Opinion

Commentary: S.C. doesn't need constitutional amendment for hunting, fishing rights

To our knowledge, no move is afoot to limit the right of South Carolinians to hunt and fish. That means the amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot to enshrine that right in the state constitution is superfluous.

Nonetheless, voters will get the chance to weigh in on this solution to a non-existent problem. As often is the case, our state Legislature, instead of tending to important business, voted overwhelmingly to include this useless amendment on the ballot.

Even supporters say they see no immediate threat to the right to hunt and fish. But they have concerns about potential attacks from animal-rights advocates and the spread of urban areas into hunting habitat.

In truth, they should be worried about another threat: modern life. Americans just aren't as interested in hunting and fishing as they used to be.

The number of hunters peaked at around 19 million in 1975. Within a decade, that number had dropped to 12.5 million.

While the number of South Carolina anglers held relatively steady from 2001 to 2006, the number of hunters fell more than 21 percent. Nationwide, the number of anglers fell more than 11 percent.

People have other recreational pursuits, including organized sports for children. Plus, many young people would rather spend their time slaying mythical beasts on a video game than sitting in a blind waiting to shoot a real deer.

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