Billy Wayne Bailey had been pushing for all schools in the state to offer voluntary hunting courses.State lawmakers finally approved the Bill, Friday.Bailey claims he did it to improve the state's finances as a decline in the number of permits had led to falling permit revenues.The move is backed by the National Rifle Association.
The number of hunters nationwide has fallen from 19.1 million in 1975 to 12.5 million in 2006.Experts offer different reasons for the decline in hunting.Increasing single parent homes,growing urbanization, and the increasing popularity of the internet and video games are amongst the reasons cited by them.
Apart from causing a loss of revenue the fall in hunting activities has also caused an increase in the wildlife population, particularly deer.It is causing problems in some states, notably in West Virginia which has the highest number of vehicle accidents caused by deer. Almost 40 deer on an average are killed every day in road accidents in the state.
Gun control groups are not amused.They point to the Virginia Tech incident to highlight the danger of selling guns to immature children and letting them bring them to school.Animal lovers have called for promoting other types of outdoor activity such as wildlife watching and photography.They emphasize that you can enjoy nature without killing animals.
But Senator Bailey is clear in his mind that he wants kids to learn hunting and gun safety in school as part of their physical education classes.'Hunting is an economic and cultural thing and we have seen a decline of hunting licenses over the past years,' he told Agence France-Presse.