By David J. Forjan / Tularosa Resident
Friday, March 3rd, 2017

In the six decades I’ve been on this planet, American society has become continuously more violent. Movies, TV shows, video games. Mass shootings at churches, temples, mosques, schools. No one single event triggered all this. It’s like the expression “death by a thousand cuts.” No one cut causes death, but lots of little cuts will.

I just witnessed one of these “cuts” that increases violence in America, this one being bigger than most, and it was right here at home in New Mexico, inflicted by the state Senate Conservation Committee in a hearing about a bill to ban trapping on public land.

First, let’s all acknowledge one thing like adults: Trapping is violent and cruel. Forget the spin, the BS. Trapping is cruel, period. It fits one definition of torture.

And that issue, that trapping is cruel, and the danger it presents to the public, are the only issues of contention from the opponents of trapping. Just that. Remember that as you read the rest of this.

Sadly, in all the discussions by and between those senators on the Senate Conservation Committee about SB 286 to ban trapping on public land, none mentioned cruelty or danger. (The bill is being re-worked in the committee.)

Of all the seven senators from this committee that were there, none of them even mentioned the words. You’d think that at least one would say something like “but this trapping is cruel, folks.” But no, they wouldn’t. So I will.

But I won’t tell you about my experience with my dog stepping in a trap, while on a leash, on public land, me being not 2 feet from it myself. It was bad. We’ve all heard hundreds of such experiences for decades now – decades.

Trapping perpetuates cruelty and violence in America. Violence begets violence.

Trapping only benefits a tiny minority of residents, while it is a clear and present danger to many thousands of citizens and tourists and children and their pets.

Trapping sends the wrong message to our youngsters – that inflicting cruelty for money is OK. Studies have concluded that children who are cruel to animals are far more likely to perpetrate domestic violence as adults.

As for the financial impact, trapping accounts for only about $40,000 from licenses yearly.

I should also add that state government even increased the amount of trapping allowable on public land recently.

And here we have seven highly intelligent state senators, all of whom have admirably chosen to serve the common good. But they can’t even say the word “cruelty.” These senators had a chance to reduce the amount of cruelty, and therefore violence, in New Mexico, and thus in America, too. But they wouldn’t even speak the word.

I ask that you pray for these seven Senators, or make a wish if you prefer, that they mature in their morality. Otherwise, violence in New Mexico and America will continue to increase rather than decrease. Especially when senators can’t even say the words.

This Guest Column was publishing in the Albuquerque journal on March 3, 2017.