But it generates a bit of fuss when not everyone in fly over land takes it kindly, or finds some of the references to alcohol or illegal drug use, particularly in connection with hunting, strikes them as 'mean spirited'. As distinct from alcohol 'spirited', that is, or more tolerant and approving humor. It goes beyond laughing with versus laughing at a group of people, but in either case, there is a core of fact underlying both kinds of artistic expression.
This Disney cartoon, back in the pre-Politically Correct days, was in competition for an animation Academy Award in 1955, losing to Merrie Melodies 'Speedy Gonzales' cartoon about Mexican mice trying illegally to cross the border to steal American cheese.
So......how accurate are the claims about careless, reckless, or chemical use impaired hunting?
Snopes has a section on it, HERE.
And then we have this more recent news item on an off-duty Massachusetts State Police Trooper who shot a woman he mistook for a deer. From the AP:
Now I will be the first to concede that hunters would not harvest nearly as many deer if they were limited to screw drivers, or less lethal weapons, like bows and arrows. I also have no reason to suggest that this particular hunter who shot the woman mistaking her for a deer was under the influence of either legal or illegal substances.
Off-duty Massachusetts State Police trooper shoots Norton woman, says he thought she was deer
Published: Sunday, January 01, 2012, 1:43 PM Updated: Sunday, January 01, 2012, 1:47 PMNORTON, Mass. (AP) — Police say an off-duty state trooper who was hunting in Norton has shot and wounded a 66-year-old woman walking her two dogs after sunset, claiming that he thought she was a deer.
The woman was hit in the torso while walking on a wooded path at about 5 p.m. Saturday. Norton police say the trooper called 911 after realizing that his target was not a deer.
State police on Sunday said the trooper is not being identified because he faces no charges and no internal investigation.
The woman was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment. Authorities did not immediately release additional information on her condition.
The woman is not being fully identified by police who said she and the trooper live in Norton.
Norton, state and environmental police officers are investigating the incident.
But I can tell you that as someone who lives in a rural area on land posted no hunting, there are still hunters who trespass, or who shoot where their fire extends onto this property. I can tell you that when we hear shooting, we bring the dogs inside --- and then hope like hell nothing comes through the walls, because there are a lot of careless recreational shooters and hunters, and that alcohol use in quantity is a part of that tradition.
And according to this site on Iowa State Drug Trends, Meth is the primary illegal drug of choice, although I'd bet that alcohol use as a legal (and sometimes illegally used) chemical is at least AS popular. So while the urban transplanted professor to fly-over land may be considered a bit mean spirited for his observations on his fellow Iowans, he's statistically fairly accurate according to this data in his observations concerning alcohol use, illegal drug use, and hunting traditions. And his observations in some instances are not specific ONLY to Iowa.
The reasons for concern about the chronic use of meth by those who also hunt or otherwise are firearm 'enthusiasts' is the pattern of violence associated with the drug- and not just to the animals the users of alcohol or Meth are hunting.
From this course material on meth:
Rural CommunitiesBut in fly-over states like Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and all the other states where meth is a problem drug, it isn't considered very nice to point out the problem. It's accurate to do so, but it is met with resentment, anger, and apparently threats.
Methamphetamine use among youth and adults is especially troublesome in rural parts of the country. The DEA says that
“methamphetamine has become the most dangerous drug problem of small-town America.” In fact, the DEA’s Fast Facts
About Meth notes that youth ages 12 to 14 who live in small towns are 104 percent more likely to use the drug than young
people living in larger cities.
What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse?
Long-term methamphetamine abuse results in many damaging effects, including addiction. Addiction is a chronic,
relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and drug use which is accompanied by functional and
molecular changes in the brain. In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic methamphetamine abusers
exhibit symptoms that can include violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. They also can display a number of
psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions (for example, the
sensation of insects creeping on the skin, which is called "formication"). The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as
With chronic use, tolerance for methamphetamine can develop. In an effort to intensify the desired effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their method of drug intake. In some cases, abusers forego food and sleep while indulging in a form of binging known as a "run," injecting as much as a gram of the drug every 2 to 3 hours over several days until the user runs out of the drug or is too disorganized to continue. Chronic abuse can lead to
psychotic behavior, characterized by intense paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and out-of-control rages that can be coupled with extremely violent behavior.