July 3, 2014
Randy Santucci supports live pigeon shoots but fails to describe what a live pigeon shoot is. This is not an accident. I am sure Mr. Santucci knows that the reason why so many people are opposed to pigeon shooting, including hunters and members of the NRA, is because of how obscene, immoral and cruel pigeon shoots are. As someone who has been on the ground at numerous shoots, allow me to tell you what Mr. Santucci doesn’t want you to know.
The cruelty begins long before any shots are fired. No matter what the originating source the pigeons come from, whether they are sold by pest control companies, bred for shoots or trapped off the street, these animals are starved and deprived of water for days leading up to the shoot. We know this because every pigeon we have rescued has been on the verge of starvation and are desperate for a drink of water.
The pigeons are then taken to businesses or private clubs and are jammed into small boxes. Sometimes the workers are so careless that they close the top of the box on the bird’s wing, which you can see flap helplessly between the box door gap. Sometimes these animals are horrifically mistreated, as was the case with one baby pigeon we rescued. Her entire head was bloodied and gored, the wounds so bad that it looked as if someone had cut her head with a knife. She was young, just a few months old, yet old enough to be a victim of these heinous shoots.
The shooting fields are set up like a small baseball diamond, where the killer is at home plate and the boxes with the pigeons are spread out between first and third base. The boxes are wired electrically as the pigeons do not fly from the boxes, but are forced into the air by mechanical means and sometimes even an electric shock.
Having been starved and mistreated, these animals are then suddenly thrust into the air - and are met with searing gunfire. If they are hit with a mortal wound, they will often fall to the ground and struggle violently, sometimes for minutes, before they die. If they are hit and can still fly, they will fly beyond the confines of the killing field, where they may suffer for hours, even days before they expire. Even those that escape unwounded have little chance for survival due to their dire physical condition. The mortality rate is near universal. It is 100% animal cruelty in every way, from start to bitter end.
Mr. Santucci maligned pigeons by all but calling them plague carriers (and somehow that translates that shooting them for fun was a good thing). I have had the blood of many a rescued pigeon on my hands and clothes and am still here to tell you about it, so obviously what he said was nonsense. Still, it raises an interesting thought; if Mr. Santucci believes pigeons do carry disease, then under his reasoning pigeon shoots such as the Philadelphia Gun Club in Bucks County, where birds fall into the Delaware River and drown, their blood pouring into the water, and the Wing Pointe commercial hunting grounds, which borders a public water shed, are committing massive environmental crimes. I wonder if he’ll stick with his childish fear mongering after reading this.
Mr. Santucci says that he was contacted by the NRA who asked for help to keep this vicious cruelty ongoing. This is not a gun control issue and clearly has no impact on hunting (pigeons are not “game” animals so any law effecting pigeon shoots has no connection to game or hunting in any way). Why does the NRA care about ending pigeon shoots? Because top NRA officials, including former a NRA President and former NRA Board member are pigeon shooters, and we suspect that there are more. Any NRA member who agrees that these shoots are despicable and unethical should be greatly offended that the aristocracy of the NRA is using their name and their resources to protect their pleasure killing.
The NRA and people like Mr. Santucci use fear mongering to promote pigeon shoots because they know they have no real arguments. Pigeon shooting is the act of spilling blood for the pleasure it brings. There are no ethics to it, no justification that can ever be manufactured. I therefore implore you to please contact your state legislator and ask them to end this brutality once and for all.