CARTOONIST FITZSIMMONS DRAWS ON GUN NUTS AT TUCSON SHOWDOWN
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2000:
TUCSON––Nearly 650 animal
defenders and thousands of gun nuts converged
on September 17 at the Tucson
Convention Center. The last day of the 6th
annual No-Kill Conference had been booked,
unknown to conference organizer Lynda Foro
of Doing Things For Animals, just a glass
wall away from the first day of a weekend gun
show and rallying event for supporters of
Arizona ballot Proposition 102.
Backed by the Tucson-based Safari
Club International and the National Rifle
Association, Proposition 102 would require
that future state initiatives regarding wildlife
management must get a two-thirds majority.
As the crowds gathered, SHARK
founder Hindi and ANIMAL PEOPLE editor
Merritt Clifton strode through the lines awaiting
admission to the gun show to the NRA
membership recruiting table and delivered to
the man who seemed to be in charge a written
challenge to debate at one hour past high noon.
Hindi, who aired undercover video
of pigeon shoots, prairie dog shoots, canned
hunts, and bullfights from the SHARK Slam
Van throughout the conference, challenged
the NRA to debate sportsmanship––either in
front of the van or in their own exhibition hall.
Clifton challenged the NRA to
debate the influence of hunting on young people.
Clifton mentioned that he had with him
his 1994-1995 studies of the confluence of
county rates of hunting participation and child
abuse inNew York, Ohio, and Michigan.
The challenge was amplified on the
No Kill Conference public address system, but
the NRA did not respond. Members of the gun
show crowd did, however, harrass No Kill
Conference attendees Maru Vigu of Tucson,
Jeunne Gibson of Gig Harbor, Washington,
and Claudine Erlandson of Seattle––who photographed
a beefy young man in camoflauge as
he tried to prevent her from taking pictures.
Arizona Globe cartoonist and
Hermitage Cat Shelter board member Dave
Fitzsimmons got the last laugh (above) as NoKill
Conference banquet finale speaker.
Also lampooned, among others
picked out of the audience, were Foro, SPCA
of Texas executive director Warren Cox, and
“Neutress of the Night” Kat Chaplin