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Inmates are running the asylum: Anti-gun laws keep getting crazier


There was bad news this week for gun owners in California: three of the four anti-gun laws heard in the Assembly’s public safety committee passed out of that committee in their march to become the latest batch of senseless gun laws in this state. Two would expand the current definition of “assault weapon” to include all semi-automatic centerfire rifles with detachable magazines, and the third that moved forward would limit all gun purchases to one per month.

If someone could explain to me how those laws will do anything to reduce crime, help law enforcement solve crimes, or prevent mass shootings, I’m all ears. The only people they impact are legal gun owners.

But there is even more news this week: The California insanity is spreading. Maryland lawmakers are apparently are battling to get the front seats on the anti-gun hysteria crazy train.

This past week, a Baltimore legislator introduced a bill that would ban the sale, possession, and use of “imitation firearms,” targeting toys and air guns, unless they are brightly colored or can be readily identified by exterior markings -- following in the footsteps of a similar California law already on the books. But the Maryland folks took it even further down crazy lane.

With no grandfather clause, anyone who currently owns a toy gun, air rifle, or air soft gun that looks like – just for example -- a Colt .45 -- could face a $1,000 fine and a year in prison. Are you laughing? Are you envisioning the juvenile courts and juvenile halls clogged with 12-year-old boys arrested with their Model 94 look-alike BB guns? Can you imagine a judge looking over his glasses tisk, tisk, tisking a creative college student who carved a wooden pistol with his pocket knife?

Oh wait, those same Maryland lawmakers want to ban pocket knives (and guns) on college campuses, too. Their concern is that horror of horrors: a college student with a wooden gun he’s carved with a --gasp! -- banned pen knife. The Maryland prison population is going to explode when these bills pass.

All aboard the crazy train.

Grizzlies proposed for removal

from endangered species listing

The environmental loon community is apoplectic this week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was moving forward with the proposal to remove the grizzly bear in the greater Yellowstone region from the list of endangered species.

The grizzly population has grown to over 730 animals from a low of around 300 when they were listed. This is well above the minimum of 500 bears the management plan listed as a minimum for recovery. The bears are dispersing into areas they haven’t utilized for over 100 years and conflicts with humans have grown proportionally as the population expanded. Nearly 60 animals were killed because of human-bear conflicts in 2015, the most ever indicating the population has saturated its existing habitat.

The USFWS proposed delisting several years ago, but the lunatic fringe howled that loss of white bark pine and cutthroat trout, two major food sources of grizzly bears, were leading to the dispersal and forcing more human conflicts, not that the population had saturated its environment. But the professional scientists followed up on that train of thought and disproved the idea, saying the bears were versatile and adaptable not relying on a single food source.

It’s funny that if the science is settled on global warming, why isn’t the science settled on grizzly bears? All of the credible scientists say grizzly bears are recovered and continuing to expand their range, but the delisting will be balled up in court for another two or three years at least.

Why? Because the management of the bears will go back to the states now, and just like with wolves, the environmental loon community doesn’t like management that might include the killing of a few bears by sport hunters, who completely fund the state’s wildlife management program. They would rather have bears hit by cars or cubs killed an eaten by male bears because the population has grown beyond what its habitat will support. They lie that the shooting of a handful of bears would send them right back to the endangered species list.

As with wolves, the grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states will continue to grow and their range will continue to expand. Delisting is not a road to extinction; it’s a reason to rejoice. The species has recovered due to sound management. That sound management will continue under the states.

Blake Jones Trout Derby

next weekend in Bishop

The early trout season opener in Inyo County waters from Independence Creek south was this Saturday, giving anglers eight additional weeks of fishing in the southern Eastern Sierra Nevada before the regular trout season opener the last Saturday in April.

The Blake Jones Trout Derby, which celebrates this early opener and the year-around waters open in the region, is held at Pleasant Valley Reservoir eight miles north of Bishop each year the second Saturday in March. This year’s event is the 49th derby and more than $10,000 in prizes will be given away. Entry fee is $20 for adults and $10 for kids, and there are categories for kids and adults.

The contest is a blind bogey competition. Each participant may enter up to five trout of any size and those closest to the blind bogey fish weight win, so everyone who catches fish has an equal chance to win.

There is also a special raffle for a $2,000 float tube fishing package with tickets selling for$5 each or five for $20, and all the proceeds from this raffle go toward supplemental trout planting in the area.

Registration forms are available on-line at, or you can call the Bishop Chamber of Commerce for more information at 760-873-8405.


[Jim Matthews is a syndicated Southern California-based outdoor reporter and columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 909-887-3444.]

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